Join The 'Pen Pals' Challenge ...
How you interpret the challenge is up to you, we will mostly create scrapbook pages - but feel free just to journal/blog post ...or maybe adapt the challenge to your art journals, cards & altered art.
Leave a comment on the challenge post with a link to your blog or gallery where we can find your work ... & if you'd like to be considered for the 'Pen Pal of the Week!' Guest Design Spot, be sure to e-mail your entry too!
Sunday, 31 August 2008
I really enjoyed Colette's challenge ... sometimes it is good to think a bit deeper about why we love the people that are special to us ... & right now was a good time for me to take stock and think! Although my page was all about my li'l one, I did get to thinking about the other special people in my life, what they mean to me & why ... I guess I have a lot to thank Colette for!
So before I get to the point - I just wanted to say (& I speak for Colette here too I think ... only with a completely different accent! LOL) that we think each and every one of your entries are amazing ... & you are all winners in our hearts!
I love Ruth's humour when thinking about her husband; My mum's thoughts about my own li'l guy; Nancy's page, which says something about both her own feelings & Bella's toward 'Nana'; Jodi's thoughts on her teenage guy ... & Jing Jing's page which didn't quite make it to the blog.
But the really tough call was between Jan's awesome page about Seth: fabulous photo, great layout & a li'l touch of humour in the journaling and Chantele's page, with it's slightly vintage feel & he said/she said journaling.
I have to say, it was the he said/she said that got me ... The way that in just a few short sentences I feel the love that this couple share ... From the lines when their thoughts are different, to the ones where there thoughts come together & reflect each other - I love this & it is surely the page I'd want in my album to look back on in 30 years. It was a tough decision but Chantele is our newest Pen Pal Of The Week & will be joining us for a guest spot on Challenge #5.
Thank you all so much for joining in with us so far ... we hope you'll continue to play along! And if you live in the UK ... c'mon guys! You're letting the side down! LOL
Check out Challenge #3 ... it's a goodie! & if you fancy a guest spot as our next Pen Pal, be sure to e-mail your entries, so we can put them on the blog for all to see!
Friday, 29 August 2008
Here's what Jodi had to say:
I am quite honored that you and Colette have chosen my page!
I didn't have a chipboard or ghost shape star the right size so I cut one from a milk jug! It was a little too plain so I put bold pattern paper on the back of it! I scanned my juice label, receipt, and jammie pants and added them to the "collection" of photos!
The journaling reads:
While browsing for some inspiration, I came across a magazine call
requesting lo's about how numbers play a role in your life. I instantly
thought "hhmm, not many in my boring life!" A few hours later, on my way
to buy groceries -again- I started to realize how numbers really do add up
to complete my life. This really was fun to work on!! Just to name a few:
today is 8-4-08
I am 40
my life is blessed with 3 great guys
I have 8 daycare kids
my house number is 1179
we drink 5 gallons of milk each week
there are about 60 monkeys on my favorite jammie pants!
I drink 8 glasses of water a day
my alarm goes off at 5:15
I love 80's classic rock
I run at least 6 loads of dishes a week
I spend over $200 for groceries and supplies
I walk 60 minutes most everyday
I wash at least 10 loads of laundry
I drink 8oz of grapefruit juice every morning
I have been married to my best friend for 11 years
Nearly 100 toys "decorate" my livingroom floor!
gas is an outrageous $3.67
I wash 80 icky fingers 3x a day
I prepare 23+ meals/snacks a week
I'm lucky if I get 7 hours of sleep
I have 18 shoes by my front door
Umpteen hugs a day make it all worth while!
So this week's challenge is all about the math: Make numbers the focus of your journaling.
Thank you so much Jodi, for sharing your work with us & bringing this great challenge to Pen Pals. I love the play on words in your title and the numbers that you have chosen to give us an insight into your daily life (even if gas is so much cheaper in the US! LOL) Great tip for the recycled star too!!
Have you got what it takes to be our next Pen Pal of the Week? Send your entries in (be sure to copy your journaling in to your e-mail too) and you could be joining us for Challenge #6 on this very blog! You don't have to be a scrapbooker - we are all about the words here - maybe you'd like to enter a card, altered item, blog post, journaling sample or a poem. So long as you use our 'numbers' theme, we'd love to hear from you. This challenge will end on September 11 2008 at midnight BST, so you have two whole weeks!
