I sometimes have those days, lately, in which I find myself particularly sensitive to everyone around me. My rational brain and my emotional brain are in a battle, and the emotional side is winning. I’m working like a dog at work today, but instead of feeling accomplished, I feel somewhat worthless, as some coworkers forget I’m there, unless a sudden emergency comes up. Then I feel just taken for granted. Trying to shake myself out of this self-hate jag while driving home, I was unsuccessful and my mind started wandering to other areas of my life, like Retrospect, and especially my blog. I am in an unsettled place with this blog. I have been on this mission, this commitment to blog every day, for one entire year. That’s 365 days. 3-6-5. Some days have been easier than others. Lately, it’s been feeling like a chore, instead of an exciting challenge I feel privileged to partake in. I have to start wondering: am I really getting anything out of this? Am I really becoming a better blogger, just as Word Press proposed? Has my visibility increased, or have I gathered a flock of new followers who are dying to find out what I have to say today? No. Nope. Nyet. Nein. Not even close. I was honestly surprised to discover that I have 6 subscribers. Hubby only has a subscription to my blog because I physically put myself at his computer and subscribed for him!! My mother doesn’t even follow me…I’ve even sent her the link, several times, and crossed my fingers. Nada. Nonetheless, this is not a pity party. It makes me very grateful for the six wonderful people who do subscribe; I do thank you from the bottom of my heart, which makes my next decision difficult: should I just quit? Or, perhaps I should reduce my blogging to once a week? I hate the idea of giving up on this challenge; I thought it would be really cool to be able to say I never missed a single day, and I don’t like the idea of being a quitter, but I also thought I would have gotten more out of this. Had I not looked up who subscribes to me, I would truly believe that just dropping off would amount to a hill of beans. Who would care, right? On the other hand, aside from being a wussy quitter, I may never see any real change. What if I just haven’t reached my peak? What if I have a wave of inspiration that spreads throughout the scrapbook world and I suddenly find myself having throngs of engaged readers filling out my comment box left and right? I suppose my answer lies in my own queries: who do I blog for, and why? Does it really matter if anyone reads this or not? If it does, how do I create a more engaging blog? These are the questions I need to mull over and reflect upon before I can go forward. I think I will start blogging once a week from now on…I will pick one day of the week to be my “blog day”, and hopefully fill it with many interesting, creative ideas; stories and photos. And hopefully, my six wonderful subscribers will still be around.
I recently purchased this book by Erin Zamrzla after purchasing one of her Japanese stab binding kits. The kit came with a card announcing the publishing of this new book of hers, and being that I enjoyed learning how to do some rudimentary stab binding, I wanted to branch out and learn a little more. This is a fantastic book! Erin has some really original and wonderful ideas for hand-made projects, from gift tags, books and organization ideas. I soaked up every detail, and I have decided that I’d like to try each and every project in the book, at least once. Sort of like Julie and Julia, minus the food! So anyway, I had come up with an idea, and I was able to put it together in only 15 minutes.
For at least the last 35 years or so, I have had a collection of foreign currency put away that I treasured. These bills and coins came to me as left-overs from various trips my grandparents took when I was a child. An extra little gift, you could say. I loved it, but had them tucked away in a box, and rarely, if ever, looked at them as an adult. For some time, I’ve been wanting to do something to make them more visible and accessible, and after reading Erin’s book, the lightbulb switched on. I made a mini book with the paper money as the pages. Now, these bills may or may not have value (on the market, probably not); as far as I’m concerned, their value is strictly sentimental. Yes, I poked holes in them, but I would never get rid of them for any reason. I made a “tag” out of Studio Calico paper to be the cover which will enclose the book. The tag is roughly the size of the largest bill; I used Divine Twine to stitch the Japanese four-hole binding, which I had learned from the kit I purchased from Erin, at her Etsy shop. I added a simple title with Basic Grey micro mono stickers, and done! Properly displayed in my library drawer (which I am still working on), I can look at these treasures any time I want. Do you have something made of paper that you value and treasure? It doesn’t always have to go into a scrapbook, perhaps those treasures could be a book unto themselves! For any questions or more information, please contact me. Happy binding!
I am trying to feel better. Feeling less than normal just really sucks, and although I do not like the “H” word, when it comes to illness, I’ll just go ahead and say it. I hate it! Well, today, sitting here at the computer is not quite the torture it was yesterday, so I’ll talk a little bit about a new project Hubby and I have come up with. He has a new exhibit at our local art museum coming in August. He will be showing a large selection of his black and white photography, from his pinhole series, to Lost Lake and the surrounding foothills. It will be amazing. Then, several days ago, he approached me about an idea that I am really excited about: printing out smaller versions of his exhibit pieces, and creating a hand-made book, for sale at the museum. Since I love making journaling and notebooks, I have begun to explore hand-stitched books, particularly Japanese stab binding, and other forms of hand stitching pages into hand-sewn covers. This should turn out incredibly, if we can pull off what we imagine it to be. We will create one book for ourselves to be a sort of prototype to show, and then when we are perfectly happy with it, we will continue to go on to create maybe six more to display and sell at the museum. I am so excited! Each book will be quite an undertaking; knowing that we are both perfectionists, I’m guessing one book will take several days to complete, being that every detail will be done by hand. I know it will not be easy, but I am so happy we will not need to rely on third party red tape, or publishers. It will be a local, hand-crafted endeavor we will enjoy doing together; a collaboration of love that I know will make us feel proud and feel good! More details and progress notes when the times arise!
