Scrap Styles

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Scrapbooking has been one of the constant hobbies that I have kept since childhood. In my younger years, my mom and I would spend weekend days with all of her supplies spread across the kitchen table. We would make die cuts, stamp, emboss and stencil on our pages. While the styles of scrapbooking have evolved, the love of spreading all my supplies in front of me and spending the entire day documenting memories has remained in tact. 

The aspect that I love most about scrapbooking is that there are no rules. You can make the process as simple or complex as you wish. I change my approach to scrapbooking with each passing week. At times, I will work on full 12x12 layouts, and then, the very next day I will move on to a mini book. Granted, my method results in a dozen half finished projects, but it also guarantees that I never get bored.  

Below are a few of the different styles of scrapbooks that I am currently working on. Depending on my mood or how much time I have to devote to scrapbooking that day generally determines what type of project I will take on. Scrapbooking isn't only about the finished project; much of the joy in scrapbooking comes from enjoying the project as you work and remembering the beautiful moments along the way.

Mini books have recently become my preferred way to scrapbook. The amount of time it takes to finish one page decreases significantly {which helps me feel like I am actually making progress}. I also like being able to have a book which focuses on one primary event or time period.

The great thing about working in the scrapbooking industry is that I am always introduced to new styles and techniques. Most recently, I discovered Memory Files by Heidi Swapp {click here for a link to her blog}. Memory Files are decorative file folders that can be assembled in a variety of ways. I love the different layers that this type of scrapbook has which make it so interactive.

Project Life is another bandwagon I jumped in on. This is by far the most time-friendly way to scrapbook. I generally use this type of scrapbook when I have a lot of photos that I need to document because I can use the pocket system to get many photos on one page.

Once I complete a project {rarely as that is} I love to display them. Whether it be by leaving finished albums on the bookshelves or having cards set out, I spent a lot of time and energy preserving these memories, I might as well enjoy them.

March Madness

Sunday, March 23, 2014

March is such a monumental month; a month I have always looked forward to. March signifies the arrival of the highly anticipated spring season, rain showers and most importantly, a few celebratory occasions. In March, the days get a little longer, the sun shines a little brighter and life seems to reset.

As each day becomes more and more spring like, my motivation to renovate grows. My to do list extends each day with the idea of brightening our home and yard to match the clean, fresh changes that spring radiates. While I can't stop day dreaming about which color I will paint our bedroom or which pots we need to invest in for our flower arrangements, my top priority right now is to simply enjoy the natural changes occuring around me and to take every opportunity to celebrate this beautiful life.

As I mentioned before, March is filled with occasions which call for a toast. One of the most important would be the 21st birthday of my two little brothers. Jerrod and Cameron are, without a doubt, two of the most important people in my life. I rely more on them now than ever before. They are always beyond willing to help me with anything I need, and they do so without expecting anything in return. Jerrod's subtle, dry humor and Cameron's zest for life make these two the perfect pair to spend time with.

Jerrod and I right before the birthday celebration begun!
Cameron and I
Another exciting event I always look forward to in March is St. Patrick's Day. Although I {or anyone I know for that matter} am not Irish doesn't mean I pass on this holiday. This year, Wyet decided to do SPD traditional style and made us a wonderful dinner of Corn Beef and Cabbage {and of course, a full-bodied beer courtesy of my lovely friend Sharon}.

Wyet went all out on this dish and put the meat in a brine the day before St. Patty's. It was so delicious, and it was fun to participate in such a festive tradition.

Sharon never disappoints on a holiday! This year, she got me a green coozie and beverage to enjoy. Click this link to see her other adorable St. Patrick's Day treats.
This March, a baby shower was held in honor of my friend Tonja and her little man Max. The friendship that I share with Tonja is wonderful because we can go weeks {sometimes months} at a time without seeing each other, and when we finally meet up, it is as though no time has passed. Tonja is one tough mama and is so deserving of this little boy that is about to come in to her life.

Tonja and I have been through a lot together over the past seven years, and I am so happy to be around for the arrival of her second baby!
The best reason to celebrate this March is because Wyet hit the one year mark for being cigarette free! To quit smoking is such a huge obstacle to overcome, and Wyet did it with more ease than I knew possible. I am so proud of him for making this lifestyle change and kicking the habit that I had to get him a little something to say congratulations. As always, kitchen essentials are the way to go when gifting Wyet so I opted for a new chopping block {and I even managed to keep this one a surprise!}.

