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Too Many Books

I used to work in a bookstore. I would see hundreds of books every day, and many of them caught my eye. Rather than making a list – since I lose lists – I would simply buy the ones that sounded like I would enjoy them. I got a great discount, so why not. I read voraciously, so it should all be fine. But I never gave up the library habit. And since you only get to keep library books for a few weeks I would read the library books first. So I amassed quite a “collection” of books. You see, I also never got rid of my books. What if I ever wanted to read them again?

When the bookshelves started buckling and I ran out of room under the bed, I realized how silly this was. So, I gave away or sold many of the books I already read and didn’t need for reference. I plan to keep the Harry Potter books. I also have 2 mystery series I keep – the Janet Evanovich and Diane Mott Davidson books, because I know I will re-read them. I am working myself up to giving all of my Nancy Drew books to my nieces. I had planned on giving them to my daughter one day. But, I have a son, so off they can go. Maybe. Occasionally I still read one.

But still, I have hundreds of unread books. And now that I tend to read books on my phone or my iPad, they really aren’t getting read. The book in the picture is one I actually started to read before Colin was born! I bought it at a library sale, then realized it was part of a series.  I read the first few books in the series when I borrowed them for a library, but by the time I made my way to this one I was bored with them. So, it sat for years. I finally finished it this spring. It is still sitting around here somewhere. I need to set up a spot to plop all the books I am done with.

Every once in a while I make a mental vow to read the books on my shelves instead of going to the library or downloading one. But, when Colin wants me to sit with him for one more minute at bedtime, lights are not an option and out comes the phone. And frankly, some of these no longer interest me. There was a time when all I read were vampire novels and horror. Now, not so much. I dabbled in science fiction and even less in fantasy. But there the sit on the shelf, alongside William Trevor and F. Scott Fitzgerald (I read some in college, surely I would read more). But these days I want a quick and entertaining read. Literary fiction isn’t gonna do it.

But these unread books are going to waste. So, once again I made a vow to read these books I already own and move them out of this house. I started easy – with a mystery. I bought this on one of our trips to California. I was so excited to get to go to a real mystery bookstore I started grabbing books willy-nilly. This one is called A Harvest of Bones. It features an amateur detective (of course, those are my favorite) who owns a teashop (of course) and is a medium (what?!). I am so not the same person I was back in 200-whenever that I bought this book! I am not into any supernatural stuff anymore. It kind of makes me cringe. But, this one I am going to read (I also have a thing about finishing every book I start – yikes!).

I am going to have to start small with this challenge. So, I am going to challenge myself to reading one of the books from my shelf once a month.

What about you? Do you have lots of unread books sitting on your shelves? Are they the sort of books that still interest you today?

I Love Instagram!

I was so excited when they released Instagram for Android. I have used it on the iPad, but my photos were always so grainy I wasn’t too happy with them. It never occurred me to filter my DSLR pics through it, and since I only recently discovered Dropbox, it was way too much work.

So, tonight when my mom asked me to take a picture of our giant hosta and show it to Tracey, I put down my camera and grabbed my phone. And then I started snapping pictures around the yard. I was pleased to find some pretty flowers hidden behind our magnolia tree!

Since I am still happily chugging away at Layout a Day, I decided I would scrap these pics digitally tonight. I am at the point in the challenge where I am so so tired at the end of the day, but not ready to give up. This is when I always turn to digi, even though I think in the end it takes me longer. Something about sitting in the cold basement when I am this tired just doesn’t work for me.

I remembered that Cathy Zielske had put together a digital scrapbooking template when she first got Instagram. I did a quick search and found out not only was my memory correct, but the template was free. Hurray! You can download it for yourself here. I love her style so much!

Have you scrapped any Instagram photos? Leave a link to your layout in the comments – I’d love to see!

Once again I am invading Tina’s house for National Scrapbook Day and Cinco de Mayo. It’s tradition now – I love it. We talked, we scrapped, we went out for Mexican food. I only did one actual layout – I’ve spent most of my time sorting through some random memorabilia that never made it into last year’s Project Life album. I have to go through it with my laptop at hand to make sure I have no more pictures to add, and then it will be truly done.

This memorabilia pile was getting to me, so I am glad it is done. I also sorted out the stuff from last years attempt at Week in the Life. I have done the documenting part of that project 3 times now, but never made any layouts. I’d like to finish them so I can do the project this year too.

