Sustain - My 2017 "one little word"

It's time to look forward to 2017 as we will soon be moving forward from celebrating Christmas. I'm arranging my schedule. Yesterday, I joined Ali Edward's class One Little Word. I have taken this class in the past at Big Picture Classes. The class uses a word during an entire year for self-reflection and self-realization. My choice is one that seems to be foremost in my mind in recent days.
Sustainability is a rather long word, not little in size nor concept. It is well past the typical eight-letter (or fewer) word of choice in the One Little Word class. As an idea, the word enormous comes to mind. So, in the interests of a "little" word, I have chosen sustain.
I have spent a lot of time reflecting on this. My son spoke to me recently about his concerns for his son and the looming 2030 predictions of the collapse of the world as we know it. I wonder if, as an older individual, I'll be adaptable to the world as it will be, if I should still be here.
I've looked at the SDG's (sustainability development goals) the United Nations has published. It's seventeen items long!
There is good news. I read an interesting article from Medium, republished by Quartz on Facebook about good things happening in the world towards some SDG's.
Makes me think that making an effort does do some good.
Raised a Lutheran, a verse of A Mighty Fortress is Our God, seems particularly relevant to my choice.
"And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
we will not fear, for God hath willed his truth to triumph through us.
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him; his rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure; one little word shall fell him." - Martin Luther
I'm not a person of religion any longer, but I do have faith in the power of little words.

Just 12 Days 2016

Remember my "Just 12 Days" pocket scrapping cards from 2 years ago?

Some Idea Prompts for "Just 12 Days"

Just Scrap 12 Days Design and a Little Art

This year I'm making scrapbook pages and offering the templates for your use.
I love templates and repeat the use of them, sometimes changing them up quite a bit.

Hope you find these useful in recording your "Just 12 Days". A gift for the holidays from me to you.

These are available in Dropbox at this site.

Here are some sample pages I made from these templates. You'll see that templates come alive with not only your photos, story, and title; but, the digital product, shadow styles and layer effects add a lot to the page.  Shadow styles I use on my pages are from Fiddle-Dee-Dee, Mommyish and Karla Dudley.

Supplies: cartoon image - Shutterstock Image ID:457393717, Copyright: Kazakova Maryia; washi tape - kwiniecki, eclectic ; buttons - DigitalDesignEssentials, Playful; stitching - treed, hello stitches ;  Patterned paper -  DDE, Playful; word art - blogovesta gosheva, free2beme; feather - feather6 by Stella; flower - TheDailyDigi85, HappyFresh, justbecausestudio

Supplies: Fonts - cherryla ornaments, Avenir light 65 medium, another shabby, traveling typewriter; Kit - Pixels&Co, genniferbursett,naughty christmas

Supplies: Fonts - Avenir, Traveling Typewriter; Kit - TheDailyDigi91, K Cronin-Barrow, Joie de Vivre; staple - OneLittleBird, Thrive 

Supplies: Fonts - AvenirLT65 Medium, Traveling Typewriter; Kit - OneLittleBird, Peartree

Supplies: Fonts - Avenir, Traveling Typewriter; Kit - DigitalPress, Gilded, AnitaDesigns, KarlaDudley, stitches - treed, Pixels&Co, HappyPlace, MeredithCardall

I'm working on other templates, so check back if you like these. If you do decide to use these in a mini album let me know. I'd love to see your pages. Remember, templates are not rigid or static. A few can work for very different pages for 12 days of scrapping. You can even make a mini book with just pages of one template and even one kit. 
I am trying to learn Camtasia; and, if I am successful, I'll make videos of creating these pages and more. I plan to give insights into how I scrap, use Photoshop tools and work with templates. I'll let you know.

Right now I'm waiting on my podcast. It has been submitted to iTunes and the website is built, though not yet available. I plan a Facebook page and FB group page, too. It's all very exciting. My first group of guests has been a delight to interview and I'm sure you'll enjoy their stories. I'll update on that info, too, as soon as I have the details.