We'll be back tomorrow with another Pen Pal of the Week: Challenge #2's winner, who will be joining us for Challenge #5.
Thursday, 28 August 2008
Ruth has also opted for computer generated journaling strips on this layout celebrating her husband. The journaling reads:
Reasons Why I Love You
You make me happy
You're a nice shape to cuddle
We're good together
You make me complete
You love me
You make me laugh
You give me strength
We belong together
You know me so well
You're my husband
You drive me nuts!!!!
You tell it like it is
You're an annoying little g*t!
You respect me
You move before you fart on me!
Hmmmm ... gotta love that Essex-Girl humour! LOL. Thanks for sharing with us Ruth ... I love the mix of fonts used here & how they complement the words you have chosen.
There's still time to join in challenge #2 ... so e-mail your entry in & you could be chosen as our next pen pal of the week!
Wednesday, 27 August 2008
So you might recognise the papers, you might recognise the design ... & you might recognise the li'l lad too - yup! that's my baby there in a scraplifted layout - & in case you didn't work it out yet, Lynne is my mum (or mom if you're reading this in American! LOL) But we are all about the journaling here - so you don't have to be the next big designer to join in (in fact, you could write a blog post on the topic ... or just e-mail your journaling to us - the projects are an optional extra!!)
Anyway, back to mum's page! The journaling is very subtle & written in red along the bottom of the page. It reads:
I love the things we do together. I love the songs we sing and games we play. I love your smiles and jokes. I love your hugs and kisses. We love you.
You still have about 18 hours to join in this challenge ... go on, you know you want to!
Tuesday, 26 August 2008
Finally, here is my take on Colette's challenge. The picture was taken for a Her Space: My Space photo challenge a looooong time ago & seemed just perfect for this theme too! I haven't used journaling strips for a li'l while now, so I've shamelessly copied that from Colette! LOL
In my journaling I've used a doodled heart for 'love' but as I'm not a techie, I can't work out how to reproduce that here ...
so the journaling reads:
I love the way you turn everything into one of your songs
I love how you say you love me - a million times a day
I love how you giggle when you are pretending to be invisible
I love the smell of your freshly washed hair
I love your smile
I love that you are my very own sweet boy!
You still have a couple of days to send your entry in and join us as pen pal of the week on a later challenge!
Sunday, 24 August 2008
Thanks for sharing with us Chantele - I love the 'he said/she said' journaling style - & I bet you will look back fondly on these words well into the future. I love the style of your page too - it won't look dated in years to come!
Have you entered your project or journaling sample yet? Check out the details here and maybe you could be our next Pen Pal of the Week!
I will be back with my page ... but I haven't found my camera leads yet!! AAAAAAaaargggh!
Saturday, 23 August 2008
Ohhhh! I have to admit being a bit of a secret Nancy fan (ooops! not a secret anymore. LOL). And I love this page too! From the embellies in 3s to the cute li'l row of buttons & pearly details - I'm gonna design like this when (if!) I grow up!! The journaling is short & to the point - I love that!
Thanks for sharing with us Nancy!!
There are more entries to be posted ... check back tomorrow for the next one. And my own page? Just as soon as I find my missing camera leads!
I love this self-portrait…taken shortly before you turned fourteen. You are an amazing young man! You have such an easy going, good natured spirit about you. You have great character and such a fun, silly sense of humor. When you smile, the world around you lights up, and your giggles can chase away the greatest of storms! Your drive and determination are a great strength that will help you to achieve so much in life. To say that you are hard working , is a vast understatement! I love the fact that you are confident in who you are. You don’t let others change you, or let them determine who you are. As you have entered one of the toughest stages in life, know that I believe in you, I am proud of you, and that I’ll love you forever.
Pop back later to see another entry for Challenge #2 ... & if you haven't submitted yours yet, don't forget you have until Thursday. E-mail me a picture of your project ... & don't forget to send in the journaling too ... go on, you know you want to!
