Saturday, March 31, 2012


I had a conversation with a friend (novels via text, that's how we roll!)  It ranged from feeling like terrible Mom's, to drugs, to absentee parents, to our own Moms, to things we do for our kids, to wishing we could do more.  In the end, we both had encouraging words we offered each other.  It's amazing - how having a quick (hour long) text conversation can make you feel like superwoman :D  

"Sometimes I don't feel amazing"....
"On the days you don't feel amazing, pretend you're amazing!"... 

We should aim high! Even when we don't feel like aiming at all :) Yep, sometimes easier said than done, but worth the effort I suppose.  


{{Listening to: Klove}}

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Baby, I Love Your Way

Do you ever have those moments in life....where everything is OK? Do you know what I mean? Just for, like, one moment, everything is great.  
Not since I graduated, no... :) But yeah...yeah, when you, like, catch yourself in a moment....and you're saying, wait, I'm happy here in the moment.  
Right. And then it just goes away really quickly. 
I know I have had a couple of those, you know. 
I always forget them, but I know I've had them.

{{Listening to: Reality Bites soundtrack}}

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Just Breathe

How lucky am I? To run across this rad space....scrappingthemusic.  I fell in love immediately.  I knew there had to be something like this out there, soooo glad I was able to find it.  {{Jazz hands in the air}} :D

This week's challenge from Scrapping The Music is "Just Breathe" by Pearl Jam.
Soooo....I feel like I need to have a press conference for this lol. It's that fabulous.
Pearl Jam.  Eddie Veddar.  This group single handedly enlightened my entire music experience in my {very} early twenties.  My friends got sick of PJ because I listened to them so much.  Yep, I had the flannel shirts I wore EVERYWHERE.  And to be honest, even now, my wardrobe can be described in one word: Grunge! ;D (maybe I shouldn't be so proud of that, but, ya know, it's how I am most comfy...that's me.)  TEN...the best album of the 90's (ik, hard to say that with AIC's Jar Of Flies out there, right? but still!)  Despite opposing political views, I completely respect Eddie Veddar as a musician. Black = love.

So this song, Just Breathe, from their last album in 2009 & the project set forth by STM was overwhelming just because I felt I owed it to the song to make the most out of the page I was going to create. I thought about it for a few hours before I even pulled out the paint and paper.  I had a couple of things in my head of what I wanted to do, but wasn't completely convinced that I would be happy with it. It wasn't until I actually put some paint on the page that things started to flow. Ultimately, the page I turned out is VERY simple. Basic. NOT elaborate or layered or, well, anything but paint, stickers and words.  The hardest part? ...there are several directions this song could lead me in. I kept listening to the music, to the words & I was thinking about which part would best be reflected on MY paper.  In the end, the part that kept creeping up was BOTH HANDS....& Let's just breathe.

As a stay at home Mom who works for money only part of the time, with 3 (loved) kiddos, a hubby, a puppy, loads of laundry &more, & homeschooling papers to grade, a husband who's {payable} work load has taken a hit over the last couple of years....Just breathing is a common denominator in the arithmetic of my life.  Seriously. :\
But, in the midst of all that mumbo jumbo, I often times remind myself that I am indeed fortunate, by choice. I spend a whole gob of time with my kids, watching them grow and learn, they are healthy, happy and I have a  husband who loves me more than his own life (most time...heehee jk).  This doesn't even count the family and friends that are in my tightest circle.  So yeah, I can count on BOTH HANDS the ones I love.  That's what I need to remember.  I find myself subconsciously telling Adam "Let's just breathe, babe."...and more often than not, he's the one telling me that, out loud. Love that!

**Now, for this layout, I decided art journal as opposed to scrapbook. Not sure why. I have since punched the page into my art journal because it was a free page when I worked on it.
Anyhoo, I used basic brown scrapbook paper, put a layer of gesso, then painted the bottom part of the paper blue & purple and worked my way up to pink & orange; darker colors rising up to lighter colors.  In the middle (and you may not be able to notice the print too well in the pic) is like a netting texture. I covered it with some black ink and pressed it on the paper, to reflect breathable material, ya know, with all the holes n stuff. :) I handwrote "Let's Just Breathe" from the bottom up, thus the 3 arrows pointing upward. Sometimes in my world these days, moving upward is a constant battle. Eek!  The 2 pink and blue flourishes are a small representation of "both hands", which are in black glittery chipboards.  I added some silver stars for a rock n roll effect ;)  My natural tendency is to lean towards black/greys (& blues), so that's why I threw in the yellow, lime green & neon blue arrows & pink& blue brighten up the page =) ...If you noticed, early on I said, black = love....that's the song Black (by PJ) It inspired my first tattoo! Which is why I used black chipboard in "Both Hands" & black cardstock for "Let's Just Breathe". Can't jilt TEN ;D**

