Tuesday, June 21, 2011

It Was Bound to Happen Eventually...

Hmm...where do I start?  I guess in this first blog entry I'll tell you all about myself and what possessed me to start a blog after years and years as an extensive blog reader. 

I'm a widowed Mom to my wickedly funny 16 1/2 year old daughter Mackenzie and we have 2 dachshunds Hunter (right) & Daisy (left).  My best friend/husband Ian passed away unexpectedly in the fall of 2010 and so day by day, Mackenzie and I are trying to get accustomed to the gaping hole that exists now in our lives.  Ian and I were best friends and teammates first, parents (a close second) and spouses third.  Ian was a huge ray of sunshine to anyone he met.  His sarcastic, cock-eyed sense of humour never failed to entertain and he was an absolutely exceptional father. 

On top of that, I'm scheduled to lose my bank job of 18 years at the end of 2011.  We've known about this for 2+ years and the company's been very good about keeping the employees informed and providing lots of transition support but it's still a wild concept to "start your life over again" after nearly 2 decades with an employer.  I've gotten past the fear of this pending upheaval and now I'm excited to have the opportunity to try something new and pursue some of the loves of my life instead of just working to pay the bills.   One of the things I try hardest to teach Mackenzie is that no matter how many times life keeps knocking you down, you must shake it off, get back up and keep putting one foot in front of the other.

I've been a creative, crafty-type person forever but it was a co-worker that introduced me to card making with Stampin' Up! in 2009.  My family and friends have come to expect my hand-made cards for special occasions and I'm delighted to oblige!  I took the plunge and became a Stampin' Up! demonstrator a few months ago to save money on the craft supplies I was buying.  Then, a printing promotion in May 2011 prompted me to try the My Digital Studio scrapbooking software that I'd purchased 18 months prior and hadn't been using.  I don't know what I was waiting for (maybe a smack up-side the head?!) but I am absolutely, head-over-heels in LOVE with My Digital Studio!  I managed to scrapbook a 100-page album from our trip to Alberta in July 2009 in only 20 days during May.  It's now a coffee table book in our living room and one of our most prized possessions.

Needless to say, it was this sudden addiction to My Digital Studio that spurred me into finally starting a blog of my own.  I've learned the value of documenting our lives through my sister-in-law Jenn's blog www.jennandlucas.blogspot.com.  Since Jenn, my brother Darryl and their boys (and pets!) live across the country, Jenn's blog has always allowed me to feel like I'm just down the street instead of a  4 hour plane ride away! 

I've tried traditional scrapbooking in the past and I still think it's an incredible art form but I don't have the patience for it.  Digital scrapbooking is so much quicker and easier that it really meets my "have-very-little-time-and-want-instant-gratification" lifestyle!!  Plus...and this is a BIG PLUS, in the digital world, you NEVER RUN OUT of designer series paper, your favourite ribbon, hardware or embellishments!  If you want to make a digital scrapbooking page with 400 tiny pearls and rhinestones, do it!  You'll NEVER RUN OUT!

So, needless to say...as a frugal crafter who hoards her favourite patterned paper, trinkets and embellishments, Stampin' Up!'s My Digital Studio software was practically designed just for me! (...at least that's the neurosis I've settled on in my mind).  Tee hee!

So...for today, I'll finish up with a .jpg file of the cover of my first digital scrapbook from our Alberta trip.  Over the coming weeks I'll post links to lots of great beginner "how-to" videos to introduce My Digital Studio and help new users get comfortable with their new software.  Stick with me for a little while...I promise you'll fall in love with "MDS" just as much as I have!!!

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