Thursday, April 19, 2018

Molding Paste and Mist Background



For this beach themed background, I used molding paste and mist.  I wanted to recreate the beach effect we have when the tide isn't all the way out. 

Here's the process video:


Thanks for visiting today!

Monday, April 9, 2018

Card with Gelato Background



I was trying to make a quick card before we traveled to Charleston with my mother.  I wasn't going to have a lot of time when we returned to get her card done.

In reality, I completed the background before we left but didn't finish this one off until we got back.  I'll admit it isn't my favorite card. I love the background.  The gelatos really show off on this black cardstock. I think the flowers would have been better if I'd given them a coat of the iridescent medium before adding color.  Mulberry flowers are very absorbent so a coat of any type of gel based medium before adding color works best and really has a pretty effect.

Mother did love the card and that is all that matters.

Here's the process video:



Check out my Etsy shop for mixed media supplies including flowers and trim at Lovely Layers Art.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Find me on Instagram

More and more I post on Instagram.  Flowers, cards, knitting, new recipes, weird visitors to my bird feeder.  Mostly I want to share colorful images that give a glimpse of what I'm doing and hopefully some will be inspiring, too.  I hope you will check out my feed and follow me if you like. You can find me at https://www.instagram.com/lisaecherd/

While my favorite social media are blogs and message boards where I can follow a topic of conversation, Instagram is my favorite of the common, popular platforms. Facebook is my least favorite.  Lately, Facebook has come under heavy criticism.  Personally, I've never liked it.  Why?  The best way to explain is to compare it to a platform that is worlds better imo.  Instagram is owned by Facebook but they could not be more different.  I'm still learning what is available but this is what I've learned so far.

The Instagram interface is clean and uncluttered.  The advertising is scattered within the posts but you can easily breeze by it.  (And a little hint, if you view Instagram from a computer as opposed to a phone or tablet, there are no ads.) There is one column of content.  My favorite thing about Instagram is that posts are in order by most recent to oldest.  So when you scroll along and come to something you have seen before, you are done.  It usually takes me less than a minute to browse my feed so I can do this several times per day and easily keep up. You can change this view order in Facebook but you have to change it every single time you view.  Facebook is based on a popularity contest so they want to most viewed and talked about posts on top.

I also like that I only see the people I follow, not the people they follow because they shared a post. Sometimes I enjoy seeing on Facebook what has been shared but usually it is photos of people I don't know.  The drawback on Instagram is that I can't see the interesting things people might share nor can anyone share my content to increase followers except in their 'stories.' The only other drawback to Instagram is that you must have a mobile device and post from the app or respond to comments via the app.  You can view, like and comment from Instagram.com.

Instagram has added a 'story' feature where you can have a photo or video each day as part of your ongoing story.  I do this a couple of times per week.  My stories expire after 24 hours and you can't see the old ones.  I think that if I get enough followers, I'll have the option to share more stories but I'm not sure of the details yet.  To see my story or anyone's story, click on their photo.

I've only done one video so far in Instagram but I plan to do more.  I will continue to do YouTube videos but this is faster and will allow me to share quick techniques.  You can always find my posts at the above link so even if you don't keep up regularly you can go to anyone's Instagram that isn't private and see what they have posted.  And the interface for that is also very clean just a 3 column wide shot of all the photos and then you click on the one you want to see in detail.  No advertising is in that view.

Personally I believe that what you put online might as well be open to the world.  If someone sees it on their screen, they can capture it and post it on a forum like Twitter that is open to all users anyway.  My least favorite thing about Facebook is the concept that everyone you know and many people they suggest who you don't know are 'friends.'  I have friends - close friends, old friends, acquaintances, business associates, family, etc.  I don't share the same personal information with all of them.  If I share it online, I make it available for everyone who wants to read it.

I choose people to follow on Instagram based on content.  I get to know a little about them, get inspired and see beautiful things and places.  I follow people from all over the world.

And the number 1 thing that is better about Instagram than Facebook?  You can Pin from Instagram.  You can not Pin to Pinterest from Facebook so all those great cards and pages I see on Facebook can't go to Pinterest which is the best place to store ideas for future reference in my opinion.  Instagram also has a Save feature where you just click on the heart and it saves a posts for you to refer to anytime on yet another very clean, orderly screen.  There are a dozen other things I find cumbersome and annoying about Facebook but you get the idea.

