Hello again dear friends!  I honestly cannot believe it is already September!  Where has the year gone?
This month's theme is 'change', and for the first time I created a layout about ME.  I have to admit, it felt really strange to scrap a photo of myself, but there's a reason behind it.  :o)  Change... this is definitely something that describes my life these past 18 months or so.  I got married last year and that was a BIG change, but a positive one.  On the negative side, my health started to decline.  Every day is a battle, but I am slowly on the road to recovery.  The change that I really wanted to discuss is scrapbooking.  I began scrapbooking last year and I am so ecstatic that I did.  It has provided me with a therapeutic outlet... a creative world to become lost in.  It is a relief from the daily routine and the problems and stress of every day life.  But with every good thing, there is usually a negative side.  My obsession with scrapbooking grew quickly and I wanted to become more involved in the crafting world.  I soon began to realize that this industry can be very competitive.  I came across a few fellow scrappers who seem to be the type to want to put others down to make themselves feel more important.  Being a newbie in this crafting world, I felt really discouraged and intimidated.  I thought that the forums were positive places to share your work and encourage fellow artists.  I DID receive encouragement from many wonderful people, but I also received disheartening comments such as, "I've already done that before" or "I've already used that technique in the past".  There seemed to be a few women who were determined to prove that they are better than me.  And you know what?  There's no need!  If you say so, then I believe you.  To me, scrapbooking is a form of expression... a form of art.  Not a competition.  I suppose my over-sensitivity caused me to take these comments to heart... almost to the point where I didn't want to create anymore.  Thankfully, my husband and a few dear friends kept me sane throughout this ordeal and basically told me to "believe in yourself...just BE YOU".  No matter what we do in life, there will always be those few who try to discourage us and bring us down.  But I won't allow it.  I now know who I am and that I have a passion for this craft.  I am going to keep doing what I do using my own style.  I am eager to learn new techniques and share with others the knowledge I have gained.  For any of you who have also experienced any discouragement... keep your head up and just believe in yourself.  Don't let the negativity of others prevent your from doing what you love.  Okay... I think I have babbled enough now. LOL.  Let me share my layout with you.  :o)
I used Donna Salazar's Antiquities Collection for this layout.  I think it is my all-time favorite.  I adore the colors and feel of each of her beautiful designs.  I also love that each paper can be used for either a girly or a masculine layout.
The title is made up of Grungeboard letters and alphabet stickers that were adhered using adhesive foam for added dimension.  The Grungeboard letters were inked with Donna's new Mix'd Media Inx and then embossed with white embossing powder by Clearsnap.  Have you tried Donna's new Inx?  They are AMAZING!  Not only are they super juicy, but the colors are incredibly rich!
I created this flower with Donna's Carnation Creations Die, and I coated it with my favorite glitter... Fairy Dust Glitter.  You can find the tutorial for this flower HERE.
These flourishes are hand-stitched.  I actually used the flourishes on Donna's Tales of Travel paper (seen at the top and bottom of the layout) as a stitching guide.  The layers of paper behind the photo were spritzed with Cashmere Smooch Spritz, one of Clearsnap's new colors.
Behind my photo, I attached a Canvas Art Board Cover by Zutter.  It is attached using Rivets which are perfect for fastening thick boards or corrugated board.  The canvas was masked using a Prima mask and Smooch Spritz in Mixed Berries.
Words to remember...
The chipboard flourishes surrounding the flowers are made by The Dusty Attic.
I used Corrugated Board by Zutter for my background.  It was painted with white acrylic paint and inked with Chestnut Pigment Ink by Clearsnap.  The decorative corner is also a chipboard element manufactured by The Dusty Attic.

Thank you for stopping by and I wish you all a beautiful day!

For a list of products used, please click on the link below.