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Google Calendar links added

You may not have noticed over in the left sidebar, amongst all the other widgets and links and such -- I recently added a couple of links to my Class/Appearance/Travel calendar.  I've added all the relevant dates to a Google calendar for upcoming classes and appearances (yeesh, "appearances" always sounds so hoity-toity, but oh well). 

There's a link to a static webpage that is always kept updated with my class schedule.  There's also a link to an RSS feed, which will list each event/class individually. (Ain't technology grand??)

Current online classes:

Essentials of Scrapbook Journaling: 7/13/06-8/11/06
Get Started Quickly in Scrapbook Journaling online class: 7/27/06-8/25/06

Upcoming classes:

Scrapbooking Basics online class  [FREE!!]

Essentials of Scrapbook Journaling online class

MemoryTrends trade show; Las Vegas, baby!
2 classes on Monday, October 9th

S21 Marketing With News: Keep In Touch With Your Customers, In Print And Online
W46 "Being Me" Etched Chipboard Album/Go West Studios

Still time to Get Started Quickly with Scrapbook Journaling!

My next Writers Online Workshop, "Getting Started (Quickly) in Scrapbook Journaling" starts tomorrow, and I just found out there's still time to register.  Through midnight (Eastern) tonight you can sign up online at, or through Friday at 5:00 by calling 1-800-759-0963.

The class is based on One Minute Journaling, by Joanna Campbell Slan, who also wrote that article I posted a couple of days ago, "Journal the Hurts, Scrapbook the Highs".  Quality stuff.

ANNNNNND, if you use coupon code AP2006, you get 15% off registration.  Sweet.

Wholly Scrap - on hiatus

I've recently made the decision to put my podcast, Wholly Scrap, on indefinite hiatus.  Thought you should know.

I still love podcasts, still love the idea of podcasting, still even enjoy creating podcasts, but my schedule is just too full right now to allow for it.  Each show takes me about four evenings to put together, and I'm having more and more trouble finding that much time.  I've debated scaling back on the shows, maybe not including music bits, or just doing the Scrapbooking Industry News, or maybe making 5 minute shows.  But I don't really want to do that.  The show I want to produce is basically what I've been doing -- musical intros and interludes, Industry News, a show topic, and interviews.  That's the show I want to do.  So until I can do that, the show is on hiatus.

Hiatus means "a period when something (as a program or activity) is suspended or interrupted".  So that doesn't mean I'm quitting, or giving up.  Lord knows I hate the idea of being a "podfader"!  That's a personally unacceptable idea for me.  The idea of failure or giving up really chafes at me.  But I also need to be able to admit when too much is too much -- a hard idea for this over-achiever to swallow, but I'm working on it.  Too often recently I've been saying, "There just aren't enough hours in the day."  That's a sign I need to cut back.  The podcast is an acceptable loss, for the time being.

That said, I will continue to keep my Libsyn account open, so the archives are still available (and my iTunes listing is still valid).  And I will keep an eye on my schedule for a little "free time" to maybe pop out a show now and then.

Book of Me Challenges/ebook

Recently I've gotten a number of emails asking the same question:

"Can you tell me where I can find the weekly Book of Me challenges numbered from 1 - 100?"

My 'faithful followers' may remember that I used to facilitate Book-of-Me-related discussion lists at YahooGroups.  On them, I would post little tidbits I would find that might be helpful to those working on a Book of Me scrapbook – quotes, journaling prompts, websites, etc.  Sometimes I would post several resources a day, sometimes once a week.  Some of the list members commented that they were having trouble getting started on their books, that they had yet to complete one layout. Overwhelmed by resources, they just didn't know where to start. There was also a request for weekly challenges from me.  In September 2002, I started posting Weekly Challenges to my Book of Me discussion lists.

In November 2003, my husband and I updated my personal website,  This update included message boards, layout gallery, and whole new content management system.  We also started publishing a weekly newsletter.  My Book of Me Challenges moved to One Scrappy Site at this point – I posted a Challenge each week in the newsletter, and archived them in the articles section of the site. 

I published a total of 106 Challenges and kept them archived for free access for over a year. Sometime last year, I realized I wanted to give the challenges a more formal presentation, whereby people could benefit from a more complete package of guidance in creating their Books of Me.  So I took the archive offline, and am currently in the process of putting together an ebook of the challenges, tweaking and revamping the pieces into a program.

Working title: "The Year of Me: 52 Challenges to Jumpstart Your Book of Me".  The idea is the challenges are meant to give you a specific task that you can focus on for a week. Ideally, the goal is to pick one Challenge/Task each week.  People can just follow along, just as the Challenges are laid out, starting with Week 1, and ending with Week 52.  Get it?  52 weeks in a year?  The Year of Me!  (Clever thinking like that is what has made me sooooo famous!)

