Archives for March 2011

This is the only photo I have of my paternal grandfather


"Pater familias" is Latin for "father of the family"

Today the Twisted Sketches site launches its 94th sketch, and it’s a good one! The sketch as well as the design team’s interpretations are all waiting to inspire you.

This is my rendition of the sketch. It highlights the only photo I have of my father’s childhood that also includes his father. I never met my grandfather, as he passed away in my dad’s teenage years, so I adore this photo. This portrait was taken in 1944, making my dad 11 years old.

I chose the Latin “pater familias” as my title because it means “father of the family.” In fact, the term pater familias had specific legal meaning in Roman times, when the head of the family was expected to be a good citizen to his own familia as well as to the broader community. In theory at least, he held powers of life and death over every member of his extended familia through ancient right.

It’s quite interesting to read about, but honestly the first time I ever heard the term was in the 2000 film, O Brother, Where Art Thou? Such a good movie. Here’s the clip:

I don’t know about you, but I really love creating a layout where just about every product used is from a different company. It feels like a little more of an accomplishment to me than creating a page using all products from the same line. In this design the patterned papers are from Crate Paper, Webster’s Pages, My Mind’s Eye and Making Memories. The trims are from Making Memories and Hobby Lobby, and the rub on is from K&Company. Now that’s just good, clean scrapping fun!

The Twitter effect

Setting goals and taking journeys

I love setting goals, long-term and short. Every day presents you with a fresh opportunity to work on the goal and feel that you’re changing your life.

Can getting more Twitter followers change my life? Your reaction might be an immediate “Of course not!”

But give me a moment to change your mind.

Have you ever read about the butterfly effect? Wikipedia defines it this way: “The butterfly effect is a metaphor that encapsulates the concept of sensitive dependence on initial conditions in chaos theory; namely, a small change at one place in a complex system can have large effects elsewhere. Although this may appear to be an esoteric and unusual behavior, it is exhibited by very simple systems.”

In popular culture terms the concept of the butterfly effect is frequently referred to through the novelty of a minor change in circumstances causing a large change in outcome.

So, how do I tie this back to growing my Twitter following? Simply by conceiving of the possibility that by interacting with more people who have similar interests and goals I have a better chance of running into a person who can benefit from what I have to give or who knows the very person I should meet. Because every action has an effect on other probabilities, all it takes is one, right?

So that’s my newest short-term goal: To grow my newly established Twitter account from my current 28 followers (blush) to 100 by May 1st (without following lots of random people just to get follows back). I think it’s doable, and I’ll pop in periodically to let you know how I’m progressing.

If any of you have suggestions for good ways to make this happen, I would certainly appreciate a quick comment with your wisdom.

Oh, and won’t you please follow me on Twitter? 😉

Please follow me on Twitter

May I interest anyone in a sketch?

Hello, hello! Today I hope to inspire you with pointers to some great sketches I found online, all of them current and several of them with contests attached. If you want to visit the sites from which they came, just click on the sketch images. Happy scrapping!

Capturing a 6-year-old’s amazing day



Mom snapped a picture of me the day I came home with my "Student of the Month" pin in first grade.

What do you count among the most amazing days in your life?

Do you have a top-five-best-days-ever (so far) list in your head? So, if I challenged you to name them (or scrapbook them) you would be ready just like that? Or when you think about amazing days, does a different memory pop in each time, making it difficult to name the very best?

What I know is that I’ve had a lot of amazing days so far. And yes, I know I’m blessed. Sure, I’ve had a ton more run-of-the-mill, completely unmemorable days than I have had amazing ones. But how amazing could they be if you had them all the time, right? Even so, I didn’t have a list in my head of which of my many good days would, in fact, qualify as great.

Yet that’s what Shimelle challenged us to do in our second assignment for her “Blogging for Scrapbookers” class. So, I gave myself five minutes to brainstorm a short list (therefore, it’s not at all exhaustive) of those memories that truly flood my heart with warmth:

  • My wedding day
  • The day Matt asked me to marry him
  • Every Christmas when I was a kid
  • Finally figuring out how to ride a bike
  • The day I received the letter offering me a full scholarship to grad school
  • The first day of my college summer internship in NYC
  • The day we rescued our cat, Oliver, from the middle of traffic on a highway
  • The summer morning my mom said, “Get up. Let’s go to Sea World today!” for no reason at all
  • Having my dad ask me to help him Christmas shop for my mom
  • Singing “Away in a Manger” for the Christmas program in kindergarten
  • Christmas caroling dressed as Dickens characters with my friends in high school
  • Picking out our family dog, Spenser, and bringing him home
  • The first day of rehearsal after being cast in the community theater musical, “The Mystery of Edwin Drood”
  • Being named “Student of the Month” in first grade

Every one of these memories deserves its own scrapbook layout, but it’s the last item on this list that I’ve chosen to use as the basis for my assignment:

I loved school from the start. Pretty much everything about it made me happy. Mrs. Slike was a kind yet strict teacher—just what I needed. I liked the order, the little responsibilities, the assigned seats, changing to different subjects throughout the day, raising my hand to answer the teacher’s questions, the approval on the teacher’s face when I got answers right, wearing my uniform, talking to the other kids and learning, learning, learning. I liked walking to and from school with my younger brother (most of the time) and staying after school to clean the blackboards. I even usually liked doing my homework.

You get the idea. I was a school nerd.

On the day of this photo I don’t remember anything special about the school day except that it was our once monthly dress-up opportunity (which is why I’m wearing this navy dress with the doily collar and cuffs—that my mom made for me—instead of my uniform).

But right before the end of the day the principal got on the PA system and announced TO THE WHOLE SCHOOL that I had been selected as the Student of the Month! I was more than excited. Mrs. Slike pinned the SOTM badge on my dress and sent us all home. I was on a cloud.

When I got home, before even taking off my coat, I said to my mom, “Guess who you’re talking to.” She played along and asked, “OK, who am I talking to?” With all the drama in me I threw open my coat and announced, “The Student of the Month, that’s who!”

Of course, Mom and Dad were very proud of me. And thankfully they took this photo to commemorate my moment. I’m not sure of this detail, but I may have insisted on wearing my pin every day of that month.

This was a great day in the life of a six-year-old. But more importantly, it cemented for me very early that hard work gets recognized. And I never looked back.

Paving my way to pastures new


I recently decided that because I’m enjoying blogging so much I want to commit more to it. I want to post more often and consistently, and I want to improve on the quality of my posts’ value to my readers. Et cetera.

I just love how after making a decision of this type—even if it’s not that conscious a decision at first—we set our internal filters to assist us in finding what we need to make it happen. So, because I knew I wanted to do something to kick up my blogging a few notches, when I heard about Shimelle Laine’s “Blogging for Scrapbookers” class I immediately recognized the value it could have to my goals and enrolled.

Today is the first day of this three-week online class, and the first assignment is to write about my intentions for the class and my blog. As I said at the beginning of this entry, I want to post more consistently. For instance, I plan to come up with blog topic areas and claim certain days of the week or month for them. You see this all over the craft blogosphere, with names like “Make It Monday,” “Tutorial Tuesday,” or “Watch It Wednesday.” The reason I haven’t scheduled this way for myself is a lack of willingness to openly commit to a schedule I wasn’t certain I would be creative enough to keep (this requires a lot of content creation and discipline). But telling the world you’re disciplined is the first step to being disciplined. So here’s to step one.

I also want to create the kind of content that will inspire comments and interaction from my readers. So I’m on a quest to figure out what that takes.

Mostly I believe that pushing myself to record my memories, think “aloud” publicly, pass on tips and trends when I find them and share my paper-crafting efforts is a fabulous stretch for my creative brain. I want to really flex during this blogging class and hope you’ll enjoy following along.

Hello and welcome to my new readers who have found me because we’re classmates in Shimelle’s course. Thank you so much for coming here, and I’ll be by your blog soon! :-)


This is my blogging space and a layout I completed about what makes me happy.