I've been a little MIA this week, but I have good reasons. Namely, the well of inspiration done dried up so I needed to take some time to regroup.
And did I ever.
Holiday weekends when we lived in Colorado became something they'd really never been before--relaxing. And when we moved back, we determined that we would keep that tradition going. There's something amazing about turning your brain off for a few days. Not rushing around. Not feeling obligated. It was perfect.
Here's a recap list-style.
1. We painted our living room.
Ever since we moved into our house, I've wanted to fix our living room. Here's a really grainy/terrible photo of what it looks like (and yes, there are often goofballs hanging out on the couch):
I took this to plug into one of those "paint your room" tools on a paint website.
It so didn't work. Perhaps even the virtual painter felt confused by this god-awful color on the wall?
For weeks I've been frustrated because I haven't had time to paint...so finally, we just did it. I found this image I'd pinned months ago on Pinterest from the fabulous Layla at The Lettered Cottage:
And I fell in love with it all over again.
Side-list. Things I love about this photo:
A. The gray walls. I knew I wanted gray walls like we had in Colorado.
B. The natural elements, like the rug and the plant and the window treatments.
C. Calm with pops of color. I'm a color-girl.
We painted for a couple days and got the whole thing done...but I can't show it to you yet because the hunter green carpet is just too, too ugly. I mean. Ugly. So, once we get new flooring, I'll share.
In the meantime, I have a question... do you like carpet or hardwood in a living room? And why? Really stressing over that decision (go figure) so help me out?! :)
2. We saw Argo.
After feeling rather disappointed with Skyfall, I lowered my expectations for this Ben Affleck directed, based on a true story film about a declassified CIA rescue operation in the early 1980's. I shouldn't have. This movie was truly amazing.
I told Adam afterwards, "That felt like an important story. The kind that needs to be told."
Well done, B.A. Well done.
3. I finished the first draft of the script for "Grimm," the new musical Adam and I are writing for Spotlight Youth Theater.
This is the third show we've written, and every time our goal is to get better. I think because I LOVE these stories so much I've had the most fun writing this show, and I cannot wait to see it come to life in the spring.
4. I got to see my cheeky sister.
I pretty much only get to see her once or twice a year so when she flew in for a friend's surprise party I was extra excited. I never laugh as hard as when I'm with this girl.
5. I worked on this bad boy:
I find it mentally relaxing to spend time making things, so I really had a ton of fun working on these projects for my Home Blessings class. I hope you'll join me? Click the image above for more info. :)
Speaking of which...I'm working on my Reader Appreciation for this week but I wanted to announce the winners of my Home Blessings class today.
So, my Reader Appreciation Week was interrupted by a birthday, so the celebration had to shift a little bit to my youngest...but now I'm back and this week, I'm giving away a really FUN prize.
In this class, we're going to be talking about ways to fill your home with blessings using your mad papercrafting skills.
As someone who has moved around (A LOT) I've discovered a few key things you can do to make a home comfortable and cozy, even if you haven't been able to overhaul the space yet.
This is something of a spin-off from my Scrapbooking Your Faith class, but we're pulling it all outside the album...we'll be doing some mixed media, framed art, dimensional pieces and some clever displays that allow you to put your blessings out there and keep them where they need to be... in front of your face.
So, how would you like to join me on this little journey?
First of all, you can find more information about the class HERE.
And, if you'd like to be entered to WIN, here's what you can do:
1. Leave a comment on this blog post and tell me the thing you're most grateful for this holiday season.
There. You're entered.
But if you want more chances to win:
2. Tweet, blog, Pin or Facebook this post and then come back and leave a comment for each one you do (that's four extra chances to win.)
Hm. Seems too easy, doesn't it?
We're going to have tons of fun in this class, and I'm really looking forward to it...I hope you'll join me! You can register HERE.
The last time I scheduled a Dream Day I ended up in the hospital, so I'm staying away from labeling today anything even close to that... but I am spending some time with my journal, with my coffee, with my Jesus.
Asking questions that start with:
I'm hoping not to have a brain spasm this time.
I find that a lot of great story ideas start with these two little words... What if...? Sometimes I'll be driving across town, zoning out (because you know I never remember driving from one place to the other. Freaky, actually.) and an idea will pop into my head... always starting with "What if...?"
