Thursday, May 30, 2013

Time to get Trendy!

I am excited to share that I'm a guest designer for this year's "Let's Get Trendy" workshop series put together by Amy Tsuruta, Julie Tucker- Wolek and Yvonne Yam.

There are 32 unique projects lined up to inspire you to get trendy on your scrapbooking.

The list of collaborators is really diverse:
Alice WertzAngi BarrsAshley HortonChantal VandenbergErum TasneemHelen TilburyJinny NewlinKeren TamirKirsty VittetoeLauren BergoldLaurie LaRiviereMiae RoweMichelle HernandezShahrul NizaUjjwal Gupta and Virginia Lu

Sign up to win the fun rak pictures below

P/s: You can also  join along on the Lets' Get Trendy Now! 3 Facebook Page!

The trend I made a page for is up first- see you Monday!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Life happens. So does change.

Happy Memorial Day folks.

The next couple of weeks I will be packing and steeling myself for a major lifestyle change.
We are moving to Salt Lake City, Utah

I always add those last three words because I'm still holding on to the wild hope that we will return to Brooklyn if I can somehow find a full time job with medical benefits.

Leaving New York is a huge scary leap.
I've never "lived" anywhere else.
College doesn't count because I spent all my spare weekends "back home".
ACK! No Metropolitan Museum of Art
Salt Lake City is beautiful but I have never felt more "at home" than here in Williamsburg...
Never mind that both the "hipster" and the "hip hop" crowds agree I'm a big old nerd.
I don't even qualify for "geek".
Geeks rule this place.
I should have studied software engeneering in college.
Says the grown assed woman who can't add, subtract or multiply fractions.

We are not giving up the apartment.
How do you know you are talking to a true New Yorker?
The question, "Are you giving up the apartment?" is ALWAYS the second thing New Yorkers ask.
Right after, "SALT LAKE CITY? Why???" 

I always say "Salt Lake City has an actual job market."
And affordable housing.
By "affordable" I mean rents that aren't 3,000 a month for 500 square feet with a window that faces a brick wall or a rat infested alley... next to the elevated train (just like in "Blues Brothers".)
No BRIC Arts concerts by the water with the Freedom Tower shinning bright.
So off to Salt Lake we go.
I will miss Finnabair's class over at Little Bird Creations in July. (AAIIIEEEE!)
I won't be here to meet the Mariposa Collective (ya'll better keep meeting without me OR ELSE!)
If you are visiting between mid June to late August I won't be able to meet you.
Just when I think I'm done crying, I burst into tears again.
Dude! Get. a. grip!

I must admit those are not primary concerns.
Having a stable economic outlook and a good home for the little one is.
Awesome pluses?
I'm excited about those.
And thankfully Salt Lake City has a decent dinosaur Museum for Lola to live in.
No Brooklyn Botanical Garden.
Worst of all- no easy access to Abuela.

Keeping my fingers crossed I can substitute Einstein and Co bagels for Bagelsmith.
I don't know WHAT I'm going to do about pizza.
I might even lose weight.

I was telling my husband I should open a brick over pizza place and call it Brooklyn's Best. 
I'd have photos from "The Godfather" and "Do The Right Thing" on the walls.
I'd stage poetry and short story slams and have local crafter's work installed on the walls....
Dreaming that makes me happy.
We'll see.

A page:
All about that textured Scrap FX cityscape chipboard frame in this Scrap FX blog post:
Moving past "mistakes" in your scrapbooking.
Swing by the Scrap FX blog and check out what the design team has made with this month's release.
Favorite things right now:
Scrap FX Hash corner chipboard design model #2013079
A Flair For Buttons "Love It" button (use code happybday49 for free shipping this weekend)
My Mind's Eye enamel dots Kate & Co collection
Basic Grey Life of the Party woodgrain paper
Basic Grey Vellum sticker strips
Have a great weekend- try not to freeze in the freakishly cold weather!


Friday, May 24, 2013

Friday Inspiration- Getting Modern at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Happy friday folks!

This week my family has been on a New York City whirlwind adventure.
Yesterday we visited The Metropolitan Museum's' modern art wing and stumbled upon the AWESOMEST exhibit EVER!

