Friday, June 1, 2012

OLW Blog Hop - Just Doing It

Good morning! Welcome once again to this month's blog hop for participants in Ali Edward's One Little Word class at Big Picture Classes. This is my favorite time of the month and I am ready for browsing everyone's work.

I've been really struggling the past couple of months. As you might have noticed, I haven't blogged anything except these monthly blog hops since February. So I am incredibly grateful to have these gentle reminders to get back in the swing of things. I've been thinking a lot about this month's prompt and have several ideas about broader goals for my word...but right not I know I just need to DO.

Do anything.

Do something.

Just do it.

Thanks for the inspiration, Nike.

Next up is the fabulous, Lisa. Check out her blog here.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

OLW Blog Hop - The Letter Edition

Welcome to this month's OLW blog hop! Thank you so much for the prayers, love and best wishes last month during my hospitalization. My asthma is under control for the present. Hallelujah! I credit much of my recovery to keeping a positive attitude. A very difficult thing to do, particularly in the midst of adversity or illness, but the support of friends & family helps more than you can know. 

This month's prompt involved writing a little note to yourself, focusing some on where you are right now and some on where you hope to be one year from now. I really love this concept. Putting words to paper makes it 'real' to me and gives power to my intentions. I am still playing major catch up around here and dealing with heavy stuff. I have no photos of my projects but I am sharing some of my note to self. I am blogging from my heart, keeping my life real and authentic.

Dear Jenn,
Right now you are struggling to keep to your head above water. The past month has been filled with stressors, both internal and external. This time has been one of the most difficult in your life, but I have to say that you're dealing with it so well.

I'm proud of you.

You've suffered a trauma this month, one that threatens to consume you, but you keep holding on. You are surrounded by so much love and support. Jim is your rock, a touchstone that helps you get through the day. He is everything you could ask for and then more. Your mom and your two best friends share your grief and comfort you. You know that you need help to weather this storm - and you've opened yourself up to the healing process with a professional. You understand that this moment in your life doesn't define you...but you are feeling so lost. Take a deep breath and let the love wash over you. You are so strong, stronger than you ever knew that you could be. You will get through this.

One year from now I hope you'll be laughing. And smiling. And experiencing joy to be alive. You will have moved on, rising from the darkness and dangers to see and understand all of the beauty that is present in this world. You and Jim will be thriving in renewed togetherness and passion. You will be able to share all of yourself. You won't be scared anymore, seeing shadows where there are none. You will understand that you survived. You will be ready to share your story and help others who are struggling as you once struggled. You will know that no one can take your spirit. You will feel peace.

Until next time, friends. xoxo

Next up is Jill. I know you'll enjoy her amazing blog!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

OLW Blog Hop - The Sad Edition

Welcome if you are on participating in the OLW blog hop. I am slightly late getting this post up....but I am writing from a hospital bed so I hope I am forgiven. I am in the midst of a severe asthma exacerbation. I will be sharing my work on last month's OLW prompts next time around.

In the meantime, please check out the wonderful Kara.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Words of Wisdom

I saw this gorgeous bit of word art on the amazing blog, Create With TLC. I've been ill and struggling a little this month but this sentiment made me smile.


Thursday, March 1, 2012

OLW Blog Hop - Through The Lens

Hello and welcome to this month's One Little Word blog hop! I am so glad to have you here. The hop goes live at 8:00am PST on March 1, 2012. If you're a bit early, be sure to check back!

Each month of the 1st, we gather together to  'ooh' and 'aah' over the amazing work done this month by the participant's of Ali Edwards' One Little Word class at Big Picture Classes. The blog hop participants are an amazing bunch. Their work each month brings inspiration and beauty into the world. I am so grateful to be included among them. Being a part of this monthly hop keeps me accountable with completing the class prompts, but it also keeps me in contact with a really wonderful group of women. You can catch up on all of my past OLW entries here.

This month's prompt was all about seeing your word through the lens of a camera, capturing the essence of your word and what it means to you in a series of nine photos. Last year, this was one of my favorite prompts; this year was just as delightful. I love the freedom and creativity inherent in this assignment. How you choose to 'see' your word is  just so individual. Some people are very literal in their approach, while others are figurative. Some are realistic, others are whimsical. Some document the every day moments, others the extraordinary.