So if you haven't tried Instagram or you haven't found me, I hope you will check out my feed and follow if you find the photos interesting.  For now I will keep Facebook and post an update when I add a video but I don't post other photos that aren't linked to a video nor am I adding 'friends.'  LisaEDesign on Facebook is open to all.

You can find me at https://www.instagram.com/lisaecherd/  Thanks for visiting today!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Gelli Printed Cards




Some of my most popular YouTube videos are on using various inexpensive or found tools.  In this video I'm using a few more 'found' objects. One was given to me by my BFF.  It has something to do with cake decorating and it makes a great impression for gelli plates.

I use bookpaper to make the prints and at the end, create a card using some of the prints and an older stamp set.  The best thing is that I already have my husband's birthday card done months early.  Video:



If you are interested in bookpaper, check out my Etsy shop at Lovely Layers Art.  Thanks for watching!

Monday, March 19, 2018

How Nerds do the Beach



After years of going to the same place, I still take photos and still want to capture memories.  I just find it hard to come up with new twists on an old, beloved subject.  Last year, we traveled to Hilton Head in October.  With the days shorter and the possibility of some cool days, we knew we needed things to occupy ourselves besides beach walking, dining out and bicycling.  There was one day that was almost too cold to be outside.  I persevered but was glad I had some indoor activities as well.  Dh took along some work in the form of circuit board diagnostics.  I took my knitting and had some things to watch on-line when we weren't out.  These are typical activities for us at home.

Based on these photos, I thought we looked a little nerdish so herein lies the title for the page.  I do wish he had been wearing his super magnifying headband.  The stamping technique came from a Craftsy class I took during their free watching weekend called Radiant Stamping.  The class was designed for cardmaking. I'm using a couple of her techniques with a few of my own twists for scrapbooking.  I highly recommend the class as it shows you some new ways to look at stamps and inks.

Look closely to find the pattern paper.  Ha!  There is none!  This is an all cardstock page as well.

Here's the video for this layout:



Thanks for visiting today!

Monday, March 12, 2018

Silhouette Die Cut Background



I don't do kid pages often so I really like to have some fun with them.  These photos taken at the park are full of colors so I raided my 6x6 and other scraps to make the triangles.  The page needed little embellishment as the die cut background served that purpose.  I was inspired by the beautiful layouts I see form Paige Taylor Evans Instagram feed.

Not finding a die cut that worked for me, I created my own.  You can use it too if you have a Silhouette.  Here's the Silhouette file I created for your personal use.

Triangle Breakout.

You may use for your personal projects.  This design may not be used for contest or design team submissions.  The design may not be sold or shared.  Credit to Lisa E Design is appreciated when posting projects made with this design on your blog or social media.

And here is the video:




If you are on Instagram, I hope you will follow me. I post papercrafting projects as well as knitting, a little baking and some pretty flowers.  I'm at lisaecherd at Instagram

Thanks for visiting today!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

The best new show on Netflix

If you are a TV lover like me, we are blessed with plenty of good programming the last few years.  At our house, we don't have cable but we do have Netflix and recently added a subscription to Hulu. Between the over the air programming from broadcast networks, originals from subscription sites, British and other international programming and the older cable shows like Mad Men that we never saw the first go round, there is a ton of stuff from which to chose.

Yet, despite having a far longer list in my queue than I really have time to watch, I still look for things to add to keep a balance of drama and lighter programming.  One day I noticed this new show on Netflix and I had a few minutes so after perusing quickly the glowing user reviews, I decided to give it 15 minutes and see how it went.  I couldn't stop.  I watched the entire 40+ minute first episode without even leaving my chair for a break.

The show is Queer Eye. This is a remake of Bravo's Queer Eye for the Straight Guy from many years ago.  Having never had cable, I didn't know anything about the original other than it featured several gay guys.  I didn't know if it was a comedy or drama.  I certainly didn't know it was a reality, makeover show.  And that is a very good thing.  Because had I known, I probably would not have watched.

I really detest reality or as I call it UNreality TV. I'll watch makeover shows now and then particularly when we are on vacation and I have access to cable and the show "What Not to Wear" though I'm not sure why since I have quite a few criticisms of that show.