Seriously if you are in town this is THE exhibit to go see.
Wonderfully inspiring and totally edgy.
The galleries alone are worth a walk through- never mind the fantastic couture by big names like Alexander McQueen.
I wish I had dared to take some photos but it's not allowed- I was scared we would get thrown out.

After you check THAT out PLEASE make your way over to The Brooklyn Museum for

Ghanaian artists El Anatsui makes huge and gorgeously woven wall hangings out of scrap metal, plastic and wood.
Traditional and wonderfully cutting edge all at once, this exhibit is at the Brooklyn Museum till August 4th.

Here are the pix from our trip to the Met:

"Alquimia XIII" by Olga De Amaral
Linen, rice paper, gesso and gold leaf- WOW!!!
Sorry for the crappy iPod photo- I was running through the gallery trying
to keep Lola from attacking the art.

Georgia O'Keeffe for some neon color combo inspiration.

El Anatsui at The Met- see how big his works are?
I's so wonderful to walk right up and see how he weaved the elements together.

Jasper Johns- monochrome inspiration- I HAVE to try encaustic painting at some point.
I'm sorry- I was too rushed and didn't get info on this but isn't it awesome!!!
Jackson Pollock- I just love the ENERGY in his work.

Before I forget!
Swing by the store and pick up all the gorgeous flair buttons you've been considering.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Hot Topic! Scrapping the hard stuff and my second stint on Paper Clipping Roundtable.


I've had a few hours to review what I said during my second Paper Clipping Round Table discussion.
I still can't believe I was actually in a conversation with Shimelle and Dina Wakely.
It was incredibly inspiring.

Both were very eloquent about layering techniques and general scrapbook issues.

My honest answer to many technical questions: I do that because it looks wrong to me if I don't.
Not very helpful.
So I tried to sound deep and introspective and got myself into a mess of double speak and nonsense.

Swing by and give it a listen when you have time this week: 

It's strangely difficult to give a coherent answer when you are talking to a group via  headset.
I kept pausing and wishing I could see everyone's faces.
That's how I gauge if someone is listening and without it I tend to yap on and on and say things I don't really mean.

Like when I said I don't journal in my scrap pages too much because I want the photo to tell the story.

That may be true for some pages but most of my work has journaling.
I don't get too wordy (for once- HA!) but I do answer the basics- who, what, when, where and how.
I made this page right after we talked. The conversation really made me sit down and think
about what I like to do in my page and this came together super duper quickly.
I then got into a whole thing about Lola tripping and cutting her forehead on Mother's Day.
I felt I had to give a some background for my viewpoint which was strangely controversial- something I didn't expect.
I made a big deal about saying it happened at Joann's- it isn't.
I just didn't want to distract from the issue at hand so naturally I handled it in the most distracting way possible. DOH!

Please forgive my incoherent blather. 
I was trying to illustrate how Project Life or scrapbooking in general can be difficult but good when your life takes a turn for the negative.

Shimelle's view point was that she would rather stick with the happy stories in her scrapping.
I TOTALLY get that- life is too short to belabor the negative.
Dina said she would art journal the heck out of a negative life experience.
I get that too but I prefer not to separate my crafting into different genres because it takes longer for me to get organized.

I wanted the regular PRT listener who maybe hasn't read this blog to understand that I think there should be no secrets within a family.
I can take it even further and say I think personal scrap blogs should also be open about any issue the writer feels strongly about.
As long at the writer understands there are repercussions for speaking openly and remains respectful of the reader in general.

I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth but my parents did a great job bringing us up safely in the South Bronx.
We talked about everything.
They have very specific and clear rules about what is acceptable behavior and what isn't but still- they listened.
So that's my perspective when I journal in my scrapbook pages or talk to my daughter.

I'm talking to my future self and to Lola about what's going on right now.
I don't treat each page as the end of the story- the ultimate document.
I just try to keep it to the now.
Some pages might confuse future readers because "how I feel now" changes so much but that's ok.
It shows people change their minds- they grow- they evolve.

The situation under discussion in the episode was pretty harrowing.
Perhaps I wouldn't scrap the details but yes I would discuss with my kids what they think happened and how they feel about it.
Then I'd make THAT part of my scrapbook.

