Saturday, April 23, 2011

Meta Blogging? Huh!?!

My blog this year has been really about my one little word - declutter! So why not declutter my blog? I am satisfied with it thus far, but things can always get better, no? How would I do that? Well for starters, I've signed up for Google Analytics. I really want to know who my readers are and what I can do to make their reading experience at my blog better. I want them to keep coming back.

Blogging for me is inextricably linked to my scrapping. But that has evolved. And the evolution has been pretty natural. Never forced. When I got started, it really was just about sharing my layouts and talking about what I liked, my styles and also my photos. I started a Photos of the week post that I never followed through regularly but am thinking of adding back in. My photography is improving and it's the foundation to my enjoyment of scrapbooking.

The next evolution has everything to do with the storytelling. Journaling has become such an important aspect in my scrapping and my blogging. I am not just posting a pic of my layout. The layout is now the by product of the stories. What has become important is the photo and the story behind the photo. Sometimes it is the other way around. I want to tell a story about my son's personality and just find a photo that makes sense about who he is at a particular moment in time. I've never been very good at keeping a diary or journal until I discovered blogging.

I know I really enjoy photography blogs, crafting blogs and blogs by women. Reading those blogs have really allowed me to become a better writer and have a better design eye. After all, a blog is just a virtual scrapbook and journal. I know my style and I know myself and I want that to come through in my blogging. And to think, this all started with my desire to relax and relieve some stress through art (photography, art journaling, scrapbooking and now blogging). Stay tuned.

So what made you start blogging? Leave me a comment and share. I'll do a random drawing for a Simple Stories Destinations paper pack.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Let the Countdown Begin

Today is April 27th. There are 25 days left to my birthday, a very milestone birthday at that. On May 17, 2011 I will turn....wait for it....FORTY! Yes the BIG 4-0. When I turned 30, I hated it. I had just ended a 4 year relationship on very bad terms. I was trying to figure out the next steps in my life. I was living in a small, less than exciting town. The idea of not being in my 20s totally depressed me.

I still have mixed feelings about this next decade, but overall, I embrace it. I have embraced myself in all my imperfection. I have a good life. A family who loves me (nuclear and extended). My health is relatively good, considering! I have a job and a roof over my head, which in today's economy is a lot. Of course, I still have work to do. My one little word for the year, afterall, is DECLUTTER, on a variety of levels. But just because there is some clean up to do in aisle 40, doesn't mean that a lot of other things aren't in order!

So with that in mind, I created the following layout. It's a busy layout. Very anti-Cathy Zielske's whose clean and simple look and style, I love. But shabby chick is still a style I like and enjoy and I think that's what this layout is...shabby chic!

The bottom reads "Both of us can't look good at the same time...It's either me or the house." The tag on the bottom right corner says "original." The top left "R" is for my name and now you know what the "40?" is all about. 

The journaling reads: I chose this photo for a few reasons. First, I don't scrap pictures of myself enough. And I actually like this photo! Second, this picture was taken on April 10 at work. That's not the reason! The reason is that I am going to be 40 in 5 weeks (from when this photo was taken). Call me crazy or conceited, but I don't think I look 5 weeks shy of 40 at all. I certainly do not feel like 40...whatever that means!!

I was listening to the Paperclipping Roundtable this week and was inspired by the idea of chronicling a piece of my life. I thought about it too late to chronicle the year leading to 40. I do want to do a long term project chronicling my 40th year - on being 40! But that is not here yet. So I decided to do a Countdown to 40. I will document the last 10 days before I leave the decade of the 30s. TEAR! Like New Year's Eve, it will be 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, FORTY! 

Stay tuned because part of the project is to blog on each of those 10 days. I haven't figured out all the details yet. I only know that the 10 days of blogging is goal 1 and making a mini album about those 10 days is goal 2. This layout is practice :) I hope you will join me on my journey.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

No Pain, No Gain!

First of all, it's still cold and rainy
Second of all, gas prices are bankrupting me.
Third of all, decluttering is painful.

In an attempt to continue the decluttering of my body, today I went to the best aerobics class I've ever been to in years. The instructor said we would be sore on Monday. No such luck. It's almost 1a.m. and I'm SORE now! But the class was awesome. The pain was worth it. It was a free trial class and I am going to join. Saturdays will be my day and supplement a normal workout during the week.

How can I describe this class. Intense. Adrenalin-rush. True work out. Half way through, I felt this sudden emotion. I guess the Adrenalin rush was such that I held back tears. I know it sounds weird but kickboxing is the ultimate anger management system. I guess I've been angrier  than I thought. Anyone and everyone who has pissed me off was on that punching bag. And boy did it feel good. That feeling alone makes the pain worth it. BRING IT!

Check it out: