- my column for Adornit Scrapbooking -

9 - 09 Beginner Basics

Hi, it's Debbie here with September's Beginner Basics. This month I want to talk to beginning scrapbookers about a big problem that plagues scrapbookers at every level – that feeling of “never being done.”

Sometimes beginners get caught up in the mindset that they have to scrapbook EVERYTHING. If you have that attitude, I guarantee you’ll always feel panicked and stressed. When you let go of the idea that you have to scrap every photo and every memory, you’ll be able to relax and enjoy the creative process of scrapbooking.

I challenge you to let go of scrapbooking your photos from last Easter - lol - and instead find two or three photos that represent a special moment and use them to create a one or two page layout.


For my layout, I started with my story – because it was important for me to write my feelings about my son’s music talent.

Here is what my journaling says:

"One of the best surprises in my life has been that Mike LOVES to play music. He is actually obsessed with it! I don't remember hime especially loving music as a kid - he took piano, trumpet, and guitar lessons, but he didn't like to practice and didn't play very much. After his mission, he started playing the piano and guitar all the time. I was so surprised at how good he was. He developed a taste for vintage guitars and music from the 70's. Friends would come to our house for loud jam sessions and to make music videos to post on YouTube. Mike and Tom Williams would sing together for hours. He performed at the university and at Why Sound. He and Tom played at a little yogurt shop that has music on the weekends. They sounded great!"

I typed up what I wanted to say and printed it onto the RAE BRACKET paper. (I cut the paper to 8 ½ x 11 first so it would fit into my printer.) Then I trimmed it to fit the photos I wanted to use.

This bracket look is trendy right now – Adornit makes it easy with already-made brackets. You can use the whole sheet or cut it up.


I wanted to find the perfect background paper. I tried several choices, then I remembered how much I LOVE love love Alison’s SONG BIRD patterned paper and decided that it was 'masculine' enough for my layout.


These papers are from Adornit's Rae Collection; you’ll notice that the colors are perfect for my photos and will be great for your summer and fall photos. Go get scrapping!


::: creative blogger :::

For me, blogs by inspiring, creative women are like all the toys in the biggest toy store I've ever been to - like the Toys "R" Us on Times Square in New York City. I'll never be able to explore all the blogs out there (duh). Sometimes I take a minute to go to one blog, and there on that blogger's 'favorites list' I see a dozen MORE blogs that would be fun to visit. And those blogs would lead to more and more and more blogs.

So, like you, I limit myself and enjoy the journey through just a few blogs. One of the most inspiring (probably because I love quotes), is Rhonna Farrer's blog. She is an amazing graphic artist and creativity guru. She runs a 21-Day Creativity Challenge that I never participate in, but love to visit. She is friendly and open and generous - she actually encourages you to print her designs. Here are two of my favorite quote posters that Rhonna designed:

Harry Connick, Jr. - Your Songs

It's a new CD for Harry Connick, Jr. Sit back and relax for four minutes and watch this clip. It begins with Harry talking about the CD (does he have kind of a southern accent?), then he performs a classic Sinatra song All the Way. Nice.

Borders :: Harry Connick, Jr. - Your Songs

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!! YoU GO giRL !!

Aimee (my daughter-in-law) ran her first marathon! It was the Top of Utah Marathon (twenty six point two miles) and she did great! I have to give a huge shout-out to Aimee - for many reasons. First, for her determination and discipline. This girl has three kids - a 16-month-old baby and two active girls - all reasons enough to NOT find time or energy to do the training that it takes to get ready for a marathon. But she set a goal to run and she really stuck to her plan - and it helped that her brother started running too. They ran a 10 K together and then the Top of Utah Half Marathon. Then, all by herself, she ran a whole marathon. All of that since April of this year! What amazed me was the huge smile on her face when she finished.

Here she is coming out of the canyon - the wind was blowing hard - but the sun was shining and overall the weather was perfect.

Brookelyn and Bailee made signs to cheer on their mom. They waited patiently for a long time before she came running by.
Here is Aimee as she ran to the finish line. Look at that smile on her face!

