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Friday, January 30, 2009

It's almost February!!!

I know some of you have been anxiously waiting for the launch of our February Sweetheart Mega Kit... just wanted to remind you that kits ship on Monday!!! Whoo hoo! My daughter has been working hard on the newsletter. I'll have print copies to include in the kit and a fuller, more expanded edition available for download by anyone who might want to check it out. We're trying to keep the print edition to under 10 pages, but with all the creative talent on my team, I'm not sure I can do that and still show you full color pictures large enough for easy viewing, hence the digital extra. Be sure to check back on Sunday for the download details (BTW, where is a good file share site?) Also wanted to mention - I did a trial run of the kit with my local scrappers and the quantities in the store are not quite accurate - I sold a large number of the kits on hand. Since I want to have enough available for you, my internet customers, I've done a re-order - be advised, though, while the paper and most of the embellishments are identical, I've had to make some substitutions on a few items but be assured they are as good or better than the items shown in the kit pic.



Wanted to say hi to all my faithful followers. Even though you don't comment often, just knowing I'm on your list keeps me checking in regularly. Gets kinda lonely here on the internet, so it's nice when friends touch base. Time for me to gear up for the work day, but just wanted to pop by and say hi.


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Telling your Story

To me, sharing your story when you scrapbook is one of the most important parts of the whole process. At the beginning of the year, I started a new topic on the boards at my site (see link below) and have been faithfully updating it daily with a new idea for story starts each day. I'm just about done with the first month and now I'm getting a bit challenged. If you have great ideas for journaling starts you'd like to share, could you please send them to my email rizamerk@cox.net? I'd be happy to give you a byline in the post if I use your ideas on the board.

Talking about bylines, my daughter, Amanda, is busy putting together all the art and articles for this new kit launch newsletter. This edition will have so many ideas your head will blow up. I've decided to make the pdf file available to anyone who would like to check it out. If you share newsletters or such online, please drop me an email and tell me where you store them for easy download. I would appreciate your feedback.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Work in Progress

What do you think of the new background on my blog? One of my DT members hooked me up with it and I love it. I'm planning on having the gals at the site it came from (see link in upper left corner if your blog needs a new look) make a coordinating banner this weekend (after I get paid). Be sure to check back to see the finished product. And yes, I'll take care of the dead links in the side bar when I add the new banner as well. Sorry about that - just too busy to play with them at this moment.

Do you have a blog? Share your link in the comments below. I'm always looking for new sites to read.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Wordle


Have you checked out wordle.com yet? It's a free online tool that lets you input your own words or text then change font and colors and mix it all up in a number of layouts. Here is a sample I did using some Christmas photos of my children. Let me know what you think - and yet, I know it's incredibly simple. I tend to go that way every now and then.



Friday, January 23, 2009

Productive Cropping

I had a very successful weekend away and was able to relax and get a lot of layouts done. Most of my layouts are done with photos I've taken, but since my dear brother didn't invite me to join them in Key West for their wedding, I only have these professional photos from the event to scrap. The two page spread is a direct scraplift from the paper packaging material. For the blue frame in the single page spread, I used the negative from a large mat I cut with my cricut. I had a small scallopped edge image in my head but couldn't get it translated to the machine. Also, has anyone had success with the deep cut blade? I have not been able to get it to work in my cricut yet. Even loading the chipboard is a bit of a challenge. Not sure what I'm doing wrong.





Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Scraplifting


Okay - back to my resolution to share more photos on the blog - I got a lot of pages done this past weekend, so I'll share with you all. The layout below is scraplifted out of a recent Memory Makers magazine. I loved the ocncept and changed it up ever so slightly to make it my own.



Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Back to Reality

My weekend away was awesome. I was able to do 2 mini albums, 16 pages and 2 cards. Meant to have the photos ready to share here with you, but haven't gotten that far yet... maybe tonight ... then again, my hair dryer is still stuffed in the back of the trunk with half of my supplies, so possibly not. It was a very relaxing, productive time away with my local friends. These away times really help me with perspective. Having hours of uninterrupted cropping is just such an awesome thing.

