MAGIC – My One Little Word for 2018

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For the past several years, I have participated in Ali Edward’s class, One Little Word. I have chosen a word for the year and completed several exercises throughout the months to connect to my word. I feel that by choosing a word for the year, I am able to keep focus on what matters most to me at that time. This year my word is MAGIC.

The One Little Word concept fits well into my view on resolutions. I do not make specific resolutions any more. I felt that making a list of to-dos for the coming years was just setting myself up for failure. It was too easy to let that list slip to the side as other obligations arose.

Instead, I choose areas of focus for each year—broad themes that govern how I will spend my time and make decisions in the future. Over the past years these areas of focus have been mainly concerned with my family and home as I had growing children who I was homeschooling. Scrapbooking had always been on the list too because it is the main way I express my creativity.

In 2017, however, I found that my role as mother and homeschool teacher is becoming less and less the center of my life. My oldest is in college now, and my younger two children work on their own much more. I am realizing that I have a new degree of freedom to explore different areas of focus.

So this year, I have two broad areas of focus: creativity and open-mindedness.

Creativity includes exploring new ways of memory keeping, more blogging and other forms of writing, completing personal photography projects, and growing our farm into a more self-sustainable homestead.

Open-mindedness includes continuing a daily meditation practice, exploring different spiritual practices and traditions, further developing my relationship with my horse, and working on becoming stronger and healthier.

So how did I come up the word MAGIC for this year? Well, I looked at all the things I want to do in the coming months and realized that creativity and open-mindedness both instill a sense of wonder in me—creating a sense of MAGIC.

What is your word for this year?

Now go create!


One Little Word | January 2017

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SLOW. This word came to me near the end of 2016, as my year with the word CREATE was coming to an end. I know that 2017 is going to bring some huge changes to our family. I want to make sure that I enjoy every moment.

Last year was a year of great creativity for me. I took art classes at a local university, scrapbooked hundreds of pages, and worked for four design teams. I started a photography course and began redecorating my house. CREATE was a word close to my heart.

This year will be a year of many firsts. My older son will get his driver’s license, turn eighteen, and go off to college this fall. My daughter will get her driver’s license and begin her college search. My younger son be a member of our local fire department. My husband is buying an office condominium after years of renting.

And I will be watching every minute and milestone go by with love in my heart and a tear in my eye. I just want those moments to go SLOWLY.

I also will be making some changes in my life to bring the word SLOW into my being. I hope to eat healthier food, do more strength training, be more deliberate in the choices I make, and eliminate as much stress from my life as possible.

I will be doing Ali Edwards’ One Little Word class again this year. I find that the class helps me really explore my word and keep it in my life all year.

So here’s to new year and a new word!

Now go create!

Five Things

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What a wonderful time of year in the scrapbooking world–CHA is near and all of the new releases are hitting websites, Facebook pages, and stores. I have been keeping my eye out for products that I love and can’t wait to get my hands on. These are my latest scrappy finds!

Simple Life collection by Pebbles, Inc.

I live on a farm so I love taking photographs of nature and animals. Any collection that reflects these interests goes on my wish list!

Lovely Day Rose Foiled Ephemera by Dear Lizzy

The bright colors and cute shapes in this pack caught my eye. I can imagine using these die cuts on any number of layouts.

Tealightful Washi Strips by Pebbles, Inc.

What a cute spring-y collection of washi!

Bloom Stamps by Photoplay

These stamps are just precious. The bee and the boots are adorable!

Little By Little Sticker Book by Shimelle

 I just love the versatility of a wonderful collection of stickers–especially these cute ones in Shimelle’s new line!

So these are the products I am looking forward to this spring. I hope to get my hands on them soon!

Now go create!

December Daily | Lessons Learned

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This past year will mark the seventh year that I have created a Christmas album. I say “Christmas album” instead of “December Daily” because I have never truly done a December Daily until this year.

Way back in 2009, I began putting together my Christmas photos into some type of album. Then it was usually something handmade. One year, I even die cut a small box, wrapped it like a present, and printed my photos in 3×3, and put them in the box. So cute!


Most years I waited until after Christmas, gathered all the holiday-related pictures, then completed my album. I picked out my supplies early, but never worked on an album ahead of time.


Until 2015. That year I featured my album on a series of blog posts at Counterfeit Kit Challenge, so I had to work a little ahead of time. I still wasn’t doing a true December Daily, but I did lay out much of my album in the first two weeks of December. I even filled in a few of the earlier pages to feature on the blog post.


