Monday, March 29, 2010

Kelleigh Ratzlaff Blog Hop

Have you heard of Kelleigh? If you've been around the digital scrapbooking world you may have. If you're interested in hybrid scrapbooking and paper crafts you most probably have! She must be the queen of paper craft templates. She has so many fun and wonderful goodies in her shop. So many fun baskets, envelopes, boxes, even ornaments.

The great thing about her templates is that you can use them for hybrid crafting (by loading them into you photo editing software and adding digital papers and elements) or for crafting with your traditional scrapbooking and paper craft supplies (by printing out the template and using it with you own papers and embellishments).

Kelliegh is having a blog hop to highlight some of these wonderful templates, and I get to be a part of it. How fun! I used her Fancy Correspondence Box and Envelope Template Set along with Hootie Hoot by Mari Koegelenberg (very unfortunately that cute set is no longer available).

One lucky hopper (that may be you) will win a $10 gift certificate to Kelleigh's store just for commenting on Kelleigh's blog post with your vote for your favorite Creative Team project. One lucky Creative Team member will win $10 in PayPal cash for earning the most votes!! The Blog Hop contest winners will be announced on Thursday, April 8th.

Here's a list of all the Creative Team members participating. After checking out everyone's projects, please go back to Kelleigh's blog and let her know your favorite project from this blog hop. If you like my box and envelope set, please vote for me. Have fun and by all means why not try out one of Kelleigh's templates yourself!

Please note: we're scattered around the globe in different time zones, so if one of our blog hop posts isn't up yet, be sure to check back again soon.

Holly         <------------------------------------ You are here
Karen Lewis

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Stronger Me

This is my page for the Lucky Heartbreak Challenge I am hosting on The Digichick Blog about finding the silver lining in a heartbreaking experience. If you're interested I would love to invite you to come join the challenge. I think we've all suffered a heartbreak or two.

Journaling reads:

From the time I was 15 years old, I knew exactly what I wanted to be, how I wanted to spend my life. I knew exactly who I was and what I needed to do in order to achieve my well-planned goals. I wanted to be a fighter pilot and astronaut. I wanted to attend the US Air Force Academy and spend my career as an officer in the service of the United States.

I knew the competition would be fierce for one of the coveted spots. I rose through the ranks of the Civil Air Patrol - a breeding ground for future Air Force officers. I even got my student pilot's license. I spent the next three years of my life studying advanced subjects in high school and honing my leadership skills in various youth organizations. I excelled in almost everything I did. I spent hundreds of dollars of my parents hard-earned money, their patience and time, meeting every requirement and jumping through every hoop thrown at me. And still the AFA didn't want me.

I was heart-broken. I was crushed. I was shattered. I was lost. For the first time in my life I was absolutely lost. I didn't know what I did wrong. I didn't know what to do from then. I didn't know how to live.

I spent a year studying Aerospace Engineering at nearby university, I even joined the ROTC for awhile. But I'd already lost my heart. That wasn't the path I'd worked so hard for and I couldn't see my goals materializing any more. So I gave it all up.

I still had no clue what I wanted to do and ended up wandering around in my studies for awhile. I had a couple of very hard years in university. Studying used to be easy. Relationships easy. Getting what I wanted, easy. Not anymore. It wasn't that the level of difficulty had changed, it was my broken spirit. University was the first time I rebelled against my parents. And being so lost inside, I made some very bad and damaging decisions.

But like most broken hearts, mine slowly mended. I could find a new direction, set a new goal. It wasn't nearly as exciting as traveling to space, but at least it would let me travel somewhere, someday. I decided on International Business.

Once I had made up my mind, I was able to graduate in three years. Eventually I did an internship for my state's International Trade Office and was even offered a job there -- as an administrative assistant. Needless to say, I turned it down. I wouldn't settle for NO this time. I was going to find a way to blaze my trail.

Within two weeks I was offered a teaching job in Japan and a few weeks after that was on a plane to Tokyo. It all happened so quickly. It wasn't exactly the big international career that I had envisioned, but it was a start. It was a foot in the door -- or out the door as the case may be.

