Five years later...

In July, we went to the UP for a week with my parents. We managed to find the exact same spot I took one of my favorite photos ever. I wish I would have brought the original for reference but I think it's pretty clear the boys have grown a bit since then.

What surprised me was their willingness, their gusto, in taking the redux version. These photos and memories mean as much to them as they do to me. How cool is that?


Blog Tour

Last week, I was tagged by the incredible Melanie to participate in a blog hop spotlighting our favorite scrapbookers. I said yes because I can't turn her down and I've been itching to get back into a blogging routine now that the kids are back in school!

1. What am I working on right now?
Too much and not enough. I'm bouncing from project to project but not finishing anything. I have multiple things in the works for my etsy shop that may or may not ever see the light of day. Personally, I'm on my third year of project life. I haven't finished a year yet...sigh. I've said it before (and was totally wrong) but I think this year, I have a laid-back system I can stick with. I still love creating traditional pages though and am struggling trying to figure out how I want to balance the two.

2. How long does it take me to create a project?
A layout? Usually two to three hours. I was much faster when I was strictly text and paper but now that I occasionally add some bits and bobs, the fiddling adds considerable time. I've been doing some card making recently (using the scraps from a layout) and that takes 30-60 minutes. I am building a nice stash to gift to my grandma at Christmas though - she's a card sending fool :)

3. What are my favorite things to create with at the moment?
Still paper. It will forever and always be paper. 75% card stock, please. Since I've started working for My Favorite Things, I've been doing LOTS of die cutting too though and even though I will never give up hand cutting, those nifty little dies do make quick work of neat little elements (and make those mass-production projects a lot more enjoyable! Halloween treats in the works...)

4. How does my writing/creating process work?
It doesn't work very well anymore. Back when it was working, it worked because I did it every single day. I drew sketches. I jotted down layout ideas. I wrote journaling...long, meaningful, expansive journaling. There was a time, a long time actually, that I was making a new layout daily. I know I'll never get back to that point but one or two a week sure would be nice. When it worked, I would look at my sketches, my photos, my journaling, and mix-and-match them all together until I had something that worked. Late nights nursing are wonderful for this kind of work. I'll never have those nights back though so I need to figure out what will fill that gap for me now.

5. How do I become inspired and stay inspired?
By working at it. The more consistently I push through the "dry" times, the more productive I am. I go back and look at the pages I've ripped from magazines, things I've pinned...the oldest stuff is the most inspiring so I always scroll to the end and work up to the newer stuff. Right now, I'm not inspired - I'm pushing though!

6. What is my signature style?
At one time, it was clean, graphic, heavily influenced by type, and journaling-centered. Now, I'm not so sure I have a signature style. Once upon a time, I think my work was recognizable - friends could pick it out of a gallery without looking at the name. Now, it's just random. And that's OK as long as I'm happy with the finished project. It's a process.

Does it seem like I'm longing for the good old days? I totally am. I've been trying so hard lately to get back to that time but the golden days, for me, took awhile to achieve. I need to remind myself of that *now.* Simply answering these questions has me more focused though - ready to work, consistently, on re-discovering that sweet spot.

Melanie is undoubtedly one of my favorites for her clean, graphic layouts full of meaning (and have you SEEN her photography?!?) I can't choose her though (sad face) and two other favorites have already been chosen (I clearly have excellent taste) but I feel exceptionally lucky to be tagging the person I am today. Elizabeth inspires me by the way she thinks about journaling in new and interesting ways. I love the way she applies design principals in completely unique ways. She's killer at iPhonography. And she should share more scrapbooking on her blog ;)


kicking and screaming

I can't quite put my finger on it but this summer, didn't really feel like summer. It kind of slipped away from me in a way it never has before. Some of it, surely, was the fact that the weather kind of sucked. I like heat and this summer didn't provide that in a way that satisfied. What it did provide, in excess, was rain, multiple hail storms, and a lot of branches to pick up. I had a kid that decided to embrace sleeping in and that robbed us of the early morning park trips we've loved so much in the past. My eldest heading to middle school surely contributed to the malaise as well.

I usually embrace fall and the return to school and schedule but this year, fall is going to have to drag me kicking and screaming. We're a week into the school year and I'm still finding my footing. It will come...just more haltingly than in years past.

I have been having some fun doing a little scrapping recently. I've got the itch again but the time to scratch it comes in fits and starts.

Izzy celebrated a birthday.

As did Zack.

Jake did too (just two days ago, as a matter of fact) but that one hasn't been commemorated just yet.

This girl is something else.


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