This whole concept fascinates me.

My OLW for 2012 is do. My approach in documenting this word was more figurative. I tried to see things I have done or want to do in photos that are unexpected but I think they fit.

Here are my nine photos collectively.

click on image to see larger version
From left to right:
I want to do so much, but this desire to do often gets lost in the hustle and bustle of every day life.
I can do magical things.
The things I do will take me to new and wonderful places.
Fear and insecurity sometimes keep me from doing all that I want.
The things I seek to do require hard work but result in goodness and beauty in my life.
Doing it all means sometimes asking for help.
Knowing what to do is not always clear; I have to believe in myself.
Doing what is right can take me to strange and lonely places.
I can do anything I want - I am strong. I am capable. I am determined.

Jim & I are heading to St. Louis, MO this weekend to cheer on Creighton University in the Missouri Valley Conference basketball championships. Go Bluejays!!!

What do you want to do today?

Next up in the hop is Monica. Check out her fabulous blog here.


The complete list of blog hop particiants...
Melissa S
Melissa C
Monica B
Heidi D
Jen R
Missus W
Dawn G
Orange Gearle

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Photo Love & Thoughts on Hoarding

click to see larger image (sorry for the horrible scan)
I have been taking Amy Tan's class Stretch Your Kit, offered through Studio Calico. And I'm *loving* much inspiration, so much creativity, so much fun. One of the best lessons of the class has been "use your favorites first."

Confession: I'm a scrap supply hoarder. 

When I find a product that I really love, I hang on to it. Stare at it. Store it. Think about it. Dream about it. Plan pages around it...but rarely use it. Which is a shame as these supplies are meant to be used.

Changing my mindset to using my favorite supplies first may take some adjustment. But on this recent layout I went for it! I used several products that I had been hoarding: the chipboard butterflies, the rub-on butterflies, the skinny black letters, the tiny aqua buttons, the "be" labels, the wood asterisks and the number brads.

I. Used. Them. All.

And I love it. I love seeing my favorite products on a page. I love the freedom of using beautiful supplies just 'cause I want to. I love the surge in inspiration and creativity that comes from not limiting myself. I love the "go for it" attitude. And I love the feeling of accomplishment, of completion.

I'm off to spend the day crafting...and I'm going to use whatever I want in the process! xoxo

Friday, February 17, 2012

February Take 12 - The Layout

I am having such fun with this project.

click on image to appear larger

I made a 2-pager, y'all! this is big news. I was inspired by a sketch that came in the Ella Publishing Co. Take 12 kit. The original sketch was very linear and featured a grid, which are elements that I liked & kept. But the photos in the sketch were placed in two horizontal rows, along the bottom and middle of both pages with the journaling fit in between. As you can see, I used the photos in three vertical columns and moved the journaling to the right side. The title was placed in the right upper corner in the sketch. I kept it that way but mirrored the elements in the lower left corner to balance out the page. I used simple embellishments - two kinds of washi tape, a word strip, painted chicken wire pattern for some texture & interest and an Elle's Studio calendar circle. I plan on using these calendar spots and kraft cardstock every month as a way to unify my pages.

Well, kids, I am off to catch up on a couple of the many shows I have backed up on my DVR. I need to photograph this year's Valentine mini so that I can share that project this weekend. Have a lovely night!

Friday Photo Love - The Coolest Kid I Know

I got to spend some time last weekend with my godson, Mr. Sam. He is the coolest kid that I know. In fact, I might be biased, but I'm pretty sure that he is the coolest kid in the world. Just so you know...

More to come this afternoon. I will be posting my completed layout for the February Take 12 photography challenge.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Take 12 - February Photos

It's time again for Take 12, a monthly photography challenge hosted by Ella Publishing Co., where participants take 12 photos of the 12th of each month to scrap and share. For 2012, I am two for two on this project and feeling pretty darn good about it.

