Thursday, April 30, 2020

SPEED ROUND Organization Challenge ~ #7 Embellishments

So how did you make out with Challenge #6?  I'm not a huge fibre user on my pages so I was pretty sure this was an easy challenge for me. It was fun re-discovering just how much pretty ribbon, floss and washi tape I actually do have.

Are you ready for Challenge #7?

Embellishments are some of the easiest things to buy. Everything looks so good, and you really believe you NEED everything! Embellishments are also one of the supplies most affected by trends. Careful consideration is really needed here.

It's also important to find a system that will help you store all of your embellishments in a way that won't overwhelm you, yet also is visible enough that you don't forget to USE them. 

Let's S.P.A.C.E. them.


As always, bring all of your embellishments together. Touch every piece that you have and ruthlessly sort through them, deciding what to KEEP, TOSS, SELL, DONATE.


Immediately throw out the TOSS pile. Bag up and assign a price and your initials to the SELL pile, and put them in the garage sale box. Set up a drop-off or pick-up of the DONATE pile.


Sort through the KEEP pile in a way that makes sense to you. Some ideas for sorting your embellishments:

1) by category (buttons, brads, alphabets, charms, etc.)
2) by colour
3) by manufacturer
4) by type (metal, acrylic), or
5) by theme


Now that you've decided how to sort your embellishments, the next step is decided how to store them, and how to label them! Researching online will give you great ideas. Talk to other crafters about what ideas worked for them.


Take a few minutes at the end of each scrapping session, when you return from a crop, or return from a shopping trip to put your embellishments away where they belong.

Please share a photo of your organized embellishments with us here.

Journal Prompt 30 Apr 2020 ~ May Day

Today's Writing Prompt: May Day

Tomorrow is May 1st. Is there an area in your life that has you calling, "May Day?"

Mayday! Mayday! | Book by Chris L. Demarest | Official Publisher ...

10 curious facts about May Day | MNN - Mother Nature Network

I can't wait for May to arrive.  I love spring.  I'm so ready to hit the trails for some serious letterboxing (once our current social distancing can be lifted).  And I can go to the Horton Farmers Market.  It won't be long until fresh local produce will appear.  As I am dreaming of all this, it is damp, rainy, dreary, muggy outside.

As far as the second use of May Day, there are days I just want to chuck in the towel and hope someone else will just take care of me and do all my work.  Today is one of those days.  I would rather be scrapbooking.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Chicken "Saltimbocca"

Quantity : 2 servings
Preparation : 5 min Cooking : 10 min
280 calories/serving

1 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless, thinly sliced 300 g
1 tbsp white flour (all purpose) 8 g
6 leaves fresh sage 2 g
35 g Parma ham/Prosciutto 3 slices
6 toothpicks
1 tbsp olive oil 15 mL
2 tbsp white wine 30 mL
1 pinch salt [optional] 0.2 g
ground pepper to taste [optional]
1/4 cup chicken broth, low-sodium 65 mL
2 tsp butter, unsalted 9 g

Before you start

Keep the serving plates in the oven at the lowest setting so they are warm when you serve.


Slice the breast horizontally into very thin cutlets. Flatten these cutlets using a rolling pin or meat pounder. Coat each cutlet with the flour; then shake off the excess. Place a leaf of sage on each piece and cover with a slice of prosciutto. Use a toothpick to keep the small sandwich together.
Heat the oil in a pan. Working in batches, add a few cutlets at a time. Start with the chicken side down, and cook over high heat. After 3 min, turn to brown the prosciutto side. Deglaze with the wine. Lower the heat, cover, and cook 2 min. Season with a little salt (prosciutto is already fairly salty) and pepper to taste. Remove the cutlets from the pan and keep them warm. Repeat the operation with the remaining cutlets.
Pour the broth into the pan, then cook over high-heat until reduced by half, about 1 min. Remove the pan from the heat, then stir in the butter until it has melted, about 30 sec.
Place the cutlets on the warmed plates, remove the toothpicks, spoon the sauce over the cutlets then serve.

Journal Prompt 29 Apr 2020 ~ Upcoming

Today's Writing Prompt: Upcoming

Is there a date circled in red on your calendar? Meaning, do you have an upcoming event that you are looking forward to?