There are hundreds of good reasons for talking about the difficult things- for me the most important one is that it's the only way to move on and grow. 

I believe in the end, your scrapbook, for better or for worst, is your family history.
Those are the stories that get passed on and teach your family about itself.
Nasty times should go in a scrapbook because those times make the family stronger.

At least that's what I currently think- who knows how I'll feel about this issue when Lola is 10 and actually reading!

We then moved onto the nitty gritty of HOW we "layer" in our scrapbook pages.
OO BOY Izzy TOTALLY called it when he said he thought it would be hard to talk about such a visual subject.
I just couldn't get it together- I made ZERO sense and I'm sorry.

Here's a page to SHOW what I meant.
I spoke about dividing the page into 9 sections- I usually place the photo in the top then embellish around it.
I make sure to add contrasting patterns and colors. I lobe pink stripes and polka dots!!! I also LOVE wood veneer banners. Here I added a bit of depth by cutting some of the white cardstock I printed my photo on into banners as well.  I then added a K & Co paper clip that had been sitting on my desk FOREVER and one of those AWESOME Crate Paper chipboard slide mounts. Many time I would add mist blots to this but I rather liked the clean edges here.
Very often I use vellum and I make "windows" on the page by punching shapes into strips and adding those under larger layers.

How do I keep the layers from taking over the entire page?
It depends on how focused a design I am making.
Most of the time I'm just playing.
The only rule I set for myself is that this page looks different from the last one I made.
It's a crazy difficult rule for me!
But I follow it so I can get better as a crafter.

More often than not I let the layers meander all over the page.
This is because I'm having so much fun adding things I have a hard time stopping.
I think that's ok too.

For this page I wanted to stay with the paper I chose and just use scissors as a tool.
I love working with paint and thread but they take time to set up in my tiny work table.
This page was fast and I didn't spend a lot of time second guessing my own work.
That is a good thing.

Here are some detail shots:
Here you can also see how I usually "border" my edges with something to "contain" the design.
I can't explain why I feel it needs to happen but I do it because the pages "look better with it.
I'm FAR from perfect but I'm willing to let it all show- as long as it's interesting and I keep growing. :)

X marks the spot. She's ok.
Have a GREAT week!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

How do you follow? And a Sneaky Peek my latest Scrap FX post

Hello peeps.

I just wanted to give you another heads up that Google reader- that fabulous run down of all the blogs you follow will be going away July 1st.

I just wanted to know- how DO you follow you fave blogs now?

I have several ways you can keep track of me-

  • You can follow via email (most reliable)
  • You can follow via facebook using the app Networked Blogs
  • You can follow using BlogLovin' which sends you an emailed run down of all the blogs you follow AND which you can import your full reading list into (I did this last week- super easy)
  • You can click links I send via Twitter or just check out my latest photos on Instagram


Julie Fei Fan Balzer suggests another option called Old Reader  It's still in Beta stage but it looks promising.

I'm trying to figure out how to import my blogger list but it's asking for some "OPML file" so I'll need a few more days to figure out What The What that means before I join in.

Right now I'm getting email updates from bloglovin' but those are super easy to ignore.

Random tech news! 

Flickr has expanded it's storage space to 1TB!!
If you- like me- tend to take 50 to 100 photos every 2 days consider using Flickr as a second back-up option.

Oh yes. You DO need that!

In my former life as a photo editor, I had 2 professional photographers lose years worth of photos from their archives when their back up external hard drives crashed.

One guy had 3 back ups- all failed when his computer contracted a nasty virus via an email a friend sent (not on purpose).

Back up yer files!

Michelle mayhem news!!!
I am recording a new Paper Clipping Roundtable today with Shimelle and personal craft goddess Dina Wakely.
I'm getting the willies just thinking all the outrageous things I'll be saying.
I don't have full control of my lips when I'm in awe.
Crossing my fingers writing my answers down NOW will help curtail my usual blathering THEN.
Tune in for the madness this week.

