For about 10 years of my life, I traveled around the United States (+ a half a dozen other countries) to teach. I have a lot of fond memories meeting thousands of like-minded people who have an interest in getting their pictures and memories preserved, and I am thankful for those experiences.
It’s been a long time since I’ve been to a scrapbooking convention of any kind. While we were in St. Paul, Minnesota for The Creative Connection two weeks ago (you can see the video here if you missed it), we heard that Archiver’s ScrapFest was going on right there in the next town over. At the Mall of America.
Scrapbookers? Mall of America? Sure!
David and I jumped in a cab and went to check it out, and say hello to some friends who were there. You may see some familiar faces here in the video (links to each of them are below).
Yesterday’s post was plenty wordy. I’ll keep it very, very visual today. My friend Megan has been working on a photo gallery wall in their master bedroom and the results are just completely beautiful. Here’s a little inspiration for your day.
Megan’s wall inspires me personally in 3 ways:
1. The family pictures are a combination of formal portraits and candid shots … taken with her iPhone. Yes, pictures from your phone can absolutely be framed on your wall. I so love that she included those.
2. The neutral colors of all the frames allow the photographs to really pop. (Indeed, spray-painting was involved.)
3. It’s DONE! An actual, real, completed project. The reason that inspires me is because I have many unfinished projects. For example — this lovely little stash of frames has been collecting in our upstairs hallway for a few weeks now. Okay, let’s get real. It’s been months. Many months. In fact, I’m not even sure how many months.
This is what’s currently on the wall. I love the pictures. They’re family classics. The pictures are couples of our heritage – both sets of parents and 4 sets of grandparents. Also adorning the wall (for months) is this magazine tear-out that inspires me. It’s what I’ve been thinking about doing on this wall for quite some time.
I tore it out from a Pottery Barn catalog.
I like my little collection of family pictures. But the wall is quite large and my current collage is small. Too small-scale for the hallway – for sure. See what I mean?
But the pile of frames will sit a while longer. I have far too much going on right now. I have more cool products to develop for you! My priorities are straight. ; )
Okay, seriously – if anyone has a killer idea for this wall, PLEASE share a link. I’m in no hurry to complete the project and I’m completely open to other ideas, especially because a certain someone in this house isn’t convinced that photo collages are his thing. So … a grid? Perhaps 3 giant vertical posters? I don’t know.
And just like that, I got wordy with a post that was supposed to be purely visual.
Thank you Megan for sharing your inspiring wall with us! I have a feeling a few more photo gallery walls are going to be popping up. If you want to share your photo gallery wall with me, email email@example.com. I would love to see!
It’s my tag line. It’s the meaning behind the products we create. It’s also one of my core philosophies in life. And it’s how I hope to inspire you. In fact, this very simple phrase sums up the foundation of why I even have a blog.
To cultivate a good life means a million different things. That’s why nearly every day I share one specific thought to ponder – and hopefully implement – as we each strive to cultivate a good life (I share these little notes on facebook + twitter). But today I feel the need to elaborate in a way that 140 characters doesn’t allow.
I watched and listened to a remarkable talk on Saturday. The speaker was Dieter F. Uchtdorf. Some of you know him, many of you do not. But his message – clear as day and incredibly poignant – is for every woman I know. I have been thinking about some stuff recently and his talk was the icing on my cake of thoughts. I just wanted to share what’s been on my mind, some of which came from listening to his talk. Someone needs this today – probably a lot of somebodies.
Please, please, please don’t compare yourself to others. Many of you are just too hard on yourself when you feel like you’re not measuring up. Your best friend is prettier. Your sister has the perfect marriage. Your co-worker is more skilled. Your neighbor is thinner. Your sister-in-law is more organized. That woman you see nearly every day in passing is just so put together and always looks amazing (and chances are, you’ve put off even saying hi or introducing yourself, just based on her looks).
I lovingly say – Enough!
Part of cultivating a good life is being grateful for your life. Celebrate your successes – especially the little, everyday successes. Certainly you can and should look to others for upliftment and inspiration and ideas and ways that help you improve. That’s all good + healthy + exactly how we can bless each others’ lives. But when you look at others in a way that make you feel like your life is sub-standard? Well, that’s just detrimental. You know what a lot – a LOT – of women do? We compare ourweaknesses to someone elsesstrengths. I’ve done it. You’ve done it.