Aaron grabbed her and gave her a big hug.
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today's the day!

Today is the first day of my class Cut the Crazy out of Christmas on Big Picture Scrapbooking.com. I'm so excited to interact with all the fabulous ladies who are taking our class!

It's not too late to sign up....registration will close Sept. 20, 2009 at 10:00 p.m. PST.

The four-week class is self-paced, and the handouts and info are there on the website waiting for when you're ready to do the work. The cost of the class is $25.00- but if you want to save $5.00 you can email me and I'll give you the coupon code. (deb84341@yahoo.com). Here is what I wrote for BPS explaining how the class works:

Before we get started, we want to tell you a bit about how our BPS classroom will work. Each Thursday, our classroom will be refreshed with a new week of class materials. Once you have logged into our classroom, you will be able to view our welcome message, audio message, and downloadable handouts. Each week you will receive three different types of handouts. To separate them and for clarity, we have titled them PLANNER, PERSPECTIVE, and PROJECT (listen to the audio for a bit more detail). This will become more clear once you start the process. Now that's out of the way, let's get started!

Georgana (my boss at Adornit) and I are the teachers for the class. It was Georgana's idea to propose Cut the Crazy to BPS - and she did all the work to make the whole thing digital. Plus she helped develop the projects, and she created all the pdf handouts with new artwork. I'm really happy with the transition from hard copies to digital downloads.

We worked SO HARD to have great content and handouts for our class. I have to give credit to Norma Olsen - she originated much of the Cut the Crazy material. She and I developed the class in 1994 and taught it for years to women's groups. She has graciously let me take it to the digital world through Big Picture.

The Cut the Crazy out of Christmas PLANNER is the foundation of the class. Here is what I wrote for BPS as an explanation of the planner:

The Cut the Crazy out of Christmas binder/planner that you will assemble (according to our instructions and using your class downloads) is the FOUNDATION of this workshop. This planner will become your "control central" for Christmas. It is your most important Christmas organization tool. Keep it near your desk or in another accessible place. It's not a book that you pack away with your Christmas decorations! If you make a habit of referring to it all year, you'll be more organized when the holiday season arrives.

Your planner will eliminate all those floating scraps of paper that boggle your mind and clutter your counter. No more addresses jotted on napkins or endless post-it notes on the fridge. Everything will be compiled in one place.

debbie says: "My binder is my 'right hand man,' especially from September to January. I keep it in my kitchen cupboard right next to my recipe books. I remember, about this time last year, when my daughter commented that she didn't have any pretty salt and pepper shakers. I took out my binder and wrote, "Becky - S&P shakers" on my Christmas gift list - so I'll remember to buy them in November. I'm sure that I wouldn't have remembered that gift idea any other way!"

The magic of this planner is that it can be used year after year. It evolves with your family's needs. For example, you may save magazine pictures of decorating ideas that you like for a few years and then replace them with new pictures when your style changes. You can add ideas, tips, and stories as you find them. Remember to keep your gift lists from year to year to simplify planning and shopping for gifts. Use each page to help you in your effort to cut the crazy out of Christmas.


{ dwell in possibility }

I have been reading about Emily Dickinson - poet and writer. I have a phrase from one of her poems caught in my mind. "The spreading wide my narrow hands, to gather paradise." I keep repeating it over and over.

I think we each find that at times our hands seem so narrow - but the spreading wide can be an act of discipline and self-love. And the reward can be to gather paradise. I've thought about that as I try to get the courage to try new things and go new places.

Emily Dickinson's poems are inspiring - her life, really, is not. She was eccentric and solitary. But the body of poems she produced - not even discovered until after her death, is astounding.

This all started when I found a magnet that I love: "I dwell in possibility." This phrase is from the first line of one of her most famous poems.

I'm surrounded by women who dwell in possibility. I meet them online, I read their words, I work with them, they are my family and my friends. They live lives of possibility and hope. For them my deepest gratitude.

