Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Busy Life of A Blogger

My blog posts haven't been consistent lately because I've had a lot on my plate. Don't you just hate it when "real life" gets in the way of your writing, blogging and creative time? I have a million ideas floating around in my head! My planner is covered in Post-It notes and I even have notes written on the back of receipts on my nightstand because the ideas come at all hours of the night. But, my free time hasn't been too consistent, so my blogging hasn't either. But, I do have a plan to revamp things here at California Scrappin' and I'm taking you all along for the ride!

Exciting news to share! I was a contributing author to "365 Ways to Connect with Your Soul" and the book was released on November 17th. It became a Best Seller in the categories mentioned above. I'm so proud of my article that focused on how art journaling helped to ease my anxiety issues. The book had over 200 authors contribute to its success! If you're interested in ordering a copy, please click on the copy of the book in my sidebar. Thank you all for your support!

In between working full-time and managing my carpal tunnel flare ups, I did get to enjoy a few weekend scrapbooking retreats. I raised money for breast cancer research with the Glitter Galz Getaway in Milpitas, spend some time up in the mountains with my Camp Scrap family and enjoyed a relaxing weekend in Carmel with Scrapbook U Creates (group pic above.) These weekends save my sanity, help me get my projects done with dedicated creative time and of course, I get to meet new scrappers while catching up with friends I haven't seen in a while.

If you love scrapping challenges, please come on over and join my FB group, Crafty Challenge Chicks! We have two challenges every month, so you have about two weeks available for each challenge. Each challenge has certain requirements to include, but the rest is up to you. We have everything from layouts and cards to home decor and vinyl projects. We cheer each other on and ask questions about "how to" techniques when we see something we love. It's all about creating together and supporting each other as we get our projects done! Join us! December is just around the corner!

Lots of plans on the horizon for 2016! I'm excited to bring these ideas to life!
Organizational Challenge - Twice a year! Most likely in January and July. We'll tackle our craft rooms together and get them whipped into shape! We need to spend more time creating - not cleaning.
Tip of the Week - Sharing tips to make scrapping easier to do! I'm all about getting past those struggles of the creative process and making the mojo flow!
Interviews with Crafters & Creators - Getting an up close and personal perspective with the crafters and creators that make it all happen in the scrapping world.
Plus a few other suprises along the way...You won't want to miss a post!

I want to thank all of my readers for your continued support as California Scrappin' continues to grow. I wouldn't be able to share my scrapping passion with you if you weren't on the other end going through the same creative struggles. We're truly all  in this together and I love that my Facebook groups and my blog readers have continued to come along this journey with me. I'm really excited about the coming year!

If you have any ideas, tips, questions or feedback, please feel free to share. I want to hear from you!
Again, thank you for all of your support and I'll see you in the next post! Coming soon!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Hitting the Hard Stuff

I've seen quite a few posts lately about whether to include the hard stuff when it comes to our scrapbooking. Since I've been through my share of difficult times, I had to share my thoughts. 
In my Project Life album, I have included selfies of my exhausted face that clearly show the toll that certain situations have taken on me. My album is all about me and my life and that includes the ups and downs of my emotions. It's proof that I'm human, I'm alive and that I can be resilient in the face of adversity. It's my diary of emotions and I need to see the progress towards brighter days.

But on the flip side of that coin, there are things that I choose not to include in my 12X12 layout albums. For my second marriage, I honeymooned at Disneyland and stayed at the Grand Californian Hotel. It was a trip that I had looked forward to and that I enjoyed. But, my marriage ended in divorce. I was then faced with the decision on whether to scrapbook all of the amazing photos that I had taken on that trip. I chose to scrapbook it as a Disney vacation and I just didn't include any pictures of us as a couple. I did include the solo photos of me because I was smiling. I was happy to be on vacation and I was happy to be at Disneyland. Those are the memories I chose to keep.

In my opinion, there's no right or wrong way to hit that hard stuff. You'll know what's right for you when the times comes. Photos may sit on your hard drive or in a box for years and that's okay. You may have tear stained pages as you journal your heart out and express the pain and sadness that those memories dredge up and that's okay too. Whatever YOU choose to do, IT'S OKAY.

Sending all of you lots of hugs.
We all have the hard stuff. It makes us the amazing people that we are.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

National Cat Day Blog Hop - October 29th

Welcome to the National Cat Day Blog Hop! If you came from Nana's Blog, you are in right spot. But you want to start the fun at Haidee's Blog. if you happen to come over to my blog!!!

