Saturday, April 19, 2014

A Flair For Buttons Scrapbook extraveganza!


Hello and welcome to the A Flair For Buttons Blog Hop!!


I'm so excited to be part of this team.
I genuinely love Shelley's flair- the color- the variety of designs and themes.

I love to add the word flair as part of a title or layering patterned ones to add pop to an otherwise flat page.
A Flair For Buttons Blog Hop page
A Flair For Buttons Script Words Flair - Bright and Funky Flair
I used American Crafts die cuts, wood veneer and enamel dots from Cocoa Daisy kits and
paper from Crate's "DYI"collection which I bought for 5 bucks at TJ Maxx.

Super simple. And no you can't have too many brads, buttons or flair on your page. #aflairforbuttons #preschool
I love this pre-school portrait photo. Not sure Lola's 12 year old self will agree but I still love it.
A Flair For Buttons flair- Chalkboard School Days flair, and one of my all time most favorite sets ever
Paper Airplane Flair.
I love that fox sweater from Gymboree! Only now do I realize the Fox and Owl flair would have been perfect for this!
It's been great being part of this team for the last 2 years. 
Thanks Shelley for being so supportive!

On to creations by the rest of the team!


Have a great weekend!

Michelle

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Inspiration Elevator- Scrapping those Selfies

Ah the maligned selfie.

I've dropped quite a few Instagram accounts because the content is almost all "selfie".
Not just selfie which can be totally fun
but exposed tatas selfie.
Or duck face selfie.
Neither says anything genuine- or rather it says entirely too much- all negative.

I think women should fully own their image.
As story tellers it's crucial, we wield the camera and write down the details.
If we don't make sure to turn that camera around once in a while we will be invisible in our own story.
Regardless how we currently feel about our physical state, our children enjoy seeing us smile and celebrating life.
It sets a good example to love ourselves as we are.
Even better- it measures how far we've come when we've decided to change something.

This month's Inspiration Elevator challenge is- take a selfie!

I like scrapping selfies because they make the creative process easier.
I can focus on my current feelings or on a story I want to tell- not on trying to find matching embellishments for a theme page.

The page below was all about my feelings on moving.
I had some really cool chipboard and a neon pink Jet Blue luggage tag but that's it.
I could have used some travel themed printed items but since my feelings were mixed up this seemed more appropriate.
neon scrapbook page
Scrap FX tags and chipboard. I used the PhotoBooth app to make a strip but since that's hard to print without
Photoshop and a home printer I made it into a 4x4 on Instagram and used my local Walgreen's for the print.

 What is Inspiration Elevator?

The purpose of the Inspiration Elevator challenge group is to take our scrapbooking to the next level, to stretch our creative process and to mature as artists by embracing challenges that make us think, work and grow.

You can view all of the challenges at the Inspiration Elevator Blog. 

This month we are celebrating our anniversary with a BLOG HOP!

So be sure to hop from blog to blog below as some of our designers are offering prizes! We also welcome Katherine Sutton as a guest designer to Inspiration Elevator! Katharine has Guest Designed for us and her fabulous style will inspire you to take your scrapbooking to a new level!

Now for our Challenge:

It's a 2-part challenge since it's created by Christa and Ann!

The first part of the challenge is to use a selfie. We are all a part of social media to some extent, so selfies are everywhere. "Call it another trend in narcissism, or call it art, but the "selfie" has become a mainstay of our virtual identity." 
Here are a couple articles for taking a good selfie, if this makes you uncomfortable (as it does for me - A)
http://www.bustle.com/articles/7142-how-to-take-a-selfie-pro-photographers-give-us-all-their-best-self-portrait-secrets
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sarah-tuttlesinger/six-tips-on-how-to-rock-a_b_3750316.html

The second part of the challenge is this: 
This month we'd like you to share something about scrapbooking. It could be why you scrapbook, what you love best, what you get out of it, your most amazing experience or, where you see your craft/hobby/art in the future. 


Remember to hop around to the other blogs and see what out designers have created and what prizes are up for grabs! (Be sure to read the instructions as each designer has her own requirements to win!)

I hope you feel inspired to play along with our challenge this month, and when you do, please share it using the linky tool on our Inspiration Elevator blog and/or our Inspiration Elevator Facebook page. We'd LOVE to see what you made!

self portrait
This is totally about my new haircut. Taken 2013.

