here in my own heart

I made an art journal page several months ago that I haven’t shared here yet.

I felt like creating something to reflect my heart that day. But I wasn’t sure what. So I pulled out my art journal and decided I’d just start somewhere and see where it led me.


Most days I feel happy. Brave. Content. But some days I don’t.


Journaling: “Some days are messy. Some days it feels like the sun isn’t shining, even if it is. Some days you wonder if anyone sees, hears, cares, understands.

Some days I want to pull myself inside my own heart and withdraw from the world around me. Some days my heart feels trampled and I just want to protect it.

Sometimes it feels safer in here.”


My page is messy. The silk screen leaked with my first attempt using the black paint. That wasn’t really what I was going for. Then the silk screen pulled off some parts of the patterned paper. So I pulled off other parts too. That wasn’t part of the plan. I wanted it neat. Tidy. Just right.

Life is like that. It’s beautiful, but messy. Some days it’s a beautiful mess,  and some days you just want beauty, but all you get is messy. Some days your best attempts don’t turn out as planned. Some days it feels like all you do is mess up, even when you’re trying your best not to.


As an introvert, sometimes all I want to do is to retreat into myself. It’s safe there. I don’t have to worry there about what others think, or feel, or demand. Sometimes I just want to stay there for a while, until it feels safe to emerge again. Or until I feel stronger, whichever comes first.

As an introvert, people are exhausting to me sometimes. Putting myself out there to build relationships is  emotionally taxing. Some days it doesn’t feel worth it. It’s hard work. It takes a lot from me. It doesn’t come easy, like it seems to for other people. Sometimes I feel spent, even though the relationship may be one I treasure immensely. And if the time and effort I’ve put into building a friendship doesn’t seem to be showing that it was worth it, it makes me want to withdraw, where it’s safer. To protect my heart.

Except that’s a lonely place. But safe. But lonely.

So, I have a choice. Stay in there where it’s neat and tidy, and understandable, and safe. But lonely.

Or step out there, where it’s messy, and not safe, and risky. Most days this is what I choose to do. To risk it. Because I know it will reap rewards. Life is dull and lonely without the people in it. Caring takes risk. Being vulnerable takes bravery. Being me takes a measure of courage. And this is what I choose to do most days.

But some days…..some days I just want to stay inside.


August sneak peeks


How? That is the question.

My calendar tells me we’re just a few days away from August.

Again, I ask, how?

The cashier at the store I was shopping in yesterday said something about back-to-school shopping, and it took a while for that to register in my brain. Once August arrives, the summer goes by like the wind.

But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. There is still some summer left to enjoy, and there is till lots of summer goodness coming your way from Gossamer Blue. The August kits are so colorful and fun, and so full of summer freshness. I can’t wait until you see them! Only a few more days!


more vacation pages

Continuing on with the vacation pages I made with the July Gossamer Blue kits…

My husband’s sister and her husband were also on a trip to celebrate their anniversary on the same weekend we took ours, and incidentally happened to be staying a short distance away from where we were staying in Chesapeake City. So they drove over one evening to spend some time together. They accompanied us to the Tap Room for seafood, and then down to the marina to sit and watch the boats and talk. They are a sweet couple, and aren’t they cute? I love this photo of them, so I included it in my album.



Again, these pages are pretty simple and easy, because that’s usually how I scrapbook these days. I have too many photos to scrapbook to take a long time on each page. The travel embellishments in the July kits made it super easy to pull together some fun and quick pages.


I love those black word stickers from Seven Paper. They are geared towards Instagram photos and could even be used as word prompts for photo taking.


Patterned paper, stickers, and photos. That’s pretty much it. Noting fancy.


You know I said we like to visit the creamery by the water for their fabulous ice cream? This photo was taken there. I love this photo.

IMG_6700Everything on this page is from the July kits except for the yellow paper clip and the chipboard hearts. Those are from my stash.


I have no idea why, but I love to attach little bare chipboard hearts with tiny staples. Always staples. Love the gold word stickers too.