Friday, 22 August 2008
In my defence, some unforeseen family stuff has come up & turned everything upside down ... nothing life threatening & maybe I'll tell y'all about it sometime (or maybe I'll base a future challenge on it! LOL) So this week has been a bit shaky.
Colette suggested some time ago that maybe we should have a fortnightly challenge ... & now I have (finally) admitted that I can't do it all ... that's what we are going to do! So Challenge #2 will end NEXT Thursday - August 28 ... & Challenge #3, brought to us by a special guest designer, will go live Friday August 29.
Check the blog later this evening for more Challenge #2 entries ... & my own take on the challenge too!
Wednesday, 20 August 2008
This spectacular page was submitted by Jan! And, it's easy to see why she titled this one Blue Eyes! WOW! And, there's nothing like a touch of Mississippi humor to make it extra special.
I love your eyes
I love your energy
I love your smile
I love your big heart
I love your love of nature
I love your kindness
I love your blue mustache
Thanks, Jan! Now how about the rest of you? Have you taken the challenge yet? Come on! You know you want to!
Tuesday, 19 August 2008
It was fun to learn that Ruth worried unnecessarily about turning 30 and that Timi has gained some wisdom beyond her 21 years. Lynnise surprised us with her tale of intrique and romance at 19. Nancy shared her deepest dreams of becoming a mom at 33 while Jan proved that it could be equally as fulfilling at 17. Vanessa revealed inner strength even in the face of such terrible loss in her 20's. And, we all were moved by Aubree's moving description of how life changed in an instant when she was 28.
Friday, 15 August 2008
28 years old and I am living a dream. I am married to a wonderful man, have a job that I love, and am seven months pregnant with my first child. We live in a quiet suburban neighborhood, we live in a brand new house, we drive nice cars, we are truly living the American Dream. I love my life. I am on bed rest for pre-term labor but my friends have been very supportive, in and out, visiting and keeping me busy. While I am slightly concerned about my unborn son, I have faith that he will be fine. I enjoy catching up on the latest Hollywood Gossip and television shows, reading books I have been meaning to read for ages, laying in the hammock in the back yard, enjoying the sunshine. That was September 10, 2001. I had no idea that tomorrow my life and every American's life would change forever.
September 11, 2001, 8:46am, I awoke to the sound of the phone ringing...groggily I answer, 'hello?'. It is my husband, 'you need to get up and turn on the tv, it might be the end of the world.' I don't understand what he is talking about. I lazily roll over, hit the remote, and watch as my life, my outlook on life, and the world change forever. I watch as this tragedy unfolds and this pilot's 'mistake' is determined to be a terrorist plot against our nation. I am stunned, yet the gravity of the situation has yet to sink in. I attempt to go about my daily routine but find that there is nothing on tv except news coverage and I am unable to concentrate on my reading. I do manage to make a few calls to verify that my friends in New York are fine. At roughly 9:15pm that same evening, my telephone rings. It is a classmate of mine from Wellesley. She is in tears and clearly inconsolable....'are you ok?' I ask. 'No, Rahma was on the first plane.' Rahma, her husband, and her unborn baby, due only days after mine were on the first plane that hit the twin tower. Not until this moment did I break down. I question everything. How could I bring a child into this world? A world where people needlessly murder innocents all in the name of 'Allah'. A world where people are trained to kill Americans solely because they are American.
I now live in a constant state of questioning and in a sense, a constant state of fear. I am afraid of flying. I will only get on a plane if either my whole family goes or if my husband is staying behind with some of my children. I will not risk that my children are left without a living parent. I panic if I am caught in rush hour traffic on a bridge. What if someone ahead of me has a bomb in their car and is prepared to take his own life to kill hundreds. I think about where we would run if the terrorist hit even closer to home ... what is the best route to Canada, Wyoming, my hometown even...anyplace far away from the city. I grieve for my friend and her loss of experiencing her child, those first smiles, first words, first steps. I grieve for my own children knowing that they will never live in a world that is safe, where people treat each other as brothers and have an inherent sense of trust in each other....before it was forever changed.
