Hope you had a great thanksgiving break and that you always have plenty of things to be thankful for!  Mine was great and since we're in that thanks-giving mood, i wanted to share something special with you.

i had the opportunity of taking the class series Scrapbooking 101 with Julie Balzer at my favorite store Portraitbug. The class is divided into 4 lessons and one of them is about journaling. I have to confess, this was the lesson i was the least interested in and thought "how am I going to learn to write interesting, quirky, honest journaling". i thought this is not something you learn. You either write well or you don't. But i was soooo wrong. Julie gave us some very important facts about journaling and i'll share the ones that i liked the most with you here:

a. Keep it real: If you feel like writing down "this sucks" write it down. Journaling is about documenting your feelings and your life. if they're real, this should be reflected on your journaling.

b. Tell the story behind the scenes: "sitting on my mother's lap, singing always takes me back to when i was a child and she would sing to me, teaching me to love music" reads better than "i love singing with my mom".

c. Aside from all the questions we would answer with a journaling piece, the one i liked the most is "what does it mean to you?" You can't go wrong answering that to make your writing reflect who you are.

So i went home and worked on a layout. i chose a photo i wouldn't normally use for a layout but that i really liked and i thought expressed the feeling of the moment in the best possible way.

The photo was taken the day before my wedding.  My best friend and my mom got a very small group together and we shared a very sweet and joyful night.  At one point, i sat on my mom's lap and we started singing.  i felt just like when i was a little girl and would sing with mom every time we were at home and i learned how to appreciate and love music.  It was a very significant moment because i was about to get married but i was still my mom's little girl singing with her and feeling the music together.

The journaling reads:

"This photo was taken the day before my wedding.  We were all so happy.  This was taken the day before i was about to start a new life as a wife.  But it was so beautiful to see i still had a spot sitting on my mom's lap.  i was still her daughter.  Just like when i was a litle girl and we used to sing together.  She taught me to feel and appreciate music from the inside.  i inherited my passion for music from my mom.  i always saw her dance around the house and sing with all her heart.  Unashamed and so proud.  i was raised to know that there's always a perfect time to sing and dance!



Last saturday was the last day of class for Technique-a-palooza with Julie Fei Fan Balzer.  i can't tell you how much i enjoyed this class.  Julie shared her best 30 techniques for paint and ink in 30 days.  Each day we had a new technique to try with it's corresponding video and pdf tutorial.  The class was so well organized with an embedded chat room where all of us interacted and shared our concerns and ideas.  We also have a flickr group where we added all the wonderful things we created (click on the link to take a peek!).  At the beginning of the class, my desk looked like this:

And at the end of the class, it looked like this:

i can honestly say i feel transformed.  i never played with paint and ink before and didn't know how to use it.  With Julie's guidance, i slowly started to express myself through this medium and now i feel so empowered.  Here are some samples from the class with the name of each technique (you can also stop by my flickr page to look at all the goodies i created as a result):

If you have a chance to take the class, i highly recommend it! And don't be afraid to use paint, what's the worst that could happen?


So i've been wanting to share with you some of the scrapbook layouts i've worked on since i started scrapbooking about eight months ago (with no plans to stop!).  i uploaded them to my flickr page so you can take a look at them and maybe leave comments/suggestions/ideas?

i'm so eager to keep exploring and finally find my style and the art form i enjoy the most (i'm in love with everything right now).  i do know that i'm not a fan of using only ready-made embellishments on my layouts.  i really enjoy the process of designing, painting, cutting and gluing them up myself.  it gives the layouts a more personal touch and they're even more precious to me because i put all my effort into them.  i have to confess that i've been working on my art journal and learning new painting and inking techniques and i haven't finished a layout in some time but i've accumulated a great amount of embellishments and decorated tags and cards thanks to the class i took with Julie Balzer.  This is what i ended up after 30 days of 30 techniques!

This class just opened so many possibilities for me and now i'm on a roll! i can't wait to get home everyday to either sketch, paint or cut something up!  Just so thankful to have found something that's so personal and i enjoy to the max.  So please keep visiting me, i promise i will be posting more often as soon as i put some projects together.  i leave you with a photo of one of my favorite layouts:


Pumpkin Carving

I found the idea of carving initials on Young House Love and decided to go for it. It was our first time pumpkin carving and we're so happy with the results! I'll confess that it wasn't easy considering we just had a regular kitchen knife and my xacto knife. I'm definitely getting a carving knife for next year and see what crazy design we can come up with!