April 29, 2013

Everyday Storyteller 2 Contributor Blog Hop


Welcome to the Everyday Storyteller 2 Contributor blog hop! The second volume of Everyday Storyteller will be released soon!!

Everyday Storyteller 2 is a brand new idea book offering more than 100 tips, tricks and techniques for scrapbooking. Go behind the scenes with 33 of your favorite memory keepers to see how they capture moments, tell stories and document their best memories. Sign up for the VIP list to be the first to know when the book is released and receive an exclusive discount.

Each book contributor participating in the blog hop is giving away an eBook copy of Everyday Storyteller 2. Use this entry link or click the graphic below to complete your entry form. You must enter by 11:59pm PDT on April 30, 2013 to be eligible. You may enter from each stop. Winners will be contacted directly as well as posted at everydaystoryteller.com on May 1, 2013.


I had a chance to preview a draft of the book, and I have to say, it is everything it promises to be! There is a great variety of topics included, and just like the first book, it is filled with practical advice for scrapbookers.

When brainstorming topics for my contribution I thought about the one thing that people ask me about the most, the issue of time. How to find it, how to use it... I know you know what I'm talking about. We are all busy, and finding time to do what you love can be hard when there are so many other things to check off our daily to-do lists. In my chapter you'll learn my formula for getting it done. My process has evolved over time and through the years I've developed a set of tools based on what works and what hasn't worked, and I'm sharing those tips and secrets with you! I hope you will find them as useful in your own scrapbooking as I do in mine. 

Be sure to stop by the rest of the blogs in today's hop:

Donna Jannuzzi <<< You are here

Thanks for stopping by and good luck!!

April 26, 2013

a promise, to you

This post is going to seem as though it is coming quite out of the blue.  Um, 'cause it sort of is.  It's just that there is something I have wanted to say out loud for a while now, but I just wasn't sure if I should say it.  If you read my blog often, or if you know me in person, then you know that I am always honest.  Sometimes to a fault.  It is a matter of personal integrity for me.  While I sometimes fail a this, it is always the goal.

I'm hoping you know this.  But then, you might not.

Years ago, I used to read a lot of scrapbooking blogs.  Or at least, the blogs of women who scrapbook.  I always loved reading a little about their lives and then seeing how they would translate that onto a page.  Then, as time went on, it seemed like all my favorite blogs went, commercial.  To the point that over time, they stopped talking about their lives so much and started talking more about, stuff.  Slowly, as that happened, I stopped reading those blogs.

There are a lot of scrapbookers out there whom I find incredibly inspiring, and while I still love to see their pages, I suppose I'd rather just look at them in a gallery or in a magazine... well, not so much magazines anymore.  I hardly feel like I need to read their blogs because reading them is just like reading an advertisement.  And more and more, everything just seems like a big commercial.  Sometimes, it is just nearly impossible to avoid.  You go to your favorite scrapbooker's blog and you feel like they aren't trying to just inspire you, but they're trying to sell you something too.  Telling you how much they love this, and LOVE that.  And how this latest collection is their absolute favorite... even though the last collection only came out three months ago.  I honestly just find it all too much.  I'm guessing some of you do too. 

It's been bothering me because it is something I was afraid would happen here.  Not that I could ever monetize this blog.  That has never been, and is not one of my goals for blogging.  But I was afraid that being on a manufacturer's design team might have that effect on me, and this space.  Because part of my job working for Simple Stories and Pebbles is to provide some measure of advertisement for them.  But I don't want for my blog to become one big advertisement.  I also never want for you to feel like I am gushing about a product because I have to.

I suppose what I ultimately want to feel is a connection.  I want to be connected to my readers, and I want you to feel connected to me.  Even if only in the very simple way that we can be.  I want for it to not be about stuff, but about life.  The blogs I still read and visit and comment on are the ones where I have built a relationship with the person writing.  Sometimes even outside of their blogs.  I want to have that here, and I do.  I don't want to lose that.  So...

I know I have not been writing much about our lives here.  It has been all scrapbooking, scrapbooking, scrapbooking.  I can only be honest with you and say that life for the past year or more has been a little out of balance.  Particularly the last four months or so.  More and more it seems that this out-of-balance-ness is the new balance, and I need to learn to live with all of the new responsibilities being thrown my way.  Both Glen and I are being pulled in a million different directions, but we are both determined to keep our focus on God, each other, and on our children.  In deciding to homeschool I have taken on a great responsibility, and I feel the weight of its importance.  It is not something that can be compromised. 
So, what am I getting at here?  I suppose I'm asking you to be patient with me.  And I'm asking you to trust me too.  I have, in the three years or so that I have been blogging, gone through many phases.  Sometimes I post often, sometimes not as much.  Right now when I blog, it is just easier to share my pages and cards with you.  Because even when life is crazy, I still like to make beautiful things.

I suppose I'm also trying to tell you that yeah, from time to time, I'm going to feature products here.  And yeah, I got that stuff for free.  Maybe you think that will bias me, but I'm promising you now that I will never say that I love something unless I actually love it.  Unless it truly inspires me, and unless I think it will inspire you too.

Reading all this you might wonder why I chose to post this now.  Well, I've got to get back to blogging somewhere, somehow.  And this has been on my mind for months.  I just wanted to get it out there.  Also, I have lots of news to share with you, and pretty soon, this blog is going to seem like one big commercial... I say this a bit tongue-in-cheek, but I hope you'll forgive me. =)

Thanks for sticking with me, and I'll see you again soon...

April 18, 2013

you can take the girl out of Texas...

So much sadness this week.  Texas will always be my home, and West is not very far from where I went to school.  If you want to do something to help those affected by the plant explosion, consider making a donation to Catholic Charities of Central Texas or to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.  If you read the pages linked, you can learn how these two organizations will help the families in need.  The Red Cross provides disaster relief for the first 30 days, from the 31st day onwards these two organizations will then be helping families in the long-term.

Here are the direct links to make donations: Catholic Charities, St. Vincent de Paul


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