How is your holiday planning? Most reading this know I'm a fan of Sun Basket. Good things to prepare and eat delivered to your door. There are also great recipes for cookies on the website. Those require shopping; no dessert ingredient deliveries, yet. They do have a party in a box for about 8 people that will make entertaining easy. Check it out. It's available to order until Dec. 22 for New Year (and for the rest of the 12 days of Christmas) delivery the week of Dec. 26.  Happy entertaining!
Here's my affiliate link to their site. 

December Birthdays, Magic and Secret Weapons

I have a birthday in December. This year was a very lovely celebration.
As a child, I did not like having a December birthday. I believe I've told this story before. Money was very tight at my house, and there was no way that my birthday would be anything special. I remember my thirteenth birthday with sadness. No party, there may have been a cake at dinner, I'm not sure. I got fifty cents and a white half slip that had so little lace on the bottom edge only that you almost needed a microscope to view. I was hurt, disappointed and angry.
When I was a little child birthdays got to be more fun because I shared them at a family party with my cousin Darrell who was celebrating his, too. The dates are only three days apart. It was affordable for my parents to share the cost. I remember those parties with fondness.
My husband is not the best of gift givers. He loves to be practical. After my childhood, I so much want to celebrate with frivolity! In some past years, I arranged my own glamorous celebration by getting tickets to the Crocker Ball. It was a way to celebrate and to support a favorite charity. However, it was more fun to bring along family members. Now, with increased ticket prices, going as a group has become too expensive. Maybe for my next "decade" birthday it might be an extravagant indulgence. Nonetheless, my husband, despite gifts of kitchen utensils and a electronics charging station, did treat me to a hot fudge sundae at Leatherby's and the next night a dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, Cielito Linda.

Those were fun celebrations and more of what I enjoy about birthdays! Of course, sharing memories is great fun and the
California International Marathon is always near my birthday, too. I almost missed this shot of the front runner!

My son, Chris, had Cal and me join his family for the annual lighting of the State of California Christmas tree before dinner at Tres Hermanas, another special Mexican restaurant that my grandson enjoys. Here is a page I made to celebrate the tree lighting ceremony. I'm working on other pages to remember the evening. Creating things is a passion.

This is a lift of a page design by Lisa Truesdell. Supplies: Lynn Grieveson kit - fresh festive; Scrapaneers stitching and enamel dots; font - Traveling Typewriter; shadows - FiddleDeeDee and Mommyish; washi tape - blueflowerart - harmony, dawn inskip - autumn elements, MLE - holiday cookies, Karla Dudley - rad bundle; mesh - KAagard, freewheeling

At Get It Scrapped, we have been participating in "Your December Story" where Debbie Hodge encourages us to tell our story following "The Hero's Journey." My son, Joe, is my "secret weapon." I request, as my birthday gift, that Joe decorate my tree since he has no money. He does a beautiful job, and it's no small task - I have 500 ornaments. He helps with the rest of the decorating including the outdoor lights, too, and the undecorating; but I treat him for those efforts. With my neck problem and Cal's advanced age and health challenges, too, Joe is the secret weapon to a lot getting done around here. Folding the sheets, taking out the trash or moving it to the curb, emptying the dishwasher, hanging pictures, or just getting things organized. He's always helpful. He also helps by enjoying the treats Cal cooks and watches football with Cal, too. It takes the pressure off me and helps me keep the weight off! Joe is my "special gift," without whom, I'd not be ready for the holidays.
It's an extended birthday, too. My stepson and his family are planning a dinner out with me and Cal.
The moments with family and the memories we share are some of the best parts of birthdays and celebrations. Those gifts are the most precious of all.

I no longer take my knitting

Knitting projects and needlework canvases used to be an important part of my "carry on" luggage. Ever since sharp objects on a plane became an issue I've stopped bring handwork. Coincidently, smartphone apps have become more abundant. So, games, and when wi-fi is available, social media occupy my time. I did pull out and work on a pencil drawing over a year ago, but, that trip I had the luxury of no one next to me in my two-person row. I'm also a little too self-conscious to work on my art much of the time on a plane. However, I just purchased a new iPad Pro, and I think it may change my in-flight habits once again. I saw a preview of the photo editing app from Adobe. It's very cool. I'm going to download that soon. Photo art may replace FreeCell and Facebook as airworthy pursuits.
I did take a trip to visit family and friends on a journey ranging from Seattle to Calgary. Fiskateers was a great on-line group that Fiskars sponsored years ago. I made some good friends through that group and had a chance for a fun visit with one of those friends. Thanks, Cathy, for the opportunity to eat at The Tilikum Cafe and for introducing me to the world of aerial workouts. The facility with the trapeze classes in the main auditorium and the curtain dancing and pole dancing room was fascinating. Oh, to be 30 years younger and in perfect health! I think that would be a delightful place to work out.

