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October 2006
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December 2006

Finding Your Place

I never fail to find inspiration from reading Melody Ross' blog.  Check out these recent deep thoughts from Melody's Sofa:

If you planted an acorn.... you would never, ever, EVER get an apple tree.

...many a girl (including me) has spent hours and days and years trying to be an apple tree or an almond tree or a pine tree or a palm tree.........when she started out as an acorn.....and, IF ONLY she would figure it out, and then embrace it.......she could understand, enjoy and thrive at being a beautiful, strong, enduring oak tree, and she would bless so many and affect so much if she stopped wasting time trying to be something else....if she'd focus on growing into the blueprint in that acorn.....and if a girl who started out as an apple seed begs, pleads, studies & pays-for all sorts of lotions, potions and techniques to become an oak tree......she'll just spend her whole life frustrated AND waste a whole lot of beautiful apples, too.

WHY do we do this to ourselves?

That's quantum-change level of thinking, there - for me anyway.  What IF you work really hard, and are really determined, and are a generally good person, but are barreling along on the wrong path?  I've hit my head on enough walls to know what the wrong path feels like, trying to force a square peg in a round hole.  The apple-tree-from-an-acorn metaphor is striking -- the concept that no matter how hard you work at this wrong thing, it just ain't gonna work.

She quotes from Max Lucado's Cure for the Common Life:

"The Author of the human drama entrusted your part to you alone. Live your life, or it won't be lived. We need you to be you.

YOU need to be you.

You can't be your hero, your parent, or your big brother. You might imitate their golf swing or hair style, but you can't be them. You can only be you. All you have to give is what you've been given to give. Concentrate on who you are and what you have. Don't compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life."

This concept of exploring and identifying one's own unique gifts is what led me to create my Book of Me.  I wholeheartedly embrace that idea, and have encouraged many, many others to do the same.  Yet it seems I still suffer, right along with the rest of you, from the apple-tree-from-an-acorn way of life.  Something hasn't been sinking in deep enough somewhere.

I've actually been working on this, well, for the past year, really.  I started offering marketing consulting and writing services through Scrappy Marketing Solutions.  I've been successful, and have been able to work with and help some really neat people in the industry.  But there has sometimes been the feeling of fighting too hard to find new clients, and convince them that marketing is a worthwhile investment.  It's exhausting.  So I've been re-evaluating what I like most about what I do, and it's the writing.  It really always has been.  So that's what I'm going to focus on.  I may write about marketing concepts (in fact, I know I will, in upcoming issues of Memorytrends magazine), I may write about journaling topics, I may write about writing, I may write about blogging, I may write about parenting.  I need to un-niche myself a bit, and just be more open to writing in general, I think.  And let the joy glow.

I love how Melody closed her post:

Be exactly who you are....and be even more of that tomorrow......
You are just right.....

(deep cleansing breath)  What strength and comfort there is in that.  Thanks for the heads up, as well as the reminder, Melody.

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Scrapbooking: An Attitude of Abundance

Scrapbooking.  Like many others, ours is a competitive industry.  There are only so many spots available on a design team, only so many layouts chosen for publication, only one chance to be first with a product innovation.  Some manufacturers steal ideas from others and race to the presses.  Some designers CASE (copy-and-steal-everything) layouts in online galleries and submit them as their own.  Knowing all this has led some in our numbers to be stingy in their sharing -- sharing resources, ideas, contact names, and industry 'scoops' that might help someone else get ahead.

But I think there's room to share.  There's room to make someone else's path a little easier, just because it's the good and right thing to do.  I'm not saying to give everything away for free, or that approaching your work as a business is wrong.  Hardly that.

Just this week I passed along some submission opportunities to friends because I knew they were a good fit.  One of them was even about submitting creativity/journaling prompts -- totally "my" thing.  But just because I'm good at it, and have been successful doesn't mean there isn't room for someone else to share her ideas too.

Here -- I'll share the two opportunities with you too.

Memory Makers magazine is now including creativity prompts in a new calendar section of
the magazine. For example, the prompt for National Handwriting Day (January 23) is "Add a personal, authentic touch to a layout -- use handwritten journaling."

