Friday, September 21, 2012

It's all in the timing

I have a lot of scrapbook supplies. A lot. The oldest supplies probably date back 12 years ago. I went on a scrapbooking hiatus after having my kids and then I switched to digital scrapbooking. When I'd look at my stash I'd feel guilty. Loads of guilt. I'd see dollar signs just sitting there unused in boxes. When I switched to digital scrapbooking, I felt I'd abandoned my pretty paper supplies and didn't know if I'd ever return to them. Then in early 2012 I decided I wanted to try Project Life. I still enjoy digital scrapbooking but I wanted a way to document everyday with little mementos and notes, without thinking about an entire 12x12 layout. I haven't had much time this past year to dedicate to it but I'm starting to take the time for a variety of reasons.

1. I need it. I really, really need it. Project Life allows me to recognize the blessings in my life. To be grateful. It allows me to process my days, and to work through any negative emotions I have. Life can be overwhelming for me. I'm overly sensitive and let unnecessary things affect me. Project Life is very good at helping me to focus on what is important.

2. Being creative helps me. Although, I have design work that is plenty creative and needs more of my attention, I like to be creative with something that has no pressure attached to it. So I put in five minutes here and there to work on my Project Life. Design work is a big chunk of time I carve out specifically to be productive. Lately, I've been struggling to get things done. It is amazing how one small thing lacking in your body can throw off everything. I have been suffering dizzy spells, exhaustion, vertigo, aches, and irritability to an extreme I've never felt before. It appears to be just a deficiency that can be fixed in the next few months with supplements. Hopefully, it is nothing more.

3.  Grounded.  Project Life keeps me from floating away when I feel other parts of my life are a little out of control. You should have seen the pile of laundry I had the other day. Yikes! My biggest goals lately have been to ensure my kids are happy & healthy, that I get some rest, and that my daughter adjusts well to school, as well as my getting used to our new routine. So far, so good! So, I'm trying not to let it get to me that my yard is growing wild, my house has cobwebs, and that clutter has been getting a little too comfortable in its little piles around my home. Stuff will wait. It surely will.

4. Improvement. Finally, I am embracing Project Life as a challenge to learn how scrapbookers use product. I think using supplies in different ways (many out of my own comfort zone) will make me a better designer.

Now to the reason I'm writing this blog post. Timing. Timing is everything. I'd stare at those unused supplies over the past few years with that guilty feeling. One of the items that bothered me the most was a book I'd treated myself to several years ago. It is a book called Love Your Handwriting by Heidi Swapp. I came across it yesterday when I was attempting to organize some baskets. I had to laugh when I realized the book was written by Heidi Swapp. I hadn't remembered that. I bought the book because I do not like my handwriting. I never took the time to use the workbook and I always regretted it. Just yesterday I had been cursing my handwriting on my Project Life pages. I want to use my own writing but it looks so bad. Finding this book again was perfectly timed. I spent half an hour reading it last night and already I'm seeing an improvement on my pages. I was also having a hard time finding a good black marker for my journaling. The book comes with a pencil, a marker, a ruler, and eraser. It felt like Christmas! The Zig brand marker is perfect. The eraser removed the pencil lines without damaging the paper. Exactly what I was needing.

What gave me the final laugh? The intro of the book is written by none other than Becky Higgins. This book was written before Becky began Project Life. Who knew they'd all be such players on my scrapbooking stage in 2012? The universe was just waiting for our worlds to collide. Ha! Some things really are about the timing. Patience and trust are needed. Things will happen. Just keep plugging along at life as best you can and things will come together as they should. That was my happy realization last night.

Next post... maybe I'll finally get around to writing about CHA Summer 2012 and my paper release Alphabet Junction at Carta Bella Paper.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Everyday moments...

Ok, this was actually written in my journal yesterday but it is my blog post for today.