And last but not least
SNEAK PEEK at my latest Scrap FX post!
A 30 minute last minute "Oh my goodness I LOVE it" page.
A struggle for a week and I STILL hate it but whatever it's done and
I learned from the experience" page.
Have a great week.
Let's all keep Oklahoma- all our friends in the midwest- in our thoughts and actions this week.


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Scrap FX chipboard Insights Blog Hop (and a give away!)

Hello welcome to the Scrap FX chipboard "Insights" blog hop!
If you are looking for the Inspiration Elevator May challenge "New Beginnings" click here.

The purpose of the Scrap FX hop is to get to know the new design team members and introduce the gorgeous May 2013 designs.

I hope you are enjoying each post so far.
Here's the roster:
Michelle H  You Are Here! YAY!

First up:
Michelle Logan: What is your scrapbook "kryptonite"? I can't seem to scrapbook if I'm feeling angry or overwhelmed. Last year Die Scrapperin Magazine (Germany) challenged me to make a page and write a tutorial featuring glitter. It really stumped me. I kept comparing my ideas to other's and I just couldn't come up with something I thought fabulous and original enough to publish. The resulting page was forced and rather strange- I'm better when allowed to improvise.

Klere: Do you snack or drink while scrapping? What?
I need to stop this habit- I've gained 15 pounds drinking tea and eating cookies the last couple of years. I also have a nasty habit of eating potato chips with oranges- I like to combine healthy stuff with my heart attack food.
I used the following Scrap FX chipboard designs:
 "Cherish" mini wordlet theme pack (model number 2013053),
City Life frame model number 2013095 (I cut the words out off the frame),
Magnolia branch chipboard embellishment model number 2013002
Adrienne: How do you jump start your creativity when you find that it is missing?
I chill. Even if it takes all week. If I'm on deadline I do the following: freak out. throw stuff. freak out. take a walk. freak out. drink wine. sit down. get up. sit down. get up. sit down. start a page. freak out. go to bed. ALWAYS in the morning- finish the page.

Michelle H. (me): What do you listen to or watch while your scrap and why?
I listen to National Public Radio- chiefly for their story telling shows like "This American Life" and "Snap Judgement". I also listen to "TED" Talks on science and creativity on Youtube. Learning is a huge part of my creative process and I don't just mean scrap videos- actually I find those really boring. I feel like my brain starts sparkling when I hear something really gnarly and I immediately go and start a page. Personal stories blow my mind on the regular- I consider those my primary form of learning.
This page started at a 12x12 but I got a little too enthusiastic
with the water color and the paper  warped so badly I decided to
cut it down to 8 x11- I like it a lot more this size.
Scarlett: What is your favorite technique(s) to use right now and why? What are some tried and true techniques you love to use?
I rarely use techniques. I've actually started a blog post series called "What I Learned This Week" which I post on Mondays so I can FORCE myself to try something new and technique based each week. Right now I'm really into stencils, spray paint, vellum, paper strips and tags.

Amy: At what time of day are you most creative, or do you prefer to create?
I prefer to work in the morning but I am forced to work at night since I have an inquisitive three year old who wants to either cut, glitter or spray what I'm working on at the moment.

I promise myself I'm going to tackle a new finishing technique
each time I start a new chipboard centric page.
Then I chicken out.
I love the pieces so much I'd rather just add them with no finish at all.
Cindy: What makes your heart race?
OO this is a GREAT question. I love buying new materials- going into a store gives me the best feeling of power and control. Which is why I've cut back on it almost entirely- that's a symptom of addiction. Great color combos get my heart racing, new ideas, great conversation, my husband, riding my bike, dancing.

Elisabeth: If you were to describe one emotion while scrapbooking, what would it be?
Depends on the day. If I have a good idea I feel like I'm in my element and riding a great big internal wave. Things I see or hear start to make connections with other things I heard or saw in the past. I feel in tune. I feel the flow. 
If I'm feeling crappy everything sucks- the idea of scrapbooking seems idiotic and I question my need to create. Then I tell myself to get over myself and that this is just one blip in a long continuum.
Alternate image for this page- I was shooting at around 7:30 pm
so ambient light was a beautiful gold. The shadows proved to be too big of
a distraction and I had to reshoot.
Misty: What are you afraid of?
I'm afraid that I will fail. That I will bore people or that they hate me. I'm afraid that I suck and that most people BUT me know this. I'm afraid that my daughter will get hurt or grow up disconnected from her family. I'm afraid for my Mom who's getting older. Fear has held me back a long time and just recently I started working on fighting it.

