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Savor the Gifts of the Present Moment

Since I will not get to write tonight either apparently, I figured I’ll share a recent layout with you. This one is almost all My Mind’s Eye and was made for the Big Picture Classes’ recent NSD Creative Crop.

My challenge was to use your own handwriting. When was the last time you used it on a layout?

Here are few different shots from it:

One Little Word – October and November

Since I didn’t post this morning and I am about to leave for class, I figured I’ll post more of my One Little Word pages.

Here’s October:

and November:

there we go. Just one more month left.

One Little Word – August and September

Since I didn’t post this morning and I am about to leave for class, I figured I’ll post more of my One Little Word pages.

Here’s July and August:

july was the lyrics and then the burned cd:

and the back:

and then august is taking a pause which was a recent photo of me:

I had two i liked so I put one in the back, too:

there we go. Still didn’t finish my October assignment, I better get on that!

Year-Long Classes – One Little Word – June

Since I don’t have a scrapbook page to share today, I thought I’d share my June OLW page. This was super-fun to do with a bunch of painting and stamping and just having fun.

and here are some close ups:

Year-Long Classes – Month Three

Since I spent the night watching Glee with Jake and it’s almost 9pm here, I figured I might as well catch up on posting about the yearlong classes. So here is March.

I am taking two year-long classes at Big Picture Classes this year. I am pretty sure you must have heard of both. Even though these are not amazing, I still thought it would be fun to post my progress each month. If for no other reason than to record things.

Here are my OLW pages for March:

my one-thing was two things. one was to go out to breakfast 3 times and the other was to drive on the free way 3 times in March. And despite the difficult months, I accomplished both:

here it is open:

And then here’s the Move More, Eat Well page for March. Looks like I didn’t photograph it in my album but I do have the page:

And here we go. That’s where we are now. I will post a April update soon.

Year-Long Classes – Month Two

Since I completely got lost in my Savor Project tonight and forgot to type up a post, I figured I might as well catch up on posting these. I am all caught up in both classes but just haven’t had a chance to post the photos. So here is February.

I am taking two year-long classes at Big Picture Classes this year. I am pretty sure you must have heard of both. Even though these are not amazing, I still thought it would be fun to post my progress each month. If for no other reason than to record things.

Here are my OLW pages for February:

the pockets with photos page:

And then I used two blow up pages for the two sets of people who mean the most in my life. My kids:

and my husband:

and there we go. I actually typed up the journaling later and printed it on a transparency that I slipped into the sleeve but I love how it worked out.

And then here’s the Move More, Eat Well page for February:

And here we go. That’s where we are now. I will post a March update later this month.

Classes I'm Taking in 2012

A few months ago, I posted a list of classes I took in 2011. I thought it would be useful to share classes I’m signed up for, so far, in 2012 as well. So here’s what I have so far:

  • I Heart Drawing: I actually started this class at the end of 2011. I am a huge fan of Jane Davenport and a class on learning how to draw full figures (as opposed to just portraits) seemed very alluring. A class specifically designed for drawing and not mixed media was also something I really wanted. So even though it was the end of the year (and a really busy time) I just went for it. And I am so so glad I did. Jane is not only an excellent teacher but she’s kind, patient, sweet, and funny. And talented. She’s amazingly talented. Her videos are detailed, step-by-step and extremely well done. If you’re interested in drawing figures at all, I cannot recommend her class enough. I am still working my way through the very comprehensive lessons and enjoying every single minute of it.
  • One Little Word: I took Ali’s class last year but didn’t really do the work each month. This year, I am taking the class again and doing the work. My word this year (savor) is really important to me and I love how this class ensures that I keep it front and center all year round.  In my opinion, a class with Ali never disappoints.
  • Move More Eat Well: Cathy’s journey and blog posts were the biggest reason I started my own health journey. Even though I did the work, I don’t know if I would be here without her and I will forever be grateful to her for it. At first I wasn’t going to take this class but as I thought about it, I decided I could use some encouragement and active attention as I maintain the weight loss, work on nutrition and strength this year. I’ve taken classes with Cathy before and I know she’s an attentive and dedicated teacher.
  • Body Restoration: This is Melody and Kathy’s new class. Last year, I took Soul Restoration 1 and 2 and they were two of the best classes I took all year. So when this class was posted, I didn’t even hesitate for a second. Even though I’ve lost a lot of weight and many of my body issues have improved a lot in the last year, I knew this class would be powerful and useful and one I was glad I took. And I was right. We’re three weeks into it and I already love every second of it. As it always works with Melody’s classes, I am discovering thoughts I didn’t know I had. I am learning, growing and doing art. What more can you ask from a class?
  • The Science of Willpower: This is a local class I am taking so I linked to the book that my teacher published that’s based on the class content. This year, I wanted make an effort to take more classes locally. When I looked at the Winter offerings, this class stood out to me. As someone who works on being organized and has a lot of daily tasks, willpower is a fascinating subject to me and I figured I’d love to learn more about it. So far, I’ve only had two sessions and it’s proven to be incredibly interesting and wildly useful. I really look forward to the rest of the classes. And I love leaving the house and going to a class at a university.
  • grafting happiness: I’ve taken several of Stephanie’s journaling courses and have found each of them to be profoundly moving. I have loved every minute of her lessons and when she announced (today) her new one, I didn’t even hesitate for a second. Stephanie is an amazing artist and an incredible soul. Her journaling classes are some of the best I’ve ever taken. I can’t wait for this one to start.
  • The Art of Wild Abandonment: I’ve already talked about how much Christy has affected my art journaling journey. So I tend to take all of her classes. I’m also a huge fan of Junelle as a person and as an artist, so when Christy announced that she’d be hosting Junelle’s first class, there was no way I was missing it. I would have taken this class just to support Junelle and Christy as the wonderful people they are, but I also happen to adore, admire, and am awed by Junelle’s art. So I have no doubt this class will be truly amazing.
  • Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction: I’m not actually taking this class until the summer but I am already signed up for it. It’s another local course offered at a nearby Medical Foundation. So I linked to the wikipedia page that explains the idea behind the class. One of my major goals this year is to learn to slow down and meditate and breathe. Here’s the short blurb about the class: These benefits include an increase in the body’s immune system’s ability to ward off disease, a shift from a disposition towards right prefrontal cortex, associated with anxiety, depression, and aversion, to the left prefrontal cortex, associated with happiness, flow, and enjoyment. Other benefits include a different and less invasive way of healing patients with chronic pain related illnesses, a reduction in debilitating stress and the hormones that come along with it,(such as cortisol,) and an improvement in one’s overall happiness and well-being in life. Doesn’t it sound worthwhile? I figure it might help with my TMJ. Or help me finally create a meditation practice. And if neither, well I certainly always welcome even more improvements in my overall happiness.