It is National Scrapbooking Day on May 2nd so this weekend is jam-packed with virtual scrapbooking crops.  So many crops.  So many challenges.  Maybe a prize or two?  I've already started . . . 

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

SPEED ROUND Challenge #6 ~ Ribbons and Fibres and Washi Tape

Are you ready for Challenge #6? 

 Let's talk about Ribbons and fibres and washi tape. I must have done a lot of collecting of fibre in 2019 because I had to update my storage system to fit everything. I'm pleased with the new plan and I will share my photos in the Challenge #6 album on our Facebook group.

There is no "right" way to store your ribbons and fibre. The most important factor is that the system works for YOU. First, let's make some S.P.A.C.E.


Gather together all of your ribbons and fiber, and sort them into piles: KEEP, TOSS, SELL, DONATE.


Throw out the TOSS pile. Immediately make arrangements for pick-up or drop-off of the DONATE pile. Bag up, and assign a price and your initials to the SELL pile, and immediately put these in your garage sale box.


Sort your KEEP pile into types/colours of fibre and ribbon. If your ribbons are in a big wrinkled mess, take time now to give everything a pressing (careful with the heat, some synthetics may melt!).


Consider the space that you have, and the way that you work. Here are some ideas that work for both ribbons and fibres:

1) on those little cardboard bobbins meant for embroidery floss

2) organized by colour in big clear glass jars on a shelf

3) wound and paper clipped and stored with their coordinating embellishments

4) Cropper Hopper mini embellishment boxes and sorted by colour

5) in small ziploc bags stored in a photo box, or on a big ring

6) in sports cards organizer pages, sorted by colour and in a binder

7) wound on index cards and stored in a photo box

8) loosely tied on a big ring


Take a few minutes at the end of each scrapping session, when you return from a crop, or return from a shopping trip to put your ribbons and fibres away where they belong.

Share your progress by posting photos at

Journal Prompt 28 Apr 2020 ~ Cats

Tanka Tuesday: Cats

It's time for the next installment of Tanka Tuesday!

Tanka is a form of poetry similar to haiku. It's short, and the lines don't need to rhyme. The just must have a set number of syllables: 5/7/5/7/7.

Today's tanka prompt is: cats.

My favourite cat
his name was Stooge not too bright
but always so kind
outside cat couldn't keep him in
escaped every chance he got 

Monday, April 27, 2020

I went down a rabbit hole when I found this site . . .

. . . so don't open the link until you have enough time to enjoy . . . 

A craft desk with bookshelves

Book Review: A Woman Among Warlords by Malalai Joya

Reading this book was a real shock, forcing me to rethink my position on the role of the UN in Afghanistan.  Do I believe everything this brave woman has written?  I'm not so sure.  BUT . . . I do believe what she has to say about the conditions in Afghanistan.

The short history is that first the West aided the Taliban in Afghanistan to push out the Russians.  Then they aided the Northern Alliance warlords against the Taliban.  Now the UN-backed "democratic" government of Afghanistan is legitimizing the power of the Northern Alliance by seating them in the new government.  When Joya spoke out against these warlords she was removed from her democratically-earned seat in the government and is spending the rest of her life back in a burqua, not because of her religion, but because it is the only way to protect herself from assassination.  She has had to return to living underground and under a false name, something she is used to since her time teaching women in illegal schools during the reign of the Taliban.

The biggest shock for me is the treatment of women and children in Afghanistan.  I always argued for UN involvement in Afghanistan because it would lead to the end of terrorists' and warlords' power in the country and to protect and improve the lot of women and children.  From what I've read in Joya's book and what I have since read from other sources, this isn't happening.  The warlords have the power and women and children have none. 

Joya's book is compelling and heart-breaking and shocking.  Her writing style resembles a person giving an impassioned speech that lasts for a very long time.  She often repeats herself.  She is dogmatic. 

Was this book a good read?  As far as style, no.  Because it gives insight into the life of the Afghan people, yes.

Journal Prompt 27 Apr 2020 ~ Enough with the Celebrities

Today's Writing Prompt: Enough with the Celebrities

If you could rid the world of just one overexposed celebrity, who would you move out of the spotlight permanently?

How a decade of the Kardashians radically changed America

That is all for the moment . . . 