I am so happy with this project I can't even explain it.  There is something about music & symbolism that makes me all fuzzy inside.  Til next time......remember, thru the mumbo jumbo of life, Just Breathe......And maybe listen to some groovy tunes while your at it ;)

netting I used in the middle of the page

{{Listening to Pearl Jam...err, given the project, would it be anything else? :D}}

Friday, March 23, 2012

Shine here's an entry in my Art Journal (this is the journal I made myself, with cereal boxes).  It is a very lame attempt at bringing some [unwanted] sunshine into my week....
I was convinced this week was going to be BLAH to the 10th power. & I was determined to make art imitate life  - dark inks, a more sullen theme. A friend "voted" that I use try and reverse the BLAH?  I was kinda leaning towards embracing it with every fiber of my being, but ok. :P  I decided to give it a shot.  I am not a fan of yellow, but ....

I incorporated the "These Are A Few of My Favorite Things" prompt from A Year in the Life of an Art Journal.  Honestly, this favorites list took me a lot longer than I thought it would =\  Every time I was thinking of a fave, I kept conjuring up a dislike! heehee. But I had a groovy time creating this AND it was my first prompt that I fulfilled. (I read them, but have never participated)

In this JE I used yellow acrylic paint for the base.  Smashed in some orange ink on the borders and some orange tags as well. I added some silver doodling too (of course)!  The favorites are hand written on pieces of brown bag (Olive Garden take out!) as per the prompt.  I glued in some {random} strips of paper and a favorite song lyric. I stamped swirls and lil flowers too.

Now, I am waiting for an epiphany regarding the piece of yellow card stock at the bottom right corner.
I stamped DREAM in red (threw in a couple of blacks) I have NO idea why I added this in here.  The DREAM, imo, has no real significance to this particular project.  What does dreaming have to do with favorites?  Dreaming of Lemon Pepper wings? ha! [side bar: learn that not everything has to make sense.] Honestly, I just wanted a word & that's the word that I grabbed out of my box of stamps.  I guess in some funky way, ....maybe the little yellow bottle of paint I left on my desk all week did help my morose mood.  DREAM, after-all, is a hopeful word, a word that screams possibilities. Hope & Possibilities, almost as important as Love & Happy ;)  Or maybe the DREAM is more about the yellow than it is about the favorites. Or maybe I just need to shut it down, stop analyzing & take a nap! :D

All in all, my week wasn't as blah as I had originally thought it was going to be.  It was actually pretty...decent.  So here's another RaNdOm ALMOST yellow week :]

{{Listening to: Collective Soul}}

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Pieces of Me

What a great weekend!! Good times with friends & fantastic alone time with [and without] the hubby. Now it's already Sunday evening, 11pm and I still have so much catching up to do.  Where did all my time go?!? =[  I'm having issues and it's not Monday yet.  I don't think the weekend was quite long enough this time around.  Bleh!

At any rate, I am sorta beside myself....InStyle Magazine totally hit the nail on the head!!!

I took a quiz (I <3 quizzes! - wish I felt like that in 9th grade Algebra!!) I found out what my decorating style is :D  It wasn't really some new revelation, but it was kinda cool to see my tendencies manifest through a series of [kinda] random questions.
The questions were multiple choice and accompanied by pictures. Way fun...
1) your preferred illumination
2) what's for breakfast?
3) what's always at your fingertips?
4) Party Time! What are you wearing?
5) Your perfect couch
6) On your ipad
7) Your idea of a perfect Saturday night
8) What's on your lips?
9) On your nightstand
10) Time for bed. What are you wearing?
11) Now, this is a sexy shoe
12) Your next vacation
13) Your Saturday morning chore
14) Your favorite bag
15) You're listening to
16) Your most-used kitchen gadget
17) What's your ideal hairstyle
18) What necklace are you wearing?
19) Your signature scent
20) The wheels you want
21) Your all-time favorite movie
22) Your makes-me-smile bathroom accessory

After answering all the questions, here's what was determined:
You're the Minimalist:
"Your rock stars are Saarinen, Eames, and Le Corbusier, and your mantra is de Saint-Exupery's: "A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." Your home is sophisticated, organized, and devoid of clutter. Friends liken it to a gallery, which is exactly where you can be found on weekends, save for the occasional trip to that OCD mecca, the Container Store."  HAHAHAHAHA.
I mean, really!, I don't know exactly who Saarinen and Eames are (I will search them on itunes!) My home is NOT sophisticated. (I have 3 kids and a dog, there's no way!) but it is organized & yes, devoid of clutter.  My friends don't come over - and even if they did i don't think they would liken it to a gallery (oh wait, remember the petrified lime??!?! lol ...that was art!) ...I get the point. Where can I be found on the weekends? Sadly, not in a gallery because there aren't really any "galleries" down here. But if there were, holla!  & Heck yeah, OCD ....Container Store hahaha. Fabulous!
So thanks, InStyle, for telling me something I already knew but making it fun to rediscover.

