About Me

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Hi. I"m living in the Northeast with my supportive hubby, 2 great girls and toddler son. I run a home based business around scrapbooking and rubber stamping and love everything about those crafts! I also work p/t as a Physician Assistant in Internal Medicine...back after a 10 year hiatus to take care of the kids--loving that, too!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Winner of blog post contest is...

True Random Number Generator  18Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Blogger Erin said...

Love the thought of going with the flow...I am not good at this either! lol

Congratulations, Erin, I've sent you an email, so look out for it!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Welcome to the BLOG HOP for LOAD!!!

Comments now closed.   Winner will be announced shortly.
Hi fellow and prospective LOADSTERS! So glad you made it here for our 1st ever LOAD blog hop. This February will be my 1 year LOADaversary as well as my 9 year scrappingversary (ok, I'm known to make up words, so just go with it, ok?) and I'm excited to get going. However; I'm much more relaxed about it now than I was before that very first LOAD last February. Back then, I had a bunch of page kits ready to go, pictures printed (still need those!), journaling pre-written for the layouts I had in mind, and tons of adhesive (still need those, too!). I worried and stressed about not having everything just so, and guess what? LOAD was awesome despite my preparation, AND I did get a lot of layouts done (even if I didn't get them done "on time") which thrilled me...BUT, I hardly used any of the pre-made kits I had or scrapped about the stories I had planned on telling. That was because LOAD challenges you to think outside the box, and the only way to really prepare for it (besides having your pictures and adhesive, of course), is to be open to the daily prompts and go with the flow.

It's true that no one, not even Lain herself, is going to force you to follow the daily prompts, but if you're here during the month of February and you signed up for your 1st LOAD, then chances are you might just need a little inspiration to get you going. Before long, you'll find yourself
sitting at your computer bleary-eyed just waiting (and hoping) for that email to come through at the stroke of midnight (or 3am, depending where you are). So, no pressure here, but read a little longer, and you'll see why I LOVE THE DAILY PROMPTS!!

Now, if any of you know me, you know I'm not really good at just going with the flow...usually. A little pre-planning puts my mind at ease, even if it's really just for my own peace of mind. So, I still prepare for LOAD, and I still have pictures and journaling printed and written, but I choose not to get page kits together (YIKES) or stress all that much. I've decided to try and use the month of LOAD as a learning experience and fully engaged in the daily prompts (totally optional, of course, but I figured I needed the push). What I've found is that I made layouts that I thought were fabulous and that probably would NEVER had gotten scrapped had it not been for Lain's creative suggestions. I discovered that I really could scrap every day (hey, who needs clean laundry all the time). I even took pictures JUST to complete the prompts and get a particular story down that I didn't have pictures for. Case in point, most of my layouts about ME! I used to scrap more about myself way back when I first started scrapbooking , but that fell to the wayside as I got busier BEHIND the camera and caught up in trying to document every. single. event. that our kids did. When I participated in my 1st LOAD ever, Lain had a few prompts that I was excited to complete using myself as a subject. That meant asking my 10 year old to snap a few photos of me, as well as trying to get one of myself in the mirror. These are the layouts that came out of a couple of the prompts Lain gave us, and I'm really glad I chose to go with the moment and not try to scrap something that I had preplanned.
Another way LOAD will stretch you is by showing you different scrapping styles and challenging you to find what you like about that designer's particular style and lift it. We had a Jody Wenke interview we watched and even though I thought I liked the look of her layouts, I never felt that I could accomplish such a clean and "minimalist" look without trying desperately to add a ton of "stuff" (and I DO love my stuff, that's for sure). Yet, I found tremendous inspiration in many of her layouts and in one in particular. I chose to lift a page that had an enlarged picture at the top, framed with some awesome graphic patterned paper and a cool color scheme--this was yet another layout I had no specific picture for, but decided to use one that I had taken while playing with my camera one day. This is probably one of my most "authentic" layouts that I LOVE, but might have never made had it not been for LOAD.