Today is my birthday. My husband let me sleep in. He thought our daughter had joined me to sleep too. What he didn't realize was that she was happily playing with her Strawberry Shortcake dolls and waking me up occasionally to help her dress a doll, or to paint my face with a dry paintbrush. I was staying in bed because I had been told that I wasn't to go downstairs. I thought this was all part of the plan. Then the phone rang and my husband came into the room. He was surprised to see us busy at play. He took our daughter downstairs and then they returned with breakfast on a tray. I'm not sure I've ever been served breakfast in bed before. Such a treat! My son helped himself to the bowl of blueberries as I ate. I gave my son and my daughter a slice of the raisin toast.

Afterwards they presented me with a big box. Inside was a garden gnome water gauge and a gnome planter. Gnome, sweet gnome! They had decorated the kitchen with balloons. My daughter insisted we were both birthday girls. My son decided he must be the birthday boy. I don't mind sharing my special day.

I had a bad headache and went back to bed for a 20 minute nap that ended up lasting hours. When I woke up, I joined everyone in the backyard. My husband was washing our window screens. A task I usually perform. That was definitely the birthday highlight for me. I got out the video camera to record the kids playing in the backyard. My son was doing something very cute. As always, when I press record, the action stops. This is why I don't use our video camera often enough. I usually miss the moment. It is sometimes better to just watch the cuteness and try to burn it into my memory before the moment passes. I began recording and my daughter was goofing for the camera. I made a comment to my husband that I had missed the special moment I had hoped to record. That is when my husband made a comment, unknowingly revealing my "lesson" for the day.

He said "the lesson here is that these are the special moments. The reality is that there are really special moments that never get documented. But the everyday, the not so special moments... those are special too because you live most of your life in the everyday". So, let me enjoy witnessing cuteness that doesn't make it onto film, and to embrace the less than perfect moments, like when my daughter makes "poopy" talk on camera. This is all part of life that is happening now. Life that is fleeting. Life that is ordinary and treasured forever.

A digiland void...

I miss Nancie and Lynne-Marie. There I said it. Digiland just isn't the same without them.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Pita Pizza Recipe

So, I tried a new recipe today. I had some pita to use up and decided pizza would be yummy. This is what I did:

makes enough for 2 adults, a distracted preschooler, and not-so-hungry teething toddler.

Heat oven to 425F.

a bit of oil (optional)
2 large whole wheat Pita
2 cups mozzarella (I love the stuff)
1/2 cup any pasta/tomato sauce
toppings (I used black olives, sliced mushrooms, pineapple, and corn... yup, corn, hey I lived in Japan and they know what they're doing when it comes to food)

1. I sliced into the pitas and evenly dispersed a handful of mozzarella cheese into each. This was my stroke of genius thought I had while driving today and I do think it made the pizza a lovely consistency, even though you won't necessarily notice the cheese itself. Try this step... I urge you.

2. Sprinkle some olive oil and baste it over the pita. Will give a bit of crunch and flavour to the crust.

3. Ladle 1/4 cup of sauce over each pita. Make sure to leave an inch or so of crust around the edges. Add the remaining mozzarella cheese over each pita.

4. Add your toppings. Use your imagination... what is in your fridge?

5. Bake for 10 minutes at 425F.


Sorry, I don't have a photo... I got hungry and the pizza disappeared before I could find a camera.

Small Victories

Today is a windy, chilly, wish-I-could-stay-in-bed-all-day-kinda-day. The kids are getting a little stir crazy. I'm getting a little tense. So, I got up the nerve to take us on a little outing. You would think it wouldn't take nerve to go for a drive. Well, the truth is that I suffer from some anxiety when it comes to driving. I avoid it if I can. Did you know that about me? I keep my drives as short and local as possible.  I stew days before going for long road trips on the highway. I get rattled driving into busy sections of the city. I just don't bother unless I have to. I mostly drive to get to the library, my daughter's dance class, medical appointments,  grocery shopping, and anything that doesn't get too far into town.

Recently, I found out that there is a scrapbook store in the area. They even carry Carta Bella Paper! I heard it about the store recently and was surprised I hadn't known about it. It is actually a wholesaler with a retail store attached. They sell to retailers across the nation. I've been living in this city for four years and I truly thought there were no scrapbook stores to be found. I thought I'd have to Montreal to see my paper when it comes to stores.