What if someone found an old scrapbook right after their mom died? And what if it was full of people the daughter had never met and stories about a place she'd never heard of? What if she had no idea who her father was and this scrapbook was the only clue she had to finding him? What if she found him and a whole lot more...?
But these two words are powerful for other reasons.
Last night, I had coffee with a good friend of mine, and while we were talking, she said to me: "You have to challenge your beliefs."
My beliefs about myself. About God. About life. What do I really believe...? Am I believing lies? Am I allowing myself to be lured into that yuck place of comparison and jealousy? Am I straight with what God's doing with me. Because that's unique to me...it doesn't look like what's he's doing with anyone else.
I had never looked at it that way, but it's powerful.
What if you did write that book?
What if you did start a photography business?
What if you did go back to school?
What if you did get that promotion?
What if you did audition for that show?
What if? What if? What if?
So, if you're one of my Scrapbooking Your Faith/Faith Friday people (and even if you're not)...that's this week's prompt. I'm a little behind so I'm going to be working on this with you...but what beliefs are you challenging today? What question are you asking yourself today? What question is begging your attention?
Sit down and let your mind wander around the "What if...?" and see where it takes you. Create a page or journal about these two words...then come join our Scrapbooking Your Faith Facebook group (or post a link in the comments here).
Let's find our way together.
PS, there's still time to join me over at Big Picture for my Scrapbooking Your Faith class. And if you're already signed up, I hope you'll say HI! :)
Today is the last week day before school starts and I woke up in a horrible panic. I have a whole list of things to get done, including a national radio interview with Chris Fabry on his program Chris Fabry Live. (You can listen online!)
We'll be talking Sweethaven, Scrapbooking and more specifically, scrapbooking your faith. I suppose it's fitting that today is Friday and this is my first real Faith Friday since we moved!
I actually got a chance to create a layout last weekend...and here I am sharing about the prompt. (Yes, I'm wearing the same thing I wore in yesterday's video. Costume changes require running upstairs and yesterday, on two hours of sleep...it wasn't happening.)
So, you get me in my trusty white tee-shirt again. (Sorry!)
Here is the layout with the prompt: Create an everyday layout that ties in your faith.
I really wanted to keep this neutral so I started with masking tape, which for whatever reason has an artistic feel to me. Book pages layered over a sheet of patterned paper made a nice photo mat and from there I just embellished using Once Upon a Halloween from Webster's Pages.
I love this photo of Ethan, and while I could've said "Ethan on the swings in Fort Collins just after we moved to Colorado..." the truth is, I really wanted to use the picture to capture something deeper about my son. It doesn't have to be long or involved. This is a simple sentiment. I still got the date on there, so I know when this happened, but now there's a deeper tie-in.
Ok. So, feel free to join our Scrapbooking Your Faith Facebook group or share your layouts and creations there or leave a link here on this post so we can all be inspired by each other! I can't wait to see what you create.
My advice would be to start with a photo that would normally be an "everyday" annual album memory and go one step deeper... find the faith tie-in. What do you really want to say?
Ok, I'm off like a marathon runner today...wish me luck!
Tomorrow I'll be at the Rockford, Illinois Barnes and Noble from 2-4 signing copies of this:
I didn't think I'd get to do another Scrapbooking Your Faith post until after I moved, but here we go!
It's funny because I've been going through so much of my stuff to prepare for our move, and I expected to find all kinds of fun things (even though we just did this) but I was surprised to find this layout:
I'd forgotten about it, actually, but it is a good indication of how I create faith-based pages for a typical, annual album. This layout not only talks about my daughter's first day of school (in third grade) but it also celebrates a symbol of faith that we made up to help her get through it.
This week's prompt is: Create a layout or journal page featuring a faith-based tradition or symbol.
Most religions have symbols (the Bible, the cross, the dove, a flame) or perhaps you, like me, have created your own (ribbon around wrist)...either way...have you documented these? Have you explained why it's more than a book or a piece of jewelry? What are the stories behind the symbols you hold most dear?
I love to create simple layouts that still show off lots of patterns, especially with a collection I love as much as this one from Basic Grey. Instead of choosing one or two patterns, I created a quilted background using the same sized squares of various patterns. This way I could show off a bunch of them but it's not overwhelming the photo.
