Tuesday, 5 November 2013

I miss my muse...

It's no secret that I haven't been creating much of anything lately. Oh I have a million excuses for it that I won't bother to bore you with now but the truth is that creating can be exhausting sometimes. And it can take a lot out of a person. And when the creative muse leaves your side, as it so often does, that can leave you down in a hole for a bit. And so it has.

Now don't get me wrong, being in the hole has it's purpose too. Down here in the hole I have been able to see a lot of things much clearer, I have made some decisions that are game-changers in many respects. I have paid more attention to my family and friends. So the hole can be a good place...for a while. But I do miss my muse.

I recently came across this TED talk by Elizabeth Gilbert that I thought I would share with you here. In it she talks about the often-elusive creative genius and how perhaps we need to view genius in a different way...and I agree.


Let me know what you think. And maybe, just maybe, by this time next week I will have created something to share with everyone, if my muse will only come back!


Wednesday, 23 October 2013

The Story Must Go On...

This past 6 months have been some of the most tumultuous in my 45 years on the planet. My business disappeared over night, we moved house, a family friend passed away, we have all had medical dramas, my eldest child finished secondary school, we have battled teenage mood swings and dramas, computer problems, I started a new business...and so it goes. And to be honest, I haven't really felt much like scrapbooking. Because it all just got too hard. The things that I had held hard and fast to for the last 15 years about album-making disappeared with my business and that meant I had to make new choices, new decisions, change the way I was doing things. Hmmm, change...something this little bunny is not always good with.

So now here we are six months down the track. All those tumultuous events have left their mark on me (some continue to do so on a daily basis!) and in the midst of it all I really haven't scrapped very much at all. Even my Project Life album is w-a-y behind. Much of my stuff is still packed in boxes from the move. And now my computer is having massive problems which means that I have to offload all of my files to a portable hard drive and then wipe the disk memory and hopefully start again. Problems. Big problems. Problems that easily become an excuse not to scrapbook.

But our story has gone on regardless. In amongst all that turmoil have been some great stories. There has been sorrow but there has also been celebration and joy and excitement and fun and success and accolades. And really, that's just life...the story must go on. And so must the memory keeping, the story telling and in my case, the scrapbooking. I am still finding my way back to traditional scrapbooking with paper and embellishments, still taking photos and hoarding memorabilia, still wanting to scrapbook but just not quite there yet. My studio is a complete mess, there isn't even room for me in there at the moment! And still there are decisions that must be faced. Do I abandon my current digital photo storage method for something more commercially available? Do I just bite the bullet and pay for the new and improved version of what I have? And what about digital scrapbooking? Digi scrapbooking was the place I felt most comfortable and at home. Now I don't know which way to go.

Close To My Heart has been my salvation in so many ways, and it has filled the gaping void left by CM a million times over. Truly, I could not be more happy than I am with CTMH. So as I continue to battle my computer demons I think I am just going to follow my instincts and come up with a solution that suits ME. A hybrid solution. It's going to take a bit of time, effort and money but it feels like the right thing to do. And if you are feeling the same way, I would urge you to do the same - just go with your gut because you are the only person who truly knows what is right and what works for YOU!

So just to prove that the story really does go on and for those of you who missed seeing my child in this state (warning: this is not for the faint-of-heart!) here is an indicator of our story of late:

Life and the story rolls on! Here's to happier and healthier days!

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Confessions of a Scrapping Hoarder!

Sooooo, this week I am participating in an online Stash Bash - 7 days of using products in your existing stash to make pages and cards. No New Product Allowed!! When I signed up for it I thought it would be fun to give it a try but I have quickly realised just how much I do love getting new product! And I realised that I actually don't have that much "stash" right now - I got rid of most of my CM product and I don't have that much CTMH right now. Oooops!!

But I LOVE the idea of the Stash Bash - of just looking at what you have in front of you and using it. That's right, using it. Not collecting it. Not coveting it. Not stashing it away til you find the "perfect" photos or events.

