Sunday, January 18, 2015

Getting My Priorities Straight

So this year I opted to not come up with New Year resolutions. I rarely stick with them and the last thing I need is another failure. Instead, I have spent the first few weeks of 2015 figuring out what my real priorities in life are and then finding a way to make them stronger. In the end, I want to have an unfailing appreciation for what I do have rather than be disappointed with the things I failed to achieve.

My 10-year anniversary is a mere few weeks away. Knowing the date is upcoming mixed with several conversations Alan and I have had regarding our family, I can say with 100% certainty: "I have been blessed with the best husband for me and the most valuable father for Keziah." In the end, what could be more important.

Created with "Truly Madly Deeply" from Tami Miller Designs

We have come to an important crossroad as I battle my spine problems and are accepting the reality that it cannot be fixed. It is amazing how much relief that has brought. Now we can start making realistic plans.

Why am I sharing such personal information? Simple. If any one of my friends or family can learn from our trials, they might save a lot time trying to figure "stuff" out. When we put our spouses needs first, both will always have their vital needs met. When you accept you cannot fix everything, you will spend what time you do have together making memories and cherishing those moments. Don't let a day pass without saying "I love you" and forgiving one another of the trivial mistakes. Lastly, hug your child (children) several times a day so when the time comes you are no longer here, she will never doubt her mother loved her.

Friday, January 16, 2015

My health, daughter and how to stay sane

This week has been nonstop doctor appointments. Between all of them, I feel very overwhelmed. Alan and I decided to follow the spine surgeon's advice to see a new pain specialist. I will have a procedure to burn all the nerves in the damaged part of my spine. It is a series of injections that lead up to the burning. This will keep the lumbar spine from hurting, but has to be repeated every 6 to 12 months. Then when those injections stop being effective, I will have another spine fusion. (Currently I have a C1-C2 fusion.) I am going to be the bionic woman when all is said and done.

My darling Keziah got another 4.0 this quarter. I am so proud of her. And her guitar lessons are expanding her musical ability. She doesn't want to play the cello anymore, but she is sticking to piano. Between the piano and guitar, I may have a little singer/songwriter daughter is the close future.

I received some darling note from friends when they saw this photo of Keziah. All proclaimed her to be gorgeous...and I wholly agree.

Created with Cozy Up from ForeverJoy Designs

I had to post a layout I made early 2014 as the designer I CT for re released this kit in her new shop. Having the pages side-by-side was bittersweet. You can see how much Keziah has blossomed into a stunning young lady. But the smile and twinkle in her eyes have remained the same.

Created with Hydrangea from ForeverJoy Designs

Many of my friends and family know I love to scrapbook. So it just made sense to use my layouts instead of simple photos for my personal posts. This year, you will see more of my art work. This art medium has been my saving me a purpose to get out of bed each day. Funny how something so simple can be such a powerful life line.

Created with Follow Your Heart from ForeverJoy Designs

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

I Only Like Snow in Pictures

While growing up I always thought it would be neat to live in a place where it snowed. Oh my sheltered little desert heart! Now as an adult I am living in Utah and find the snow to be miserable, despite how beautiful it can be.

There is one exception to my "I hate snow" attitude. We woke up Christmas morning to a beautiful blanket of white. There is nothing like a quintessential white Christmas.

My daughter is nothing like me...she loves the snow and doesn't feel the cold like I do. For her, it is an opportunity to show off her winter fashion sense. And boy does she have some classy looks perfect for a blistery snowy day. Boots, hat and a scarf are more than utility wardrobe in her mind. They are part of her bigger fashionista picture. If I didn't know any better, I would swear I have a stylist in the making.

Layout created with In the Frosty Air from Oh La La Scraps

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Another year, another adventure

And so begins another year. Along with that are another round of resolutions. I am keeping them vague this year...less expectations, less feelings of failure. I am walking into this year with my rose-tinted glasses off and eyes wide open. Life has been one blend of craziness this past year and I don't expect it to get any better in 2015.

I will keep some things the same. I will keep designing. Keep scrapping. Keep trying to stay sane. I am sure there will be more surgeries...hope the last for a bit.

My daughter is still the joy of my life. I am watching her grow into a woman right before my eyes and it is bittersweet. She is gorgeous and we are chasing boys off. But at the end of the day, she is still my baby who needs hugs from mom.