So, I've been itching to check this store out. I decided today would be a good day. I wrote down the directions and was pleasantly surprised to find out the route was very direct and not overly full of traffic. I got the kids all ready. Nyal was in need of socks and Lauren was wearing a fairy dress that would leave her chilly. She ended up with a long sleeved dress with decidedly mismatched socks to wear. Pippylongstocking was her goal. I myself, was stylin' in my green sweats, pink hoodie, and red converse. We got in the car and off we went. The highlight of the drive was looking over to see a car with its tailgate up, parked at the entrance of a hiking trail. There stood a man playing his saxophone, clearly very into it the way he was bent over. He reminded me of Bill Clinton.

We entered the store and I was so excited. All the lovely brand names I drool over in magazines. All the stuff I thought I'd have to buy online or drive hours to purchase. Yippee! The store clerk was extra friendly and asked my kids to be her helpers and help her make a craft. Thank you!!! My daughter was thrilled. My son preferred to touch all the beads. When I told him "eyes only, no touching" he decided maybe he'd just like to be carried around. Sleepy boy! So, we checked out the selection. Carta Bella's Beautiful Moments by Carina Gardner wasn't on the shelves. I asked the clerk and she said it was in the warehouse as they give priority to wholesale and stuff trickles into the retail store afterward. I told her why I wanted to see it and she brought out a sample paper for me to look at. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! I really wanted to feel the texture of the paper. I made some purchases and we headed home. The kids listened to "Go, Dog, Go" and were happily occupied while my mind wandered to supper preparation. I have my best ideas when I'm preoccupied with a mundane task. I'm making pita bread pizzas and I had this total brainwave of an idea to slip mozzarella into the pocket of the pita before putting on the toppings. Cross your fingers that it works!

I think I'll be revisiting the store again, sooner than later!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

50% off retirement sale at CatScrap!!!

Hi all,

I can't believe I haven't mentioned this yet. I am retiring from MellyBird Designs and my stop at CatScrap. My designs are 50% off until the end of May. Be sure to pick up anything before then! Thank you for your continued support. I will still post on this blog as I am still designing.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

... and I want the WHOLE world to know it!!!

Isn't it great when you can finally share something that has been "hush, hush" for so long? Today is THAT day for me. What's the news you say? BIG news... get ready, WAIT, are you a scrapbooker? If not, you probably won't recognize this news as being as ginormous as it is. If you are a scrapbooker, then feel free to jump with joy along with me. Echo Park announced today that they have started a sister company called Carta Bella. Whoohoo, more eye candy for the world to share!

Now why am I personally so excited? Well, I am blessed to be one of their designers! Not even kidding, it's true :) It has been months and months in the making and I'm still pinching myself. Carina Gardner is the Creative Director (I am constantly amazed by Carina's talent, vision, and productivity). The other designers include Deena Rutter (I still drool over her designs) and Samantha Walker (she's an Illustrator wizard, I tell ya!). The Director of Sales is Lindsay Moore. Now I'm kind of new to the whole business side of the paper scrapbooking world. Lately, I've been watching Youtube videos of CHA January 2012. I was watching a segment recently where Lindsay was being interviewed. His personality made me smile. So imagine my surprise and delight when I found out that he is part of Carta Bella. It is a Small, Small World!

Please check out the Carta Bella website and blog. Be sure to "like" it on Facebook and follow along on twitter.... contests are a-brewing and you don't want to miss your chance!

In the next few months, you'll start to see my work on the Carta Bella site... stay tuned.

I can't wait to share this journey with you!!! As always, thanks for reading :)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Inspired to Create?

I've been insanely busy the past while so it took some time to finish up my newest kit. I had the pleasure and honour of collaborating with Re Kneipp of The Hidden Heart. I can't get over how talented, skilled, and productive he is at such a young age. We designed an art themed kit all about creativity and inspiration. I hope it will inspire you as well. For the next few days it is 20% off in my shop. It will debut in Re's shop on Thursday.