Speaking of working out, I did not get enough exercise this trip and ate too much good food; just before the holidays, too! It was all worth it even if it's back to the diet again today. I had breakfasts with high school chums; when you went to a small boarding school, that's like seeing family. Family dinners at spectacular places like Seattle's Dahlia Lounge, Victoria's Cafe Brio, and Calgary's Workshop Kitchen were just replete with fellowship and fantastic food.

A Scrapbook page about dining with Elle at the Workshop Kitchen in Calgary.
Supplies- Kit - OneLittleBird, Woodridge; staple - Wishing Well Creations - Aflutter, dots - PCO, MeTime collab, PCO, BermudaTriangle, collab; stitching - WishingWellCreations, Stitched Down, page design template - Raquel Bowman at BPC ; distress edge - Vinnie Pearce, MakerII, distress papers - Kim Jensen, School Zone / Sahlin Studio, vintage worn and torn paper; fonts - Traveling Typewrite, Bohemian typewriter, shadows - Mommyish

The Royal Tyrrell dinosaur museum in Drumheller, Alberta was enchanting and expertly presented. I like the fact that you can see not only magnificent specimens; but, also, the process of finding and preparing these fossils. Since our visit was Sunday, no scientists were working; nonetheless, a big picture window in front of the lab let us view all the equipment and specimens at the workstations. I loved the educational aides, fun videos and graphic displays at the museum. Several of the displays are interactive and especially perfect for kids. The magnitude of not only the size of the specimens but also of contemplating the expanse of evolutionary time is indeed mind-boggling!

A scrapbook page I did about the museum.
Supplies: staple - Studio Wendy, Designer Resource, Template Elements, Kit - Vinnie Pearce, April 18th, sample, Watercolor; Inflight, Fonts -4990810, Traveling Typewriter, Avenue LT 65 Medium; Ribbon - Amanda Yi Designs, Limitless; twig - Ziska, Northwind; flower - Lynn Grieveson, Posey Kit

From riding on the Victoria Clipper ferry to splashing with my baby great-nephew in a kiddie pool to all the beautiful scenery, food and family and friends (the high school buddies were so fun!), it was the sort of visit that enriches the soul and broadens the mind.

While I am sad about some of the anger, hate and bad behavior in the world, a trip like this gives me a sense of all that there is for which I am thankful, including returning to a loving family at home.

Using Templates when making Scrapbook Pages

 On DSD (Digital Scrapbook Day) this year I taught a class at Get It Scrapped about using templates to design pages.
Even if you follow a sketch or design exactly, including supplies and title, one would not end up with the same page as a designer since your photos and story would be different.
However, in my pages that follow, you'll see how I used extra photos, and rotated the sketch to make four different pages from one layout. Definitely not a cookie cutter approach! I usually use a lot of different patterned papers and embellishments. This time I only used that style on one layout. My idea was to change the look by using different color schemes and sketch alterations. Template - Scrapbook Coach 21, Top Heavy, Layout 4 from GIS Template Library.
I hope you enjoy reviewing these ways to vary the look of your scrapbook page using one basic design.

This is a template variation from my challenge using Scrapbook Coach 21 Top Heavy Layout 4, in an analogous color scheme. I advise limiting colors in this scheme. While 5 can work, three is the most eye-catching. Here I've used four colors - yellow, yellow-green, green and blue-green. I eliminated one photo from the top band changing that to a slightly smaller and lower positioned journaling block and added a stock photo as a repetitive element in place of the original journaling. The title uses the template font Butterscotch regular with a Mommish glitter style in Ocean, shadow styles - Mommyish, ephemera, and string/brad, speech bubble and brad from the template with brad and ephemera recolored. Geo tag brad - Gennifer Bursett, My Happy place, Grape wreath - Kimeric Creations, Making Memories, wine bottle  and glass stamp - Stella, tag - gennifer Bursett, Now, Fonts - Avenir Medium regular and Traveling Typewriter.