Maria: If you could choose a talent/gift what would it be?
I wish I was more of a "people person". Social situations that require chatting strangers up face to face tend to freeze me. I have the gift of gab once I know a person better. Online is much easier because I feel like I have a layer of protection between me and strangers.

Before I forget!
Here is the Scrap FX GRAND PRIZE.
To be eligible just leave a comment on the Scrap FX blog.

Also? I am giving away the following goodies to one lucky hopper. 

All you have to do is leave a comment telling me what kinds of chipboard designs you'd like to see that you haven't seen before.

Thanks for swinging by!
The next person on the hop is Misty.

Michelle H.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Inspiration Elevator Challenge- New beginnings!

Hello friends!
I've been asked to join the fantastic challenge blog Inspiration Elevator.

About the group:
Inspiration Elevator was created to take our scrapbooking to the next level, to stretch our creative process and to grow as artists by embracing challenges that make us think, work and grow. 

You can view all of the Inspiration Elevator challenges by clicking here or check our our new Inspiration Elevator Blog, here.

This month, our challenge comes from the talented Laura Whitaker.
Laura's challenge, in her own words, is as follows:

"As we welcome spring, scrap something to do with a new beginning, it could be an opportunity, a relationship, or even the world's reawakening after it's long winter's nap. Don't forget to journal and describe why you have chosen your topic."

 We would also like to welcome our May Guest Designer, Denise Morrison. Her arsty, eclectic style inspires her followers to see how "Life is Yummy" at her blog!
(Also? I LOVE her work!!!)

 I hope you will stop by and see what our designers on this adventure have created:

Lisa Spiegel
Joanne Burton
Christa Uttley
Guest Designer, Denise Morrison

Here's my take on this month's challenge:
I work at a small tv tray table as my large desk has been completely taken over by supplies
"organized" in a way to make them all visible at once. Yeah Michelle- pull the other one- it's got bells on. Anyway that's why my photo is crooked. I channeled my inner Louise Nelson for this page. It's now hanging next to my scrap desk- the colors and that lucky insta photo capture make me happy. 
Crane's 8.5x11 "sea glass" paper
American Crafts roses brads
Dylusions Ink Spray in Vibrant Turquoise (super diluted- I LOVE this stuff!)
Liquitex soft body acrylic in Orange
Mister Huey in white
Paper Source thick vellum
American Crafts Dear Lizzy brads
American Crafts Amy Tan Thickers
Krylon Gesso Spray (O.M.G this stuff is AWESOOOME! But STINKY!)
Inspiration elevator challenges are all about candid truth and digging deep.
I'm sorry, I'm a FREAK for spring. I tend think happy pink thoughts if I write about it.
I'll get more insightful next month? The dog ate my homework? LOL!
Thanks for stopping by! 
Please swing by the other blogs and consider joining in on the fun!
Have a great week!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Happy Belated Mother's Day. A card and a short story

Sunday could have been fun.
I had scheduled fun all morning with some projects and a quick Mother's Day Card for my Mom.
Photo Window card.
I used some of the bits on my scrap table including that super cute
Crate Paper flower die cut which has so far proven too large for any layout.
Card interior. This is my favorite family photo right now.

This is the story.
We decided to go to our favorite casual restaurant since we KNEW everything would be totally crazy with Mother's Day crowds.
But the line was kinda long so we decided- hey Joann's!
I wanted to find this super cute Deer stamp for my December Daily Album (still unfinished)
As I looked through the stamp baskets and my husband right next to Lola
She tripped right over her left Crock
and cracked her head open on the useless and empty shopping cart I had pulled over to the side.
Our first ambulance ride ever. I've told Lola that ambulances are places where heros work.
She loves watching them pass by. I could have lived happily the
rest of my life imagining ambulances looked like they do in the show ER.
Such is the stuff of a million "what if's".