Inspired to Create: 

Sample Layouts
by Mrs. Hobbes

by Me
Happy Creating!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Go Fly a Kite!

Let me start off by saying that I love balmy breezy days. Add a little humidity to my day and my mood is sure to be just that much more serene. Today's balminess reminded me of rainy season in Japan. I kept waiting for the rain to fall but so far it hasn't.

The kids and I headed off to the park with our new Easter kites in hand. I didn't take my camera because I know how easy it can be to get caught up in capturing an event rather than just living in the moment and enjoying it. However, halfway to the park I knew I'd missed a lovely photo opportunity. The light was perfect and Lauren was exceptionally cute in her pink tutu and pink corduroy jacket. To me, kites have always been fun but difficult to maneuver. I didn't have high hopes for our success. I was SO wrong! Lauren had her kite flying in seconds. She ran up the hill and then ran back into the middle of the field. I helped Nyal get his flying and he did it! I was amazed but not as much as he was. He was so overflowing with Joy. Jumping for joy! All the while I was thinking "oh, WHY didn't I bring my camera and video camera? Why oh why?" and then tried to just soak it all in anyway. After quite a while, I told them we'd go home and get the cameras and come back for more kite flying. They agreed. Yay!

Well, it is my belief that some moments just aren't meant to be captured. We returned to the park. The wind had died down a bit so Lauren was having trouble getting a lift for her kite. While I helped Nyal he decided he wasn't really into kite flying anymore. Then I got both their kites up in the air as they landed into a pine tree. I managed to free both kites. I started to take a few photos just as my battery died. So I took some quick video as the wind died down. Mostly I filmed Lauren trying to detangle the string wrapped around her legs. Nyal found the sand toys in the wagon and ventured towards the play equipment surrounded by sand. So, we built a castle and came home for some lunch.

I hope I remember this morning always.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Delight is right!

Lately I have had so much on my mind, so much I want to say and yet I just don't have time to sit down and write it out. Who does, right? Yet sometimes getting it all helps you sort through the chaos.

My life has been so busy I haven't been able to.... finish this sentence, apparently. This screen has been left open for over 24 hours. Guess I didn't get back to it. I wonder what the planned ending to the sentence was going to be. I've long forgotten.

I've been a bit overwhelmed the past few days as I try to organize my life. The best thing I've done in the past two days is to go in our backyard. My daughter could hunt for worms to her heart's delight and my son could put 100% of his concentration into the sand table while I raked, and trimmed, and pulled out tree stumps with my bare hands. Ok, I was wearing gloves. Being outside and accomplishing a task felt so good. My kids were happily occupied, my mind was free to think, my body was getting exercise, and things were getting done.

Yesterday afternoon (when I originally started this post) I was organizing my closet, my kid's rooms, and my craft room. I needed to prepare my son's room for his big boy bed. So, one small task turned into several larger tasks. My son loved his bed and slept soundly while I sat in the next room weeping over the passing of time and my babies no longer being babies. Ok, I wasn't weeping but I have been nostalgic. How quickly things change! It seems strange to me that I don't need a crib in the house. I waited so long to have babies and now suddenly I'm past that stage?

So, while the kids were happily playing in my daughter's room, I was organizing, keeping, purging, and sorting through boxes of stuff I've collected over the years. I'm sticking the usuable pieces of ephemera into my Project Life page protectors to use at a later date. I came across a stack of 12x12 scrapbook paper. Very exciting to sort through... my version of being in a candy store. I've felt so guilty these past three years knowing I have all this wonderful paper product and no project for it. I found this one paper that has 12 journal cards on one page. I didn't think I had anything like that since most of my supplies predate Project Life. When I was admiring/drooling over the paper I was delighted to see it was designed by none other than Nancie Rowe Janitz! You all know how much I like to blog about her (sometimes on my other blog: The paper is called Delight Cards from her Delight line at Fancy Pants Designs. It is from 2009. So, I was excited before to find something so pretty to use in my Project Life but now it has even more significance.