Have a great week!
Michelle

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Saying no to the Mommy Wars. And a scrapbook page.


****POST HAS BEEN EDITED TO REFLECT FURTHER THOUGHT ON THIS MATTER.****

My poor neglected blog. 
It's been a very long while since I felt I wanted to write anything. 

For Get It Scrapped- Scrapping with trendy scrip font elements.
Photo by my brother in law Luis Martinez.
A Flair For Buttons The Good Life button, Water color paper, #6 round brush, Ranger Dylusions ink spray, My Mind's Eye enamel dots.
Currently, I'm inspired by the working Mom flap caused by Ms.Gwyneth Paltrow, consistent provider of  "Let them eat cake" bon mots.

Case in point- In an E! News interview:


 "It’s much harder for me, I think it’s different when you have an office job, because it’s routine 
and you can do all the stuff in the morning and then you come home in the evening. 
When you’re shooting a movie, they’re like, ‘We need you to go to Wisconsin for two weeks,’ 
and then you work 14 hours a day and that part of it is very difficult."
"I think to have a regular job and be a mom is not as, of course there are challenges, 
but it’s not like being on set," 

What the what?

Are we seriously comparing a voluntary million dollar temporary contract (negotiated by someone else) to a 9 to 5 job?  
When she has live-in child care? 
And a personal assistant? (several actually)

Or how about THIS one:
“I am who I am. I can’t pretend to be somebody who makes $25,000 a year.”
Dear Gwen- no one's asking you to pretend anything (although- it's your JOB.) 
Just, you know, get a freaking clue.

I remember a conversation I had with a friend a while back. 
She was very unhappy because she had to leave her 4 month old to go back to a job she detested.
Her job was creative and paid her enough to cosign on a mortgage to a home she loved. 
Her Mom and husband where pitching in to care for their new baby as both had flexible schedules.

Ever the sensitive and understanding friend I said:
Why don't you just quit that job?
Lol- what an idiot I am.

This was certainly NOT what I should have said (a listening ear is what she needed.) 
But
But but but
I wonder if that isn't a bit of tough love for a friend I admire and worry over.
Constantly carrying that much anxiety around is bad for anyone.

If something makes you that unhappy, why not switch things up?
This was my point but you know- my brain failed to provide those actual words.

The conversation went onto some pretty uncomfortable truths.
That's what real friends do- tell you the truth.

Like when she said my not working for 3 years was a 'luxury".

I hadn't "left work". 
Revelation!
I was fired (woo that's the first time I ever admit THAT out loud in public!) 

But screw it- I can only run from my past for so long.
Hello? Living in Utah- I ran FAR.

So I became a stay at home Mom. 
I was pretty happy.. and a little bored because Lola didn't talk- or really MOVE much.. so I started this blog.

Then I became a low wage earning full-time working Mom.
No sad words from me on this state of constant compromise- it's just what I have to do.

Neither qualifies as a first choice.

But I grew into both my roles. 

I thanked my lucky stars for my "work break" and for the utterly random jobs that came after.

This journey has allowed me to see myself as more than a professional failure.

Being a Mom has allowed me to see there are many "wins" in life. 
Frankly some are more important than others.

I have SEEN, FELT and LIVED the financial bottom- what scared me most.

It's not scary anymore.

I won't be shamed.

But imagine if I had Gwinnie's horrible soul destroying job....

Schedules that change so I know this 14 hours a day work week isn't forever!
Frequent travel! 
Kissing Robert Downey Jr. without causing marital strife!
(Wait- maybe not. "Conscious uncoupling" and all that)
People to help with house cleaning, cooking and babysitting! 
And the kicker?
When working, all that help is paid for by my employer who's got a jumbo insurance policy covering my health and staff to ensure I am happy so I actually finish the job.

I imagine I would be pretty sad indeed- while I play in my air conditioned personal trailer with my kids in between takes.
Oh the agony.


You know what helps  depression about staying at home all day? Not actually staying at home all day. My rule was breakfast, clean everything in 1 hour if it doesn't get done OH WELL! then get on out till dinner time.
Needless to say I lost some weight.... and ate a lot of pizza for dinner. 

Hmmmm.. I wonder what Blythe Danner thinks about all this.

