Monday, January 31, 2011

Mandi Makes

My most recent digital layout. So many fun new things. Journaling tags. Numbered labes [that are part of a mini album kit]. Doodle swirls + hearts. Awesome papers. It really is too bad that it's virtually impossible for me to make a "quick" page because I really do enjoy it. If I had all day everyday. Sheesh! I'm trying to decide if I should add the template to the box or save it for Template Tuesday. I'm leaning towards the box. I'm thinking that it's only fun because of the products I used. What's your vote?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Girl Friday

Just wanted to jot down a few things the girl has said recently. Things I really don't want to forget. 1. I was changing baby *E* and he was fussing and I'm chit chatting and cooing to him and I called him sweetheart. And this is how it went after that: The Girl: He's not a heart! Me: Sure he is. He's a sweet heart. The girl: No he's not. I'm a heart. Typing this now I know that there was more to the conversation, but alas, I can't remember. I should've done it two days ago while the memory was still fresh... 2. The Girl was talking to her Daddy on the phone when the boys came in from school. The conversation turned to something like this: The Girl: Do you want to talk to *A*? Daddy: No, I want to talk to Mom. The Girl: *A*? Daddy: Mom. The Girl: *A*? Daddy: Mom. The Girl: *A*? Daddy: Mom. The Girl: *A*? Daddy: Mom. Until I finally took the phone from her. Really. And maybe you just had to be there, but I was and I want to remember it. So there you go.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


I've picked up some paints and two types of canvases but I'm not yet brave enough to bust it all out. I'm not sure if it's from lack of confidence/perfectionism or from the deep seeded feeling that if I take it out I will get started and one interruption will lead to another and eventually the kids will be painting and not me. Painting the table. Painting the walls. Painting each other. I'm leaning more towards it being the latter... I've been playing instead with digital painting products [swaths of paint, splatters, scribbles]. I feel like I've got a bit more learning to do for them to feel right to me, but whatever. So. Much. Fun. one: This one is about noticing the doors that are already open and being brave enough to go through them.

How long will you keep pounding on an open door Begging for someone to open it?" -Rabi'a al-Adawiyya

two: This one I was focusing more on unlocking the door.

You suppose you are the trouble But you are the cure You suppose that you are the lock on the door But you are the key that opens it -Rumi

Monday, January 24, 2011

Will You Be My Valentine?

I used XOXO Valentine Cards from Elle's Studio [available at JS] to make these fun bag toppers.They come journal card sized so I just mirrored two of the same images with tops together and then covered the valentine message on one side with a photo of my girl. She couldn't get enough of them. She LOVED them. I loved watching her love them. ps. pretzel sized bags fit the card size best for this project.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Little Bird in My Mailbox

Last night *B* took the kids [all but the smallest] for a sleepover at Grandpa + Grandma's before setting out for a day on the ice. Fishing. Heaven is a quiet house. I'm sure if my house were quiet all of the time I would feel differently, but right now. Right now it is my truth. Last night I ate chocolate. The chocolates were speaking to me. Telling me things. Things like, "take a deep breath." and "get a good night's sleep." and "close your eyes and relax." And I am not kidding when I say I need such things.

Last night I didn't listen. I continued eating chocolates while reading the archives from something called Daily Truth. How did I not know about this before? Did you know about this and didn't tell me? Found through a fellow CT member I couldn't stop reading:
"A note to our Brave Friends about these emails -We have been talking a lot this year about the lies the world forces upon us every day...lies about what is most important, who we are, who we can become, what we can accomplish, our value, our potential, our worth, what makes our lives meaningful, how & where we can find true happiness, and on and on. So we've decided to wage our own little war against those lies by sending our brave friends a daily truth. Think of it as a little bird delivering your truth-- and imagine that this truth-teller is someone who loves you and understands you completely. Your daily emails will be sent Monday thru Friday. We wish you everything joyful and brave and true.-- Much love, Melody and Kathy"
I needed this. I really, really did. And we'll just ignore the fact that I ate all of the chocolates.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Girl Friday