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Movie Review: Bubba Ho-Tep (2003)

From Leonard Maltin's 151 Best Movies You've Never Seen . . . let me present to you the thrilling  Bubba Ho-Tep . . .

I'm usually not interested in monsters back from the dead kind of movies but Maltin hasn't steered me wrong yet so I decided to give it a try.

OMG . . . this movie is awful.  The story is that Elvis Presley wanted out of the music business so he found an impersonator to take over his life and he took over the impersonators life.  One night he falls off the stage at a Elvis-look-alike show and breaks his hip, ending up in a coma and waking up in the Shady Rest Nursing Home where he befriends JFK who is now black.  They took out part of JFKs brain and dyed his skin so he wouldn't remember that he was who he was and no one would be able to recognize him.  But the sand must have shifted because he remembers now.

Okay stop laughing.  It gets worse.  A mummy with a curse is stolen from an exhibit and lost by the mummy-nappers in an accident.  The mummy wants to live so he has to steal souls.  Where better to steal souls than a nursing home where a few dead residents will hardly be noticed?  The problem with stealing old souls is that they are kind of weak so the mummy has to steal lots of souls.

Are you still with me so far?  So Elvis and Kennedy gird for battle with a walker and an electric wheelchair to take out the evil cursed soul-sucking mummy.

I think I have to go watch it again . . . If you are a fan of B movies or movies of the soul-sucking mummy variety you should really check this movie out.  If you don't have a warped sense of humour, I would just skip it all together.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Sketch Challenge 25 Apr 2020 ~ 10 photos 2 pages

I think this simple layout allows lots of room for your own creativity to show through.  Enjoy!

SPEED ROUND ~ Challenge #5 Stickers, Die Cuts, Rub Ons, and Swaps

Challenge #5 - Stickers, die cuts, rub ons, and swaps 
Scrapbooking Lot 45 pieces Stickers, Embellishments, Rub Ons, Die ...

Stickers, etc. are another great challenge to me. I have yet to find my perfect storage solution so once again I will be seeking inspiration from you. Please share your storage solution with us by posting photos at

Stickers, die cuts, and rub-ons are some of the hardest things to organize because the different sizes and shapes pose many challenges. Rub-ons present their own challenges because if they aren't stored properly, they stick to each other and then they are useless. 

It's time to make S.P.A.C.E. 


Time to be ruthless. Consider if you are really going to use these items. If you bought a whole sheet of die cuts just to use one or two tags, why are you hanging on to the whole sheet? Those stickers you bought in 1999 were adorable then, but definitely not your style now, are they? So, sort into piles: TRASH, SELL, DONATE, TO KEEP 


Throw out the TRASH pile. Bag up, and assign a price and your initials to the SELL pile and put them directly into the garage sale box. Make immediate arrangements to rid yourself of the DONATE items. 


The KEEP items need to be divided into categories that make sense to you: by colour, by manufacturer, theme, size, or type. 

My containers


Here is an article about storing stickers, die cuts and rub-ons: 


Take a few minutes at the end of each scrap session and whenever you return from a crop or a shopping trip to put your stickers, rub-ons and die cuts where they belong. 

While you are busy sorting your stickers you should also sort any swaps you’ve been holding on to.  Many of us have fallen victim to the lure of scrapbook swaps among local and online groups. All the hours, material, creativity, and postage costs make these items difficult to purge. But let's face it . . . not everything is YOUR style, you are NEVER going to use some of it. 

It's time to make more S.P.A.C.E.


Keep only what you love. If the colour or style does not make you smile, it must go. Keep only what is significant to you - don't keep the soccer page swap items if your kids are into hockey and dance. Sort into: KEEP, TRASH, SELL, DONATE


Pack up the DONATE pile and give it to a beginner scrapbooker who might appreciate these items. Throw out the TRASH pile. Bag up and assign a price and your initials to the SELL items and put them directly into the garage sale box.


Sort your KEEP items into categories, theme, holiday, colour, whatever makes sense to you.


Store your keepers in page protectors by theme in binders, or get them into giant ziplocs to create page kits for your next cropping session.


Next time a swap arrives in the mail, take a few minutes to toss or give away what you know you'll never use, create a page kit for your next cropping session, or put in a page protector in your swap binder for storage.

