Tuesday, March 31, 2009

It Took A Long While

I have always believed that scrapping is more than just documenting family holidays, daily events and my loved one's personalities. For me, it has been how I express myself. My form of journaling. I have scrapped hard subjects and real feelings, getting some creative therapy along the way.

This layout had been in my mind for about 6 months. But I couldn't sit to scrap it. I finally did because my March column was about letter writing. I assigned different emotions to some peeps and took anger for myself. My mom and biological father divorced when I was just a baby and he basically abandoned us. I had so many nightmares growing up about him coming back and kidnapping me--they were real fears for a 10 year old. I finally met my father when I was 16. He lived in Georgia, but has family near me. It wasn't so scary after all. I learned he had remarried twice after that. I have two sisters and a brother (I have recently started a correspondence with one sister and have never met my other siblings.)

My biological father was in my life for about 3 years and then disappeared, again. When I was 29, he walked into my mom's workplace and then contacted me. I opened my life to him again, forgiving him because I honestly believed he did the best he could. He was an alcholic from an abusive family. He tried to be in my world, but drinking and anxiety stopped him. And quite honestly, it stopped me from getting too close. We lost contact in 2004. Not in a bad way, we just faded. I figured we would find our way back again.

About a year later, my mom called to tell me that he had passed away. His body shut down from the drinking. I grieved on the phone as if I knew him my whole life. It hurt. I found out that he had been in a comma for a few weeks. No one involved bothered to call me. I wasn't notified about his services. I was given no choice, again.

The journaling on the layout will describe the rest, providing the reason why I HAD so much anger. It is written as a letter:

To Whom It May Concern:
His obituary reads, “Bill is survived by two daughters and a son.” Much to my dismay, I abruptly realized that I was left off the list. It should read as three daughters. It is as if I don’t exist. I suppose I should be used to this because I lived my life the forgotten one. When I was finally contacted, I learned that he had been in the hospital for a while. If I had known, I could have made a choice. We had made peace, and I tried to understand. But, obviously, that wasn’t thought of during this. I wasn’t thought of. So I am here to say that I do exist. I matter. I am valuable. I won’t be forgotten!

I don't mean to be mad at any one person. Yet, I don't think I will ever understand how you can know that I exist, yet don't put me as a daughter in the obituary. I guess we all do the best we can. I was so angry though, mad at the universe. My hope is that I have released some of the anger. I have honored my feelings in all of this.

I cried like a baby making this layout. In turn, I healed some more. Sharing it helps me honor who I am. And, I heal some more.

That is the power of expressing yourself.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

They Have My Heart

It is interesting for me to go to non-family events where there is a bit of structure or not, and see how my kids are going to act. They are in daycare with other kids, but it is at their Nana's house. They haven't gone to a camp program or Parks & Rec activity, yet. Nathan will start preschool in the fall so my curiosity is especially piqued. We had a birthday party today. They needed to share, listen to the young man trying to put on a magic show, and transition well (can you tell I am a teacher who way overanalyzes things! LOL!). I sit here tonight proud of how they acted, how they used their manners and found new friends.

There is one moment that stands out to me the most though. There was this huge pirate ship playscape thing. It was about 7 feet high. Ella was on it and Nathan was across the way on another playscape the same height. He was keeping an eye out for her and, at one point, yelled out to her, "Ella, be careful up there." Steve and I caught eyes and smiled. They are tight--they have this whole relationship outside of the two of us and it is awesome!

Here is more proof:

Look at how they are holding hands, the shared smile. It melts my heart! Journaling reads: Yes, you two have your moments. But for the most part, you really are best friends. You look out for each other, play together constantly, and show genuine affection. Hold onto that always!

I hope they do!

Friday, March 27, 2009

So I Realized...

...that I haven't really ever done a layout that includes my entire household. We have our family and then a small piece of animal kingdom! Hearing from an old friend who asked about my two cats made me realize that I need to document "everyone". So this layout was born! My kitties are 16 and 15 years old, or something like that! LOL! I just know they have been with me through MANY life changes, moves, adjustments...So here we all are. The Michaud clan.

