Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Gamer Girl to the Rescue!

All I can say is thank goodness for books! This was the perfect escape I needed after a rough afternoon. I came home and finished Gamer Girl by Mari Mancusi.

Here’s the back-story. Nerdy as I am, I wanted nothing more than to go to Barnes & Noble for my birthday on Friday. As usual, I stalked the Shakespeare shelves, because one can never have enough Shakespeare books! This time around, I picked up a couple by Barry Edelstein: Thinking Shakespeare and Bardisms. I then trudged over to the YA section, but I really wasn’t feeling it. I told my husband that I was a little shocked that I wasn’t in a YA mood; I’ve been teaching teenagers for 19 years and can’t remember a time when I haven’t been excited about some new YA book or author. I decided to move on to the Sci-Fi section when the cover of Gamer Girl grabbed me by the eye and shouted READ ME! Can’t say no to that. I got to the “Squee!” on the back cover and knew I had to read this book. On a side note, I wonder if the author is a Pottercast fan, too. Anyway, my final purchase of the evening was my real birthday gift—Star Trek Scene-It! I can’t wait to play that game. I wish my friends were as geeky as I am; I guess I’ll simply have to take it to school and play with my Sci-Fi class.

Okay, I guess that’s enough exposition, now on to my review. Gamer Girl tells the story of Maddy, a sophomore who recently moved to NH after her parents’ divorce. We all know how bad it can be to be the new kid in school, but imagine being forced to change from a “gothy, but approachable,” outfit to old lady jeans and a unicorn sweatshirt! I’m old and that would mortify me! Maddy’s situation goes from embarrassing to humiliating when her grandma walks into school with her and inadvertently insults the most popular kid in school. Turns out he is also the biggest bully and now Maddy is his prime target. It really is no surprise that she immerses herself in the online game Fields of Fantasy, which is a birthday gift from her dad. Virtual life is much more appealing than real life when you are known as Freak Girl at school. As an avid YA reader, I found the book to be very predictable, but I didn’t care! I loved watching Maddy discover what I already knew. Plus, the description of the game play felt like a cross between WOW (World of Warcraft) and LOTRO (Lord of the Rings Online). As a gamer girl, I must admit to laughing out loud at some of the jokes that only the geeky can truly appreciate. Overall, this is a very fun book and is a quick read. I look forward to giving book talks about it tomorrow and adding it to my classroom library.

Read more...

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Amazing Week

I can't believe it has been a week since I last posted! It has been a very full week, so I'll try to be brief. Alas, I did not meet all of my creativity challenges. I was able to finish my second card for the CTMH unit swap today. It is a direct scraplift of the Just Right card from Jeanette Lynton's blog. The sketch is from the new Wishes book; I can't wait to get it! I used the following new products which will be available to order on May 1st: Sweet Baby (C1359), Comments (D1359), and Animal Cookies Creative Basics (X5807).

I didn't complete all of my creativity challenges because I was so busy this week. I wasn't able to work on the Tickled Pink kit, but I did get my photos printed. So, I inadvertently finished the two page kits! Those will be my first two LOs for the LOAD challenge in May. I must finish them for my big party on Saturday!

I celebrated my birthday on Friday! My friends and husband made it a very special day. Several of my friends came over to scrapbook on Saturday, so I feel like I had two birthdays this year! I am so blessed to have such amazing people in my life!

Read more...

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I completed my first creativity challenge!

Woo hoo! I finished my swap card. It may not look like much, but it took a lot more time than I thought it would. I'll put 34 of these in the morning mail.

So, this is a little sneak peek from the new CTMH Idea Book that is being launched on May 1st. This is the Animal Cookies Creative Basics paper. It is so cute. I used the new stamp set Sweet Baby everything but the "UR" which is from the Be True stamp set.

I'm not a card maker, so this was my second attempt at a card for the swap. My first attempt was a total reject! LOL! I'm showing it here simply so you can see the back of the patterned paper. The back of the small flower print is Clover Meadow. I really like the color combination in these papers.

Okay, I'm off to set my creativity challenge for the week.

Read more...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Bye-bye Unforgettable...Hello new product!

I made a valiant effort to use the entire Unforgettable level 2 pack, but I still have 4 full sheets of paper and tons of scraps to use. Alas, my new product has arrived, so I'm packing up Unforgettable in order to work on my swap cards. You may not hear from me for a couple days, but make sure you check back this weekend to see a sneak-peek from the new Idea Book! This cute card folio was inspired by a Wonderfully Whimsy tutorial!