Perhaps we should blame YOU Blythe? (or not! That's just MORE Mommy bashing!)

There you were- a working Mom in the 70's. 
You bring up your daughter to the best of your ability- (with hired help of course).
Your daughter makes no apologies and lives quite happily thank you.
She is strong. 
She is successful- even if totally oblivious.

That's motherhood.
No simple choices.
No easy answers or the guarantee of healthy well-adjusted adult children.
It's a lot of risk, a lot of judgement calls, and many many tests.
Somehow joy STILL manages to sneak in there!
And hope!
And laughter!

There will be dilemmas, drama, constant worry and pain no matter what you do.

In the words of a certain movie Moms love (and dread- due to incessant viewings)
Let. It. Go.

Stop killing yourself over your choices- your 'mistakes" (your blessings in disguise)- your past- your imagined future.

There is only 
NOW
Right now.

Stop comparing yourself.
Stop comparing others and spreading negativity.
Stop the complaint sessions where no solutions are sought. 
Don't get addicted to the negative
as I have.

Motherhood is the best job a woman can have. 
(In my opinion- I haven't tried being a blonde 130 pound,  6 foot movie star yet)

But it's not the ONLY job a woman should or could have.
Motherhood has a million iterations.

Why do we try so hard to find fault with that?
We must demand everyone get comfortable with the variety.

Gwyneth is.
Comfortable, that is.

She's all over the place in her happiness and delight.
She talks about hanging out with Beyonce! 
She eats squid sauteed in squid ink with famous tv chefs!
She calls her divorce whatever it takes to make it sound enyoyable and holistic.

She defines her own reality and gets on with living her life- beautifully.

Don't hate on her.
Call her on her silliness. She deserves it (and ignores it- that's why she's so freaking happy)

Most of all get cracking.
Make some happiness.

It's YOUR turn.



Hugs mi gente,
Michelle







Saturday, March 15, 2014

Inspiration Elevator Challenge- Letter to your Teen Self.

Hello happy people!!!

I've been sooo busy avoiding any and all crafty pursuits. My mojo is gone fishing for the moment.

This latest Inspiration Elevator challenge freed me up a bit.

I started thinking about what I would write, how to make it relevant to my life today and to my primary audience (always Miss Lola) when suddenly the page's design mattered less.

This is a good thing as I usually get so wound up making an "original" design, my story (the whole point of making a page) takes a back seat.

AHA!!!! Here is how the page appears when I link up to my Flickr! 
You can also see everything else in my Flickr account... excuse me as I learn the internet.. again.

Here I'm using an iPod Touch and the AfterLight app to shoot and retouch my pages.
Blogger seems to be compressing the files and rendering them incorrectly.
You can try clicking on it to get a clear look- my apologies.
I started off with the 2 A Flair For Buttons flair and a Crate Paper background.
I didn't want the page to look like one of my usual scrapbook projects so I resisted
adding a photo at first but I have a bunch of these under exposed Instax Mini shots
lying around- each of those prints costs a dollar so you better believe I'm using them all!

Basically the text reads- don't sweat the failures- you get one thing right and it's the most important thing of all. 
I was talking to a past and even MORE resistant version of me so I get pretty stark in my words.

If you think I'm overly pessimistic and broody at 40 you would have LOVED me at 16.

The teen years are hard for everyone, your moral values and ideals are mostly set in place but you fall all over yourself either trying to prove you are independent and grown up or running away from doing so.
So without getting bogged down in the details (which my teen ear would have rejected anyway) I decided to give my past self some comfort. I'm not the walking error machine I was convinced I was. 

I was -am- pretty freaking great at figuring things out.


I'm almost ready to give up the hunt for perfect design and just keep doing this in all my other pages.
Scrapbooking has gotten too complicated.

And now a word from our sponsor:

You may recall that the purpose of this challenge group is to take our scrapbooking to the next level, to stretch our creative process and to grow as artists by embracing challenges that make us think, work and extend ourselves. You can view all of the challenges at our Inspiration Elevator Blog, here

Our challenge this month was posed by the very talented Ann Jobes. Here's how she expressed this month's challenge:

My daughter subscribes to Dance Spirit magazine and I sometimes browse through it, too. One of my favourite monthly features is an article that features a different dancer each month, some photos of that dancer, and a description of their current work, and (the best part!) a letter. The theme is a Letter to My Teenage Self. The content ranges, depending on the dancer and his/her experience, morals, ideals, etc. So this month's assignment is to write a letter to your teenage self. You can take any approach you'd like to this - scrapbook page, art journal page, canvas. However the prompt inspires you. And your content is of course up to you, as well. Some topics might be: what would you try to teach yourself? Or, what would you counsel yourself to do or not do? This does not have to be a page about regrets. It could be about congratulating yourself on something you did right that has contributed to who you've become today. 