I’ve been compiling a new crafty lost & found list:
Lost
A pack of Project Life big pocket pages
A pack of Project Life design B pages
Crafters Workshop 12×12 Punchinella stencil
Visual Chronicles by Linda Woods & Karen Dinino

Found
A mini-book I started 4 years ago
Fiskars micro tip scissors
Studio Calico ampersand mask
Pinking Shears
Tim Holtz craft pick

I really want that stencil.

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Angry Birds

I avoided Angry Birds simply because I could not get it to install on my old phone. Then Tina said it was fun. Soon I was hooked – but terrible. Intrigued by the sound of the game, Colin started playing on my iPad. So, Corey downloaded it on his iPad – for Colin. Talk about hooked! And soon, they got Grandpa to play too…

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3 Days in a Row

Hey, look at that. I have scrapped 3 days in a row – and I have blogged 3 days in a row. Too bad I lost most of my blog readers during my extended absence. I miss comments the most (wink wink).

Here is today’s layout. I snapped this pictures on a whim Sunday, to document something Colin does every time we go to the playground. It makes me a little nuts, but it is totally his thing. And in the blink of an eye he won’t do it anymore. I am so glad I took a little time to note it.

I thought I would write a little bit about how I make Layout A Day work for me. I have done this challenge several times – both before and after Colin was born. I have NEVER done  a page every day for a month, no matter how long or short that month was. The closes I came was October 2010. I did 30 days in a row. Then, mom broke her nose on Halloween, and I just couldn’t bear to sit at the scrap table after all those hours with her in the ER. The last time I participated was this past February. I planned in advance how I could scrap and upload my pages to Flickr on my iPad when the challenge started while I was on a trip to Kalahari. I actually did scrap on the trip, but abandoned the effort as soon as I got home.

This time I am tossing aside all my expectations for the challenge, and for scrapping in general. For the last few years I have been incredibly visually inspired by the layouts of people whose work I love, and by the amazing Paperclipping Roundtable podcast. I found myself a group of people to scrap with regularly, cleaned off my desk so I can scrap at home, and signed up for the Studio Calico kit club. But, I always had a little thought in the back of my head that I was doing it wrong.

Mind you, before Colin was born I felt that way too, but I didn’t care one bit. I liked single page spreads with no titles that were all about my, my husband, and/or our dog and the things we do. They were my books, expressly made to help me remember the things we did and when we did them. But now, most of my pages are about Colin. So I can remember what he did and when, and how much I love him. But also, so he can see how much we love him, and so he can know about his own life, and our life as a family. I don’t think those pages have to be perfect, but I want them to be good. And in those things that give me inspiration I feel a pressure for each page to have a meaningful story and good design. And since I am neither a writer nor a designer, I think it is going to be hard. And that I might not be good at it. So I fret about having a good enough story to tell, with the right picture, and the perfect balance of page elements. But the truth is, I am pretty sure the pressure is imagined. Yes, I like to share my pages. But no one would ever bother to tell me if they are awful. And frankly, I can’t think of a single page I have ever made that I don’t love. I love looking through my albums, reading what I wrote, seeing the photos and the pretty paper, and all that fun stuff. And in the end, that’s all this really is for me. A fun way to spend my time doing something I like to do.

Hmmm, that was a tangent from the whole Layout A Day thing. But it’s something I have been wanting to express for a while in response to PRT and various blogs. Not that anyone was asking. But I guess I was asking myself. So, maybe I will write about how I make LOAD work for me another day.

I love this picture of Corey and Colin. Totally unplanned, spur-of-the-moment, cell phone pic. The tree was gorgeous, and my boys looked so handsome. Shimelle recently set a challenge to scrap the same picture twice on a layout and I thought this was a good one to try. My Samsung Galaxy doesn’t take great photos, so I was pleasantly surprised at how nice the large photo turned out. I also ran it through Instagram first.

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Here We Go Again

Every time I get that email from Lain i just can’t resist trying to do a scrapbook page each day of the month. So, here I go once again. And, since Tracey decided she is going to blog every day, why not share my pages on my blog. To keep her company. This was once a sort of scrapbooking blog, wasn’t it?

So, here is my page for day 1. I snapped this picture a few weeks ago with a scrapbook page in mind. Today this toy box is mundane, a little silly. But he does the same thing every time he opens it. And some day, most of these toys won’t interest CHawk anymore. So why not capture it now?

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