Um – hello? Is this fair? Does this make any sense at all? No wonder men think we’re complicated!
Stop punishing yourself. When you do this, you are stopping your progression. You have your happiness in a holding pattern. It’s so unfair to you, and in fact – it’s unfair to the people you love most, and who love you most. Whether or not you think it affects you … it does. It affects your self-worth and your confidence. And when these things slip, your most treasured relationships can be affected.
Here’s the truth. We all have trials. We all have insecurities. We all have a million weaknesses. While it’s tempting to look at someone else and think “they’ve got it all” or “they’re life is so perfect” … you’re forgetting that they’re human. You’re forgetting that they have things going on in their life that you don’t have a clue about. Heartache, loss, pain, burdens, fears, health issues, emotional concerns, family struggles. I assure you – their life is not perfect.
Be gentle with yourself. And be gentle with others. Do not be so quick to judge. Do be open-minded about what you can learn from other women. Do not be fooled into thinking the grass is greener on the other side. Do look at how blessed your life is – even with the challenges you’re facing.
You are remarkable. You undoubtedly are aware of areas in which you feel less than remarkable. Perhaps you yell at your kids too much or you don’t give your husband enough attention or you hold grudges or you’re a gossip or you’re not taking care of your body like you should or you’re not a good homemaker or you don’t volunteer enough or … Okay, obviously we all probably feel like the list is long.
Again, I lovingly say – Enough!
Take one weakness and work on it this week. Don’t complain about it. Don’t dwell on it. Just take action to MAKE A CHANGE.Today.
By the way … This will brighten someone’s day: Congratulations to Tami L. in Trabuco Canyon, California! Out of over 1,500 entries you were randomly selected to receive all that STUFF from The Creative Connection! Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your shipping address and we’ll get that out to you this week!
You know I love you, right? Seriously. David and I talk often of you (readers, customers, friends). We are so grateful for such loyalty and kindness and support that oozes from you. And I talked about that in my keynote presentation last week. YOU are why I do what I do.
On that note … There were many generous sponsors at The Creative Connection. Anyone who merely showed up and attended the conference was given lots & lots of goodies. Well, guess what? David attended with me. And while I enjoy all the fun stuff, David is, well … not quite as interested. And I certainly don’t need two of everything. So you know what that means? We decided to lug it all home so that we could give it all away to one of you! What you see here is just some of the stuff.
Leave your first name + city + state for a chance to win.U.S. address only.
For the record, I’m feeling pretty fun right now. A video + 2 giveaways in one week? Dang. I am like one big party. But I assure you that while you see just the fun side of things, there is a lot of hard work happening behind the scenes. More projects and products in the works. Exciting stuff.
Oh, and we have 2 winners from yesterday’s Bel Kai giveaway. Congratulations to Lisa W. in Petersburg, Michigan and Lee D. in Florence, South Carolina! You can both email email@example.com and they will hook you up!
Did you see my little video this week? Remember the part where I was browsing the Handmade Market, and I was totally loving the Bel Kai jewelry? Well, I did buy a few things there. Love. And you know what else? The Bel Kai girls and I all agreed … my readers would love a giveaway. Are we right?
Bel Kai wants TWO of you to win $50 worth of product for FREE! Check out their oh-so-pretty stuff at belkaidesigns.com and leave your name + city + state here in the comments of this blog post. We’ll randomly select and announce the winners Friday this week.
This morning I woke up to temperatures in the 70s. The 70s! Since this is still technically Summer … and I technically live in Arizona (a.k.a. the desert) … these temperatures are a little glimpse of heaven. It’s actually dipping below 100 degrees during the peak of the day here. People: There is potential for gloriousness right around the corner.
Do you know what this means?? Fall is really coming! I know I’m not alone when I say: Fall is my FAVORITE.
The best part ever, is that this “Fall Fever” I seem to be catching right now is coming at just the right time. You see, I’m headed to St. Paul, Minnesota this week for The Creative Connection where the high temps are in the 50s and 60s. Are you kidding me? I’m so giddy. Must pack cardigans. And perhaps a scarf?
