Purging, and Q+A Tuesday.

I spent the evening cleaning and reorganizing. It was GREAT. Our LSS is having a Garage Sale on Saturday, so it’s a perfect chance to assess my space and just get rid of things that aren’t ME anymore.

It was a great journey into my 3-year history with scrapbooking. Yeah, I had some of the very first patterned paper I bought in the summer of 2004, when everything was new to me. In scrapbook years, that’s a lifetime. And I kept some of it, too. That’s when you know you have a great pattern.

It feels good to have several hundred fewer sheets of patterned paper on my shelves, too. I always joke that I have enough to last me 6 lifetimes, and that probably isn’t far off. But do I stop buying it? Nah. Half the fun of scrapbooking is collecting, right? ;) And the great fun of being a hybrid scrapper is that you can collect BOTH digital and traditional supplies. ;)

Oh, and by the way, after reading last night’s post and your comments, Jared decided he wants Crocs now. So everyone who posted comments… thanks a lot. :P That’ll make 3 pairs, and 3 is the number we’ll keep it at. ;)

I found out this week that my sister, who has always been a fairly avid gamer (and who starts her Ph.D program in linguistics at the University of Utah in the fall - the first in our family to get a doctorate), has been playing Warcraft since January. How did this never come up?  Well, here’s where I admit that I’ve fallen off of Warcraft for the past few months. It is a combination of getting REALLY busy at night, and kind of losing interest. Time is so precious, and I think if I’m not doing something I LOVE (or at least doing it for a really good other reason), then it isn’t worth doing. And I just wasn’t loving it anymore.

I think that’s ok.

An example: I had a 3-year stint as a cross-stitcher back in the early part of college. I would work and work on these intricate patterns, collecting every color of floss, shopping for cloth and needles and patterns, and one day, I straightened up (cross-stitch can be so BAD for the posture) and looked at what I was working on, and thought, “I don’t like cross-stitch. I don’t even like the way this looks when I finish them.” And that was it. Cross-stitching was purged from my life. I haven’t looked back. :)

Purging things from life is a good thing. Making room for other things, or making breathing room, or simply cutting away what isn’t fulfilling.

Another example: I took a chemistry class in high school. I actually only remember two things about that class. The first was what we called the “Zollinger Effect” - after the teacher, Mr. Zollinger. He would begin to write on the board, but his handwriting would start skewing off to the lower right of the board. As we read his writing, our heads would naturally begin leaning to the right, further and further until the whole class was laying on our desks asleep by the end of class. I hear that the Zollinger Effect is quite common in classrooms around the world. :)

The second thing, and the only physical experiment I remember from this class, is one that I’ve thought about a lot since then, although I didn’t really make any kind of symbolic connection until several years later.

He brought in this lump of material, crusty white, and laid it on his desk. He told us it was a lump of pure sodium, a soft metal that corrodes in the air (hence the white crust it had around it). He took a sharp knife and cut a slice off of the sodium lump. For a few seconds, we saw a beautiful, smooth, shiny, silvery-white color underneath this hardened white crust. Then the crust formed again, and the sight was gone. It’s evidence of how dramatic this experiment was that I remember it 15 years later.

 I’ve thought about that experience since then. I think I go through life with that same crust on me, and I get it just by my daily routine - driving the same route to Target and back, walking the same routes on walks, always going to the same park with the kids, always visiting the same web sites (always playing the same computer game...). Only by effort can I cut through that shell, be exposed to new experiences, and show my soul. But the whole idea of cutting, not only implies effort, but implies maybe a little discomfort, too. Fear is the friend who’s misunderstood. Trying new and scary stuff helps us cut away the crust that forms on our life.

If you are learning Photoshop, this is you.  You are investing your time and effort into learning a skill that you KNOW is important, and it’s not a small thing. I’m glad to have such great company on this journey as we all try new, and sometimes scary stuff. :D

And speaking of new stuff.

I got some cool news this week, and I will share that with you when I can. Super excited about it, and it’s great news for the visibility of digi and hybrid, too! :D

So let’s celebrate.

Why don’t we have a Q+A Tuesday? I’ll get to as many questions as I can throughout the day tomorrow.

I would also love to know, by way of comments, which of the Photoshop Fridays is your very FAVORITE one, and why? Is it because you’ve used the technique a TON since then? Is it because it was something you really wanted to learn how to do, and now you can? Just a little research here. :D

And since I have kind of a large pile of purged-out scrap supplies, why don’t we do a couple of RAKs for random posts? Yeah, let’s do. Post away!

-J