If I had only used a shopping basket instead of a cart.
If I had just put on her Mary Jane's instead of the easy "Crocks"
I'll never forgive myself for saying- ah these are easier than chasing her around the apartment to get her to wear her shoes.
If I had put her into the cart as I always do but she was SO HAPPY walking around...

My husband's:
If I hadn't walked to the end of the aisle.
If I hadn't pulled away the shopping cart so she hit the wheel edge.
If I had just insisted "Let's eat first."
Ok so apparently there is now this analgesic gel that you can apply
to cuts and totally numbs the area after 30 minutes? Dude- she didn't feel a thing.
We had to hold her head in place because she kept trying to see the needle at work!
None of this would have happened.
And naturally there are the obnoxious questions from certain family members who insist we are crazy for not suing the store.
Wait- how is Joann's responsible for my daughter tripping over her shoes?
The floor was clean.
Till her blood spilled on it.

I think if I can or should blame anyone I should go after Crocks.
Which SUCK.
PLEEEASE don't buy these shoes for your little ones.
Lola has tripped on them before but we figured it would be ok- we're going to a paper store.
What's the worst that can happen?
Lola is fine now.

The floor is clean.
She's got bare feet.
She's got 6 stitches and some gnarly looking paste on the outside so the scarring is minimal.

Lessons in motherhood.
  • You might not get there in time.
  • You are accountable for everything that happens to your your kiddo. That's a good thing.
  • People will stress that they hope your GIRL doesn't scar in her FACE. Because permanent brain injury not as important.
  • The injuries can and will happen right in front of you as your child is running to you. 
  • You will have to take charge because everyone else will be yelling, talking to each other, handing over a maxi pad (uhm yes this happened- and I was grateful- at least SOMEONE did something useful) running the other way or giving totally irrelevant advice.
So that was my Mother's Day.

I'm ok now. 
I was feeling major guilt and utterly incompetent.
I was freaking out about concussions. 
Even the scarring thing started to worry me. 
Then I remembered my sister Leticia, my sister Melissa, my brother Guarionex and my nephews Kaine and Marcus.

What the hell- forehead scars are a family tradition.

Just don't let that *%#@ happen again Mom, capisce?

Chelle's out.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Spraytastic Flair For Buttons sneaks and photo watermarks- yea or nay?

Happy Friday folks!
Mother's Day weekend is here.

We have no plans- everything gets mobbed here so we are thinking maybe we just go with the flow and get some pizza- stressing over crowds and reservations right now defeats the purpose.

I made a page which is up over at A Flair For Buttons blog.

Some sneaks:
Scrap FX cityscape border chipboard with silhouettes of a lot of different
recognizable buildings including what I think is  nuclear power plant?
I trimmed it- there are no nukes in Michelle's scrap world THANK YOU.
A Flair For buttons has lots of funky new chalkboard buttons.
This one is from the Chalk Words Flair pack- super cute.
Today is the last day you can go get your poster made by Project Inside Out NYC.

If you have some time swing by Times Square- 47th street to be exact.
Some waiting in line is required.

The images will end up on a website and possibly in a book but if your pose is as goofy as mine you are sure to remain perfectly obscure.
My thought was- I want to look fun and spontaneous.
This happened.
oh well.
I've been debating if I should add watermarks to my images for a while.
I think most watermarks are pretty ugly but how else do you let people know where to get a product they see if you don't have the info directly on the photo?
Especially if they first see it via Google image search or Pinterest.
What do you think?
Yea or nay?
Pretty flowers in an outdoor cafe after the rain- romantic no?
I wish I had taken more photos!
I made this one with the website
I have no idea if it's a legit.
For all I know they've collected my photo for sale in some random image gallery.
I don't recognize the suffix- a bad sign.
What country is ws???
I'll let it go for this experiment's sake but I need to do more research in the future.
This website requires the image be 500dpi or lower so I can't use this for my scrapbook pages.
There are also many options for images taken on your smart phone.
My favorite?
iWatermark is an app developed by a photo journalist that allows   
you to add watermarks in your iPad or smartphone.  
There are a few ugly designs included but also a lot of font, style and  
color options for you to make your own text based mark. 
Best of all, you can save the actual mark as well as the 
marked photo so it's easy to have different mark styles for different uses.
Have a great weekend- take it easy- it's YOUR day!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

What I Learned This Week- Thoughts on the concept of "abundance"

This will be a long post but please bear with me- it's been building up for well over 3 months.