This card was inspired by the Mojo Monday Week 82 sketch. I'm not much of a card maker, but I can see that these sketch challenges will help me improve, so I think I may start doing more challenges! Here is the sketch:

Read more...

I'm Tickled Pink!

Woo hoo! Happy day! My eliptical was finally fixed today, so I get to work out as soon as I'm done posting this message. My CTMH order also arrived with the new Tickled Pink scrapbooking kit which went on sale today! The kit comes with instructions for two double-page spreads, so I'll post them as soon as I finish the layouts.

The Tickled Pink scrapbooking kit, created exclusively to celebrate National Scrapbooking Month, is available TODAY through the end of May. As always, you may purchase it at retail or earn it FREE! There are three ways to get it for FREE--make a qualifying purchase, have qualifying Home Gathering sales, or enroll as a new Consultant in May!

One more very cool bit of CTMH news before I go exercise and then play with my new product (so much for doing school work tonight!)...to celebrate National Scrapbooking Month, Close To My Heart is sponsoring a contest that anyone can enter at the Scrapbook and Share blog! You have a chance of winning $150 in CTMH products, so click on the link and check out this contest!

Read more...

Monday, April 13, 2009

Finally Picked Up PageMaps!

I went to JoAnn's today with a 40% off coupon and walked out with my own copy of PageMaps...finally! I've been wanting this book for ages, so it was a nice surprise to get it at a discount.

Okay, I sense my secondary challenge morphing into using the rest of my Unforgettable paper with sketches from PageMaps!

Read more...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Talk About Unforgettable!


So, I spent the afternoon finishing up the Unforgettable Workshop on the Go. I usually don't give myself enough time to make the cards, so I was determined to do it this time. I ended up making two of each and still had a ton of product left over from the workshop kit!

I'm always amazed at how many layouts, cards, and projects can come out of one level 2 paper pack. A part of me wants my challenge for this week to be to use up the rest of the pack, but I have a swap that is due soon, so that needs to be my challenge. I guess I'll make using up the rest of my Unforgettable kit a secondary challenge while I wait for my order to arrive!

Read more...

Must remember this quote!

Oh my goodness, I know I should be in bed, but I was logging off my computer and saw this quote on my quote of the day and knew I had to jot down some quick thoughts about it!

If thou hast never been a fool, be sure thou wilt never be a wise man.
William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863)

I think about all the mistakes I have made in my life and know they have helped me grow into the woman I am today. The foolishness of our youth helps us grow and mature. I want to help my students see that this is a natural part of growing up and that it doesn't mean they are failures!

I'm tired right now, but I sense a scrapbook page coming out of this quote. Perhaps that should be my first challenge for next week. Of course, I need to get my swap cards completed when my new products arrive, so maybe this should be my second challenge!

Happy Easter everyone!

Amy

Read more...

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Why I Love Finishing Files!

So, I posted a couple layouts yesterday and realized it was silly to have them in two places, so I'm going to post the complete layout here and link back to my CTMH gallery for the detail shots. That seems to make more sense. This layout uses the Unforgettable paper pack and is a direct scraplift from page 21 of the Spring 2009 Idea Book. I love how quickly the layouts come together using Cherish and scraplifting the embellishments!



So, while I was working on this LO, I was reminded about how much I love our finishing files! When I work with Dimensional Elements, I usually ink them with a sponge dauber or use the back of a large stamp. I like to add stamped images to the top to add even more dimension. I find that this is the quickest way to work with DE. Yet, there are times when I really want to take it to the next level and I cover the DE with B&T or preprinted patterns. The finishing files make a huge difference when covering them with B&T! Here are some photos from the layout above.


The first step is to glue the top of the DE to the back of the B&T. I use a strong adhesive like CTMH Bonding Memories or Aleene's Tacky Glue. Anything that will glue the edges. Regular tape runner adhesive is not good for this. I let it dry over night to be on the safe side.

When you cut out the pieces, don't worry about getting too close to the edge...that's where the finishing files come into play! Simply run the finishing files along the edges of each DE and the paper will come off. The files have different shapes to allow you to get into tight spots. I use the flat and rounded edge of the largest file the most.

When you are done, this is what they look like. Now you can embellish to your hearts content. I inked the edges for my final layout, but sometimes I like to leave the white edge of the paper and DE showing through. The DE are easy to poke holes in for placing brads or setting eyelets. I also like to add a bit of bling to my DE using buttons, sparkles, Liquid Glass, and glitter.

Read more...