Send your idea prompts, to editorial/at/memorymakersmagazine.com with "Creativity Prompts" as the subject line. Idea starters can be associated with a certain day like National Handwriting Day or just a great stand-alone idea that gets your creativity flowing any time of the year.

Chicken Soup for the Soul is seeking submissions for an upcoming title: 101 Stories for the PARENTS of a Child with a Disability

Do you have heart-warming, insightful and powerfully moving stories about what life has taught you and how to live life to its fullest? The authors of the New York Times Best-selling book series Chicken Soup for the Soul are currently seeking stories to be included in a new book tentatively titled Chicken Soup for the Soul with Special Needs: 101 heartwarming, helpful, healing stories that offer inspiration and promise surrounding the lives of special needs individuals. Through these stories, the readers learn how others facing similar challenges can learn to overcome the many obstacles they have.  They do this by connecting with emotions in the real life experience by learning they can choose peace and happiness in each situation regardless of how challenging it appears from the outside.  Now you have an opportunity to contribute to this new series by sharing your strength, insights, knowledge and wisdom.  The deadline date for story submissions is December 31, 2006. For more information and to submit your story, visit http://www.chickensoup.com/

My point is...There's room to share.  Share your resources, stories, ideas, and wisdom.  By helping someone on their path to success, you often help yourself.  Call it the Law of Attraction, the "Secret", Karma, Paying it Forward, or whatever -- help someone else and it will come back to you.  As you interact with other people, in the scrapbooking industry or outside of it, come to them from a place of abundance.  Share what you have, and be gracious and grateful for what other share with you.  There's plenty of pie to go around -- whether it's pumpkin or scrapbooking.

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Scrapbooking Idea: Fabulous Holiday Gift Ideas

OK, in this post, I'm gonna be all cool like Wendy Smedley, and provide a list of links to cool projects I've seen lately.   Any of these projects are perfect inspiration for holiday crafting:

Art Declassified: Transparencies inside glass ornament balls

LifetimeMoments.com 30 Days of Gifts

Prima Marketing: Canvas Accordion Album

Shimelle's Recipe Box

Mary Larson's Countdown Clipboard

A Cherry on Top: Christmas Board Book

FamilyFun.com: You-and-Me Book (a form of a Book of US!)

 

Also check out Wendy's link list in the upper left margin for some Holiday Helps -- more great resources (I bow to Wendy's greatness as resource-offering-queen!

MAN - I just wish there were more hours in the day (and more days till Christmas!  AY!)

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Book of Me Idea: Abstinence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder...?

My son is growing up.  Of course, he has been since Day 1 -- at warp speed, it often seems. Now at 12, I am forced to realize that he's soon to be a Young Adult.  Oy.

Starting in 4th Grade, he got to "enjoy" those "special" human development videos in school.  This year, upon entering Middle School, he has Health class, where they have been discussing Abstinence, Teen Pregnancy, and STDs.  Another Oy.

Part of this educational material includes a daily assignment of open-ended questions that students are required to ask of a parent/guardian.  I think that's an interesting component to the curriculum, requiring interaction between the kids and influential adults.  If the kids would sit still and really absorb the answers, it could be really valuable.

Last night's round of questions struck a chord for me.  The questions cover core topics --  I definitely want my kids to know where I stand on this.  If something were to happen to me, I want them to understand my thoughts and take my answers to heart.  And when something strikes you so fundamentally, you should consider making about Book of Me layout about it.

Here are the questions posed in the homework assignment:

  • Is there a difference between love and sex?
  • How do you know when you are really in love?
  • What are good boundaries to set before you start to date?
  • What advice do you have for me about dating?

Do(es) your child(ren) know where you stand on these points?  Do they know why?  Do they know how these situations played out in your own youth, and how that affected your perspective today?  If something were to happen to you, what have you created to guide them through these kinds of personal challenges? 

Take some time soon to write down your thoughts and feelings.  Give your child(ren) the gift of your thoughts, feelings, wisdom, and experience.  Allow them to understand your perspective, so they can draw strength from it whenever they might need to.  It's a gift only you can give.


