Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Inspiration Elevator Challenge- Scrapping loss

This week's Inspiration Elevator theme- surviving loss really speaks to me.

As scrapbookers, journalists in our own lives, image creators via social media, we often forgo
getting real for keeping things light and positive.
There's something to be said for that, after all, those who love you already know your trials.

But talking publicly about what's really happening in your life is also a fantastic means for catharsis. And for finding out how you really feel.
Sometimes the most important stories are the saddest.
Those are the stories that show personal heroism and tenacity- true character.

Journaling, photographing, getting creative with talking about the hard times helps me immensely.
The main benefit is in helping me work out how I truly feel.
It keeps the negative inner talk to a minimum and helps me gain perspective.
Most importantly, it makes those little moments most precious.

Inspiration elevator- scrapping hard times
As usual, I worked on this late at night so my lighting for the photo is way off- my apologies.
My page is about my marriage. Lately our communication has been fraught with negativity.
I wonder about the nature of our bond, is it strong enough to withstand all the external frustration we feel in our current economic and housing situation?
 Am I doing all I can to keep it strong? Could I lose the central relationship in my life?
That second questions scares me because I've always thought my marriage was strong.
I waited a very long time and made sure I was emotionally ready for the marathon.
My page isn't about loss.
It's about the fear losing something precious engenders.
I realized love doesn't change in a relationship but it can take second place over ever changing challenges if you let it.
I won't let it. And I made a page to remind myself.

Our main purpose here at IE is to challenge ourselves, each other and YOU to take the creative process to the next level;  to inspire growth and change in our scrapbooking beyond the mundane.
You can catch us on Facebook  and share your creations there; we'd love to see how we have inspired you!

This month we are thrilled to welcome back as a guest designer with our team, the artistic and genteel, Scarlett Salomone. Her creative works are as lovely as she is!

Untitled


This month's challenge is issued by the talented Wendi Robinson. Her first time to issue a challenge for IE and it's a great one! Here is her challenge in her own words:

LOSS... One thing we as scrapbookers do is post about lots of happy things, wonderful moments, things that make us smile, and things we want to remember. Too many times we avoid scrapping the not so memorable, or sad times. Most of us have experienced a loss of some kind, whether is be a loved one- sometimes it's expected, sometimes the loss comes too soon and unexpected. Other times we lose a pet, a job, feel like we've failed at a situation, or loss of a friendship. This time, let's scrap those harder moments that come into our lives. Scrap about a LOSS of some kind.

Guest Designer: Scarlett Salamone

Wonderful challenge Wendi!
Swing by the blogs and see what the other designers have done to represent their personal challenges and triumphs.

I hope you are inspired and take a swing at the challenge for yourself.
Remember- little moments matter

Guess which pre-schooler is mine?

Monday, June 16, 2014

Inspiration Elevator- public display scrapbook challenge

Welcome to another month of Inspiration Elevator!
Our main purpose here at IE is to challenge ourselves, each other and YOU to take the creative process to the next level;  to inspire growth and change in our scrapbooking beyond the mundane.
You can see all of Inspiration Elevator's previous challenges at our blog and catch us on Facebook and Instagram (soon!) too.

This month's challenge is issued by the innovative Michelle Hernandez. Michelle's style is about telling the story with a clean and simple, yet artsy approach, an awareness of current trends, and garnished with her use of chipboard and often neutral colours.
Here is her challenge for us, in her own words:
The challenge for June 15th is- make a public scrapbook page. You are making a page to go up at work or to give away to a family member to put up in their space. In your blog post you will tell us how knowing this page isn't going in a book or in your home changed your style. Did you go all out and make something that is 3D? Did you suppress your love of a particular color or product? How do you feel about the page being public- outside your regular audience of scrapbook lovers who read your blog or open your books at home?



Sorry for the fuzzy page- I work off my ipop and apparently Blogger doesn't like
whatever programing language ipods use to display images.

When I thought up this challenge I had several family portrait projects in mind. Working on those made me realize how much my style changes when i'm working for someone else.

I tend to keep my palette low contrast and light.  I also stay away from messy techniques and mediums because I assume most people don't want a page with lots of paint spatter or wonky layers.

I made this for a co-worker who loves the color blue. Yes, I know.

I wanted to keep design time to an hour so I used a single collection pack and made my layers neat so she wouldn't mind putting it up in her cubicle. 


My co-worker's cubicle is full of photos. She really liked her page- it's very different from her style
but she assured me that was a good thing. WHEW!
I used the Twenty 3 collection from Cosmo Cricket- arguably one of the most challenging color combos I've ever come across- orange, pink, mustard yellow and grey. Or as far away from blue as possible.

This page will match our office decor and hopefully be quiet enough to allow her to use any horizontal 4x6 family photo. I plan to make a second page for her in her favorite color but that will come later- picking and matching items is what usually takes me hours to decide.


Here's a complete list of this month's participating designers!  We encourage you to check out each designer's creation this month, then come on back and give the challenge a try yourself!

                                                                Michelle Hernandez
                                                                  Katherine Sutton

We have a couple of regular artists taking a summer hiatus and look forward to the return of Joanne Burton and Christa Uttley in the fall.

Meantime, if you've wanted to participate as a guest designer with Inspiration Elevator, just contact team lead, Ann at ann jobes at bell dot net. 
 
Now it's your turn to get creating about art you share publicly, and share your blog link at the IE blog. We would love to see what you were inspired to make! 

Thanks for swinging by!
Michelle

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