YA Novel Reviews

I finished Spanking Shakespeare last night. I'm very fond of YA lit and am incredibly passionate about Shakespeare, so you know I had to read this book! It is about a high school senior named Shakespeare Shapiro. He hates his name and is certain that his parents' goal is life is to make him miserable. Each senior is assigned a memoir project for the year, and the novel alternates chapters between his memoir and a first-person narrative that corresponds with each month of the school year. As you might guess from the title, Shakespeare is preoccupied with sex and is determined to finally get a girlfriend. Throughout the year, he grows from a self-proclaimed victim to a young man who realizes that his life hasn't been as bad as he thought. I really enjoyed this book; it is very funny. According to Wizner's website, the novel will be made into a film. I checked IMDb which lists it as "in development" with a release date of 2011.

This book had a lot of similarities to Geography Club by Brent Hartinger, which I also read during spring break. Russel is a gay high school student who is trying to hide his true identity from a student body that does not tolerate difference. Like Shakespeare, Russel has two best friends (one male, one female). They both find it difficult to be completely honest with their friends in the beginning. When Russel confides in his friend Min that he is gay, she reveals that she is bisexual and has been in a relationship for several months. They are shocked and wonder how many other gay teens are in their school. They want to start a support group but know they must keep it secret, so they apply for the most boring club possible so that no one else will join them. Both boys mature throughout the novels, but Russel never gains the confidence to come out of the closet. By the end of the novel, the Geography Club turns into a GSA, so there is hope that Russel and the other kids won't have to continue living a lie.

Although Geography Club has an important message, I think Spanking Shakespeare is more well written. Regardless, I enjoyed them both and will add them to my classroom library.

Read more...

Friday, April 10, 2009

Unforgettable

I printed almost 600 photos from my Disney Cruise last summer. I know that I shouldn't attempt to scrapbook all these photos, but it was so difficult to choose! Even so, many went unprinted...I like to take pictures...what can I say?! Anyway, my CTMH Imagine+ Club is using this paper pack for our next club workshop, so I'm working on completing the layouts from the Idea Book. Thank goodness for scraplifting; it makes life so much easier! The lighting wasn't very good when I took these photos, but you can get the idea. The photos on the page look much better in person. Click here to see each page of the layout up close.

Read more...

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Economical Entertainment

A couple news reports have saddened me lately. This morning the news reported that overall sales at B&N are down. I was just there yesterday purchasing Jake Wizner's Spanking Shakespeare...I'm 1/2 way done with the novel as of this morning! Earlier this week, the news stated that, despite the economy, movie sales are up. What gets me is that reading is such an economical form of entertainment. Buying a paperback book is less expensive than a movie ticket and the entertainment may last days as opposed to a couple hours. The beauty of a book is that you can either spread the joy and give it to a friend or take it to a used bookstore and purchase another book with the credit received. As an English teacher, I try not to take it personally that my kids don't read, but it breaks my heart every time I hear a student brag that he has never read a book assigned in class. Sigh...I'm going to go on a walk, scrapbook, and then finish my book tonight!

Read more...

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

To Blog or Not to Blog?

In December of 2006, Neal and I made a pact to write for 1/2 an hour each day. We both started blogs with the goal of posting daily. I failed miserably! My last post dated May 28, 2007, described how excited I was to be a Close To My Heart Consultant. I would like to say that a booming business left no time for blogging, but that isn't the case. I simply overextend myself and something has to give. For the past two years, it has been my websites. I stopped blogging, podcasting, and updating Shakespeare High. My word for 2006-2007 was "Create," and I definitely added more creativity to my life in the form of scrapbooking. My word for 2008 was "Cleanse." I broke my sugar addiction, added exercise to my routine, and lost 45 pounds! I feel better than I have my entire life, and now I know what is important to me. Therefore, my word for 2009 is "Balance." Exercise and creativity are non-negotiable for me now, therefore, I must find balance in other areas of my life. I'm working on giving up some responsibility at school so that I can come back to the passions that give me joy. The goal of this blog is to document my journey and to provide me with an outlet to share my creativity. I'm glad you found me, and I hope you will share in this journey by playing along with my weekly creativity challenges!

Read more...

About This Blog

For the past few years, I have been striving to add more creativity to my life through scrapbooking, acting, web design, and writing. This blog allows me to document my ongoing journey. I'm also a Close To My Heart consultant, so I will share specials and post new product ideas. Watch out for a contest or two, as well!

Quotation of the Day

  © Free Blogger Templates Spain by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP