My Scrapbook Resume

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I Was Away...

Well, it's been a little while since my last post. In between then and now, I hopped on over to Israel for a few days to celebrate my nephew's bar mitzvah. I was feeling self-conscious and decadent for taking off work, and traveling overseas again after having spent the summer there. But, now that I've been there and back, and have recovered from jet lag, I don't regret one minute or penny.

It was just me and Max, and it's not often that it's just the two of us. And it turns out, he is an extremely nice, easy going person when he doesn't have a little brother around.

I spent some time with my siblings, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, parents, and cousins who I don't get to see very often. Certainly not all in one place.

And, I always enjoy the change from my city scenery.

When I returned I was anxious to get my hands busy again, and I managed to make these two layouts since my return:

This one was inspired by these photos of Dave and Sam, on the bus, and I just love the way Sam is leaning into Dave. I really loved the photos, but I wasn't sure what story to tell with them. I did consider the possibility that they are just sweet photos without a story, but that left me wanting. So, I wrote about how these two used to have a much more complicated relationship. 

When Sam was younger he always preferred me, and while Dave didn't take it personally, and it never affected how he cared for Sam, it certainly feels better now that they talk and play more, and now that Sam is just as likely to hug and kiss and say I love you to Dave, as he is to me. And, Dave used to get into big power struggles with Sam (so did I, but less so), which was another glitch in their earlier relationship. Dave managed (with the help/nagging of his lovely wife) to learn to avoid the power struggles, and with Sam just being older and more affectionate, we can barely remember the days when they weren't as close.

I was a little hesitant to scrap this story-it seems a little negative- but it's still our story, and it's real and true, and perhaps the take away is that families and relationships are dynamic. There are times in our lives when we connect better or worse to the people around us. And some relationships take more work than others, but relationships can change for the better.

On a completely different note, this layout is chock full of pictures that my niece in Israel took, mostly of herself. Every time I took out my camera, she asked for it, and she just kept snapping away. She happened to catch some pictures with us together, and I indulged my narcissism, and made those the biggest pictures in the layout.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Another Year Long Project

Another year long memory keeping project. I kind of stumbled across this one. I would love to link you to the article that inspired me but I can't find it yet. It was, I believe, written by Wendy Smedly, of Ella Publishing fame, but I think I saw it on the Big Picture Classes website, and it was all about using your calendar for memory keeping. And it was one of those moments, where it all comes together really fast.

I had been admiring a wall calendar I recently bought, and thinking, "I wish I could keep the pages forever. It has lots of notes and scribbles, and even doodles from Sam. But, it's really big, so it would not be that practical." Then along came this article, talking about just that thing: Using your calendar as a way to remember random bits of mundane life, and even some fast journaling. And, then I realized I could use my planner for just that!

Each day has just a small and un-intimidating space to fill, making this feel very doable. Some days I just write what we had for dinner, or that I cleaned the house, but I also have found that I can jot down a funny comment or conversation that happened that day. And even while writing about the mundane, little patterns show up that I can see appreciating in the future. Like, for example,  "I fell asleep again while watching TV today."

I don't think I would be able to do this staring into the pages of  a big, glaring, blank journal.

And while I'm at it, since I custom made my planner last year, and I am ridiculously proud of it, I will now shamelessly show it off. I made it using an A5 binder and papers from Muji, a store where everything is white, beige, black, or olive green. It's like my Garden of Eden. They also have these adorable binder dividers, too.

I have a weekly planner section, that I just made using text boxes in MS Word, a monthly calendar section, using a calendar templates in MS Word, and then a Lesson Plan section for work: (Guess how I made that? Word.)

I love it because I was able to make it exactly as I needed it, with a spot for my morning and afternoon classes. I loved it so much, I did it again this year.

And the reason I have these photos of my planner? Take Twelve. I cheated and took more than 12.

I am a little neurotic about the look and feel of my planners, and when I find one I like, I LOVE it. What kind of planner or calendar do you use?  Am I the only one still writing on paper?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

And now for the Take Twelve Layout!

