Saturday, May 16, 2015

#myselfiescrapbook | final blog hop

It's kind of surreal to think that today, we are all sharing our finished #myselfiescrapbook albums. This project has been such a fun break from my "norm" and while I'm excited for some extra time to devote to my weekly album, I've enjoyed this project, process and community so much.

These pages cover the last two weeks of the project. You can see my first week of pages here, and my second weeks of pages here. All together, my mini-album contains nineteen front and back pages, as well as five front and back inserts.

I plan on putting it back into my wooden album covers but need to find larger rings -- this mini-album ended up being chunkier than I expected. Not that I'm complaining.

Details: all inserts created with the Photo Fuse Tool
Details: Flair from Studio Calico, "Currently" and "Eating" stamps from Kellie Stamps
Details: Alpha and Number Stamps from Kellie Stamps
Details: Wooden flag from Studio Calico, "The Little Things" from Color Cast Designs
Details: AM/PM stamp and asterisk stickers from Studio Calico
Details: #myoilylife stamp custom designed by Kellie Stamps
Details: + paper from the Teal Lime Press (download here), flair from Love A Flair, "Currently" and "Reading" stamps from Kellie Stamps
Details: "Here" acrylic and "In My Cup" veneer from Color Cast Designs, Midnight Edition cards cut to 2x2, Project Life Date Stamp
Details: "Details" frame from Color Cast Designs
Details: "me today" veneer from Color Cast Designs, "Same Chic" card from Big City Quiet Designs (download here)

The Blog Hop

Julie | Kellie | Mandy | Jessica | Jodie

Share Your Pages

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Thrive | Ways to Help

Two weeks from today, I will be undergoing my third neurosurgery in less than ten months and I could use your help.

In 2015, I chose "thrive" as my intention for the year as 2014 had been about survival. When I set that intention, I didn't realize the challenges I would be facing this year.

In July of 2014, I underwent ten hours of brain and spine surgery to correct a congenital condition called Chiari Malformation. While the surgery was not intended as a cure for this incurable disease, we did not expect that I would get worse rather than better, nor that my medical bills would exceed $50,000.

On April 17th, I learned that the surgery to my spine stretched my tethered spinal cord, causing irreversible damage to the nerves that control my bladder, and my legs. This past weekend, I flew to New York for a second opinion at Weill-Cornell, one of the world's top neurosurgery hospitals and my diganosis was independently confirmed.

On May 19th, I am scheduled to undergo surgery in New York, to release my tethered cord. The surgery is not designed to improve the symptoms I live with daily, like unrelenting leg pain, but to ensure that I am able to walk in the future. As a 23 year old graduate student, I do not have the resources I need to make this surgery happen and so, my brilliant and talented friends have rallied together to help me.

How You Can Help

Purchase a tee shirt. These American Apparel tees feature script from Jodie of Polka Dot Creative and can be shipped anywhere in the world. Shirts are available in styles for men, women and children, in a variety of colors. Each shirt features a message of awareness on the back, as well. Womens tees purchased before Friday May 8th should arrive prior to my surgery date of May 19th for U.S. customers. 

Purchase a 'thrive' stamp from Kellie Stamps. Kellie Winnell of Kellie Stamps has created a wooden mounted rubber stamp featuring the beautiful script of Jodie, as well. All proceeds from the sale of the stamp will benefit my surgery.

Purchase a 'thrive' wooden veneer from Color Cast Designs. Featuring the same script, these buttons measure 1.5" and are great for scrapbooking, Project Life, or your planner. Use "Thrive" at checkout and receive a credit toward the shipping of your entire order.

Purchase a digital product from the Thrive Etsy Store which features 8x10 and 5x7 print options, as well as a variety of Project Life products. Every cent of each digital purchase goes directly to my surgery costs and you will receive an instant download for the file of your choice. Contributors include Laurel Lane Designs, Artful Leigh Creative, Alex Hunter Designs and Cindy Backstrom.

Purchase an 8x10 fine art print of the New York City Skyline by Olya Schmidt of Paint Paper Studio. Olya created this painting as a tribute to the city where I will be having surgery. The watercolor also features shades of purple, the awareness color for chiari malformation. Her painting is reproduced as a press print on fine art paper. 

