My Scrapbook Resume

Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Cards

These are just designed, but I just absolutley love them. I am not sure why, but insects and arachnids not in my apartment, are beautiful. As soon as they cross the threshold, however, it's all, "DAVE!"

Unless, it's just me and the kids, and then it's up to me to be calm and cool and "we share the earth with them. Don't hate them." Because, what if one of them would be a great entomologist or field biologist? Would Darwin have become Darwin if his mom said, "ew, don't touch those feral finches. You don't know where they've been!?" Would the dreamy Nick Baker be the successful naturalist/infotainer that he is today, if his mom was grossed out by bugs and other creepy crawlies? I think about these things. Really, I do.

And I really do love animals. I always have. And, I love to incorporate them into my artwork.

Anyway, here are the cards. I scanned them, because I am not fully satisfied with my photographs of my cards, lately.


Now off to scrapbook more, so that I can share more completed projects with you.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I've been trying to get to this for a while...

I finally had a chance to do some personal scrapbooking. And I have been looking forward to sharing the process and the results. The photos aren't great, but I had a story I needed to record. It is not even a universal story that will be meaningful to all. But, it was important to me, and that is what scrapbboking is about. Taking the time to record the small moments. I am sure that if this day was not scrapped, it would soon be long forgotten. And the way for me to be inspired to record this memory, is to make it look pretty.

This layout is a lot wordier than I am accustomed to. Journaling is not my strong suit. But, here it is anyway.

A brief summary: We had a great big "clean out the kids' room day." That is all. But along the way I was struck by some things about myself, the kids, and the meaning of some stuff we have accumulated along the way. So, here's to decluttering, and to remembering the little things. Hope you enjoy.

And here are the words:

It’s no secret that I love to declutter. Get rid of stuff. Make empty space. Clean and Organize. I usually get to the kids’ stuff around Chanukah time, to make room for the new loot. This year, the kids were excited to help me out. It was their Chanukah vacation (one day), and this is how they spent it.

Max was especially good at getting rid of things. Sam had more things that he didn’t want to throw away, which makes sense, because Max does not really play with toys anymore. And Sam loves all things broken and shiny. A stray wire, a broken antenna, a stray key, are the stuff Sam’s dreams are made of. And I love that about him. Also, it something we share. While I don’t like to hoard things, I see cool little things, and think, “hmm, what can I make?” Sometimes it’s an issue, because we each have different plans for the same item. I really wanted the empty whiskey bottle for flowers or d├ęcor, and he needed it for his game. But, I can be very patient…when he’s not looking…it’s all mine…

Anyway, Sam got to keep some of what he wanted, and some was thrown away anyway. I think we gave away more this year than usual, because it seems we have really moved to a whole new stage of life. 24 piece puzzles are not interesting to anyone in this family. Nobody needs the junior version of Scrabble, Mancala, Rummikub. No more games to help you learn to read. No more mini skateboard. We are past all that. We are entirely in the world of middle childhood. That is reflection #1.

Reflection #2: It was interesting to see what Max did not throw away. He knew: you never get rid of Lego. It never gets old, outdated, or boring. They still play with my childhood legos at my parent’s house. I also told him before—“you never get rid of lego.” Lesson learned. But on his own, he figured out that we keep the No, David books. Those are too good, and too much a part of their childhood to get rid of. Harold and the Purple Crayon—a classic, and he knew that too. There were a few books that made it to the “toss” pile, but when I mentioned that Bapa gave them to us, they both agreed that they needed stay, in order to remember him. And, I too could not part with some books. I mean, I love good children’s books, so some were not a surprise (Make Way for Ducklings, Not a Box). But I was surprised that some books that I know are not particularly good, I still could get rid of them. Mostly animal books that I bough when I first started teaching—I couldn’t throw them away yet. And it’s because of the memories of sitting for hours ((!!!) No kids yet) on the floor of Barnes and Nobles picking those out. I carried them back and forth to my classrooms for years.

And one final moment from that day; a lesson for parents about kids: As I mentioned, Max was more inclined to toss things, and I enthusiastically praised him for it. While Max was cleaning out the books, Sam kept trying to squeeze in and help. Max kept yelling at him to get out of the way, and Sam burst into super sad tears, saying, “what can I do to help?!” And I think that the kid who is so tough, and who gives the impression that he doesn’t care what we expect of him, really is just trying hard to do the right thing, if only to hear some parental approval. And, I am not big into doling out false praise. And Kids need to deal with the fact that sometimes, someone else will be better than them, or at least get the credit. But, still, it is interesting and important to see how much they care.