The last couple of weeks have been hectic but not due to my schedule.
I've had plenty of time to play with paper.
I bought lots of stuff to work with (part of my problem- no really- a problem).
I've pinned many beautiful pages onto my already brimming full Pinterest boards.

I haven't made any actual work.
I'm not sure why this happens but it's regular as clockwork.
For every three pages or so, I need a week of rest.
I tend to freak out then because I have deadlines to meet.
Not working for a week means I now have to cut into blogging time or family time to catch up.

I see many other scrappers working every night or what seems like every other night- many pages are made- all different and pretty.
Why doesn't that happen with me?

I can easily spend 5 hours on one page.
Much of it sitting there trying to figure out why it's not "working".
I then think about all the other things I could be doing- cleaning, reading, running around with my family and I lose all interest.
Or worst- I sit down and hate every single thing I make- everything.
Like this:
So many mistakes in this page. So. Many. Mistakes! But after a few hours I can honestly say I like it.
This was my work on May 5, 2013. And soon I'll be somewhere else.
I have several ways to get out of a negative thoughts rut:

  • Cleaning. "Cleaning" is really shifting things from one part of the room to another. I haven't found an effective solution to this problem other than throw everything out. Considering the insane amounts of money involved that isn't going to happen. Obviously there is something about this hobby that sparks the addictive part of my personality. Maybe it's the positive feedback. Perhaps it's the community and the competition to get noticed. Combine those with the easy availability of new products and you get addiction. I spend more time writing and responding to social media than I actually spend making pages. I shop to feel better and in control. But with every purchase I get further away from control and empowerment. No savings, an increasingly crowded home environment, family members who wonder out loud how much is "enough". It hurts my productivity because I am frozen by the mess I live in. Paralysis. This is the first time I ever admit that in print. 
  • Get on the computer and try to leave love in as many people's work as I can. This can take hours and isn't really effective because it's usually "Gorgeous", "Amazing", "Fantastic". It's not really connecting with anyone in a meaningful way. People want and deserve real comments- real insights. I can't make them- I over scheduled myself and have too many things I need to get done just to keep in place- forget making gains on any particular relationship.
  • Go outside and shoot some photos. I take the family and it's great but any great outing takes all day and all my energy. I'm usually too tired to sit up another 3 hours shifting paper bits around for a blog post. I start to wonder- why do I do this?
  • I watch videos on new techniques or take notes on what I see in my past work that I want to try again. This is actually the most effective thing I've done this week. One video that helped was a"Glitter Girl" adventure where Shimelle picks a specific amount of papers and embellishments and makes three basic scrapbook pages. Here was a solution to my problem! The answer isn't more shopping and more choice- the answer is to pre kit and to stick with your choices till some work is made. So I did.

Another answer to "Why am I not more prolific?" came to me in the April meeting of the Mariposa Collective.
This is my group of creative entrepreneurial types who meet once a month to talk about our latest creative goals and dilemmas.

A fellow member brought up the subject of having a "mindset of abundance".
I've heard versions of this idea before.
I call bullcrap.

I believe my friend. I can see the positive effects from her change in outlook.
Her energy is way up and she's finding solutions to all kinds of problems big and small.
She is in a state of general and fairly constant happiness.

Obviously something about the "abundance" theory that's true.

I call bull patootie on the part of "abundance" mentality which is actually magical thinking.
If it's really true that "all you need to do is put out to the universe that you need x,y,z to get it", why are so many people starving?
This isn't me on a dramatic hyperbole streak- it's a genuine question.
Were they too busy being hungry to think positive thoughts?

Are we to blame starvation on the starved?

I find the idea incredibly offensive and deluded.
So I dismiss the conversation when I hear people start.

By doing that I miss out on a key point- ideas that could lead to a break in my paralysis.
Answers to why I need to "shop till I drop"and why I go on the computer for hours rather than start a new project- even though I genuinely enjoy the process of making things.

