New CK Online column, Great reads, mentors and friends, and home.

First, have you SEEN the new Creating Keepsakes web site? I think it looks awesome! As part of that new re-design, CK is starting to offer TONS of sponsored content.

And that includes a lil’ something from me, as well. :D

Paper + Pixels, New CK Online Column 

Twice a month, I’ll be providing a hybrid tutorial (hence the name, Paper + Pixels) exclusively at the CK web site.

The first one went up today, right over here. This one answers one of the basic questions I get all the time: How to print multiple smaller photos on a larger photo paper (for example, getting 3 small photos on a 4x6 print). Great whether you’re sending to a lab or printing from home.

Here’s the sneak:

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Supplies:

  • Cardstock: Bazzill Basics
  • Patterned paper: Daisy D’s Chasing Butterflies
  • Ticket tag: Daisy D’s
  • Sparklie Chipboard letters: Lil’ Davis
  • Flower: Prima
  • Chipboard ring: Scrapsupply.com (incidentally, check out all the cool exclusive chipboard they have there)
  • And look! My own handwriting! (bleh) 

Go check that out for some cool hybrid fun. I’ll post an announcement when new Paper + Pixels articles go up. I am so excited to start offering this at CK Online! :D

Good Reads, Great Reads 

Finished “Leave it to Psmith” on Saturday night. It was SO much fun. Not one of those life-changing books, unless laughter and the appreciation of great wit can change your life. And it probably can, come to think of it. It reminded me of a hilarious stage play. And that comes as no surprise, since P.G. Wodehouse was writing plays simultaneous to his novels for years. I totally recommend. I need a little Ebert & Roper “thumbs up” icon. Laughing is great for the soul.

I also started The Chosen yesterday on the flight home. I was looking forward to starting this after reading your comments about how great it is. And you are right. I dog-eared my first page at #73, when Reuven’s father says:

“No one knows he is fortunate until he becomes unfortunate. That is the way the world is.”

Now if that isn’t a subject for a few days’ thinking, I don’t know what is. But as I thought about this, I was reminded that what I do - scrapbooking - is all about looking around and appreciating things before they are gone.  Springtime. Youth. Sunsets. Eyesight. The laughter of little children. A flat stomach (too late!). The hugs and company of loved ones. Hopefully I appreciate how very, very fortunate I am. I want to.

Acquire a teacher, choose a friend. 

My second dog-eared page was the next one, when Reuven and his father have this conversation:

“Reuven, listen to me. The Talmud says that a person should do two things for himself. One is to acquire a teacher. Do you remember the other?”

“Choose a friend,” I said.

“Yes. You know what a friend is, Reuven? A Greek philosopher said that two people who are friends are two bodies with one soul.” 

I love the idea of a person doing two things for himself  (or herself).  Acquiring a teacher and choosing a friend. I thought about this for a long time this afternoon (as I was trying to get kids back on their schedule after being home with only Daddy for nearly 5 days - let’s just say he’s a little more lenient than I am…). I think this acquisition and choosing can happen multiple times in life, depending on where you are and what you’re doing.

I have had a lot of teachers. And most of the ones I remember best weren’t the official ones (although some were). They were people who loved what they did, cared about me, and were willing to share their knowledge and expertise about some thing I was a total beginner at. I actually think the more appropriate word in this context is mentor, since the idea conveys such a personal sharing of information and experience.

And it occurs to me that in every thing I’ve tried to do - my career, motherhood, scrapbook teaching, even choosing a major at college - I’ve had a trusted and generous teacher (mentor) to help me. This is an invaluable gift.

I felt so strongly about one of my mentor/friends, that I really needed to get it recorded. I asked Nisa (since I was already living in North Carolina) to go to my friend and former boss’ house and take photos of him so I could create this page:

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The photo is actually a page flap that opens to the rest of the journaling, which is here:

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This appeared in a Memory Makers special issue last year. I sent it to my former boss, Doug, after I got it back from publication. I think people who’ve had such a huge influence on us deserve to know it. :) I would love to hear about your experiences with your mentors, in whatever capacity. (And have you told them yet, what an influence they are? I’m sure they’d love to hear it.) There are some mentors from early on, like high school, that I’ve completely lost track of, and I may not ever get to thank. And that makes me sad.

Choosing friends. Most of my friends just wandered in to my life unexpected and just stuck around. New friends, and old. People like my beautiful friend Share, who has been my friend for nearly 20 years. Holy cow. 

Note to self: stay in contact with friends. They are precious and hard to come by. 

How much of life is encapsulated by these two things which we must do for ourselves? Religion and society, marriage and neighbors, friendship and schoolwork and learning and life skills. Very cool stuff to think about.

So I’m curious. Who are your friends (two bodies, one soul)? And why?

Home. 

As for the day, it was recovery-from-travel mode. I hugged and tickled my kids a bit more. We sat on the driveway and played with sidwalk chalk. We ate lunch together, and shared homemade chocolate ice cream (made on Saturday by Rowen and Jared) for Family Night. It is good to be home.