Saturday, September 25, 2010

Feeling lazy

When it was boiling hot I could blame it on the weather. But the last few days have been suddenly beautiful and cooler. Fall won't truly set in around Tokyo until mid-October or even later, but it sure feels like its on its way. So why is it that I'm feeling so lazy!?

I used to be - and still am to a great extent - a high-strung person. When I first came to Japan over 18 years ago, my first job was at a small language school in a rural prefecture about 2 hours west of Tokyo. I became good friends with one of my co-workers, Steve. One of our favorite things to do was to watch movies together on our day off and just chat. He's funny and interesting and believe it or not we are still good friends. He only lives a few stations down the line from me with his wife and little girl. But with the rigors of daily life we don't get to visit in person much.

We used to love watching When Harry met Sally. He is such a Harry and I am closer to be a Sally than I care to admit. We still call each other by these names of endearment. At one point in the movie Harry tells Sally that she is the most difficult kind of woman, "You're the worst kind; you're high maintenance but you think you're low maintenance. " Unfortunately, I have to say that I believe myself to fall into this category as well.

There is a fun new challenge on The Digichick's blog. "What have you mastered?" is the topic to be scrapped. Over the past year or so I have made the conscious decision to try and let go of the little things. I don't worry so much about things, instead I try to control them in order to get my desired outcome. All these years of that have made me tired. So I'm trying to relax a bit. I'm far from mastering it, but I am working hard on chilling out. Perhaps because I'm not running around with my hair on fire constantly, there is more time for feeling lazy.

Happy When Skies are Gray by Laura Banasiak and Jennifer Barrette
page template (altered) from Fuss Free Just Journal by Fiddle-dee-dee Designs
stapled alpha by Kristen Rice
metal alpha by Kristen Cronin-Barrow
word art/background wire glitter overlay by Natalie Designs
font for list is Pea Bhea
font for large words is Walkway
Funkalicious Fall by Jennifer Fox and Nikki Epperson
page template from Easy Breezy pt 10 by Busy Bee Designs

Autumn Mist by Studio Gypsy
template from Easy Breezy 15 by Busy Bee Designs

Thank you so much for stopping by. Please come again.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Growing Stronger

I am terrified of caterpillars. I can specifically recall at least 7 traumatic events involving caterpillars as a child and on in to my teen years. Not the little furry caterpillars, but the big ole' honkin' green ones -- some with 6 red eyes, some with horns. All terrifying. My mother always grew tomatoes in our garden and they seemed to be mostly on those plants so I have come to call them tomato worms. I swore I would never grow tomatoes regardless of how much I love a fresh tomato right off the vine.

You may have seen in one or two of my layouts that my daughter decided to grow a garden in our back yard this year. Up until now the yard has been largely ignored as just an appendage to our home. Oh we tried to keep the grass green and the weeds down to a semi-minimum. But we never gave much love to its appearance. That all changed this year when we put in a short stepping stone pathway and my daughter worked for hours one weekend on her garden. The one promise we had was that she would not be raising tomatoes.

Caterpillars come regardless of tomatoes or not. There have been a few of the smaller variety that I could convince my son to take to school for his science classes. But the other day I was looking for green peppers and eggplant and came face to face to two caterpillars instead. I managed to get them both (and the entire branches they were on) into a trash bag and out to the dumpster.

Two days ago I was in the garden again and just happened to look down at the right time to see myself nearly step on a fat, bright green caterpillar. Very similar to what I would call a tomato worm if we had tomato plants in our garden. My breath stopped, my heart raced and my palms sweated. I used a small toy shovel to flick it out of our garden. For some reason that appeased me, but every time I step outside I am constantly on the lookout.

I am feeling pretty proud of myself about these encounters. I was able to face my demons and had the strength to rid my yard of three caterpillars. My sister has a wonderful expression that I hold tightly in my heart. "That which does not kill us, makes us stronger." I believe I just may be a bit stronger this week.

Oh, and yes, my back is feeling better too. Not 100%, but at least I am able to sit. Wonderfully enough, that means I have been able to scrap a few pages. I've been having fun with some stronger backgrounds. It feels good to be on the mend.

 Papers and elements from Divine Debris by Studio Gypsy
page template from Easy Breezy pt 13 by Busy Bee Designs

papers and elements from Falling for Fall by Vera Lim
page template from Harvesting Memories by Busy Bee Designs
papers and elements from Patisserie by Sugarplum Paperie and Paisless Press Designs
page template by Traci Stroud
papers and elements from Perfectly Suited by Allison Pennington
page template from Easy Breezy pt 14 by Busy Bee Designs

As always, thank you so much for stopping by. Please come again!

Monday, September 6, 2010

When real life steps in

So I'm a bit slow with this week's blog. I've been spending the last month, on and off, remodeling my son's room. Its been a huge undertaking having to find a new place to put all of my husband and my things that were in the room my son will be using. Basically a lot of decluttering and rearranging. But it really feels good to get rid of things - you know, the things that you hold on to for years and year just in case you might need it. But all the lifting and painting has taken its toll on my back and now I can barely sit for more than 10 minutes at a time. My computer is lonely, feeling neglected.

But I do have a few pages to share with you. First off, I want to tell you about the template challenge on The Digichick blog. September is back to school month so TDC's theme for the month is Learning Every Day. And with that theme, the first challenge of the month has been to scrap something that you learn just through every day life. I chose not to focus on any one particular skill, rather on just learning more about myself.

made with Berry Preppy by Wendy Page Designs
notebook, postit tabs and alpha are from other resources

Here is the page I made for the July Artisan Notebook. In case you can't read the journaling, here it is.

I find that, in my life, balance brings harmony. Neither extreme seems to serve me well. 
Too little may be restful, but I grow restless. Too much may be exciting, 
but I grow nervous. In all things balance is best.

I'll wrap this up with a little art gallery of what few pages I have managed this week. I hope you all are having a great week. Its still hot hot hot here. Tokyo doesn't really cool down until mid-October.

using Box Society 3 papers and Fairy Blossoms by Studio Gypsy

using Rue by Paislee Press, Guest Designer at The Digichick during September

using Perfectly Ordinary by Sugarplum Paperie and Easy Breezy pt 13 by Busy Bee Designs

As always, thank you so much for stopping by.