Scrapbooking Gift Ideas: Lifetime Moments 30 Days of Gifts

Have you seen the scrapbooking idea series currently offered by LifetimeMoments.com30 Days of Gifts Index

I'm very impressed -- Owner Jackie is sending out email blasts to newsletter subscribers featuring one holiday gift idea a day for 30 days, featuring full-color images and how-to instructions from Design Team members.  The projects are really cute, and very do-able, and offered with just enough time to actually do some before the holidays.  Inspired -- on a number of levels.  Definitely check it out!


Scrapbook Journaling Idea: She was a woman who...

Love this quote found on The Quotations Page.

She was a woman who, between courses, could be graceful with her elbows on the table.

Henry James, British (US -born) author (1843 - 1916)

What other comparisons could you come up with to describe someone?  Seemingly incongruent characteristics, like being beautiful with dirt on her cheek, or classy while wearing jeans.  Those kinds of descriptions could lead to a fabulous tribute album.  You could do an album all about one person, or make one album featuring several different people.

She_1 This quote also makes me think of She by Kobi Yamada, the basis for Heidi Swapp's "She" track at CKU-A.  Happenstance allowed my friend Leslie to find that book while we were out on a girls' weekend -- it's just wonderful and the perfect basis for a theme album, on a variety of levels.  So easy to interpret on a personal level, in a meaningful way.  That's scrapbooking, my friend.

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Unique Holiday Gifts: Book of Me Gear

Waaaaaay back in The Day (like 2000), I opened a store at CafePress.com with some very basic designs, like "Scrap Diva" and "Font Diva".  Then when Book of Me came out, I added a design for that.  I decided it was time for some new designs, so I just updated my shop: Angie Pedersen's Book of Me Gear at CafePress.com

I just love the sassy cheekiness of the designs!

Scrapyou_front_1    Goscraplongsleeve_1    Clock_1

 

Something to keep in mind for Holiday Gift-giving!  ;)

Visit the Book of Me Gear shop to see all the unique items available.

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Blog Meme: ThursdayThirteen.com : Official Thursday Thirteen Blog Meme Hub

Found this fun and interesting meme hub via Mommy Inc.: ThursdayThirteen.com.

Thursday Thirteen is a blog meme with one purpose - to get to know bloggers better. Thirteen is the magic number - because Thursday Thirty is too many!

Every Thursday, bloggers jot down thirteen things about their week, Thirteen secrets they’ve never shared before, Thirteen random things about themselves or their lives that give the reader a better idea of who they are. Then the fun begins, you go bloghopping! Find other Thursday Thirteeners, spend some quality time getting to know your fellow bloggers, interact with them through their lists and invite them to yours!

Is there a theme every week?

Nope!  Your Thirteen Things can be about whatever you want.  Just remember, most of your fellow Thirteeners expect to learn more about who you are or what you’ve been up to that week!  If you do a themed list, you may want to keep that in mind.

I'm all about sharing interesting personal facts and stories!  Sounds like a great meme!

Related: What is a meme?


One Scrappy Holiday Promotion -- Free Shipping on Book of Me!

A heads up -- I just posted an impromptu promotion to help you get a jumpstart on holiday shopping: Free domestic shipping on The Book of Me series of Scrapbooking Idea Books.

A couple of notes: the free shipping applies only to orders shipped within the U.S., and only to orders of single copies of the book(s).  The Combo deals do not qualify for free shipping (because that's basically what you get with the combo order discount).

Learn more about:

Any/All of these books make great gifts -- you're essentially telling the recipient that you believe their stories are worth telling!  Win-win!  You get to read the stories, and they get the self-confidence boost!  :)

And the gift-giving clincher -- I sign each book ordered from Shop, and I'm happy to personalize the signature directly to the recipient.  Just tell me the person's name in the comments section of the shopping cart (or email me directly at angie/a/t/onescrappysite.com).  Happy to help!

P.S. I've also "aided and abetted" a number of Secret Santas/Sisters with book orders -- the return address is mine, not yours!  ;)