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

Getting to Know me June 17, 2011

Filed under: Miscellany,Personal — Lulu @ 11:57 pm

Because why not?

  1. Name: Lou, Lulu, Balou, lady, devil woman… the list is endless
  2. Birthday:  July 17th
  3. Sign: Cancer
  4. Favorite food: pad thai
  5. Favorite drink: Dr. Pepper or Cherry Coke
  6. Favorite color: pink, lime green, black and white
  7. Favorite song this week: “Erase/Rewind” by The Cardigans 
  8. Favorite outfit: since I’m usually at home it’s typically shorts or leggings, tank or t-shirt, and socks
  9. Hobbies: scrapbooking, photography, book club
  10. Guilty pleasures: venti non-fat white mocha latté from Starbucks
  11. Last dream you remember: I don’t remember my dreams that often
  12. What comes to mind when i say cabbage: cole slaw?
  13. Have you ever met a celebrity: Yes; Carlos Mencia, George Lopez, Gabriel Iglesias, DL Hughley, Jamie Kennedy and Godfrey (a couple of my friends are stand-up comics and when I used to hang out with them at comedy clubs I’d get to meet the headliners)
  14. Favorite (new) blog:
  15. Secret celebrity crush: Alex O’Laughlin, but it’s not really a secret
  16. Favorite gadget: My camera and laptop
  17. Three things you can’t live without: oxygen, food and water?
  18. Favorite harry potter character: I don’t read/watch HP
  19. Play any instruments: no
  20. Best book you’ve ever read: Recently, “The Help”. I couldn’t put it down.
  21. Favorite quotation:  “We cannot really love anybody with whom we never laugh.” – Agnes Repplier
  22. Favorite rainy day activity: Staying in bed and watching movies, reading or scrapbooking
  23. What do you do when you’re stressed: cry
  24. Favorite time of the year: Winter in Washington. It’s the only time I get to have straight hair and not be sweaty when I go outside.
  25. Tattoos: I have 3
  26. Favorite animal: penguins and polar bears
  27. Crunchy or smooth peanut butter: Both
  28. Foreign countries you’ve visited: Mexico, Virgin Islands, Bahamas
  29. Favorite candy: sweetarts and reese’s cups
  30. Cake or pie: red velvet cake
  31. Favorite holiday: whichever one gives me a day off work
  32. Favorite flower: gerbera daisies

SMASH Pages June 15, 2011

Filed under: Scrapbooking — Lulu @ 8:57 pm

As promised, here are some of my completed SMASH book pages for the black book (Mod theme).


The front inside cover and first page (behind the vellum) are just a plain baby blue. It’s not my favorite color so I decided to cover them. On the inside cover (left side) I used a sheet of patterned paper from K&Company’s Urban Rhapsody pad, letter stickers from Webster’s Pages, a Hambly bird sticker and an old photo of me and the boy that didn’t print correctly (the colors weren’t calibrated properly) but I hadn’t thrown away.


I covered the first page with a retro recipe card (recipe printed on the back) that I had received in a Sweet Twee Labs kit about two years ago.


On the backside of the first page I glued a regular paper bag to use as a pocket. I wanted to cover the logo from the store so I used some Chinese joss paper (traditionally used in religious ceremonies such as funerals) and a couple pieces of Japanese washi paper that my friend, Agi, gave me. (The “Oh, Hi!” page is “as is.”)


On the next two pages are a random collection of things I like. (Left) A postcard from a Clinique gift set, a card my friend made using a stamped image and a quote from Picasso, and a printed image of a vintage “sexy” girl. (Right) A sticker of the boy as Mona Lisa (from one of those mall photobooth thingies), a tag from a shirt (I liked that the tag was letterpress on craft paper), a really awful photobooth picture we took at the Seattle Center, and some strips of washi paper that were left over from a project.


On the left of these pages is a postcard from an art fair I attended a couple of years ago. (I love religious imagery as art.) The image on the right is a printout of a pen and ink drawing from artist Yelena James’ website. On these I used Japanese washi tape to attach them to the page. I like that the tapes are low-tack (so the items can be moved if needed) but still hold pretty well.


On the left is that same picture from the front of the book (my fave pic of us… obviously.) and a paper “outfit” that was on a greeting card a received a long time ago. On the right are a little rant from me comparing Washington to Florida (with maps!), and an ampersand print from (I think) Elise Blaha’s site (I love fonts and graphic prints).