Purchase from Stella & Dot and 25% of every sale will be donated.

Have Questions?

If you have questions about products or fundraisers, or if you are interested in collaborating to further help with my surgery costs, please do not hesitate to contact me by email at and I will get back to you as promptly as possible.

Monday, May 4, 2015

#myselfiescrapbook | love yourself

It's hard to believe that this week marks our last #myselfiescrapbook prompt. Next week, I will share tips on wrapping up your album and adding additional journaling and on the 15th, we will have a final blog hop to share finalized albums.We also look forward to having a special guest post from one of the project's participants between now and then. It's never too late to join us so please feel free to still hop in - this project is a great one to do at any time and I certainly plan to repeat it.

This week's prompt is brought to use by Jodie of Polka Dot Creative. Jodie is just the sweetest of souls and I met her through her incredible brush script work when I had my first surgery. She recently scripted the word "thrive" for a fundraiser t-shirt that nearly 200 people have ordered. Crazy, no? She has the biggest heart and I couldn't adore her more. You can find Jodie on her blog here.

 The Prompt 

I have to be truly honest with you all. I absolutely HATE the selfie. Hate it! I do that little flip-the-screen mode thing on my phone and instantly…well…feel confronted. I make the UGH sound. I see myself and I think UGH I look so tired or UGH I look so rushed or UGH I look so pale and washed out. But the thing is that UGH is EXACTLY how I am RIGHT NOW. I’m tired. I’m rushed. And yes, I look pale and washed out. And there are fabulous, everyday reasons for all of these.

So! Even though I HATE the selfie I have listened to the #myselfiescrapbook creator Jennifer Lake, who I may add is tackling a major life challenge of her own and taken on the challenge of embracing ‘me’. I’ve taken on the challenge of ‘getting more of ‘me’ into the projects I create for ‘us’. Yes I take the photos. Yes I gringe. But yes, I’m doing it.

For this weeks challenge all I ask of you is just simply to love yourself. Use the freebie brush script of mine below (that was part of my #the100dayproject. I’m up to day 25. This was day 15). Print it out, use it and LOVE YOURSELF.

The Pages

Below are a few pages from my own #myselfiescrapbook that span, sporadically, over the last couple of weeks. I’ve continued to keep the supplies and aesthetics simple. I used the TODAY stamp set from Kellie Stamps that feature my script, my trusty black felt Artline 0.4 pen, and embellishments from the fab A Beautiful Mess Messy Kit.†

The Download

The #myselfiescrapbook project is a month-long class created by Jennifer Lake and Julie Gagen. Full of prompts, free file downloads, and inspiration from contributors, the class is about self-love and documenting you as part of your family's story. To join in making your own mini-album, check out all of the #myselfiescrapbook posts.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

#myselfiescrapbook | how i thrive

This week, we had planned to share the fourth theme of the #myselfiescrapbook project. Then, I dropped the ball.

On the 17th, I learned that I would need a third neurosurgery in ten months and despite expecting the news, my plans for the remainder of the busy month started to slip. Instead of writing final papers, I was busy looking for a second opinion surgeon. Instead of studying, I was playing with Google's flight analyzer, trying to find a cheap, last minute flight to New York City. (Turns out that mid-week overnight last-minute flights for reasonable prices don't really exist.)

To make it up to you all - we're replacing this week's prompt and link up with a bit of game.

As you saw in yesterday's post, and likely on Instagram, I am funding my surgery with a campaign based on my word for this year - thrive. I plan to share more about this soon but for now, I want to present you with a challenge with this theme in mind.

This week, share a selfie - or selfies - showing how you thrive.

When you share, include your story along with the hashtags #myselfiescrapbook and #seehowithrive. This weekend, I will share a collage of the inspiring images in place of our typical blog hop. And, to make things even more fun? I will be sending happy mail to several participants as a thank you for participating in the project and for sharing your story.

And don't worry - on Monday, I will be on a flight back from New York City and the project will resume with a traditional prompt post from Jodie of Polka Dot Creative.