Thinking about the events happening in my life right now has caused me to reflect on how I got here. I've been paper scrapbooking since 2000. I wanted to make my sister an engagement album. Then I started up my own online scrapbook store. I didn't have the time, energy, or know-how to keep it going. I didn't have a huge amount of my own supplies as money wasn't exactly flowing in my lean years. I mostly drooled over what I saw in stores or in magazines. In 2006 I got married and was able to buy supplies and actually dedicate time to crafting. It was also that year that I made my first digital pages. I wasn't totally sold on going digital as I liked to work with my hands, I spent all day at a computer and had no desire to spend my nights there too, and I liked the tactile finished project.

Then I had babies. When my daughter was around 6 months old I began making layouts again. Everything took so long and I was worried about her getting into the supplies. I treated myself to an online course (25 days of templates I think it was called... by Tiffany Tillman at I had planned to use her templates to make paper pages but somehow the whole "going digital" thing clicked in and there was no going back. I spent the whole next year trying to master digital scrapbooking. Tiffany's courses really gave me the education I needed. Then I joined a couple creative teams. The whole time I knew I'd want to design my own products too.

I was thrilled to find my passion in digital scrapbooking. I could create so many layouts in much less time and with no mess to clean up. I liked the end result. I was pleased to see that using quality digital supplies and learning techniques like shadowing made for beautifully printed pages (which I print at Persnickety Prints, by the way). I loved that I was quickly building my collection of memories. Photos were getting used, journaling was getting written down, and revisions could easily be made.

And yet, I felt so guilty. All my beautiful stash of paper products were sitting in drawers and bins just itching to be used. "use me, use me" they whispered to me when I entered my craft room. "Someday, someday" I'd sigh.

Then, a bit late to the game, I discovered Project Life by Becky Higgins. Oh, the beauty of page protectors. I LOVE this concept. One thing I didn't like about digital is that I can't add my ephemera to a page. Sure, I can scan it in and sometimes that is enough.  Other times I just really want to add that drawing or ticket stub. Or I just want a little event to be documented without making it the focal point of an entire page. So, I bought page protectors. As pretty as the complete collection of journal cards (and all that is included in her kits) are I don't need them. I WANT to use up my stash of existing supplies. The mere thought of using up my supplies thrills me.

I plan to use Project Life in three ways... I think. 1. I plan to do all my travel albums in this way. I have bins of ephemera and little notes, and photos about trips I've taken. All just waiting to be scrapbooked. 2. My actual present life. That will be done in the way that most people consider to be Project Life. 3. Past stuff as I find the time. I've been sorting through boxes of stuff I've saved over the years. Most of it can be thrown out. The rest I hope to use in my album.

So, I THINK I've found my scrapbooking style. The style that will allow me to effectively keep memories. My style is 1. Project Life, and 2. Digital. Sometimes I will still need to make a full 12x12 layout. Whether it is just a creative desire, or a matter of composition, I know I'll still scrapbook digitally. The rest of the time, I'll use my project life method. I realize there are lots of digital versions of Project Life. I might use them a bit but the main point of my using PL is to use real life stuff, so there isn't a whole lot of reason for me to do it digitally. However, I do plan to use the computer to make my own journal cards, or other designer's versions, or to print out journaling. And of course to edit my photos.

I've yet to actually finish a Project Life page. I'm working on it... I will find the time. Just not yet.

So, I am fascinated right now by my coming full circle from paper, to digital, and back to paper. If I hadn't made that choice to sign up for Tiffany's class I would not have had the experiences, and met the friends, and made the connections to bring me where my life is now leading. In going digital, I joined creative teams, learned new skills, became a digital designer, and am now embarking on the dream I had when I first started paper scrapbooking. I'll tell you about the fulfillment of that dream in a couple of weeks.

Thanks for reading! Enjoy your day! :)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Updates, updates. Updating....

I would like to go to bed. My computer is updating. A very slow update apparently. Hopefully, it is one that will allow me to actually print my photos! A night of headaches I've had! Now I remember why I detest home printers.

So, while I wait for the update to finish (I'm worried if I go to bed I'll wake up to find it stalled or some such nonsense) I've decided to do a little updating of my own.