Created with "Unwritten" from ForeverJoy Designs

I will say this: I will smile and keep optimistic. I have to for the sake of my husband and daughter.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Scrap Stacks Unbelievable October Value

I love the 1st of the month at Scrap Stacks because it means a new Scrap Pack becomes available. This is where you get 4 kits from some of the top designers for only $5. And the value is worth it. These are not mini packs...they are full blown kits.

This month's featured designers include JB Studio, Cindy Schneider, Trixie Scraps and Scrapyrus. All fab designers who make beautiful things.


I just posted a layout I made with the kit "One Happy Day' by Trizie Scraps. I am still finishing up a few photos from summer, so the color palette really worked well for those late-August pictures. This particular layout features Keziah on Labor Day weekend. She and Alan hopped in the car and drove past Park City to seek out rivers, falls and other bodies of water. They have a keen sense for finding some of the most beautiful places in Utah. I only wish I could have been with them!

I will share more layouts from this collection through out the month. And if you liked getting my free templates, keep an eye out on the Scrap Stacks blog for a new free template by me.

Happy Scrapping!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Cajun Diva Scraps Now at Daisies & Dimples

See this post from my dear friend Michelle of Cajun Diva Scraps:

It's finally here!!

My new store at Daisies and Dimples is open for business!!
To celebrate, I have a grand opening sale until October 15th.

There are lots of great kits in store.  So, please check it out.  

I also have a Buy One, Get One for the Month of October.  Here is the preview:

Thanks, and look for more great kits coming your way soon!

Here are just a few preview of the kits you will see in my store: 

Thank you for stopping by and see you at Daisies and Dimples!!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Checking In


I have been so quiet lately. It is not from lack of anything to say. Simply life has pockets in which you have to focus your energy on very specific details and set many things aside.

All the ups and downs have me thinking. Partly because I keep being told I need to write, more specifically write a book. Where to even begin!? It seems such a daunting process, but I understand having so much going through your head and the need to let it out.

I have kept busy designing digital scrapbook template kits, which has proved to be so successful. Never could I have imagined the business would do well. It has me wondering if I could ever support a full time job which was all about being creative. No 8-5 stuck in the office. Now that would be a dream come true.

Writing will be worked on, and I will share it here. I will get back to sharing my creative work. In fact, here is a layout of Keziah so you can see how much she has grown.

Created with Wild One by ForeverJoy Designs.

Created with Dandelion Days by ForeverJoy Designs.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Did I Just Have a Therapy Session with a Scrapbook Kit?

I was flipping through my scrapbook layouts this week and noticed 99% are happy. The 1% touch on serious events but they have a livable outcome. It seems I, and possibly quite a few others, only create pages of the pleasant moments in life. In all honestly, it makes sense. It is only the joyful moments most want to remember, and perhaps having enough layouts of those times help us forget the more challenging ones.

Why do we avoid the honest moments? The ones that hurt, leave scars and ultimately change us. Why are we afraid to commit bad days to a page? The days when we feel the world is against us and there is absolutely no end in sight? What is it we are afraid of?

For me, I want to forget those dark times. Maybe if I don't scrap them, they will go away. I tend to hold things in, internalize and let the sorrow grip me for days, even weeks. It is easy to go back to that harrowing place if I am reminded of it.

I did not realize how therapeutic the process of creating a layout of those times can be until I was faced with a kit all about those moments and it happened to come on a day when I felt like the weight of the world was just too heavy for my shoulders.

The creative team for Created by Jill Scraps was given "This Can't Be Happening" -- a collection Jill created when she was facing her own challenges. She put all she was feeling into her designs...just as an artist would paint his emotions onto a canvas. It is the exact same process. And it seems to have been a cathartic exercise for her. After all, she did tell us it was cheaper than therapy.

I remember opening the files and going through every single image. I avoided the words, I had no doubt I would melt from the emotional heat. I just absorbed all the visual pieces which seemed to hold a piece of every emotion Jill must have been feeling. The torn doily, the scribbled flower and smashed bottle cap brought tears to my eyes. It felt as if Jill's emotions shattered into hundreds of pieces, latched onto the elements and screamed at me. I recognized what I was seeing because I was feeling all these emotions in my own life.

The question then hit me: Could I actually use this kit and make an honest layout with it? Was I ready to put my feelings onto a layout? I didn't think I could do it. Then I got to the papers in the kit. And a whole new wave of emotions swept over me.

The tears came more freely. I saw...I felt more deeply looking at these images. I saw broken clouds, cracked asphalt and a hurricane of emotions. And I was okay with the tears. For the first time in my life, I was ready to scrap what I was experiencing.