Monday, December 28, 2009

To do list...

One of my goals for this blog was to also show some of my scrapbooking work, and my scrapbooking process. So, here it is:


Thursday, December 24, 2009

I just love these scissors so flippin' much!


I've been working on my etsy shop, making it look a bit more pretty and professional. And I wasn't going to post here until I had that finished. So I could say, "Tada! Now everyone, go look at my improved etsy store." But, there I was working on a a logo/banner for the store, and I had to trim a piece of cardstock. An ever so tiny slice. And I thought, there is no way this is going to come out as a clean cut. But these scissors, man! There is nothing they cannot do. It cuts ribbon so cleanly. No fraying or uneven cuts at all. I actually felt such an outpouring of love towards these scissors, I just had to photograph them right away.

I bought these scissors for the recent Lower East Side Chanukah party, where I was cutting lots of fabric for a craft project for the kids in the neighborhood. I knew my usual scissors would not do the trick, so I splurged on a more expensive pair. I never knew the bond that would form between us. I even use it instead of my paper cutter (though I am in the market for a new one of those, too.)

Now, I also need to confess, that a recent blog post on CathyZielske.typepad.com, also features her scissors. So, maybe I am just copying her. I do find her approach to design and scrapbooking most in line with mine, and I take much inspiration from her. Now I have given credit where credit is due.

And if you still want to see my etsy store, the current improvements are in the photos. So if you want to see what I mean, take a look. DesignsByAliza.etsy.com

And while I am singing the praises of inanimate objects, I will speak briefly about burlap. Because burlap is in almost every photo I have taken. I love burlap, plain and simple. I think everything is a bit more beautiful with a touch of sack cloth. And rocks.


Monday, December 21, 2009

I think I am finally ready...

to tell people I know that I have a blog. I NEVER liked the idea of people reading what I write, but I do like the idea of people seeing what I make. And I like talking about what I make. So, time to indulge.
Yesterday, I experienced my first outdoor, non Jewish related institution, craft fair. Figures that it would be on a day when NYC just had a large snowstorm. But I pushed my wagon through the snow, carried it up and down subway stairs, and I am glad that I did.
People love my pretty matchboxes. And the orthodox community loves them when they are specifically for shabbat.

Last week, I also made this for a customer (who is having a baby today!) It was a bit more sparkly and whimsical than I am used to, but I like the challenge of incorporating someone else's tastes and requests, and still creating something that I think is beautiful.

I also had a request to see my Christmas cards.



So, my next projects: A custom set of thank you notes and a custom scrapbook. Both of those will be gifts, so I cannot post them till they have been given.


Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Alright, I am jumping right into the blogosphere. I am not a little bit scared and uncomfortable about this new venture. I've done well for myself in my life by keeping pretty quiet, but I am loving my craft, and if this is what I need to do to continue, than so be it. And, who knows, perhaps it will turn out that I'm a ham at heart. A totally Glatt Kosher Lamehadrin (Ok, maybe not mehadrin) ham. I will beg the world to listen to me, me, me!
But for now, I will gingerly be posting about my card making and scrapbooking projects. Perhaps musing about my artistic journey along the way. Oh, and it has been a journey for me. But I am not quite sure I am ready to talk that much about myself. Yet.
For now, just look at the pictures.


Some Things Old:


Some Things New:


Something Chanukah:

Something Blue:



Deep breath and jump right in...






Alright, I am jumping right into the blogosphere. I am not a little bit scared and uncomfortable about this new venture. I've done well for myself in my life by keeping pretty quiet, but I am loving my craft, and if this is what I need to do to continue, than so be it. And, who knows, perhaps it will turn out that I'm a ham at heart. A totally Glatt Kosher Lamehadrin (Ok, maybe not mehadrin) ham. I will beg the world to listen to me, me, me!
But for now, I will gingerly be posting about my card making and scrapbooking projects. Perhaps musing about my artistic journey along the way. Oh, and it has been a journey for me. But I am not quite sure I am ready to talk that much about myself. Yet.
For now, just look at the pictures.