We got a call today at quarter to six (in the morning!) from our school system... since it MAY snow this afternoon, they've decided to close school for today. Wow huh? I recall driving my kids through icy streets and ground blizzards in South Dakota to attend school... guess it's all about your expectations.

I've had a really aweseome response to the February kit and will be doing a second run order since so many of the first batch are already sold. Just need to get my stuff together. Shame work didn't call off today. Ah well. Patience is a virtue.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Time is escaping!

I can't believe how the days are slipping by. Seems the busy time of year that was Christmas might have just been the start of the busy time of LIFE! I had meant to blog each weekday, but failed in my attempts the past 2 days - I think I'm going to have to set my alarm for an hour earlier.

Today's discussion - college. Last night was my first class in Descriptive Statistics. I did something radical for me and attended in person. For the past several years, I've only done online asynchronous format classes. This one is each Wednesday from 6:15 - 10 pm. The only complaint was the heat was too high - toward the end, I started feeling sleepy. This is a computer lab class so the monitors were a look around factor. The prof is rather short, so it was a challenge to keep him in view. I think I might like this class. Math generally gives me hives, but last night went okay. This guy is uber qualified - he's got a PhD in some obscure technical field that made my brain spin in circles when he said what it was. He's had a career in various engineering fields including nuclear and city planning as well as doing quality analysis management for the military. His stories are fascinating. Apparently, he had a lively intellectual relationship with Demming of TQM. I've read about Demming in my textbooks on quality control. Cool to hear of him as more than a reference in a text book.

I may or may not get a post in tomorrow. I'll be packing up for a weekend away with my scrappy friends, so I'm not sure if I'll remember to post in the morning. If not, I'll catch up with you all on Monday. This place we go to is rather remote with no tv, telephones or internet. Very rural and restful. I really need the break. I plan on bringing my camera and doing some photos of project to share with you here. I'll try to get my flicker gallery link to function on the site as well.

Working is awesome busy - not much time to breathe or even look at personal emails - some days I don't even make it out for lunch. Such is life. Catch up with you later!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Coming Feb 1


An awesome new Mega kit in a fun love theme. This kit is bigger and better than ever with tons of fun papers and goodies to make some amazing layouts! PLUS! We have a new design team with 6 incredibly talented women and they'll be helping me put together a newsletter that will rock your socks off. Be sure to sign in to the store so you'll get the latest product peeks and updates...



Friday, January 9, 2009

They're BACK!

I know today is going to be a long day, because last night I stayed up to watch the new episodes of both Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice. 11 pm is past my bedtime, but I had to see them.

Grey's Anatomy - the whole Denny thing is just too stupid - they need to phase him out - it's ridiculous. Also, rather hilarious that Alex humors her as though she was mildly psychotic. Shepard still leaves me cold - he just doesn't do it for me. I hope the Yang thing will resolve soon - the drama reminds me of high school cliques.

Private Practice - this one was quite good. I like Addison's new hairdo. The Violet center of attention thing is rather odd considering what a strange bird she is, but at least it's interesting. The whole autism/vaccine thing was very sad. Having the one boy die was quite the dramatic lesson that common childhood diseases can have catastrophic effects. I never thought measles was all that...

What about you? Anything got you excited this year?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Daily Journaling

On my message boards, I'm executing one of my own resolutions and posting a daily journaling prompt. Today, I'm going to borrow one from Kobi Yamada - he's written this great little book published by Compendium called "Ever Wonder". The subtitle is also so applicable to journaling and just personal reflection: ask questions and live into the answers.

Today's prompt:

How far would you go to chase what you really want?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Numbers

Have you seen this show yet? I only recently stumbled across it in my tv viewing and am compelled to watch. Thank God for DVR. Somehow, the writers have caught my imagination with their math professor and my number phobia is receeding. Once upon a time, I was a good math student - it didn't come naturally, but I have the ability to grasp it. I was even an electronics tech in the Navy for 10 years and a lot of my lower level college credits are in math... then comes children and suddenly, math is hostile territory and my wits escape out the window.