So what am I getting at? I guess, what I'm trying to say is, go ahead and get prepared...to a point. Cook some meals in advance, load up on adhesive (no pun intended), print some pictures, heck, even write some journaling or notes about a few of those pictures if you feel like it, but REMEMBER, this coming month and the journey ahead is all about INSPIRATION, so give yourself the gift of being open to the daily prompts, enjoying the process, and cherishing those layouts that you complete in the end. Whether it's a full month's worth (and there are only 28 days in February, so it's an easier month to get started with) or just a few, special pages...the fact is, you WILL get your mojo revving and your creative juices flowing by just being a part of the awesome community that is LOAD. Take the time to scrap, but also take the time to browse the gallery, participate in the forums, leave some love on the layouts you admire, and in general, enjoy the month. By the time you're done, you'll be sad to see it end and will start hounding Lain about signing up for the next LOAD in May! And maybe, just maybe, you'll have learned a little about your yourself AND come out with a LOAD OF LAYOUTS you'll love.

Now, don't stop here...move on to the next blog after me and show some love. And if you leave a comment here, I'll be sure to pick one person on Wednesday evening that I can send a few things to from my overflow bins of scrappy stuff. Be sure to leave your email so I can contact you.

Happy scrapping, LOADsters,

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Want to know what LOAD is all about?

It's what I've been participating in for the past year. My LOADiversary is this February, when LOAD 211 starts all over again. YOU make a layout a day and get the satisfaction of a job well done...and who knows if you'll even win a prize along the way. There are already 175 participants, so don't miss out. I'll be back here on Monday explaining what I do to prepare for a month of scrapping fun! And if you're not convinced yet, check out this Q&A by Lain Ehmann herself. Click here at 1pm Eastern, tomorrow (Friday). The call will be recorded and you can catch it HERE in a few days if you can't make it.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Slowly checking things off my list...

Seems like any time that I think might be a "slow" time for me...you know, a time to finally sit back and exhale, drink a hot cup of coffee and just "be"...turns into a wild ride full of deadlines and a loooong to do list. There are calls to make, appointments to get to, TAXES to be done, and classes to prep for. I hate to admit it, but I am a procrastinator. Yep, if the deadline isn't looming in the distant future, I just can't get the mojo flowing enough to tackle that task ahead of time. Seems I'm an adrenaline junkie at heart, because if the stress levels aren't high and my heart isn't pounding from worry and distress, I just won't do it. With that said, it's no wonder that I've been pounding away at the pavement, running here and there and making myself (and everyone in this house) a little crazy as I prepare for my upcoming classes this week. I'm teaching a "Stamp-a-stack" card class for the 1st time and the prep work was horrendous. Unfortunately, as inexperience dictates, I described the class as an evening to make10DIFFERENT cards, where I usually make only 6 in total, AND I repeat 3 designs twice (much less stressful). So, I've spent the better part of last week, and ALL of this weekend coming up with TEN easily reproducible cards (that still challenge my students), and have had to put off doing a few other things on my list. Luckily, I finished up before dinner, had a chance to clear my work desk (considering the stacks of stamps, punches, paper, ribbon, inks and adhesives that NEED to stay there) and worked on something much more exciting...my next layout for Yesterday & Today.

We are officially in Week 3 and this week's assignment was to choose 6 random childhood memories to document. Part of the challenge for me, and one of the reasons I signed up for this class, is that I don't have that many childhood photos and even less inspiration to tell any childhood stories (my memory is fading a tad too quick). And of the stories I may want to tell, and the photos I do have, the stories don't actually go with the photos. So, I pulled out whatever boxes and albums of photos I had (before my digital conversion) and got to work trying to find inspiration. Low & behold, I had more pictures than I thought. I scanned the originals and printed copies of 6 that had some type of memory or story behind them. Part of what we learned this week is that even if you don't have the details (date, place, names, etc...), you can still scrap an "emotional" story about how a particular picture or memory makes you FEEL. This is totally mind-blasting I tell you! I am sort of a logical, orderly-minded person, and if my story isn't "whole" then I wasn't going to document it until I either remembered everything (fat chance) or I just put it aside until what I DID remember faded with time. So sad, people...so sad. Imagine all the stories you could tell based solely on how you FELT? Liberating, isn't it? So this is what I came up with (thanks to Ali Edwards awesome tutorials and class supplies). They are random memories, told in a stream of consciousness journaling style that is comfortable for me. These aren't grand events or occasions, just what I remember or felt about a given experience or time period in my past.

