The Super Long Break I Never Meant To Take

Hi Friends!

I’m baaaaacccck.

Sort of.

All of the behind the scenes stuff on this blog have been updated but when I upgraded to a new version of Thesis (the framework I use) all of my settings are gone. The new version of Thesis supports the upgraded servers my webhost is using so it’s best that I upgrade too. But that means I have to redesign my site on the new framework.

I need to play around, figure out some HTML to get things how I want them. It may take awhile. But in the meantime, I’ve reverted to the format I have always used and will keep up until the new design is ready.

My site was also SPAM attacked in the middle of the upgrages. I had to shut down the comments and take the site private to get it to stop. It’s never easy, is it?

But the good news is, crafty postings will resume soon!

However… 

The redesign is not the only reason I have been away. About five weeks ago, I discovered a mole that looked off to me. If you’ve been here for awhile, you know that I have a history of melanoma. After a biopsy and a week of waiting, I found out I did indeed have another one.  I was in surgery less than a week later. They don’t mess around. And I finally came to understand what it is like for the bloggers out there who take a break when they have a health or family crisis. Nothing else matters. Recovery was my top priority.

While the diagnosis is scary, I found this melanoma early. There was no cancer in the lymph nodes and the tissue removed during surgery was clear. My oncologist will monitor me closely for the next couple of years but  no chemo or radiation is needed  (just like last time). My follow up tests have been normal and it appears that the cancer is gone.

Whew.

It’s amazing how much changes with a little surgery. It’s been about a month and while the scars are healing, I still don’t have much of an appetite. I’m not sleeping that great and get tired easily. I still can’t work out much so it will take me awhile to build my stamina and cardio routine back up.

And my creativity? Practically non-existent. Ugh. I’m still working on projects, but slowly. I hope that getting back to blogging will be some incentive to boost my creativity again.

I do have some projects to share. Probably not the best work I’ve ever created, but right now, it’s all about baby steps. I’ll be back soon with a new layout.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Houston…We Have A Problem

So…

I will be taking an unexpected blog break very soon. My webhost has upgraded my server and the new server is not compatible with my current site settings. Awesome.

Everything needs to be upgraded and then tested. And since I run this site by myself, I’m going to have to find the time to work on it.

Don’t know how long it will take. Don’t know if the site will go down in the meantime. All I can say is I hope it’s quick and painless and that I’ll be back soon with new posts.

Thank you for all of your support!

Inspired By: Favorite Layouts in 2013

Over the past few weeks, I have been enjoying blog posts from many friends out there recapping their favorite layouts in 2013. I was not on the ball enough to think of doing a post like that before the end of the year, but it did inspire me in a different way.

January is already proving to be a very busy month for me and it’s getting harder and harder to keep things up here. I needed some help so I went through my layouts from 2013 and selected a few favorites to scraplift. Why recreate the wheel when you can borrow your own ideas?

Over the next few posts, I’ll be sharing the new layouts I created in my very limited free time based on these favorites:

Loved the design. Not loving the subject as my birthday is coming up again. As the story goes, in 2013 I decided to stop counting them.  At least that BIG one is out of the way. But still. Not counting. Anymore. Moving right along…

Still loving the pattern paper strips. And the twine swirls. And the wood veneer stars. Yep, still a favorite.

How about a 2-pager? Color me surprised. Double pagers aren’t usually favorites in the grand scheme but I love the row of photos on the right. And I loved that paper collection. Not sure that I’ll be making another 2-pager, but we’ll just have to see.

And finally this one. The grid. Gotta love a good grid!

Once upon a time, there were some negatives surrounding the idea of scraplifting. Most of it was associated with being published in magazines, work created for contests and occasionally work submitted for design team spots. But now that the publishing world has changed, the contests are a thing of the past and there is just so much inspiration out there coming at us from all directions, I don’t think people are all that shocked anymore that someone wouldn’t always create a layout from scratch.

I’m sure designers still do for the most part, but they are compensated (in one way or another) for it. I do this for fun, for free and for me. I don’t care where the inspiration comes from, I am just happy there is plenty of inspiration to choose from.

So in this busy (and my most favorite) month, I am going to get a little help and not recreate the wheel for my next few layouts. I’ll take each of the layouts above in turn and scraplift them in some form or fashion. Sounds like fun, right? I hope you will join me and maybe you’ll be inspired to look at your own work and give yourself a break by scraplifting your own pages.

Thanks for stopping by today!

2014 – New Year, New Word

Happy 2014! Oh how I love the start of a new year. A fresh start. A clean slate. 365 days of opportunity ahead.

But I am not one to make resolutions. Goals aren’t my thing either. Put a goal in front of me and whether by lack of skill, forces beyond my control or just self sabotage, I usually miss the mark and fail. I gave up on both years ago. But what does work for me is picking a word to give my new year some direction.

I have participated in Ali Edwards class at Big Picture in years past. She’s all about sitting with your word and thinking it over for the entire year. But I have discovered that I’m really excited about it in January. And pretty much only January. The more I can get out of it in that first month, the better. So no class, no year long project this year. I’m just going to spend January thinking about how I can work my word into my life and how I’d like it to impact me this year.

Some years I have to search and search on Thesaurus to find just the right word. Other years — like this year — as soon as I saw the word I just knew.

Featured Supplies: Pebbles Front Porch collection, Project Life Floral themed cards,
Webster’s Pages My Heart Flutters paper, Jillibean’s Cold Avocado Soup Flashcards.

For the first time since May of 2009 my life is on track. Things are stable. New things are happening. Life is good. Rather than sit back and hope for the best, I feel like this is the time to reach. Reach is an action word. It’s not passive, it requires me to DO something. Stretch. Push. Go beyond my comfort zone. Here’s to reaching for the best in 2014!