Anyway, I've been plugging away a class a quarter toward my Bachelor's in Business Management and avoiding the Descriptive Statistics class. All of the classes I've done since I started with Strayer several years ago I've done in their online asynchronous environment. Got A's in everything so far except for a B in Finance. Thanks to Numbers, I'm ready to have a shot at an in person, instructor led course. I'm hoping that I'll be able to connect. I can teach myself most anything, but I'm not sure how I'll do with weekly classes (4 hours once a week) after working all day... guess we'll see how it goes...

What about you - what challenges are you tackling this new year?


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

New Year - New Challenge, great prize

I'm sharing a 2 week turn around challenge - This is your life - make a page all about you - your thoughts, hopes and dreams for 2009 and share it here. All applicants will have their names in a hat for a cool prize drawing - A mini chipboard album kit with cool papers from Sandylion's Rouge Garance line in blues, browns and greens. DT members - you're eligible too! Show me your stuff! We have regular challenges and crops on the boards and would love to have you join us. Happy creating!

I'll be choosing the winner at noon Eastern time on the 19th and mailing the prize to the winner on Tuesday (assuming I have your address)- be sure to PM it to me in case you're the winner! I look forward to seeing your creations.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Scrappy Goals 2009

Ah, goals. Once upon a time, I gave up setting goals because it seemed I rarely accomplished them and they ended up being a burden. Saturday, I went to a 17 hour pajama crop and was able to complete 14 pages. Based on that number and that I seem to crop at least once a month, I'm shooting to complete at least 300 (365 would be even better, huh?) pages in 2009. And no, I'm not talking about just slapping pictures onto paper and calling it a page. Sounds like a worthy goal. What about you? Have you set any expectations for yourself this year?

Goal: 14/300 pages

Friday, January 2, 2009

New Years Resolutions


In 2007, I got to attend Creative Escapes in AZ with Heidi Swapp and a lot of great teachers. One of those was Rhonna Farrer. In Rhonna's class, we did this really fun 21 day challenge book. Psychologists say that if you do something for 21 days in a row, it can be a habit. I don't know about you, but there are some healthy habits I'm adding to my life this year, so I'm finally ready to use my book as a 21 day true confessions journal.

Memory Makers shared some great free digital resolutions graphics you might like - check out the article here!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year Reflections

Every time January one rolls around, I find myself thinking of the past and seeing where I am today. I love this song, because it asks the question that really is what new years means to me - this is your life - are you who you want to be?

In the past, this question always bummed me out. As a young woman, I thought I knew so much, was so smart, had so much ahead in the future. Am I saying my now isn't good? No, I have many blessings and good things, but the things I had once thought I wanted for my life haven't happened. Last year, I was discussing this with a close friend and her questions to me were:

1) What are you missing from your dreams that you still want?
2) What would it take to get those things?
3) Are you willing to take those steps?

Now that I'm a bit older, I see that some of the things I wanted will never be - the time for them is past. There are goals I still DO desire to accomplish and even new goals that I never would have imagined. The hardest part to living a good life is knowing what it is that defines good for you, and the willpower to do what it takes to get those things.

My vision of myself at 25 was to be an earth-mom - homeschool my kids, have our home our sanctuary, and just be that wonder mom whose home was the heart place. Our life didn't work out that way - I did homeschool my oldest for a number of years and even started the 2nd daughter. I was vegan for a year. We did the earth mom lifestyle. It was a good time for me. Life changed. We moved. I ended up putting the girls in public school and going to work full time. I held on to my disappointment for ages and let it color my whole life. I have new plans and goals for my future - I call it my five year plan. It includes a healthy lifestyle for me with regular exercise and plenty of whole foods. It includes finishing up my bachelors in business management - I have five classes left to complete. I have visions on a physical store and new lifestyle to all take place in about 5 years. The 5 comes from my youngest child. She'll graduate high school and go on to college in that time frame, and once she's launched, I'm seriously thinking about a new location and new life.

This is your life... are you who you want to be?



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