Most reality shows are so far from the real world, it isn't even a joke.  What's realistic about putting a bunch of attractive strangers on an island and making them do silly games to see who can survive?  Contest shows waste so much time not spent on the singing, dancing or whatever.  (Maybe that is where NBC got their idea for drawn out Olympics coverage).

Makeover shows are interesting again if you could actually get to the content.  Those shows though tell you at the beginning what they are going to do and then repeat that and a synopsis of what they have done at every commercial break.  Plus the useless interviews of how everyone feels about everything.

What I loved about Queer Eye is that is breaks those molds.  Five guys - all gay, each with different areas of specialty such as fashion, design, cooking, etc - spend 1 week making over another guy's life including his home, wardrobe, relationships, nutrition and hair.  Oh, the hair!  The guys they makeover are almost all straight but that is about all they have in common demographically.  They are single, married, young, old, with children, living with a roommate, living alone, living in the city or living in the suburbs.  The only thing they have in common is that they could all use a little help with their appearance and home design.

Oh and there is one other thing which is what gives this shows such rave reviews.  Each of these men let themselves go for a reason.  Tracking down that reason and helping them through it is a key element to the show. This happens naturally through conversation.

The interaction between the main cast and their fixer upper of the week often breaks down stereotypes and deals with current issues in a moderate, mature way.  It's these natural conversations that make the show really shine and also mean you ought to keep a box of tissues handy if you watch.

The show hasn't yet been renewed for Season 2 but if the cast is game I certainly think it will be.  It has received critical and viewer top reviews.  I did read that the would probably move from their base location of Atlanta to a midwestern city in a colder climate.  Apparently Hotlanta is just a bit warm for filming.

Wherever they end up, I look forward to the next season to see how they can transform a guy's wardrobe, nutrition, house, social interactions and well, life.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Holiday Page from Object Photos



I really didn't think I had any holiday photos to scrap this year.  We went to several events but I didn't take photos for one reason or another.  I have many good memories and could always do a photo free page.

Then I went through my Instagram and found quite a few photos that represent the holiday season, the parties and the visiting we did.  One of them is of my Mother; the rest are food, a family pet, a door prize I won and a photo of the cards we received.  So this page is packed with memories, photos and hidden journaling.

The papers are from a warehouse box I bought from Fancy Pants. I haven't bought any scrapping stuff except a few inks in months, probably close to a year now.  Working through my stash and enjoying getting my pages completed just from what I have on hand is as rewarding as anticipating the UPS man's arrival - and a good deal cheaper.   I don't have a plan to use a specific amount of stuff.  I figure that eventually I'll be in the notion for some new things.

For now, here is a page made with warehouse box papers and some older stamp sets.  The video:



I have a kid page on my worktable right now.  It's definitely made from scraps with a little help from my Silhouette.  Thanks for visiting today!

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Easy All Purpose Birthday Card



I'm using an easy marker technique on this birthday card that would work for anyone.  You just need a greeting stamp and some geometric stamps.  My colors came from the scrap of designer paper.

Here's the video:



There are still a couple of stamp sets left in my Etsy shop including one that wasn't in the video from last week. Check them out at:  Lovely Layers Art

Thanks for watching!

Sunday, February 25, 2018

What NBC doesn't get and how to fix it

This Tuesday night will be celebratory at my house.  Why?  Regular TV will be back!  Actually it returns on Monday, but there is nothing on Monday nights that we watch. On Tuesday we will tune into the Middle at 8 on ABC and I will watch This is Us on NBC at 9.  The tissue box and remote will be close at hand.

And if something happens that prevents us from watching?  No problem, we will just catch them the next day. 

For more than 2 weeks, there has been almost no original scripted programming as most networks defer to the tradition of watching the Olympics. In truth, they don't want to compete with the competition, either the network airing the event or the events themselves.  It's sort of un-American to try to persuade us to watch something other than those who have worked so hard for the chance to represent their country in their sport.

Apparently though many, many of us have been watching something else or nothing at all. NBC had 14 million viewers this past Thursday night - the night of the ladies figure skating final which is usually one of their top events.  That seems pretty good until you consider that The Big Bang Theory brings in that many viewers every week for a fictional show you can watch easily the next day usually spoiler free.  Looking at Thursday February 1 as an example, BBT had 14.5 million.  Another nearly 9 million viewers are watching Grey's Anatomy over on ABC at the same time.  Eight and a half million more are split between NBC, Fox and the CW all on a typical Thursday at 8 pm.  When you do the math, NBC only captured just over 40% of the broadcast viewing audience.