Drumroll, please...

I used and adapted one of Donna Jannuzzi's sketch's from the Take Twelve Guided Inspiration Kit. I have a feeling  I will be doing that each month. 12 is a lot of photos for one layout, and it helps to have some guidance in fitting them all in there. I have loved Donna's Sketches for a while now-they are always clean and simple, and leave lots of room for embellishment. I also used the January mini calendar included in the kit, and then I adapted it, so that it ended up looking like the circle pictured here:

Pretty much everything else on this page comes from my Cocoa Daisy Kits, both past and present.

You can link to your own Take Twelve photos and layout over at the Ella Publishing blog (at the bottom of the post), for a chance to win a seat in Cathy Zielske's class, Ten Tips for Better Type, or May Flaum's class, The Curious Scrapbooker's Field Guide. Both classes are available at Big Picture Classes.

And join The Take Twelve Flickr Group to post your project, and see what everyone else is sharing! I can't wait to see what you have all done! I'll be traveling and with family the next few days, so it might take me some time till I get to see them all!

And, Check out what the rest of the lovely ladies on the Take Twelve Team did with their photos:

Monday, January 16, 2012

While being all busy and excited about Take Twelve, I've been having this nagging feeling of scrapper's block lurking in the background of my brain.  I don't like it. I haven't fully given in yet, but I know it's there. The feeling that I don't really know what to make next. I have nothing brewing in my head that can't wait to get out. In 2011, ideas just kept coming. I had so many things I wanted to try, and goals I wanted to reach, and now a little, I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. Except, I think if I just keep making, then maybe I can get past it. 

So, with that in my head, I made the next two layouts. I forced myself to stick things down faster than usual, lest a layout get stuck, unfinished on my desk for months.

I did like this photo that I took the day before Chanukah, the beginning of winter break, when Dave surprised me and the boys with tickets to see Stomp. Somehow on this outing I only manged to snap a picture of our feet, but considering the show's title, I figured it worked. And, I kind of like the picture anyway. My two Converse boys with their Doc Marten Mom. As for Stomp, I had seen it in college, which now makes it over 15 years ago. I loved it then, and always thought I should go again. Thanks Dave for making that happen. And, by the by, it's still REALLY good. The energy and the beauty of making art from the mundane. 

As for the layout, it's good enough, and it's done. Not mocking me with its incompletion on my desk.

This layout I made after I emailed my sister asking if she enjoyed her birthday. She replied that Meital (age 4) told her she never had a mom as good as her. I said, get me the exact quote, please, because I feel a page coming on. I had these 2 photos from Max's bar mitzvah that I loved, and I'm so glad they found a story and a home here.

This is not a particularly original question, but what do you do when a creative block strikes?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

My Take Twelve Photos!

Whew. This is really the first time I have undertaken a project like this. One where I commit to taking a certain amount of photos, at a certain time, and committing to following through with them.  I love the structure of it, and being on the Take Twelve team certainly helps-nothing like a deadline to keep me on task.

So, here's how I approached this project this month. I never intended to take only twelve photos. I knew I needed more trial and error till I got what I wanted. I started the day planning to photograph our separation in the morning and our coming together at the end of the day. I didn't focus on all the things that happened to me in between. As the day progressed, and as I looked through my few dozen photos,  I didn't rally stick to my theme. I ended up narrowing it down to 1) the pictures that showed the connections between us-the moments where our days intersect with each other, 2) some changes in the state of my home throughout the day, and 3) little moments of humor. Nothing uproarious, just little quirks that let me know that no one in this family will let me take myself too seriously. And I love them for that.

1. I began the day snapping away, and Sam treated me to a mouthful of cereal. Yes, that was on purpose.

2. Dave and Max catching the early morning news and weather-every day at 7 am sharp, we switch from Animal Planet (Chimp Eden, I love you) to Fox 5 News. Note how sophisticated and sharp Dave's pose is? That's for posterity.