At one point in my scrapbooking life I participated in a ridiculous number of swaps. Not any more . . . So I can say that Challenge #10, for me, is done.

I'm off now to get some serious crafting done . . .

When you are done, please share a photo showing your storage system. Post here.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Journal Prompt 24 Apr 2020 ~ Dance

Today's Writing Prompt: Dance

How do you prefer to dance? Alone with no one watching? With a group of good friends? Or intimately with a partner?

I'm not much of a dancer anymore.  I really used to love it but since my body started falling apart I don't even try much anymore.  I always dreamed of ballroom dancing and finally talked Hal into taking lessons in 2009.  Let's just say by the third lesson we decided it just wasn't working for us.  I was disappointed but I got over it.  Now I mostly dance when no one is watching.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Journal Prompt 23 Apr 2020 ~ History

Today's Writing Prompt: History

What were you doing a year ago today? 5 years? 10 years?

One year ago?  At a rally protesting against education cuts.

Five years ago?  I imagine I was getting packed for a pyjama party themed crop.

Ten years ago?  I did nothing.  I was pretty busy on the 24th though.  My friend's 50th birthday party and then to the community theatre for Lend Me A Tenor.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Marengo Chicken

This recipe is REALLY delicious!!!!  I served it with corn on the cob and couscous.

Quantity : 2 servings
Preparation : 10 min Cooking : 45 min
320 calories/serving

2 chicken legs, with back, skinless 600 g
2 tbsp white flour (all purpose) 16 g
1/2 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 shallots, finely chopped 40 g
7 button (white) mushrooms, sliced 100 g
1 tbsp butter, unsalted 14 g
1/2 tbsp olive oil 8 mL
1 bay leaf 0.2 g
1 sprig fresh thyme 0.4 g
1/3 cup white wine 85 mL
1/3 cup chicken broth 85 mL
2 tsp tomato paste 12 g
1 pinch salt [optional] 0.2 g
ground pepper to taste [optional]

Before you start

Put the serving dish in the oven at the lowest setting to keep the chicken warm.


Coat the chicken with flour. Prepare the vegetables: Finely chop the garlic and shallot; slice the mushrooms.
Heat the butter in a pan, over medium heat and sauté the pieces thoroughly on each side until golden, about 6-7 min. Set them aside on the warmed serving plate in the oven.
Add the oil to the pan and heat. Add the garlic and shallot, bay leaf, and thyme. Cook 2-3 min. Pour in the white wine then scrape the bottom of the pan thoroughly as the wine comes to a boil.
Add the chicken back in. Add the warm broth and the tomato paste, cover, and simmer. Turn the chicken pieces 2 or 3 times during the cooking. Add the mushrooms to the pan after the chicken has cooked 30-35 min. Cook an additional 10-15 min. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve.

Journal Prompt 22 Apr 2020 ~ Pests

Today's Writing Prompt: Pests

Have you ever had a pest in your home? What sort are common where you live? Ants, spiders, roaches, mice, snakes, maybe something larger?

Raid Max® Double Control Ant Baits | Products | Raid® brand | SC ...

I'm sure everyone gets pests at some time or another.  Ants are a big problem where I live now . . . the main floor of a concrete apartment building.  Each spring the ant traps go down and that seems to keep them under control.  The biggest problem is that it is common for ants to remove their dead friends from the colony at night so in the mornings there is sometimes a pile of sand and dead ants to deal with . . . sigh . . . 

I'm sure they will be back again this year because I've already seen a few.  Time to stock up on traps.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

SPEED ROUND ~ Challenge #4 - Tools and Adhesive

If you are ready, here is Challenge #4 . . .
Tools and Adhesives 

Totally-Tools | How to organized scrapbooking tools with Totally ...

Gather together all of your tools and adhesives into a box and let's start them!


One by one, put each item into piles: FAVOURITES, TRASH, TO SELL, STORE, DONATE.


For the SELL pile: bag up and assign a price and your initials to tools/adhesives that you don't love/use anymore and put them in your garage sale box. Throw out the TRASH pile. Arrange pick-up or drop-off of the DONATE pile.