Now NBC's numbers (nor any of the others I sited) contain viewers who watch on-line.  The trouble with NBC is they made it so difficult to watch the Olympics on-line.  If I miss the Big Bang Theory, I can go to CBS.com the next day and watch it.  I can watch that episode for several weeks until a certain number of new episodes bump it off.  Anyone in the US can watch it on-line. NBC makes their regular scripted programming available to watch on-line the next day.

But what about the Olympics?  What if I don't want to watch 3 hours at one time or stay up until midnight to see who claims the ladies singles figure skating gold?

Tough luck.  As far as I can tell, I can only watch 45 minutes of Olympic coverage because we do not have a cable or Dish provider.  We use an antennae and get our TV over the air.  Despite the overwhelming number of commercials which I'm sure are in the on-line portion as well as broadcast, NBC doesn't let those of us who don't pay for basic TV anywhere near the bulk of the games without suffering through hours of coverage each evening often going until midnight.

This is what NBC does not get.  People don't want to watch TV at a specific time.  We no longer want to watch 20 minutes of commercials every hour.  

We want content.  Hulu, Amazon and Netflix have given us the best of TV. We can watch when we want and we can get excellent content for our viewing time.  The time difference made the Olympics a bit of a challenge but we almost always have some time differences to deal with.

So here is my wish list for making watching the Olympics a better experience:

1.  Create an online viewing subscription option separate from the cable companies.  Partner with Hulu or one of the other providers as does Showtime and HBO.  And I'm not talking about an option to watch live but to view taped events so people can watch just what events they want.  Commercials are fine if needed to keep the costs down.  As long as we can skip the commentary, I think people would buy into this for the convenience.

2.  When the time difference will cause viewing to go past 11 pm on a regular basis, plan to tape delay the programming. Figure skating is a big draw so make it available for people to actually watch and cut out the filler by...

3.  Firing at least half the commentators.  They are completely unnecessary. It's irritating to know that Tara Lipinski was actually paid money to say over and over again "she really wants a gold medal," "He came here to win,"  "They have their eyes on the podium."  Well, duh!  Don't all the athletes envision themselves with a medal around their necks?  Isn't that the point of all that hard work?  We don't want them talking over the performances as they relive their own glory days.

3. During live events when time is needed to scrape the ice or for the next set of skaters to warm up, why not show us one of the earlier skaters on tape?  Fill the time by showing the work of these athletes, not by exercising the jaws of those who have had their moments in past Olympics.

4.  Drop the meaningless interviews of athletes asking them how they 'felt' to lose or to win particularly when they lose.  That's just mean.

5.  Another annoyance was the amount of time spent on qualifying runs.  Personally I think almost all of the events other than skating are beyond boring.  But to have to watch people slalom down the same hill over and over for qualifying and then again for the actual event is just double boredom.  No wonder so few people watched.

6.  Keep the cameras on the athletes.

7. Make the figure skating gala which was apparently a taped event into an Event.  Run it all at once without cutting over to other competitions. Have one skater after another with a reasonable number commercials.  Having a 4 minute skate followed by 5 minutes of commercials every. single. time. was just greedy.  We know you need the commercials to make money but the same Chevy commercial ran over and over again until viewers would start holding a grudge against the advertiser rather than being persuaded to buy.

8.  Announce upcoming events with times displayed on the screen.  Networks have no problem putting stuff on the bottom of our screens during regular programming yet during the Olympics if you wanted to know what time something was coming up, you had to be listening or look at the TV at just the right few seconds to see the announcement. Face it, people want to watch certain events.  Clearly from the ratings, viewers will not be bullied into watching everything just to see what they want to see.

Not only was viewership down but this was the least buzzed about Olympics I can recall.  The only time anything related to the Olympics trended on Twitter that I noticed was when there was a costume mishap.  I participate in two message boards.  Early posts about the games were quickly lost in discussions about current events, hobbies and other things we regularly discuss.  A few posts popped up near the end but the responses were slim compared to other discussions.  No where did I go in the last 2 weeks, that anyone mentioned the Olympics.  I brought it up with a group of friends but the conversation quickly fizzled.