Wow! This is powerful stuff. I remember the UK news being full of this tragedy too. I first heard about it while out shopping for a wedding dress with my MIL. For me, it was a distant event in part of the world that seemed so far away ... long before I 'knew' anyone there. But now you guys don't seem so far away and your account, Aubree, seems so real and ongoing ... not a memory of a single event but a tale of the impact that lives on ... always.
So, I'd like to round up this first challenge by saying:
Thank you all sooooo much for playing along with us. Colette and I have really enjoyed sharing in your stories and hope that you will all keep on joining in. The new challenge (#2) will be posted in just a few hours and we'll be announcing this week's winner on Saturday! If you have just missed the deadline but have your entry finished ... send it in anyway, I'll be checking e-mail for stragglers in the morning!
Wednesday, 13 August 2008
Here's the link!
Now this isn't Vanessa's usual thing - but I have to agree, it is definitely cute! LOL. Thanks soooo much for sharing this with us. It's always hard to lose someone we care about ... but if you can turn that into a positive learning experience and pledge (at such a young age! LOL) to make each day have purpose ... then your life, and those around you, must surely be richer for it. Thank you for reminding us of that in such an eloquent (but fun!) way.
You still have until midnight tomorrow to send in your entry!! What are you waiting for?????
Here's the deets ...
Tuesday, 12 August 2008
When I first saw your face, I knew this was my destiny. You saved me. I don't know what I would have become without you. I love being a mom. The problem is, you all grow up too fast. Sometimes I wish you were a baby again.
Thank you so much, Jan, for sharing this beautiful page and your touching story with us.
Keep 'em coming ladies! It's just so much fun to see everyone's work!
There's a few days left for this challenge. If you've completed an entry just email it to us or post us a link to your blog. And, don't forget to share the journaling! We're all about the words here!
Saturday, 9 August 2008
Thanks for sharing with us Lynnise ... We will look forward to reading all about the next 19 years!!
Have you taken the challenge yet??
To enter: Send your entry, with the journaling in the body of your e-mail for a chance to win a 'wordy' prize & to become our very first 'Pen Pal of the Week' Check out all the details here
Have you ever gone through a period in your life when you have no idea what is happening around you or to you, when everything is new & incomprehensible?
That was me at the age of 17, the summer before I entered college. This picture, from appearance, is as if I am already well integrated into the middle class Minnesotan American life: sitting in a boat, on a lake!
What you can’t tell from the picture was that I had only arrived in the U.S a month before the picture was taken . While I already spoke English like an American native with very little accent, I had absolutely no idea or background in American life or culture. It would be years before my understanding of America catches up with my mastery of the language it speaks.
So there I was, in America! After a tumultuous and nearly capsized run at obtaining a student visa, I had arrived! It was scary to leave my parents to strike out on my own, but I was young and felt invincible. It would be four years before I would see them again, and two years before I even spoke to them on the phone! However, I was in good hands, both in God’s, and in the dear people who chose to take care of me during my college years, the Andersons’.
So there I was, in the eye of the storm, and totally oblivious. The one thing I was acutely aware of was the burden of my responsibility. Now that I was finally in the U.S. and my first year of college tuition paid for, it was up to me to excel in school. To do anything less than extremely well would mean failure and dishonor to my parents’ sacrifices. At this point, I would not know how much they would continue to sacrifice and suffer for the next four years to sustain the dream of establishing me in the American society. My future was completely uncertain and the only thing I knew to do was to study well and study hard. Everything else was not up to me, I had to utterly rely on God, faith and circumstances that He would provide.
So there I was at the edge of adulthood, only I was surrounded by all new things, sometimes incomprehensible things. After all, was I not on a boat, in the country of great wealth, with streets paved with gold? Which part of a dream was that for a girl who had loved in China and Africa? I would soon find out how much I did not fit in from what clothes I wore to study habits. I would soon enter a period of serious identity crisis in a strange world with foreign people who all thought I was born and raised in Minnesota.
At 17, my life in the U.S. was about to take flight, only I had no idea what that would be like.
Thank you so much for sharing with us Jing Jing ... we are so pleased that you have decided to join us on our new venture - glad to have you along for the ride!
