Category Archives: scrapbooking

It’s that time again!

It’s time for LOAD! Well, not quite yet. It doesn’t start till February first. Which means there’s still plenty of time for you to sign up. Heck, if you sign up by the seventh I’ve got a code for you to get $10 off!

This is one of my most favorite things to do in the whole wide web. First of all there are a ton of wonderful people participating who share beautiful, creative pages. Even better, it’s lead by one of my favorite scrapbookers ever, the fabulous and funny Lain Ehmann.

It’s not a class exactly. It’s more of a prompt based challenge. What do you get out of it? Well, if you participate, you get lots of inspiring ideas that frequently take you on unexpected paths to finished scrapbook pages. You make new friends in the online scrapbooking community. And you get lots (and I do mean lots) of pages done.

So, sign up with my affiliate link below and join me and a few hundred other scrapbookers as we get ScrapHappy!

Join us! It will be fun!

Style Review aka S.H.O LOAD blog hop

Welcome blog-hoppers to the land of random posts, and too long videos!


Sorry. I’ve been staring at iMovie all evening, and I think it’s made me a bit loopy.

If you’re blog-hopping, you should have just come from Alison C.’s blog. If you’re starting here, don’t forget to check out everyone else’s blogs.

Kelli P.
Alison D.
Cathy H.
Heather H.
Alison C.
Heather D.  (wait that’s me, you’re already here!) (Welcome!)

Danielle H.

I’m not going to tell you how to prepare. I’ve already done that. Most of you are old hands at LOAD by now anyway. You’ve all found your way to LOAD in one way or another, and found a very welcoming community. You’ve figured out how to make it work for you, and why you keep coming back to this fun and rewarding challenge.

You’ve got this challenge mastered.

That’s wonderful.

There’s more though. Have you gone back and looked at how LOAD has changed you? Or, perhaps to be more specific, how LOAD has changed your scrapbooking? I thought it might be interesting, and put together this slide show of most of my stuff. It’s not everything, not by a long shot, but it is a significant chunk. It’s interesting to see the evolution from my very simple first page, through Cathy Zielske’s Design Your Life and Everyone Can Write a Little classes, and Stacy Julian’s Library of Memories class, to my first of many LOAD challenges.

They’re all in there. Please forgive the length and the endlessly repeating piano loop. It was either that or banjos. That’s what I had to work with in iMovie.

You may want to go visit Danielle H. first, and then come back to watch this. The piano may put you to sleep.

Big Ideas

One of the things I love about scrapbooking is that it’s not really about the paper. It’s not even about the photos or the stories. In many ways it’s a philosophy, at least it is for me.

Scrapbooking is a way for me to think about the here and now as, not perfect, but just right. It’s a way for me to appreciate and save the little pieces of life that matter. The hugs and hands held, the silly stories and the stories that make you cry.

I have known from a very young age that life is impermanent and imperfect. Every hug could be the last one, every day is vastly different from the day before, and from what I thought it might be or even could be.

Maybe that’s why I love the way Lain Ehmann and Stacy Julian and Cathy Zielske teach scrapbooking. And the lesson from Amy Sorenson in this year’s Big Idea Festival at Big Picture Classes is another one of those perfect, deep reasons that empowers and drives my creativity.

Amy talked about how we’re always looking for that happily ever after moment: that moment when everything is perfect, or everything is done, or every piece is in place in order to begin some new project.

The thing is, there is no happily ever after. There’s no point in time that’s perfect or just right. There’s only right now, and that cliff right over there that you need to jump off of to get started and do. If you never try something, you will never fail, but you will also never succeed. And if you don’t look around, take the plunge, do the uncomfortable scary thing, the only thing you’ll have to look back on are regrets.

What’s more important? A life filled with safety and sameness, or one filled with challenges and love? It’s so easy to live the first. I aspire and try for the second. I don’t always succeed, but that’s good. At least I am trying.

And every once in a while, my scrapbooker’s eye catches messages from the world around me that remind me how wonderful and precious every moment is.

Finding your creative self (aka LOAD Blog hop 212)

Welcome all you blog hoppers! And any random non-blog hoppers out there. 😀

Hopefully you’ve come from Gayle’s blog on your trip through LOAD-world. If you haven’t, start with Margie, and make your way back here. 🙂

First, if you want to know what I think you need in order to successfully complete a LayOutADay, check out this post from last year. And! The post immediately before it talks about the first time I did LOAD, so it might help you figure out what to expect if this is your first time attempting LOAD. But that’s not what I want to talk about this time around. This time I want to talk about how, by doing LOAD, you become a better scrapbooker, and you discover your own strengths (and weaknesses) by committing to a month of dedicated creativity.

