Too Much to Do

The day to day ramblings of a scrapbooker…

remember back in high school…

Someone recently told me that I was the “shy kid” back in high school. Funny, I never thought of myself as shy. But apparently I came across as being shy.

Our impressions of things around us may not necessarily be how others see it. For me, I always thought I was the “odd kid,” the one no one really wanted to hang around with so I always just kept to myself and kept quiet. So that came across as “shy.”

We still have many of the same feelings and emotions as we get older. I don’t consider myself as shy and at least one friend laughed at me when I said that. Another said I was not afraid of expressing my opinions and certainly spoke up when I felt like it.

So how do you see yourself? I’m in the adventure of Cathy’s Zielske’s Me: The Abridged Version” Big Picture Scrapbooking class and looking at myself is really what it is about. What I love. What I can’t live without. What annoys me. Everything about me. We should scrap about ourselves and not just those around us. Because that’s what those AFTER us will be looking at too. They won’t want to know just about the people we scrapped about, but about the one who did the scrapbooking and why too.

Scrap yourself.

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September 16, 2010 Posted by | Musing, scrapbooking | Leave a comment

patience and comfort

I do a lot of thinking in the shower and in the car, both good places where you generally have some “quiet” time. Yesterday, it hit me in the car that during what I consider my better hockey games, I generally get into a comfort level where everything feels just right and as if I’m in a zen zone. It’s not forced. It’s inspiring and my head feels clear. I know what to do and where do be, even though my feet and hands don’t always cooperate LOL.

Sometimes, the same is true with my scrapbooking. It’s not forced. I’m not scraplifting. It’s inspiring and I feel inspired. Something just feels oh so right.

So how do I get there?

That’s when it hit me. It has something to do with being warmed up. As I’m listening today to a Paperclipping Roundtable, there was a comment made too about this. A “practice” page or a “warm-up” page. I’d never really thought about it that way. I’ve always just kind of gone through some magazine or website layouts for inspiration. Maybe it’s not so much inspiration I need, as it is to just DO a layout to get my hands full of ink and glue and cut some paper and that might be inspiration enough.

So, I have a wonderful crop weekend coming up with some friends. Maybe that is what I will do. Just take some photos I scrapped before and just dig in and let the creativity flow from there. I sure know that it won’t hurt. And who knows what inspiration will actually come out of it?

March 8, 2010 Posted by | Musing, scrapbooking | Leave a comment

Regaining the edge

It seems I’ve lost that “edge” that drive that I need to really push the envelope. The edge that I’m looking for is what makes me work hard. It’s the drive that makes me want to push to the top, not just complete, but complete and compete and be my best.

So, I’m going to need to do some soul searching. I’m going to need to do a review of what it took to make me push that envelope.

I know with my hockey, it was anger of sorts. It was frustration. It was a drive to prove that I could do this and I could be better.

With my scrapping, it might be that I’ve been so busy learning. And in that learning, I’ve been doing what others have done and lifting, following directions, following and not leading while I’m learning.

Some of it may be complacency on both ends. A security that what I’m doing is “ok” and really, it is all ok. I feel a need to push it again and need to regain this.

My hockey, I know, needs to regain some of the anger. Some of the need to prove that I can do what I can and be better and push to the top. I think I can regain some of that drive. I’ve not pushed my healthy well being as much over the last few months and this is only a piece of that puzzle. Exhaustion to some degree has factored in here and I feel as if I’ve done some rejuvenation and am ready to push again.

I’ll be working on this journey. I feel as if I am not the only one here, and perhaps way too many people have become complacent with me. Join me on my journey.

March 1, 2010 Posted by | Musing | Leave a comment

Are you caught up?

I used to worry about it. A lot. I was never going to be caught up with my scrapbooking. I was always going to be behind. It was awful. How could this hobby actually overtake me in such a way to cause this stress?

Then, I started in on something even worse. I started redoing some of my pages.GASP! How could I? Now I’d be even further behind!

Well, it taught me something. It taught me to stop scrapping chronologically. It allowed me to back off and be a little more creative in what I was doing. And, it took the stress away.

How many times I have heard about someone “finishing” this book or that book and I’ve though, ok, so some part of your life is done. But what have you recorded but events? Our lives are full of events, but so many chronological scrappers are recording birthdays and holidays or school events and extra-curricular activities. But how many of us have CAPTURED the essence of our lives when we do that? The stuff that makes us family historians…. and how many of us actually capture ourselves in our scrapbooks.

Redoing those first few pages allowed me to step back and take a look at the photos and see more deeply into them. With the help of a few other things, such as Stacy Julian’s “Photo Freedom” and “Big Picture Scrapbooking,” I’ve allowed myself to step away from chronological scrapping and really scrapbook the stuff of LIFE.

Doing this for me, has made scrapbooking, as Ali Edwards calls it, life art. I take our bits and pieces of life and make it art. I like to refer to it as mixed media art (except of course when I digi scrap 🙂 ).