This is a variation in a split complementary color scheme of yellow, orange and blue-violet. The modification I used here was my signature using a photo as an embellishment attached with a paperclip, Again I've kept a few of the templates elements in place, recoloring and texturizing the papers in Adobe PSCC, wood star clip - OneLittleBird, This Magic Moment, star - TheDailyDigi, Let's Get Messy, arrow brad - WMsquared, XOXO; styles - Mommyish, Scrapaneers Champions; fonts - Bohemian Typewriter, Avenir Oblique

This is a monochromatic layout in yellow. If you check your color wheel you'll see that olive green is a shade of yellow. I did need to recolor the green in the camera embellishment to make it dark olive. Neutrals, like black, white and gray, of course add contrast without color and I did add a low opacity wash of yellow to the ephemera in background. Many consider beige tones neutral, too. I tend to be more narrow in my definitions so I did add the light opacity wash.
Supplies: Papers - recolored and texturized in Adobe PSCC; Bow - Mommyish, I've Got A Plan; camera brad - A Sweet Caroline Amanda Yi Collab, Focus,Click, Repeat; Paper Dolls - The Daily Digi, My Life of Wonderful; Fonts - Myriad Pro, Traveling Typewriter, Bohemian Typewriter; Brade and speech bubble from the template, Scrapbook Coach Top Heavy/Layout 4 from the GIS Templates

This variation of the template challenge, that I demonstrated on DSD, is made in a variation on a triad primary color scheme where the blue is augmented by using blue-green. Brown functions as a neutral and also balances the predominance of blue hue. If using a complex color scheme it's probably best for those less experienced with color to use mainly materials from a single kit as I have done here. I altered one of the photos by making it a 2 photo collage. DDE Playful Kit by Gina Cabrera, brown sticker - justjaimee, September Storyteller 2014, tag - Sweet Shoppe, Studio Basic Designs, Adventure Begins, logo - ShePodcasts, some embellishments from the original template, styles Mommyish, fonts - Avenir Medium, Avenir Roman Italic, Lobster 1.3 regular. Template - Scrapbook Coach 21, Top Heavy, Layout 4 from GIS Template Library

Starting a Podcast

Yes, I'm starting a podcast. "A Creative Approach Podcast" will launch, with any luck, at the end of November 2016.
I'm not a newbie. My first podcast experience was as a guest on the Paperclipping Roundtable show. I co-hosted The Digiscrapgeek Podcast for two years from August 2014 until it went on hiatus in September of this year. However, I am creating a new podcast of my own.
I love this "Second Golden Age of Audio," as I heard it described, at Podcast Movement 2016. The easy portability of podcasts has a lot to do with this evolution. It I go for walks with "Marc," Marc Maron's WTF, to be precise. Love that show. There I go, dressed somewhat appropriately for the weather, pink earbuds in with my iPhone at hand, and I'm off on my trip around the block. I flip to Bluetooth in my car to continue shows or listen at my computer or bedside like regular radio.
"Don't you just enjoy everyday sounds on your walks?" Yes. Occasionally, I take a walk focused purely on the moments and sights and sounds along the way; it's part of my love of what is happening and being in the present. More often, though, I enjoy the company. Marc is not my only walking partners. Elsie and Jess from She Podcasts are often my walking buddies, too. There are others; WTF and She Podcasts are my most frequent companions. I have learned a lot from my fellow podcasters and the "pro-casters."
The idea behind my podcast is to feature conversations with people who emphasize the creative in life. Some are talented artists; other guests employ innovative approaches to problems in science, business, and other areas of life. I firmly believe we are all creative. In many ways, our relentless passion for innovation and originality makes us human. I like to listen to the stories and think my audience will enjoy them, too.
Independent podcasting is a lot of fun! While the professional podcasts from radio personalities or known entertainers do command the largest audiences, we indie podcasters fill in niches. I remember going to Podcast Movement a couple of years ago, and while there I asked attendees about their podcasts. So many times I'd hear men say, "wrestling" or "boxing." I realized these were sports followed by huge numbers of people but were not a focus of everyday media. Foodies, fashionistas, and fun-lovers have created fantastic podcasts. There are many stories to be told.
My podcast recordings have started, and I'm working on all the details of production.
I'll report back when I have more news.