Maybe this week I will try to rediscover something else about myself a blatant attempt to ward off the mundane. :)

{{Listening to: Ashley Simpson}}

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Luckiest

I don't get many things right the first time
In fact, I am told that a lot
Now I know all the wrong turns, the stumbles and falls
Brought me here
And where was I before the day

That I first saw your lovely face?
Now I see it everyday
And I know that I am
The luckiest
And in a white sea of eyes
I see one pair that I recognize
And I know that I am
The luckiest
I love you more than I have ever found a way to say to you
& I know that I am the luckiest 
-Ben Folds


{{Listening to: watching Pearl Jam "Ten" documentary}}

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Any Way You Want It

Last night I attempted to revamp an ordinary composition book (the top pic of the comp book is swiped from google images bc I forgot to take the "before" pic, boo!)

Moving on, I covered the outside with scrapbooking paper, the inside with cardstock.  I was going to use Mod Podge but decided to use my lil tape runner instead. (wasn't in a messy mood) Well, I ran out of my tape runner =\ so I had to move on to Elmers school glue stick. And it worked out pretty good!
I didn't do the spine (black part) I kept that al natural and just used my Opaque Stix (water based pigmented marker) to doodle on it. (silver & metallic red - surprisingly the same colors as the outside paper! cool!)  I adore that you can turn a simple and plain notebook into something very personal - using anything you like!
I also put a tab on the first page. I did this for absolutely NO real reason at all :D except that I had these tab stickers that I hadn't used/tried yet & I wanted to give them a go!

This was fun!

PS. Beware the Ides of March ;)

{{Listening to:  Journey}}

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


I just finished making my very first art journal!! Rock on! It was so much fun to do!

I made it out of cereal boxes, as you can see in the pic...(I think the family was/is on a Cheerios kick because the other pages in the journal are Apple Cinnamon Cheerios, Fruity Cheerios & Cinnamon Burst Cheerios! ha!)  I also used cut up file folders for some variety.  The front cover has a piece of black card stock glued to it as well as some writings I cut out from a magazine.  The Rings are quite a bit bigger vs the # of pages I put in it but, once I start entering stuff it will bulk up a bit.  And if I want to add more pages, I can do that as well.  Aces! :)

I want to say Thanks! to Charissa over at thesmashbook  for giving this great idea of using cereal boxes (and anything else lying around your house) to create a journal. She has a bunch of pictures and posts of her personal journals that are very inspiring!

{{Listening to: Paramore}}

Long Gone Day

St. Patty's Day is coming up. My name (Kelli, not Ayala. haha, Charlie) is Irish, but that's about all I got. lol. But during this time of year, I channel my inner leprechaun my nails are already green & my green shirt is hangin up in my closet, I'm drinking out of a four leaf clover cup & I have Luck of the Irish scrapbook stickers ready to be used.  Significance?  Keep reading ;D

I love this holiday. I know it's not a national holiday. The Ides of March comes before it and March Madness outshines it....but maybe that's part of the reason I am super duper glad Adam proposed to me on St. Patrick's Day.  He didn't do it on Valentine's. He didn't do it on New Year's Eve or even Christmas Eve.  I love the green, I like the lil leprechauns (in pictures & stickers, not in movies...that's just creepy), I adore the pot of gold and I especially like the four leaf clover.  I love that one of my dreams has always been a trip to Ireland and I love that Adam didn't know that until after he proposed.

So fourteen years ago, he asked me out to dinner. Naturally, I accepted.  And even more naturally, I was annoyed that he was late.  I was dressed (yes, in a lil green spring dress & yes, I still have it, somewhere).  I was ready to go and I was waiting......and waiting. My Mom called and asked what I was going to do for the evening (weird #1) I told her I was WAITING for Adam because we were going to grab a bite to eat. I explained my frustration at his tardiness and she said "I'm sure he has a good reason, don't be upset." (weird #2)  I will never forget those words.  It was kind of unlike my Mom to calm me down with such calm, simple words. Shortly after Mom and I hung up, Adam arrived.  Boy, he didn't look good. (weird #3 because he always looks good! heehee)  He was pale, a tad sweaty and a little on the shaky side. I thought our dinner plans were going to change into an ER visit. :\ No joke.
I asked him if he was feeling ok. Then he dropped to one knee and popped the Q! Well, he did say a few words before the actual Q, but honestly, it was all a little surreal so I can't exactly remember what he said. I do know he mentioned love...and happy.  Heck, that's all I need, right?! Love & Happy.
We ended up at Olive Garden for dinner.  (Why was he so late?? He went to ask my Dad for his blessing.  Why was my Mom so calm?  She didn't want me to be upset right before he asked me to marry him.)

