Saturday, November 22, 2008

23.11.08 SC Article and other photos

I received Issue 60 of Scrapbook Creations in the mail this week. Although I have resigned from my sub-editorial positions there, I wanted to share one of the articles here. It's probably the one that I am most proud of. It's the one that I feel speaks mostly from my heart and I was so glad to 'fill in' as an emergency article when Kim (the gorgeous Editor) asked me to. I'm really glad I had the chance to share my heart (and have it published word for word almost!) before my time was up there.

Issue 60 was also the first issue introducing the new feature I was writing called 'Show and Tell'. I commissioned and compiled three issues which will be staggered across every second issue from here to Issue 66. Anyway, I really enjoyed the chance to write that too and seeing it in print for the first time was a lovely feeling. Thanks to all the Show and Tell girls who participated and of course to all the Top Ten girls I had the honour of commissioning and working with. The bautiful Ngaire Bartlam has taken over from me now and I know she will do an outstanding job.

Here's that article I wanted to share with you...
Scrap Me Happy

It would be lovely to live in a world with reasonable petrol prices, low grocery bills and no mortgage or rental stress wouldn’t it? Unfortunately, today’s world puts all of us under a great deal of financial, emotional and often physical strain. Sounds like doom and gloom right? Well, it doesn’t have to be! I’m not at all trying to belittle the magnitude of these kinds of issues. Within the past three years, I personally have had an autoimmune blood disease diagnosed, my spleen removed, a very real cancer scare and a child diagnosed with Autism among other things. My life, like yours I’m sure, has had some real downs. But here’s the thing…this is the good bit…..I can CHOOSE to be happy, to see the brighter side of life and the glass half full. Yes. I make the choice to see the light in the darkest situations, to smile when I really could be frowning, to scrap instead of wallowing and to praise God instead of cursing Him. That is my personal choice. There certainly are downs, but there can be up’s too if we have our eyes peeled wide ready to embrace them. I believe we can all take steps to encourage happiness in our lives and maybe today it will start by just thinking ‘happy’ about your scrapbooking.

Being happy is also about making choices to bring happiness to others. This may be as simple as a quick phone call their way or a handmade card or album to let that person know you are thinking of them. Happiness doesn’t have to be a grand moment of consciousness, it can be as simple as revelling in the everyday mundane moments that make us who we are and make us smile. It also doesn’t mean that we have to expect life to be perfect; but we can choose to look beyond the imperfections and enjoy the sun while it’s shining.

You are doing such a wonderful thing by preserving memories for future generations or by just having scrapbooking as a creative outlet for yourself. Good on you! If you are reading this article and you are not yet a scrapbooker, can I encourage you to have a go by experimenting with some of the ideas I’m going to share here? Relaxing and enjoying a hobby has proven health benefits in getting those endorphins pumping! So c’mon guys, let’s get real, choose to be happy and let it shine through your pages!


Don’t limit yourself to scrapping your happiness onto pages. Use a notebook to journal onto or a mini album full of pages of photos of yourself smiling and being happy at various times throughout your life. I’ll show you how to alter an envelope as a keepsake file.

Being real with ourselves in our scrapping means we need to record all kinds of emotional responses and situations that we experience and part of that is to keep track of the things that make us happy. Ask yourself what makes you smile and who do you most enjoy spending time with? Look for the small things in life too. Maybe you’ve received rain after weeks of drought, or you were able to get a washing machine on sale. Delight in the little blessings and record them in a notebook and once you have a collection of them – scrap them!

Looking to kick-start yourself into some happy scrapping? Start by choosing a happy palate of colours. Try these colour combos….lime and orange, hot pink and aqua, red and yellow, bright blue and bright purple. Have a play and see what these warm combinations bring onto your pages. Mix it up with paint, oil pastels, chalks or even just mixtures of these colours in patterned paper scraps.

The kinds of embellishments you choose to add to your layout can also make an emphatic statement displaying happiness. For instance, symbols of rainbows, birds, stars, love hearts, suns and bright flowers can all contribute to evoking a joyful and playful feeling across your layout.