I had planned on staying in Japan only one year, returning to America and getting a job at some international firm that would take me around the world. Another option I was considering s to join the Peace Corps. Either way I would still be seeing the world. No longer would I let my life be centered around a single option. No longer would I let rejection throw me into a pit of despair. I had survived and I planned to live fully after that.

Fast forward to today. A few years ago a scandal broke about severe hazing and sexual harassment at the military academies. Many of the crimes occurred during the years that I would have been there had I been accepted. I can look back on it all now and see that in a way I was lucky. I can't assume that I would have been a target of the crimes, but I have to consider that God allowed me the heartbreak of not getting accepted instead of a bigger devastation that could have been. I will never know.

My plans to return home or join the Peace Corps never realized because I ended up extending my contract term in Japan, and during that time I met and fell in love with a local man. It was no easy decision to marry him and thereby agree to stay in Japan for an undetermined length of time. I knew I would be giving up some of my goals to see more of the world. But I made that decision and I don't regret it.

I know that my life is still an open book to be written. I know there will be sudden change and heartbreak. But I know that only God is in control of my days and I trust that he is leading me on this journey. I believe that he is molding me with every twist and turn. And I know that I am stronger.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Trying to get caught up

I've been a bit busy recently, but its a very happy busy. About a month ago one of the designers from TDC moved her shop to a new site. Over the past several months I have absolutely loved working with her unique and gorgeous designs. So when I heard she was leaving I was crushed. I practically begged her to let me join her CT for her new location and, lucky me, she agreed! Although its a very sad loss for TDC -- she is still greatly loved there -- its still a happy day for me because I get to continue to use her lovely creations. Please come have a look at Studio Gypsy at Scrapbookgraphics. And here are a few of the pages I've made since joining her CT.

最近、ちょっとバタバタしてたけど、良いなバタバタです。やく一ヶ月前に大好きなデザイナーは新しいお店に移りました。そのニュースを初めて聞いたらかなり寂しくて、”新しいお店でもCTに参加させて下さ~い!”って直接デザイナーさんにメールしました。すごく嬉しいことで、参加させて頂きました。前のデザイン名は Gypsy Coutureでしたが、新しいお店で Studio Gypsyと呼ばれます。良かったら是非見に来て下さい。


Just a few days ago, I got a mail from a wonderful Swedish designer named Edeline asking me to join her CT. I am always stunned when a designer considers my pages worthy of showing off their beautiful designs. Just to be considered is a marvel, but to actually be invited to join a CT is delightful. Please come have a look through her wonderful shop, EM Designs. Thank you Edeline!

それから、数日前に Edeline と言うのデザイナーからメールをもらってまたCTに誘われました。とっても綺麗なデザイン沢山あるので、是非 CTメンバーになりたかったです。私の周りにスクラップがとっても上手に出来る方が多くて、私をCTに誘われると不思議な気持ちです。嬉しくて頑張ります!是非 Edelineさんのお店にも見に来てどうぞ。

And finally here is a page I made just for fun. I found a series of templates made by Crystal Livesay based on the Book of Me. I thought I would give it a try, to a make an album just about me. Its going to be a slow process, but here it the first page. I didn't really like the simple origin and meaning of my name from most sites, but found one I really love based on Celtic name origins. And here is the page about my name.

Thank you for visiting. Please come back again soon.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

What is Luck?

March is here and with it comes the hope that spring will come soon.  With March comes the celebration of St. Patrick's day when people around the world think about Luck. During the month of March, the Digichick Blog will be hosting several challenges based on the theme of Luck. The first challenge asks the question, "What is Luck?"  Why do you come join in on the fun!

3月になると春が来ることのを皆さんが首長く待っていますね。日本では梅、桃、そして桜が咲くのが春一番のサインでしょう。ヨーロッパやアメリカなどの国では Saint Patrick's Day になると春が近くになっていると思われている。Saint Patrick's Dayと言うと”幸運”のを考えますよね。今月中 The Digichick Blog で色々な”運”についてのチャレンジを行います。今月の初めてのチャレンジは”運って何でしょう?”のチャレンジをやっています。このページが出来ました。是非チャレンジを受けて遊びに来て下さい。