And now, I know I have taken this “hobby” and made it something that will hopefully last forever and be treasured because it will be bits and pieces of our family in a way that hopefully shows our ancestors who we were and what we thought and felt.

December 10, 2009 Posted by | Musing, scrapbooking | Leave a comment

Reflections on learning and commitment…

It seems to me that it was ages ago that I decided I wanted to play ice hockey. The reality is that it really wasn’t that long ago. However, as I like to say “I’m not that good for as long as I’ve been playing.” Why do I say that? Well, it has a lot to do with my inability to spend as much time as I would like on improving my skills.

When I started, it was with a group of hockey moms who wanted to learn to play. Our kids and some of our husbands played. It looked like a lot of fun and it was. Granted, I started with no ability to skate and hadn’t skated since I was maybe 12 years old and THAT was in figure skates. Poor fitting figure skates even with “thick socks to help my ankles.” A world ago.

As moms, a lot of the women had priorities other than being competitive. Most moms defer to what the kids have going on first (even though we know if we don’t take care of mama and mama ain’t happy, no one is happy and we can’t take of no one either). Sadly, many also defer to whatever their significant other has going on as well. So we shortchange ourselves unintentionally but feel that we are doing the right thing. For some, it might be the right thing. Heaven forbid that the husband might need to help RAISE the children. Note: fathers do not babysit their own children… Others made sure that the child arrangements were equitable between parents and kudos to them! It is a partnership after all. In today’s world, there is also work and school commitments that need to come first along with family commitments.

When I started though, the difficulty was not so much finding time to learn as it was places to learn. Eventually finding an adult hockey camp proved a good learning ground. I improved as best I could with that, but as we all know, we need different learning experiences to find the best method for ourselves. I’d had people tell me that I should just get on a team and play. And yes, to some degree that worked too. But it never improved my skating or stick handling. And, yet, the same camp is still a good option for working on my skills.

Why? Because in a game, you only touch the puck a couple of times if you are lucky for a few minutes total. How was that going to improve my stick handling? The skating wasn’t done to where I could actually work on improving it either since it wasn’t repetitive enough. In a game, there is no dedicated work on skating to improve it.

What I needed was dedicated time. Time that I barely have between work and other commitments. Or team practice, which you sure don’t get in beer league or going to pick-up. I did find this balance of time but something had to give. For me, it was a commitment or two to something else and a little bit of sleep. So okay, maybe more than a little bit of sleep on some days (see: camp ends at 11pm).

So, where am I going with this? Well, I see a number of new adult players who figure it will just get easier the more they play … as in just PLAY without practicing. Yes, some people have some natural athletic abilities and can pick it up. But most of us don’t. Hockey isn’t exactly easy. Try balancing on thin blades of steel while someone tries to knock you over while taking the puck away. Do that when you haven’t figured out the balance thing yet and you’ll know what I mean.

They might get better at stick handling or even skating that way but they will miss out on the team aspect of hockey in the meantime. The part where you learn how to break out or break into the zone. The part where you learn what cycling is. The part where you learn where on the ice you should be when defending or in the offensive zone. The part where you learn when to change shifts and how long a shift should be. The part of the GAME where team play is important.

I struggle today with how to impart this wisdom and/or knowledge to these people who are out to have fun, which hockey is and should be. Sadly, I wish for them MORE FUN, which it is once you learn the parts of the game that make the game work because alleviates some of the frustration. Because it is a team sport and contributing to the team is more than puck handling and skating.

So how to explain this without sounding mean or condescending or any number of other not nice things? I don’t know. I’m sure there isn’t a realization yet for why we expect some commitment to learning. But I do know that without the commitment to learning something, (this really goes for anything, not just hockey) the learning just doesn’t seem to happen for most of us. And even if we have been playing a while, we never really know it all. Because if we did and we were that good, we’d be playing in the NHL wouldn’t we?

December 8, 2009 Posted by | Musing | Leave a comment

Starstuck? Shallow? Values?

I’d heard that the Michael Jackson memorial service drew 50% more viewers than our last Presidential Inauguration. It was a stop and think moment I mean, seriously, do we place more value in our entertainers (including professional athletes, because that is what they do, entertain), than we do in the workings of our world?

I’m not saying we should stop and watch the pageantry of an inauguration. But what is it that draws us to pay more attention to entertainment than the business of our lives? Is it the escapism we are looking for? The dreams they present? Even so, this last election should have provided dreams for many (albeit many saw their dreams disappear as well).

It’s probably time we step back and evaluate for ourselves the “why” we become obsessed with celebrity of any sort. Even the inaugurations become celebrity events. Are our lives so devoid of passion that we must watch others?

Our lives are by no means ordinary even though we think they are. Every one of us has exceptional things in our day. Each day is a little miracle. We should be sharing that and create passion in our day to day.

Get involved in something you do feel passionate about. Make your life worth something more than your day to day monotony. We each in our own way make a difference in the world. Make it an active difference, not just a “not doing something” difference.

