Archive for November, 2008

Gratitude Journal

Gratitude Journal

I used the Download Day “Gratitude List” to make a Gratitude Journal for my neighbor yesterday. Click here to see more photos of it in our “Download Day” Flickr group account.

It’s free to join our group and is a great place for you to share what you are doing with the downloadables.

Happy Thanksgiving….I’ll see you next week!  Enjoy!

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REMINDER: Our “A Life Well Crafted” workshop is now available for monthly registration – only $18/month.  Click here to register.

Also available – $10/month Audio-Only version to inspire your non-crafty friends and family members.  Everyone is welcome to spend 2009 with us!


Grandpa & Grandma Hall - Sophia looking fabulous at 61!

Grandpa & Grandma Hall - Sophia looking fabulous at 61!

We celebrated Jason’s mother’s 61st birthday yesterday.  They live about an hour away from us in Park City, Utah and we love heading up the canyon to visit regularly.  In the Hall Family tradition, we all went around the table to tell the birthday person why we love her.  I love my mother-in-law Sophia for many reasons but at this time in my life I love her the most because I know what a wonderful grandmother she will be to our little guy.  She and my father-in-law love him already and I know that they will have a special relationship with him simply because they are so good at making the effort to do so.

The Halls have all gotten a little bit of a late start with the grandchildren thing so as a family we have only three so far with two on the way next year.  But I can’t wait to see what unfolds for the only grandchild in our family that will live in the same state with their Grandma and Grandpa Hall.  They are so good at supporting us in all we do, they are the biggest cheerleaders we have.  Their capacity to love is astounding and already extends to this new baby.  Today I am grateful for my in-laws…who don’t feel like in-laws at all, but parents and friends.

As I think about why I am grateful for Sophia, it’s difficult to pinpoint one thing – I have so many reasons to be thankful for her.  She is my inspiration for today’s download – I am offering “Many Thanks” to her and I know that you have people in your life that deserve the same.

Please click on image to download pdf

Please click on image to download pdf

Enjoy the various color choices I gave you this time – there is something for everyone in today’s download.  You can create thank you notes in every color or even place cards.  Also, consider mounting it to the front of a card, including the year “2008”, and adding last week’s downloadable “Gratitude List” to the inside.  It would make a fabulous party favor and activity for your whole family to participate in then take home.  I would also love it just made into a quote card to remind me to be grateful each day.

What do you offer “many thanks” for this year?

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Preserving the memory is just as important as having the experience – it gives you the opportunity to relive it over and over again.

We had a bridal shower for my sister-in-law Kendra the day before her wedding last week (this has been the month of showers!) and her long-time friends from Washington DC came.  These gals have literally been Kendra’s friends for years and they have a history filled with funny memories.

Two of them decided to create a scrapbook for Kendra – a journey from the time they lived together to now.  Neither of them are scrapbookers.  In fact, Jen told me that she walked into Michaels and had no idea where to even start.

But here’s the thing…even though Jen was embarrassed that it didn’t “look” like a scrapbook, I loved it.  I asked Jen if I could post their scrapbook for Kendra on my blog.  It captured all of the best parts of their lives together – the fun, the memories, the stories behind their inside jokes, everything important.  It’s one of my favorite scrapbooks I have ever seen and I’m so grateful that they took the time to put it together even if they didn’t feel like they had enough “experience at scrapbooking.”

kendra 1kendra 2

kendra 3kendra 4

Notice how there are all the elements of a fabulous scrapbook in their gift: photos, journaling, even a few embellishments.  Sure it’s great to use all the latest products and techniques to create our scrapbooks but sometimes I think we lose sight of the real reason why we got into this hobby in the first place – because we like to celebrate memories…and if we can be creative in the process, even better!

I know that sometimes as scrapbookers we might feel like our efforts aren’t as good or as skilled as someone else’s.  The funny thing is that even though Jen and Heidi didn’t feel “experienced” enough to scrapbook, what they created was one of the best scrapbooking experiences I’ve seen in a long time.

So go for it!  Anyone can be a scrapbooker because anything that captures a memory is a scrapbook of sorts.  Put photos in a photo album, create digital photo books, write in a journal, put a photo in a frame…whatever! It’s all a part of celebrating memories and that’s what we, as scrapbookers, are all about.

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Like Ila

My Mom's Birthday Gift - Sneak Peek for A Life Well Crafted Workshop

My Mom's Birthday Celebration Project - a Sneak Peek into our Life Well Crafted workshop



We’ve been in celebration mode in our family for the last couple of weeks.  Jason’s sister Kendra got married this last weekend, I have been working on the countdown project for my mom’s birthday (you’ll get the whole project idea and more in our BPS class A Life Well Crafted – click here to register).

…and to beat the holiday rush, I’ve been given a baby shower (my first one was at Creative Escape – thank you, everyone!).

I have been so touched by the sense of excitement that is surrounding the arrival of this little guy to our lives.  People are coming out of the woodwork to celebrate with us.  I guess that’s what happens when you have a baby after 16 years of marriage!

The first shower was for all of my mom’s friends – she kind of thinks that since she had to attend one of our procedure days for the invitro process that this is her baby, too!

This shower was given by a woman who we knew when I was in high school.  Her name is Ila Kofford and she and her husband were empty-nesters who lived in our neighborhood.  Back when I was 17-years-old I started my first business.  I created handmade dolls that could be customized to match the recipient’s eye and hair color.  Plus, I made the clothes in their color choice as well.  I called my business “Kolette’s Collectables” and Ila ordered a doll for every girl in her family.