Re:5 Random Things 3 Months, 2 Weeks ago 1. Hello from the great state of Utah. 2. _________________ to be exact. 3. I'm mommy to four littles. Ages: 8, 6, 2, and 2.5 months. 4. I'm so excited to be a part of the team. I've never done anything like this before and have no idea what to expect. 5. I'm hoping I haven't bitten off more than I can chew . 6. I tend to do that. 7. I scrap digitally because I'm completely indecisive and change things at least 15 times before I'm done. 8. I am a paper junkie. 9. I rarely make a layout that I don't take the time to design a template to go with it. 10. Even though I know I'll probably never use it again. 11. My logic baffles me sometimes. 12. The weather here is currently cool + rainy and I love it. 13. I call it "permission to do nothing" weather. 14. It's when I curl up with a good book. 15. Mockingjay is currently waiting for me at the library. 16. I can't wait to read it. So...five things? 17. Sometimes I just don't know when to stop. *This was my list I posted for the JS Designer/Creative Team Forum getting to know you party. I've been meaning to share it for a while. I thought you might like it. And as you know... I like lists.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Thinking of what makes my juices flow. What jumpstarts my heart. What brings me to life. I'm feeling flat [all nighters with sick baby will do that to you sometimes... heck, the baby doesn't even have to be sick and it can and will sometimes last for months at a time]. It's been hard to make a list. But I started with what I knew.
  1. I am brilliant at 4 am. I am not kidding. I've said it before and I will say it until I die. It sounds nuts and really, it is nuts. Who in their right mind would get up at 4 am? Well... not this girl. Not on purpose. But maybe I should. Because there is just something about 4 am. About moving gently and purposefully so as not to disturb sleeping littles who would, in turn, disturb my peace. Especially when the house is in order. That is when the peace is complete. There is no need other than to be still.
  2. Sometimes the early mornings take me outside. Outside where I count my footsteps and breathe in a deeply rhythmic way. I am not a runner, but sometimes I need to run. I run as far and as hard as I can. Then I turn around and go home again where a hot shower washes away all that stuff.
  3. I thrive on feeling inspired.Occasionally I will have something pop into my head. Something so vivid and exciting that I can't ignore it. It wants life. I want to give it life. I love working out minor details [though I really kind of stink at the major ones... we'll leave that for another day]. Working out a plan is like breathing new life into my everyday routine.
  4. When I feel beautiful life is beautiful. Really. When I get up and get dressed in something worthy of running into someone I know but haven't seen in a while...I feel different. When I do my hair I feel different. I feel different with my face done [though I don't feel this one as strongly as the others. I'm more of a make-up for special occasions kind of gal].
  5. I need to feel understood. I love making connections. I love a conversation that I hate to end [even though it's 1:30am] because it's so nice to have someone who cares about what I'm doing. So nice to care about someone else. To be a cheerleader. To be cheered. To discover new facets of a person. To feel like I matter. To know that even if the person isn't necessarily interested in what I am doing they are excited about it because I am doing it.

I'm going to choose to ignore the track of reasons + excuses that seems to be playing on repeat in my head these days. I'm going to keep thinking of things that will jump start my day.

What about you? Do you have any surefire ways to get out of a funk [or just lighten the load for a bit]?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sunday Stories

I spent a bit of time today remembering. Remembering all of the dreams I had when I was small. What I wanted to do. What I wanted to be. Sometimes I chuckled. Sometimes I wondered. Sometimes I was confounded at the completely different person I've grown up to be. Case in point: I wanted to be Miss America when I grew up. Really. Today I cry at the thought of getting up in front of people. Literally. Last year I left what I thought would be a simple choir practice in a panic of tears when the lady in charge told me I would be, "strolling to stage left and then back again while discussing such and such with sister so and so." I had not come prepared to play such a role. I completely fell apart and ended up not participating at all. Not my finest hour. My childhood all blurs together, but I can recall dreaming of being the Karate Kid. An olympic gymnast. An actress. A rock star. The first female NBA player [see, back then there was no WNBA so the dream was really far fetched]. An artist. An explorer. A writer. A poet. I remember making a few modifications to a tumbling leotard so that I would have the most unique + fashion forward swim suit at class swim day. I wanted to travel the world. I still do.

Friday, January 14, 2011


I know that a lot of us [probably most of us] have some sort of resolve to be more healthy this year. I haven't put anything into specifics yet, but we did discuss the possibility/feasibility of not eating fast food anymore. We discussed reality and decided to allow for Subway, pizza, Arby's french dip + swiss [because I really love them], and salads from anyplace. Cafe Rio is not fast food. These are the parameters we set. Yesterday while browsing my usual haunts I came across a new blog connected to Brooke Hellewell of Inchmark Journal. It's called Word of Wisdom Living. It is thought provoking and inspiring, providing information and a healthy change tip weekly. But don't think it will be easy... Last week was to cut your soda/sugary drinks to 20 oz. per week. This week is no fried fast foods. I love that it's Word of Wisdom based. I love that it's one a week for a year. Precept upon precept. Check it out.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

