Category Archives: Scrapbooking

Craigslist haul


Ha! There I am, just cruisin’ Craigslist (as I do), minding my own business (as I often don’t do), lookin’ at the craftin’ stuff. To be able to afford a road trip back to Alabama, we are not supposed to be spending any money this month, so it is all window shopping. Just kind of ‘crafting porn’ for me, really. Until I saw a women advertising craft punches on a Craigslist. She had a box of them labelled them as ‘all $30’. Some crafting punches are $30 (or more) new, so I could not figure out if it was the whole box for $30 or not. $30 for each seemed stupidly expensive; $30 for the lot seemed crazily, unbelievably good. I was pretty sure it was not $30 for the lot, so when I emailed to ask, I added a kind chiding “because you know, they are $20-$30 new”.

She responded.




Her listing also listed a box of stamps and ink for $40 and a sizzix die cutter plus dies for $40. After one email she agreed to give me the lot for $80.

So, I agreed to go and collect them bright and early on a Saturday morning. As I drove out to Pasedena, full of Craft-anticipation, I was thinking “It’s a pretty good indictment of society that strangers will just meet each each other without fear… especially in a country with guns”. Then I thought “Ugh. This country has guns”. Then I thought “I could get shot”. Then my thinking spiraled, spiraled into: “This advert was way too good to be true. If you wanted to get a woman off Craigslist to kill, wouldn’t you use something like craft stuff? Something 99% likely to attract a woman?”.

Clio told me never to think.

Turns out the woman was very nice, and didhave crafting stuff, and wasn’t looking to store my head in her freezer.

Thus I now own:

Craft punches

All the craft punches


Rubber stamps

All the stamps

and a sizzix die cutter with 3 alphabet dies.

I have to admit, I felt guilty about low balling her. But she said that she had decided just to ‘throw in’ 50 sheets of scrapbooking paper:


and a free scrapbook:


So she obviously did not feel too screwed.

I am so excited! Weirdly, this has put my scrapbooking on hold while I try to find a way to integrate these into my craft studio. I am definitely having storage issues.

Houston friends: you are welcome over at mine any time to paper craft. If you have an occasion coming up and need to make something, just drop me a line. Your children are welcome too – 3 of my best friends in Alabama were 5, 8 and 10 years old respectively and some of our best times were at my house making things.

Now, I am off to work out how to store all this in a practical, but tidy, way.


She also threw in some glitters, and 15 stamp pads.

Remind me how jealous y’all are?

Sam’s first month scrapbook page


Gah, I can’t believe it has taken me so long to make Sam his 1 month scrapbook page – in just 2 weeks it will be time for his 3 month page. Oh well, little ‘uns (and work, and scrap-booking, and Christmas) keep you busy.

It’s funny to look back at this day… Of course I loved Sam, but he was still a little stranger in our home. A little, beautiful, alien. Sam was everything, and yet, we were still making an effort to fit him in to our routine. We were still in throws of “I need to do X… how do I do it with Sam?”. Still figuring out this little person who had come into our lives.

We only had one ‘routine’ down. Every day, at about 4 am, Sam would get horrible gas and grunt and cry. I was so sleepy that the best thing seemed to be to climb into bed in the nursery and bring him with me. It was amazing, he would melt into my arms, relax, stop his grunting and look utterly at peace. It started out as an anxious time: me watching him, so sad he was in physical pain. Then, quickly, Sam adjusted, as did I, and it became a very special time. Time we would snuggle just the two of us. Time, that even now as Sam gets glorious independence, he is utterly dependent on me, his Mama. It’s almost like we are as close as when he was inside me.

We wake up together, and I love I am one of the first things he sees when he opens his eyes. His biggest smiles are always when he opens his eyes to greet the day, and greet his Mum. I pray he retains that joy in life.

Back at one month, he didn’t smile, but I did. We would sit and read books, look at toys, sing songs. He was floppy then, and so skinny, I can remember how passive he was in my arms. How I taught him even to have his body in a comfortable position.

Wes would come in when he woke. He snapped this shot of us – one of my favorites – and I snapped one of him, realizing that Sam was a whole month old.

A beautiful page for a beautiful boy. Quite different from the one before – his birth page.

I am super excited, some friends bought a very special gift for his 3 month picture:


His hospital outfit, one size up 🙂 I think he will look quite different to this:


Scrapbook page – Sam’s birth


I didn’t know how to blog about scrapbooking, and I have realised after all the comments on my last post that what people want to read about is the stories behind the photos. Well, maybe that was obvious, but somehow it did not occur to me.

I wanted to make a page for Sam’s birth. I had hundreds of pictures to choose from, given that we documented all of the 2 days I spent in labor, and 5 days in hospital postpartum. But already, when I think back, I don’t remember any of that. I have to really think to recall labor – all I know is that the pain really wasn’t that bad for me, even on pitocin. My time in hospital doesn’t seem more than 24 hours, again, unless I really make an effort to recall it. All the nitty gritty, from foley balloons to IV drips, to transfusions and so on just never comes to mind.