I start to think about the "abundance mindset" without the obnoxious magical thinking aspect.

It's clear that most successful entrepreneurs are relentlessly positive.
They have to be- if not they would give up.
Giving up is the failure.

Current culture is really against mistakes.
You cannot make them.
You cannot make them more than once.
Make the mistakes.
Then make the amends.
It's going to be ok.
So the water color I was using didn't look to good.
Neither did the hand written journaling I added.
I covered them both up with two older failed experiments.
Just. keep. swimming.

Entrepreneurial minded people assume that if they leap, there will be ground to land on.
Perhaps the assumption is "the ground will be green with grass and there will be plenty of cushiony flowers."
This is dangerous.
The best thinkers are ready for variables (rocks, thorny bushes, a rusty roller skate)
They are ready for a possible broken ankle.
But the point is to LEAP.
Eventually to LAND.
Sometimes there is a major crash or maybe just a stinging friction burn. 
A positive outlook helps with that too- it keeps you TRYING.
A positive outlook also keeps you flexible.
So you landed in Duluth not in Chicago.
Get going where you are.

So this week I pushed through layers and LAYERS of self imposed negativity and made one page.
Not a symphony or a painting or a cosy sweater.
Not a cure for the common cold or the latest tech gadget that earns billions.
Not a financial product that earns trillions for a corporation based out of New Hampshire.
A scrapbook page.
For this tiny blog with 275 readers (thanks guys)
A rock thrown in a pool to make waves in my own private fight with self doubt.
To prove a point.

We are all struggling through issues.
Self doubt, work or family stress, financial insecurity, a broken boiler, car transmission trouble, bad health.

For me having a mindset of abundance means accepting that I don't DESERVE anything in particular.
Everything is fought for, compromised with, chosen.
If I "miss out" on something- it will come back again.

I chose Lola over fear.
I chose life against all odds, against all medical advice.
Against the pressure of family members I love.
I said NO. She's here NOW. I love her NOW.
My pregnancy was only 4 months along and there were no guarantees it
would last to 5.
I chose from a mindset of abundance.
When the doctor said you can always have another one (Oh yes she sure effing did!)
I said, I have one now.
I asked what the baby's sex was and I was told it was a girl.
I imagined a curly topped mini me. I saw her.
The pessimist in me insisted it was going to turn out very badly.
But I chose optimism. I chose hope.
I chose to see myself as a capable and strong Mom to a severely handicapped child.
And here's the magic part. The part that's making me weep right now.
I became her.
I got lucky that the baby was fine. But I passed the test of fear.
I chose from abundance!
Why did I forget?
I constantly forget.
I scrapbook to keep reminding myself.
I made and keep making all sorts of life changing and people alienating errors.
But this one certainly turned out well.
I CHOOSE to be happy or unhappy.
I CHOOSE to be messy, ineffective and unfocused or I CHOOSE to be organized and productive.
I choose to feel guilty and like I'm a waste of space.
I choose to forgive myself and move on.
I choose to see my work as the great happiness of my life or as the mad waste of time others think it is.
Perhaps I messed up by saying exactly the wrong thing at the wrong time to the wrong person.
Perhaps I let a deadline pass because I was too busy feeling angry or tired or overwhelmed.

But ABUNDANCE means- I get another chance.
I can try again.
There are always second chances.
I can say "I'm sorry".
I can say "Dude- you stole my idea! " or more likely "DUDE! This idea SUCKS! I spent two hours on this?"
Guess what? I have another idea. (And another. And ANOTHER!)

I just have to be open to the variables.
I have to be flexible.
I have to be people and relationship focused.
The answers are there but not if I let fear and self loathing cloud my outlook.
Fear and anxiety block creativity.
Which is why I only make 3 or 4 pages every few weeks,
I'm a roiling ball of anxiety and doubt.
I will stop the second guessing and move on.
I post this page knowing it's not the best thing I've ever made.
But it's not the worst. Not remotely.
It just is.
Another point in a long line of work.
Work I enjoy and which will eventually lead to my gainful employment.
If I

If this is what's meant by "A mindset of abundance"
Then I can SO get with that!

Have a great day people.
It's gonna be ok- promise.