Thursday, April 16, 2015

Let Your Star Shine

Hello there!  I have a really fun layout for you of my favorite Disney pages....but, then again, I seem to have many favorites from the Disney album.  Such a terrible problem!

***Simple Stories Say Cheese collection***

This is for the latest challenge at Scrap Our Stash.  
We were challenged to create a layout using this sketch by Laura Whitaker along with the inpiration photo you see below.

For the sketch, I kept much of the design in the center the same---the single photo focus, the doily and the papers beneath my photo. From there, I went in a different direction. The reason behind it had to do with the inspiration photo. I was drawn to the pentagon shape on the lamp and the mobile which led me to hexagons. I have always wanted to do a layout like this and I felt here it is. The golden yellow in my photo and papers also leads back to the gold in the inpsiration piece. And, of course, the phrase about the happy place...isn't the slogan for Disneyland "the happiest place on earth"? I know it's definitely one of mine!

Here are a few close-up shots:

I had so much fun creating this page!  I hope you will join me at Scrap Our Stash and play along. 
The possibilities are endless!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

#nevermissamonday - April 13

Apparently Monday is not only a day to not miss (#nevermissamonday), but also a day to run long.  I'm not sure how that just did.

Maybe this is something to touch on...distance.  What is considered a long run?  I think most of us would agree that it varies from one runner to the next.  For me, a long run is anything over 6 miles.  My average run is about 4-5.5 miles and I would say a short run is anything less than that.  When I spell it all out, it seems kind of ridiculous that there is only a 2 mile difference between a short run and long run.  But that's how I define it...for me.  

The farthest I have ever run is 9.3 miles.  I did this twice for the Shamrock Run (15k) and once on my own.  Now THAT is really long---for me.  To someone else that might be their short run.  A drop in the bucket.  For another person, running two miles might be a long run.  My point?  Each of us is different.  We each have our own limits and abilities.  And yes, sometimes we have to push ourselves to realize our full potential.  And THAT can be very hard.  

If you had asked me 5 years ago if I thought I woud ever be able to run more than three miles without stopping----I would surely have resounded with a very quick "no".  At that time, I couldn't run two miles without stopping to walk some of it.  Yet here I am.  And I certainly could not have predicted it.

What's your long run?

running path in nyc
Photo source: Runstreet

Thursday, April 9, 2015

I was "Soup Spotted" over at Jillibean!

I just noticed that I had a layout featured over at Jillibean Soup yesterday!  They call this Soup Spotting and I am thrilled!

This is the layout:

I made this for the March 2015 issue of CREATE.  I was inspired by an Allison Davis sketch, also featured in that issue.  This is definitely one of my personal favorites.  I just love these photos and the memories they bring back for me.  Such a cutie!

 For the photos, I actually created a collage in PSE.  I applied the black line around the photos digitally and allowed for the white space between.  I then printed each side, left and right.  I only had to trim off the excess photo paper...then put them right on my layout as is. So simple---no additonal photo arranging needed!  Such a nice feature of grid designs.

I actually didn't have enough printed paper so I had to cheat a little.  The other benefit of having printed the photos together like I did is that you can't see that my paper strips are not continuous.  They are barely long enough to tuck behind the photo block.  Now don't tell me you've never done this!  I do this not only to stretch paper when I don't have enough, but I have also been guilty of doing this when I really LOVE a piece and want to make it last I have some left over for another layout.  You know what I mean, right?

I had a lot of fun embellishing this layout.  Again, inspiration came from Allison's sketch.  I feel the playful circles, fun stars and whimsical butterflies really add to the theme of the page.  FYI...the butterflies are punched from a Starbucks coffee sleeve.  Yes, I collect them.

Monday, April 6, 2015

#nevermissamonday - April 6

Hello again!  It's time for another edition of #nevermissamonday.  

With this new journey in blogging, I started searching the internet for images and quotes about running. I find them inspiring and often beautiful.  Interesting side effect...the more that I read and see, the more convicted I feel about running.

What I do with my photos that I take on Mondays is similar...  
Photo + Words = Inspiration
 At least that's what they are for me.  They help keep me going.  

Recently, my oldest son started running.  I'm not sure of his motivation but I am guessing its twofold---to get his parents off his back about getting exercise and to improve his own physical fitness.  The reasons don't really matter.  I'm just excited that he's doing it!  

