Tag Archives: spring

Spring.

Spring break was (surprisingly) gorgeous. And I didn’t have to visit a beach or an island to enjoy it.

Instead, I walked the Portage Hike and Bike Trail a few times after work to catch some warm rays before the sunset. I felt the insects buzzing about. I could smell the blooming trees from several yards away.

To take a break from the computer screen, I took my lunch to downtown Kent one afternoon for a change in scenery. I saw bright, red tulips in the flower beds near the bench where I was sitting. I noticed that even the Northeast Ohio cherry blossoms were nearly at their peak. And despite the noisy trucks passing by me every 10 seconds, I was at peace.

So naturally, when I took a trip toward the east coast to visit some friends in the Washington, D.C., area this weekend, I looked forward to seeing the famous 100-year-old cherry blossoms in person. I imagined absorbing the bright rays of sunshine in the crisp, cool air as my friends and I would walk along the water on our way to the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. I imagined us enjoying every step, every blossom along the way.

Too good to be true?

What really happened: Saturday – the only day we had time to visit the blossoms – it rained. It sprinkled, then poured. But I was determined to see the blossoms while we were there, regardless of their steadily declining appearance. Enjoy the few shots I captured of the District’s now sparse, saturated cherry blossoms:

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‘Tis spring. As a Northeast Ohio native, I should know better than to expect anything spectacular weather-wise. But here’s to a final fulfilling, fantastic and FUN five weeks of college.

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Refreshed

Water, refreshment

Refreshing.

The sun is shining and there’s a slight, cool breeze in the air – it’s the perfect day to step back and appreciate all that’s good right now.

For one, March begins this Thursday. This means I will graduate in a little more than two months. I’m excited to start this next stage of my life, wherever I end up and no matter the job I’m placed with. I’ll miss Kent State; I’ve had a great four years with the people I’ve met during my college experience. But I’m confident I’ll continue those relationships for many years to come.

I’m proud of myself for keeping up with a healthier lifestyle so far this year. I try my best to make a trip to the rec on most days of the week and when I can’t, I try a little harder to watch what I’m eating. I feel more energized. I feel more motivated to get things done (sometimes). And I’m starting to see the physical results of my effort, and that feels good, too.

Recently I’ve developed a slight addiction to Pinterest. Sure, you can argue the site is a major time suck. (“Do you really have the time to try all those delicious recipes and craft projects?”) But I like the site’s format. I like organizing my pins into separated boards by category. I like how I can bookmark so many ideas for weeks, months, even years to come. Who knows if I’ll ever make those Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookie Cupcakes– and do I really need the calories anyway? But at least the recipe is somewhere I can find it when the time comes to start something new.

Amy as Mabel, from "The Pirates of Penzance"

My cousin Amy and I, with my new haircut, after Amy's lead performance as Mabel in Theodore Roosevelt High School's "The Pirates of Penzance."

I tried a new thing with my hair this month: I chopped most of it off. I didn’t plan it; I just needed something different, something I decided that day. I finally decided to let my hairdresser Andy take off 7 inches, and I haven’t been disappointed with it since then. It feels refreshing to have shorter hair, not to mention I’ll use about a third less shampoo and conditioner from now on!

My new hair has somewhat inspired me to look at life with a new perspective. Sometimes it’s necessary – and fun – to take risks and try something different than your normal routine. When Andy suggested I chop my hair off, I figured just because my hair has been long my whole life doesn’t mean I can’t change that now. This next new stage of my life is fast approaching, and I couldn’t be more excited to feel refreshed from the experience. I can already hear birds chirping outside, which makes me happy to know that spring is coming soon. (Allegedly: I do live in NE Ohio.) And spring seems to make everything feel more refreshing.

I’d like to refresh my thoughts on this blog as well. As I transition into some life changes within the next few months, I’d like to record my thoughts within my posts, as well as my scrapping adventures. I used to write in a journal every day but my schedule doesn’t allow me the time to do that as often anymore. So I’ll keep all the scraps of my life here, in one place. I’m looking forward to what I’ll experience in the coming months.

Scrappin’ Update:

The two graduation gifts I’m working on are coming along. This weekend I felt a bit anxious because I realized how many photos I have to use – and that’s after I picked through all the ones we have at home. I know I’ll get everything done, but the books will certainly take a lot of time and patience!

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The thing about going green.

Going green; spring grassIn the world of scrapbooking, it actually is easy being green.

Think about all the everyday items you can incorporate into your layouts. Cut out a newspaper clipping about the big game you attended last night. Save ticket stubs from movie outings with your friends. Use extra buttons from new clothing to add some flair to handmade cards.

Not only do these items support recycling, but they also save you from spending money on other supplies. You probably can’t find cute, colorful brads or shiny stickers around the house, but leftover paint chips or even shelf lining can add more interest and texture to your pages.

Materials to use

Here’s my list of some unique materials and objects you can find without much effort and use in your layouts:

  • newspaper clippingsScrapbook memorabilia; game pieces, ID card, caution tape
  • buttons
  • ribbons from gifts
  • ticket stubs
  • pressed flowers
  • old t-shirt scraps
  • paint chips
  • free pencils from events
  • bumper stickers
  • locker stickers from high school
  • receipts
  • party hats
  • decorative napkinsScrapbook memorabilia; retro party hat from my aunt's New Year's Eve party.
  • old CDs
  • shells
  • coins
  • game pieces
  • Christmas or birthday greeting cards
  • tablecloths
  • shelf lining
  • beverage umbrellas
  • shoe laces
  • deflated balloons
  • old ID cards
  • notes

I created a fairly long scrapbook of memorabilia from high school a few years ago. However, household items and recycled materials add a lot of character to layouts with photos, including layouts of mini albums. You can also drill holes into old license plates to create a mini book cover.

If you prefer going green and using other eco-friendly products, consider purchasing recycled papers for your layouts, or even try making your own paper. Crop Addict devotes an entire section of its store to eco-friendly scrapbook papers.

Some household and even food items qualify as eco-friendly scrapbook papers. For example, paper grocery bags, cereal boxes and corrugated cardboard make great, sturdy foundations for layouts.

Things to consider

Although the eco-friendly materials I’ve listed are convenient to use, some items may contain harmful substances that could damage your photos over time. Although you can’t alter these items’ properties, you can prevent them from ruining your work.

Tips to follow

  • Use an acid-free spray to protect your photos from foreign materials. If you aren’t sure whether the items you use are acidic, spray them anyway to prevent brittleness and deterioration at the very least.
  • Store your layouts in page protectors. Not only does this prevent facing pages touching each other, but it also prevents fingerprint contamination when family members and friends flip through the pages.
  • Buy acid-free adhesives such as glue sticks or sticker mounts to keep your scraps intact.

What to do

Have you tried eco-friendly scrapbooking? If so, what works? What tips do you have for other scrapbookers?

So now that the snow is (hopefully) gone for the season to remind us of what the green grass looks like, think outside the box and get scrapping with your household scraps.

**Disclaimer: Keep items that are relevant to your layouts; items you will actually use. Don’t hoard too many objects, or else you will be overwhelmed during your projects. I know this from personal experience!

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Spring into scrapping.

I realize it’s not spring yet, but since the snow is mostly melted, I can pretend! (At least until Ohio weather “surprises” us with an April snow shower.) Happy Birthday handmade card

March will be a busy month–two weeks left of classes and projects to finish before spring break, and many of my friends and family members have birthdays coming up as well. Below are some photos of cards I’ve worked on this evening.

What are your spring break plans? What is your favorite thing about March?

Handmade card with flower stamp




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