Here is a photo of a recent magazine feature, if it inspires you:
Dancespirit1
Please visit the other Inspiration Elevator designers' blogs and see how they solved Ann's challenge:


We would LOVE to see you take up Ann's challenge this month, so if you do, please share it at our linkup on the Inspiration Elevator blog.

Get writing mi gente!
Pumpkin picking madness.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Inspiration Elevator- Facing Your Greatest Life Challenge

Hello!

So I've blogged plenty about my greatest life challenge.

It wasn't moving to Utah.
Now that it's getting closer to spring I could ALMOST like it here.

My greatest life challenge was seeing my little girl look like this:



Lola was born 6 weeks early with a condition called Chylothorax where
liquid normally recycled though the heart and out the body drained into her lung
cavities. Luckily her actual lungs had developed just enough to allow normal breathing so
she spent three weeks in the NICU with tubes inserted into her sides to drain the liquid.
She was in constant pain and I couldn't hold her for the first 4 days for fear of dislodging the tubes.
Miss Lola- hyper active, able walk at 10 months old, curly headed and sleepy eyed, currently refusing to eat anything for breakfast- is perfectly fine these days.

In 2009 I found out I was having a baby and lost my job job all in the same day.

To say I was shocked and awed doesn't explain the half of it.
And life has been crazy ever since.

Jobs we thought stable are now gone.

Neighborhoods that were affordable suddenly became the center of the cooliverse and filled with grocery stores selling exotic fruit vinegar for 20 dollars a bottle.
Moved to find new opportunities but found our backgrounds were still lacking.


 "Starting over" isn't fun- it's excruciating.
The hardest part is letting go of your expectations and your past.

So this is my page for the month:




For my page I chose to add the story to several tags behind the photo for a cleaner layout. 
I recently showed Lola the hospital photos because she asked about the small holes under each arm.
I told her those marks make her very special as only 1 in 10,000 children are afflicted and survive birth.
I used Jenni Bowlin stamps, Basic Grey alphas. The wood alphas are from Recollections
and the little wood hearts from Cocoa Daisy's January kit.

Here is the group challenge:

You may recall that the purpose of this challenge group is to take our scrapbooking to the next level, to stretch our creative process and to grow as artists by embracing challenges that make us think, work and extend ourselves. 
You can view all of the challenges our Inspiration Elevator Blog, here

We are thrilled to welcome back Audrey Yeager this month as a guest designer. Audrey recently came into ownership of My Scraps & More online store, and has graciously offered a prize this month! Read on to find out how you could win!


Our challenge this month comes from the very talented Michelle Hernandez. Here's how she expressed this month's challenge:


"Inspiration Elevator Challenge February- Phoenix Rising.
I'm going through one of the toughest times of my life right now. Huge changes, dashed expectations, embarrassing set backs- it's all overwhelming, all the time. I have the love and support of my family and my health- so it could be worst but still - it sucks.
My challenge for February:
Tell a story visually or through your journaling that speaks to your greatest challenge and most importantly how you dug yourself out. This should be a celebration of your faith, personal resilience and/or creativity. A story you'd like to tell your kids, grandkids or yourself when things get rough. "







Guest designer: Audrey Yeager 

We would LOVE to see you take up the challenge this month, so if you do, please share it at our linkup on the Inspiration Elevator blog. 

Extra incentive? There is a great RAK this month!

So, how do you win Audrey's prize? It's simple - leave a comment! 
Audrey will choose one random comment from one random blog to win the $15 gift certificate to My Scraps & More. 
Thanks so much, Audrey!

Swing by their blogs and check out how they met and beat their greatest monster.


Princess hair flipping lessons. 2/14/14

Have a great weekend- even in 2 feet of snow NYC. (LOL- it's 60 degrees and sunny here in SLC- how's THAT for silver lining?)



Michelle