Learning Book Making

 I really need to spend less time with screens and more time walking and getting other things done around here.
One thing I'm doing is making books. Exacting, frustrating, and anxiety causing projects but a satisfaction beyond measure when done!
I am having trouble keeping up in class. I have a book art project due already. I've only just got all the stuff I need. It is conceptually cool involving AMWA (The American Medical  Women's Association) and using pages of The Petticoat Surgeon.  Let's hope the execution works well! I will try to have good photos when it is done.
I just finished my hardcover with spine and three pamphlet stitched signatures book. It's not bad for a newbie. Everytime I make a cover I learn how it could be better. Despite using stacked copies of JAMA, I still drilled a couple of small holes in the kitchen table. Cal still insists on using the phone book so I could not repurpose that. Time to get some wood putty for repairs!

Staying on track with weight loss

I'm good for a few days - then...
Right now I'm good. I stick to my diet program. I'm a bit off track with the exercise part. I still do a few regimens regularly and am getting back into the routine with other activities. My neck is always an issue, but that just means I have to be careful in what and how much I do. At ant rate, exercise is only about 20% of the solution. I did get to exercise for 20 minutes today as you see from the gym clothes outfit in this late night shot in my ever-so-messy craft room
A birthday dinner and a charity event this weekend will test my resolve when it comes to food. My strategy is to use high protein low-calorie meal substitutes and limited food choices, trying hard to stay away from my favorite high calorie, high-fat treats, and meals. I measure and weigh everything and weigh myself daily. I'm a fan of Spark People. com. If you listened to episode 56 of The Digiscrap Geek Podcast you know I'm also a fan of Here's a link if you are interested in trying their meal delivery service - Try Sun Basket.The meals are above my 250-500 calorie limit but not by much, and they are healthy and quick to prepare. It is regrettable that Cal hates green leafy vegetables. (It's like having a little 83-year-old kid around.) I appreciate the good nutrition and three cooked dinners a week, each between 500-790 calories. So, not too far past my ideal calorie intake and I try to plan my day with that in mind.
Cal does cook some healthy meals; but, his tastes run to more fattening, less nutritious options; and, on occasion, I have to say no. I know, I've said that I cannot cook, but the individual recipe cards that come with the Sun Basket meals are detailed enough to make food preparation pretty simple. I think Cal appreciates the fact that I cook, though I do notice the leafy greens in the bin.

Lots Going On

Today is an exciting day. I'm the featured guest on the podcast Shift The Story with Beca Lewis It was a very enjoyable interview experience. Check it out here When you have to let go of something you love
Several people, my husband included, have remarked on my being the busiest retired person they know. I am busy but think there are likely many who are busier, though I have said I'm not taking on any new projects more than current plans until March 2017.
I do have some plans for a new podcast venture and hope I can share those soon.
The Digiscrap Geek is on hiatus until Carrie can return and make some decisions that are needed for that podcast to move forward.
I did feel a bit overwhelmed with my studio art classes, but my City College professor was very reassuring about my ability to catch up. I got so hung up over-doing things right that I lost sight of having fun. I'm back on track now! It is fun to learn the processes in intaglio printmaking and bookmaking. They are time demanding, not physically challenging classes and I do seem to get fatigued these days. Ceramics is usually relaxing for me, but my professor is a bit tense about the class. We are making murals for the art court. I am happy it is a team effort as my physical limitations would present difficulties. I cannot throw anything well with my neck the way it is; but, sculpting tiles in bas relief is enjoyable.
I promised more about my wonderful summer vacation in Europe and am including a few of my photos with this post. These are pictures of an actual canal house I visited in Amsterdam. What is fascinating is that when the wealthy folk of Amsterdam had these, constructed it was a custom that a beautifully detailed model of the house would be a wedding gift. The detailed models cost as much as the home itself! I've also included photos of models found in museums.

Here are some photos of the miniatures of a canal house of the time


Are you dedicated to creating wonderful art? If so you are really in for a treat! Today's guest is April Bey, an exciting visual artist,...