Because sometimes, our inaction is the worst action of all.

September 8, 2009 Posted by | Musing | Leave a comment

scrapping on a budget

I’m starting to see all kinds of posts, tweets, blogs and you name it about “scrapping on a budget.” Many of the suggestions are the same… “use your stash”… “digital scrap”… and few go behind that. So, what is it about scrapbooking that makes it become an “expensive” hobby?

I find that a lot of people are addicted to stuff. Part of that is societal (we are a consumer society) but with scrapbooking, it is almost a form of hoarding. They need the latest tool or newest paper. I admit to being guilty of it myself. It’s hard to say “no” to anything when your passion is affected. These little things start to add up and not many of us really use a budget, be it with a hobby or the groceries.

I’ve learned that the best way is to set a budget and stick with it. Sure, use your stash. Do more hybrid scrapping. Think about some of your supplies as “consumables” and consider what you really do and do not need. Can you use real world stuff? Perhaps that coaster from the bar where your husband proposed in place of some cool new $5 embellishment?

The reality is that scrapping is not so much about whether the items are acid free or photo safe as much as it used to be due to the advent of the digital camera. Most people today are not scrapping their ORIGINAL photos any more. Why? there really isn’t an “original” any more. More often than not, it resides on a disk now. Hopefully, we are appropriately archiving the disk now!

So what does this mean? It means that essentially anything you have that you want to save or use for embellishment can go in your scrapbooks now. So, does this mean doom for scrapbooking vendors? Likely not. People have developed an inclination to use the special papers they’ve become accustomed too. But, just like digital scrappers still spend money, paper scrappers will too. I do think they may be more thoughtful about their purchases though.

It isn’t so much being thoughtful now about the scrap page itself, but what is going into it too.

June 4, 2009 Posted by | scrapbooking | | Leave a comment

Tough times…

So, you think it’s rough now? Not really any worse than any other recession we’ve been through. Although the recession about 1973-74 I don’t recall very well (I’ve been told that you had to be in the work force to remember it and most of those just entering it then are now retiring).

I do remember 1981 like it was yesterday. I’d been in the full time work force just a few years and was making over minimum wage with a whopping pre-tax monthly income of $800 a month. We’d made the mistake of believing we should live on our two incomes and started in an apartment costing $350 a month, which quickly went to $425 a month. Well, that was 25% of what our pre-tax was so we thought it was ok. Until one of us was out of work and it wasn’t me.

That was really the beginning of our journey into learning what was a “need” and what was a “want.” We downsized into a smaller apartment, not as nice and in a slightly less desirable neighborhood (which interestingly now is an “up and coming” area). But, our rent went down to a doable $280 a month. Wow.

We sold one of the cars and I took the bus, walking 6 blocks to get to it too. That alone saved gas and an insurance bill. It lasted about a year and then we were given a 10 year old station wagon. We put some money into it, but it was transportation.

So, why now is it so difficult for people to let go of things that they believe that they cannot live without? So many conveniences that aren’t essential to life? Dinner out, pre-prepared foods, cable/satellite, cell phones… etc…

I remember when we had to cut money from the budget and the first thing gone from the grocery bill was potato chips. It took us YEARS to buy them again and I still don’t unless we are entertaining! But, everyone is different. I just don’t want to support the people that are unwilling to try to help themselves first I guess.

May 29, 2009 Posted by | Finance | Leave a comment

“it don’t come easy.”

I realized this (and know it is too simplistic) this morning while on the elliptical.  Cardio is really a pain to do.  A necessary evil if you will.  The painful part is pushing to where I get that “second wind” and it transfers to the high from doing whatever it is.  The point where you realize, you really can do this longer…

Either way, it was the realization that anything worth having isn’t cheap nor free.  Everyone wants something for nothing, but everything is really worth what you “pay” for it, be it in time, effort or hard cash.  When we truly EARN something, maybe that is why we treat it with much more respect and care.  We all want the quick fix – the diet pill, the magic 5 minute exercise …

So, following this meandering thought of mine, perhaps this is why we have become such a throw-away society?  We’ve “bought” so much on credit, never actually paying for it in most cases.  But, now a lot of people are paying dearly, by losing their homes, falling into bankruptcy, etc.  And the ultimate cost is perhaps some self-esteem, but certainly their credit worthiness.  Will that matter?  Obama wants us to spend spend spend and continue to be the throw-away society we were to keep the economy “good.”  Is that really what we need and should be doing?

Maybe we really need to think about what we WANT vs. what we NEED and remember “it don’t come easy” and get past the painful part and live on the cash we earn and not the “free” credit.  Because is anything “free” really worth having in the end?

May 28, 2009 Posted by | Finance, Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

“The Girl’s Loft”

Keep an eye out for this new scrapbook kit site, “The Girl’s Loft.” As excited as Margie is about getting this venture up and running, it should be exciting on launch day. Keep an eye out for 6/15/09! Be sure to check out Margie‘s blog too!

May 27, 2009 Posted by | scrapbooking, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment