Month: May 2012

{fresh seeds} Olive Tree

“Hope is a good thing.  Maybe the best of things.  And no good thing ever dies.”

That’s one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite films, The Shawshank Redemption which is an adaptation of one of the greatest pieces of storytelling ever penned (in my humble opinion) Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King.  

I think I’m so drawn to this story because of it’s strong and impactful theme of Hope.  It’s one that resonates with me as it echoes one of my personal truths and strongest held beliefs: Hope is the single greatest asset a person can have.

There is a special kind of power in hope. The kind of quiet, steady, power that lives in perseverance, in faithfulness, in sunny days after cloudy ones, and in joyfulness.

And it’s the stories of hope, springing fresh that have inspired Olive Tree. Olive Tree was first made available to subscribers of the My Scrapbook Art newsletter during my feature there in March 2012 and I’ve now I’ve revamped it a bit and brought it home to The Lilypad.

Meet Olive Tree:

Olive Tree is a full digital kit inspired by these stories of fresh hope and finding joys and it is my hope that it will inspire you to document your own story of hopefulness, of wishing, or of joy. Whether you are documenting these days and stories for your child(ren) or for yourself (and please do!), Olive Tree features hand-crafted crafty goodness with a heart for the hopeful story. And it is versatile enough to help you tell any story, for any age and any gender.

I just love the fabulous inspiration created with Olive Tree.  The pages created are

And Olive Tree  is available in my shoppe for 50% off as part of The Lilypad’s Something Old, Something New this week!  Which means you can snag it for 50% off today — Wednesday 30 May — only.

As always I looove to see your stories and art too, so please feel free to share with me anytime.  Really!  Just shoot me a mail or share them on my facebook page.  And if you haven’t signed up the newsletter yet you may want to do that so you can be the first to hear the latest news and get the latest exclusive savings.

Hope you are having a beautiful week!


Putting Pen to Paper: The Stuff, Documented {Day Eleven}

When you think “Story Lives Here” what do you think of?

Do your thoughts land on events?  On people and relationships?  On moments?  On everyday happenings?

I confess this is my usual tendency and it’s why most of my scrapbook pages are filled with photos and stories of my daughter, husband and the moments we share together.  I have deep love for scrapping moments.  And personality and character.   You know, People Things.

This month’s Putting Pen to Paper prompts ask us to consider the Story from a different perspective as we consider The Things, The Stuff that we interact with, depend upon, enjoy, and otherwise make use of in our days.  This Stuff…These Things…they are “artifacts” of our story.  They often reveal a lot about who we are at any moment and what we care about or how we spend our time.  And scrapping the story of our artifacts can provide a fun and fresh glimpse into our lives and relationships with our loved ones.

So as we approach these prompts about our nouns, our stuff…keep your eyes open in a fresh way and pay attention to what surrounds you as you walk through your day.  Sometimes these artifacts are symbols of something you value, or symbols of the nature of a relationship or season in your life.  Sometimes scrapping The Stuff can simply be fun and easy going, even silly.  But together with our other stories and pages it weaves a beautiful portrait of our lives.

So let’s have a little fun considering our Artifacts and get started with the first prompt for this month (which is Day Eleven in the Putting Pen to Paper series).  Here is today’s prompt:


There are so many avenues you could take with this prompt.

You could take photos of the things “left behind” at the end of the day.  A kind of “Kids Were Here” documentation wherein you are capturing the *evidence* of what happened in your day without actually photographing it as it happens.  Think: shoes or puzzle pieces strewn on the ground, chalk left on the sidewalk, flour on the counter, notes on your desk…any Things that reveal what happened in your day — the evidence.

When I was writing this prompt I was having fun taking photos with my phone and preserving them in Instagram as part of my Time Capsule project.  And on this day I had decided to snap photos of various “things” in my life that day.  I called it Day Described in Nouns.  It was a fun exercise for documenting the everyday and it inspired my thinking of all the ways Things appear in our Daily Stories.  You could take this approach.  It’s like a Photo Walk as you walk through your day.

You could document the Things that define a loved one’s personality.  Or a current favorite.  Or a pet peeve.  Or something you cherish.  Or, or, or…let your creativity guide you as you explore the possibilities of revealing and sharing your story through the documentation of The Stuff.

And let yourself be inspired by these amazing prompt plays from the Storytellers:

From Aaron:

Aaron, a school teacher, scrapped a simple something that seems to be filling his days more and more: the copier.  Which of course, on its face, reveals a bit about his work life but it also reveals more..that his focus in work recently has been more focused on preparing his students for testing.  That this is a Story of his Now reveals what he is caring about at this moment and how some of his time is filled.  I love how he cohesively echoed the theme with his schooly element choices.