Today after school he came to me feeling discouraged about his progress with running.  I could hear the little voice in him wanting to give up but also the true desire to improve and NOT to give up.  After all, he did come to me wanting to talk about it.  I acknowledged his feelings of how difficult it is and how small the improvements can seem.  And how you can have less discomfort and breathe easier and go farther one day and then have everything feel like crap the next time you go out.  I shared my experiences and how no run is ever truly easy.  It's always hard work.  Yes, some days I can actually say "it felt good" but those are few and far between.  And even on those good days, it never means that it was easy.  That I felt like a bird with wings...or light as a feather on my feet.  Running is hard for most people.  But you can enjoy things in your life that are challenging.

I encouraged him to not give up, to not compare himself to others.  To just be himself and appreciate what HE can do.  And to push himself a little on those days when it doesn't feel so bad.  And to not look at those bad days as a step backwards.  Because, after all, any run is better than no run.  

I pulled up some of the quotes that I had pinned on my Pinterest board and read a few to him.  I think he felt encouraged.  I sure hope so.  He should be proud of what he is doing and what he has accomplished so far.  I am most definitely proud of him...always.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Paradise Pier

Hello spring!  I can't believe it's April already...a quarter of the way through the year which means a quarter of the way to---dare I say it---Christmas!  Ack!

Anyway, on to the business of today.  The beginning of the month means a new stash challenge from Scrap Our Stash.  This is what's up for April...

Still plugging away at those Disney photos, here is what I came up with:

***Echo Park My Life collection***

I was inspired by Susan Stringfellow's layout that you can find HERE.  I love her nontraditional Disney pages that always have a hint of Mickey in them!

The items I chose to represent the letters are as follows:
S - stickers
T - twine
A - alphas
M- month
P - punch

For the edging on this page, I did some scissor distressing, some outlining and some inking.  A little of everything, I guess!

One of my favorite things about this page is the colorful enamel dots.  They add just a little something...I love them!

You know the drill.  Join us at Scrap Our Stash and play along!

Monday, March 30, 2015

#nevermissamonday - March 30

Here we go! My second post of  #nevermissamonday.
This photo was actually taken through my craft room window.  I was playing with my chalk marker and decided to take a quick photo of my limited art skills.  Seriously, my drawing...this is about as good as it gets!

I'm going to admit was hard.  Usually "never miss a Monday" is a pretty big motivator for me.  Not today.  I just wasn't feeling it.  Not terribly excited to get out...even with the knowledge that this was probably the best weather day of the week (the rain returns tomorrow).  Some days you got it and some days you just don't.  That's ok.

My first half mile was nearly a full minute slower than usual.  I did make up some time on the downhills though.  All in all, the pace wasn't too bad in spite of the slow start and stopping to walk a couple of times for a short bit.  Yes, sometimes I let myself walk....but only until I feel recovered enough to resume the run.  Sometimes it's getting up a hill, sometimes just a block, or even half a block.  Whatever it takes to get me through.

Alex di Suvero for The New York Times
source: NYTimes, Well Blog

No matter how "not good" a particular run feels, I am always glad that I got it done.  I pushed myself.  I perservered.  I triumphed.  Yeah...I triumphed!

Monday, March 23, 2015

#nevermissamonday - March 23

It occured to me while out for my run today that I never blog about running.  Other than the two times that I participated in the Shamrock Run, I have written next to nothing about this pasttime that has become very much a part of who I am.

Today I want to change that.  Several months ago, I was inspired by this image that was posted to the Shamrock Run facebook page

For some reason, that first rule, never miss a Monday, really struck a chord with me.  It has become my catch-phrase.  Whatever you call it, it works for me.  I started taking photos each Monday that I'm out running.  Usually its nature---what I see when I'm out and about.  Sometimes it's my shoes...sometimes my dog.  I add my miles, my pace and sometimes an inspirational phrase or something that I am feeling that day.  I use Snapseed for the initial editing and then pull it into Rhonna Designs for the fun details.  Then I share it to Instagram and Facebook.

Here is the one I shared today:

I know that no one is "waiting" for my #nevermissamonday posts.  But I am.  It keeps me acountable, even if it's to no one else other than me.  That's enough.  If anyone is looking forward to my post or is (dare I say it) inspired by my posts...that would be icing on the cake.  But I'm not looking for that.  I do this for me.  I need it.  I really need it.

Here's to the start of #nevermissamonday blog posts.