Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Magistical Memories and Scenic Route love

I don't remember if I've mentioned this or not, but I was honored to be asked to guest design for Magistical Memories this month. I was sent a fun package of goodies to play with, and I've had a blast going through it and picking out shapes to play with.

I first started with the fun open border for this layout:

I then used a chipboard circle for this card:

Magistical Memories doesn't only do chipboard. They also do acrylic shapes. I received this acrylic fish album and at first didn't know what to do with it. But then school got out and Morgan started taking swimming lessons for the first time. I thought it would be the perfect album to document her first round of swimming lessons. I thought she would love to look at it, and it might help her get excited and be confident about taking lessons a second time.

I knew I wanted to make a water layout which coincided with Scenic Route's monthly product challenge. I have been doing these for several months now. I like the challenge to use a specific product and a product kit as a prize is not too shabby either! lol This month's challenge was to use Grafton, which went perfectly with my album idea. The paper with the fishies on it was perfect for the cover of my book. I then added a Magistical Memories chipboard seahorse to complete the front. I should add that I hand stitched all over this book and had no trouble piercing my embroidery needle right through the acrylic.

Morgan just loves that album!

And because I already had my Scenic Route paper out, I decided to keep creating with it and made this layout. Prepare yourself, I have a little backstory here, lol.

So my parent's separated and divorced when I was 7. I was the eldest of 4 and my brother was just about 1 at the time. And my mom was.... 27. Ish. I canNOT imagine what that must have been like, to never have worked in your life and to suddenly be a single mom with four very young children. Anyway, to top it all off... when she was about 30 my mom found out she had a degenerative eye disease called Retinitis Pigmentosa. Basically, her retina is deteriorating. She's luckier than many because she is losing her peripheral vision rather than her central vision first. Do you watch "So You think you can Dance?" In one of the first episodes they had a girl on there with RP. I think she was losing her central vision first, though. To look at her you would know she had vision problems. With my Mom, you can't tell.

My Mom currently has less than 10% of her vision. I am in denial that she'll lose it all and secretly hope that for some reason it just stops. Please stop! Seriously, it's hard for me to even think about, because I honestly can't think of many things worse than losing your sight. Take my leg! Just leave me my eyes. Anyway.... she has about 10%. She can see what she's looking at. And she can see it with 20/20. But because she doesn't have her peripheral vision, she needs to keep her house set up a certain way so she doesn't trip over things, etc., etc.

ANYWAY.... once the kids were grown and out of the house, Mom didn't have a chauffer anymore, and was alone, so she moved to Portland, OR so that she could take advantage of public transportation. While there, she found a "hobby" that has become an obsession. That hobby is dragonboat racing. Basically, it's paddling. She sits on one side of a boat and paddles her little heart out. And I must say.... the woman is good. Dang good. She's in her mid 50's but she's in the best shape of her life. She's on the US team. She's been to Australia, Germany, Taiwan, I think she's going to Thailand this year? If more countries participated, it would be an Olympic sport. It's very cool. And you don't have to have your vision to participate.

When Mom moved to Portland, she was part of the very first blind Dragonboat team. They were quite the sight at first, banging paddles, all over the place. But they have sighted people mixed with the blind, and what they started doing is having someone at the front of the boat who beat on a drum to give them the rhythm. And then they just started "feeling" each other. And they became good. Dang good. It's amazing, really.

So my Mom travels around a lot, racing, but the only thing that happens anywhere near me is the Dragonboat races as part of the annual Portland Rose Festival. I always make sure my family makes it up to Portland, so my kiddos can watch their Grammabon. My Mom's name is Bonnie and she didn't want to go by Grandma. Steve's mom is Grandma. So Grammabon it is.

Anyway, it's amazing to watch. The sport for disabled people has grown enough that there are now 3 blind Dragonboat teams. It's so inspirational. And this year Mom paddled with teammates who had never raced before. I'll never forget watching the group huddle after they lost their semi-final round, the tears coursing down the faces of sightless people who FINALLY feel like they are part of the world. They finally feel like their disability doesn't leave them at a disadvantage. They were scared of the crowds, of the noise, of the unknown, and they had just reached the end of the race weekend, and had experienced it all, and had FUN. It was amazing. I'm just so darn proud of my Mama!

We just went to the festival a few weeks ago, and my Mama got my girls some Dragonboat t-shirts that matched the Grafton green very well, so I thought I'd make a layout with the girls and their shirts on.

I ended up with lots of leftover scraps, so of course I had to whip up a card too.

And that's about it! I have more Studio Calico layouts to share, but this post is getting a little long and photo heavy, so I'll save them for later.

Ooh! Hey, one more thing! Are you ready for CHA? Are you ready for CHA sneaks! Well I just spied the Pink Paislee blog, and there's a little peekity of new product! And holy pete, it's a layout I just finished! That's my Morgan right there! Check it out here! And be sure to keep checking back. There are going to be new product sneaks from now alllll the way up to CHA time. And YES! Pink Paislee hit it out of the park again! Have I mentioned how lucky I am that I get to play with new product now and again?! There are peeks galore all over that there blog post.

Have a great Tuesday!


  1. your mom? incredible. what an inspirational story. and as always, thanks for sharing your beautiful talent.

  2. Wow! Thanks for sharing! :)

  3. what an inspiration your mom is...now i know where you got your strength!!!! as always, your scrappy projects are wonderful and the girls featured are adorable (of course)...thanks for sharing

  4. love the mini Dav...and kudos to Mama for being such an inspiration!


  5. Davinie, that Fish album is to die for!! I can't take the cuteness of the seahorse!! I love your work!

  6. Thanks for the inspiration-Bless your mom's heart!
    Love your work girl!!

  7. I love all of your projects! They are awesome!

    And your mom sounds like such an incredible woman! That is so awesome of her! WOW! My SIL and her DH do dragonboat racing and it is such a cool sport.

    You should totally do a LO about her and the dragonboat racing - you've got the journaling all written out now! :)

  8. Love your post today Dav! It is always great to get an inside look at a friends life :)
    your layouts are awesome as always. Hope you have a great rest of the week!

  9. OK, that fish album is just beyond adorable! You soooo rocked your challenge with those supplies.

  10. awwww!! What a PRECIOUS story!
    LOVE your creations Miss talented!!!!!

  11. Whata fabulous story about your mom! Thanks so much for sharing it! :)
    Congrats on the GDT gig! your projects are fabulous! And I se that you are one of the SR winners, Congrats!

  12. I have so much to say - about how much I love your fish mini-album, layouts and cards - however, keep coming back to this. I am in awe of your mom. She is very inspiring! I am glad she found her niche and has such a passion for it. Like I said...I am in awe!

  13. That's a wonderful story about your mom and I love the LO you did about your lil race fans

  14. all of your projects are wonderful, wonderful!! I'm going to have to tell my sil about your mom's story. She lives in Portland and her hubby rows with a team. Wonder if there is any overlap!! thanks for all of your inspiration!!

  15. wow! what an amazing Mom you have...and your creations are amazing!!