There we go. This is the list of classes I have for 2012 so far. I know it looks long, but, this year, I’m being a bit more mindful about the classes I am taking. Keeping in consideration cost, time commitment, and alignment with my goals. This allows me to make sure I give each class my full attention.

Added after this post:

  • Letter Love 101: Art Journaling: If you read here at all, you know that I am trying to get better at lettering so this class was absolutely perfect for me.

Year-Long Classes – Month One

I am taking two year-long classes at Big Picture Classes this year. I am pretty sure you must have heard of both. Even though these are not amazing, I still thought it would be fun to post my progress each month. If for no other reason than to record things.

One is One Little Word with Ali Edwards. I took this class last year, too. But even though I watched all the videos and kept up with the class, I didn’t do any of the work (well I did the first month only.) As it worked out, I got the Pink Paislee binder she used last year so I decided I would do the assignments as well this year. (Of course, she’s changed format since then but I am still doing them in my Pink Paislee binder anyway.)

Here are my OLW pages so far:

the opening page:

and a photo of me on the back. this was the only photo I had that had just me so I decided to go with it:

and here’s the assignment for january:

and there we go. If you’re not taking this class but do pick a word for the year, I highly recommend the class. It’s a wonderful way to keep your word close to your soul and mind all year long.

The second class I am taking is Cathy’s Move More Eat Well. For me, this class is to do the most important part of the health work I started last year: maintaining. It’s hard to lose weight and eat well, true, but it’s much much harder to maintain it for the rest of your life. And I hope to never have to gain my weight back or lose the exercise routine or start eating badly again. But I know it can all happen if I don’t pay attention. So the class is here to make sure I continue to pay attention.

Here are my assignments so far.

Opening page:

back of opening page. all this was hard work for me, for some reason. and, yes, I used the same photo.

and here’s the page for January:

And here we go. That’s where we are now. I will post a February update once we get there.

Are you taking either of these classes? Do you like them?

12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop

Welcome to the 12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop!

Big Picture Classes

I wanted to welcome all visitors from May Flaum’s blog. If you’ve made it this far, you’re awesome because I know I’m the last stop on the hop!! Since I am last, I assume you’ve already read all about the class so I will go right to my story:

For my little tidbit, I want to share with you the story of our Christmas tree. I grew up in Istanbul, Turkey where most of the population is Muslim (however I am Jewish.) All my childhood, we had Christmas trees and so did every other household. In Turkey, we call them New Year’s trees and we decorate them and put presents under them just like they do in the United States. The only difference is that we open our presents on New Year’s Day and not Christmas. I’ve always loved the trees. So much so that when I moved to the United States for college, on my first winter break back home, my parents set up the tree in advance just to surprise me.

My first holiday season in the States, I was told by several other Jewish friends that because I was Jewish, I wasn’t allowed to have a Christmas tree. Jews didn’t celebrate Christmas after all. This made me incredibly sad. I was not willing to give up my beloved tree just because traditions are different in this country.

So as the years passed and I graduated college and got married and had a family of my own, I contemplated this “tree problem.” I finally decided since my kids were already going to be a mix of Turkish and American and Jewish and Christian (my husband is American and only half Jewish), we could create our own versions of any holiday we wanted. This is how we came to have what we call our “Jewish Christmas Tree”:

It’s pretty simple: basically all the ornaments and lights on our tree are blue or white. But, to me, it’s special. It’s my way of remembering my childhood and nationality (the tree) and integrating my religion into it and making a mixture of all of who I am and who my husband is and creating the perfect combination. (Which is what my kids are – a perfect combination of the two of us!)