On the right is a collection of movie ticket stubs, along with a little list of my Top 5 movies (that came from the “Entertainment” Smash Pad). I actually changed this page after taking the picture. I moved the list to the page on the left and added a second list with the boy’s Top 5 movies as well.


This is a perfect example of one of those “random” pages the Smash books are made for. I had a tag from a Lulu brand handbag and a picture that was part of the party favors at my friend’s baby shower. In the “Family” Smash pad there was a page titled “Story of My Nickname”, which happens to be Lulu. I put the three items together so that it all makes sense to me. The “Dr Pepper” tag was the bottom part of a coupon for a free 2-liter we got at Publix this weekend. What better way to note my absolute, undying love of Dr. Pepper?


A simple list of all the bands I’ve seen in concert. (Love this ledger print paper.)


An assortment of things I love: an expired annual pass for Jungle Island, Starbucks cup sleeve and expired gift card, tag from my Crocs slingback mary janes (which have become my favorite shoes), and the tags from my pink ThorMX backpack that I am totally in love with.


(Left) A little list of things that inspire me, a Hambly owl sticker (I love owls), and the invite from my friend’s baby shower (attached with washi tape). (Right) A picture of me and my favorite cousin from his birthday party in 2008, a picture of me and my dad dancing at my sister’s wedding in 1977, and a little questionnaire from the “Family” Smash pad.


I love great quotes. I have a notebook where I write all the quotes I come across that I really like. I decided to add my favorite to these two pages. On the right is an insert from the package of the Chinese joss paper. I just wrote a quote right over the image.


I have a Life Stories paper pad from My Mind’s Eye that includes all these little prompts and questionnaires that you can fill out for scrapbook pages. I cut apart the elements of one of the pages and just arranged them in here. It’s just things like my favorite food, favorite color, birthdate, quirks, etc. The title is made with foam letters from my scrapping stash.


The “GO” tag is from a piece of clothing (from Target, I think). I stuck it to the page then incorporated a little journaling about how I can’t wait to “GO” to Washington permanently. On the right are an illustration from artist Danny Brito (cut from an art show postcard) and a Studio Calico bicycle print index card, on which I wrote about how much I want to get a bicycle at some point.


The Playbill cover and ticket stub from ‘Wicked’, which I saw in 2008. (FYI, AHH-MAZING!!)


The last page and inside back cover were the same baby blue as the front. I covered the right side of the page (which also has a pocket) with another sheet of Urban Rhapsody patterned paper and a Hambly birdcage sticker. On the left I just glued on some 1”x1” pin-up girl images that I had cut out of a 2008 Gil Elvgren wall calendar (I love retro pin-ups; they epitomize femininity and sex appeal to me).


And those are all the pages I’ve done so far.


A few observations:

  • This book has 39 pages (78 if you count front and back), so even though I have completed quite a few, there are still plenty of pages left to fill.
  • The binding allows for the books to expand a bit so you can actually make them pretty nice and thick (who doesn’t love a nice, thick book filled will all kinds of awesome memories?).
  • The pages themselves are heavyweight and very good quality (just a hair thinner than cardstock), so they can hold a lot of heavier items (such as the postcards or Thor tags above) very nicely without ripping or tearing easily.
  • The outer cover is a very sturdy, heavyweight chipboard with fabric covering the spine. It should be able to withstand a lot of wear and tear, and can be altered with paper, paint, or whatever your favorite medium (I’m keeping mine as is because I like the raw chipboard look). The books are covered with a removable clear plastic cover, which I would recommend leaving on until you complete the book, just to keep the cover from getting dirty or scratched while in progress.
  • My only complaint so far is with the glue half of the SMASH sticks that come with each book. Once the glue dries it doesn’t have a lot of “hold” and a few of the items I glued with it peeled right off. I reattached them using either an adhesive runner or washi tape. The pen side of the stick is awesome, though. Fine point, felt-tip, black ink, and it’s archival quality and acid-free. I would rather they eliminate the glue portion altogether and just include a larger ink barrel.

Thankfully, I FINALLY got my SMASH order from today (although three items are still on backorder; arggg!!), so I’m looking forward to incorporating more of the SMASH elements into these books. These are great quality items – with the exception of the glue stick as mentioned above – and a lot of fun to play around with. I’m really enjoying the freeform aspect of these books.


