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October 2008

Challenge Blog: Scrapping the Music

Found a new-to-me challenge blog today: Scrapping the Music. I like the hook - since August 2007, they've been posting specific song challenges to inspire scrapbooking layouts.

Do you ever listen to a song and get caught up in the words....lost in your thoughts and emotions? Music can inspire and release creativity in all of us. Therefore, I have created this site as a pure means of inspiration for creating scrapbook pages from the heart. Each week I will choose a song for inspiration. Your challenge is to use this song to create a layout full of passion, emotion, or just pure fun.

They're up to 51 challenges now, and have posted an archive of the songs here.

Back in the saddle

After *10 DAYS* of PTO, I hauled my sorry self back into work today.  I arranged with my supervisor to work a half day today and tomorrow, shooting for going back full time starting Wednesday.

Uff da.  It wasn't easy, even just the four hours.  I was pretty zapped by the end of it.  I was quite relieved that I carpooled with my husband and he was able to drive me home over his lunch hour.  As bleary as my eyes were, I was glad to not have to be responsible for focusing on the road.

However, while I still have a cough and "fatigue" quickly and easy, overall I am doing SO much better.  I'm not ashamed to say the pneumonia kicked my butt for those full two weeks, but I am definitely on the mend.  Thank God for modern medicine - AND generous PTO time for rest.

After working my four hours, I came home and slept for two.  Then I got up, made and ate dinner with my family, then grabbed my purse to run my son to Boy Scouts.  And promptly locked myself and both my kids out of the house.  Turns out my keys weren't in my purse as I had assumed.  Since my husband was at a meeting, I had to call my in-laws to come rescue us.  In the 20 minutes we were outside waiting for them, I got 10 bug bites!  I think I'm done with today.  Oy.

Book of Me Idea: Who Rekindles Your Inner Fire?

"In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit."

- Albert Schweitzer

Who rekindles your inner spirit?  Or who has in the past, when you needed it most?  Discuss.

Also, DesignerDigitals is hosting a journaling challenge with a downloadable wordart freebie.  Not on the same quote or topic, but still free goodies are SWEET.

Going Green with Your Kids

Stumbled upon a very cool blog that compiles links and reviews of eco-friendly/kid-friendly products: Inhabitots.

Some products/sites they've featured:

Unfortunately my teen/pre-teen kids are past most of these things, but they're still pretty cool!

I also have to remark on how well the Inhabitots blog is maintained - strong focused content, posted frequently, centering on a general topic that supports their mission.  Nicely done.

DIY Photo Silhouette T-Shirts

Blue silhouette shirt Via Photojojo, a link to a tutorial for making your own Silhouette stencil for t-shirts.  Of course, the stencil could be used for anything crafty -- canvas bags, backpacks, curtains, pillowcases.  Photojojo also included some ideas in their post linking to the tutorial (arm-wrestling privileges is an interesting concept!).

You could also make silhouettes of non-people type things, like scissors, or shoes, or your camera.  Might make an interesting logo image.


FYI - I found out yesterday the virus I've been fighting all week has turned into pneumonia.  Just letting you know in case anyone has emailed me recently and hasn't gotten a response.  I apologize for the delay - I just don't have two spare brain cells to rub together.  Recovery time is 3-4 weeks, so it may be a bit.  Thanks for your patience.

Cool Etsy Finds for 9/11/08

So do you have an Etsy shop?  Feel free to leave a link in the comments - I love to support indie artists!  :)

Science Lesson

Going through my pre-teen daughter's school papers recently, I found this handwritten gem.  All misspellings her very own.  ;)

Science HW

QUESTION: When you drop an egg on the ground, why does it crack?

Okay, so you drop the egg.  Now what?  Well, you drop the egg and it's smashed.  But why?  Gravity.  Imagine your an egg.  Your Falling.  You hit something solid.  You feel a Pushing force pushing on you.  That's called gravity!  So!  In conclusion, The eggs smashed because of gravity. 

If you drop an egg, it's smashed by gravity.

Book Review: A Page Out of Life by Kathleen Reid

A Page Out of Life A Page Out of Life by Kathleen Reid is, at its core, the story of frazzled mother of four Ashley Gates.  As the book opens, we get an instant snapshot of Ashley's lifestyle - stained t-shirt and sweatpants, unkempt hair, frequent silent promises to herself to improve, and nerves stretched to here - "a caricature of her former self".  Constant demands from family have taken priority over any time for herself.  I must admit that several of Ashley's scenes of self-doubt and horror at "what have I become??" made me feel a little uncomfortable, for hitting a little TOO close to home.

"...Ashley felt embarrassed by her inability to transform herself or her house into something special.  There was a time when she'd considered herself incredibly organized and chic, but her present surroundings seemed as scattered as she now felt.  You've got to pull yourself together, she thought miserably as her mother's words echoed inside her mind."

"Nothing was as it should have been: her house, her figure, her marriage.  She felt utterly alone and embarrassed by her inability to figure a way out of the rut she was in.  She was so tired she felt she would drop."

When Ashley calls her girlfriend Megan for a little "retail therapy", Megan suggests they also stop by to meet her scrapbooking friends.  The scrapbooking group meets weekly at each others' to work on their albums.  While Ashley doesn't believe she's very good at "the arts-and-crafts thing", she agrees to stop by one of the meetings.  Eventually she begins going to the weekly sessions.

The book also follows the stories of the other scrapbooking women: Tara, a single grad student whose history with an absentee father colors her current search for love; and Libby, a semi-retired teacher who must deal with the shocking disillusionment after her son is charged in a corporate scandal. 

Each scrapbooking session becomes therapy, as each woman in the group works through her personal crises with the help of sisterhood and crafts.  The dialogue in the book is very similar to what you might hear at a scrapbooking crop, and will make any scrapbooking reader feel right at home.  As each woman works on her pictures and albums, she shares details from her life, and the other women provide support and feedback that help her find her way.  I loved that aspect of the book - that female friendship can provide a support network that can be immeasurably valuable.  That was probably the biggest thing I took away from the book - a reminder of how much I value my own group of scrapbooking friends, and that I need to make it a priority to attend our meetings, as an investment in myself.

Overall, A Page Out of Life evokes a wonderful sense of "Will she, or won't she?" 

Will Ashley be able to rediscover herself and her passions in life?

Will Libby be able to cope with life after her son's fall from grace?

Will Tara succumb to her decadent desires, conveniently forgetting her own family situation?

A Page Out of Life is a fairly quick read, despite its 320 pages - you can find the answers to these questions in a weekend!