I love this Home bingo card and thought it was perfect--it actually serves as my title too! I added a big ole circle to continue to stay out of that funk I mentioned last week! I love the chipboard in the PP set and this house is no exception. I just added a thick brown outline to make it stand out! I used the orange ribbon as the chimney smoke! Journaling reads: We plan to move in a year. I will miss this house. But I know home is where you all are-us together!

It is almost April 1st! Keep an eye out for ScrapStreet.com's newest issue! And a new challenge will be up over at Category Stories. We are also doing the Card-a-Day feature over at the Nook--be sure to check it out!


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Long Day Ahead...

Typically I think that time is flying by very quickly, but I have a feeling today will be a long day! We have parent/teacher conferences and I will be at work from 8:00 until 8:00. These are good days though because I get to report on positive progress and connect with parents. Still fighting my cold though and wonder if my voice will last the day!

Here is a layout I made using the April Nook kit! I love, love, love it! I was inspired to make this because of that cute chipboard tree. The chipboard is a part of the add-ons this month--so worth the purchase! I cut the "leaves/bushes" from the sheet of PP called Beautiful and layered them up. I adore this LO because of the photos of my two kiddos. The first is from Nov. 2006, the second a year later from 2007, and the last from September 2009! They grow sooo fast, huh! It is crazy. Journaling reads: Time is just flying by and you two continue to change. One thing stays the same--you are always together!

Off to start my long day! Any tips to keep me pumped and energized??? I need them!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Monday, Monday...

Ahh, Mondays...It means back to work, time to set goals for the week, and watching 24 (which truly is the best is has ever been!). The weekend flew by---Nathan ended up with a PFAPA fever yesterday. It was creeping all weekend and finally hit around 2:00. One month since the last one. He had to miss his Aunt's birthday party--it is really the first event he has missed because of a fever. He seems to be better today after the treatment so we shall see. At least there is truth and comfort is knowing what it is! I watched Twilight this weekend and absolutely loved it! Swoon--the chemistry between those two!

I also scrapped like a mad woman this weekend! Things just flowed out of me--Pink Paislee has a way of doing that to me! I never use circles and decided to give it a try--keep things fresh. I like the end result! I love these photos--as you can tell from my last few layouts! They are just too sweet. The journaling reads: Trust Daddy-He will show you exactly how a good man should act.

Off to start the work week! It is a busy one! I am hoping to exercise at least three times again! Have a good one!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

It has been a good day

Happy Saturday! Unfortunately, I have woken up with an annoying head cold, but I am not letting it bother me. Why you ask? Well, because thanks to Leah and the amazing, lovely, beautiful April Nook kit--my funk is gone! I have so many ideas that I might need to get another kit! I highly recommend you get yourself one because Leah seriously put together the perfect embellishments for the Pink Paislee papers! II will post a photo soon, but for now just click on my link.) I opened mine up last night and had this layout within 2 hours! Ahhh, feels good. There is also an equally aweseme Limited Edition kit featuring a different PP line!

Check me out at age 2. More importantly, look at that rust brown carpeting...hehe!! Journaling reads: That's me-age 2. Cute dimples. The thing is that I still have them & don't know if they are quite as adorable at age 38. Oh well.

The other thing making me totally happy today. This:

Yummy! Just had my first cup of coffe using it!

Wanted to say thanks to you all who visit this blog! Your comments really make my day and are so appreciated!

Hope you have a happy weekend!

Friday, March 20, 2009


So I totally believe in things like karma, feng shui and the power of positive thinking. Not to sound crazy, but I have seen all of these at work in my life too many times to not believe.

That brings me to my story. About 6-8 months ago, Dream Street Designs was having a design team call. This is one that I really, really wanted. I had gone to summer CHA just a couple of months prior and had a business card from them. I put that card next to a sign in my scraproom that says "believe". You know, to attract all that positive energy...I think I even had a couple of projects there for good effect...(Don't worry I didn't chant or anything!)

Well, I didn't make the team. Darn! So much for feng shui and The Secret, right? Except about two month ago, I jumped on the DDS Winter CHA giveaway by simply leaving a comment alongside 250 other people about their new lines.