TCC is a gathering of women with passion and creative talent and ambition and entrepreneurial spirits. I’ve never been, but I love the idea. And since I was invited to participate, I will soon be mingling with these fine people … in cool, Fall weather! I will address about 500 attendees on Thursday during a keynote luncheon panel, along side Stacy Julian of Big Picture Classes and Nora Abousteit of BurdaStyle.
Because of this commitment – and what seems to be a million other things swirling around right now – I will be taking a short “blog break” and you may not see a new post here for several days. So … I’m going to leave you with lots of pretty pictures. Claire (nearly 6 now) urged me to bust out the Fall decorations and she eagerly helped me decorate the other day.
No time for new projects right now. No interest in buying any additional items. Just using what we already have. A little dash of Fall has now been sprinkled over the Higgins home. ; )
The picture of that adorable purple dragon is Porter six years ago – when we lived in Ohio. Makes me smile every time I see it.
This is one of the many free downloads I have in my Free Stuff section. Look for “Home is Comfort” in the sidebar (available in four colors).
Check out the details of making over my little pumpkins in THIS POST.
Last year I blogged the how-to on this pumpkin frame project HERE.
I am a fan of having “older” pictures around the house and incorporated into decor. This picture is 6 years old and still a favorite … plus perfectly fitting for Fall. And these childhood pictures of me & David? They’re a year-round classic in our home. Isn’t David the cutest?
If you’re interested in seeing how we decorated last year (slightly different … always fun to change things up a bit, right?), HERE is that 2010 blog post.
I believe that one of the greatest keys to success is surrounding yourself with talented people. I am so proud of each of the the designers who have had a hand in our company. I’d love you to take a moment to get to know a little about the designers that are the magic behind the look & feel of our products, as well as this website. You can find them HERE. Just click on their names to learn more.
I found a wooden LIFE sign months ago. I got it because I could totally picture it in our home office with little letters that spell PROJECT right above it. And then … I found those little letters at Hobby Lobby! And of course I would be painting them white.
Naturally, with the gloves on and the spray paint out, I wanted to spray something else as well. Something I’ve really been wanting to make white for a while.
Everything was painted and ready to finalize. And the letters sat around for weeks, waiting for me to prioritize hanging them.
Until today. The letters are hung (with my favorite hanging velcro ever; I talked about it in detail here) and the project is no longer on my to-do list. It’s done.
“Project Life” is not only the heart of our company and what we DO, but it’s so much about what I BELIEVE … which is … that we should cultivate a good life and record it. Those 3 pictures of each time we had a new addition in our family, represent why I do what I do on a personal level.
I just had to take a moment to share a fantastic discovery I made today. My parents (who are in their mid-70s) are finally retiring, and have decided to sell their house, buy an rv, and travel. As the only daughter, it’s now my responsibility to keep all the family photo albums and heirlooms that have been passed down.
This afternoon I began sorting through some of the items from my maternal grandparents. It has been an amazing experience. Apparently they both believed in documenting life, and they saved every postcard, letter, diary, and so on that they ever wrote or received. Going through some of their items today has been a trip back in time! I know how important the idea of documenting our life story is, and I just wanted to share that I apparently come from a long line of “Project Life”-ers, even if they didn’t have the materials back then to archive stuff properly. How wonderful it has been today to share all this rich history with my own children! How much more poignant because I never met my maternal grandfather (he died many years before I was born), but in his mementos today I have felt him very near to me.
I wanted to share a few of the things I’ve come across today. I’ve attached a photo collage that includes (clockwise from top left): all the bills/receipts for the building of my grandparents’ farmhouse, two tickets to a 1920 dance, a receipt for $20 for payment of the doctor’s fee for delivering my mother (at home on the farm), a giant wallet containing all my grandfather’s crop locations for each year (he meticulously drew each year’s crops out on paper and listed how many bushels he got of each), my grandfather’s driver’s license from 1941, a grocery list, and my mother’s and grandmother’s war ration books from WWII. I also found post cards and Valentines my grandmother received (from 1909-1930), my grandfather’s war registration cards for WWI and WWII, and even the straight razor he used to shave with (still in its original case)! All in all, this has been an unbelievable adventure today.