That day was so long ago. Sometimes I even have to really strain the memory muscles to remember the events leading up to that day, and the events immediately afterwards.  There were so many good times & I am sad to think I can't recall all of them! Sometimes, when I get caught up in the roller coaster of life, kids and all the to-do's, I like to take a moment, sit back and think about that day, that time.  As cliche as it sounds, it really was the happiest day of my life. Yes, even happier (gasp) than the day my kids were born. Because without the two of us, there wouldn't be the three of them. Adam and I are constantly trying to make sure we stay "alive" amid the raucous. It has proven to be one of our more difficult tasks, but the efforts are truly great.

Well, that special day is long gone, but the memory of it is still around... every St. Patrick's Day is a small reminder of how our show got started. & this Saturday evening, yes, you will find us at Olive Garden...having a wee bit o' fun. :D

{{Listening to: Mad Season}}

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Daylight [not] Saving [me] time....

this ^ is a facade.
But I'm trying.  I'm trying to make my peace with loosing the hour of sleep & having more sunshine at the end of the day. It's only the first few hours of DST & I am already anticipating the hot summer & the annoying mosquitoes. Bleh!!! Dark cold(ish) days, take me with you...

{{Listening to:  If You Leave by OMD}}

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Lone Survivor

I finished a great book (finally!) Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10 by Marcus Luttrell.
The reason it took me so long to read it (not positive, but I think it took me 6 months) had nothing to do with the content of the book. It was intriguing and emotional to say the least.  My procrastination was because I was caught up in a couple of really really good TV shows.  And watching TV shows is easier to do since I have work to do at my desk ...grading papers, prepping Home-school, paying bills, scrapbooking etc.  Nevertheless, the book is finished. And I thoroughly enjoyed it.

There is nothing like reading (or hearing) real life war stories, especially from a first person point of view.
Marcus's account of his (& his teams) real life battle in Afghanistan left me, in some cases, in tears & screaming Hooyah! all at the same time.  The bravery and dedication that these soldiers demonstrated as they looked straight in the face of our enemy is astounding. Really.
He takes you through the training process of our Navy SEALS (yikes!) and leads you right up and through the Operation Redwing mission.  Since we already knew that his buddies are killed in action, it wasn't a shocker nor did it take away any emotion when I finally read the words. Instead, it just confirmed what we all know. Real life heroes exist and they dwell among us; they go above and beyond the call of duty to protect our land and our liberty.

This native Texan, and all the others like him, have my utmost respect and my prayers. God Bless them.

{{Listening to:  watching the Young and the Restless}}

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

It All Comes Down To This...

So, the other evening I was plagued with a kind of feeling...a feeling that I was about to stumble across something peculiar and worthwhile.  At that moment, I decided it was time to buckle down and sweep the living room since it hadn't been done in about 4 days.  With 3 kids, a husband, a dog and a Me running around, 4 days is treading on scary ground (pun intended) :D I pulled out my broom and started the daunting task (I don't live in a huge home, we live in a townhouse so I'm not quite sure why I find this task overwhelming?!?)  All kinds of treasures are coming out from under the sofa, under the entertainment center and from behind the rocker.  After I turn a small corner of the sofa, I see peculiar and worthwhile piece of ART!....Yep, a lime. Half a lime. (my third kid adores citrus!) I did remember cutting one for him and seeing him suck on it while he watched Pingu.  What I didn't remember was asking him to throw it in the trash.  So there it was....half a lime.....a petrified lime. Thirty-six years later, it has come down to this....a half dead, half alive piece of fruit . This piece of fruit that seemed to be hanging on for dear life was, once upon a time, a pretty, green, juicy, tangy piece of citrusy delight. But after days of sitting alone in the corner, it became shriveled, brown and half dried up.  Boy! the lessons we can learn from fruit, cleaning and ...well, a little bit of procrastination. My name is Kelli and somewhere inside me, I just might have something to write about :)  Enjoy!

{{Listening to: an oscillating fan. Surprisingly, television AND pandora are off!}}