A Creative Journal Journey

“Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.”– Isabel Allende

I have been known to save things like fancy china, a new dress and even underwear “for a special occasion”…and it seems like that special occasion never comes! I was always afraid the kids would break the china plates or I’d spill something on my new dress, and who know WHAT I was thinking about the underwear!?…so when I saw the above quote on a friend’s Facebook page, I knew it was for ME. It’s a reminder to enjoy every passing moment and not wait until a future, undetermined event to come along. To MAKE today special. 

Thus, it may not seem so funny that I’ve had a blank book that Stampin’ Up! gave us at leadership LAST JANUARY to use as a creative journal, still in shrink wrap on my stamping table. So today I opened it and decorated the front in an effort to start the process of figuring out a little more WHO I am and what makes me tick when I’m crafting. And it tickled me that it turned out so….Me!

I broke out my favorite (retired) Designer Series Paper from last year’s Sale-a-Bration and went to town with ribbon, flags and this stamp/saying (From My Heart catalog pg 139) that will remind me to enjoy the passing of time, each and every moment of it.

Along with the blank book, SU! gave us a list of ideas and challenges to get us started in our creative journal journey and I’m going to be sharing them~ one every week~ with my friends on my SU! Facebook Page so that we can do this together! As with any journey, it is always sweeter with friends.

So grab a blank or old book you’ve been thinking to alter and pull out your favorite supplies and decorate the front in preparation for this fun journey…then share a picture of your own “creative journal” below before and one lucky “traveler” will win a grab bag of many of the supplies I used on my creative journal 🙂 Don’t forget to “Like” Creative Juice by Loni on Facebook to travel along with the creative challenges, too: The first one will be posted Monday, January 14 which allows you time to embellish your journal and share it here first! Can’t wait to see what you make today!

http://www.inlinkz.com/cs.php?id=229047UPDATE 1/17/13: Congratulations to Shelli S for sharing her Creative Journal on Facebook and winning the grab bag!

Musical Indulgence

Please indulge me for a few moments. I am a drama nerd. My favorite plays are musicals. And the creme de la creme of musicals is indisputably Les Miserables. So the fact that it comes out in DECEMBER as a movie that will be Absolutely. Incredible. is just a wonderful gift I can hardly wait to open! So I’ve been obsessing over it for a few days and when I found this Nick Pitera One-Man-Show, how could I not pause to pay homage? The kids introduced me to Nick a few years ago when he did both parts of Aladdin’s “A Whole New World” and we’ve been fans since then. So if you have a few minutes, pull up a chair and some popcorn:

Now, if you have been buried in the Sahara for a few months and didn’t know the movie is coming (with Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Russell Crowe, Helena Bonham Carter, Amanda Seyfried and some other EXCRUCIATINGLY talented people), then be prepared to be blown away:
Thanks for spending a few minutes with me and allowing me to share something I love!

Oh, Canada!

Finally have a few moments to share what I did with my bonus when I reached my Stampin’ Up! Milestone in March!

For months, I pondered what to do…get a new dining room set? Put it toward Baby Step #3 that we are working on? New clothes? Food storage? Finally, about July, it came to me! Why not use it to begin working on my Bucket List? And at the top of the list (since I was 11 years old and my mother brought me Anne of Green Gables) was to visit Prince Edward Island! Hello Green Gables:

So, in September, that is what I did! I took my husband and we flew into Boston, MA, rented a car and drove up through Massachusetts, Maine, New Brunswick, across the Confederation Bridge to the Gentle Island and then back through Nova Scotia and back to Boston, where we flew home. It was a dream come true!

While I wish I could journal all of it here, I am going to create a scrapbook of the trip (using My Digital Studio, of course) and transfer the wonderful journal entries Cody kept along the way, too. Meanwhile, I want to share some of the highlights with you and thank you again for helping me reach that goal! My only regret is that I didn’t lose 20 pounds and hit the tanning bed before taking any pictures 😦

Did you know that the blueberry capital of the U.S. is in Cherryville, Maine?

 On the north shore of P.E.I…warm Atlantic waters!

 In the schoolroom where Lucy Maud Montgomery attended school:

 Some of the most beautiful beaches in the world!

 World-famous COWS ice cream, yummy even on a rainy day.

The ship Hector in Nova Scotia…made me grateful for my own Pilgrim ancestors and the sacrifices they made.