I Dwell in Possibility

by Emily Dickinson

I dwell in Possibility –
A fairer House than Prose –
More numerous of Windows –
Superior – for Doors –

Of Chambers as the Cedars –
Impregnable of eye –
And for an everlasting Roof
The Gambrels of the Sky –

Of Visitors – the fairest –
For Occupation – This –
The spreading wide my narrow Hands
To gather Paradise.

graphic image by thehistoryshirt.com


* bAbY SHowEr for Becky *

Becky is due in a month! We had a baby shower for her - a combined Grewe and Stevenson shower. It was so fun to go to Pitt's Aunt Sherrey's house in beautiful North Ogden and get reacquainted with some of his family.

Brookie loved the shower games - which made my efforts to find sophisticated (lol) shower games worth it. (I almost said, "No games.") We played a "name-the-baby" game (since Becky and Pitt haven't decided on a name or at least haven't revealed it to us) and a word game. Aunt Nancy came up with the winning name: Eiger.
The food was wonderful - this fruit salad made by Pitt's cousin, Jenny, was unique and pretty - a big bowl of heaven. Raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, pineapple and kiwi fruit. Fresh, cold, and delicious.

Oh, the baby things they have nowadays! Darling clothes for little boys and creative stuff for everything from bathtime to riding in a stroller. But the handmade things that Becky got for the new baby were extra special.
Grandma Patty took Becky to the fabric store when she was first pregnant and had her pick out her favorite flannels for receiving blankets and burp cloths. Patty has spent the summer crocheting edging around them - the cutest little edges you've ever seen on the cutest fabrics. And not just a few - the picture above doesn't really show the extent of what Patty made.

Patty's sister, Aunt Sherrey, has also been busy - making this adorable quilt for the baby. Again, the photo doesn't do it justice. It is so bright and beautiful - with rickrack and wonderful machine quilting. Lucky Becky and baby!


can I just say....

...that I'm liking my toes right now.

This is a great color for fall and it makes me smile when I look down. I took a photo of my cute nail-polished toes, but when I actually looked at the photo on my blog, I quickly deleted it. No matter how cute your toes are, they're not cute close-up. Not even with OPI "I'm Fondue of You" polish.


** hAppy biRthdAy MiKe

Today is the birthday of our youngest - our awesome son, Mike. We had a little pre-birthday dinner last night at our favorite "local Mexican" restaurant, El Toro Viejo. It was fun to have Grandpa and Grandma with us. Mike especially loved wearing the sombrero while the waiters sang a lively rendition of Happy Birthday.

Mike is a great guitar player and singer. In this picture, he and his friend Tom Williams are practicing for their performance last week at a cool little yogurt shop in town. They sounded really good and the crowd love the music. More performance photos below.

Probably one of my favorite things about Mike is his laugh. He laughs at everything and you can hear his laugh echoing through the house. He's nice and kind and loves his family and friends. He is a good student, is fluent in Japanese, and can do anything on the computer. He's easy-going and calm, and he's very tidy. His room and bathroom are pretty-much clean. He always seems to enjoy what is going on around him at that moment. People tell him he looks like his dad, although we don't see it. He is like Scott in that he forgets to eat - something I have never been able to understand. I'm going to quit now and go bake him a birthday cake!
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i love the concept of serendipity

"Serendipity visits all of our lives at some point. You begin by going left, take a sudden right and find yourself someplace unexpected. Sure, some people know almost from childhood the path that they will take and map it out. Most of us, however, are a little softer in the life plan department. You think: This is the thing I will do, then encounter something unexpected and find yourself in a new place altogether." Linda Richards

"Serendipity can be developed, as an attitude of the mind and as a quality of the spirit. It can energize and excite our lives and give us balance between structure and spontaneity, between flat, fixed firmness and free, fun flexibility. It can allow us to “get there” and to “enjoy the journey” at the same time. It can tap us into a higher, clearer reality and
inject joy into what is no longer the routine.