I know I'm being a tease by blogging about this now, while the ebook is not yet even done.  But since several people have emailed asking about the challenges recently, I thought I'd respond here. 

I promise to post to the One Scrappy Site homepage, and here when the ebook is available.

Book of Me Scrapbooking Tip: How to be more photogenic

Via Lifehacker, via Digital Inspiration, this WikiHow offers tips on How to Be Photogenic.  Some tips that struck me:

4. Get rid of a double chin. Tilt your head down slightly and try to position yourself so that the camera is a little above your eye level. This will hide a double chin fairly effectively. You can also put one hand under your chin as though you’re resting your head on your hand.  (see my own example, left)

7. Think happy thoughts....imagine something really funny (don’t be afraid to laugh a bit, even) or think of someone — your spouse or child, for example— who makes you happy. By doing so, you’ll get a genuine smile. If you don’t like your smile or your teeth, try a more subdued, closed- or partially-closed-mouth smile. Regardless of how you choose to smile, the happier and more relaxed you are, the better.

8. Smile with your eyes. Nothing projects happiness and beauty like smiling eyes: a happy, somewhat mischievous expression of the eyes. To achieve this effect, imagine that the camera is a person you have a crush on walking into the room. This will create wider open eyes and a relaxed smile.

12. Fake it till you make it. People are often photogenic because they like having their picture taken. They are therefore relaxed and happy when the camera appears. If you cannot muster up genuine love of the camera, pretend you like the camera- imagine the camera is someone you love, a long lost friend, a old flame, your child at age three, whatever you need to look at the camera lovingly. Try it, it really does work.

My thoughts on "Journal the Hurts; Scrapbook the Highs"

I just posted an article by Joanna Campbell Slan titled, "Journal the Hurts; Scrapbook the Highs".  It's an article that has stayed with me for years now -- if you'll notice the copyright at the end of the piece, it reads 2001.  (That's practically a lifetime in scrapbook industry years!) 

In my classes, I continue to reference this article.  It expressed succinctly a key point I try to stress -- that scrapbooking about challenges can be rewarding and healing, but it doesn't have to include every last sordid detail of each experience.  When I first read it, I immediately appreciated how Joanna was able to put those thoughts into words.

Unfortunately, even though I mentioned the concept in my classes, I had no where to point students so they could read the article on their own.  The article was originally (and exclusively, I believe) posted at Graceful Bee, a now-defunct online scrapbooking magazine (may she rest in peace -- GB was a pioneer in online scrapbooking magazines, truly innovative and groundbreaking).  Since the GB archives are gone, so too was Joanna's article.

So I recently bucked up my courage to email her and ask if I could reprint it here on my blog, so I could use the permalink in my class handouts.  Joanna graciously agreed.  Yea!

As I said, the article sums up most of my thoughts on scrapbooking and journaling about challenging topics, whether sad times, regretable times, bitter times, hateful times, traumatic times, times of betrayal, times of deep loss, or a multitude of other "negative" emotions or situations.  Poor health, death, school bullies, depression, natural disasters, divorce, the loss of a close friendship -- none of us are immune to these kinds of life events.  The question often comes to me (and Joanna, obviously) -- how do I scrapbook the 'hard times'?  Should I even scrapbook them?

Both Joanna and I seem to agree -- yes, you can definitely scrapbook about life's challenges.  Do you have to?  No.  Can you?  Yes.  It's a personal decision.

For example, divorces (or just past relationships) are often hard to handle in scrapbooks, but still valuable...

Continue reading "My thoughts on "Journal the Hurts; Scrapbook the Highs"" »

Scrapbook Journaling: Journal the Hurts; Scrapbook the Highs

By Joanna Campbell Slan,
First North American Rights for publication in e-mail serial form
First published on Graceful Bee online scrapbooking magazine

Allow me to introduce my new mantra. Many of you have written to ask how do you scrapbook a rough patch in your life. Whether that rough patch is a child's problematic year in school, a spiteful in-law, a soured romance or a lamentable first marriage, the place to explore your feelings is in a journal.

Life's disappointments are like sewage. It has to be processed before it can be non-toxic. That anger you feel toward your mother-in-law may change one day, when you understand how it feels to watch your darling son walk off into the sunset with another woman. The pain of a bad school year pales when your child is linked with a teacher who finds the good in every child and nurtures your child to a peak performance.

Trust me, kiddos. I'm older than I could once imagine. Each week I am forced -- and I do mean forced -- to re-evaluate a tidbit of life that I would have sworn is true. While looking for a blank journal, I pulled down a journal I'd written in sparsely. How different I am. How much I've grown. How thankful I am that those experiences led me to this place.