From Stephanie:

Journaling reads:

Every weekday morning we have the same routine. Breakfast, brush teeth, get dressed, out the door. You two add into this bickering, bothering and bantering. I end up prodding, reminding, yelling. It’s a frustrating and vicious cycle.

Stephanie fabulously used color choice and played with word art (adding “not” to the “happy” pennant) to reveal the story of a Thing that dominates her morning routine…and often in a really frustrating way.  I love her use of a brief and simple list of morning tasks coupled with action verbs that define the tone of that can emerge in this time sensitive before school morning (bickering, bothering and bantering,  prodding, reminding, yelling) in her journaling.  Both work together to  subtley convey that ever present  *tick.tick.tick* of the clock and the time-focused hecticness of a morning routine.

From Jude:

Journaling reads:

Food is pretty important in our house, it doesn’t necessarily have to be really flashy, but the day is never entirely satisfactory unless there’s been at least one yummy meal. We mostly cook from scratch, so we don’t mind spending time in the kitchen but we do prefer things that aren’t too complicated! We have an extensive range of cookbooks and they’ve all got nice, authenticly splattered pages to show they get used. Our favourite recipes are usually the really interestingly flavoured ones. I love to have Mexican food as a treat, Enchiladas are my absolute favourite, but I adore Thai and other east asian cuisines as well as Indian, Mediterreanean and lots of others.

Luckily, the girls share our tastes. They’ll try pretty much anything, and mostly like anything too (unless it’s hotter than can be fixed with a big glass of water) so it’s ok for us to be adventurous when we’re cooking.

I really love how Jude chose to document a Thing that at once reflects family traditions and likes and shared time together.  This is the kind of portrait of the little things that I would have loved to see in my grandparent’s scrapbook and in my own.  The little things that are SO regular for us that we may not even think to document them, but they will be so wonderful to have remembered.   Jude also chose elements to underscore her journaling and that creates such a fabulous cohesiveness and colorfulness to the page.


Putting Pen to Paper is a story-centric scrapbooking and journaling series. I hope it will inspire you to document your stories in a meaningful way that helps you live life more meaningfully too. Please remember anyone is welcome to join in and follow along at any time.  Looking forward to sharing a fresh prompt next Wednesday!

Happy Scrapping!


Making Facebook Work for You :: Volume Two

Wherein I build upon my previous Making Facebook Work for You post and share another tip for controlling content on Facebook.  We all appreciate having a little more control over what we see and how we interact with people and content on Facebook right?  So let’s grab a little bit of it.

My first post was all about the list-y goodness.  And I’m still a BIG fan of lists.  It is the single easiest way for me to keep up with everyone I want to connect with and organize the content that comes through my News Feed.  So if you haven’t made friends with listing, I would highly recommend it.

Today I want to share a tip about interacting with Pages.  This is something you may have discovered on your own already but it’s one that is relatively New to Me.  And it’s worth a share because the dynamic for what we see on Facebook has changed a bit with the implementation of Timeline.

Have you noticed that some Pages you’ve liked don’t seem to appear in your News Feed very often?  Do you ever feel like you’re missing posts from people (or Pages)?   You may find yourself wondering “Hey, I haven’t seen any posts from So-And-So lately”.  Only to wander over to their actual FB page or profile to see they’ve actually been quite chatty and you’ve just missed seeing it.  

Or maybe you run a Facebook Page and have noticed a downtick in interactions with your Page? 

It’s not just your imagination.

You see, the gurus at Facebook have developed some pretty smart programs that influence what we see in our News Feeds, especially with regard to Page content.  Generally speaking, while most of us don’t really know *exactly* what factors dictate what we see or *precisely* how it works, we do have a decent idea of what makes News Feed content tick.   The best information we have indicates these programming formulas and algorithms are designed to work in a way that builds upon how we interact on Facebook.  With What and With Whom.  And How Often.  And in What Way.

And in this context, “interact”  means “like”, comment, tag, post on walls, and all that other fun stuff we users of Facebook do.

These programs have figured that what we interact with MOST is what we would want to see more of, right?  Makes sense.

This works on an individual level and on a Pages level.

And it’s not necessarily anything New New, especially with regard to our friends lists.  We’re kind of used to it by now.  This kind of “interaction based” organization of content is actually the driving force behind that “Top Stories” option for the News Feed.  It’s FB programming trying to show you what they THINK you want to see because the posts are getting a lot of interaction from others you know or maybe you yourself have interacted with said person before.