[For the “I dare you to be Happy” layout]

There are so many motivating songs that can challenge us to reflect upon that which brings us happiness in our lives. I’ve chosen the Tina Arena ‘I dare you to be happy’ song title, which reinforces my earlier statement that I am making a choice to be happy; as if I am daring myself to take up the challenge! There are so many great song titles to choose from. For example, your layout could be inspired by the title or the lyrics of songs like ‘Don’t worry, be happy’ by Bobby McFerrin or what about taking Powderfinger’s song, ‘My happiness’? Don’t forget classic favourites like Elvis Presley’s version of the same titled song or perhaps the old hymn (as re-vamped by Sister Act 2) ‘Oh happy day’. Take a line from the lyrics or the title itself and use that as a starting point for your layout.
Start to think about the people in your life that make you most happy. For me, it’s my best friend and husband Brett and our children that I’ve chosen to feature in this layout but you could also do a series of layouts, or even an album full of pages dedicated to the special people in your life; family members, friends, pets, work colleagues and on-line acquaintances who make your life a more joyful place for just knowing them.
I’ve found that a quick and easy way to scrap these people all on a single page is to convert the photos you choose to use into black and white minis.
Then take out your supply of patterned papers and using a circle shape cutter, (I used the Fiskars Ultra Shape Xpress and circle templates but you could use any round shapes you can find to trace around) cut out circles from different patterned papers. This is a great way to get through your stash and to create a colourful contrast against black and white photographs.
Using bright colours on top of a white cardstock background is another fantastic way of emphasising that happy theme you are trying to communicate through a layout like this.

[For ‘The Happy File’ layout]

Having a child with Autism can really help you appreciate the happy moments. We’ve begun seeing changes in our son by altering his diet and through much prayer. We’re seeing him do things that he has never done before. These little milestones are noteworthy! I don’t have the time or the urge to scrap about every single little one, but I do want to keep track of them. The easiest way I’ve found to do that is to create a little ‘happy file’ for us to keep notes in, as these small steps forward in our journey occur.
For you, it might be that you want to create a ‘happy file’ to note down the steps along the way of a weight loss journey, or just a way of keeping track of the small pleasures that tickle your heart happy. Perhaps you want to record your baby’s milestones that don’t necessarily fit into the categories outlined in the usual baby books, such as when your baby looked into your eyes for the first time, or rolled from her stomach to her back. Have you ever considered keeping a ‘happy file’ to keep note of places you and your new partner have visited together…perhaps it’s to keep those first movie stubs or the little love notes he wrote you? I’m not the only person that keeps these things am I?! Whatever your file contains, it’s another way of keeping important memories that could otherwise be lost.
All you really need to create this kind of ‘happy file’ is a yellow business-sized envelope and embellishments of your choice. I added sticker lettering, grid paper and a buckle to mine. Stamp some date or journaling spots onto a whole stack of patterned papers or cardstock scraps and place them inside the envelope as blank notepapers ready to be written upon when happy inspiration comes your way.

[For the ‘My Happy Place’ layout]

‘My Happy Place’ contains 14 photographs of places that make my heart so happy around the town I now call home. I included images of people, landscapes and specific locations like my favourite cafĂ© and church that really make me feel a great sense of peace and joy.
I wanted to showcase these in a unique way so I layered them in plastic pockets. I used a collection of various sizes that I’ve sourced through my local newsagency. I made the largest pocket by aligning two pieces of transparency together and then stapling them along three sides. You could sew your pockets onto the background cardstock or staple them down as I’ve done. I wrote on top of the plastic to save room for journaling and really let the photos and title take pride of place.
Is there a trip you’ve taken recently? Shrink your photos into minis through editing software like Photoshop, Picasa or via a Photo Kiosk at your local photo lab.
Then add your pockets, and mounting your photos onto coordinating patterned papers and cardstocks, slide your pictures into the clear pockets.
Write on the plastic with a permanent marker or journaling pen.
Remember to utilise the space in the pockets by including photos on both the front and backsides of the cardstock.