I knew this was the perfect board to get Wyet to congratulate him on his accomplishment.
I am so proud of this guy! He is proof that if you put your mind to something, you can succeed. One year down, many to go!


Saturday, March 8, 2014

The intensity of life, whether good or bad, demands to be felt. To make sense of these feelings, everyone needs an outlet. In my life, I have always utilized writing as my main form of expression. I attempt to use words as a way to express all of the thoughts that clog my mind and all of the feelings that grapple my heart. Words, though nothing more than alphabets placed and spaced in various patterns, have a way of touching lives. Words, phenomenal words by inspiring people, have touched mine.

Anyone whom has ever borrowed any book from me will know that I treat my books like journals. I underline any and everything that affects me. I write ideas in the margins and notes on the cover pages. I treat my books like extensions of my own thoughts; my lifelines. When I pick up a book that I haven't read in years and find notes and coffee stains on the pages, I am immediately taken back to the moment when I first read those words.

I have a special place in my heart for every book I have ever read and will save a spot for the many books to come. Perhaps one day, if I ever figure out what it is that I am trying to say, I too may try and write something awe-inspiring. Until then, I will leave it to the masters and relish in their thoughts and the words that express them. As I flipped through the spines of a few of my favorite books to rediscover bits of myself, I came across the following phrases that touched my heart when I first read them and still touch my heart today. To all of the authors whom I so admire, thank you for the following beautiful words:
  • "I was not proud of what I had learned, but I never doubted it was worth knowing." - The Rum Diary
  • "I often wonder about the hours when a man sits alone, watching the smoke of a cigarette. I wonder what great things have come from such hours." - Atlas Shrugged
  • "But I didn't want to get drunk. Nights like this one didn't come along often, and I wanted to remember it." - The Fault in Our Stars
  • "We have come to see how great is the unexplored, and many lifetimes will not bring us to the end of our quest." - Anthem
  • "If faith were rational, it wouldn't be - by definition - faith. Faith is belief in what you cannot see or prove or touch." - Eat, Pray, Love 
  • "There is a crack, a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in." - Leonard Cohen, 7 Sins for a Life Worth Living
  • "Ask no guarantees, ask no security, there never was such an animal." - Fahrenheit 451
  • "We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us." - Joesph Campbell, 7 Sins for a Life Worth Living
  • "This is a good sign, having a broken heart. It means we have tried for something." - Eat, Pray, Love
  • "I couldn't care less about evidence and proof and assurances. I just want God." - Eat, Pray, Love
  • "Pain or love or danger makes you feel real again." - The Dharma Bums 
  • "My happiness is not the means to any end. It is the end. It is its own goal. It is its own purpose." - Anthem 
  • "Grief does not change you. It reveals you." - The Fault in Our Stars
  • "I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once." - The Fault in Our Stars 
Though a small book collection, I love it dearly. If I don't have a library in my old age, I have done something wrong.


Remembering Geraldine

Sunday, March 2, 2014

There are so many experiences that we each have that it would be impossible to remember them all. Rather, our minds {and hearts} select a few of the most important moments and keep record of them. However, as time passes some memories fade, and unfortunately, some may be forgotten all together. The importance of documenting these memories, whether it be by taking photos, writing in a journal or maintaining a blog, is unsurpassable. Though I only started this blog less than a year ago, there are memories which extend much further into my past that I want to document. I want to acknowledge these memories now before they too fade.

This past week marked the 82nd birthday of my Grandma Carter {though I never refer to her by her first name, Geraldine, I wanted to mention it here because I have always thought it to be such a beautiful name}. Although my grandma has been gone for nearly 7 years, I remember many of her characteristics vividly. She had an encompassing love that radiated throughout everything she did. She was creative and passionate about every project she took on, and I can't help but believe that's where I acquired it. Here is to one of my greatest inspirations, happy birthday Grandma.
Just one of the many cross stitchings my grandma made for me {she knew me all to well}
My Grandma and I after one of my dance recitals, she never missed one.

Young and lovely

This picture shows both of my grandparents personalities so well. I will always remember my grandma just like this - smiling.

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