3. Waiting for the school bus; no matter what, we always do this together. Even when Dave or I have a day off, we always wake up in time to say goodbye at the bus stop. Sometimes there are surly goodbyes, but we are always all there.

4. I love when I manage to leave a nice clean apartment to come home to at the end of the day.

5. Not always, but sometimes, when Dave's not riding his bike to work, and he has to be there on the earlier side, we walk to the train station together.

6. About once a week, Dave and I can get home before the kids, and we usually have time for a cup of coffee and an episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

7. Sam shared some chocolate with me. I didn't even ask for any. Good boy.

8. Homework. Long division to be exact. I am usually on call for math, science, and Judaic studies. Dave gets to help with writing and social studies. I love not having to help with writing and social studies.

9. Max is getting tired of all the photo taking. But, I think he looks good.

10. What my clean apartment looks like when we are all home. This was not a bad day for messes. But somehow Sam's homework takes up a big chunk of the living room table and floor.

11. Dinner. Together. I'll have to work on capturing it all. Lots of conversation, and joking around.

12. Post dinner, pre-bedtime. Dave gets some work done and Max spends lots of time on his ipod-usually messaging his friends.

What I take away from this month:
I really focused on capturing some of our daily routines, and in that way, I guess I really had a plan. I realize that almost all of my pictures are in our living room, and at first I worried that this might be a bit dull. But, then I realized that is our life. We like our home, and we really do spend a lot of our time in it together in this space. Living in a two bedroom apartment, means that when we are home, we are together. There's no going upstairs, or being down in the basement. We all read in the living room, we eat there (well, in the kitchen, but it's all open), Sam plays there, I scrap there, Dave works there, and Max ipods there, and we share our love of TV there. I certainly crave some personal space (I've had actual dream of discovering new rooms), but I also recognize the gift that we have, what with being in each other's face all the time.

For future months, I'd like to focus a little more on stretching my photography, capturing some new places, new perspectives, and definitely some better lighting.

How did your first day go?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Giveaway Winner is...

#7, which is Annalea!! Congrats Annalea. Email me immediately ( so that I can send you the coupon code for the Take Twelve Guided Inspiration Kit. And thanks for following!!

Everyone, get your cameras ready for tomorrow.
I would love to focus on my family for January's Take Twelve, but on a work and school day, we are all apart for much of the day. So, I thought I would focus on photos of our separations (in the morning), and then coming together again at the end of the day. I took some practice photos today, and have let my kids know that they can't complain about excessive photo taking on the 12th of each month.

What are your plans for tomorrow?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


While I've been posting lots about Ella Publishing's Take Twelve photography and scrapbooking challenge, something else pretty big was happening here.

This guy:

Turned 10!

Sam, at 10, is:
  • fond of his toy firearms
  • funny
  • curious
  • kind 
  • a leader
  • a lover of science and nature
  • still in possession of some very soft and kissable cheeks (even if they are half the size they were when he was a baby).
Here's a little tale of Sam that demonstrates most of the above attributes:

One day in the playground there was a big, bright, green grasshopper. Now, Orthodox, Jewish, city-dwelling kids are not famous for their love of entomology. Lots of the children oohed and ahhed and pointed at the grasshopper, but kept a nice distance. Sam walked straight up to him, picked him up, and carried the little critter around the park. At some point, Sam had an entourage of 10-15 kids, of all ages, following his every move. Sam took that grasshopper home, and did the best he could to create a nice little habitat for him. But after a day or so, he felt a bit guilty about keeping him captive, and so, he let him go.

If Sam continues on the same path for the next 10 years, I think he'll turn out just fine. Just fine, indeed.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Giveaway-Ella Publishing Co's Take Twelve Guided Inspiration Kit

So, yesterday I shared the news that I am part of the design team for Ella Publishing Co's  Take Twelve photography and scrapbooking challenge. That's all well and good, but what, you may ask, is the challenge all about exactly?