It’s true. It really is true.

Have you seen this poster?

I saw it on Pinterest a few months ago. And then, Stacy Julian linked to the interview with Ira Glass that this quote comes from, and everything clicked.

Do a lot of work. On a deadline. Create a volume of work. As you make more, and learn more, your output improves, until it meshes with your own taste and style.

That’s LOAD!

LOAD is how you find your creative style. Or one way to find your creative style. There are other ways to commit to a creative life, but this one works for me.

So this is what you need to do. Commit to making a page every day for the month of February. Don’t allow yourself to make excuses. No “I’m tired, I’m sick, I’m too busy,” excuses. If you really want to scrapbook, make, no scratch that, TAKE time to do it. It doesn’t have to be a lot of time. In fact, having too much time can get in the way of finishing a page. Just make a promise to yourself to do it.

Of course there are things that can get in the way of finishing a page. Important, life altering things. Only you can decide if the excuses that get in the way of creating are important enough for you to walk away from the crafting table. But everyday life? You shouldn’t let that stop you.

Listen to Lain’s prompts. Do they speak to you? Do they inspire you? Then work with them. If the prompt isn’t working for you that day, work on something else. A project you’ve been working on for ages. A story that’s just begging to be told. A photo that just grabs your heart, and you need to showcase it. Do something. 

Some days you will love, love, love, what you have made. Other days, it will all seem to fall apart as you go, and you’ll be disappointed in the final product. Don’t second guess yourself. Just move on to the next page.

Keep everything you create in one place. Make a big pile. Keep it in a binder for your brand new pages. Your pile of pages will grow. You might even make a dent in your stash. (I’d have to do hundreds of pages for that to happen.)

And at the end of the month, look at what you have done. What pages are your favorites? Why? Do you have any pages that you dislike? Again, why? What are the common threads that run through your pages? How are they alike? What makes them different?

By answering those questions, you will discover what kind of scrapbooker you are. Are you a story teller? A technique lover? A fan of color or monochrome?

Only by creating a body of work, and then going back and examining it, will you be able to find your creative process and style. Only by committing to creating do you build a body of work.

If you haven’t signed up for LOAD 212 yet, what are you waiting for? This is the quickest and easiest way to build a body of work.

So commit. Create. Explore. Find yourself.

Next stop? Gina!

And here’s the links to everyone’s blogs, so you can hop and skip among them if you’d rather.

Heather (that’s me!)

Here comes December!

December is right around the corner, and I’ve filled it up with lots of inspiration. This is the fourth year I will be doing a December Daily, and I wanted lots of different ideas to keep myself going and inspired this year.
December Daily 08 cover

First of all, if you have no idea what a December Daily is, check out this post from Ali Edwards, who is responsible for me starting this project originally. My kids are responsible for me continuing to do this. They LOVE the books I’ve made, and are disappointed if I even consider not participating each year.

The thing about great ideas is that they are fun to share, and modify to make your own. Ali’s project was originally inspired by Shimelle Laine’s Journal Your Christmas class, which she has been running for years. I will be joining in for the first time this year. I am so looking forward to it, since my favorite part of the December Dailies I have done previously was the words. Shimelle is wonderfully inspiring, and if you haven’t explored her blog, please do. She’s got so many great ideas.

I will be getting more inspiration and instruction from Katrina Kennedy’s Capture Your Holidays Through the Lens. My photos throughout all my December Daily books are okay. Some are wonderful, some are horrible, and some just are there. I’m hoping to improve the overall quality of my photos, as well as come up with some different ways to photograph the holiday season by taking Katrina’s class. She’s taught at the TrueScrap events, and her instruction is always enlightening.

Last but not least, I will also be taking BPC’s 12 Days of Christmas. I love the idea of spending the 12 days before Christmas gathering photos and ideas and product and then turning it all into pages beginning on the 25th. This is a great introductory class for people who have never taken a BPC class before, since twelve different instructors will be running the class.

In addition to these classes, I will also be following along with Tim Holtz’s twelve tags of Christmas. Each year he introduces new techniques and projects that are a great supplement to any holiday crafting project.

Wow, you say? How can I manage to fit all these classes into the normal craziness that is December? Well, these are all classes that will help me complete my December Daily project. There will be photo ideas, journaling ideas, and technique ideas. Any time I run out of ideas, I will have lots of resources to rummage around in. I don’t expect to finish these classes, but rather to use these classes to improve and expand my December Daily. It’s going to be fun!

Here’s a quick peek at what I’ll be using for this year’s book.

Hope you’ll join the fun and play along!

Scrapbooking is important. Except for when it’s not.