Store your most used items in a basket or box or other system right on your desk, within easy reach. Divide the STORE items into categories that make sense to you: cutting tools, pens, punches, templates, etc. 


This is the time to tidy up your tools. Tools need regular maintenance to keep them efficiently working. As you put your tools away in whatever container (drawers, shelves, boxes, baskets - always ensuring the container is clearly labelled) give them a little maintenance.

*  scissors - sharpen your scissors using a small scissor sharpener, or have them professionally done. Carefully clean the blades (I like alcohol swabs to remove sticky adhesive).

*  pens - test pens and throw out the ones that are dry or don't work well.

* craft knives - change the blades.

*  trimmers - clean the deck of your trimmers with a damp cloth, and a little cleanser if necessary. Replace dull blades, or cut through fine sandpaper or aluminium foil.

*  Work surface - clean ink, adhesive and paint from your self-healing mats.

*  Punches - to prevent punches from sticking, punch through wax paper. Problem punches may need a little lubricating oil such as sewing machine oil, then punch through scrap paper several times to remove oily residue. Dull punches can be sharpened by punching through aluminium foil or fine grade sandpaper (both right side up and upside down).

*  Rubber stamps - stamps should be cleaned after each use, but if there is a build up of ink on your stamps, you should clean them with an alcohol free baby wipe, or paper towels moistened with a mild cleanser (ammonia free/bleach free) Use a soft toothbrush to remove ink stuck in the crevices of a design. Store stamps flat, rubber side down.


Once you have a system in place for you tools, putting them back in the same place every time will become a reflex, and you will never have to hunt for you scissors again! Take a couple of minutes at the end of each scrap session to put your tools away.

We have started a Facebook group as a place for us to share photos, accomplishments, encouragement, tips and tricks as we work through the SPEED ROUND Organization Challenge. You are welcome to post before and after photos of your tools and adhesive challenge in this album here.

Journal Prompt 21 Apr 2020 ~ Spring Cleaning 2

Today's Writing Prompt: Spring Cleaning 2

This prompt is a follow-on from yesterday's prompt about spring cleaning.

2: In contrast to yesterday's prompt, is there anything in your life that you just can't wait to get rid of?

Diabetes is one of the things I would love to get rid of.  I have to constantly be vigilant about diet and medication.  It gets frustrating and I fall off the wagon which makes me feel awful and I have to jump right back on the diet and medication train.  Yep, I could definitely do without diabetes.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Journal Prompt 20 Apr 2020 ~ Spring Cleaning 1

Today's Writing Prompt: Spring Cleaning 1

In the northern hemisphere, it's spring and that means spring cleaning. The next prompt has two parts, so part 1 is for today and part 2 will be tomorrow.

1: Is there anything in your life you should really throw out, but you just can't bear to part with it?

SENIOR SCENE: It's spring cleaning time! | Belleville Intelligencer

I honestly can't think of anything in my life I would want to throw out.  I've pared back my life to suit me, my energy level and my goals.

I'm wondering what my husband and family would say I should throw out of my life?

Book Review: The Lost Peace by Robert Dallek

I just tried to read The Lost Peace:  Leadership in a Time of Horror and Hope, 1945-1953 by Robert Dallek.  I usually love reading history non-fiction, especially about the war years.  I'm putting this book on my exception to the rule list.  While the information was very interesting in itself, reading it was a slow process.  Dallek is writing about an exciting and confusing time in our recent history in a very unexciting way.  I like to read at night because it relaxes me.  I was only able to read a few pages each night because it relaxed me too much.  After a week I was only at page 113 of 372.  It is time to close the book and move on to something else.  Perhaps I will save this book for the next time I have insomnia.

On a positive note, Dallek's attention to detail and his perceptions about the world leaders of the time make this an excellent reference book if you are writing an essay.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Movie Review: The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio

I still have my trusty list of Leonard Maitlin's 151 Best Movies You've Never Seen.  Leonard Maitlin is a film critic and cinema historian.  The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio is on his list.

Starring Julianne Moore and Woody Harrelson, the story is quite endearing.  Harrelson plays Kelly Ryan, a factory worker barely making enough money to support his wife and ten children.  Moore plays his wife, Evelyn.  Kelly is given to drinking binges and fits of rage.  When Kelly isn't drinking they are a happy family.