For those of us (and yes, I do consider myself in this category!) whose craft area looks like an episode of Hoarders, the Stash Bash concept is perfect. This past weekend I was on a retreat and working on making sample pages using the new CTMH christmas products. I made the pages as per the instructions, then I made some extra pages using the leftovers and I had the rare experience of actually using up 2 entire packs of embellishments - nothing left! As I came down to the last few I started to get a bit anxious about it, fretting that I wouldn't have anything left to use "later" (whenever that might be!). But I pushed through it and forced myself to move past that anxiety and just use it up. And truthfully, it was LIBERATING! I bought the kit, I made the pages, I used up the product...the way it should be!! YAY ME!!!!

Now if you can relate to my hoarding sensibilities, then I challenge you this week to push through it and use up some of your stash. Just use it. Like good china, it was designed to be used not set on a shelf or in a cupboard gathering dust. Use it. As the folks at Nike would say, just do it!

To get you started, here is a little video clip from CTMH this week that is perfect for a bit of stash busting. Give it a go - I reckon you will surprise yourself by just how good it feels to use scraps from your stash! And how cute is this card! Have a great stash-busting week!


Tuesday, 8 October 2013

A Very Different Kind of Album Project....

Right now I am cooking up christmas projects with all the fab new goodies that Close To My Heart is about to unleash but this little album has really caught my eye...

I am bubbling over with ideas for this little beauty as a christmas gift...how about a desk calendar project, or a birthday calendar, or a recipe book, or a book of positive affirmations....for just $20 I am predicting that the Designed Decor Flip Stand Album is going to be HUGE for christmas 2013! If you want to snap one (or more!) up for the people on your gift list, just click here and it will take you straight there!


Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Hot Tip Tuesday!

Life in our new house has FINALLY settled down and so it is back to business and back to scrapbooking and story-telling for this little bunny! I am progressively working my way through all the super-cool products that Close To My Heart (CTMH) has to offer but to date one of them has been a complete stand out...the Workshops On The Go (WOTG) kits!

WOTG kits are the perfect introduction to stamping and scrapping the CTMH way because they represent great value and give you the ingredients you need to create brilliantly coordinated and stylish layouts and cards. Each kit contains cardstock, decorative paper, stamps, embellishments and a layout and cutting guide to help you create magic without the stress. Here is a video to show you a sample of what you can create with these amazing kits...


To date I have played with the Laughing Lola Scrapbooking and Card Kits, Tommy and Pro Player Scrapbooking Kits and I am THRILLED with the results! For a digi scrapping girl like me, WOTG kits have been the PERFECT solution as I ease my way back into playing with paper because I can choose to follow the layout guide exactly, or deviate from the guide and still end up with fabulous results. If I want to sex up my layouts with lumpy bumpy embellishments I can, and if I prefer to keep it clean and simple (which you know is generally my preference!) then I can do that too - love that flexibility!

If you haven't scrapped for a while, or stamped, or if you are just getting started then trust me when I say, Workshops On The Go are the answer for you! And if you are a seasoned stamper and scrapper, I challenge you to give them a go - I bet you are in for a very pleasant surprise!

Friday, 23 August 2013

The Challenge Is ON...HELLO!!

We all have a tendency to put our own needs and interests behind those of our children/family etc...can anyone relate? Personally, I have been struggling with this a lot lately as I dealt with illness, injury, moving house, kid activities, work commitments...you know the story. But this past week or so I decided that enough was enough – I need to say HELLO to the things that I have been missing these last few months/weeks. I need to get reacquainted with those things that make me happy, because I know I function a lot better when I am running on Happy (as opposed to running on empty!). So my challenge to you tonight is to think about the things that you enjoy, that make you happy, that you have been pushing aside for whatever reason lately and make a page that says HELLO. Let’s all welcome those happy things back into our lives!

Friday, 9 August 2013

Don't miss this opportunity to get $200+ of free product!

There is only ONE WEEK LEFT to get your $99 kit! It contains over $300 worth of wonderful Close To My Heart products, so this kit represents exceptional value! Whether you want to grow a business, finance your own hobby or just love being part of a crafting community, you are welcome here! Receive 22% discount off your personal product purchases including your digital printing, earn a few $$$ towards your household expenses or just play along with me - there is something for everyone! Purchase your $99 kit directly from my website (www.lesleysanders.ctmh.com.au) by clicking on the OPPORTUNITIES tab...give it a go....what have you got to lose? There are no penalties if you don't do anything other than purchase a kit and you will walk away with over $200 of free product! That is one sweet deal!