So, what about you? What are some of your favorite faith-based traditions or symbols? Ones you'd like to pass down through the generations?
I'd love to hear if this is something that is prominent in your faith walk...or is it something that's only for our anscestors?
Join me on Facebook!
Are you a part of the Scrapbooking Your Faith Facebook Group?
It's open to everyone, so if you want to come exchange ideas, prompts, share projects and creativity, ask questions or just make new friends, we'd love for you to join.
This group is open to everyone of all faiths, all scrapbooking/crafting levels. I'd love to get to know you!
Now...if you'll excuse me, I'm pretty sure there really IS packing and cleaning to do... we head out of town on MONDAY so we're down to the wire.
Here we go again!
Have a wonderful weekend, and tell me, are you scrapbooking your faith this weekend?
I can't believe it's already the SIXTH week of Faith Fridays. I originally said I'd do this for six weeks and then see where we're at...and I think this would be a good spot to pause. Not "stop" but just take a little break, let you guys get caught up and get myself moved across the country.
Again with the thumbnail image. I'm going to write a letter to Youtube. Also, you should know, I resisted the urge to comment on my hair the ENTIRE time I was filming. I'm going to continue to bite my tongue.
So, the week six page is a combination Scrapbooking Your Faith/Page Maps page. You may already know I adore Becky Fleck, and when I get stuck, her maps always give me a great little kick start!
Here is my page:
This week's Scrapbooking Your Faith prompt is:
Create a page that documents your blessings.
(You may choose to focus on ONE blessing and that's fine too.) I wanted to create something I could add to so I made a pocket page.
This is the Page Map I used to create this layout:
You can see the rest of this month's maps over on Becky's site. Truly, this is THE place to go if you need a creative push!
I translated the sketch VERY literally, which was kind of awesome because the page came together really quickly. Here you can see the handmade tabs on the left side of the photos:
I'm using the Webster's Pages Western Romance Collection, which is, I think, perfect for these outdoor photos we had taken last year by LyndseyLew Photography.
I knew I wanted a circle for my title, so I flipped over one of the calendar die-cuts from Jillibean soup and built my title onto that using letter stickers (October Afternoon and Webster's Pages), a little die cut phrase from Fancy Pants and the resin bird from Webster's Pages.
But this is the part I really want to talk to you about... the pocket. If you're new to scrapbooking, you might not be familiar with the whole idea of putting pockets on your pages. If you're not new, this may be old hat to you.
There are lots of ways to do this. You can turn your photo into a pocket, which I considered doing, but when you use dimensional adhesive (Foam Squares), you have to account for the bottom being open. I didn't. Ha.
So, I used an envelope.
First, I sealed the white envelope. I turned it vertically and trimmed off the top to create an opening. Then I used some Fabric Ribbon to decorate that top just to make it less boring. This turned out to be the perfect size to fit right behind my photos.
This way, you can cut and add strips whenever you want to, which for this prompt, I thought was kind of important. Your blessings are something you can reevaluate daily. Whenever you think of a new one, you can add it in.
I personally thought it was funny that I couldn't really say "I'm thankful for our home" at this point since, you know, in a few weeks we won't have one.
Anyway. Today to celebrate the SIXTH week, I'm going to do a giveaway...
And I'll also throw in a scrapbooking mystery box to help you document this faith journey.
Here's how to enter:
Leave a comment on this post. Just say hi because I love to make new friends. :)
That's it! Done and done. You'll be entered.
BUT...if you want more chances to win...I'm offering them. Here's what you do:
1. Join the Scrapbooking Your Faith Facebook Group. (If you're already a member, leave a separate comment saying so for an addition chance to win.)
2. Blog, Tweet, Facebook or PIN this post and come back and leave a comment here for each one you do. That's four more chances to win!
And MORE chances to win!
My friends over at Scrapping Everyday Miracles are kicking off their Birthday Celebration with a big blog hop (lots of prizes, including my books!) You can check it out HERE. They've also got a fabulous Facebook Group and all weekend there will be prizes and games and TONS of fun, so get yourself joined up HERE! (How's that for bad grammar?)
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
(why can't youtube give me decent thumbnail choices? I mean, really.)
Here is the layout I made for this week...
This week's prompt: Create a layout to remind yourself what God says about you as opposed to what people say about you. Use verses or quotes, but take the focus off of any negativity that's been spoken over you and focus instead on the truth of God's words.