Evelyn has a skill which keeps the family going.  She writes prize winning jingles and sells the prizes when they arrive.  The problem is that her constant wins further alienate Kelly.  Although this scenario may sound like a "downer" the  movie is actually interesting, sweet and even funny at times.

I was very surprised to learn this movie is based on a book and the book is based on a true character.  This is a put-my-feet-up-with-a-cup-of-tea-in-the-afternoon kind of movie.  Enjoy.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

How To ~ What do you mean by I have to RIP the pretty paper?

Not everyone loves ripping paper.  I do.  But not everyone.  And I don't mind if my ripping is a bit wonky.  The wonkier the better.

But I do know some people who just hate the idea of ripping paper.  So here is how to rip paper in a tidy manner.

Fold your paper where you want the rip to be.  Open it flat again.  With a paintbrush, paint a line of water in the fold.

Now gently pull the paper apart.  Voila.  A ripped edge . . . but a tidy one!

Sketch Challenge 18 Apr 2020 ~ 1 photo 2 page layout

SPEED ROUND ~ What the heck is ephemera?

  1. things that exist or are used or enjoyed for only a short time.
    • items of collectible memorabilia, typically written or printed ones, that were originally expected to have only short-term usefulness or popularity.

      While you are organizing your photos is the perfect time to organize memorabilia, journaling notes, and create a holding album.

      Gather your memorabilia together in one spot. Sort by event name, or date, or whatever works for you.  Choose your storage system. You can use file folders, oversized manilla envelopes, 12 x 12” iris boxes or pizza boxes.  If you are making page kits you can include your memorabilia in or with the page kits.

SPEED ROUND ~ Challenge #3 Photos

It's Time for Challenge #3 

So, your paper is beautifully organized, your scraps carefully stashed or purged, and your desk is gleaming! You are starting to get organized. Doesn't it make you feel creative? Don't you want to get cropping? Well, you CAN'T scrapbook without PHOTOS!

Our third challenge is to organize our photos. Here is an excellent article to get you thinking about how to organize those precious photos before we start to S.P.A.C.E. them:

Please take a moment and read this excerpt from Design Strategies for Scrapbookers:

Photo preservation begins with safe storage. Remove photos stored in the old magnetic albums immediately. A magnetic album has cardboard pages with adhesive on them and a plastic sheet to cover the photos. The adhesives and plastics in these albums are highly acidic and can ruin your photos very quickly.

To safely remove photos from magnetic albums you can use:

1. Dental floss – Slip a piece of dental floss under one corner of the photo and use a gentle back-and-forth sawing motion to lift the photo.

2. Blow Dryer – Set your blow dryer on low heat to soften the page’s glue and then carefully lift the photo.

3. Spatula/pan scraper – Use a thin spatula to slowly pry photos loose.

4. Undu Adhesive Remover – Undu neutralizes adhesive’s stickiness, making photos easy to remove. It dries clear and will not damage photos or smudge most inks.

5. I have heard about freezing the pages first but I’ve never tried it so use at your own risk.

Use an acid-free photo box with dividers or an archival quality photo album for storage. Organize photos chronologically or by theme, event or subject depending on how you scrapbook. Write notes on the dividers or on the back of the photo for later reference. Don’t use ballpoint pen to write on backs of photos. Buy a special photo-marking pen or pencil. 

Always save original photos if they are one of a kind and can’t be replaced. This is especially important with heritage photos. Instead, scan and print new copies, storing the original for safe-keeping. If you are determined to use the original, use photo corners to adhere these precious photos to your layouts so they can be safely removed.

I just had a reminder of this rule recently. I’ve been working on a family tree album and needed some baby pictures. I scrapbooked all my baby pictures when I first started scrapbooking many years ago. And that was the problem. I had cut them all in shapes and used decorative scissors on them. Not one was complete enough for me to scan and reprint. My mom and aunt are going through their old photos in hopes they have some originals. So I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to save original photos. Scan the originals and have them reprinted.

Don’t forget to properly store and organize negatives. Plastic negative sleeves will hold 4-7 negatives, depending on brand and the size of film. If you have older negatives in smaller sizes (such as 110) you can easily create subdivisions in the sleeves with a sewing machine and clear nylon thread. You can store negative sleeves in a 3-ring binder or folder. Label each sleeve with the date and/or subject.