Have you taken any fun vacations lately? Or have plans to take one? The July Gossamer Blue kits are chock full of really fun travel/vacation type stuff. You should definitely check them out, if you haven’t yet. Last I checked there were still a few available.

Good Life/vacation pages

I finally got a new camera lens, so now I can catch up on posting all those projects I’ve been meaning to share! Hold onto your hats, because I have quite the backlog!

I attended a scrapbook event recently and was able to get quite a few pages done for my 8 1/2″ x 11″ album, using mainly the July Gossamer Blue kits. The pages went together so quickly, and the kits were perfect for documenting our trip.

The page I shared last, for the blog hop, was the first I did about last year’s anniversary trip my husband and I took to Chesapeake City, Maryland. These two pages are from that same event.


My husband and I are foodies, so I really appreciated the food/eatery related embellishments in the July kits. These photos were taken at the Tap Room, a fabulous little crab shack in town. Seafood is our favorite! My husband is happy when he has a large serving of crabs to dig into. The lobster was mine, and it! I’m hungry now.


This month’s cut files include some little banners with cut out phrases. I use the banner itself on another project and saved the “good life” letters for this page.


I’m loving the acetate cards included in the July add-on kit #2 (sold out). I just layered one of mine over the background, but they would be fun to use in a pocket page album. And that wood veneer piece with the spoon and fork! Cute!


There’s really not much to do in Chesapeake City besides eating and watching the boats. So that is what we do there. And sleep. It’s a relaxing place to be to get away from life’s hectic pace. That’s why we like it. It’s nice to not feel like we have to be taking in a lot of other things, although this isn’t the place I’d plan to visit for an exciting and entertaining vacation. It’s the kind of place we visit when we want to be squirreled away from everything with nothing on our agenda except relax.

We visit the creamery by the water, for their delicious ice cream, and just walk around town a lot when we’re there.


We like to head down to the marina, get a couple of drinks and watch the boats come in. We pick out our favorites, and dream about owning one of our own someday. The photos on this page were taken at three different times of day. Guess it shows how much we like to walk around down there when we’re here.


I kept the pages for this event really clean and uncluttered. I wanted the photos to tell the story. But I love the travel themes in this month’s kit so much that I want to take another trip, just so I have a chance to use them all up! Ha! I need to fly somewhere though, so I can use the airplane/flight embellishments. I’m sure my husband would understand my need to take a vacation for that purpose, don’t you think?

I’ll share more soon. Thanks for stopping in!


July GB Design Team Inspiration blog hop



Hey everyone! It’s time again for the Gossamer Blue Design team Inspiration blog hop! I’m so glad to have you join us in today’s hop, and I hope you’ll be inspired by what you see being shared by the team.

I want to apologize for the quality of photos in my post today. My main camera is in need of repairs, so I had to resort to taking these with my iPhone. The quality and size is less than ideal, so sorry!!



I made this page about an anniversary trip my husband and I took last year, since the July kits are travel related. I am doing an 8 1/2″ x 11″ album for this, and my photos are printed out in a 3″ x 4″ size. I’m really enjoying this size right now, in both the photos and the album.


We visited the tiny town of Chesapeake City, MD for our anniversary. This is the second time we’ve been there. It’s a great place to go to just relax, since there’s really not much there to do except watch the boats, visit the ice cream shop, stroll through the streets filled with little shops and art galleries, and eat food.

I thought that sticker of little town houses from Shimelle was perfect for this page.


Some Evalicious (sticker and tag), plus a title typed out on patterned paper and stitched on.

Hopefully it won’t take too long for my camera to get repaired, because I have so much more to share with you!! I’ve been on a roll with my scrapbooking, and the July kits were so fun to incorporate.

Thanks so much for stopping by today! Here’s the blog hop list for those of you who would like to hop along:

Alex Hunter

Andrea Gray

Brenda Smith

Brenda Weaver

Caylee Grey

Chantal Philippe

Diane Payne

Emily Spahn

Erin Taylor

Eunyoung Lee

Felicitas Mayer

Heather Leopard

Jill Keller

Joy Taylor

Katarzyna Przybyt

Kathleen Graumüller

Katie Ehmann

Kellie Winnell

Kelly Xenos

Michelle Wedertz

Patricia Roebuck

Rebecca Luminarias

Sandra Dietrich

Sian Fair

Stephanie Buice

Yana Smakula

Feet. Telling the story.

