Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Sunday, February 2, 2014

January 2014 - Project 12

Project 12 was something that I really enjoyed doing in 2011. I loved the sketches and Davinie provided lots of inspiration! But most of all, I loved my completed album. In 2012, I got drawn into the Project Life trend. As much as I love the look of the divided page protectors, it just ended up being not for me. Unfortunately, I have a 2012 and 2013 album unfinished. My first love was always traditional paper scrapbook pages, but this year I am going digital and trying Project 12 again. At the end of the year I can get all of the layouts printed in a photobook. In the long run it will take up a lot less space and hopefully less money. I still intend to play with paper and do some traditional scrapbook pages.

My page for January uses the Brightside collection by Paislee Press
I love the colours of the January BYOC over at The Lilypad!

Edited to add: After asking for suggestions in the Lilypad community, I updated my page with drop shadows from Sahlin Studios - Realistic Drop Shadow Styles
The top photo is the original and the bottom is the updated layout.

January Layouts & Cards

I have started to get back into scrapbooking. Here are the layouts and cards I have finished in the past few weeks. Most of them are for challenges at Studio Calico

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

I Struggle - #BellLetsTalk

My mental health struggles are not something I generally talk about, but in an effort to help myself and hopefully others, I am going to share a little bit here.

Today is Bell Let's Talk Day - it is an initiative to remove the stigma surrounding mental health problems. Hopefully it results in more people talking about mental health and shows others that they can reach out too if they are struggling.

This time last year as a result of Let's Talk Day, someone very close to me reached out about their struggles, and are still here today because they were able to get help.

This year, I am struggling. Almost everything in my life is going well, but I still struggle. Many things in the past year that were causing me great anxiety have resolved, but I still struggle. My inner dialogue is not a nice one - "If everything is going right, why do I feel so bad", "you shouldn't feel this way", "snap out of it already!". I am very good at taking care of everyone else, but when everyone else is doing ok, and I have to turn around and look at myself, that's when things fall apart. Over the past few months, my issues came to a head. I was getting anxious almost everyday, sometimes turning into full blown panic attacks. "I am an idiot", "why can't I calm down", "it's so stupid that anxiety is stopping me from doing everyday things". I would get so angry at myself, so angry that panic attacks turned into fits of rage "what's wrong with me", "make it stop", "I hate myself", "I can't do anything right!". The anxiety also turned in to checking, lots of checking, and then irrational thoughts - "what if I put my cat in the dryer", "what if when I was checking the stove, I accidentally turned on all the elements". Sometimes I drive away from my house and have to turn around to check everything just one more time. "you are being so ridiculous". I lost enjoyment in the things that I normally enjoy doing. I just stopped doing anything, because everything made me anxious, but doing nothing made me angry - angry at myself.

2 months ago, I broke down, I couldn't do it anymore. I took a week off  of work and I finally asked for help. I saw a psychologist - it was awful. I was prescribed meds - I didn't take them. I was in fight mode, and didn't trust that there was anything that could help. I felt hopeless. Then as a last ditch effort, I got in touch with Mental Health in my city. They provided me a caseworker and access to a psychiatrist and therapy - luckily it was just the help that I needed. My caseworker is awesome - finally someone that can understand me. She helps me to go easier on myself. I am working on changing my negative inner dialogue and it is really helping. I saw a psychiatrist, and he was really good to. I have been to psychiatrists before, and they are so quick to just write you a prescription. But this one actually listened and understood my fears. Things are starting to get better. I still struggle, I am still anxious a lot of the time, but it's not almost always anymore. I still check, but it's not nearly as bad. And I still get down on myself, but I have some better tools now to turn that around. I have OCD, Anxiety, and Fibromyalgia - all of these work together to make some days unbearable. But more days are good now. I've also started to do more things that I enjoy - and that helps too. "I am a good person", "I can do lots of things right", "I can do lots of things well", "It's ok to feel bad", "I don't need to be perfect".

If you are struggling too - it's ok, don't be so hard on yourself. Everyone can't be their best self everyday. But do get yourself help. You may have to try many different things, different doctors, counsellors etc. - just don't give up.

Here are some resources that have helped me:


There are many other resources out there - feel free to post links if you have any to add :)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

EMBRACE - OLW - January

I am really loving One Little Word so far.
Here is my completed title page with the definition on the back

and here are my intentions/actions pages

Check out my blog in the next week or so for an updated header for the new year!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

One Little Word 2013

First of all - Happy New Year!!

This year holds many big changes for me.  I am planning a wedding, and my FiancĂ© is moving to another province. This means along with getting married this year, I will be in a long distance relationship, I may be looking at selling our condo, moving, finding a new job etc. With all of these changes comes adjustment. Generally I don't make New Year's resolutions, but with the challenges I am going to face this year, I have decided I could use a little direction.

Every year around the end of December on the Studio Calico message board (and others) there are many discussions about Project Life and One Little Word as these projects start at the beginning of a new year. I am still undecided on whether I will continue Project Life this year (I am no where near done 2012). I have decided though to take the Ali Edwards class - One Little Word. I have heard lots about this class in previous years, but the idea of it didn't really sink in. Basically, you choose one word, and keep that word in mind throughout the year.

From Ali Edwards:
I began a tradition of chosing one word for myself each January – a word that I can focus on, mediate on, and reflect upon as I go about my daily life.
Can you identify a single word that sums up what you want for yourself in 2013? 
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.

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.

I am hoping that my word will help shape this next year and provide a constant amongst all the changes.

So you are probably wondering - What is my word?

After much deliberation, and many words floating around in my head, I have decided on:
I hope to EMBRACE the changes happening in 2013 and have a better year for it :)

Have you chosen a word for this year?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

....and I'm Back!

Thank you for all of your kind comments on my last post. With time things are slowly getting better. I am learning to take care of myself better. I will get through it.

Today, I spent a lot of time purging my supplies and cleaning up my scraproom area. Finally it is finished, and I even managed to finish a layout that I started in March.

My clean room:

And the layout:

I started this layout during our stay at Steve's family's house in Edmonton. I just uncovered it today and decided to finish it. The colour blocking was inspired by Stephanie Dagan at Studio Calico, and the Silhouette cuts are from the Cut it Out class also at SC.