I am loving this layout...it may not be as fancy as some of my other layouts, but it is truly all about the STORY. I was so inspired I asked Mohammed to start documenting some stories of his childhood he wants to record, but he wasn't feeling the love for this task...YET. So people, if you are the least bit inclined towards or interested in family heritage, genealogy or scrapbooking, you have got to take this class at some point. It's awesome!! Besides, who can tell your story better than you?
In the words of Ali..."Stop thinking that nobody will care. Having a 1st person perspective on your own story is meaningful beyond what we can really comprehend. You are the only one that can tell your story in your own special, unique voice". So what if you're not into paper and glue? I know that we're not ALL into scrapping (GASP!!), but you can write your story in whatever way you see fit. Tell your stories to your friends and family. Use a computer, your voice, or a pen. In the end, the story is all that matters. And with that, my friends, I sign off for today!!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

It's 1/11/11 today!

Isn't that cool? We only have another year of fun dates like this (12/12/12) and then no more! So I though it would be the perfect time to update my posts and let you know how my One Little Word and Yesterday & Today classes are going. First off, as you remember, my OLW is fearless. We've made our first 3 projects which I've shared here. Ali Edwards, who is running theclass makes everything so easy andinspiring. Funny thing, though, ever since I started focusing on my word, I have had some weird things happening. Most notable, I've had several weird dreams, nightmares, in fact, about catastrophic disasters. Yeah, weired, I know. And they aren't related to any of my real fears, so I don't really get it, except that it's a sign of my fears in general. The first dream, as clear as day, was of a HUGE jet plane crashing within feet of my beach house balcony. I'm not afraid of flying and I definitely don't own a beach house, but it was real...and terrifying. The other was of being caught at the top of a large chain link fence 30-40 feet in the air and having SHAMU jump up and try to eat me. Yeah...crazy, right? Well, I guess it wasn't Shamu, per se, but an orca whale. And my Dad was in a small fishing boat trying to distract it so that I could climb down, but I couldn't...not until the Shamu Show was over. And to think that I love Orca's and had a childhood dream of becoming a whale trainer. So, I take it as my subconscious working on me while I sleep to get me to "face" my fears in general and start taking action toget some things done. So this week, I typed up a draft to the medical board asking to reinstate my license. Thinking about casually looking into the possibility of returning to clinical medicine someday (maybe on a part time basis?) and hoping that the medical board won't make me start all over with the application process. I am also getting more serious about following Jorge Cruise's Belly Fat Cure diet. So far, down 5 pounds in one week. Mostly excited that it gets rid of (hidden) sugar in your diet and I can't believe that it's in things like milk--even skim! So many grams in a cup of cow's milk that I have stopped cold turkey and have started using unsweetened Almond Milk. Really much, much better than I ever thought it would be. I've also discovered sugar free snacks and have been eating a ton of protein and veggies, so I guess it's healthier overall! Another area that I plan on improving is my assertiveness (notice I didn't say aggressiveness). I've been shy about asking for what I want or what is fair and plan on honing those skills, both at home and with people outside the home (friends, acquaintances, bystanders-LOL). So, it's a year of changes ahead in that arena!

As for my Yesterday & Today class, we've finally done our intro layout using pictures of ourselves as kids. I scanned a bunch, relived old times and even journaled the story about how I bought my first car. It's a fun class and can't wait to see what the weeks ahead hold. Here is my intro page for that class.