I love reading Ashley Campbell’s blog. I’ve been reading it for years. I adore Ashley’s amazing photos of her family and how she captures the essence of them so well. I always come away from reading her blog feeling inspired to take more every day photos of my family. I often forget to bring the camera out and capture those simple, normal, every day pieces of life. I’m trying to do more of that, and it’s mostly because of Ashley.

I was so inspired by this post of Ashley’s that I read a few days ago. I thought it was a brilliant idea to focus on one thing to tell a story. In this case, feet. I tucked the idea away in my mind to pull out sometime.

Yesterday my mother-in-law, my two sisters-in-law, our children and I headed to the park for the day. I grabbed my camera, because taking photos of children at play is one of my favorite photography subjects. Halfway through the morning I remembered Ashley’s post and how I wanted to use her idea, so I began to change my perspective and started trying to capture our day by photographing the feet of my kids and nieces and nephews as they enjoyed their day.

I know I’m nowhere nearly as talented of a photographer as Ashley is, but I ended up loving these photos so much that i decided I’d share them here with you in hopes that it inspires you to try a different perspective in your photography.































This was so much fun that I know I will have to do it again! Not only did it stretch me creatively, but I love how it captures the story in a unique way. It was fun to try out new angles. Lots of times I jus set my camera down on the ground and snapped away.

Thank you, Ashley, for the fun photo tip!


5 on the 5th…..umm, 6th!


So, I began the 5 on the 5th feature last month where I post 5 things about me, or about something interesting (I hope). I know yesterday was the 5th, but it was a busy weekend with all the July 4th celebrations and everything. We had a party with friends one evening and a family reunion all day yesterday, so I decided to push it off one day. Plus, I figured you all were busy too, and you probably wouldn’t mind a bit.

5 Things I very rarely use in my paper crafting projects.

#1. Ribbon. Just too bulky, I guess. I went through a phase when I thought I had to BUY ALL THE RIBBON! But as I realized I just don’t use it much, I’ve gotten rid of a lot and just kept what I really love for those random craft projects.

#2. Brads. Those had their time, I guess. But I still like them and there are still some really cute ones out there. I really should use them more. It’s just not something I tend to reach for very quickly. They also are pretty bulky, and I often don’t use the bulky items as much.

#3. Washi tape. Here’s the thing…I LOVE washi tape!! I have quite a collection. Doesn’t every paper crafter? I love to see all those cute little rolls of fun patterns and find them so hard to resist. But I think that’s where the infatuation ends. Truth: I use it more in my kitchen than I do for paper crafting.

#4. Colored stamped line art images. I’m a lazy stamper, I guess. I prefer to stamp my images and just be done. I guess I don’t have a lot of patience for tedious coloring. Just like I don’t have patience for cross stitch, or anything tedious and time consuming like that. If my images are colored, they’re probably water colored. I don’t use my markers for coloring much, although the Zig Clean Color markers are calling my name. Those actually look like something I would use. I just don’t think I’ll ever be a Copic marker artist, but I love seeing what people do with them.

#4. Punches and dies. I think this is just a case of out of sight, out of mind, because I still like punches and dies sometimes. I just forget to use them. I did get rid of a lot recently, like those decorative edge punches that were all the rage several years ago. But now that I’ve gotten rid of them, someone is bound to come along and do something spectacular with them and make me regret it! Because isn’t that usually how it goes?

So, after I compiled this list, I wondered if I could make a card using some of these items I just mentioned. So, I dug out the unloved things and made this:



I used everything on my list except for punches. But i used two brads, so that should count for something, right?

I realized 1. I do still really like brads, 2.maybe I could use ribbon as long as it’s flat like this (no bows), 3. I do like washi tape and really need to use it more, 4. even though I love the look of colored images, I still prefer ones that need no coloring.

How about you? Are there some craft supplies that you never seem to use, even though you may have loved it once, or thought you might?

I’d love to hear about it!