There is such a thing as positive thinking because I actually won that contest and was sent all 6 collections of their paper. The lesson--we ARE sent what we dream about but it may not come in the form you first imagined! No, its not the design team, but heck, how lucky is that anyway! I wonder if all the negative-energy-sucking clutter in my scraproom threw things off for me with the actual team part? LOL!

I am so grateful to have won the collections and here is a layout I made using the Family Forever line! Loved the roses and decided to create a garden feel using the KI diecut as latice! Yes, I used the backside of the KI--whatever works right!

Okay-dokey! Yes, this is really how I operate most days! LOL! TGIF!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Today it is supposed to be 62 degrees! Gosh, I long for warmer, brighter days. It just makes you feel better. I walked yesterday and want to start a more regular exercise program. I am going to look for invitations for Ella's birthday party. Of course, she wants a Cinderella theme. I usually make a cool themed-out cake! If anyone has any ideas, let me know!

I have been teasing my husband lately because he set up our T.V. so that it displays caller id information. He loves the couch after 8:00 p.m. (I might hog the computer a bit) and now he won't even have to get up to check to see who is calling. I told him that I am buying him a Snuggi, an idea given to me by one of the girls at The Nook! I might get the two for one deal and we can wear them together. Can you picture it?? Anyone have one--I need a review!

Here is my most recent layout, which came together pretty quickly. As a part of Focus on Me Fridays over at The Nook, I wanted to document the status of things right now! You can read the journaling in the photo!!!

Don't forget about the ScrapStreet Star contest--get yourself involved today!

Have a great one!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Resting Up

Ever felt like you were in a real scrappy funk?? Totally me right now! I haven't had lots of energy to create or even blog this past week. I know it is normal and this too shall pass! I have made a few things and like how they have turned out. But I feel like it is tough getting there. Usually an idea comes to me and I run with it. Lately, struggle.

So I am posting some cards I have recently completed! The Feeling Lucky one is actually a card that holds lottery tickets! I made it for the March 15th prompt over at Category Stories! We have a cool prize this month so go and check it out! You can do whatever you want with the category, "I'm so lucky." The other card is using new Little Yellow Bicycle--isn't that line darling. I am still loving my March kit from The Nook--the Ever After Line is so awesome for making cards!!!

Oh well. Here's to hoping my funk passes soon!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Don't Even Try...

Don't even try to call me on my cellphone! I am notorious for leaving it uncharged and abandoned in my purse! My dear husband got this one for me from his mom, but there is only a car charger. Well, guess who works only 8 minutes away from home?! And the charger doesn't work when the car is turned off! So, yeah, my cell, never works.

Great topic for a page huh!?

Saturday, March 7, 2009

What I am Lovin'

Thought I would start my weekend by reflecting upon what I am loving right now! I always love Pink Paislee but am also loving some other paper lines: Websters, October Afternoon, Jillibean Soup, and Marks! I also picked up some Graphic 45--it is not totally my style but I am going to play around and have fun! These PP projects were in ScrapStreet last month! I had fun cutting out all the elements, layering journaling tags, and using the rub-ons!

Speaking of fun, I just have to say that I just love Sasha's funky and unique style! Every project she does blows me away. If she looks closely, she would notice from her blog tracker that I am there like every other minute!

I am also loving Category Stories and have a great idea in mind for the second March category! You need to head over, check out the first one and get playing so you can be eligible for the awesome RAK!

In terms of undying love---the March kit from The Nook is just so elegant! You need to get one and be on the lookout for the April kit! YUMMY! And don't forget to register for the ScrapStreet Star contest! Your creativity will be stretched like never before! Plus, at least two chances for a magazine spot is up for grabs!

Off to devour some chocolate chip pancakes and coffee--two other things I love!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Stepping Out

...outside of the box that is! I really wanted a little whimsy in my life to brighten these cold days and help me break out of my grouchy mood! LOL! The Cosmo Cricket Ever After line has this pretty little card in it with a group of children playing Ring Around the Rosy. One is wearing a bright orange dress, there is green grass, and the sky is full of clouds. So I was inspired. I cut the paper to make it look like grass and then used the trim as my clouds. I simply put the sun in the corner, but it wasn't enough so I got this idea (insert lightbulb here) to use the rub-ons in the kit to make the rays. Still something was missing so I simply added more circles on top to layer the sun! Again, this line is so perfect for heritage photos!
These pictures are of me and my mom from when I was about 2 or 3 years old! We were at Storyland! My mom (and still is) a knockout! Be sure to come on over to the Nook and check out Focus on Me Friday where we will have a new challenge up! We are creating a Book of Me through this ongoing series!!!
TGIF everybody!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Little Yellow Bicycle Fun