What I do remember, and what I relive time and time and time again, and what is reflected in the pictures I chose are those 5-10 minutes when Sam actually came into our world.

Sam descended really quickly and he was crowning in minutes. I could never feel Sam descend – I could feel the contraction, but only by looking in the mirror did I see if I was making progress. I didn’t want to use a mirror – I thought it would be gross, but the nurses kept asking and asking, so I gave in for an easy life. I was glad I did, it blew me away when I saw Sam’s head crowning. It was all blue and red and white and icky, but absolutely amazing to me to see an actual part my son for the first time. It made me cry and I remember thinking ‘I am going to have a baby!’, it is one of the first times I thought of Sam as a baby, really. That realization, and that excitement, is one of my favorite memories. I pushed and pushed for another 2 and a bit hours, and began to worry whether I could get him out or not.

Sam was transverse (just a bit I think, the OB said ‘transverse’ but I guess that has a lot of definitions). My OB for the day, Dr. Dryden, put her hands in and manually turned him each time I pushed. He made fairly good progress when she did that, I think it was just 3 more pushes, but I didn’t know that. By the time the final push came, I had stopped looking in the mirror – it was all hurting so much and I was pushing so hard I was cursing and yelling and trying desperately to focus on all the instructions (don’t hold your breath, don’t push before the contraction has built, legs up, elbows out, think ‘down’). I do remember having a panic and asking if Dr. Dryden needed to use forceps or do a C-section. Her calm words rang very clear to me “No, I don’t need to see him now. I do need to see him soon, but not right now’.

I had had so many unsuccessful attempts to get him out, my head was over to my right side and I shut my eyes and literally put everything I had into a push. I had had hours of pushing and nothing, and this didn’t feel any different, so I was shocked when Dr Dryden announced his arrival and I saw him being lifted up! He had been stuck in pelvis for a while, so he had a few more checks than was originally planned and my view was obscured.

Sam seemed to take ages to cry – I kept asking over and over again if he was OK, but then he did and but he was wrapped up super quickly and handed to me. I have heard people describe this immense love they felt… Elena at the The Art of Making a Baby describes seeing her daughter Lexie for the first time as realizing she had always loved her. I felt none of that. Honestly, my first thought was ‘Oh my God! I did it! I did it!’, just huge, euphoric disbelief. Then I instantly thought ‘He is safe! Sam made it here safely!’. Wes was crying and saying over and over again how proud he was of me, and I just thought ‘this is immense! It’s a baby! I have a son! Oh my God, I have a son for the rest of my life’.

Sam’s face, although I thought it was adorable, just struck me as so alien: I had never seen it before. I didn’t think ‘Oh, this is my son whom I love’ I just thought ‘this is the baby I have to love the rest of my life’. Knowing Sam was mine (ours) forever was overwhelming (in a wonderful, wonderful way). I tried to drink in his features, to etch them on my mind forever because he would be with me forever, but I couldn’t. It was like the enormity of becoming a mother couldn’t be encapsulated by learning a face.

They took Sam to be cleaned and weighed and all I knew then was that I really wanted him back. That I really wanted him in my arms.

10 incredible minutes in my life. I don’t ever really look at the pictures of me in labour, although they are cool to have. Everything changed the minute Sam was here: it was all about him then, not me.

My first scrapbook page

So, at the princely hour of 1.17 am every day I breast feed Sam. I am all good with that part. I am less good with the following 2 am pump (admittedly it could probably be a 1.30 am pump if I didn’t always fall asleep). At first I thought I would work while pumping… didn’t happen. Then I thought I would email or blog… couldn’t happen. As it turns out, my sleepy and sleep-deprived brain is good for only one thing at that heinous time: looking up pretty things on the internet and obsessively ‘pintresting’ them.

Seriously, my previously neglected boards have exploded. My current pretty-thing-to-pin is scrapbook layouts. After much pinning, and a few trips to Jo Ann / Target where I collected papers and embellishments on clearance, eventually, I had pinned (and spent, goddamit) enough to actually decide to give it a go.

So without further ado, here is my very amateur, first pass at a scrapbook page:


It’s hard! I think the more you get and collect, the easier it is. I have learned that I will just have collect stuff as I go along, because it helped to cut up a lot of things – way more than I could use on one page – and just play around with layouts.

It’s not quite as creative or cute as the pins on my scrapbooking inspiration page, but there is beauty in simplicity, right? Whatever, it was a lot of fun to do. Which is really the point of it after all. And it goes well with my new Groovebook app.

Oh, and the main photo was taken on 13th February, 2010, which I have just realised is 2 years to the day that Firework was conceived. 🙂

Oh, and to help poor lost souls like me, I have even added a ‘pin it’ button to me blog. Fancy.