That year was the first year I had ever worked on my album during December. I really enjoyed it! I liked creating holiday pages during the actual holiday season.


So this year, I decided to {GASP!} actually do a December Daily. I used a Simple Stories 6×8 album, a Christmas kit from Noel Mignon, and journaling prompts from Shimelle’s Journal Your Christmas.


I purposely made the album simple–two photos from each day, one on each side of the spread, journaling with each photo, and minimal embellishments.


And I did it! I have a completed album documenting twenty-five days in December. I did fall behind a bit around the second week, due to the many events going on in my life. But I knew that I would have some time to catch up later on in the month.



What was most interesting was hearing and reading about many people’s experiences with December Daily (some positive, some negative), which was a topic on every podcast I listened to and most Facebook pages I read. After the holidays were over, I reflected on many of the lessons I learned from this project.

  1. If you don’t LOVE Christmas, don’t try to do a December Daily. I have always made holiday projects because Christmas is my second most favorite time of year (summer is my favorite). I LOVE Christmas and everything about it. (I LOVE summer too–and I often make summer albums. I have not, however, made a winter album, because I loathe winter.)
  2. Limit the supplies you use for your album. I chose ALL of my supplies ahead of time so that I could quickly put my pages together. I didn’t have to rummage through my entire stash of Thickers just to find the right ones. I used the ones that were in my kit.
  3. Perfectionism has NO place in a December Daily album. If I made my album polished and shiny, I would STILL be working on it. I have photographs that are blurry, dark, too far away, or crooked, but they are in my album because they represent what we did that day. I (and everyone else who looks at this album) will love the memory that the picture represents, not judge its quality. My pages aren’t stellar works of art, but they each have heartfelt journaling and at least one cute embellishment.
  4. Make December Daily your own. Don’t be discouraged by all of the hype surrounding December Daily. Do what makes you happy–make a traveler’s notebook, create a series of layouts, or write in a journal. Just do what you LOVE.
  5. Don’t give up! I fell behind around the 11th of December which was a busy time for me and my family. I almost gave up, thinking, how am I going to do a December Daily when I’ve missed three days? But I just did a little at a time until I could catch up.


Will I do a December Daily again next year? I’m not sure. As much as I enjoyed working on an album during the holiday season, I did feel some extra pressure to be in my craft room when I could have been doing something else (like wrapping presents or making cookies.) However, by keeping the album simple, I was able to put together pages fairly quickly.

The main reason that I think I will do this type of album again is that I reallyfelt like I enjoyed each and every day of this Christmas. And I have the album to prove it!

Now go create!

1 Kit, 1 Sketch, 1 Month | Fresh Start

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Happy New Year! I hope your 2017 is getting off to a great start. Mine certainly is–I have a brand new kit of scrapbooking goodies to create layouts with this month–and a new project for 2017!

Since I have many stories I want to tell this year, I have challenged myself to use one kit and one sketch to scrapbook with each month. By using a kit each month, I will limit my choices of supplies to make my workflow faster and more streamlined. By using one sketch in different ways, I will always have a starting point for my pages.This year-long project I am calling 1 Kit, 1 Sketch, 1 Month.

Also I will be integrating my scrappy goals for 2017 in this new project. (See this blog post.)

This month my kit has soft pinks, browns, teals and gold. I used this paper from My Mind’s Eye as the inspiration for the collection.

I added papers from Crate Paper, Fancy Pants, Echo Park, Simple Stories, Carta Bella, and Kaisercraft. All the papers are fairly muted in color with simple organic patterns that will coordinate well together.

For embellishments, I added Thickers, chipboard stickers from Shimelle and My Mind’s Eye, diecuts from Basic Grey and Carta Bella, wood veneer pieces, stitched brads, small letter stickers, washi tape from Echo Park and Doodlebug Design, and enamel dots–all in coordinating colors and patterns.

Interesting thought about this kit–I have a balloon paper from a birthday collection, two papers from a winter collection, and washi tape from a baby girl collection, but all the supplies coordinate very well. I love the versatility of today’s scrapbooking products!

These soft colors and floral patterns–very much a contrast to the bold reds and greens that I used last month to complete my December daily–are just right for starting off a brand new year. So I have titled my kit for January Fresh Start.

Check back later this month and I will reveal my projects made from this kit.

Now go create!