I have always been a fan of Little Yellow Bicycle products--they are just fun and super easy to use! Last night was the class at my LSS with Sharon Ann and Tom. They were a blast and the class was lots of fun. I am in awe of how generous they are with their product! The best part: we all got a cool LYB bag and I got to try out some new rub-ons that are meant for layering on each other. This product is sure to be a hit! I got to meet an online friend, Amy Birch, which was a total surprise! Yeah, she is so friendly and it was a pleasure! I also had the chance to hang out with a dear friend, Jenn! I do love Wiggles & Giggles. The girls who work there are fabulous! If you are in the Hartford area, be sure to check it out! Many LSS's are not making it these days--my heart would break if anything happened to Wiggles!

Here is a layout I did for display at the class! I used a pretty flower plate from my daughter's collection to cut that circle shape. Then I just cut an outer piece to go with it! Love these colors and I think this is going to be my Easter paper (not that I scrap holidays...LOL!).

Hump day--it is almost the weekend! Hope you have a good one!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A Good Color Combination

I love a good color combination--in an outfit, with decorating, and with scrapbooking goodies! Pottery Barn is always a source of great color combos! I didn't have to work hard using the Cosmo Ever After line to get a pretty combination. It is featured in the March kit over at The Nook--and Leah is restocking the store with some Prima Say It In Pearls (which sold out in seconds the last time). I am so loving the yellow, gray, orange mix! It is very classy and perfect for weddings. My wedding photos are not digitally based though so it is a pain to keep reprinting. And I can't resize like I want. So, I wanted to also use the Cosmo for some heritage layouts.

Now I have been in a major funk. It is taking me a long time to scrap, I can't tell if I like anything, I think I must be a terrible scrapbook artist. It has been stinky to not feel good about the hobby you love so much. Then I found this picture of my mom. This was her high school graduation picture! Isn't it lovely. It helped to bust me out of my funk (let's hope it lasts!). The journaling reads: I look and see so much beauty-an inner light. What were you like? Were you happy, determined, well-liked? Did you know what you wanted from life? I want to know the girl in this photo. I wonder.

So glad I found that photo.

P.S. Don't forget about the ScrapStreet Star contest! It is going to be a fun one!

Monday, March 2, 2009

First of the Month-Announcement Included!

Where do I start! There are so many exciting things going on! The new March category is up over at Category Stories and the topic is "Precious to Me." Seriously, the team is so talented and I am enjoying their interpretations. There is a cool prize involved from the Nut & Bee Etsy store so be sure to play along! Here is my layout--I adore this picture and just had to scrap it again!

The March issue of ScrapStreet Magazine is up and it is a great one! Go check it out, you will be so glad you did!

I wrote this journaling article about incorporating letter writing onto your page. My guest designers were phenomenal this month! Thank you Lucy Edson, Judy Wicker, Abbie Torroll, Laura Craigie, and Jennifer McGowan!

I also featured the Scrapping the Music blog this month in Blog Bay. What a great site! And I was blown away by the DT's work!

Finally, an announcement! The annual ScrapStreet Star contest is coming up so soon! This is the deal, you enter and play along to the challenges each week, trying to advance into the final round. If you win, you get a prize package valued at over $100.00. That is not even the best part--even if you don't make it to the next round or win, you have a chance to earn a spot on the magazine staff. We are adding to the current roster. Get all the details by clicking here.

Yes, this is when and how the new staffers are picked! You get to develop your own column, accept submissions, publish yourself and your talented friends, go to CHA, design with great products, and meet the best people. It is the greatest gig!

This contest changed my scrappy life last year and they may never get rid of me! I'll be 92 and still writing articles! It made me start scrapping in a new way and helped bring SS.com into my world. I encourage you to try out!!!!!

The month of March is starting off in a great way!


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