Making it work for us.

That’s what the holidays are all about for me. Do you have any of your “combination” holiday traditions?

If the holidays are as special to you as they are to me, I hope you’ll join me and the 11 other amazing teachers in celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas!

Big Picture Classes

You can sign up either by clicking the link above or by clicking here. I very much look forward to seeing you in class.

And just in case you came here out of order, here are the others on today’s hop:

1. Nic Howard
2. Georgana Hall
3. Stacy Julian
4. Tami Morrison
5. Wendy Smedley
6. Lisa Day
7. Kelly Purkey
8. Elizabeth Dillow
9. May Flaum
10. Karen Grunberg – you’re here!

12 Days of Christmas Workshop Recipient

Thank you for all your kind, kind comments. The recipient is: BeckyR

Becky, can you please email me your Big Picture username and I’ll make sure you’re added to the class?

12 Days of Christmas Workshop and a Giveaway

As promised, I am back to talk about 12 Days of Christmas.

This workshop is taught by 12 Big Picture Classes teachers. We each did a layout about some Christmas activity.

Here is how it works:
For the 12 days leading up to Christmas, you will receive an email from a BPC teacher with a photo prompt and a list of supplies to gather. Preparing specific holiday pictures and products as Christmas approaches will help you focus on the present moments and the joyful anticipation in a more thoughtful way—without feeling any pressure to scrapbook right away! Then, starting on December 25th, you’ll get to “open” a new handout each day, designed to guide and inspire you in pulling together pictures and products to complete a dozen different layouts.

You can see all the twelve teachers and sign up if you click here.

I am giving away one seat in the class today. This time I will just ask for anything you might like to see on this blog. Which of the things I post about do you like the most? What’s something else you might want to see? So just leave a comment. I will leave comments open for a week and announce the recipient next Monday (November 21). If you’ve already signed up for the class, you can still be eligible to win and you’ll just get a refund so don’t worry.

You should know all the links to the class are affiliate links and I might get a tiny cut if you click through my site to sign up.

Reclaiming My Time Workshop and a Giveaway

Sorry to be inundating you with giveaways and random talk about things to buy. However I know many of you who read here have found me through Big Picture Classes and so I wanted to let you know that I have a new workshop that’s opening on December 1.

This is a workshop I wrote and taught in 2009. When I wrote Finding Your Way last year, it was as a response to the Layout a Day I did and how it changed my life. I wrote the course after my scrapbooking process was transformed. This class was the other way around. Writing this class actually changed my life. It made me take a good, hard look at how I am spending my time and what I want to be doing with my rare and precious minutes in my day.

Here’s part of what I wrote in the description for the class:

“You will never find time for anything. If you want time, you must make it.”

On the surface, this workshop is about time. Specifically, about how you spend your time. But, in reality, it’s about so much more than that: reclaiming time to use it as you WANT to live your life.

If you ask me, time is the great equalizer. We each get 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. That’s 1,440 minutes, every single day. Let’s say you sleep a generous 8 hours a day; that still leaves you with 960 precious minutes every day. How you spend those minutes adds up to how you spend your life. Don’t you want to spend those 960 minutes doing the things you most love doing?

“Realize that now, in this moment of time, you are creating. You are creating your next moment. That is what’s real.”

This is an unusual class for a few reasons:

  1. There are 4 week’s worth of lessons but they will be spread over December and January to give you time to observe the holidays, take a break, and still be able to go through the lessons.
  2. I think it’s important to do this class in December-January time-frame because it’s a common time to make resolutions and I think this class will transform how you make resolutions.
  3. The class is mostly exercises that involve tracking, thinking and brainstorming. And then making resolutions/plans. There is a minibook but if you don’t have time to create that, in my opinion, the biggest value of the class is doing the work, not the minibook.
  4. This class will be open all of 2012 with monthly check-ins from me to ensure you (and I) stay on track and can address issues that creep up throughout the year.

I can promise you that if you do the work, this class will change your life.

Here is the sign up link: Click here

If you’re on the fence and waiting, I urge you to take it because I may never teach it again. I often have people email me after the deadline passes and I feel terrible telling people that it’s too late. I don’t want to offend anyone and you certainly don’t have to sign up but I wanted to be upfront about my schedule.

If you have questions about the class, don’t hesitate to leave me a comment or email me. I will gladly answer any questions. I try to only teach classes that I feel strongly about so I have no problem giving as much information as you need to decide one way or another.

I am giving away one seat in my class today. Like last week, I will ask for suggestions for other classes you might like me to teach so I can decide what and if I will plan classes for 2012. So just leave a comment. I will leave comments open for a week and announce the recipient next Friday (November 11). If you’ve already signed up for the class, you can still be eligible to win and you’ll just get a refund so don’t worry.

You should know all the links to my class are affiliate links and I might get a tiny cut if you click through my site to sign up. And before I leave, I also wanted to mention that I participated in the 12 Days of Christmas class as a teacher. I will tell you more about that and do a giveaway in a few weeks.