Oh. My. Word! It’s nearly Halloween! Here’s a treat!

Boo! Did you think you saw a ghost? Or a shadow of my former self? I am alive. My blog is rather dusty. Summer happened and then the leaves fell off the trees, and now I’m here.

This past week, I started Lilla Roger’s “Make Art That Sells: Part B” e-course. So for five weeks, my head will be in a creative fog, whirlwind, cloud? I don’t know. Something where rainbows and unicorns swirl around my head while I bump into walls and unintentionally ignore people who are trying to talk to me. So, no offence in advance, peeps.

As for Halloween, I put a kit in my Pixels & Company shop and it will be on for half price until, uh, Halloween.

Trick or Treat Full Kit | Melanie Ritchie

Trick or Treat Elements | Melanie Ritchie

Trick or Treat Papers | Melanie Ritchie

Trick or Treat Papers | Melanie Ritchie

 

Trick or Treat Alpha | Melanie Ritchie

Trick or Treat Alpha Tags | Melanie Ritchie

Trick or Treat Freebie | Melanie Ritchie

To download the freebie, click on the photo and follow the link to my shop. Add the item to your cart and you will be able to download it instantly.

Have a fabulous Friday and an even better weekend!

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Wise Words | Melanie RItchie

A Letter to my children: What other people think

Often I am writing letters to my children in my head but I don’t get them written down. I have a pin board with lovely quotes but I don’t explain why I’ve pinned them. There are nuggets of wisdom I want my children to really internalize to give them strength and hope throughout their lives. If for some horrible reason I’m not there to give the advice to them firsthand, I’d like to know they can read it in letters.

Today, I want to tell them about the importance of what other people think.

  1. It’s None Of Your Business. That’s right. If you, my children can wrap your heads around this, you’ll have a MUCH happier life. It does not matter what other people think. YOUR actions and thoughts matter. Not theirs. Instead, look at yourself and ask these questions: 1. Are you doing your best? 2. Are you being kind to yourself and to others? 3. Are you safe? If your answer is yes to all three, then carry on with your day. What other people think CANNOT be controlled by you. It is possible you are adored by someone and you have no idea. It is also possible they don’t like you. Is this your fault? Probably not. It could be that you’re just very different people. Or maybe they feel threatened because you’re competition in some way. Or maybe you remind them of someone who has hurt them. Maybe you remind them of something they don’t like about themselves. Or maybe they are very sad and need to release their frustration on someone and you seem like a good fit. Or maybe it is Thursday and they don’t like people like you on Thursdays. See, it’s ridiculous. It’s not your problem.
  2. You’re Not A Mindreader. Like the first point, you cannot spend your time guessing what someone else is thinking. What would that solve? Most All people are absorbed in their own thoughts. Yes, they may be thinking bad things about you. They may also be thinking about sharks, or how they really need to release some gas, or even wondering if you’re thinking bad things about them. It doesn’t matter because it isn’t your business. Ask yourself why their opinion is more important than your own? Why do you need their acceptance?
  3. You Are Not Perfect. I love you dearly but like all humans, you are not perfect and never will be. No one should expect that from you. Especially you. Are you worried someone is thinking about things you’ve done wrong? Well, maybe they are. I’ve wasted a LOT of energy and time worrying about upsetting others. Especially in work situations, you are often put into a position where you have to learn the job without instruction. You cannot become efficient at your job without first making mistakes. What they don’t tell you in school is that you are not always going to receive proper training to do a job. Yet you will be expected to do it well right from the start. That is a very difficult position to be in and I guarantee you will find yourself in that situation at some point. If you torment yourself worrying over how you’re perceived, you will be miserable. Of course some people will be annoyed by your mistakes. Others will understand there is a learning curve. It is not your job to think about it. It is your job to learn your job. Apply this to all areas in life. Becoming experienced = making mistakes and making mistakes = becoming experienced.
  4. Everyone Has A Hater. No one is always liked. Even your favourite movie star or stuffed doll has someone who isn’t a fan. Even the Dalai Lama has people who don’t like him. I’m sure there is even someone who doesn’t like the Kratts brothers. Can you imagine? Should that change how great they are? No. Do LOTS of other people like them? Yes! Lots of people like you. Don’t focus on the people who don’t. They don’t have to like you and you won’t be happier trying to make them like you. Think of it this way. Some people like mushrooms. Some people don’t. You can’t make someone love mushrooms. Tell yourself that the next time you feel rejected by someone. It will at least make you smile a little, right? Be like Taylor Swift, and Shake it Off! Haters are gonna hate, hate, hate.
  5. It Still Hurts. Even knowing all of this, it will always hurt when we know people don’t approve of our choices or values. We’re human. We want to feel accepted. It especially hurts when our loved ones don’t approve. Always use this as an opportunity to evaluate yourself. Again, ask yourself if you’re happy with your choice, what could be done differently, and is anyone being negatively affected by your choice and whether that can avoided. If change needs to be made, work to make that change. If not, then accept the other person has their opinion and that is their business. People are entitled to have their own opinions just as you are entitled to have a different opinion. It might hurt but be confident knowing you are doing what you need to do to be authentic and happy.