(And, no, I’m not being paid or sponsored by K&Company to praise the SMASH collection. I just really, genuinely love these products and I am excited to be able to use them.)


Peace out, yo!


A “Smash”-ing Success! June 10, 2011

Filed under: Scrapbooking — Lulu @ 12:08 am

So all the way back in February I wrote this post where I mentioned how much I was looking forward to the release of K&Company’s SMASH books. Well, they were finally made available for online pre-orders around mid-April. Of course I had to jump on that. And, boy, am I glad I didn’t hesitate because they are currently sold out EVERYWHERE! I ordered all four books (the black and red books directly from K&Company, and the blue and pink books – plus a bunch of the accessories that come with them – from*


The cool thing about these books is that they are not intended for traditional scrapbooking. They are sort of freeform memory books. They are intended to hold random bits and pieces of ephemera, such as ticket stubs, receipts, greeting cards, etc. Basically the kind of sentimental stuff that you would collect and keep in a shoebox, but not necessarily use on a traditional scrapbook page. The difference between these books, and a regular journal or memory book, is that all the interior pages have graphics and/or images on them (and let’s be honest; I’m all about pretty paper). All four books have different themes.


(These images are from the Smash books blog.)  The black book is the Mod theme:


The red book is the Doodle theme:


The blue book is the Retro theme:


The pink book is the Pretty theme:


So, basically, they are pretty notebooks to keep your crap in. =)  For example, I have a box full of stuff I’ve been holding on to, but wasn’t sure what to do with any of it. Things like concert and movie tickets, programs from Heat and Panthers games, postcards from a museum exhibit, our expired passes from Jungle Island…  I love collecting all these things because they remind me of good times that we’ve had, but since they are all just sitting in a box on a shelf, they weren’t really serving any purpose. Now I can stick them in my Smash books, where I’m more prone to look through them and reminisce about fun memories.


I have to admit that since I received my first two books, I have had little to no interest in traditional scrapbooking. Sometimes we lose our mojo and scrapping takes a back seat to other things. I still love it, but it’s much harder to design and put together a 12” by 12” page, with photos and embellishments and journaling, than it is to glue a receipt into a little album at random and scribble a quick note about it. 


I have to confess, I just received my first two books a week and a half ago and I’ve already completed about half of the black book (I decided to focus on completing one book at a time, instead of going back and forth between them)! It really is so much fun to Smash! There’s no rhyme or reason to it; you just go with the flow, which is very freeing and enjoyable. I’ve never really gotten into art journaling, but this I can handle.


In my next post, I’ll share some images of my book pages so far and a few details.


Peace out, yo! 


* I received the order from K&Company last week; the order was placed on 5/20. I’m STILL waiting for the Stop & Scrap order which was placed almost a month prior, on 4/27/11. I don’t think I’ll be ordering from S&S again.


Birthday Wish List: 2011 Edition June 9, 2011

Filed under: Life,Miscellany — Lulu @ 4:05 pm

Although my birthday is coming up next month, this year’s list is a true “wish” list in every sense of the word. Since the boy and I are trying to save some money towards our eventual move to Washington, we agreed not to spend money on unnecessary items, including gifts. But that doesn’t mean I can’t still do some online window shopping! 😉


So let me share what I’m coveting this year…


These earrings from Nest Pretty Things on Etsy.

Colorful 14K GF Hoop Earrings


This cameo necklace from Sweet Simple on Etsy.

Black And Ivory Cameo Necklace.  Antique Silver.


These alpha stamps from Educational Insights. In upper- and lowercase letters.


The complete DVD series of HR Pufnstuf and Land of the Lost (the 70s tv show; not that atrocity with Will Ferrell). These were my absolute, most favoritest shows when I was a kid! I wasn’t into cartoons at all, but loved these series by the Krofft brothers.



Toms Shoes. I have been wanting a pair of these forever and a day, but they are kind of pricey. On the plus side, for every pair sold the company donates a pair to a needy child. So that’s pretty good. I like the classic style in black or red.


Any of these Maya Road chipboard albums. I’m finally embracing making mini-albums more than ever, and I just love the quality and variety of designs from Maya Road.

5 Ring Tab BookHome Tweet Home Chipboard AlbumCoaster Chipboard-Transportation   Mix It Up AlbumHome Word Chipboard AlbumPicket Fence Album


So that’s it for this year’s wish list. Peace out, yo!