The remaining kits only solidified what I was prepared to do. They provided the words when I could not figure out what to say. They provided the pieces I needed to express the secrets you could see in my eyes. I had just opened the door to the most effective therapy session I have experienced. And I needed it.

I created most of my layout before I went to bed that night. I was not ready to share it with anyone. Morning came and I opened the file. I felt different, perhaps my shoulders felt a bit lighter? I gave the page some touch ups and then I was ready to share it with the creative team. I was ready to share it with the artist who gave me the medium I needed to open up, let go and find some inner peace.

This is nowhere near a Picasso or Van Gough.. You will not see this in the Louvre or the Guggenheim. I don't care. It is my personal masterpiece. I was able to take all that was building up in me and put it on a layout. It may never be important to anyone but me. Perhaps it will stand as a reminder for me so when I ever feel low again, I might remember there is hope. It may be for my daughter and teach her she is not alone when she hits her breaking point. If it helps those I love (and those who might happen upon this post) then that is enough.

To answer the question I posed in the title: Yes, I did just have a therapy session with "This Can't Be Happening." I now understand why people are drawn to the art journal style of scrapbooking. I truly believe it is important to put your emotions and feelings onto a page. It truly is an experience of healing and moving on.

PS: This Can't Be Happening is also available in a bundle at both GingerScraps and GoDigitalScrapbooking. The bundle is $6.99.

PSS: It seems other members of the creative team had a similar journey. See what they created.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

This Week's Layouts and a Freebie

It has been quite a busy few weeks. I just launched a shop for my digital scrapbook business. You can now find my templates at GingerScraps under LissyKay Designs.

While my business work, templates and layouts will be on the LissyKay site, I will still share my personal layouts here because they are an account of my life and serve as a record of my experiences.

I had several kits to work with this week, which also were released in the respective shops. First up is the release from Created by Jill Scraps. Jill designed the Artistically Speaking collection for the February Buffet at GingerScraps. The kits are based on the look and texture of watercolors. The elements are a blend of traditional, mixed media and art journal. It is safe to say, there is something for every style of scrapper and enough for you to dabble in a medium you have been wanting to try. Here are the kits:

Artistically Speaking Kit 1, Kit 2, Alpha, Painted Papers, Solid Papers, Word Art, Scatters, Brush Smatters and Word Bits.

My first layout is a softer version of an art journal page. To create it I used brush strokes and painted on my digital canvas. I then took the paper from Kit 1 and clipped it to the paint images. I did the same thing for the photo, after I did some distressing and color changing. The photo is of Keziah, which is from a little photo shoot she and I did one day after school. She looked so pretty and I wanted to get some cute photos of her. I used images from that session on a few layouts this week. Here it is:

I also did a layout with Kit 2 and combined it with the new brush words and splatters from Penny Springmann. Penny offered the brush kits to the Scrap Packs creative team, and knowing I had Jill's art kit to work with, I could not resist combining the two. For this layout I used the three frames in Jill's kit. After stacking them on top of one another and turning them different directions, I had to place photo masks in each one. I only wanted to use the one photo but have the frames show different parts of the photo. That requires you to get your photo placed exactly where you need it, duplicate it so you have a total of four photos, then clip each one to their own mask. It makes for a neat effect.

My next kit to work with is I Heart Spring by Crossbone Cuts Designs. This kit is in the February 2014 Scrap Packs. This is the monthly collection available at Scrap Stacks for $5. Yes, I did just say 4 kits for $5. And the kits are all by well-known designers.

The photo is also from the Keziah photo shoot. She had a darling pose where she peeked around the tree in the yard. She has such a darling look on her face.

Here are the other kits in the February Scrap Pack:

ForeverJoy Designs released at Scrap Orchard Everyday Joy -- the perfect shabby kit to be used for any photo you want to share depicting happy moments in life. The kit contains plenty of flowers, words and vintage-esque pieces. I fall in love with every kit Renee releases...they are charming and make me feel so girlie. I always feel like I have taken a moment out of my Country Living life when I use her kits. Here is the kit:

My layout coordinates with other layouts I have created using photos from my cousins' photo shoot. Their mom, Kizzy, posted these beautiful photos on Facebook and I snatched them immediately knowing they would be perfect for layouts. Past layouts with these photos were done with the bright color kits from ForeverJoy. Since they matched the new release, I had to pull the next photo in the file out.

