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5 posts categorized "Inspiration"

September 26, 2013

Halloween... holla! (can middle-aged women say that?)


The Halloween decorating has begun! (Wreath courtesy of Target and spiders hot glue gunned on, courtesy of me.)

Last night, Aidan and I hit Michael's. I'm still a little fuzzy on what happened. There was a lot of limping and I came home with cheesecloth, spray paint, spray adhesive, and… wait for it—GLITTER!

My first weekend project is this bad boy:

Screen Shot 2013-09-26 at 9.38.54 AM

Next, I will be breaking out my still-in-the-box Silhouette Cameo to make several black bats to adorn my walls. Wish me luck. It's a whole new era of crafting for this simple scrapbooker.

And last but not least, I will be painting and glittering a letter 'Z'. I am afraid, but I'll try and post reports from the field. I can do this.

I cannot think of glitter without thinking of two things: 1) how much it scares me and 2) this clip from Dmitri Martin, which contains the greatest truth in the history of crafting about glitter at 2:30.

I wanted to thank everyone who posted ideas last week and shared their Pinterest boards with me.

Halloween is in the house. Yo.


Speaking of Halloween…


Today is the final full day of the Designer Digitals 3rd Quarter Sale. It's a great time to shop for upcoming holidays like Halloween, Thanksgiving and even Christmas! Save 30% storewide. Now that's a treat for sure.



September 17, 2013

Clever girl


I've made no secret of my recently developed crush on Artifact Uprising. Their credo of preserving the 'disappearing beauty of the tangible' really does hit a soft and tender spot in this print-loving designer's heart.

I recently made the most adorable 5.5-inch square book about my trip to Slovenia (read about it here). I guess it wasn't just me who thought it was adorable. My 17-year-old girl thought so, too.

Aidan designed two 5.5-inch books. One, a book of selifes; the other, a book of photos of the children she nannys for during the summer.

While that book has already been given as a gift to said children, Aidan let me share her selfie book here.


Selfie. It's just such a right now kind of word. 

Back in my day, we didn't call them selfies, you know? I think we just called them self-portraits. I know, boring!

I like to think I was a bit ahead of my time with this little number from 1986.


Still, selfies are such a part of youth culture. 

I was joking the other day and told Aidan I was going to launch a tumblr called "Middle Aged Selfies". I think there's an audience out there, don't you?


Do you have a teen with a ton of photos in need of a home? If so, consider making one of these little books

Aidan has informed me she is going to make books all year long to document her senior year.

I say, "Go for it, girl." You won't regret making these books. Not one little bit.


February 21, 2013

Instead of Project Life today, would you watch this?

I just saw a video posted on Facebook from Upworthy, a site that continually inspires me and makes me think. This video is no different. And it's amazing.

It's about bullying. And bullies. And it's a beautiful, passionate spoken word poem by Shane Koyczan.

I've thought a lot about bullies in my life. Why they do it. What goes on in their own lives to motivate them to say what they say. How is it handed down.

Or is it? Are some people just mean? (I don't believe any of us born mean, honestly.) But maybe I am naive. I like to think I'm not on this one.

I think about my own kids. When they have been teased. Or if they have been the teasers. And as Shane says in his poem, "Kids can be cruel." But do they have to be?

I want to be responsible in my own life for how I have treated (and continue to treat others). I want to teach this to my children every single day. 

Words matter so much.


Project Life will return next week.

October 22, 2012

Taking the 'crap' out of scrapbooking—a new motto for an old approach


A few years ago, I did an ad trade with the woman who runs the Skinny Taste site. At the time, I really didn't have an ad ready to go, so I decided to whip up a quick one and at the last minute, I used the phrase, "Taking the 'crap' out of scrapbooking." I wasn't sure if that would attract any new readers to my blog or not, but I thought it accurately reflected my approach to this memory keeping pastime.

