Searching for Normalcy

"And finally, above all else, it is about leaving a mark that I existed: I was here. I was hungry. I was defeated. I was happy. I was sad. I was in love. I was afraid. I was hopeful. I had an idea and I had a good purpose and that’s why I made works of art…" – Felix Gonzalez-Torres

and i just can’t bring myself away January 29, 2009

Filed under: Music,Video — Lulu @ 4:27 pm

Ne-Yo – “Closer”


Where the magic happens January 28, 2009

Filed under: Scrapbooking — Lulu @ 4:37 pm

Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of posts showing other peoples’ scrap rooms and art studios (see links below), which inspired me to photograph my scrap area during one of the rare times that it is actually clean and organized. I’ve purged a lot of papers and other miscellaneous items, so this was a perfect time to photograph the area.

And just to clarify, when I say scrap area, that is exactly what I mean. I don’t have a dedicated scrap room; it’s literally a wall and a half in the spare bedroom that I use as my office (I work from home). And because I rent, the walls are a lovely shade of industrial apartment white. Not the most creative or artistic, but it is what it is. I also don’t have the cool Ikea Expedit shelves or anything like that (yet!). Also, I’m pretty cheap frugal cost-conscious, so I’m a big fan of repurposing items and using bins and containers from Target or the dollar store to house supplies.

This is the view from the doorway into the room. My office/work space is over to the left side, but that’s boring and no fun, so I’m not even going to bother to show you that. The two tall bookcases I’ve had for years. Before I started scrapping, I used them as bookshelves. But when I started accumulating more scrap supplies, I moved all the books into the wall unit in the living room. The two short file cabinets used to hold work files, which have been moved over to my desk.IMG_1363

My absolute two favorite things in this room are the table, which my dad made for me, and the huge metal sheet mounted on the wall (also by dad). I use the metal sheet to display layouts (held by magnets) until I’m ready to put them in an album. The lamp in the corner is good for two reasons: 1) lighting (obviously), and 2) I can stick my magnetic rulers to it.

On the left side of the table are my tool carousel (from Oriental Trading), and miscellaneous containers/jars with writing instruments, loose embellies, journaling cards and tags, and mini alpha stamps.

On the right side of the table is my Making Memories organizer thingy-do (I don’t think that’s the official name), which holds the items I’m currently working with, photos, staplers, and Colorbox ink palette. In the drawers are adhesive rollers, dymo tape and tiny rubber-mounted stamps. To the right you see my heating tool and apron, which hang on the wall.

Always on the tabletop are my Basic Grey magnetic cutting mat and the awesome Tonic guillotine cutter that was a birthday gift from Anilu. 

To the right of the table, the first tall bookshelf is where I keep the items I use most often. It holds containers (mostly from Target) that house my alphas, embellishments, paper scraps, rub-ons, and other tools, including my portable paper trimmers. (The three tiaras on top are all plastic, toy tiaras that were given to me for my birthday two years ago; just wanted to clarify that!)IMG_1375

In the center (top to bottom) are: my wall-mounted CD player; a corkboard with pins and cards I’ve received; all my cardstock (the clear plastic bin is from Michael’s; the paper rack I got online for about $15); miscellaneous jars with chipboard alphas and tools; a carousel with deco scissors from Sam’s Club (I can count on one finger the number of times I’ve used those scissors); my favorite, most often used punches; and my 12×12 albums. 

The tall bookshelf on the right holds my art books, ribbons, stamps, holiday-themed items, and tools and supplies that I don’t use as often. All of my patterned paper is on the fourth shelf. The two black wire baskets on the right hold all the papers that are loose. The first one is sorted by manufacturer, and the second one is sorted by color (unknown manufacturer). The paper on the right side of that shelf (not in baskets) are kits and paper packs.

There is a little file cabinet/table thing to the right of the second tall bookshelf that holds all of my cardmaking items and other miscellaneous items. These are definitely the things I use least often.


The box holding the ribbons was from a Lovely by Sarah Jessica Parker gift set that my sister gave me. The container holding the felt and cork sheets originally held a 12×12 album that I ordered online.

So there you have it. My purely functional, not-at-all cute or stylish, scrap area. Like I said, it is what it is. If you want to see some scrap spaces that are actually PRETTY, check these out:



history January 20, 2009

Filed under: Life — Lulu @ 4:38 pm




I am hopeful. I am excited. I am awed.


scrappiness January 19, 2009

Filed under: Scrapbooking — Lulu @ 4:40 pm

So I really have no idea where the burst of creative mojo came from last week, but I managed to get twelve layouts completed between Monday and Thursday. I basically just took a very casual approach to the whole thing, working on three layouts per night, finishing them at a very leisurely pace. If everything came together in one shot, I glued it down and moved on to the next. If not, I left everything laid out on the desk and went to do something else. When I felt the urge to come back to it, I did. I felt absolutely no pressure at all to “hurry up – get it done – NOW!!!” as I normally do, so I think that made it easier for me.