As I’ve looked through all this priceless documentation, I am almost transported back in time to the early 1900s. And I am once again mindful of just how important Project Life is. Documenting everything, including the mundane everyday things that we don’t think are important (like grocery lists), will one day paint a picture of us for the generations to come. How awesome. So thanks for being such a big supporter of all of us who believe in documenting our life story. You rock!
My name is Sabrina Pobst, and I live in Oran, Missouri. And I love Project Life and what it has done for me. Amen. : )
The following are notes from individuals and families who have generously donated to my brother's family. There are many others who donated beyond the notes you see below and the ads you see on my blog. We can not thank you enough for your kindness and generosity during this very difficult time. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
Jonathan -- May god give you strength and courage in the coming months. Enjoy your family. Love you wife and hug your kids. Lean on Him. He can handle it. God Bless.
- Tricia Shelton
May you be surrounded by love, friendship and family in this difficult time.
- The Gourlay Family
Dear Jonathan, Tina and family: Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Although we have never met, we felt compelled to reach out to you. We hope that through these well wishes you feel loved and cared for. Life is about our families, communities and sharing love with each other. Through Becky's blog, I know that you have a wonderful family. We hope you know that through Becky's web community, you now have many new friends thinking of you. May you find strength in God and from all the prayers said on your behalf.
I wish you all love, peace, courage, and strength for the days ahead. I'll be praying. Be blessed!
You and your family are in our prayers. God Bless!
- Angie Murray
Thank you, Jonathan, for being there to support Becky while she shared her gifts and talents with me through the years, albeit remotely. This small gift is the least I can do to say thank you. God bless you and your family.
- With loving thoughts, Terri C
Although I've never met Jonathan, I have been following Becky's articles, books, and blog for years—even met her once at CKU Orlando. Like so many that Becky has touched, I've always admired the love, unity, and values of your large and beautiful family. I wish you all love, peace, courage, and strength for the days ahead. I'll be praying. Be blessed!
All I can say is that I believe God has heard your call because He certainly placed it on my heart to respond. It was loud and clear. And when He's involved, great things far beyond what you and I can comprehend will occur and I pray that gives you peace today and the days to come.
- Peggy Krantz
May you continue to find peace and comfort knowing you are surrounded by loving family and friends.
My heart is filled with love and pain and gratitude for eternal families as I have read about the challenge your family faces. Please accept my donation as a small token to help ease the significant, and often devastating, monetary burdens that come with this challenge. Thank you for a fine example of strength during the darkest times we face in life - an example that gives courage to others struggling with trials in their lives.
To Jonathan and family - I am keeping all of you in my thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time.
- God bless all of you, Leslie Schmitt
"Praying for you and your family." 1 Peter 5:7
- Kristina Proffitt
I'm praying for you throughout each day and asking God to give each of you the strength, comfort, and peace to get through this enormous trial. May God bless all of you in ways you never could've imagined and may His mighty and healing hand be especially upon you Jonathan.
- Much love, Lisa in Florida
May you continue to find peace and comfort knowing you are surrounded by loving family and friends.
Dear Jonathan and family, Our heartfelt prayers are with you and your family. May you know in your hearts that there will always be someone, whether here or above, who will always be with each one of you.
Jonathan, his family, friends, and coworkers are all in my prayers during this difficult time. Thank you for sharing your story with all of us- it's very inspiring to see Jonathan's strength through this battle.
"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is that small voice at the end of the day that says 'I will try again tomorrow' " - Mary Anne Radmacher - The last year has been really difficult for me, but this quote always seems to help. I hope it helps you and your family, as well. Don't forget, miracles really do happen. Hang in there and keep your chin up.
- Love and prayers from NM, Stephanie Taylor
To Jonathan, Tina and your entire family: I wish there were more that I could do to help you. Becky's books have been my favorites since I first read them. Because she shared family photos and stories, I feel like you are all old friends. Good luck and I am sending happy thoughts and sparkly wishes your way!
- Jacki Samolsky
Big hugs and lots of prayers of healing and peace to your whole family.