You may not know this about me, but I LOVE scrapbooking. It combines so many things I love to do and think about that in some ways I think it has taken over my life. And that’s probably a good thing.


My own interests have been pointing me at scrapbooking for a long time. I have had my own camera since grade school, and I have been writing for just as long. I always loved hearing family stories and gossip, and I did a bit of genealogical research as well. And I wouldn’t be a member of my family if I didn’t make something with my hands. My particular bent involves paper and ink. If I can stamp on it, write on it, or stick paper on it, I am a happy girl.

The page that went bad ;)

The wonderful thing about scrapbooking is that it combines all those things into one big, messy, creative, expressive miscellany of personal meaning. And the thing about scrapbooking is that it is entirely personal. The reasons any of us do it, the techniques we use, the products we fall in love with, the stories we choose to tell, are all a result of our own personal inclinations and history. Which makes this a very inclusive and accepting hobby.

May 11 04

Which leads me to why scrapbooking is important. This is how you can tell your story. The story that matters to you. You get to decide how to present it, you get to decide what to emphasize, you get to decide how much or little to do. It’s YOUR story. And by your story I don’t necessarily mean that it is about yourself. (Although who else is qualified to tell that part of your story?)

may load 11 23

So it’s your story. But scrapbooking is also a way to become more present and appreciative of your daily life. Think about things like Ali Edwards’ Week In The Life project. Who knew minutia could have that much meaning? But it does. It all matters. It’s all interesting and valuable, if you look at it in different ways.

May11 03

Those are the two things about scrapbooking that really bring home how important it is to me. But they also help me realize how unimportant it is as well.

life is good

Living my life, and being there for my family is more important than a piece of paper any day of the week. While they may appreciate the pages I’ve made that share my love for them, they appreciate hugs, kisses and chicken nuggets a whole lot more. If I don’t share my love now, it won’t have any value to them later.

LOAD May 2010 Day 26

That makes scrapbooking so much easier. I don’t have to be perfect, or even pretty. I don’t have to agonize over which paper to use and how big a photo I should print. I just use what I have and go on. It’s just paper. It’s only words. And I can always go back and do another page if I don’t communicate my thoughts well the first time around.

 It’s only when a page is done that it becomes love.

LOAD May 2010 Day 31

Josefine and Henry

josefine and henry, originally uploaded by Heather’s treasures.

This may look like a page about my niece, but it’s really for my sister. Now if only I had a picture of her playing with Henry…

Lots of Plate Juggling

Tomorrow is the start of another round of LOAD. I am glad it is starting again, but I expect this month to be much more stressful than past LOADS have been.
In no particular order, here’s a brief list of the things that May will bring:

  • Simon’s birthday
  • Jonathan’s birthday
  • Jason’s birthday
  • PTA meeting
  • make PTA schedule for next year
  • figure out how to fit in a school board budget presentation for our parents
  • run another round of RIF (reading is fundamental–I love this program!)
  • teach 3 more classes of a beginning scrapbooking class. Also something I love and look forward to.
  • Open house at JoAnn’s to try to get more students to sign up for classes
  • Scrapbook Social the last Monday of the month. Another thing I love.
  • Coordinate roofers, painters, and basement waterproofers to finally get done the work we’ve been wanting to do on the house for years.
  • Interior painting, cleaning and decluttering. While I love my orange hall, I know most people won’t really appreciate the color. And I have more books than most people want to look at as well.
  • All so I can try to put the house on the market by the first of June.

Doesn’t look like too bad a list right? LOAD’s totally doable, right?

That’s what I keep telling myself. But I’ve already given myself permission to NOT do a page every day this month. Because, in the end I want to make pages that my kids and I want to read. Not just because I’ve set a goal for myself. So if I have no stories to tell on a really difficult day, I am NOT going to make a page. Because after a day of painting or cleaning or packing, I may not have any words left to add to my pages, and I find that words are one of the most important pieces of scrapbooking for me.

Not the “go for it!” attitude you’re accustomed to hearing from me? Au contraire. I am going to try. But I am giving myself permission to keep it fun. If LOAD becomes a chore rather than a reward this month, I am going to take my own advice and remind myself there is no “should” in scrapbooking. I love LOAD, and I want to keep it that way.

A little video show and tell.

I’ve been thinking about making a video showing you around my tiny craft room, and finally made one today. Simon helped a little bit by holding the camera for me in the beginning. Every time I see my craft room on film, I am struck by how dark it is. There’s actually more light in the room than is evident, but it is really my little crafty cave.
Please forgive all the ums and pauses. I am not good at speaking off the cuff. (However I can type a mean sentence!)

…and now February is fully LOADed.

Did you do it? Were you able to complete a layout every day? Most importantly, did you have fun?