Personally, if I never saw another Olympics my life would go on just fine but I realize that many people enjoy the biannual event and athletes work incredibly hard to be seen.  It's would be a shame for the Olympics to fade into history because a network is so greedy and set in their ways that they can't reach their audience.



Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Cards to Share and Stamps to Sell



The video below shares some cards I've made using a few sets one last time before I find them a new home. Will it be your home?  If you are interested in any of these sets, head over to my Etsy shop Lovely Layers Art where they are listed.  This set is bundled with the Boho Blossoms punch. I've used this punch many times without a matching stamp just for flowers.  (Card is not included in sale.)



Here's the video:




Thanks for watching!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Where do we go from here?

(Note:  I will be back with plenty of cardmaking and scrapbooking posts.  I just had these things on my mind today.)

I live in the south.  This is the country of God and guns.  And you could say that about a huge physical portion of the US. 

Students from Parkland High School have said they are going to be the last to be shot at.  I sincerely hope that is true.  Yet, I remember Columbine.  When we got over our shock, we were outraged. I remember Virginia Tech and Charles Gibons who normally ended his broadcast with something about hoping you had a good day ending that day with "And this has Not been a good day."  It still brings tears to my eyes.  I remember Newtown.  If dozens of parents holding up photos of their 6 year olds to Congress with a Democrat in the White House could not bring about a single change in gun laws or improve care of the mentally ill, what will?  How will these high school students make a difference if those highly motivated parents could not?  Almost everyone agrees that bump stocks should be banned. Yet months after over 50 people died in Las Vegas, they are still being sold.  I understand there was even a discount coupon available to buy one over President's Day weekend. 

The shooter from the church in Texas should have never had a gun because of his history of domestic violence. Yet a bill to reduce the chances of that failure happening again has gone nowhere.

I was thinking about writing this post when I got up this morning.  As I scanned several on-line news outlets I already noticed that other news is taking the place of Parkland.  US Figure skaters fell last night at the Olympics (no thank you to that spoiler from someone who has the skating taped because we don't want to stay up until midnight to watch!).  There was more about Russia, plenty of opinion about the President and his marriage.  There were still articles about Parkland yet they are getting crowded out.  It won't be long before this is not the lead story anymore.

It hasn't left my mind yet, obviously.  I've thought about 4 family members who work in 4 different public schools in two different states.  Any of them could become a target.  And of course there are many young family members who are students.  My mother and I went through a drive through on the way home from a child's birthday party on Sunday and I was a bit envious of the young woman waiting on us.  She was high school age and chatting with one of her colleagues as she waited on Mother's order to come up.  Ah, to be that young, to head off to high school on Monday morning.  And then it hit me that when she walks into the same school I went to over 30 years ago, she may wonder if today is the day someone is going to come in with a weapon and start picking people off. That never crossed my mind in the early 1980's.  Never. Suddenly being young again isn't very appealing.

So what do we do?  How do we stop school children and their teachers from getting shot?  How do we end the mass carnage of those gathered in public places? 

I think the problem is that there is no one fix.  We will never ban all guns in this country. Never.  Yet, I personally have no problems with enacting laws that restrict access for those who should not have weapons and make everyone safer.  Bump stocks should be banned immediately.  I personally see no reason anyone needs an assault rifle.  I looked up some statistics the other day.  Of the 23 mass shootings in the US that go back to the 1980's in which 10 or more people died, only 1 occurred during the 10 year period of the assault rifle ban.  That was Columbine.  It isn't just that these guns are so available.  It is that popular culture has made them attractive.  Video games, movies, TV have glorified their use, have glorified killing in general.  We must vote with our entertainment choices.  If we choose programs that minimize gun violence and avoid those that promote it, we are clear with Hollywood what we as a culture want. Hollywood, for all their talk, are like everyone else.  They go where the money is and will stop creating shows and movies that don't make money.

In the case of Parkland, it is clear that the FBI failed.  They received solid information and did not act.  Now I'm sure they get more tips in any one day than they can possibly act on yet they have admitted the content of this tip and that should have prompted an inquiry.  Someone or perhaps multiple someones should be fired.  Acknowledging their mistake quickly was a good first step.  Now fix it.  Let go the people at all levels who screwed up.  When I was in corporate America, a shakeup at the executive level had us buzzing for a couple of days but we soon settled down and went back to doing our jobs the same way we always had been.  Firing only the head of the FBI, which has been called for, isn't likely to make much difference.  After 911, only George Tenent, then director of the CIA, was the only one fired as far as I know.  Yet many mistakes occurred to make that event possible. 