As February 12th fell on a Sunday this year, my day was a mix of puttering around the house and helping out with a fundraiser to benefit a family friend. It was a lovely mix of everyday and special occasion, home and friends, introverted and extroverted, me and others.

Like I said, it was a lovely day.

As I did last month, I will be sharing the words + photos today. Once completed, I will also share a finished layout featuring my Take 12 photos. I am working from a sketch that was included in EPC's Take 12 Kit. My mind is percolating with ideas on how to best document these memories.

I woke up at a leisurely hour on Sunday 2/12. What a lovely feeling. Threw on a sweatshirt and headed into my craft room.

Worked for 2.5 glorious hours on a Valentine's Day mini as a gift for my husband. I am loving how it is turning out. It's almost complete. The photos are printed, the embellishments are collected - I just need to adhere everything into the book. Stay tuned for a dedicated post (with photos!) on this mini later in the week.

Loved seeing this guy as I was leaving the house. I enjoy seeing the little signs of winter around the neighborhood.

I spent most of the afternoon and early evening working a fundraiser to benefit our friend, Casey, who is battling pancreatic cancer. I am in charge of a multi-week raffle so I sold raffle tickets and t-shirts for a few hours. One of the neighborhood's favorite hangouts, The Dundee Dell, hosted the event. Casey has worked there for over a decade. The owners of the Dell donated 25% of the day's total to benefit Casey and his family so Jim & I had dinner there with friends. We had an amazing turnout. I was even interviewed by a local news crew to promote the events.

Jim & Bowers in "Go Big For Casey" t-shirts

Deana & I

Princess Izzy sporting Mardi Gras beads/mask

Kozy & I at dinner

I am the raffle queen

Mr. Sam "borrowed" my iPhone and took a series of self-portraits. Too cool.

Home again, after a long day, I notice a spectacular view from my bedroom window.

I threw on my warmest jammies (with matching slippers!).

And settled in to watch the Grammys.

Good day. And good night...

Friday, February 10, 2012

10 Things - Random Facts

On the 10th of the month, Shimelle and friends share a list of 10 things. Any 10 things you want. I've been a sporadic participant but decided to jump in at the last minute this month to share 10 random facts about...

this girl

 1. I love road trips.
 2. If I could live anywhere in the world, it would be on a beach or a sailboat so I could wake up and see the ocean every day.
 3. I can hold an entire conversation using nothing but movie quotes.
 4. My first car was a sunshine yellow 1972 Volkswagon Beetle. It had a rusted out area on the passenger floor and a manual transmission. I have never loved any other car as much as that clunker.
 5. I am a cancer survivor.
 6. I have a piece of the Berlin Wall.
 7. I regularly buy things from QVC. (Yes, you could call it an husband does.)
 8. I hate roller coasters and love to dance around in summer rainstorms.
 9. My favorite food is Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.
10. I sleep with a stuffed turtle every night. His name is Seymour.

Want to share 10 things? Join in and link up to Shimelle's post here.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Day in the Life 2012

 Can I just say that I love this project?

I love this project. I really do.

I have done a day in the life several times in the past. And I just adore the process, every single time. When I look back through my albums, the layouts documenting one whole day of  my everyday life are always among my favorites. This year is no exception.

I woke up Wednesday 02/08/2012 fully planning on participating in a day in the life with hundreds of other people, inspired and organized by Ali Edwards.

But very early Wednesday morning I got a phone call from my son. One of those phone calls. The type where your heart sinks and you just know your whole day has just been flipped upside down. Where that one thing becomes your whole day. And that story was not one that I wanted to document.

So, I didn't.

(how liberating)

Instead, I re-printed Ali's daily planning pages (available as a free download on Ali's blog) for today and opted for a do-over.

Today was average. Today was going to work early, stopping by Starbucks to get espresso drinks for three. Today was eating Jimmy Johns for lunch. Today was going to the grocery store. Today was making dinner in my brand new pressure cooker. Today was putting my OLW 'do' into action. Today was getting gas and doing dishes and throwing in a load of laundry. Today was laughing with Jim and dinner for two in the dining room. Today was foot pain and lost glasses. Today was giggling over the phone with my best friend. Today was playing Words With Friends on my iPhone and winning. Today was tv in bed and snuggling. Today was perfectly ordinary - and *that* was the story I wanted to tell.