So, what have you been up too? What blogs are you following? What's caught your interest in 2011? What plans do you have for the New Year? Catch you all next time,

Saturday, January 1, 2011


Well, it's the 1st day of the 2011...what did you do? I started by sleeping in a little later today(after last night's late night) and then started working on my newest 2 projects: "One Little Word" and "Yesterday & Today". These are both classes being taught by the awesome Ali Edwards over at Big Picture Classes, and I am totally psyched. One Little Word (OLW) is all about choosing a word to guide you through the upcoming year...an alternative to specific resolutions, but rather a gentle focus to keep you heading in the direction you aspire to. For me, the word for 2011 is...FEARLESS!
Yep, I chose fearless so that I can focus on being courageous through any challen
ges that come up for me this year. Whether it's a personal challenge or one facing our family or community, I hope to be fearless and overcome.

Yesterday & Today is all about documenting STORIES from the past and the present. I've been wanting to record a lot of the stories of my life growing up in NYC, my heritage, traditions, my education, etc...as well as capture some stories of NOW...like my role as a parent, challenges we face, the kids' personalities, etc...I am so excited about both of these classes andhope they will inspire me to have a thoughtful and creative year ahead.

We also decided to go out to the movies and see "Gulliver's Travels". Cute, but not awesome--
it's Jack Black, afterall. Entertaining enough, I guess. Afterward, a little pizza at Pizza Hut, a couple of geocaches attempted (just for me) and back home again. And now, while the girls and Mohammed get their Guitar Hero groove on (and Adam runs around wildly), I thought I would take a moment and look back on 2010 (hey, I wrote it again!) and post my Top 10 layouts of the past year. Feel free to check out my Flickr photostream to the left for up close images. Here they are in no particular order:

1. Off the Beaten Path: Really wanted to get our adventures in geocaching out there and I love the linear look and multiple photos used on this layout. I love that some of the pictures are
popped up and that all my photos fit just right (randomly cropped from larger photos). Lastly, I love that I finally got to use this adorable, tree, patterned paper.

2. Why I {Still} Scrapbook: I love the smaller pics of other layouts I love and the fact that I'm telling WHY I continue to love this hobby that I've been doing for almost 9 years!

3. What I See: I love this one because it's all about the journaling. The words I've written bring tears to my eyes every time I read it. It tells about the feelings I have about what I see in my side view mirror. Today--a little baby boy...down the road, a teenager, and then nothing, once he's all grown up and out of the house. I love theseemotions-based layouts the most of all.

4. This is Us

Right Now: This layout is a total scraplift from Karen Grunberg during Big Picture Classes Big Idea Festival. I fell in LOVE with her style of mostly white backgrounds, tiny pictures, butterflies, stitching, and journaling hand-written in small blurbs throughout the layout.

5. I Totally Love This Man: I finallyused products from one of my Studio Calico kits that I never thought I would match to anything, and then I remembered this picture. This layout came together quickly about my feelings tow

ards Mohammed. LOVE it...and him.

6. Random Facts at 39: I rarely scrap about me (something I hope to change in 2011) and this was a fun way to do so. I love this layout because I love what I've used--bright colors, fun patterned papers, journaling strips, and wallet sized photos.

7. Cart Rider: Whimsical layout using pictures that I may have never scrapped had it not been for a friend who gave these to me. Love that it came together quickly too, using a patterned background from one of my many paper stacks.

8. The 1Sock Habit: Fun story I'd been meaning to tell for a while (and good thing since she rarely does it anymore). Love the interesting combo of patterned papers I found that went perfectly with the polka dotted pjs. Of course, I love the border strips, too!

9. Silly Sis: Grabbed a page kit I had put together eons ago and went with it. It came together in under 20 minutes for me which is UNPRECEDENTED!! Love the big flowers and smaller pictures.

10. and last but not least...Attention Grabber-Love this because I was trying something new--smaller pics, more "white" space, using border strips to frame the photo, making more 1 pagers. Starting to use more "clusters" of embellishments or an extra little something to help balance the page out--like at the upper, right hand corner. Worked on this a little longer than I wanted to, but was very please with the result.