When the FBI received their last tip, they had another tip from last September that should have matched up somewhere in some database and escalated this as a serious, probable concern.  Did it?  If not, fix the systems to make that happen.  In the last paragraph I'm advocating holding people responsible for doing their jobs because I'm convinced that there were human failures here.  Yet I know that wasn't all of it.  Systems need to be improved.

And if the FBI had investigated, could they have stopped this shooting?  A few states have a law that allows family members or police to petition a judge to remove gun rights to people who may become violent.  Florida is not one of those states. 

There were so many warning signs that Nicholas Cruz was going to become violent.  There were warning signs in Newtown, too. What have we done to change the way our agencies handle these signs?  I suspect they are underfunded and overworked.  That can be fixed or at least improved. 

We have not prioritized mental health care in this country for decades.  It's time that changed.  Those who oppose gun restrictions say this is a problem with the mentally ill and we should do more to treat them. True enough (though not the whole picture in my opinion) but what are we doing. Just blaming another problem doesn't get you off the hook.  We need our lawmakers in Washington and in our state governments to take this problem seriously and allocate funding accordingly.  There are plenty of things you can cut to make this happen because for all your calls for increased military spending, more Americans are dying at home.  The perpetrators of those crimes are US citizens or those who have been in this country most of their lives. 

This is an election year.  I hope that we will all not just vote for one party or another but to really listen to our candidates and really press them on the issues that matter to us.  "We get the government we deserve."  We have to do the work to make sure we get the government that serves us best.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Some Spring Photos



If you are like we are, you are ready for winter to be over, so over!  These photos reminded me that spring will be here.  Last year I did the glad planting.  Unfortunately with the bitter cold winter, we have probably lost a lot of those bulbs.  Normally we can leave them in the ground here and they come back year after year.  I think we will be planting more this spring to be sure we didn't lose everything to about 2 weeks of below freezing temperatures in January. 

Here's the process video for the page:



Thanks for visiting today!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

2018 Objective - One Month In

A few weeks ago, I shared a page and a little about my objective for this year to be healthier by increasing my consumption of some foods, hopefully replacing some poorer choices and by increasing my activity level. 

So how am I doing?  In a couple of areas, fairly well.  I've been eating more chicken and fish and thus less red meat and pork.  Some weeks I have achieved my goal of red meat only once a week.  I would do more fish except my husband doesn't like really any white fish. I love flounder and tilapia but he cringes at the mere mention of them.  So I usually eat these when he is going to be traveling or out for the day.  With the bitterly cold January we have had, he has not been going out as much.  Plus it is just not the time of the year for many activities that would take him or me away for the day.  On the other hand, he could eat chicken every day. I'm the one who gets tired of it.  So I think this 'more chicken and fish' will continue to progress.

Another area that has gone well is, surprisingly, very surprisingly --- cleaning.  There is one problem when you go looking for dirt. You find it! Or at least I did.  Who knew there were so many dust bunnies in this house?  And who gave them a cute name like dust bunnies?  I like bunnies. Maybe that is why I've been so comfortable letting them live with me for so long. Well no more.  I've been vacuuming under and over things, walls and ceilings. I've had to get creative to reach some of them on pitched ceilings.  I'm sure there are tools for this but 1) I doubt I'll be this ambitious forever - it will get warm eventually and I can move onto the outside work and 2) I like the creativity of duct tapping the broom handle to the vacuum wand and adding a dryer sheet to the end to pick up the dust.

DH might not think this cleaning thing is so great because after I finished the main living areas of the house I started on the basement and the office - his spaces or at least what is supposed to be 'partially' his spaces.  Right now, he is in the basement cleaning out and organizing because frankly I couldn't even get to some of my cabinets for his stuff.  I think this is a good thing. I'm sure he would have been happy to step over and around stuff forever.

I have done some of most of the other things on the list including trying a new complex recipe that used several anti inflammatory spices. Chicken Tiki Masala was good but needs a 2nd effort to improve.

So what hasn't worked?  Having too many things to focus on each day.  My list was long and overwhelming.  For February I'm picking out one of the items to really focus on each day and continue with the cleaning and eating less red meat.

The weather has also worked against me in that I haven't gone outside to do any yard work all month.  This isn't entirely surprising but the below freezing temps for several days running is unuual  weather in NC.

On a positive note I'm making progress on a couple of other objectives I set for myself this year.  So I'm pleased with the start of 2018.

Did you set objectives or resolutions?  How are you doing?

Hope you have a wonderful day!


Monday, January 29, 2018

Pre Holiday trip part 2



The 2nd page from our Gatlinburg trip uses the same papers with a different arrangement of the photos.  This page and the last one could stand on their own except that I added the word 'and' to the title.  So you can look at this as the 2nd of a two pager or a complementary page, either one.

Here's the process video:



And don't forget that my classes are only available for purchase until noon on February 5, 2018.  Class videos will still be accessible for several months. Click on the Class tab to see classes available at the final price of $12 per class USD for several hours of video each.

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Pre-Holiday trip Part 1


A few days before Thanksgiving, my husband, Mother and I went to Gatlinburg for a couple of days.  In scrapping this page, I used a holiday collection from Basic Grey.  I have another page coming along from the trip that is more nature oriented and the papers work for it, too.

Here's the process video:




And here is the Class Page.  Classes are available for purchase through February 5.

Thanks for visiting!

Monday, January 22, 2018

Final Class Sale

A special announcement regarding my classes...

For the last few years I have provided on-line scrapbook classes. I've truly enjoyed sharing my ideas with you.  While I plan to continue my YouTube videos as time allows, I am discontinuing the paid classes.  For the next two weeks, you can purchase any class at a reduced price of $12 (USD) per class.

Class videos and materials will be available through October 1, 2018.  If you have purchased or choose to purchase a class, please watch any videos or download class handouts before that date.  Videos are NOT downloadable.  After October 1, class materials including videos will no longer be available.

So that you will have plenty of time to view the videos, class sales will cease on Monday, February 5 at noon Eastern time.

Sketchbooks will still be available after February 5; however, the purchasing method will change.  I will provide more information on that option in February.  Sketchbooks are downloadable.  I do not plan to remove any videos linked in the sketchbooks.

I appreciate all of you who have purchased classes and/or sketchbooks.  I value your support so much.

Here is the page containing all the class descriptions -- Class Page

Friday, January 5, 2018

Good read

Last month I shared photos of bookmarks I made for my book club and mentioned that our December book was from a local author.  That author is Angela Pisel and she led the discussion for our meeting about her first novel, Love from the Inside.

The novel alternates telling the story of a mother and daughter. The mother is on death row and the daughter is leading what appears to be a wonderful life without acknowledging her mother at all.  Angela shared with us how she got the idea for the book and when she decided some important plot points.  We also discussed capital punishment particularly for the 50+ women on death row in the US.  She also told us about the writing and publishing process for a first time author.  It was a very interesting meeting and we are all anticipating her next book.  She didn't give us an exact date but I gathered it would not be that far into the future.

Love from the Inside can be difficult to read at times because of the sad nature of the story and the details of the prison system but it is definitely worth a read.  It's beautifully written capturing each character sympathetically and with grace.  One of the attendees had listened to it on audio and recommended that version as well.

On these bitterly cold days, it's good to have a book to curl up with and await spring.

Monday, January 1, 2018

2017 Resolution and 2018 Goal



One of the pages I most enjoy scrapping each year is my wrap up of accomplishments for the current year and plans for the new year including my goals and objectives.

This year I did not list out accomplishments of 2017. The year was filled with caregiving. It was also a very sad time as we lost my father in late summer.  Just as I was getting most of the estate processing finished, a tornado came through our area.  This is highly unusual for the foothills of western NC.  The mountains usually stop a storm. This one managed to travel 23 miles and was 3/4 of a mile wide.  Most of the damage was from downed trees.  It went right down my Mother's road and did quite a bit of damage around her home.  So we were very busy and my husband still is getting everything back to normal.  So, it was a painful year to reflect upon and everything I did revolved around a few major events.  I decided not to scrap the accomplishments and just look forward to 2018.