[For ‘Once upon a time’ layout]

No one would ever dare to pretend that life is always smooth sailing. But getting in touch with your spirituality and understanding how that impacts upon your life, can have a great deal to do with your sense of inner happiness and wellbeing. For me it’s about connecting with Jesus. What do you believe? When you are quiet and still, what causes joy to rise up within you? What brings you that inner peace that transcends this world? What do you hold onto in the dark times to help lift you out of the sadness and propel you to move forward on life’s journey? Have you ever expressed that on a page through journaling and recorded how your beliefs really make a difference in your day-to-day living?
You could communicate this kind of information in many ways. Perhaps you could write a ‘dear diary’ kind of entry and include that on your layout.
You could write in the first person, for example, ‘I believe strongly that…’ or in the third person as I’ve done on my layout, ‘Once upon a time there was a girl called Lusi’. It’s up to you and you might choose to do a combination of these voices to relay your story.
There are some great journaling stickers, stamps and patterned papers that you can use to bring attention to some of the most poignant parts of your tale.
Again I’ve chosen a crisp white cardstock sheet juxtaposed against the bright colours of the patterned papers, buttons and journaling stickers. Also consider choosing a coloured pen to journal lavishly across your page to help tell the narrative.

[For the ‘Happy hour layout]

Do you ever think about what you would like to do if you had a spare hour? I don’t always get a lot of free time to myself but when I do, there are a few simple pleasures I delight in that really make me happy. Taking the time for myself, even just a few minutes, can really help lift my spirits and lighten the burden. If I get a spare hour, I like to fill it with some of the things I’ve included in my layout; catching up with my girlfriends, taking a bath or going antique shopping. What do you love to fill your spare moments with? What do you most enjoy doing or dream about doing if you get an hour to yourself?
Create a layout using many small photos and write about each one in bullet form.
Use numbers in various fonts, sizes and colours as an interesting feature to add to your photographs which correlate with journaling points.
Adding a row of buttons or flowers and repeating the colours throughout, can create a sense of unity and balance.


Here are some other shots I wanted to share.....

1. My tummy at almost 19 weeks pregnant with bub # 4

2. Safe travels to my wonderful Anthea as you return to Wales mate.
3. Stassi as she was going off to church this morning. She asked if she could take her favourite devotional book and Big Rescue Bible with her. It is so lovely to see her loving the Word of God!
4. A really bad photo of the snow falling yesterday looking at our neighbour's house. They get a lot of steam off their room and seeing that with the snow yesterday, you would think we were living somewhere in the uk! lol :)

5. Passover mini album which will be posted sometime this week on the Buzz and Bloom typepad blog. I really enjoyed making this and it already house journaling and photos from our Passover celebration this year and explains how we tied the old testament Exodus story with the way that Jesus then became our Passover Lamb. I will add to this mini album each year.

Well love to you and yours,

Lus x


merryheart2 said...

i too was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease about 14 years ago. Lupus as a matter of fact. i don't like to give it a name. i know that's crazy but i don't like to claim it. i'm not in denial. i take care of my body with diet and exercise and it makes the world of difference.

your faith in Christ is so strong and i know you know he is King of Kings and Lord of Lords over ALL things.

after just a few months of meds i was told that i was in total remission. i give all praise to Christ.

my email addy is please feel free to write if you need to.

Tiffiny Lee said...

Hey Lus, great to hear from you, thanks for letting me know were you are now at so I can add you to my favs again. I've been busy scrapping up a storm , entering heaps of challenges and trying to get published (so, so hard). Billy is now reading books (can you beleive?), however he has regressed a alittle this week with verbal stimming, etc. Hope to be back on track again soon, hope all is well on your front and with the pregnancy (how are you feeling?), love and friendship, be back to visit soon, Tiff :o)

Sumara said...

Hello beautiful Stassi! Oh Lus she is so grown up!

I'd love to hear more about how/why/etc you celebrate Passover.

Kwik-Kliks, Kim's Scrapbooking said...

What a beautiful article Lusi, I am definately going to get a copy of that mag! Very Inspirational. I can definately relate to being inspired by song lyrics - one day I am planning on completing a "book of songs" as I generally have a song for people close to me (sometimes more than one) that gives me warm fuzzies about them when I listen to it. Congratulations on expecting baby number 4. I hope that all is going well with your pregnancy.


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