Well, the goal of the 2012 Take Twelve Project is to take 12 photos on the 12th day of each month for a full 12 months—and scrapbook them! You too can join in the fun any month of the year, but we hope you'll join in starting January 12. Get the scoop at
Ella Publishing also has a Guided Inspiration Kit with ideas, shortcuts, and printables for the 2012 Take Twelve Project to help you along with the process, and I get to give one away to you! Here's a little taste: (Click on each image to see it larger.)

Learn more about the history of the Take Twelve project and see our FAQ section

To be entered in the giveaway, follow my blog and leave me a comment and your email address by Wednesday January 11th at 8pm EST. I will draw and email the winner so you are ready to join in on the 12th.

If you have already purchased a kit, you let me know and you can receive a refund.

Are you ready to take the challenge?

Friday, January 6, 2012


I have big news to share today, and it makes me a little giddy, but even more so just very pleased and thankful and honored right down to my gooey insides. In writing about my plans for 2012, I have mentioned that I planned to take part in Ella Publishing Co.'s Take Twelve Photography and Scrapbooking Challenge. I also mentioned that Elizabeth Dillow's writing about said challenge helped me choose my One Little Word for 2012. So imagine my reaction when I found an email in my inbox from Angie Lucas asking me to be part of the design team for Take Twelve, headed by...Elizabeth Dillow.

In case you couldn't see that well:

Okay, I'll be a little more modest from here on out.

I wonder if it was foreshadowing, when I fell in love with this mug, and bought it for myself on my birthday:

Perhaps it also foreshadows that soon I will be tall.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

And even some layouts

Also over my lovely and long vacaction, I managed to create these babies using some Webster's Pages papers, and some "stuff" from my stash and my Cocoa Daisy kits.

And some close ups:

It occurred to me after making the layout about the Waffle Bar, that it is now January, and I am still scrapping my summer photos. I think it's fine and good, but also that I might need a break. Hmmm, we'll see. Also, does that mean I am missing the present? Who knows? Let's see where this scrappy life takes me next.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Crafty projects Very big and pretty small

Sigh. My two week vacation is coming to a close. This is my last day, before going back to the hustle and bustle of working outside the home, coming home tired, and mustering enough energy (and coffee) to be present for homework, dinner, cleaning, and general being together with family. But, it was a productive vacation, and I am happy for that.

First, I spent time with my sister and my brother and their families, something which I am not great at making time for-I get so wrapped up in my work and my home and my projects. So, here's to hoping that continues.

And now on to my home and my projects:

After eight years, I painted (most) of my apartment! Here are some WAY "before" pictures ( I found some from 2008. It was fun looking back at old pictures. But we'll have to save that for another post or project).

And then it looked like this: (Yes, there is a child wrapped in a drop cloth. We talked a lot about not putting it on his head. But, he's almost 10, so this was not really  big news for him.)

Now it looks like this: (There's been a lot of lying around on the couch this week.)

I'm not quite done decorating yet, but I am enjoying the new canvas that I have to work with.

Part of the decision to finally go ahead and paint, was my desire to change up the pillows and artwork, but I just didn't feel like adding new stuff to the old walls. I was just done with them. Here are some things I plan to add to these newly beiged walls. (I made it all by myself!)

And maybe this one, but I love it less. We'll call that one a work in progress.

And, I've been working on my One Little Word album, making my first page for my first assignment. 

We were also supposed to take a self portrait, and since my word is "camera," I decided I was not, not, not going to take this picture on automatic. It took a few dozen tries, but I ended up with this:

It takes a lot for me to say, I don't think it sucks. I also included the words that gave me my word, "train your camera," written by Elizabeth Dillow. 

I didn't even get to share about repainting and decorating my bathroom, which I did as well. But, I think that's enough for now. Whew. I'm off to enjoy another relaxed cup of coffee (or two) in my new living room. (And, by the way, I like the way my mugs match my walls. I actually think of things like that when i drink my coffee.)