I couldn't decide whether to post on my "other" blog, or this design blog. I rarely blog and having two blogs is getting a little confusing for me. 

A LOT has been going on in my little world. Much of it I'm not quite ready to share with the world. It's all very exciting and new to me. So stay tuned for that news in the next few months.

I haven't had a lot of releases in the past month or so. I've got half finished stuff sitting here on my hard drive. I just need to get it all together and packaged up. I'm also working on a collab with someone and it should be really exciting. I've had trouble getting the work done as I'm really tired these days.  Maybe because I stay up waiting for software updates to complete.

Let's see... what has been going on? In February, I went to Utah for Carina Gardner's Designer Workshop. She wrote up a blog post about it and I'm in some of the photos (yay!). A couple days before the workshop I found out another designer from CatScrap would be attending. That blew my mind! Of all people, it was Christine Chodil. I'd collaborated with her on "Go To Bed". She is one of the people I always figured I'd meet but had no idea it would be so soon. It was great to meet her. She's very sweet, funny, and our lives have some parallels. I was very nervous to attend the workshop. For one, I rarely leave my kids and had never left my son before. This was a BIG deal for me. I knew the kids were in good hands with their Daddy and his parents but I missed them and worried none the less. I was also greatly intimidated to hear about the other attendees. Heidi Swapp? Are you kidding me? Deena Rutter? Really? I still drool over her "Happier" line. Lori Whitlock and Samantha Walker, the lovely ladies whose designs I download from the Silhouette website? My heart beat just a wee bit faster. Most of all I was very anxious as I navigated my worries and dreams of being in the design industry (my CatScrap career started just 11 months ago). What does the future hold as I start down this exciting and prettily decorated path? Meeting Carina and her assistant Susan in person was something that seemed very surreal to me. Living where I do, the superstars of the Scrapbook world shine brightly but in the far distance. I never had access to conferences and megacrops or wherever all these people gather. So, yes, it's pretty clear this weekend workshop was definitely an item on my wish list of things to do in my life. It went really well and I enjoyed myself. My only regret is not enjoying myself more. I let my worries and anxiety get to me. By the end of the workshop I finally was able to relax a bit. I guess I needed one more day! Oh, and a shout out to the Little America Hotel's swimming pool. It is my all-time favourite hotel pool to date. An outdoor swim surrounded by mountains as the sun rose. Seriously, that was unforgettable!

My husband went away on business to the Netherlands for 10 days at the end of February.  So, by his return I was really missing the company of people older than three. Then I was busy planning two birthdays (one with a party) and figuring out how to make a unicorn piñata. I did a pretty good job if I do say so myself! (I will add photos to this post tomorrow maybe) Then the flu struck. A birthday party was delayed but we got through it all and still managed to have fun the next week. Soon after, Spring arrived extra early and we enjoyed a week of summer weather. I raked, played at the park, and cut down trees with my bare hands... seriously, I wrestled a few trees out of their holes. I did! This week, the cold has returned and I am just tired. I'm also really itching to finish (more like start) the collab I'm currently working on; starting up my Project Life (finally!); work on some craft/home decor projects and just take a moment to reflect on how exciting this past year has been. I and a little sleep.

Ok, I'm going to bed! I hope this was coherent.

Night night!

Friday, January 27, 2012

A return to the Catwalk!!! Introducing La Belle Époque

Today at CatScrap, the Winter Catwalk was unveiled. It's one of four times a year, when the CatScrap designers strut their stuff on the catwalk. We all share a colour palette and then create to our heart's delight. The theme doesn't matter as long as the colours are the same. Then, our lovely customers (hopefully, that is you!) can use the various kits all together without worrying about if they match.

My kit is called La Belle Époque. It is filled with nostalgia, vintage-y goodness, with a Parisian flair. I went to Paris on my honeymoon so this was like strolling down memory lane.

Here is what the kit looks like. Accompanying it is a layout I did using it along with some other Catwalk kits, and gorgeous layouts from the CatScrap creative team. Thank you ladies!!!