I worried, initially, that it might be seen as negative by some, but then realized, no, it's actually how I approach this hobby.

How so? Well, let's define crap.

1. Crap = expectations of how you're supposed to do something. From the outset, I had to do what felt right to me creatively or this hobby wasn't going to last for the 11 years that it has thus far. Having an expected way to tell a story, or hearing how women felt they should do pages for their children never had much of an appeal for me. I always saw it as an opportunity to tell the stories I wanted to save and to feel creative in the process. And as I've learned in therapy, expectations make stuff not much fun at all.

2. Crap = keeping up with the latest trends. For me, trying to keep up with every trend (and yes, there was a time in my crafting life when I did make the effort) just didn't sit well at all. I always thought if the trend fit, then I would wear it. If not, no sleep would be lost that I keep going back to the same approach and style that made me love scrapbooking in the first place. This is more a reflection of me personally as well. I'm not the trendiest of gals out there. I just know what I like and I make it work within my loved, worn and familiar framework.

3. Crap = stuff that gets in the way of creative living. You know what I'm talking about, right? Stuff like comparing yourselves to others (her photos are SO much better than mine); or feeling like you aren't a good scrapbooking mom if you don't get the right photos at the right time. Or being so involved in the memory keeping process that you're not actually living in the moments of your life.

4. Crap = painting the rosiest picture of your life you can find. This hobby is really about telling the true stories of your life. The everyday stuff. The nitty gritty. The ups and downs and inbetweens. What your life really and truly looks like. I'm not saying you need to create a detailed layout on how your bursitis has been flaring up (but if you want to, by all means do), but I am talking about real stories. Real life. The authentic experience of being you.

5. Crap = any other obstacle that removes your personal enjoyment from this hobby. I'm not talking about time and responsibilities here. But I'm am talking about the stress of being behind (who is keeping track here?) or the idea that if you're not getting the comprehensive story of your life told (maybe because you are out there living it, right?)

So that's what I mean by crap. And it's sitting really well in my head right now. It's inspiring me. It's reminding me of everything I adore about scrapbooking.

I designed a very simple printable 3 x 4 card, perfect for you Project Lifers out there, or anyone who'd like a handy little card that reminds you of some of your own reasons for doing what we do. There are four colors to choose from.

Download CZ_CrapCard

Enjoy! Here's to removing the crap from your scrapbooking.



June 25, 2012

Monday musings


Hello there, Monday. Fancy meeting you here.

Aidan, who left on Saturday for a week-long theater camp program in Southern Minnesota, took this extreme close up while making cupcakes last week, using my new 50mm Canon Macro lens. Nice work, Zielsk!

It's going to be hella hot week in the upper Midwest. They say it could reach 100 by Wednesday. For this dyed-in-the-wool Pacific Northwest girl, temps like that make exactly zero sense to me.

Make no mistake, I will stay cool. I have central air in my 94-year-old house and I intend to use it.

Other than trying to be productive while one of my children has flown the coop, I have started trying to create a ritual in the morning of going out onto my front porch and reading something inspirational while having my morning coffee.

Yes, the workout is next on the list, followed closely by work to be done to continue earning a stay-at-home living, but I'm trying to invest a bit more into the soul side of things. I figure after doing (and continuing) therapy for two-plus years, maybe I should branch out a bit and find more food for the heart and mind.

Having recently read The Gifts of Imperfection, I feel hungry for more of the same. Reading author Brené Brown's blog led me to find a book by Susannah Conway. That book is This I Know. It arrived early last week and I've been savoring it each morning, reading a bit here and there, trying to soak it in and let it fill me up.

Photo Jun 22, 7 50 19 AM

It's made me want to head out and pick up a journal and start writing a bit more about my inner life and all of the stuff she is making me think about.

What have you been reading for inspiration? And beyond that, do you have any small and sacred rituals or spaces you create for yourself to allow time for inspiration and renewal? 

By all means, do share.