Do you select One Little Word each year? What is your word for 2014?

Thanks for stopping by today. Happy New Year!

Gilt Trip | Winners

Congratulations to:

Comment #11: Mary Jo

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and

Comment #7: Becky G

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Both ladies  were notified last night that they won copies of Gilt Trip. Please respond back to that email with your addresses so I can send out your books.

Thanks for participating!

Gilt Trip | A Giveaway

Welcome to November and a very happy TGIF to everyone.

How about we change things up on this lovely fall Friday with a giveaway?

Have you been following the exploits of Carmela Bertrand over the years? Our favorite scrapbook store owner is back with her crime solving talents in this eleventh installment of the popular scrapbooking mystery series from Laura Childs.

“When a Louisiana businessman gets an early release from prison, his wife throws a rip-roaring Get Out of Jail Free party for him. But sometime during the swirl of partying, drinking, and Zydeco music, the guest of honor is brutally murdered. Scrapbook maven Carmela just can’t say no when the grieving widow presses her into service. But a second murder, strange goings-on in the bayou, and an extravagant Cakewalk Ball just might change her mind!”

These books are a fun read. Not only do we get to explore the French Quarter and meet some interesting and quirky characters, but the pages are scattered with scrapbooking tips and a few mouthwatering recipes too.

Two lucky readers will win a hardback copy of  the book. To enter, just comment on this post. And if you’ve read a good book lately, tell me what it is — I need some new reads!

I will leave the comments open until 8 PM Eastern time on Wednesday November 6th. Winners will be selected randomly and announced Thursday morning, November 7th, 2013.

Thanks for stopping by today and good luck!

Progress & Happy News

In my spare time this week (when I haven’t been clocking in hours at my crazy retail job), I’ve made some progress purging and making some room in my space. My first priority was to find a way to contain my growing washi tape collection.

I rescued this cute pail from one of my storage boxes. It’s the perfect size. Plenty of room to add a few more rolls and but not too small that I can’t dig around to find the one I’m looking for.

I also cleared out some things and made room in a few drawers.

I love this jute collection and wanted to keep it close at hand but also contained. This pencil basket is the perfect size and makes it easy to access.

There is still plenty of room in that drawer for something else I’ve been thinking of doing. Project Life related. Hopefully I’ll have some time this weekend to pull it together. I also found a cool storage option at Ross that I will transfer my mists and stickles to. But I haven’t gotten that far yet. As soon as I do, I promise to post more photos!

And now for the happy news… I am thrilled to say that my retail days are coming to an END. I accepted a job offer from a real estate services firm. New job starts around August 1st.

I really was beginning to think I’d never make my way back into a professional position. I was so panicked earlier this year, facing the need to take the retail job. But a very wise friend told me that once it started and I had money coming in, I could relax. I could stop looking and that would open up the opportunity for something awesome to happen. I didn’t believe her.

Four long years of unemployment does not help a person see the world in an optimistic light.

But she was right! I relaxed, stopped looking and just worked like a dog focused on being a retail manager. In the end, this company found me. When your experience lines up, and you are the right fit, everything falls into place. Thank goodness I was home when the corporate recruiter called. After a few conference calls, a drive to south Florida for an interview and waiting on pins and needles for weeks, I have a new job!

Though I am soon going off in a new professional direction, the crafting continues! I have several layouts in progress and I just finished a fun pop-culture type of layout that sparked ideas for several more. I’m having fun with them so it may turn into a little mini series here on the blog. More to share soon!

And I haven’t forgotten that this is one of the most highly anticipated times of the year in the paper crafting world. CHA summer begins next week and being the product junkie I am, I have a couple of posts planned to share my take on some of the new releases.

Very exciting times!

Any plans for the weekend? I am counting down my remaining shifts at the retail job (just six more!) and then I have some shopping to do. My wardrobe definitely needs an update!

Thanks for stopping by today.

Around Here

The crafting came to a bit of a halt last week. But I have a really good reason. I’m not ready to reveal it quite yet as the news is still sinking in, but it’s sent me in a new direction and I need to gear up.

And then there’s this…

My scraproom closet is so small that once chaos enters, things go downhill quickly. I can barely get in the door. I haven’t done any purging since last summer when I moved in. I got rid of so much when I moved that I couldn’t bear to let anything else go. But it’s time. I am off today and heading to the craft store in search of some new storage options. I have some ideas that might help…if I can just find them.

I also have tags on my desk that are half done and two layouts in progress. I hope to finish it all up today so I will have some fun things to post this week. And as soon as things are confirmed, I will let you all in on my good news.

What’s going on in your world?

Thanks for stopping by today!


Nothing New Here, However…

Just a super quick post today to say I finally completed the third post in my color palette series over at Scrapbook Update. Check it out if you have a chance. Here are a few sneaks of my layout:

The colors look a bit off, but that is not a white background. It’s a vanilla color and will be more obvious when you see the color palette I used to inspire the layout.

Did you have a good weekend? I had to pull a 10 hour shift and an 11 hour shift on Saturday and Sunday so guess how much crafting I was able to do over the weekend? Zero. Exactly. I’m not even sure I remember what a weekend is any more. I doubt I will ever look back fondly on this retail period of my life (considering my college education and how this was never supposed to be my life) but the bills need to be paid, so you do what you have to do. Sigh.

Some good news though…I scored two days off in a row this week. Today I have to drive to south Florida but tomorrow I will spend my second day off at home. So, perhaps…maybe…hopefully I can dig into my stack of new supplies and do something creative soon!

Thanks for stopping by today!