I used Ali's Day in the Life layered template - available on sale here - to arrange the photos. I used the planning pages to record thoughts and events of the day. I plan on using the sheets to tell the story of the day. I probably will use a 6x12 page to house the journaling. Voila!

Did any of you join in a Day in the Life? I'd love to see your work - just leave me a link in the comments. Here's to a wonderful weekend...

Friday Photo Love: The Uncommonly Beautiful Variety

I first saw this amazing poster on Karen Walrond's blog, Chookooloonks. I immediately fell in love with it. Karen is an amazing writer and photographer. Her site never fails to inspire and uplift. The poster was created by artist Kal Barteski. 

I feel so strongly that this is a message every man, woman and child on earth should hear every single day.

If you love it too, you're in luck. You can pre-order a 16x20 print here.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Gratitude Sunday - For The Boy

Photo courtesy of Helga Weber

I've been thinking an awful lot this past week about my blessings. We found out that a good friend has advanced pancreatic cancer. It is inoperable. He is 40 years old and has two young sons.

Our neighborhood and circle of friends have come together in an impressive show of support and love. We are hosting 6 weeks of Sunday Fun Days culminating in a blowout event with live music and a silent auction. Local businesses have donated space for these events, food and drink, raffle prizes and auction items. Local residents have offered time, treasure and talent. I am amazed at the generosity and humbled by the depth of giving.

This week, I am grateful for my blessings. I am grateful to be a part of something special.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

OLW Blog Hop - 2012 Beginnings

Welcome OLW blog hoppers! It's time again to 'ooh' and 'aah' over the amazing work done this month  by the participant's of Ali Edwards' One Little Word class at Big Picture Classes.

I really like the introductory prompt. As much as I do not typically relish the idea of having my picture taken, I have been trying to experiment a bit more with self-portraits over the past year. Utilizing the timer on my Cannon DLSR and the camera on my iPhone has made the process of self-portraiture so much easier. And I like being able to look back at these photos, seeing the changes and remembering each moment. So I enjoy knowing that each year my OLW adventures will begin with photo of moi.

Welcome 2012.

I like that thought.

In addition to a self-portrait, this month's prompt also included making a series of cards to document, define, explore and create with our word. My word for this year is do. I explain my thoughts on choosing the word do here.  Here are my cards.

I am loving how this turned out. The mix of type and handwriting. The neutral embellishments. The color scheme.

love it all.

Up next in this blog hop is Carmen. Check out her post here.

In case anyone needs the complete list of all 46 (yes, that is 46!) participants, I have included the complete list below. This is the largest OLW blog hop to date. I'd like to welcome any and all newcomers. I can't wait to see everyone's take on this month's project. And a huge thanks to Margie for once again supervising and organizing this blog hop.

See you next month - or sooner. Come on back anytime.  :-)

Cindy    C
Melissa S
Missus W

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Lovely Things

I am so *loving* the fabulous digital Valentine's kit, Kiss Me, by Rhonna Farrer. The above word art is only a small bit of the available fabulous-ness. There are also brushes, borders, backgrounds, printable tags and flags and mini Valentines to send out. Rhonna's blog is always chock full of inspiration so be sure to check it out.

For the past three years, I have made my husband a mini-book for Valentine's Day. I am super stoked to utilize this kit for this year's project! I am excited to create and share this year's mini with you, dear blog readers. Here's to a wonderful and lovely February.


Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday Photo Love: Acrylics

I am totally loving this collection of acrylic paint colors. I originally saw the image on one of my favorite blogs, Creature Comforts. The artist is named Koey - check out her blog In The Wonderland.

Here's wishing all of you a happy weekend! xoxo

P.S. This is my 100th blog post on Studio Jenn. Woo hoo! Thanks for reading and accompanying me on this journey called life.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

For The Love of Jim

This man is my everything.