Have you started on your entries yet?
This challenge runs until August 14th (midnight BST)
To enter: Send your entry, with the journaling in the body of your e-mail for a chance to win a 'wordy' prize & to become our very first 'Pen Pal of the Week' Check out all the details here
Friday, 8 August 2008
Things I learned before I turned 21...
The joys and pains of first love
The true meaning of brotherhood and sisterhood
The hospitality of Filipinos
The magic of first kiss
The real essence of friendship
That families are not perfect
The real situation in the countrysides
That love always finds a way
That I'm not always the best
If you'd like to enter this challenge, e-mail your submission or leave us a link to your blog post ... or do both!! Don't forget to show us your journaling too (in the body of an e-mail would be great) - we are all about the words here! LOL.
Thanks for sharing with us Ruth!
If you'd like to enter this challenge, e-mail your submission or leave us a link to your blog post ... or do both!! Don't forget to show us your journaling too - we are all about the words here! LOL
Sunday, 3 August 2008
My journaling reads:
Easily the worst years of my life, I don't look back on my early twenties with any nostalgia. I struggled to be a mother of two babies born a year apart ... one with a life threatening genetic disease, while trying to grow up myself. Living in a strange city without friends or family while Craig worked tirelessly to establish himself in business, I was often lonely and enticed by the social changes and fads of the 70's. It was a very unhappy time of my life and I look back with no desire to re-live it.
I loved working with these new BoBunny papers from the Beautiful Life collection that was released at CHA recently. And, I threw in some bits of the Pink Paislee Office Lingo die cuts just for fun! Don't you just love the way the clear embossed stamped lettering adds texture to the background? Stack on some buttons, use black Stickles for the dotty circles, distress and ink the edges ... and by george, I think we've got it!
Now it's your turn. I can't wait to see what age you choose to journal about! Who knows? You might even choose to pick an age that you haven't even seen yet! And, don't forget ... it' doesn't HAVE to be a scrapbook page. It can be a blog post, a card, an altered item ... even bits of thoughts written in your journal. Just get those thoughts and feelings down somewhere and share them with us! Beverley has generously gathered together some fab goodies that will go to some lucky challenger!
Friday, 1 August 2008
So my challenge to you is:
Pick an age and journal about what were/are the best bits about it.
You might think it was 18 ... old enough to drink alcohol, drive a car, get married (here in the UK at least) or maybe 50 (it's the new 40, I'm told!) Whatever age you pick, hook us up in the comments so we can come visit ... & if you'd like the chance to join us as our 'Pen Pal Of The Week', be sure to e-mail your entry too!
It's up to you whether you make your entry a blog post, layout, card, altered art or part of an art journal - just so long as you commit those words to paper, we want to know about it!
And as this is our very first challenge, we are holding it open until August 14th ... so you have two whole weeks!!!
So here's my take: The journaling reads ...They say your 40s are the best years & as I approach my 40th birthday, I do so with enthusiasm. The excitement has been building online thru my '40 Days' celebration & I know that, whatever is yet to come I'll get to share those years with a whole heap of special friends. That's something worth celebrating.
And here's a li'l close up showing the journal tag ... Cheated a bit here - the words are Colette's, not mine, from the first '40 Day' Event blog comments. It reads:
There's huge congrat's looming on your horizon, girl! I can tell you from experience ... the FORTIES ARE FABULOUS! The BEST years of your life! You look your best in your 40's .. you feel your best .. you have confidence, you have wisdom, and you have enough energy to enjoy everything that life has to offer! If I could offer any suggestions for what to do when you hit 40 ... my advice would be ENJOY IT! Bathe in the glow that will surround you ... confident and beautiful!
.... and drink a glass of wine everyday!! hahahahaha
Colette & I will choose & announce a winner from all our entries on August 16th ... yup! weekends are for winners! As well as joining us as the first 'Pen Pal of the Week', our winner will receive this fab (well I like it!) Embellishment Kit courtesy of my store, Crop Til You Drop. Aptly named 'Word Up', it's full of scrummy word embellishments, alphas, printed ribbons & a whole bunch of hand stamped journaling spots. Check it out: