Never stop seeking


You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.

In January 1993 I started on an adventure that would change my life, as most journeys manage to do.

Being unfulfilled in my job as a conference planner and taken with the idea of becoming a corporate trainer, I had applied over the summer for graduate school at my undergrad alma mater, Ohio University. In November (on my birthday, no less) I received word from the School of Communication that I had been accepted for late admittance and was being granted a fellowship! What a wonderful memory I have of opening that letter and bursting into tears at the happy news.

So I gave notice at work, finished out my time there and then packed up my belongings and headed south in my powder blue Geo Prizm to Athens, Ohio. The left photo is of me in my parents’ driveway, ready to begin my adventure.

My apartment wasn’t going to be ready in time for the winter quarter to begin, so my friends, Rich and Lori Ozmun, generously allowed me to roost with them for the first few weeks. The right photo is from the day I moved to my own place. Mom, Dad and Phil had come to Athens to help me with the move. That’s me; the Ozmuns; my brother, Phil; and the Ozmuns’ neighbor, Christian, who soon after this became my grad school boyfriend.

Going to graduate school really did change my life. My world expanded: I made wonderful friends, learned from leaders in the field and changed as you always do when you immerse yourself in something new.

Product/technique notes

I used patterned papers from BoBunny’s “Souvenir” line because I thought the travel theme worked so well for my personal journey story. All the products on this page are from the Back Porch Memories January kit, for whom I am guest designing for the next few months.

Birthday sleepover


We all have certain techniques that especially catch our eye when they’re used on a layout, and for me paper folding is one of them.

I seem unable to pass up a closer look at a page with folds! So to add a little extra dimension and personality to my page I incorporated a faux quilting folding technique into my design. If you want to see more details about creating this look, I have a tutorial in an older post for a layout that uses the same technique.

For my 11th birthday in 1977 Mom and Dad let me have a slumber party with a few friends: Jill Trzaska, Renee Poplik and Margaret Wissman. One of my fun memories from this night is when we performed a song-and-dance routine for my family (bottom photo). We called ourselves “The Oreos” because of the plastic Oreo party favor necklaces we all wore. Pretty clever, eh?

Product/technique notes

The products on this page all came from the November Back Porch Memories kit and are from American Crafts’ “Shimelle” line. I created the title on the Silhouette and designed it to incorporate the record die cut from the kit as the O.

Lucky 2


As November’s guest designer for Back Porch Memories, I was asked to use a sketch from PageMaps to create one of my layouts. These supplies are mostly from Heidi Swapp’s September Skies collection.

It’s no surprise that I’m feeling like documenting some of the things I am grateful for in my life. My friendship with my baby bro certainly qualifies!

We have developed an awful lot in common over our lives together and always find something to keep ourselves entertained. For instance, these photos came about because we both love photography, and so we had a camera along with us at the mall one day this summer. While we waited for Mom to finish up in a store, we held an impromptu portrait session on the overstuffed chairs in the middle of the mall. What can I say? The lighting wasn’t too bad, and we are a couple of hams!

Product/technique notes

Following is the sketch I followed for this page. Most of the supplies are Heidi Swapp “September Skies,” with some Shimelle thrown in for good measure.

Three of my many blessings


My Mind’s Eye has issued a challenge to create a page about gratitude, and I am certainly grateful for these three women.

Friends are such a blessing.

I met these women when I became an officer in the Ladies’ Club at church last year. Luanne, Debbie and Janet are just the nicest, most loving people, and I’m happy to count them as friends.

Product/technique notes

I created this page using products from the My Mind’s Eye “Indie Chic,” “Quite Contrary,” “Now and Then: Dorothy,” “Follow Your Heart” and “Vintage Nostalgia” collections. I created the title work on my Silhouette and followed this sketch from Paper Issues.

Halloween masquerade


My brother and I co-hosted a Halloween party in our junior year (1983) for some of our school friends. I handmade masks for everyone to choose from, and as I look back on that now I have to admit they were good sports for playing along with my idea!

The whole family worked together to deck out the yard and the basement with a spooky motif; we pulled out all the stops. Daddy even climbed up into the maple tree in our front yard so he could scare our guests as they arrived. Thinking of that makes me so happy because it was a little out of the ordinary for my mild-mannered father and means to me that he really wanted it to be fun for us.

And yes, we even bobbed for apples.

Product/technique notes

I followed the October 15th Stuck Sketches sketch (with an added photo) for this layout, and I’m entering it their challenge. I also used Teresa Collins’ Halloween collection from last year, “Masquerade Party.”