Layouts from the talented CatScrap creative team (a couple use more than just my kit but all materials are from the Catwalk):

Have a 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Happy January!!!

It seems a little late to wish everyone a Happy New Year! It just draws one's attention to my lack of blogging. Oops, I just pointed it out. What can I say, I'm honest. I wear my heart on my sleeve. I don't know when to keep my mouth closed. I just keep talking. You know what I mean?

Life is outta control! In fact, as I sit her pondering my life, I was oblivious to the fact that I am wearing a children's toy stethoscope around my neck. I didn't even notice my daughter put it there. She announced moments ago that she was a Doctor of a nurse and two cats. Somewhere after that I got lost in thought. Now my husband is going to take the kids to the kitchen for their snack of peaches which I have left on the counter. My "me" time begins... from now until storytime... so I'd better type quickly.

My husband got me an iPod Touch for Christmas. I love it but we had both wrongly expected the camera to be high-resolution. Very disappointing! However, it hasn't stopped me from my photo taking obsession. Well, maybe obsession is too strong of a word. I have some great apps and I love getting to know them better. We're becoming fast friends.

Even though my photos' quality is cruddy at best, I still love to take photos of everything and anything. Most photos involve my children playing, or what I'm cooking in my kitchen. Why? Well, that's mostly what happens around here during the day. So, don't go looking for my photos if you're looking for excitement! Unless megablocks and soup are your thing.

I want to take part in Project Life but it's a little beyond me at the moment. I might start it in a month or two when I have some page protectors, and feel more settled with my calendar. In the meantime, I still document my life. How?

I use my iPhone camera (or the Camera+ app) and take a photo. Then I use the Phonto app to write a caption on my photo (I don't always do this but it is pretty addictive). Then I import it into the Instagram app where I add an eye pleasing filter and upload to Instagram. I usually email it to myself and post on facebook and/or twitter (or I plan to at some point). Finally, I upload it to my Photo365 app. This is a handy dandy little tool. I add a photo to each day and at the end of the year I have a captured moment for my 366 (this is a leap year) days! So far I'm actually using it. Easy Peasy, lemon squeezy!

Deadlines. I've got lots of deadlines. I've been rather stressed lately as I navigate this career path I've chosen. I'm having trouble being a mother and staying awake long enough to be anything else. Yet, I am really passionate about design so I will find a way to get everything done. I will!!!

Trips. I'm taking one very soon... flying solo. It is really exciting but I'm anxious about leaving my little ones. I went away for a weekend once with my husband when my daughter was 14 months old. My parents babysat. I was away from my daughter for a couple days when my son was born. I haven't been away from them since. I will be away for three nights/four days! I'm sure it will all be fine but I have mixed feelings about it anyway. Of course, I would be lying if I didn't say I am excited to have some time just for myself.

Weight. This is the year I'm going to get rid of the extra weight I put on with having children. I'm determined I'm going to wear my old jeans again. I have no wish to run a marathon, or become skinny. Just wanna wear my regular ole jeans.

Projects. I have oodles of them. This year I want to actually get some of them done. I want to paint the front door; fix and paint our kitchen table and chairs; maybe paint and accessorize our first floor bathroom; put up more photos and wall art; create some wall art; and try some crafts I've been too intimidated to try before.

Print. I did it! I ordered ALL my scrapbook 12x12 layouts from Persnickety Prints. I've been meaning to do this for over a year. I am so excited to see them! I won't tell you how many there are... it is a lot. I'll have to let you know how they turned out. I did some research last year and determined PP would be the best place to try out. Since then I've heard only wonderful things, and then a coupon came across my desktop and I knew it was time.

Catwalk. For those of you familiar with CatScrap, where I sell my digital designs, you have probably experienced a Catwalk or two. Every season, the CatScrap designers pick a colour palette and create coordinating kits. The theme can differ greatly but the colours match. Last night I made a layout using product from four designers and everything matches! Stay tuned for Friday's post where I reveal my kit, and the layout I made.

That's all for now! My next post: Catwalk. The post after that... probably about Nancie Rowe Janitz. Why? Well, why not? :)