It might seem like a small gesture but it had a big impact.  She gave me the confidence to run a business and I truly believe that her influence is one of the reasons why it made sense to me years later to start my own scrapbooking and design company – she laid the foundation for that belief in myself as a business owner.

Ila Kofford

Now, twenty years after “Kolette’s Collectables” started, she found out about this new baby of ours and wanted to have a shower for me.  She is probably in her seventies by now and one of the amazing things about her and this shower is that she has recently had some severe back trouble and is unable to walk downstairs.  She didn’t tell me any of this, simply continued on with the shower plans.  She knew that if she told me, I would insist on changing the location of the event.  Because of the number of people who came, we had to have the shower downstairs in her home.  She couldn’t walk down to enjoy the party.  Instead, she answered the door with nothing but cheerfulness, sent everyone downstairs, and had her daughters serve the lunch.

My heart broke when I realized what was happening.  I love Ila for many reasons but her selfless service is such an example of a great woman.  I spent quite a bit of time with her after the shower, showing her the gifts and just being with her.  That was my favorite part of the whole day.

I will never be able to adequately express my gratitude for the sacrifice and love that she showed me that day.  Her example of joyful service and love is remarkable.

But after that day I know one thing for sure…I want to live my life more like Ila Kofford.

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We have been winterizing the yard, planning Christmas lights and feeling a chill in the air.  These are all signs of fall and an opportunity to give thanks this season.  Whether you are in the United States or across an ocean, this week’s download will apply to you.

Take some time over the next week to focus on gratitude.  What are you grateful for?  How is your life rich and overflowing?  Whether you use this list or not, you will feel happier, more positive and more at peace as you focus on being grateful.  Give it a try.

Just click on the imge to download the pdf - Enjoy!

Just click on the image to download the pdf. Enjoy!

What will you do with your gratitude list?  Maybe you want to create a “Gratitude Journal” where you can jot down each day what you are grateful for.  It would make a fabulous gift for a lucky person this holiday season.  How about creating cards for each person at Thanksgiving to record the things they are grateful for and then be able to take them home?  I see this list becoming the perfect touch on each place setting at dinner.  What else can you come up with?

Be the first to upload photos of your project to our Download Day Flickr account (you know how we all like to see photos!) or leave a comment to tell us your plans for this “Gratitude List.”

Enjoy your week and enjoy the time to think about what you are grateful for.

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Weighty Matters

I was watching the TV show “Men in Trees” once and the following line caught my attention:

…a braver version of me.

I used this quote on my latest quote calendar and as I looked up from my computer this morning I saw it on the November page.  It seems fortuitous because today is one of those days where I’m not feeling quite as capable and empowered as I like to feel.

I’m busy with deadlines, I have some new responsibilities in my church that are taking me away from those deadlines more often, the holidays are approaching which pulls us all in different directions…and I am hormonal.  All of these things are part of life, but sometimes it’s just a little more difficult to manage them in my mind without feeling anything but tired.

I need a braver version of me to rise to the surface today.

I have decided to keep checking things off my list because I’ll just feel worse if I don’t do anything and get behind.  I have also decided to listen to positive music – that will help me feel encouraged.  I will go get a pedicure so that I feel better for our Hall family picture this weekend.  I’ll talk to Jason about how I feel so I can get lots of hugs and hand-holds today.  My feelings will pass.  I work hard to choose joy and positiveness in my life and it pays off.  I’m a happy person.

Life is just a little weighty today.

What do you do when you feel overwhelmed or discouraged or when life feels more weighty than usual?  How do you get “a braver version of you” to rise up when you need it?

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People ask me all the time what I do all day.  Probably just like you who are at home during the day, I fold the laundry, cook Jason some lunch, maybe scrub a few toilets, run an errand or two, listen to my iTunes, pay the bills, call repair people, and so on.  Those of you who are not home all day probably do all of those things as well but just in the evenings.

Along with all of that, my job is to create.  Sometimes I’m working on the curriculum for a Big Picture Scrapbooking workshop.  Sometimes I’m designing a Cricut cartridge for Provo Craft.  But most of the time I am creating stamps for Hampton Art – clear stamps, rubber stamps, stamp sets, individual stamps, you name it and I probably work on it when it comes to stamps.

All of this creating got me thinking.  Wouldn’t it be fun to share my designing work with you on a more regular basis – and with a little twist.  So, here is what I have decided.  “Download Day” is going to start on my blog.  It will usually be Mondays, I think, but I reserve the right to make it a different day if necessary.  But once a week a downloadable pdf will be available here on my blog – just for you (personal use only, please!)

It’s true that you might see these designs show up in a stamp or somewhere else – but you won’t see it exactly like you will get here.  For example, this week’s download is a Thanksgiving label that started as a clear stamp – smaller and only one color.  You get a large, full-color version here.  See how it works?

click here for pdf

click on artwork for downloadable pdf

Just click on the image and you will get a whole page full of my “Don’t Be a Turkey” label so you can make Thanksgiving cards, placecards for the big dinner, or whatever your heart desires.  Be the first to share photos of what you do with our “Download Day” designs here in the “Choosing Joy – Download Day” Flickr.com group.

As the holidays approach, enjoy your free page of labels designed especially for you by yours truly.  And don’t forget – there’s more where that came from!

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