Thursday, March 29, 2012

Personal SMASH Pages and a Diagnosis

Heads up, this will be a bit more of an emotional post, but I will try not to ramble too much, heehee! What you see before you are the first pages of my red SMASH book. I got this one for free, and there's an interesting story behind it. For almost a year now, I've been attending a support group for parents of children with severe behavioural difficulties, and it's been really great. I've reached the point where I'm comfortable sharing my everyday frustrations, and it's been wonderful to learn from others' experiences and just to know that I'm not alone - the other parents' stories are sometimes so similar to mine, it's almost freaky! Anyway, after I'd been working on my orange SMASH for a while, I brought it to show to the group. The facilitator was so blown away that when she traveled to Williams Lake, she went in to Creative Accents and cleaned them out of SMASH books and gave each of us one! Isn't that just FABULOUS?! So I feel I've done my part in spreading the word about SMASH - let the therapy begin!

My first page, above, tells the story of my cupcake fiasco. (Read that post here.) I printed the photos on the left from the internet, representing the most beautiful and professional cupcakes I could find, and made the cupcake on the right from a CTMH stamp, representing how mine looked (although this is rather generous, mine looked a whole lot worse). Oh, and I also glued some MME scraps around the edges to make a border - I really like this added touch, I'll probably be using scraps like this in the future!The next spread talks about who I am. On the left, I did another scrap border and some masking with ink and a crown screen from Tattered Angels. I go through my feelings about the whole cupcake thing and why I would feel so bad about something so silly. It was quite therapeutic and made me feel better about myself. For the right side, I was stuck. I say in the journaling how when I saw this page, the only thing that came to mind was the I. Am. Canadian. commercial. (For those foreigners reading this post, Molson Canadian is a beer that has built its brand around Canadian patriotism, such that it is.) So I asked my four best friends, via Facebook, to describe me in three words. The words in multi-coloured alphas are words they chose, and I love it! They make me sound like a wonderful person - what a boost to the ol' self esteem!
On this page, I didn't want to cover up the "A" or the bird, so I journaled around the bird and used the "A" as a prompt. At the bottom of the spread there is a horoscope I clipped out of the paper a month ago, and I go into how I used to feel like I should be a Sagitarius rather than a Capricorn - maybe I'm growing into my Capricorni-ness! One day, I was inspired by this pin to journal my "currents". I just jotted them down in a note pad, and I was planning to copy them onto a nicer journaling card, but it was quicker to tear the page out and smash it in with smash tape. I added some stickers from Making Memories to dress it up a bit, too.
And then there's this page, probably my favorite one so far. I just gathered some photos from the internet and printed them off to show what I was into in February of 2012. It's funny how things have already changed in a month! I'm no longer drinking beer or double doubles, and I'm finished with the Tudors and the book I was reading, but everything else is still the same. I used a whole lot of stickers from my stash to make these four pages, so I'm going to enter over at Scrapbooker's Anonymous for their sticker challenge.

Now for the second part of my post - are ya still with me? We took Nolan to Williams Lake yesterday for his big assessment and found out that yes, he does have Asperger's Disorder. It was what Jason and I were expecting, but the news threw Nolan for a loop. He was feeling terrible last night, very sad. He sees it as a disease, and proof that he's not normal. All I could do was tell him that he's my same Nolan and I love him no matter what. I tried to explain that we put him through this process in order to understand him better and help him, but he just wants to be "normal". The other part of his diagnosis, which Jason and I were pretty excited about and which Nolan could care less, is that he has "superior cognitive functioning." He tested in the 99th percentile for verbal reasoning (still not sure what it really means, but sounds impressive)! Now here's the kicker - he told us after the tests that he was trying his hardest not to be diagnosed with Asperger's, so he used all the most technical terms and biggest words he could!!! Like they showed him a picture of an umbrella and asked, "What's this?" He said, "A mechanical device used to deviate atmospheric water," or something like that. I may have changed the wording a bit, but I had a heck of a time keeping a straight face during that one! Poor kid, his plan backfired! Anyway, I'm sure it will all be for the best once we wrap our heads around the whole thing. Thanks to everyone for your support!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Scrap for Help

Here's a simple layout I made for Nolan's album using my February Counterfeit Kit. I didn't use much for embellishments as I'm feeling like I'm way behind on my scrapping these days and really just need to get some pages done. The hardest part of making this page was parting with the backside of this Simple Stories paper. Sigh, I really didn't want to use this paper, I could've hoarded it for a long time, but I need to just suck it up and use my stash! Before I stuck all my photos down, I cut some of the backside bits out, so I can fully utilize as much as possible. I am going to enter this layout over at Scrap for Help - their challenge for March is to use corrugated cardboard on your project. This was fun to do - I inked up my piece with Walnut Stain Distress Ink, then sprayed it with some new spray from Lindy's Stamp Gang. You probably can't appreciate the full effect, but it's got a pinkish red iridescent sheen to it.

This was Nolan's last day at his old school in Burns Lake. He brought his camera, and had some fun taking pictures of his classmates. I think it was jersey day because the Canucks were in the Stanley Cup playoffs, so it's kind of cute seeing everyone wearing their favorite team's jersey. Of course, I forgot all about it, even though I was a staff member at the school, so I had to borrow a jersey and Nolan's wearing his every day Irish rugby shirt with the Bushmill's Whiskey logo on the front. He's been wearing those shirts for years (he had a huge collection from Uncle Mike), and I didn't even think of it, but I think it's against most schools' dress codes to wear ads for alcohol, haha! Nobody's ever mentioned it, which is a good thing because those are about all he'll wear!