Will I ever scrapbook any of this? Oh, sure. But I'll scrap them now with hindsight. Now if I do a page on my son's horrible school year, I'll include the song we sang called the CDS Blues. Now I'll think about that jerky boyfriend, and remember he introduced me to lobster and fried clams. That spiteful in-law? Last week he learned he'd held a misconception about me for 17 years. That page will wait. The first marriage? It led me here. Without that misstep I would not have appreciated the man I'm married to now…and forever. I can scrap the old by celebrating the new. Enough said.

But all of that, dear ones, is hindsight. Worked out in a journal. Processed through prayer. And not necessarily what I'd pay homage to on a scrapbook page. Life's too short to waste creative energy on bad times. Instead, I'll devote my pages to the good and the uplifting. Let my journal shelter my growing pains, and let my memory album showcase my best self.

Copyright Joanna Slan, 2001. All Rights Reserved

[Editor's Note: Joanna Campbell Slan is one of the earliest pioneers of scrapbooking journaling -- I would in fact call her the "Mother of Scrapbook Journaling" as we know it.  She has written 6 books for scrapbookers including her original book, Scrapbook Storytelling, which has sold more than 35,000 copies. You can sign up for Joanna's journaling newsletter at]

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Chicken Soup for the Scrapbooker's Soul

Waaaay back in March 2005, I submitted two essays to Chicken Soup for the Scrapbooker's Soul.  In December 2005, I received emails saying both pieces were "being considered" for the book.  In April 2006, I received emails that both had been accepted!  (Unfortunately, only one ultimately made it in -- co-author Allison Connors mentioned this in a comment she left on this post in my blog.  Probably it was only a space issue, because the essay was certainly well-written and insightful enough to be included.  ;)  )

Finally, over a year later, I received my contributor's copy in the mail yesterday.  It looks great!  (AND they spelled my last name right in every instance!)

While I've been excited to see the final production, I've also been very curious about who else made it in.  I see several familiar names -- the co-authors, of course, Allison Connors and Debbie Haas.  Also:
Cathy Arnold, editor of the late Graceful Bee
Lisa Bearnson, founding editor of Creating Keepsakes magazine
Leeza Gibbons
Jlyne Hanback, owner of
Ami Mizell-Flint, co-owner of Scrapbook University in San Angelo, TX

I'm looking forward to paging through it -- the first chapter is humorous stories, and it's been entertaining reading.  I loved Ginger McSwain's "An Egg-Splosive Hobby"!  That soooo could have been me!  ;)

My essay is about my experience as a Keynote Speaker for the 2003 Close to My Heart annual convention, titled "Speaking My Piece", pp. 251-254. says the book is not yet released, but it is available for pre-order.  I think the release date was publicized as July 2006, so it should ship soon, I would think.  Amazon has Chicken Soup for the Scrapbooker's Soul in stock now!

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Book of Me idea: "Me Speak"

Love the latest Effer Dare:

everybody's got one (at least!)...
that phrase you say all the time...
that phrase that's SO YOU.
What's your catch phrase??
Focus on the vernacular, that makes you "you".

Great topic!  I'd have to do a little thinking on this one, or more likely, ask around to my friends and family.  Could be quite telling!  ;)

I know I add "hey?" on to the end of a lot of my sentences, like, "Great weather, hey?"  Or "No kidding, hey?"  That little "hey" is a remainder of my college days at University of Wisconsin-Madison. 

After growing up in Kansas since I was 3, I noticed quite a bit of a "language barrier" when I arrived in Wisconsin -- very strange to me, since I considered both places "Midwest".  But many of my friends teased me about my "Southern Drawl" (from KANSAS??)  But I digress...

One particularly Wisconsin thing I noticed, and quickly picked up, was to end many sentences with "hey?"  Growing up in Kansas City, we more often said, "huh?", meaning something like, "...don't you agree?"  But now, even 14 years after leaving Madison I still end many sentences with "hey?"

Hey!  ;)  I think I just did my journaling for this page!  Pretty cool, hey? ;)

What's your signature catch phrase?  How will you scrap it?


Danelle Johnson's [Good Things] Week

Danelle Johnson has started [Good Things] week on her blog, to offer (and give away!) sneak peeks at her new Art Warehouse & Hampton Arts product to be released at CHA-Summer in a couple of weeks. 

She has already posted a couple of fun challenges to "earn" her goodies:

  • The challenge for Monday is to execute "1 random act of unsuspecting kindness outside your home to a stranger."
  • [Good Things] challenge #2 for Tuesday: Contact someone from your past that you haven't been in contact with in the last 2 years to say hi.  How you do this is up to you.  Just making that effort to let someone from your past know that they are important to you.

I love when goodies are offered with creative and inspiring challenges!  Way to go, Danelle!