He turned 45 this past weekend and we had such a lovely celebration. He actually shares his birthday with his best friend so it's always a party. We went to the Creighton University basketball game in the afternoon, enjoyed happy hour cocktails at M's Pub and had the most amazing dinner at Sullivan's, a swanky steakhouse in downtown Omaha. We enjoyed the food and wine, of course, but this year I was struck by the comfort of long time friends.

The birthday boys - Dave and Jim had a wonderful evening. We all did, really. It is just so nice to see Jim smiling and happy. Relaxed. He works so hard and is so supportive at home that I *love* seeing him at play.

Of course, the ladies had a pretty good time too!

Here's wishing Jim health and happiness in 2012. And here's to us, as well.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Words on Wednesday

I'm definitely feeling overwhelmed. So many pending catastrophes in our personal life right now - My son. My poor health. Bills, bills and more bills. Family pressure. Anxiety and insomnia.

Yep, overwhelmed.

But I saw these words on a blog a few days ago. They really resonated and triggered a deep, cleansing breath. I save the image so that I could keep repeating the words. Unfortunately, I forgot to write down the source so I am unable to credit my source. Please contact me ASAP if you know the source so I can link up. Thanks!

Always remember: nothing is too hard. It just takes doing a little bit every day. Persistence. Dedication. Deep breaths. And then doing it all again the next day.

What's your best trick for dealing with life when you're overwhelmed?

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Victory is mine.

I'm not sure exactly why, but I have been quite unmotivated for the past couple of weeks. I've been having a difficult time getting started on projects. Oh, I have tons of ideas...but I've been stalled out in taking action. I love possibilities. I love ideas. I love dreaming and thinking. And once I get going, I love creating.

It's the getting going that is the issue.

And I know that is why I needed 'DO' as my one little word this year. I know I need to push myself out of my head and into my craft room (and other places - gym, anyone?). I know that I just need to let go of fear, of insecurity and start doing something. I know that stagnation does nothing positive. I know the longer I delay the harder it actually is to move forward. I know all of these things.

But it is still hard. And I'm still afraid. I'm still insecure and stagnant.

So I am particularly proud that yesterday I did something. I entered my craft room, moved around some piles and made a layout. Of course, I haven't cleaned and organized since early December which made it somewhat tricky to create this layout...but I persevered. I also made some progress on Project Life.

It was a good start. A good day.

All of this is a rather long-winded way of saying thank you. The blog helps me in many ways, both small and large. Most importantly, it helps keep me accountable. It helps to know that just maybe there is someone out there interested in seeing what I've created.

So, thank you.

P.S. Here's the layout I made with my January Take 12 photos. I used the sketch from Ella Publishing's Take 12 kit as a guide. I love the way in turned out.

Have a wonderful next week!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Take 12 - The Photos

I had such a fun time taking photos for January's Take 12 project. And I couldn't wait to share the photos. I also plan on making a layout but for now the photos will have to suffice.

1. The view from my front porch in the morning. Gorgeous.
2. I just finished reading Out of Oz, the final volume in Gregory Maguire's Wicked Years saga. I really enjoyed seeing how these books came together. Ever since first reading Wicked several years ago, I have been fascinated by Maguire's concept, writing a completely new story based upon a well established tale - in this case The Wizard of Oz but told from another character's perspective. I am obsessed with the amount imagination and creativity that it would take to accomplish such a feat...and more than a bit envious.
3. The view from above. Dark indigo Levi's. Fleece vest. Uggs. I am both warm and fashionable.
4. Today's lunch consisted of a single cheeseburger from Don and Millie's. Mmmm. Not the healthiest of lunches, but I skipped the fries and avoided the temptation of a double burger. In the end, I feel like I was able to enjoy something I was craving in a responsible way. This is progress.
5. The West Wing. The freaking complete series. Thank you, Santa!
6. Today's weather. Cold. Cold and windy. Hello, winter.
7. My very messy craft table, filled with lovely scrappy goodness. I am especially happy for new Amy Tangerine goodness.
8. My husband's recent baseball card acquisitions. I love that he is a collector.
9. Have you ever owned something that just made you smile when you caught sight of it? That is what happens every. single. time. I see my manual type writer. That it was a gift from my best friend makes it even more special.
10. Poor Jim. He had to undergo an emergency root canal...and was still in good humor and allowed a photo of his slightly swollen, very numb jaw.
11. Emergency root canal = need for antibiotics.
12. Need for antibiotics = trip to the local pharmacy. I love this pharmacy, not just the service but the complete look of the building.

