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Craft challenged

I am totally “craft challenged”.  Even though I still do fairly “naked” scrapbook pages, I am still the slowest dancer at the party.  If I were being paid by the hour for my crafting, I would most likely starve.  But I craft anyway, and I like to think I am getting better!

I am the proud owner of a Cricut Expressions2 that I have had for at least five years and have plugged in twice.  I have every intention of learning to use it, and haul it with me on a regular basis when I scrapbook.  Perhaps I will actually use it this weekend at our School of Rock Retreat.

All that being said, I yearn for a dedicated papercrafting/scrapbooking space.  I buy every issue of “Where Women Create” when it hits the news stand, and pore over the beautiful photos of studios and “open concept” rooms, lusting after stacks and stacks of coordinated boxes, bins, and shelves of products.

Right now my newly-created crafting space is a 2’X3′ folding table smack dab in the middle of my bedroom.  By turning my body slightly to the left I can move from my computer to the table without leaving my chair. And two steps farther puts me in bed.

The beauty of this space is that I am actually using it for creating.  I’m hard at work making treat boxes/place cards for this weekend’s retreat, times 24.  Then will come cutting and preparing kits for my card-making workshop.  And then pricing product to take for sale.  This small space will be a hubbub of activity this week.

The point of this is to say, “Don’t be discouraged if you have a tiny space, or even a kitchen table you must borrow and clean off daily.”  There is room in your life for crafting if you want to do it.  So craft away, and dream of an airy, sun filled workspace “someday”.

My tiny crafting space...yes, the blob of pink is my bedspread...right next to the work table.

My tiny crafting space…yes, the blob of pink is my bedspread…right next to the work table.

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Second Saturday again

I’m all packed, ready to load the car in the morning for our Second Saturday Scrap. I look forward to working on Christmas cards with my gals, both within the Yuletide Carol workshop and some spontaneous ones. This will be our last gathering before Christmas, so I’m sure there will be both giggles and tales of woe about shopping successes or challenges. That is one of the joys of scrapbooking with friends: Time to be creative, but also plenty of time to unwind and de-stress among friends.

My plan had been to bake tonight for tomorrow, but we took my granddaughters to visit friends and make gingerbread houses, which always takes longer than planned. So I’ll get up bright and early and bake the cinnamon apple bread that will start our day together.

Our gingerbread adventure will become a lovely album layout!

Mom giving Olivia some expert assistance with her house

Mom giving Olivia some expert assistance with her house

Lily planning the decor.

Lily planning the decor.

If you have unfinished Christmas projects, your albums are calling to you, or you simply need some “Me Time”, join us at The Little House, 939 S. Chinowth Street, Visalia CA tomorrow between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. We will make room for you!

There is still time to order Christmas gifts from Close To My Heart. Shop here.

Family is Forever

After witnessing an evening conversation that strained the family dynamic, one that would not have taken place had the two parties not been related, I settled down to scrapbook and was immediately drawn to the “Family is Forever” MyAcrylix stamp. The Stamp of the Month for September, it is perfect for heritage photos, but also very contemporary.

I decided to put a slightly different take on the “Chalk It Up” B&T Duos paper that has been used so successfully in school-related layouts this fall. This one simply illustrates the love of a mother and her daughter, and says it all: “Family is Forever”.

Family is Forever, Georgia and Olivia, March 29, 2014.

Family is Forever, Georgia and Olivia, March 29, 2014.

Supplies used: Chalk It Up B&T Duos paper, Thistle and Glacier cardstock, Black Exclusive Inks stamp pad, “Family is Forever” September Stamp of the Month ($5 with a $50 purchase in September only). To shop, visit my Online Business Address.

Throwback Thursday

Today a blogging friend shared an early entrepreneurial experience with her readers, and asked about our own prior crafting ventures. Just for fun I pulled out a favorite album for a picture taken back in 1979, when I was stitching custom petite point carpets for dollhouses.

My businesses back then both carried the same name: Fawn’s Flying Fingers. In one, I sewed teeny tiny stitches into beautiful patterns; in the other, I typed (very speedily) Doctoral theses and other scholarly papers for students. The same business card worked for both!

Here I am (was) 35 years ago, stitching away.

The album page says it all:  July 9, 1979, stitching away!

The album page says it all: July 9, 1979, stitching away!

The Aubusson carpet I made for Grammy Buffington's dollhouse.  It came back to me after she died.