Speaking of my little man, tomorrow starts his assessment process. We will finally find out once and for all if he has Asperger's or not. I'm so curious as to what the experts will say, but I'm also wondering if I'm doing the right thing. We've been pushing ahead for a diagnosis for so long, but is it good to be "labeled"? Too late to worry about that now, I guess. I'll keep everyone posted as to the results. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

January P12

My bloggy pal Alison and I didn't really love the new direction of Project 12 this year, so we decided to do our own thing. Here's a quick post to show you the double-pager I did for a January wrap-up:

I used my February counterfeit kit to make this one, and I quite like the result. I used this sketch that Alison chose from Becky Fleck's January Page Maps:

but I had to change things up a bit due to the fact that I had barely any good photos from January! A couple of close-ups:
I thought these photos of Brenna were hysterical! She was pitching such a fit before our walk, and I don't think it was because her momma dresses her funny (well, maybe a little!)
I really like the accent card on this page, it's from a new Simple Stories line called Year-ography - love all their papers! I painted the edges of all my photos to make them stand out a bit on the busy CTMH patterned paper, and stitched and distressed some of the edges to give it all a bit of character, but other than that, a very simple layout. Now, I better run, because I think my computer has a virus and I'm just waiting for it to crash again! Hopefully I'll be able to comment on everyone's lovely creations and get in on some challenges before the end of the month, but I better keep my fingers crossed! Thanks for your understanding, everyone, hugs, Roxy.

Friday, March 16, 2012

"Candid" and a SMASH page

Sorry it's been so long again, but life has been crazy here! I think the kids have been in school two days this month, what with pro-D day, teacher strike, and spring break, and it's putting a serious cramp in my crafting schedule! I've also been reading some really good books - might be time for a book review pretty soon.

Did you see this inspiration photo for the March Challenge at Seriously Creative Challenges?
Oh my gosh, I love it! I had just the perfect photos for this one, and I looooove the way this layout turned out:
The background paper started out cream, and I inked it, stamped it, and sprayed it, not to mention the handmade chevron pattern made from scraps and stitched together - it was a time consuming process, but a lot of fun too! Remember those ghost letters from Heidi Swapp that came out five or more years ago? Well, I have almost a full pack of them so I painted the edges for the title and stitched them on with embroidery floss. Here's a close-up of the top corner, where you can see a bit of the shine from the Perfect Pearls Mist:

I sure hope you'll join us this month! This was my first monochromatic green page, and I love the result, so give it a try, and as always, there's a prize to be won!

When I was in my self-induced pinterest coma, I did manage to make this SMASH page about Brenna's birthday:
When I bring her around town or to different play groups, everyone thinks she's so cute and wonderful, but man, she's a stinker! So much energy and just wants to assert her independence all the time, it's exhausting, but I love her to bits!

And a quick mention of some blog candy you may want to check out:
If you like Magnolia and Tickled Pink stamps, you really need to follow Eulanda's blog, she's the master with Copics! And she's freakin' hilarious, too! Definitely a Cariboo gal at heart!

Well, I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend! I'm counting down the days until the kids go back to school, and desperately trying everything I can think of to keep them busy. Ailis just went on a scavenger hunt with Nana - I thought they'd be out for at least an hour, but it turned out to be a 15 minute thing, sigh. Maybe we'll make some banana bread!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Gorgeous Souls and a SMASH page

I apologize for dropping off the Doppler for a couple of weeks there, but I have a not-so-good excuse:
Yes, this is me, and I admit I have a problem! I have been sucked into the black hole otherwise known as Pinterest! It's brutal, I was googling ideas for fabric yoyos, ended up at pinterest, and before I knew it, a week had passed! But the good news is, now that I've got my boards set up, I should only pin the odd thing every few days - the novelty has worn off (I hope!) I've found a billion printable journaling cards, and I've got them all pinned, so if you want to embrace the pinning madness as I have, I've put up a "follow me" button on my side bar - go ahead and click it if you dare, but I claim no responsibility for the hours of your life lost that you'll never get back, haha!

So, onto the layout I finally finished last night, and I'm going to ask for honest opinions here. I used the home made patterned paper from my February Counterfeit Kit, wrapped it with some mesh from an onion bag, and attached it with brads - cool, eh? The words were inspired by art journal pages I've been viewing on, you guessed it, pinterest! I drew them by hand and coloured them with water colour pencils, which I really like. But here's where I need your help. I'm going to show you two versions and you get to vote for the one you like best. Both versions are very busy and I think I may have overdone it! Here's version #1, with less embellishments:

and version #2, with handmade pompoms and yoyos:

Last night I was leaning towards version #1, especially after Jason looked at #2 and his eyes started bleeding, but today I'm not so sure. I just love my little handmade goodies, but I suppose I can always use them on another page - what do you think? Here's the sketch from Creative Scrappers I used but didn't get in on time to enter the challenge:
I've also been continuing work on my Smash books (yes, "books" plural, I now have a red one, and there's a story on that to be told at a later date) so here's a Valentine's page I made to commemorate my parents' relationship and Ailis's birthday. (Incidentally, their 40th anniversary is on the 12th, and I have nothing planned, ack!)
This page was fun, I just mod podged a napkin from Ailis's party to the bottom, glimmer misted the top, and added some gorgeous journaling cards (you can find the link on my pinterest "Smash Book Ideas" board!) an inked newspaper clip, and a photo of my parents with Ailis. Oh, and the glittery chipboard came in a RAK package from my good bloggy friend, Alison. Hope you like, and if you're interested in getting ideas for Smashing, there's a Facebook group called SMASHaholics, but again I warn you, it's a VERY active group, so you might become addicted!