I would though like to take a moment to pat myself on the back for a couple of things.  I kept my New Year's Resolution.  A resolution is promising yourself to change a habit - drop a bad habit or form a new one.  I resolved to write in my journal every day. This is my regular journal which I type rather than write.  I can type a lot faster and it doesn't bother my hands.  And I did it!  I wrote every single day of 2017.  There were a couple of times where I had to write out my journaling as I'd already shut the computer down but every day got something even if it was 2 sentences.  Usually it was a few paragraphs.

I imagine when I look back at the journal years from now, I'll think "why did I write about all this mundane stuff?" or "boy, did I complain a lot back then," The journal was a good place to work out feelings and as well as capture memories. I also completed the 5 year journal which I talked about on my last blog post and layout.

I'm not going to make a new resolution for 2018 as I have a big goal I'm working on which I'll get to in a minute.  I want to continue to do my daily journaling.  I would like to improve my journaling and my outlook in that I look for something positive to write about each day.  Often there were positive happy comments in my journal but certainly not every day.  Even on the darkest day, I think you can find something positive, some way to be grateful.

One other thing I accomplished in 2017 was to finally lose a few extra pounds I've been carrying around the last few years.  That was on my objectives list more than a few times.  I lost a little more than planned due to stress and am at what I weighed in the 1990's.  I feel so much better.  My clothes fit better which was my main purpose.  (You know you truly hate to shop if I'd rather lose weight than buy new clothes :-)  I used Weight Watcher's old Points Plus system and it was just the right amount of structure for my lifestyle.

Now to the goal and objectives for 2018.

Perhaps it was losing my dad who I take after more than my mother or perhaps it is just my age, but I've been thinking a lot about what I will do when I'm older.  I chose not to have children - a choice that was perfect for me.  I am an only so I have no nieces or nephews either.  I have plenty of cousins and we get along but we aren't super close.  Plus I'd really like to move to another location at some point and probably won't be around my family.  I hope my husband and I have decades more together.  He is older so I have to face the fact that I might have some years alone.  Now we never know of course.  He might outlive me.  Heck, Mother might outlive me.  She's stronger than I am!

And that is another thing that has spurred my desire to make some changes in the new year.  I want to do what I can to have healthy older years so I can enjoy life, being active.

With that in mind, I came across some information recently on the anti-inflammatory diet. The one I was reading was cutting out sugar, gluten, dairy, red meat, alcohol and happiness- just kidding about the last one, sort of kidding.  I mean giving up bread and sweets?  Now this might be the best thing for me, for all many of us yet while I want a healthy old age, I want to do some living now.  So while the idea of reducing inflammation and thus medication I take for inflammation holds great appeal to me, enjoying food is also important. I think I can find a balance.

As far as I know my health is good but I know it can be better. I know that the things that cause heart disease, likely cancer and dementia are building up in our bodies for years.  Most of us need to move more and eat less - or at least less of certain foods.  I want to do what I can to prevent problems and still enjoy a full life.  The fact that my mother can lift more than I can is a bit embarrassing.  She's a gardener and truly loves nothing more than raking leaves, moving rocks around in her flower beds and keeping every inch of her yard pristine.  I do not.  She cares about making her house look perfect inside and out.  I do not.   So she is strong and I, I'm ashamed to admit, am not as strong as I should be.

Yet remember that bit about balance.  I doubt very much that at the end of 2018 my yard will look as pretty as hers but I hope it will look better.  Mostly I just hope that I am a physically stronger person.

I've come up with a list of things I can do each day to fill my stomach with healthier foods and hopefully then less of the unhealthy ones.  The list contains activities that will get me moving more.  I don't expect to do everything on the list every day, certainly not at first, but it is a goal to work toward.

In a few months, I hope to be not only stronger but have a little cleaner and more organized house and maybe even make a dent in the yard work as these chores are good places to get that increased activity.  Dh and I already walk whenever we can get decent weather.

So that's my plan and here is the layout that reflects my objective for 2018




Now I'm still a caregiver and of course I could have other issues that interfered with my plans.  I followed Weight Watchers though through some of the most hectic months of the year so I hope I can do this.   It might take 30 years to find out if it helped me but I hope I'll get a reasonably clean house and some new menu options in the short term.

Stay tuned to see how I'm progressing...

Happy New Year!

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