Digital photos have their own set of rules. Always back up your computer files, including your digital photo files because computers crash and hard drives fail. Store a back up copy of your photos and important documents to an external hard drive. You can also download your digital photos to CD’s or USB drives although there is some debate as to how long they last. There are many online sites that you can save your photos to as well.

When you are looking for a safe place to store your memorabilia, photographs, negatives, supplies and albums, keep in mind that they will do best in a dry, cool place, out of direct sunlight. 

Design Strategies for Scrapbookers - black & white edition


Gather together all of your photos, and sort them into categories that make sense:
TRASH (it's okay to throw out photos with bad colour, expression, composition. Why keep them? You're not going to scrapbook them)
TO SCRAPBOOK (the shots you know you are going to use)
TO STORE (photos that need to be kept, but aren't necessarily going to be going into your scrapbooks)
TO GIVE AWAY (doubles that you want to send to friends and family)


Throw out the TRASH pile. Put the TO GIVE AWAY photos in envelopes and mail them to friends/family, or put them in your car so you can drop them off the next time you visit. Do not leave them in your studio, or they will creep back into your organized space.


Sort the TO STORE and TO SCRAPBOOK groups of photos into a system that makes sense to you:


Now it's time to decide how you want to store your photos. Perhaps you want to put your TO STORE photos in acid free envelopes or albums. Perhaps you want to put your TO SCRAPBOOK photos into photo storage boxes, or accordion folders.

Make sure to label whatever storage containers you choose to use. Ideas for labelling include:
* buy premade labels that you can write on,
* create your own labels using a labeler or a cutting machine, or
* make labels with chalkboard vinyl so you can write on it with chalk and relabel later if necessary.
Whatever you decide, in the end all that matters is that you’ve got a label on it.


Next time you get new photos from the photo processor, spend a couple of minutes and put the photos where they belong: throw out the bad shots, give away the extras, put the keepers away in their album, and sort your photos for scrapbooking into their container.

We have started a Facebook group as a place for us to share photos, accomplishments, encouragement, tips and tricks as we work through the SPEED ROUND Challenge. You are welcome to post before and after photos of your photo challenge here.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Journal Prompt 17 Apr 2020 ~ What is your favourite quote? Why?

What is your favourite quote? Why?

Bubba - Forrest Gump -Cinema Studies

I'm gonna lean up against you, you just lean right back against me. This way, we don't have to sleep with our heads in the mud. ~~ Bubba Blue

I was looking for a photo of Bubba to include with this post and tripped over this article.  I think it explains why I love this quote so much.

#211 Keep Your Head Out of the Mud

In my opinion, one of the best quotes in Forrest Gump is when Forrest and Bubba are on patrol in the middle of Vietnam in the pouring rain.

Bubba says to Forrest, “I'm gonna lean up against you, you just lean right back against me. This way we don't have to sleep with our heads in the mud. You know why we're a good partnership, Forrest? 'Cause we be watching out for one another, like brothers and stuff.”

This is what everyone needs, someone to lean on so you don’t end up with your head in the mud. It is especially important for the parents of children with special needs to have someone to lean upon. If you are married, it is probably your spouse. If you are a single parent, you need a best friend, or a congregation of best friends. You need someone to keep you upright from day to day.

On the other hand, you have a responsibility to keep someone else from “sleeping in the mud.” As I think back on the movie Forrest Gump, I remember Forrest’s poor social skills, his awkward attempts at making conversation, and how he interpreted everything literally. However, he was a fantastic friend, always ready to help, and showed genuine compassion and interest in everyone he met. That is why Bubba thought of him as a brother.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Journal Prompt 16 Apr 2020 ~ When you were a child . . .

When you were a child, how did you imagine your adult self?

When I was a child I wanted to be:

1.  a famous author

2.  a nurse
3.  a teacher

What I became is a wife, a mother and a grandmother so I think in many ways I've met all my dreams.


Wednesday, April 15, 2020

SPEED ROUND ~ What about our finished layouts?