It Has Begun

[the universal conspiracy I mean]. Just yesterday I wrote that I wanted to paint. Honestly, I don't know the first thing about painting. Not really. And that fact has kept me from doing what I knew I wanted to do. But then. Right after I finished my post I ran smack into the middle of an announcement about a class. I know. I've got a bit on my plate right now. Notice my sidebar? I've decided I'm not in a hurry. I'll just sit back and let the universe continue to conspire for me. Have you had the universe conspiring for you recently? I'm going to paint!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

As You May Know

I've had a super secret project in the works for a few months now. What you may not know is that I actually abandoned it a while back. I had told a friend what I was doing and in an effort to help me out [since I wasn't getting much more than 2 hours of sleep on any given night] she called in for back up. It was well intended. I know that. I wasn't ready for it though. I was still too insecure in my ideas. They were too fresh and tender. What ended up happening was unfortunate. They begain asking what else I had in mind. The gave me suggestions for what else I could do. I was overwhelmed and I completely misread their reactions. When they left I felt like I was wasting my time on an idea that wasn't worthwhile. An idea that people wouldn't be excited about. My flame was doused. I didn't even look at the progress I had made for at least a month after. Then my well meaning friend came back and asked if I was sure there wasn't anything the reinforcements could do to help me. I told her I had abandoned the project. It was really hard for me but I knew I had to tell her how I felt. I'm not generally really great at sharing how I feel. Especially not face to face. She proceeded to explain what had really happened. The women loved my idea. They thought I wasn't dreaming big enough. They thought I could do so much more. It took another month or so, but I've slowly started working on the project again. I bought an e-book called Flying Lessons. I'm taking a class called Mondo Beyondo. I'm trying to learn how to dream big dreams. I'm trying to learn to let the universe conspire in my behalf. 150 x 150 flying lessons badge 2 Mondo Beyondo Dream Big Today I realized something... I was going about it all wrong. I didn't love the way the project was going. I didn't love the way the pieces were coming out. They were too processed [for lack of a better word]. And the truth is, I didn't love that process anyway. What I really want to do is paint. What I realized is that I would love the project more if I painted it. So today I'm telling you that I'm starting over. I'm going to start the project again in a medium that I can be excited about. What would you do if you knew you couldn't fail?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Monday Monday

Here's my newest JS project. I simply recovered a 3 x 5 notebook with these fun notecards from Elle's Studio. Easy Peasy. Click the photo to be taken to a more detailed how-to.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Our Door is Always Open

"Open. I asked the doors. Please. Swing wide. Swing free. Swing open. So I can see opportunity as she smiles at me. Open." -Kal Barteski
Today I have been very inspired by this project by Kal Barteski. So inspired in fact that I spent the morning in search of doors. Doors to draw. Doors to open.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Hello there 2011. Welcome. People, there are so many great projects out there. So many great communities. If I had the stamina and the time and the follow-through-itiveness I would join them all. Today I'll just share a few. A few that I think are absolutely do-able. Because that's what I'm all about these days. one: One Little Word. Such an amazing concept. So simple. Pick a word. A word that encompasses what you'd like this year to be. A word that is speaking to you for unknown reasons. " "Can you identify a single word that sums up what you want for yourself in 2007? It can be something tangible or intangible. It could be a thought or a feeling or an emotion. It can be singular or plural. The key is to find something that has personal meaning for you. This is not your mother's word or your spouse's word or your child's word - this is YOUR word. One little word can have big meaning in your life if you allow yourself to be open to the possibilities. And here's one thing that is totally interesting: sometimes a word will pop into your brain and it will not make any sense to you right now. Give it some time. Let it percolate a bit. I have often found that our hearts speak to us in very unique ways. Maybe this is a word you need to hear but just aren't ready for it yet. Again, be open to the possibilities. " [aezine Ali Edwards] The best thing about this project... The only thing you have to do is pick a word and see where it takes you. My word is OPEN. What's yours? two: Move More Eat Less. Tonight for dinner instead of having two tamales and a small salad I'll be having one tamal and a large salad. Mission accomplished. Oh, and I'm going to twirl with the girl. Off to do that now. And the bonus for the new year: three: Six People 12 times. A family photo a month. I love this idea! And though it might sound overwhelming, just looking through her photos and reading the circumstances in which she is taking her photos has helped me realize that it's only as daunting as I make it. four: Ali's approach to Project Life. She talked about leaving the book on an empty counter [got to find one of those] and having the stuff there in a basket for anyone who felt so inspired to just add a little something. "A family journal, compiled by our family. It makes my heart beat just a bit faster thinking about it." It makes my heart beat a little faster too.