I am excited to have you hop with us! Each blogger participating in this hop is featuring a crafty project having to do with "Cats".
You'll find unique ideas that have to do with Cats. We hope you'll enjoy each and every project along the way.

Be sure to leave a comment at each hop to show some Bloggie Love and to qualify to win a Prize.
Now onto my project...
These layouts are all about my first rescue cat named Lazarus. He was left for dead in a dumpster and was rescued because he was howling so loudly. As a kitten, he was so sick and I nursed him back to life, hence the name Lazarus. I had him for sixteen years. The last year of his life, he lived as a three legged cat. He developed a tumor in his paw and I had to have his leg amputated. He adapted well and hopped up on the bed to lay next to me on his first night back home. But, the cancer returned and developed in his hip joint. He became crippled and I had to make the tough choice to end his suffering. He was part of my family and I miss him dearly.

If you have a rescue animal in your life, I would love to have you share your story with me.

Your Next stop is Jearise's Blog.

Here is a list of the line up. Just in case if you get lost:
Haidee's Blog
Kim's Blog
Connie's Blog
Sarah's Blog
Lori's Blog
Nana's Blog
Gina's Blog
Jearise's Blog
Barbara's Blog
Lisa's Blog

Come back to Haidee's Blog on October 30th to see if you are a WINNER!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Recycle and Reuse!

Creating a recycled craft project is super easy if you just take a look at what you have in your home! Simple items such as toilet paper rolls can be transformed into cute mini albums to give to relatives as gifts for special occasions (baby showers, wedding showers, birthdays, etc.) Collect 5-6 toilet paper rolls and flatten them out. 
Cover the front and backs of each roll with your favorite themed scrapbook or wrapping paper. After you have that done, then you can line up all of the “pages” and staple the whole stack at one end. Cut a small scrap of paper to cover the edge as a book binding and decorate as you wish! Easy peasy!
You can even slide tags with special quotes on them into the open ends of the albums. Or you can use the tags to have additional pictures included. 
This Halloween project was made from a paper towel roll. I used an online template for the chandelier and hand cut all of the sides. Each patterned paper side had black cardstock glued to the back, so when it spins, there is a color shown and not just the backside of the patterned paper. My paper was only single sided, so I had to put something on the back. Using double sided paper would be easier, but I made do with the supplies that I had on hand! I used Gold and Orange Stickles to make the candle flames sparkle on the ends of the chandeliers. 
Brown paper bags and manila tags were the items used to create these seasonal mini albums. The mini lunch bags were covered with seasonal themed scrapbook paper on both sides. Then the “pages” were stacked on top of each other and stapled together. A small piece of scrap paper was used to create the binding for the album edge. 
Personalizing the albums can add a heartfelt touch to your gift giving. I created a gratitude album for my mom and included special notes to her for things that I was thankful for over the years. In another album, I incorporated photos and stories about our holiday traditions.
All of these projects used household items that would have otherwise been thrown away. Keep an eye out for potential items that can be used for future craft projects. You’ll save both time & money!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Pocket Scrapbooking - Give It A Try!

If you’re lurking on the edge of the scrapbooking world, but just aren’t sure you can dive into it as a hobby, you might want to consider the newest trend in memory keeping – “pocket scrapbooking.”
“Pocket scrapbooking” simply means that you slide your photos into “pockets” in the plastic page protectors. There are several different configurations of horizontal and vertical photos, along with space for journaling cards. Tons of manufacturers have jumped on the “pocket scrapbooking” trend and have come out with their own sets of cards. The cards come in 4” X 6” and 3” X 4” on typical page protectors. There are some page protectors specifically sized for the 4” X 4” Instagram photos too. You’ll have plenty to choose from!