I’ve been under the weather lately, and after trying to deny it throughout the weekend, I woke up this morning feeling like someone had beat me, with some nausea and dizziness. When I finally realized that I just simply could not get ready for work, and I was not sure how I was going to drive there, I had to give up and call in sick to work. I hate that! But, I have been resting and taking it easy; I’m not really up for much scrapbooking today, so I hope to get a good night’s sleep tonight, and wake up feeling like myself tomorrow. I do feel a little better right now (not 100%, but…) and I’m hoping for the best by the time I have to wake up at 0530 tomorrow morning. I’ll be back tomorrow evening; for now I’ll have to take a rain check for anything exciting.
British comedies! That’s all I have to say.
Evalicious. I love the name of the blog. I love what’s in it, too. I know, I’ve been on a jag, lately, loving this person or that, but the truth is, there are so many awesome individuals out there with such admirable artistic qualities, I feel I must give credit where credit is due. And today, it is Eve Johnson, who runs Evalicious, a creative art company who happens to have big talent for wonderful scrapbook supplies. She is the creator of a unique “Destination mini art journal”, and it is so popular, it was on back order. I preordered mine, and received it today! Yipee! It’s gorgeous. I was in awe when I opened it. OMG, I can’t wait to go somewhere and fill it up with photos and journaling. Here is a snippet of what she has to offer:
Notably, I have been really into mini journals lately. I think there should be events in one’s live that deserve a book. Celebrities have biographies written about themselves all the time, right? Why shouldn’t you? Write it yourself, which has been my mantra, all along. There are many out there who are creative and good with words; I, however, am not. I applaud anyone who can write; you have a gift. I just have my scrapbooks; that’s my story, and I’m stickin’ to it! Happy journaling!
I am a huge fan of Ormolu products. I have so many that I have a dedicated drawer labeled, “Ormolu”. I use her tags and paper embellishments often, I follow her blog, and she’s a favorite of mine on Etsy. So recently, Kaitlin, the owner, put out a call for design team members. How exciting! Anyone may apply, and must simply send in a little bit about yourself and three items with Ormolu products featured on them. I have many, but are they good enough? Of course not. I want to submit something absolutely fabulous and mondo beyondo perfect. Can I do it? I’m nervous. I’m anxious. I’m….stumped. Where do I begin, and what do I do? Ormolu does not just make products for scrapbooking; she also caters to those who love stationary, cards, and more. More? Well, I’ll try…but I’m apprehensive, and thus I have done literally nothing. My deadline is May 14, and I can come up with no ideas. Zip, zero, zilch. I tell myself each and every evening that I am going to do research and planning to get concrete ideas together, and then actually begin to make something the next day I am off. But I haven’t. I think my nervousness has become a mental block preventing me from doing anything. I am rather good at avoidance, as I am proving to myself right now. So, I have taken all these supplies I photographed above, and poured them onto my bed so I will have to do something with them, hopefully soon. The tags, paper chains and flappers are so pretty and unique, there’s no way I can let this opportunity pass me by; anyone chosen to be on the design team will get freebies bi-monthly, and more chances to get our creative endeavors published. Quite an honor! I just have to do it. I have to find the faith in myself, and, like Nike, just do it. Sigh…I’m taking a deep breath, and I will be back again with an update. Wish me luck, and if anyone has any ideas at all, I am open for suggestions….and feedback, as well!
I recently purchased a Japanese bookbinding kit from Erinzam at Etsy, and today I had the opportunity to try it. I just love trying new things, especially when it comes to crafts. I seem to be on a kick for learning new things, so this was a great experience. The kit comes with papers, waxed linen thread, a bookbinding needle, and thorough instructions. It was relaxing, fun, and highly gratifying!
In the future, I think I will be incorporating this technique to make some more journals for Retrospect. This should be fun!
I discovered after the first binding, an awl or Japanese book drill would work much better. My little Tonic Studios paper punch really did not make big enough holes, and it was difficult to do. I ended up using my Crop-A-Dile Big Bite with the 1/8 hole punch, which was much easier, but the holes ended up a little bigger than they probably need to be. Nonetheless, I highly recommend it for anyone looking to bind their own books. Erin Zamrzla does a super job putting together these cute little kits. Happy binding!
Okay, here we are. Again, I was not happy with the cover, so I started over for the second time. I neglected to take photos of that process, but you will see the results. I think it looks pretty shabby, which is exactly the point. In the class, however, Mary Ann Moss uses shabbier pieces of paper to make up the pages, which looks neat, but I opted to use some scrapbook papers to use them up, and they don’t look as shabby. Next time I will use scraps of old papers and magazine pages, like she did.
I am so looking forward to filling in my new journal. I normally go for a simple look when I scrapbook, but I think it will be fun and interesting to do something totally off-the-cuff, becoming shabby, worn and loved. I can just go crazy and be wild and fun with it…another side of me I usually keep in check! Anyone interested in pursuing a project like this may click here to check out Mary Ann Moss’ blog for more information. Happy journaling!