On a more serious note, serendipity of the spirit can be an attitude whereby our lives become divinely guided rather than self structured. Serendipity of the spirit can become the connecting bridge between
our goals and God’s will." Richard Eyre


learn how to Cut the Crazy!

Georgana (my boss at Adornit) and I are teaching Cut the Crazy out of Christmas again this year as on online class on Big Picture Scrapbooking. It starts on Sept. 24 and goes for four weeks. You can take the class at your own computer, on your own time schedule, in your jammies. If you've never taken an online class - you need to try it! It's fun. You download the handouts, do the work, and talk to your fellow class members on the forums (if you want). The class is $25.00 - but I can send you a coupon for $5.00 off if you send me an email with your address.

This is one of our promos:

Is Your Christmas Crazy??

We hear ya: “Don’t talk to me about Christmas right now,” you say. “I don’t want to think about it until after Thanksgiving.” “Don’t remind me of the stress and rush.”

BUT – what if thinking about it NOW made it the BEST Christmas ever. What if you could start December with a smile on your face.


Back by popular demand, Big Picture Scrapbooking brings you Cut the Crazy out of Christmas. Taught by BPS ‘feature teacher’ Georgana Hall and Debbie Raymond, this four-week workshop will help you be ‘in control’ as you look forward to the holiday season. This class will include a holiday planner to help you get organized, along with scrapping and card-making projects.

If you want to start today (and why not!?) you can sign up now and download your pre-class assignments. Just think – you have the power to cut the crazy and look ahead with joy!

Can't wait to see you in the classroom!!


{ tAke FligHt }

The butterfly project started with the butterfly garland that I made for the Adornit Blog Hop last month. It's a fun little decoration celebrating the joy of summer. As I made it, I knew I had to let my little granddaughters in on the fun. Here are some photos of the cute garland I made, then some pictures of the girls' version. I love the Adornit papers and ribbon I used.

My grandaughters are just like me - they love a good project! And they love cute paper! (Just wait 'til they discover fabric.) I spent an overnight with them last weekend, and we had a blast making these chipboard butterfly wall-hangings. Brookelyn, above, and Bailee, below, really got into it. They carefully selected their papers and embellishments. (Everything you see is from Adornit Scrapbook Company - click here and you'll see Brookelyn on the Adornit scrapbooking homepage.)

Back to the project. The girls cut and pasted and embellished and adorned to their hearts' content. And then wanted to make more. Those girls do love stickers, do they ever! We spent a whole afternoon and part of the next morning butterfly-ing. (If you want to order the chipboard shapes - a set of six butterflies, send an email to customercare@adornit.com. I'm thinkin' you could make CUTE little gift sets out of them - little kits for your girls - holidays are coming!)


LaBor dAy at the LaKe

We spent a couple of days at Bear Lake for our anniversary/Labor Day. The weather was perfect except for a bit of blowing wind.

Nothing is more beautiful than the sight of the morning sun rising over the mountains to the east and reflecting on the lake.

This incredible flower garden takes a close second to being the most beautiful sight in the Bear Lake area. I kept watching for someone to be in the yard so I could ask what miracle potion they use to grow flowers like that. These photos don't really show how beautiful they are.

We went on a loonnng bike ride. I am impressed with the little towns in the Bear Lake area for having about ten miles of off-road bike trails.

One of the fun parts of our bike trip was discovering a lovely spot above the marina where you can watch the boats go in and out of the launching area.

My parents and Merilee and Arika came over Saturday (we missed you Val), and we couldn't wait to take them to see our marina discovery. Dad and I watched the boat parade.....

Merilee and Arika took off to walk a few laps and enjoy the fresh air and warm sunshine.....

And Scott held down the umbrella (it was windy) so my mom could enjoy the scenery in the shade. Scott didn't mind because he was had his book to read.

The day ended with a beautiful view of the moon shining above the lake. Always quick to grab her camera, Arika took the first moonrise photos, then Scott joined her to capture the beautiful scene on his own camera. Mer's friends, Denise and Morgan, arrived just in time to enjoy the magic too. I have more "people" photos to post - maybe tomorrow!