First thing you’ll want to do is determine what type of photos you take the most – horizontal or vertical. This will help you to determine the type of page protectors to buy. I take mostly horizontal photos, so I choose the page protector style which has four 4” X 6” horizontal slots and four 3” X 4” vertical slots. I tend to use the four horizontal slots for my photos and the four 3” X 4” vertical slots for my journaling cards.
But, there are some instances where I print my vertical photos in the 3” X 4” size and use them in the vertical slots. That’s the beauty of pocket scrapbooking. You can move things around however you want. Nothing gets adhered to a page. You just slide the photos and journaling cards into place. 
Embellishing your page protectors is entirely a matter of preference. Some scrapbookers like the look of a clean, flat page and don’t want anything sticking up outside of the page protectors. Others embellish their pages with things like washi tape, enamel dots, stickers, wood veneers, paper clips of different shapes, pins, acrylic shapes, chipboard, etc. The possibilities are really endless. I think it adds a little “pizzazz” to the page and I love to embellish my pages!
“Pocket scrapbooking” can be an easy gateway for you to join the scrapbooking world and get your photos out of boxes and off of your computer. The next time that you’re in your local craft store, check out all of the page protector styles available and dive in. You’ll need an album (preferably a D-ring album), a set of page protectors, a set of cards and a good journaling pen. Those starter items will get you initiated into the world of “pocket scrapbooking.” The rest is up to you! Get started today!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Changes & Challenges

Hello to fall and the changing of the seasons! We're heading into the holiday season and the busyness starts for all of us crafters. What holiday projects will you be working on this year? I'll be working on my Christmas cards, a calendar and some other small gifts. I love handmade gifts for the holidays.

The 10 Day Use Your Stash Challenge was a HUGE success! We had 301 crafters join in completing five challenges over the first ten days of October. The challenges ranged from using specific embellishments and stashes of hoarded paper to sketches to using tools that had been gathering dust. Overall, the group created 431 layouts, 328 cards, 13 tags, 10 mini albums and 56 miscellaneous projects that included treat bags, vinyl projects, recipe books, banners, explosion boxes and journals. One participant blogged about her experience. The inspiration and motivation was absolutely amazing! Stay tuned for news about upcoming challenges and a dedicated challenge group coming soon!

In addition to having another Use Your Stash Challenge, there was also an interest in getting all of our online classes done. If you're like me, you have a TON of online classes that you signed up for in the heat of the moment, but you just never got around to finishing them. Maybe you didn't even start! Well, I have a Facebook group that will be focusing on getting your classes done on a monthly basis. You would choose a class to work on for the month and I would provide weekly check-ins to keep you accountable to your deadline. No stress at all. Just a focused community with a group goal! Come join us in the Scrappy Class Laggers group and get your classes done!

The fall season is a busy time for all of us. We all go through a ton of changes and challenges. Amidst the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, don't forget to take time for yourself too.
Enjoy that Pumpkin Spice Latte. Take in the aromas of fall. Stop and watch the leaves flutter.
Just a gentle reminder to take care of you. 
We all need it sometimes. 
Thanks for supporting my blog. I truly appreciate it.

Leave me a comment listing your favorite things about the fall season. I'd love to hear from you!  

Monday, October 5, 2015

5 Ways to Get Your Kids Involved in Memory Keeping

Our most precious memories come from the ones that we love. For most scrapbookers, our albums are filled with the memories of our children. To see their progress and growth over the years is wonderful, but we tend to forget to include their perspective. All of the photos include them, but their voice is rarely included. Here are five ways to involve your children in your memory keeping:

1) If you include their artwork in your albums, record them telling you the story of the artwork. Have them tell you why they chose that particular animal, flower, etc. or those particular colors. Let them explain the process of how they created their artwork from start to finish. Then you can transcribe the video and include the story, along with the artwork in your album.
Most importantly, transcribe the story word for word, even if it’s complete gibberish. It’s their story to tell and the memory of how it was told will be priceless.

2) If your children are old enough to write, have them fill out a journaling card after their first day of school. Let them document how they felt about their school, teachers, classes, etc. Seeing their progress through the years will be a source of pride and a means to have them see how they’ve grown and matured. Their school years are more than posed photos and report cards. Their own words will speak volumes over time.

3) At the end of each year, have your children make a list of things they want to accomplish in the coming year.  This will give them a set of goals to help them see the future and also maintains a record of how certain things will shift in importance. Toys and games will become clothes and cars sooner than you think. Our children grow up way too fast. We need these records of their growth and vision more than we’ll ever know.

4) Don’t forget to include a list of favorites. Have them tell you all about their favorite color, favorite food, favorite toy, favorite teacher, etc. These lists will be a valuable source of information, not only as a memory of their favorite things, but also a record of the time period.

5) Last, but not least, have them take pictures for you. Hand your children the camera and let them take pictures of things that they see as wonderful in their world. Their perspective of things will astound you. Letting them capture life from their level is a gift that will keep on giving to all of us for many years to come.

What are some ways that you have given your kids a voice in your memory keeping?
I'd love to hear from you! As always, thank you for supporting California Scrappin'!