After an interesting discussion on our Facebook group a few months back I realized that finished layouts are something we've never included in our challenges . . . until now. Even if you don't have albums available or if your layouts are randomly done and not chronological, you still need to protect your finished layouts. I'm not the only one who has noticed that improperly stored layouts are prone to damage and missing pieces.

I suggest storing your layouts in pizza boxes, iris cases or some other safe environment where they won't be constantly handled and damaged . . . until it is time to put them in an album.

So Challenge #2A is to find a safe way to store finished layouts.

SPEED ROUND ~ Challenge #2 Paper

How did you make out on the first challenges? It's not too late to share your photos. Doesn't it feel great to start the new year with a clean work surface?

Let's move on to the next challenge . . .

Challenge #2 

Did you know that a 1” high stack of patterned paper equals as many as 250 sheets of patterned paper? That’s a lot of paper. I don't know about you, but I have a lot more than 1" of paper.

So here is this week's challenge:

Your challenge this week is to S.P.A.C.E. your paper - - and I mean ALL of your paper: cardstock, patterned paper, specialty papers, and all those SCRAPS!

If you are a quilter you need to S.P.A.C.E. your fabric. A knitter -- your wool. I think you get the picture. This challenge is for everybody!


Bring all of your paper to one area. Sort it all into piles: KEEP, SELL, DONATE, TRASH


Bag up, and assign a price to paper bundles that you want to SELL at a garage sale or online, and put the bags in the garage sale box. Throw out the TRASH pile. Bag up the DONATE pile and immediately make arrangements for drop-off/pick-up or put in your vehicle.


Separate your paper into categories that make sense to you. For example, you may want to divide it simply into cardstock and patterned paper. If you have a huge stash of paper, you may want to divide it by colour, theme, or manufacturer. If you bought paper for a specific project (in my case our recent trip to the east coast) keep it kitted together.

I have separated out Christmas and sports papers in their own containers. 

Another way to sort your paper is in page kits. Package matching patterned papers in a zip lock or similar bag, add matching cardstocks and embellishments to create kits. Most of my patterned papers and embellishments are sorted in this way. If/when the opportunity for some scrappin’ time presents, I just have to grab my tool pouch and a kit and I’m ready to go.

Do you buy a lot of paper “stacks” or kits? I don’t recommend taking them apart. They are perfect for building page kits.

Do you save your leftover scraps? Decide on a minimum size that you are willing to keep. I usually throw out anything smaller than 4 x 6”. 


Store your paper in a way that makes sense to you:

- vertical paper holders
- hanging vertical file folders
- wire cubes
- paper trays
- paper organizers
- bookcases with adjustable shelves

I use vertical paper holders for my cardstocks (which I personally feel I do not have enough of), hanging file folders for my scraps, and banker boxes for my page kits.


Each time you finish a scrap session, return from a crop, or bring home new papers, spend a few minutes putting your paper away where it belongs.

We have started a Facebook group as a place for us to share photos, accomplishments, encouragement, tips and tricks as we work through this SPEED ROUND Challenge. When you have completed this challenge please share your photos in our challenge #2 album.

Chicken Cutlets Milanese

2/3 chicken breast, boneless, skinless (obviously I used a whole breast . . . LOL)
1 large egg
2 tbsp bread crumbs
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp canola oil
salt and pepper to taste

Tenderize the chicken by flattening the cutlets using a meat pounder.  Slice breast horizontally into 2-3 cutlets.

Prepare 2 shallow dishes:  beat the egg in one, and put the bread crumbs in the other.  dip one cutlet at a time in the egg, let the excess egg drip off before coating the cutlet with bread crumbs.  Turn the cutlets to coat both sides, then set them aside.

Heat the butter and oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, taking care not to let them burn.  Add the cutlets and sauté until golden, about 4 minutes on each side.  Add salt and pepper.  Serve on the warmed plates.

Any remaining beaten egg may be cooked as an omelet and served along side the cutlets.

Serves 2

Journal Prompt 15 Apr 2020 ~ Six Words

Journal Prompt:  Six Word

Describe your life or current situation using exactly six words.

Comfy clothes Dreaded To Do List

Enjoy a make n take . . . Painting with Bleach

The pictures say it all . . .

Stamp images using StazOn ink

Pour a tiny bit of bleach in a dish

Paint designs on the stamped images