{Incidentally, as an aside, hopefully by now you know that you can control this setting too.  FB has finally responded to complaints about that and there now (again) exists the option to choose “Most Recent” instead of “Top Stories” for the viewing of your main News Feed.  YAY.  And Hooray.}

This means you’re likely to see posts from your BFF in your News Feed more often and more regularly because you’re likely to “interact” with her posts more regularly and more often.

And that part is great.

But it’s (more than) possible that your friends list isn’t filled only with people you interact with regularly and consistently.  You may have many more acquaintances, community connections or even gaming friends that aren’t as near and dear to your heart in a personal way and so you’re not posting to or with them as often as BFF.

Like Dear Sweet Aunt Edna for example (who is super hip and with it and therefore has a FB profile herself now).  Dear Sweet Aunt Edna is certainly dear and sweet and super hip, but maybe she’s not a person you interact with regularly.  And so it’s likely she (or anyone else who you don’t actively engage with on a regular basis) may not appear in your feed when she posts.  Still, she’s someone you don’t want to ignore or pass over when she finally makes a post about something.

And this is true for Pages you have liked too.

And what you see from Pages in your News Feed is even more rooted in interactions.  It’s all about “EdgeRank“.  Which basically means: The Pages you interact with regularly and consistently are likely to appear in your News Feed more regularly.  Whereas all other Pages are likely to fall off your News Feed map.

So a page that is like your BFF (one you “interact” with via likes, comments, and such) is more likely to appear in your News Feed when they make a new post, whereas The Useful Page But One You Don’t “Talk” To is likely to fall away from your News Feed.

This means the onus is on the Pages and Brands you like to create engaging content to keep you interacting with their Pages so that their content shows regularly in News Feeds..  Which is good.  More engaging content is good.

But I’m a Page lurker.  And I suspect there are many more like me.  I don’t necessarily post on pages, but I *do* want to know what they are saying.  So I’ve been missing content from Pages I have liked.  Bummer.

So. What is a Person (Who-Doesn’t-Want-To-Post-On-Pages-All-The-Time-In-Order-To-See-Them-In-Feed) to do?

Here are two ways to Manage Pages (and friends) content.

One solution is:  The lists (trust me: you totally want to make friends with lists).  This is an especially  great way to solve this problem for keeping up with individual friends or groups of friends.  Lists will help ensure you see anyone you want to see.  And it’s the best way to make sure you’re keeping up with posts from BFF and Dear Aunt Edna or any of the other people you don’t interact with regularly but who you still want to pay attention to.

And this is how I chose to keep up with Pages I was interested in before I discovered this New to Me thing.  I had created a list called Pages.  And added all those Pages I wanted to “lurk”, quietly following their content.  And all was well and merry.  Worked beautifully.

And then one day…poof!  My “Pages” list was gone.

Only it wasn’t.  It was just someplace New to Me.

And this is where the second solution lives:

Now there emerged an Interests List.  This is a new-ish feature from Facebook.  You’ll find it in your left sidebar.  You may need to click “More” to reveal it.

And Facebook placed my “Pages” list there.  Look! Yay!


You can build and use your interest lists much like you would any other list.  Only it’s most valuable and useful for organizing the Pages you’d like to keep up with.

You can create different Interest Lists for different Interests.  I’ve created one for my “favorite” pages.  It includes business connections, scrapbooking and storytelling related pages, and a few other uplifting pages.  And by clicking “Manage lists” you can further control what content you want to see from your Pages.

You can create any of your own pages here:

Simply click “Add Interests” to create a new Interests List.

To add Pages to your Interest List go to any Page you’ve liked (or do this when you *first* like a page) and hover over “Like” (or “Liked” as the case may be).  There you can add the Page to a specific Interest List.  You can also decide to show this page (or not) in your News Feed by (un)checking “Show in News Feed”:

You can also add any page to an Interests list this way.  Under any cover photo, toward the right of your screen you will see the “Like” and Message Interface.  Next to that is a wee “gear”.  Click on it and a drop down appears.  Here you have the option to Add to Interest Lists as well:

With your Interests Lists YOU are in control of what you want to see and how you want to organize it.  You can be sure to keep up with any Page you hope to follow regardless of how often you actively “interact” with it.

Recently during National Scrapbooking Day, I found my Interest Lists to be invaluable.  I was able to keep up with all the News from my Favorite Pages and didn’t miss a thing.  And I make really good use of it when hoping to find a little inspiration in just a few clicks from one of my favorite uplifting pages.

I hope you will find this useful in your own Quest to Control Content.

(Here’s a link from FB help that further shows how you can control what you see in your feed: How do I control what I see in my News Feed?)

{i} NSD 2012 :: The Happenings

Happy Happy Scrappy Day!