SuzyQ released a Valentine-themed kit, Be Mine, at Scrapbookgraphics. The collection is comprised of material to make both traditional scrapbook pages, as well as pocket pages. Without being an overtly Valentine kit, it is subtle and multi theme.

Here is the layout I created, with the same photo shoot images. Rather than crop and mat the photo, I used a large paint brush and create one stroke. With the rough edges, the photo was clipped to it and allowed to expand past the frame borders. It really does fill the page in an eye pleasing way.

One of the reasons I used the photos from the same shoot with different kits is to show the versatility of the kits. The color scheme in the photos is all the same, but they work with vastly different kits.

I do have one more layout with a Jill kit. The kit was released Friday. I did a separate post with my layout, but here is a look at the kit. Read the full post here.

So now to a free download. I used my layout from the Artistically Speaking collection to make a template. It is designed for an art look, but you can change it up to match whichever photos and kits you want to use. Here is the template:

Download Pain Studio Template

Please share your layouts with me. I love seeing what people create and how they make it their own. Stop by my design blog this weekend for more freebies and announcements. And visit my LissyKay Facebook page for even more free goodies.

Friday, January 24, 2014

My Project January & My Life Adventure (Freebie)

I know people like to see the goods first, so here is the kit I will be talking about. It is the new release, My Project January from Designs by Laura Burger. Perhaps a look first might make you excited to read the rest!

Scrapbook art and paper crafting have been an important part of my life for over 18 years. For me, I have loved the artistic side to this memory-keeping process. And I will admit, I sometimes would spend days on one layout because I needed every part of it to be perfect.

After I started digital scrapbooking, I kept hearing people talk about Project Life, Life 365, Project 52...the names were many and I had no clue what they were talking about. I quietly asked a friend and when she told me what it was, I felt like I opened a big can of worms. This was not a kit or a tutorial. This was a whole new way to make layouts and it really becomes a way of life with the amount of work and awareness these projects take. If you know what I am talking about, you can skip this paragraph. If you have no clue what this all means, let me explain.

Once upon a time, a very talented and well-known scrapper trademarked Project Life. It is about getting back to the basics of memory keeping and capturing real life. Some people choose to scrapbook about every day of the year (Project 365), while others focus on weekly layouts (Project 52.) For me, it will be whatever I have time to do, but I have committed to capturing what happens throughout the month: Family adventures, special moments, mishaps and every day life.

 Designs by Laura Burger is making this process easier for me. Really, she is making this easy for anyone wanting to do a Life scrapbook. She will release a new kit each month for you to do your Life pages. It is not just for digital scrappers. If you paper scrap, print the pieces out you need. (It is quite an economical way to make pages because you print what you need and can reuse any piece you want.)

I used My Project January to create a layout for the first week of 2014. It was fun because I was acutely aware of what my family was up to! Not to mention, it made me more organized as I kept track of what I was doing. And it also forced me to get the journal out and stay on top of writing. Here is my layout.

Something I decided to do was create my own grid-like page. I wanted it to feel like I was using pocket page protectors. I started with the cards in Laura's kit. I placed those on the page along with my photos. From there, I made boxes of where I could add paper pieces or elements. Once I had it all positioned, I duplicated the page and clipped a white box onto every object. Everything is spaced at 1/4 inch.  Then I merged the whole paged together. Using my magic wand, I selected all the white boxes and deleted them. I was left with a page frame and a hole for every piece on my layout. After that, I simply placed the frame on top of my original page, added a shadow and now I had a finished look.

Every month I will share my pages and Laura's latest kit. I will keep them on their own page, which you can find on the top navigation bar. More pages will be added, but I will make sure I do a new blog post once a month to share what I did with the newest Designs by Laura Burger My Project... kit. I will also give you the template I created so you can use it for your own project. If you decide you rather not use the frame, you simply turn the layer off or don't use it if you are using the PNG files. Here is this month's template:
Download LKD My Story January

Enjoy and good luck with your Life pages. If you have questions about using the template, leave a comment or email me.

You can see the different ways Laura's creative team used the kit by visiting the Designs by Laura Burger gallery at Pickleberry Pop. You will see both Life pages, as well as how to use the kit for regular scrapbook layouts.

Keep up with Laura by visiting the Designs by Laura blog, Facebook page, Pinterest page, Scrap Stacks and most importantly her shop. And take a moment to sign up for her newsletter so you can stay up to date on product, sales and the occasional goodies from Laura.