Rounding out my “literary tour” was Walden Pond and the Concord, MA home of Louisa May Alcott:

 On the bridge in Concord where the Revolutionary War began:

It was a wonderful vacation (the first one we’ve been on together alone that wasn’t work-related since our honeymoon!) and we made many marvelous memories. The only downside is that my kids say that now we can’t sing “The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything” song because we *have* been to Boston in the fall! I guess it is a sacrifice we had to make 🙂

A Milestone Reached

WOW! I’m so very grateful right now…thanks to *YOU* (my dear, wonderful friends and customers!) I reached $200,000 in career sales with Stampin’ Up! this week!!! It took me about 12 years to reach the first $100K and just 7 years to exceed this milestone. And guess what? I get a $2,000 bonus!! I just love what I do 🙂

Now I can’t decide what to spend it on…a vacation with my husband? A new dining room set? A family trip? (Note that it’s a VACATION when I go with my sweetheart and a TRIP if we take the kids: A bit of wisdom my father taught me)

So THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for letting me be your creative coach and for thinking of me when you need supplies for scrapping, stamping, home decor, gifts and more. I recognize your loyalty (and God’s hands) in this great blessing and want you to know I am humbled and grateful. I wish I could send you ALL a card, but this will have to do:

{Card created by Debbie Greuser…one of the dear demonstrators in my Stitched Stampers family} 
 If you would love being a part of my stampin’ family and/or want to make a business out of sharing your creativity, you can join through March 31, 2011 for 15% off the Starter Kit AND get a Starter Kit Bonus Bundle (Color Coach, Simply Sent Card Kit and Stamp Set & Exclusive Punch!) FREE…Click Here for more information or to join today!
(P.S. My recruiting password is stampwithme)

My Fabulous Escape!

When I moved into this house in 2005, my goal that first autumn when the kids went back to school was to stay home and catch up on their scrapbook albums. Scrapbooking is therapeutic for me and my children love looking through their books and sharing them with friends and family. Alas, I have finished very few pages or books since then!

So when my friend Beth said that she was planning a casual scrapbook retreat in Salt Lake City, I invited myself and my dear friend Kelli 🙂 It was time to do something personal I wanted to do…that didn’t have anything to do with my business.

When my husband went into emergency surgery for kidney stones the day before the retreat began, I rationalized: The funeral could wait until Monday, worst case scenario. Judge me, dear reader: I *did* get him situated at home (with painkillers) 2 full hours before I left!

AND even when Kelli had to drive 4 hours home during the middle of the retreat to open her son’s mission call (he’s going to Paraguay), then drive her daughter all the way to Park City the next morning, she CAME BACK the next morning.

We worked through the wee hours of the night/morning, laughed heartily at Beth’s entertainment (she’s a master storyteller!), bared our souls to one another, ate well (Buca di Beppo and Cafe Rio along with plenty of snacks), and even managed to squeeze in a little exercise. We passed the “I-finished-a-page” crown around, shared ideas and did whatever we wanted when we wanted (which explains why we don’t have makeup or hair done…and possibly not many supporting undergarments…in many of the pictures above) Pure bliss! Thanks Beth, Kelli, Vicky, Jennifer, SaraJane, Helen & Nanette…you were just what I needed.
I finished over 50 pages and it felt so good! I’ll try to share a few in the next week or so (when I’m not working).
P.S. Husband survived and even had Superbowl dinner ready when I came home! He’s a keeper 🙂
P.P.S. Will announce Blog Chocolate Winner soon!

