Sunday, July 25, 2010

Blooming in the heat

My scrapbooking room doesn't have air conditioning -- in fact most of the rooms in my house don't since there is no such thing as central heat and a/c in most Japanese buildings. I don't mind, I have a nice little fan blowing on me. I keep hearing that so far this has been one of the hottest recent summers in Japan. Hmmm.... either my tolerance has increased or I'm numb. I prefer to think that I might just finally be getting used to the humidity here. It just doesn't feel that bad to me.

If I were home in Colorado I would be hot, but dry at least. But I am keeping positive here this summer instead. We've got a LOT of projects both big and small to do around the house so I am anxiously awaiting the end of July so I can get started. Right now we (and by that I mean me) are decluttering.

Speaking of decluttering, I'm wondering how long you keep your digital scrapbook supplies. I have so many kits that I just HAD to buy at the time, but have never used. I have tons of kits from CT assignments that I may or may not ever use again. And I have gigabytes of old kits both used and unused that I most like will never use again... but I have such a hard time deleting them from my hard drive. Alas, my hard drive is nearly full -- yes, my computer is old enough that the HD is "small" enough to become full.

So I have adopted a brutal attitude as of late to just get rid of it! Both in my home and on my computer. If I haven't used it over the past three years then I probably won't, right? Most things I won't miss, I'm sure. If I have to be here (meaning not at home in the states this summer) then I am going to make the most of my time and Bloom Where I am Planted.

Here are a few pages I got done this past week, in the nice cool breeze of my little floor fan.

using Wicked Cool by Jennifer Labre Designs

using Easy Breezy pt 9 by Busy Bee Desings
and Sunkissed Sunset by Jennifer Labre Designs

using You & Me Dude by Laura Banasiak Simply.Scraps
and Easy Breezy pt 8 by Busy Bee Designs

using Easy Breezy pt 8 by Busy Bee Designs
and Owlie Loves You by Kasia Designs

using Box Society 3 by Studio Gypsy

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Progress Report

This week its my turn to host the challenge on The Digichick blog. In keeping with this month's theme of Hopes and Dreams, I decided to revisit the hopes and goals I set for myself this year back in January. I made this page regarding my Ten Hopes for 2010.

For this week's Out of the Egg Challenge I decided to give myself a progress report of how I'm keeping up with those goals. Hmmm..... not so sure I'm doing that great.

If you feel like renewing your motivation for those resolutions and goals you set for yourself, come join me in the challenge.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Dream Scrap - Scraplift Challenge

There is a new scraplift challenge going on over on The Digichick blog. For this month's scraplift -- we get to scraplift whoever we want.

I am a huge fan of gonewiththewind. She has an incredible -- don't say I didn't warn you incredible -- gallery. I have dreamed many a time that I could be so original and creative. I love how she fills her pages with gorgeous photos and beautiful detail.

I suppose I cheated on this challenge and I'll tell you why. She also designs and sells templates under the name of Fiddle-Dee-Dee Designs at The Digichick. Using her templates gave me such a head start on being able to make a page like her. So call it cheating, call it whatever you will. I'll call it a sure-fire way to get a gorgeous page.

Here is my page for the challenge. Why don't you stop on over and join us for the scraplift challenge.

Friday, July 16, 2010

I shouldn't be here

Summer vacation is finally here -- yes, the kids have only now gotten out of school for the summer. Summer break is much shorter here in Japan, and because its between semesters (the school year begins in April) the kids are loaded up with homework as well. Every year just about this time my children and I are on our way home to Colorado to visit my family. We have been blessed for these past several years to be able to spend almost the entire break lounging around my parents home, visiting with family and old friends. But this year is different. This is the first time in my 18 years of being in Japan that I won't see my family in over a year. Its not an easy concept for me to grasp. My parents aren't getting any younger and precious time with my sister, niece and her babes is rare enough as it is. I'm not sure I'm going to survive the summer without them. I'm a bit homesick.

Studio Gypsy has a new line of goodies called Shrine of the Times. I'd never heard of a personal shrine before but once I learned more about it I understood what they are. According to Kay Marie Porterfield, a "Shrines serve as a way of deep journaling using images and symbols rather than words." I made this shrine to homesickness called Time Flies in about 20 minutes. I guess you could say I was inspired.

This next page is a photo of my friend's daughter in her beautiful kimono, celebrating 7 years old. The papers and elements are from Flowers of the Orient. What an appropriate name for this beautiful young lady as well.

Did I mention that I'm making an album for my daughter about her pet cat? Our relationship with this lovely little creature started out very wonderfully. But after we moved into our new complex, she was no longer allowed to roam freely outside. She went crazy being cooped up inside all the time and caused a lot of unpleasant problems for our family. Unfortunately, we had to give her away. Even though that was years ago, my daughter is just now feeling the loss again. She understands why Tori had to go, but that doesn't make the sadness disappear. The other night we were looking at some old photos and she saw one of Tori all dressed up in baby doll clothes. My daughter was amazed that Tori would "let" her do that. I explained to my daughter that Tori didn't just let it happen, that she loved every minute of it. This cat was so tolerant of my daughter's play rituals with her. Its almost like she felt a bit human and was intent on playing right along. I told my daughter, "Don't you know. She loved you too!" Well, that opened up the waterworks for my daughter and I decided then that she needed to know just how much Tori loved her too. So this is yet another page in the "She Loved You Too" series.

This last page is of my great-nephew, a few summers ago.

Ahh summer. I should be on a plane right now, heading home....

Friday, July 9, 2010

Without further ado

Here is the page I was able to make with my newest template from my friend Ingrid. I told you how wonderful her templates are, well here is the proof. I love her templates because she gives plenty of space for bigger photos and lots of journaling. When I have all that space I am forced to really think about what message I want to convey and make it meaningful. I'll be using some of the other templates in the set I got, but for now I needed to show you this!

Several months ago I hosted a scraplift challenge on the Digichick blog. For the challenge I chose Sasha's gallery to lift. Since then, she has also begun to make her own line of templates as well under the name of Busy Bee Designs. I have long admired her style and now I am able to scrap a little more like her because of her templates. I love her templates because of the soft and delicate little details she scatters about and her unique journaling placement. If you want to try, she has two free templates in her shop! I think its so cool that there are so many different kinds of templates to play with. Its my kind of scrapping heaven.

Last but certainly not least are this week's releases by Studio Gypsy. Its always an adventure to see what her new releases are going to be -- will it be the altered art style or vintage fare? Either way, I love to try them all!

Thank you so much for stopping by.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I got RAK'd

Ingrid Fasquelle is not only a wonderful scrapper, she has turned her hobby and her beautiful pages into templates. She sells her templates at Peppermint Creative and let me tell you -- they are wonderful! So easy to use, so easy to make beautiful pages with. I used one of her templates for my Wall of China layout shown on May 22nd post. If you're looking for some incredible templates, please give hers a try. This first layout also uses one of the templates from the same set. She was kind enough -- really super kind -- to present me with one of her latest template sets. I've got a layout using one coming out this Thursday. I'll be sure to post it here too.

This second layout is one I made for the June edition of The Artisan Notebook. We were supposed to make a layout inspired by nature. That was such a wide challenge for me. But I found my angle in a song from a Japanese anime program called Mushi King. The song's title is Ikite Koso, which translates very roughly into "Embrace Life." I've tried my best to translate the entire song as well. Its such a beauuutiful song. Here's a link to the original Japanese version as sung by Kiroro on YouTube.

The remaining layouts are either from new releases these past two weeks or just me having fun.


Thank you so much for stopping by.