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This month the Get It Scrapped Creative Team was challenges to make a page using a pre-made product like patterned paper or embellishment/element with a retro tech motif. Here’s some inspiration on Pinterest.

3 Most Beautiful Places by Heather Awsumb | Supplies: Almost There Kit, So Fine Element Pack, Surf Lagoon Element Pack, Dragon Trainer Element Pack, Assorted Messy Stitches White No 3, Classic Cardstock Oyster, Flossy Stitches Red by Katie Pertiet; Thick Awesome Words by Ali Edwards; In Stitches Circles by Britt-ish Designs; The Good Stuff This Month Paper Pack, The Good Stuff This Month Alpha by Mye de Leon; Daily Bulletin, Positive Spin by One Little Bird; Corn Maze by Emily Merritt; Careless & Painted Alpha by Allison Pennington; Life Stories Christmas by Zoe Pearn; Kitschy Christmas by Jennifer Barrette

3 Most Beautiful Places by Heather Awsumb | Supplies: Almost There Kit, So Fine Element Pack, Surf Lagoon Element Pack, Dragon Trainer Element Pack, Assorted Messy Stitches White No 3, Classic Cardstock Oyster, Flossy Stitches Red by Katie Pertiet; Thick Awesome Words by Ali Edwards; In Stitches Circles by Britt-ish Designs; The Good Stuff This Month Paper Pack, The Good Stuff This Month Alpha by Mye de Leon; Daily Bulletin, Positive Spin by One Little Bird; Corn Maze by Emily Merritt; Careless & Painted Alpha by Allison Pennington; Life Stories Christmas by Zoe Pearn; Kitschy Christmas by Jennifer Barrette

I think of camera motifs as kind of a generic motif that works well on most pages (or at least any page that includes photos!) This is why I thought it would work on this page about the most beautiful places I have ever been. (If you can’t see the labels on the pictures the three places are: the Okavango Delta, Sosussvlei and Sehlabathebe National Park.) I love pages that bring together pictures from different times/events to tell stories beyond just what happened. If anyone ever looks at this page they would get a glimpse of my personality seeing that my favorite places are all out in nature rather than buildings or in the city. For the design the patterned paper was a little busy as a background, so I reduced the opacity with a white paper behind it so that it kind of greyed out the strong camera pattern.

Watching: The West Wing Season 2. I love that they’re still vaguely familiar to me even though I haven’t seen these episodes in YEARS. The music is cheesy, but I think they generally hold up over time.

Anticipating: My trip to Mpumalanga/Panorama Route for Easter. Hello warmer weather!

Listening/Reading: Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny (Kindle) and Speaking from Among the Bones by Alan Bradley (audio).

Eating: Nothing special.

Working On: So much, but nothing very exciting to describe here.

Wanting: Clarity. Don’t we all? (How’s that for existential?)

Playing: Switching between Threes and 2048 games similar goals but different approaches. I learned about them on my new favorite podcast “Pop Culture Happy Hour.” They’re the kind of games that has me thinking of patterns even when I’m not playing, like Tetris.

Over on the family scrapbooking blog my mom, sister and I are sharing pages using Pantone’s color of the year for 2014 “radiant orchid.” Ironically although I love the color purple and have quite a bit of it in my wardrobe I have a very hard time scrapbooking with it. Since I tackled this challenge with a different approach than usual, I thought I would share more about my process here.

I do not often start pages with a color palette in mind. My trigger is almost always photos or story. When we first decided to tackle radiant orchid, though, I didn’t have any photos or subjects that came to mind. My next step, then, was to search Pinterest for “radiant orchid” for a color combination that I liked. One of the first hits on my Pinterest search was this article that had several different color palettes using radiant orchid. I really liked Triad 2 because it used one of my other favorite colors – turquoise – and decided to put together a “mood board” of supplies to match the color combination. The mood board was easy and fun to do because my supplies are tagged by color. I started by finding the right shade of purple and then moved to metallics, blue and green. While searching through my stash I found a great patterned paper from the Garden District Paper Pack by Katie Pertiet that featured the right shades of green and blue and had the idea that I would make it my “focal” patterned paper with pops of radiant orchid. 

Radiant Orchid Mood Board | Supplies: Cornmaze, Winter Song, Soiree, Rise and Shine by One Little Bird; Julep Kit by Gennifer Bursette; Garden District Paper Pack, Away We Go Add on Paper Pack, Classic Cardstock Little Layette, Classic Cardstock Finest, Classic Cardstock Carnival, Classic Cardstock Spring, Cooked Element Pack, Almost There Element Pack, Away We Go Element Pack, Little Layette Kit, Sweet Rose Element Pack, by Katie Pertiet; Belle Alina Gilded Elements by Scotty Girl Design; Fortitude Basics by Laurie Ann HGD; Arizona Autumn by Digital Design Essentials; Retro Buttons Painted Vol 4 by Rachaels Scraps

Radiant Orchid Mood Board | Supplies: Cornmaze, Winter Song, Soiree, Rise and Shine by One Little Bird; Julep Kit by Gennifer Bursette; Garden District Paper Pack, Away We Go Add on Paper Pack, Classic Cardstock Little Layette, Classic Cardstock Finest, Classic Cardstock Carnival, Classic Cardstock Spring, Cooked Element Pack, Almost There Element Pack, Away We Go Element Pack, Little Layette Kit, Sweet Rose Element Pack, by Katie Pertiet; Belle Alina Gilded Elements by Scotty Girl Design; Fortitude Basics by Laurie Ann HGD; Arizona Autumn by Digital Design Essentials; Retro Buttons Painted Vol 4 by Rachaels Scraps

One thing to note about the mood board is the gold elements. This is not a color I would have normally matched with purple, but I saw it used pretty frequently together with radiant orchid in my Pinterest search. I’ve also noticed that gold elements have been popular in the digi scrapbooking world, so I threw them on to my mood board.