I really wanted to break a layout down for you, but that meant photographing in my office at night. If you can't bear with the horrible lighting, click the red X in the upper right-hand corner of your screen now.
Usually when I start a page, I have a vague idea of what I want to do...but it's really vague. I grab my supplies:
I tend to pull everything that might possibly work on a layout out onto my desk. Makes for fun clean-up. In this case, I am using the "It's the Little Things" line from Fancy Pants, which I absolutely love.
Step One: Use the product packaging to cut handmade scallops to go underneath your photo:
I'm a huge fan of using packaging because you get a "stripe" of all the different patterns. I cut from both ends to give a little variety.
Step Two: Cut solid black scallops to "break up" the pattern so it doesn't get lost. In this picture, you can see I was planning to use this die cut flower on the upper right of my photo.
Step Three: Use the leftover piece of the product packaging to cut out letters for your title. In this case, I left the "O" out because I saw a sticker heart I knew I wanted to use. Once I finished the title, I realized the die cut flower wouldn't fit where I'd planned. I also adhered my scallops down to help me keep my photo placement.
Step Four: If there's a good amount of white space in your photo, you can use it to add a bit of decoration. Here, I used my baker's twine (From Divine Twine), tied it around my photo and then used Foam Squares to pop the whole thing up off the layout:
Step Five: The photo still needed more, so I found these paper flowers and layered them with Foam Squares, using a flower shaped sticker for the center.
Step Six: I still loved that die cut flower, so I decided to cut it in half and use it in the blank upper right of my page. Using that as the foundation, I layered a few other cut elements, including die cuts and stickers, incorporating a bit of dimension underneath just a couple things:
Step Seven: Next, I finished my title by adding the heart and then adhering my hand-cut letters with small Foam Squares. These letters and the scallops really gave me the handmade look I wanted for this page. I also used a few mini letter stickers to create the "I Am" part of the title:
Step Eight: I stood back and looked at my page. It was still a little bare. So, I used the other half of my die cut flower, popped up a little rainbow die cut and used a coordinating paper flower and button to create a cluster of embellishments in the lower left-hand corner of my photo:
Step Ten: Still, I thought my page needed one more thing. A border to bring it all together. But I didn't want a straight border, I wanted a rounded rectangle. So, I used a scratch piece of cardstock, rounded the corners and traced around it with a pencil. I used a ruler on the straight lines:
This worked like a charm.
Scrapbooking Your Faith on Facebook:
So, to help make sharing easier, I'm thinking of starting a Scrapbooking Your Faith Facebook group where we can share pages and prompts, etc. but I refuse to just put people in the group without asking them, so if you're interested, shoot me an email or leave me a comment with your Facebook info and we'll get that started! This will be a GREAT way to stay in touch!
OH! And....We have a winner!!!
All four of these books will find a happy home...
Week Four already of Scrapbooking Your Faith! Here's a little video about this week's prompt and a cool Pinterst Project I was able to put to good use to finish it off!
I got to share my "I Believe" project on the Creating Keepsakes blog, but I wanted to share it here too because it's really important to me to document this particular topic.
The funny thing is, I've made LOTS of "I Believe" layouts, some are lists, others are just one belief that I can document...and it seems as much as my beliefs stay the same, they're always changing too.
Anyway. That's the scrapbooking element this week, but I was inspired to take the prompt for this week and do something a little different. A mixed media project I can display as a constant reminder.
The prompt for this week is: Create a layout or project that focuses on one word or key phrase you know God wants you to focus on. Could be for this season of your life, this week, this month... What is God's plan for you in this moment?
Also, be sure to check out the video where I talk about the cool Pinterest find on how to make these super simple tissue paper flowers!
They might be my new favorite thing ever.
So how about a giveaway?
How was that for a random change of subject?
This week, I am sooo excited because I get to offer the chance to win all three of the books I reviewed this week AND a copy of my book, A Sweethaven Summer.
I do believe these will all be autographed and ONE lucky winner will get to add all four to their bookshelves!
Summer is right around the corner, so how can you resist beautiful stories that tug at your heartstrings and transport you to other worlds?!!
All you have to do is leave a comment on this post and I'll announce the winner NEXT Faith Friday!