Musings of a 43 Year Old

I turned 43 two weeks ago and it has caused for some reflection. Surprisingly, I LIKE THIS AGE! Today I’m sharing some of the things learned along the journey to this point. I invite you to share your life lessons in the comments, or tell me what you liked most!:
  1. Eat to Live, don’t live to eat (thanks, Anita Refroe for the musical reminder)
  2. Desserts are an exception to #1
  3. Don’t get attached to a house or “stuff”~ Get attached to people. 
  4. Friends are the only thing worth keeping. Everything else is yard sale fodder.
  5. A new rubber spatula is a better gift than diamond earrings.
  6. I don’t worry about what my behind looks like…I can’t see it, so it doesn’t bother me.
  7. …but NOBODY over 24 (or 120 pounds) should EVER wear spandex in public!
  8. You always find things in the last place you look (because who would keep looking after you’ve found it?)
  9. In my mind, I stopped aging at 19, but my body tells me we’ve traveled a few miles since then
  10. and I may need to see if Miracle Ear can help me hear what you just said.
  11.  I’m learning to say NO and not feel guilty.
  12. My kids are actually fun to hang out with…
  13. So are my parents!
  14. Laughter is the best medicine, but Tylenol P.M. runs a close second.
  15. I {heart} coming home to a clean house, scrubbed toilet and kitchen sink…
  16. That really says “I love you” to me!
  17. …but a *little* clutter is a sign that “Life Happens Here” and I *can* let it go.
  18. There is a definite line between clutter and filth. 
  19. Sitting on a porch swing with the one you love in silence is a great date.
  20. Roller coasters are still my favorite, and I’m grateful I to have a strong stomach.
  21. Be firm in your standards but never extreme in your opinions.
  22. There are more good people in the world. It’s just easier to be annoyed at the dorks.
  23. One person can make a difference.
  24. Clean sheets are underrated.
  25. My favorite chore is to fold clean laundry!
  26. New cars are overrated. As my wise father says, “Cars are just a bucket of bolts.”
  27. Having said that, you *should* vacuum out your car occasionally.
  28. I used to be a night owl, but have turned a 180 (as only owls can do) to find mornings are truly my favorite time of day. I am full of hope at dawn!
  29. Chickens make the best pets.
  30. Most people need to learn how to use an iron.
  31. Watching your children suffer the consequence of their choices is really, really hard.
  32. Letting them do it helps them grow. 
  33. Mothers really do know best, but they can’t tell their kids that. 
  34. Keeping my mouth shut is a life skill/parenting technique I wish I had learned earlier.
  35. Cold cereal can be eaten at any meal
  36. …and comes in handy when mom is reading a good book and is too engrossed to cook.
  37. Family dinner is important and something I need to work on.
  38. Together is a great place to be.
  39. Rubber Stamping is cheaper than therapy!
  40. Photos are better enjoyed in a scrapbook that in a box or on a computer.
  41. Listen to that still, small voice
  42. Forgiveness feels good.
  43. Mistakes Happen. The Atonement Helps.

Happy Stampin’ New Year!

Happy Stampin’ Up! New Year!
July 1st marked the first day of the NEW 
2010-2011 Idea Book & Catalog:
How can you get your own catalog? Let’s count the ways:
  1. HOST A WORKSHOP (Free catalog and lots of free stuff!)
  2. Join my Stampin’ Club (Free catalog and lots of free stuff on your month to be hostess!)
  3. Purchase one for $12 (includes shipping to you)~send paypal payment to loni@sfcn.org and include your mailing address!
And here’s a little secret about me: I’m hoping to earn the Incentive Trip from Stampin’ Up! this year so I can take my family here:
When you place an order, host a workshop or become a demonstrator, you help me get one step closer~THANK YOU!

    28 Days of February

    What I did in February (in no particular order):

    1. Went (snow) tubing at Soldier Hollow with JDRF
    2. Received See’s Candy from my Valentine 🙂
    3. Held 3 Stampin’ Up! workshops and 1 Class
    4. Ironed 37 shirts
    5. Attended niece Emery’s baptism
    6. Hosted Ward Valentine Party
    7. Taught the Relief Society a Primary Song
    8. Cleaned the church every Monday 
    9. …and Saturday (it was our turn)
    10. Attended “Killer Uno” Party with friends from Israel
    11. Sewed my first rag purse (using the Big Shot!)
    12. Date to SPARK with Mr. Spendlove
    13. Attended Uncle Bill’s funeral
    14. Watched 10 nights of the Winter Olympics
    15. Read the Pearl of Great Price
    16. Vacuumed my bedroom (see #20)
    17. Worked 50 hours at Deseret Book
    18. Ate dinner with Chris and Kristin
    19. Went clothes shopping with 2 teenage boys
    20. Found my missing glasses!
    21. Cleaned off my desk…
    22. Twice!
    23. Played too many games of Wordsplay
    24. Changed sides of the bed
    25. Had a cavity filled (possibly related to #2)
    26. Sent 7 hand-stamped Birthday cards
    27. Lost 4 pounds
    28. Came out in the black for the budget!