The Aubusson carpet I made for Grammy Buffington’s dollhouse. It came back to me after she died.

I must admit that my eyes were considerably younger then; I don’t think I can see well enough to do this again!

Relationships and stories

I have been telling stories and documenting them in scrapbooks or albums since the third grade (a long time ago). At first glance they look like they are “all about me”, but in truth they are nearly always about me in relationship to others.

Our Second Saturday Scrapbooking at The Little House (Saints Martha and Mary’s Little House of Hospitality and Learning) has become a wonderful place for not only documenting our families’ relationships, but for nurturing relationships both within and without our congregation. Ladies gather with their photographs — sometimes in albums, but very often in storage boxes being brought out into the light after a long time — and share their histories. We celebrate new babies, grieve over departed parents, and worry about wayward children. Sometimes we work in comfortable silence, and sometimes we all chatter at once about what’s happening in the world beyond our community.

Album page:  My dream for Lily.  "I dream that Lily will continue to grow confident in her faith in God through her activities at St. Paul's Episcopal Church and Awana.  I hope she continues to question, learn, and understand why she believes what she believes.  (Lent 2012 Pretzel Sale...top, Lily telling the congregation, bottom, Pretzels ready to sell.)

Album page: My dream for Lily. “I dream that Lily will continue to grow confident in her faith in God through her activities at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and Awana. I hope she continues to question, learn, and understand why she believes what she believes. (Lent 2012 Pretzel Sale…top, Lily telling the congregation, bottom, Pretzels ready to sell.)

We talk at church about showing God’s love in the world, and I think by scrapbooking we are doing just that. The women who spend Second Saturdays scrapbooking together (some from our congregation, but most not) take those albums back to their own parts of our community and show them to their children, grandchildren, and siblings. They say, “Look, here is your mom and dad’s wedding day,” or “This is where you were baptised.” “This is the farm where grandma and grandpa lived,” or even better, “Look how adorable you were!” Very much like the parables Jesus told, the stories we choose to document explain incidents in our lives and reflect our search for our best selves.

I was once told, “A birth certificate shows you were born; an album shows you lived!” And I would add: An album shows you loved and were loved.

There is room for you at Second Saturday.

“An Artistic Adventure”

I am almost packed, the gifts for my room mates are finished, and I am ready for “An Artistic Adventure” to begin! Close To My Heart will be celebrating 30 years this week, as a few thousand consultants gather at The Disneyland Hotel for Convention.

My daughter and resident nail expert figured out my new custom Jamberry nails, so my fingertips resemble Minnie Mouse’s wardrobe.

My Minnie Mouse nails from Jamberry Nails.

My Minnie Mouse nails from Jamberry Nails.

Tomorrow’s tee-shirt is my teal “Scrapbook Ninja” one (thanks to Two Chicks Designs), and each day will have its own shirt, including Saturday’s favorite, “Forget the glass slipper, this princess wears running shoes”. Perfect for a 5K run (walk) through Disneyland, don’t you think?

Each day will bring new surprises, new product, new techniques. And throughout the fun we will still remember why we do what we do: Memories are important. Pictures are important. Families are important.

I will be checking in throughout the week, although I won’t be posting new product pictures yet. The new Idea Book goes on-line August 1, so no peeking. But I will be sharing glimpses of the fun, including the evening I have planned with my son and daughter-in-love Thursday night.

I hope you enjoy the week. I know I will!

Found: That little girl

This is the piece from Mom’s journal that so undid me last week. I think she asks — and answers — a question we each have asked about ourselves at least once as we grew.

June 29, ’99 2 PM
Today I feel profound. I’m not sure what I feel profound about, but something.

The sun is out, but not for long, and I’ve been turning the water on & off for Don to spray the fruit trees. It’s a bit windy.

My feet are bare and I’m standing in a small patch of soft dirt that feels so warm and good. I’m watching a “snake” lizard sunning himself on a large piece of firewood and thinking.

I’m thinking about that little girl I was so long ago with the loose black hair flying in the wind and running barefoot in the hot dirt.

She had a quick laugh & a too loud voice. But outside in the Summertime running barefoot, it seems to me now she felt wild & free & very happy.

Is she still here someplace deep inside? Of course she is. Why would I ever let her go?

Mom, Aunt Betty, and their dolls.

Mom, Aunt Betty, and their dolls.