I hope everyone is enjoying all the wonderful happenings all across our scrapbooking community!  I’m looking forward to scrapping a little this weekend and ordering pages for print this weekend!  And hopefully I can squeeze in a little extra fun and shopping too!

Here’s Everything You Need To Know about what’s happening for Plant Your Story this weekend.

* * Seeds of the Month entitles the winner to receive access to ALL my new releases until the end of the year!

Hope you have a beautiful day!!

Happy Scrapping!!


{i} NSD 2012 :: DSA Blog Train

Happy Happy {i}NSD!!  I hope that everyone is well and enjoying a happy and scrappy day today soaking up all the fun on blogs, and in the stores and forums!!  And I hope that you get to enjoy some time scrapping your stories this weekend too!

This weekend is one that not only celebrates this hobby and storytelling journey I love so much, it is also the anniversary of my design debut!  This time in 2010 marked the beginning of Zinnias and Swallowtails and I am SO very grateful for all the support and inspiration I have received from all of you along the way!  Thank you!

You may have found your way here Jeanye’s blog while hopping along the annual (and wonderful!) DSA blog train but if you’ve missed a spot or got lost your way, you can head to the DigiScrapAddicts forum to find the complete list and start fresh.

I’m so happy to be a part of the fun to share something with you!  I so hope you like it!  You can {download here} or click on the image below:

Your next stop on the DSA {i}NSD train is Tickled Pink Studio which is home to my friend Becca and she has something pretty and fun for you!  Don’t forget if you’ve missed a spot or lost your way on the DSA train, you can head to the DigiScrapAddicts forum to find the complete list and start fresh.

Here’s to a wonderful happy, scrappy day!!  Happy Scrapping!


{i} NSD 2012 :: Gobs of Goodies

Happy {inter}National Scrapbooking Day!!

It’s that fabulously frenzied and full and creative and bustling and inspiring time of year — where we hop and bop around, shopping and scrapping and having fun far and wide across the scrapbooking community!  And I so hope you’re enjoying every minute!!

There are gobs of goodies and lots of news to share today so I’ll dive right in!!

First of all, there is TONS of fun to be had in the forums at The Lilypad this weekend from challenges to giveaways to chats and scraps.  And I’m already feeling so inspired by the warmth in the forums and the deluge of inspiration already hitting the gallery.  So hope you’ll pop in and enjoy some of the fun with us!

And of course there is the annual 30% off storewide sale!  And the store is positively overflowing with gorgeous new products including a beautiful Free With Purchase kit for this weekend!

On top of the fabulous fresh BYOC, released yesterday, I have three fresh releases for today as well!

Meet the latest installments from Papyrus:  Papyrus {April} and Papyrus {May}.

The Papyrus collection is part of my fresh adventure in storytelling called “putting pen to paper“. It is a series of templates and journaling prompts rooted in encouraging myself and other scrapbookers and storytellers to “just press record” and document our days.

The {April} installment is inspired by the bridging of Yesterday and Today and encourages us to document Then and Now.

The {May} installment is inspired by the “stuff” — the artifacts — in our lives. We will explore documenting what our “things” tell us about ourselves and how they define our stories.

And still, as ever, these templates can be used apart from the prompts to tell any story and scrap any page tailored to your own scrapping needs and style.

Each set includes 4 page designs AND 4 prompts plus additional .pdf content to inspire and encourage you to tell your stories.

Here’s some beautiful inspiration from my Storytellers and the Pollys:

 Papyrus {April} and Papyrus {May} are available for 30% off through Monday 7 May.

And then there is this.

Two years ago, NSD marked my designing debut and I celebrated with the support and cooperation of my dear friend Crystal as we released a special template-only grab bag together.  Last year, we thought it would be fun to revisit the grab baggy spirit and fun and now it’s become kind of a tradition for us.  So I’m happy to present the 3rd Annual {i}NSD Grab Bag collaboration from Zinnias and Swallowtails and Crystal Livesay. This is a versatile set of 8 layered templates inspired by layers and a play with paper.

And this fabulous grab bag is available this weekend only for only $3 (regular price is $9)!  You can grab these savings through Monday 7 May.

And here it is in action:

And what would {i} NSD be without a little extra extra, right?  So be sure you check the blog for a freebie tomorrow as part of the DSA blog hop and my facebook page for a free download as part of the Lilypad facebook blog hop!

As always I looove to see your stories and art too, so please feel free to share with me anytime.  Just shoot me a mail or share them on my facebook page.  And if you haven’t signed up  the newsletter yet you may want to do that so you can be the first to hear the latest news and get the latest exclusive savings.

Here’s to a very happy scrappy weekend!!  Hope it’s beautiful!!

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