I hope you all had a wonderful January 12th! I'll post a layout featuring these photos soon.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Just Do It

Image courtesy of Elizabeth Dillow's blog

I am super excited for my venture into Take 12 - a monthly project of taking 12 photos on the 12th day of each month. Started by the good folks at Ella Publishing, Take 12 is a good way for me to commit to a year-long project. It is discrete. It is do-able. It is not overwhelming or exhausting.

It is something I can do.

I will be posting a layout featuring each month's photos here on my blog. Look for this month's layout this weekend.

Now, get out there and start something!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

New Year, New Necklace

My new One Little Word necklace arrived yesterday!

I love it.

This is the second year that I have ordered a necklace from Lisa Leonard Designs. Both have been gorgeous. I wore last year's dream necklace every day and it still looks great. This year's do necklace is just what I wanted!

Here's to the small things that bring big smiles...

Sunday, January 1, 2012

OLW Blog Hop - Endings and Beginnings...

Hello, dear readers and Happy New Year! I am so excited to welcome you to this month's One Little Word Blog Hop. Regular readers are familiar with the OLW concept. For anyone new to my blog, it is an idea originated by Ali Edwards that has taken off like wildfire. In 2011 Ali teamed up with Big Picture Classes to offer a guided yearlong workshop devoted to discovering and documenting your one little word. I am happy to report that the class will be offered again in 2012. Ali describes the experience like this:

 "Last year I decided I wanted to do something even more tangible with my One Little Word. I've found that, just like a resolution, it's easy to lose sight of the things you set forward to embark on as regular life gets busy throughout the course of the year. To combat this I plan to bring my word into my life more consciously and concretely and make it more visible by creating an album to hold my thoughts, challenges and inspirations."

The final prompt for 2011's class centered around reflection. Ali designed a wonderful tool to record facts and feelings about our OLW. I LOVED using this tool to record my final thoughts related to my OLW dream. As I pondered the journey that I had taken with my dreams this past year, I was at peace. My journey had been fruitful. I learned what I want and I know how to make it happen. I know that a need to be creative drives me. I know that I have talent. I know that I have a unique voice and perspective - one that can educate, encourage and inspire my fellow creatives. I know that I want to pursue my own business. Someday I will work for myself. I'm not quite sure what this business will be exactly and I'm okay with that. Because I know that I don't have to have all the answers right now. I just have to believe in my dreams.

 In 2010 I focused on hope. In 2011 I defined my dreams. As the year comes to a close, I am ready, eager actually, to move onto a new word. Excited to see where this new journey will take me. And confident that I am able to handle what's in store for the future. But I carry these words of years past in my soul. These words continue to speak to me, guiding and leading me even as I venture into uncharted waters. These words are comfortable, like my favorite pair of jeans. These words are familiar, like old friends holding my hand as I embark upon a new path. These words are loved.

And yet, I find myself longing for a change, something new and strange and wonderful. I feel ready to take on the world. I welcome 2012 with open arms. I've ordered a new planner. I've cracked the spine on my new journal. I am restless, filled with anticipation. I need to do something.


Hello world, a new little word is born.

 In 2012 I will do more. Do more creating. Do more documenting. Do more learning. Do more reading. Do more exercising. Do more healthy cooking (to be perfectly honest, do any cooking). Do more good.

Just do.

I completed the pre-class assignment for this year's class, consisting of a title page for my OLW album. I used foam Thickers on template created by Ali. Then I stamped a grid onto the title page and created mini collages in each space. I love the completed look. It echoes the look of last year's title page but is still different enought to be interesting. Here's a photo:

 Up next in the blog hop is Cindy. Check out her amazing work here.

Thank you for following along with the OLW hop! If you are interested in joining Ali's One Little Word class for 2012, you can register here. I loved this journey last year. I look forward to the upcoming journey this year. I hope you'll be joining us.

Remember, just do.