The first 10 layouts are for the Washington trip album (I still have several more to do, but this was a good jumpstart). I don’t usually do multi-photo layouts, but in this case I wanted to group pictures together by subject or event, to give the story a nice flow. I kept the layouts very simple; mostly photos, little to no embellishments, a simple title and some journaling (oh yeah, journaling – for me – is the hardest thing to do, so I’m pretty proud of myself for including it here). I didn’t want to make the entire album match, because I wanted each page to stand on its own, so I used a mix of papers from Collage Press, Making Memories, SEI and Basic Grey. However, I did want to make them cohesive, so I tried to pick colors, patterns and textures that work together. And while I don’t want to make this a Christmas album, the reason for our trip was to be there for “Family Christmas,” so I did make a couple of Christmas-y pages and want to include a few more.

The last two layouts are about my sister’s birthday dinner in December. All the papers, embellishments and alphas are from the Basic Grey Ambrosia collection, which I absolutely LOOOOVE. OMG, I love that collection so much I want to marry it! The colors make it elegant, but the designs and patterns keep it fun. I used black cardstock for the background and grouped everything towards the center of the page to make the pics the main focus, then used the beautiful papers and embellishments to add pops of color and help “anchor” the photos. I think these are probably two of my favorite pages ever.

12 layouts 011209-011509

(They are all 12×12 layouts. They look smaller because I had to stand on a chair in order to fit them all in the picture.)

Hopefully, the mojo will keep flowing this week and I can crank out some more pages about the trip!! Fingers crossed!!

Alright, back to work. Peace out, yo!


I love you more than… January 16, 2009

Filed under: Miscellany — Lulu @ 4:41 pm

I love this website!

The I Love You More Than Blank blog is a new site  – launched on January 12th – that lets you submit anonymous love notes to your loved ones, using the phrase “I love you more than _________.” You submit your “fill in the blank” statement by sending an email, and they publish it on the site the following day. Such a cute concept!

I sent in my own submission last night. Can you guess which one is mine?


Hints: We don’t have a dog, I prefer Thai, and I don’t smoke. =)


grammar pet peeves January 14, 2009

Filed under: Miscellany,Personal,Random Thoughts — Lulu @ 4:42 pm

For the love of all that is holy, people…

  • It is “pique” your interest, not “peek.”
  • "Your” and “you’re” have completely different meanings.
  • "Their,” “they’re” and “there.” Learn these. Use them properly.
  • The plural of “woman” is “women,” not “womans.”
  • You would/could/should “have,” not “of.”
  • ”Past” and “passed” – also different.
  • “Weather,” “whether” and “wether” – again, all different (fyi: the latter is a castrated sheep).

Darn it!


photoscape January 8, 2009

Filed under: Photography,Technology — Lulu @ 4:43 pm

Because I’m a helpful kind of girl, I thought I would just share this recent discovery: Photoscape 3.3.

Normally I use Photoshop for photo editing, but I’m not an expert by any means. I find it a bit cumbersome. Not to mention that I think Fanless gets annoyed with my never-ending “babe, how do I do {insert random desired effect here} in Photoshop?” questions. I was reading an article online (I can’t remember the site or URL, but if I find it again I’ll post it here) and they mentioned a free photo editing program called “Photoscape.” It is a simple download and I decided it couldn’t hurt to try it out.

So let me just give you a few examples of what can be done with the program. Here is the original photo I started out with:

I simply selected the “Sepia” color filter from the “Home” tab to change the coloring of the photo. Then I selected “Auto Contrast” (at middle level), then “Brighten” (also at middle level). Finally, I selected “Vignetting #1” from the list of filters. Here is the finished photo:


For this example, all I did was select “Cinema – High” from the filter list, then added “Lens Flare” to the glass (I upped the number to 13). Here is the resulting photo:


Anyway, those are just two examples of things you can do with Photoscape. I literally justdownloaded the program within the last half hour, so I haven’t had a lot of time to play with it. But so far I like the ease of applying the filters and effects. I can’t wait to discover all the fun, artsy stuff I can do to my pictures!

If you decide to download and use the program, let me know how it goes. I’d love to see your results. Have fun!