Once I had my mood board complete, and I STILL did not have a story in mind, I started trying to layout my page using the papers and elements on my mood board. Eventually I decided to try out one of the Scrapbook Coach classes (these have become my go-to when I’m looking for a “template”) and finally ended up with a fun story. Here’s a sneak peak at the final result, I’m quite proud of how the page turned out given the how difficult it was to get started. You’ll have to check out the blog post over on Scrapping Two by Two for the full result!

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Sharing a layout today I made for the Scotty Girl Designs creative team using this weeks release: Dreams Come True Collection. I loved the fun, bold patterns and colors in the collection.

Disneyland Tradition by Heather Awsumb | Supplies: Dreams Come True Papers, Flair and Elements by Scotty Girl Designs

Disneyland Tradition by Heather Awsumb | Supplies: Dreams Come True Papers, Flair and Elements by Scotty Girl Designs

At first I didn’t think I had any Disney-related photos or stories to tell and then I remembered this picture from way back in 1998. It was our tradition on the SUU debate team to go to Disneyland on New Years Day between two debate tournaments held in Southern California. Once I had the picture in mind it took me less than an hour to put together the layout. Thanks to Facebook I’m connected with all the ladies in this picture 15+ years later!

My second challenge from the Get It Scrapped Creative Team this month was to make a page using glitter, but most importantly that the glitter should add something to the page like emphasis, theme/mood or texture. Here’s my page:

Birthday Boy by Heather Awsumb | Supplies: Beachy Keen Glitters by Flerg; These Walls, Rise and Shine, This and That, Star Gazer by One Little Bird Designs; Day Out Element Pack, Surf Lagoon Element Pack, Cut Ups Birthday, Assorted Messy Stitches White No 4, Label Strips Rainbow No 1, Spot Dot Brushes No 4 by Katie Pertiet; Arizon Autumn by Digital Design Essentials

Birthday Boy by Heather Awsumb | Supplies: Beachy Keen Glitters by Flerg; These Walls, Rise and Shine, This and That, Star Gazer by One Little Bird Designs; Day Out Element Pack, Surf Lagoon Element Pack, Cut Ups Birthday, Assorted Messy Stitches White No 4, Label Strips Rainbow No 1, Spot Dot Brushes No 4 by Katie Pertiet; Arizon Autumn by Digital Design Essentials

I love using glitter styles – premade styles that you can apply to just about anything in PSE or Photoshop. The best part is there’s no mess to clean up – it all falls exactly where you want it! Another great thing about glitter styles is that you can apply them to any layer on the page. For example, on this page I applied it to two stamps/brushes and also the starburst circle that was originally just solid paper. Unfortunately I think that my favorite designer for glitter styles has resigned from designing so I don’t have any recommendations where to find digital styles.

Watching: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (charming, but not a fave)

Anticipating: The return of the art I finally brought to the frame store in Ladybrand, hopefully this week. It includes the oil painting of the Okavango Delta by my grandma, a piece I bought at the Rosebank flea market 3 years ago that’s been hanging over my bed with bostick and the woodcut print by this artist I fell in love with in Stellenbosch. Now I just have to figure out where I’m going to hang it all.

Listening/Reading: To Pharrell Williams’ new album. The fact that he was in three of my favorite songs last year (Happy, Get Lucky and Blurred Lines) pushed me to buy the whole album instead of single by single like I normally do.

Eating: Vegetarian chili. I made a big pot and now have to eat it all up!

Working On: Normal work stuff. It’s a nice break after the craziness of February.

Wanting: Is it too late to say “Summer to last forever” (again?) Yes? Then how about a mild winter. (Side note: I recognize how blessed I am to only want for better weather. I honestly can never think of anything else to put here!)

Playing: Nothing, still! I just haven’t been in a gaming mood recently.

HIV Sucks

 

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The view on my way to a wake this afternoon in rural Lesotho

I have lived most of my adult life the countries that have two of the three highest prevalence rates of HIV in the world – Lesotho and Botswana. It’s only in the last 6 months, though, that I’ve personally known someone who has died from AIDS. Actually, two people. That’s right, two people in my life have died from AIDS in the last 6 months. I got lucky as a Peace Corps Volunteer to come to Botswana at a time when access to care and treatment had increased tremendously. PCVs in the groups before me spoke of attending funerals nearly every weekend. I attended just two funerals as a PCV. Sure, people continued to die; I just didn’t know any of them personally.

I’m sure this is some kind of “expat aid worker” cliché, but I’ll go ahead and say that the deaths in the last 6 months have been a reminder of why I work in public health and especially HIV. It’s a reminder that although there has been tremendous progress in scaling up HIV care and treatment services there are still challenges to address. Because the medicines are available in Lesotho but not enough people are taking them. Because we can’t assume that those who have started treatment are well. Because people shouldn’t have single digit CD4 counts. Because people shouldn’t die from AIDS.

Here’s to finding renewed commitment when it would be easy to become jaded.

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