Sounds too good to be true. :)
It's the third week in this Scrapbooking Your Faith venture, and I'm finding that I'm sort of coming up with prompts based on whatever kind of week I'm having. Maybe if I pre-plan a "Scrap Your Blessings" week, I'll have a WEEK of blessings?
Hm. It's worth a shot.
Regardless...here's the video for today's prompt:
For the record, my thumbnail choices are atrocious. Come on Youtube!
So, here's this week's prompt:
Scrapbook (or document) a disappointment and talk about how it
stretched / challenged / shook your faith.
I took a bit of a sideways approach with my layout because I didn't document specific disappointments...rather, I looked at disappointment as a whole and created a page based on something God's taught me recently...that HOPE never disappoints.
I shared this photo yesterday on my blog, but I wanted to do more with it. I want to always remember (because I DO fear hoping)...that hope is a very good thing...and if your hope is in HIM, you won't be disappointed...
That said, you better believe there are times when I want things to go a certain way and they don't... I could easily scrapbook those times too. And since we all have them, so could you.
Take the opportunity to look at something that just STINKS and journal your feelings about it.
My friend, Tania Willis (you can find her blog HERE) created a layout inspired by this week's prompt:
I LOVE that Tania didn't use a photo on this page. This page is all about getting her feelings out on paper...writing the words that her heart needs to say...
...and hitting on some solid truths that we all feel. It's funny how I can relate to so much of what she's written here...
"Because of it, I’ve lived the last several years of my life hoping
with a fragile kind of hope.
Because of it, I’ve come to learn that it’s only by God’s mercy
that I haven’t let disappointments consume me.
Because of it, it’s taken a while for the concept of
God’s mercy to sink in, but it never fails to test me again."
I so get this...don't you?
Here's what I've learned...God doesn't expect us to always be laid back and never feel disappointment, but there are lessons in these things if we look hard enough. Just writing/scrapbooking through these feelings can be SO helpful in finding the truth of them.
And suddenly, these hurtful things have a purpose. Is it going to solve all of your problems? Ha. I wish. But it might help you put things into perspective.
So, this week...are you in? Have you ever felt disappointed? Can you turn that disappointment into a layout/art journal page or some other documentation? Share your links in the comments so we can all be inspired!
Ah, here we are again...time for another installment of "Faith Fridays."
Let me start with this trust little video because I know you're all dying to stare at my dark roots and asymmetrical nostrils.
1. My favorite phrase is "super excited".
2. I swear I didn't "color outside the lip lines" with my lipstick. I checked it twice, but it still looks off. Whatevs.
3. There is no good natural lighting in our house.
Now that we've gotten that out of the way...here is my layout:
The prompt is: Create a page or project to serve as a word of encouragement for yourself or someone you love. For me, this layout was a way to remind my son of something God's already done in our life.
Also, part of the challenge would be to create something that you could easily integrate right into your regular, annual albums. This page isn't overtly "faith-based", yet the journaling very much is what I wanted to remind him of.
So, that's the prompt for this week.
I think after I created this for Ethan, I needed to do something to remind myself as well...so I did this art journal page:
To me, this was 1000% therapeutic. Sometimes you just have to get lost in the paint. Regardless of how accomplished (or not) you are.
I created her bubble skirt using tissue paper and gel medium. I tore small pieces and balled them up, dabbing a dot of gel medium inside and then dabbing a dot on the back. Once it was all in place, I covered the whole thing in gel medium.
It's not going anywhere.
This week, I'm especially excited because I'm featuring the ridiculously amazing work of mixed media artist and god-lover, Stephanie Ackerman from Homegrown Hospitality.
Here is Stephanie's take on this prompt:
I think I may use her project as a jumping off point for whatever I do next week just because it's so darn inspiring. The truth in this..."Out of my hands and into his..." is SUCH a great reminder, and I love how she really created something meaningful for herself.
You can see more of Stephanie's project on her blog HERE. Scroll around there, it's amazing!
So, there you have it...don't forget to share your projects once you get going...I cannot WAIT to see what you guys come up with!
And finally, the winner of the life-changing, soul-jarring book "Lost and Found"
by the fabulous Ginny Yttrup is...
Robbie, send me your address and we'll get it in the mail! (And if you aren't Robbie, head over to amazon to pick up a copy for yourself. It's a gift. I promise.)