I’m sure I can add to this list but these are the thoughts that occur to me now.

I made a few journal cards inspired by the topic and you can download them HERE.

mr_wisewords_PREV900s

Happy Sunday!

R.I.P. Nelson Mandela.

Last night my husband told me Nelson Mandela had died. I was saddened to hear the news. Although he was 95, many of those years weren’t his to live freely. I woke up to read the Facebook status of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. He said he had lost a dear friend. Those two seem like they would be deserving best friends. The Dalai Lama described Nelson Mandela as “a man of courage, principle and unquestionable integrity, a great human being, someone of whom we can truly say, “He lived a meaningful life.

I’ll never be Nelson Mandela. I’ll never be the Dalai Lama. I highly doubt my life will make profound change in the world. Yet, I like to think I’ll have moments that help to change the current from misery to bliss. My own little splashes of Goodness in the River of Life.

Next in my Facebook, I saw someone in a scrapbooking group was collecting quotes to put on journal cards for her Project Life album. I thought “hey, I can help with that” and so I did!

Here are 6 journal cards (3×4) for my readers to download. They are free! If you feel like paying something, go “pay it forward” and make someone’s day special somewhere out there in the world. Even just a smile to a stranger would be good payment, don’t you think?

I made the cards 3.25×4.25 (extra room at the sides) so that they can be printed correctly at Persnickety Prints or wherever you print your journal cards. This way, the edges won’t get cut off when you print.

Enjoy! Go out there and live a meaningful moment in honour of Nelson Mandela.

mr_mandelajc_preview

Oh yes I did!

I put my design hiatus on hiatus so that I could have the privilege of collaborating with Nancie Rowe Janitz on a Christmas themed digital kit. So without further ado, here is our mega huge “Silent Night” on sale today in Nancie’s shop at JessicaSprague.com. It is available separated into patterned papers, solids and elements OR you can buy the complete collection.

Why Silent Night? My three reasons: It is my favourite Christmas carol; For nearly four years I’ve sung it to my son as a lullaby… works like magic; when I was a kid I loved staring up into night sky during cold, snowy December nights when the stars would shimmer like diamonds. Few things have ever made me feel more complete. To me, Silent Night holds the meaning of Christmas… in the midst of chaos and turmoil, beautiful things can be born in the stillness of the moment. My wish is for everyone to feel peace in their lives this holiday season.

nrjmr-silentnight-patterns nrjmr-silentnight-solids nrjmr-silentnight-elements

To make things extra special, here is a free quickpage (12×12). I thought it would make a great cover page for a Christmas album. Hop on over to Nancie’s blog as she’ll be giving away some word art.

mr_silentnight_quickpage-lowres

Click on image or HERE to download.

Hope you like it!

Pixels And Company iNSD Creative Team Blog Hop

Hello hello, fellow bloghoppers. You’ve found yourself in the midst of the Pixels & Company iNSD CT blog hop!

What does that mean? Each creative team member has chosen four of their favourite products to highlight on their blog.

Then each of us reveals a letter. You need to collect all the letters in order to spell out a phrase. That phrase will get you a free set of journal cards. The journal cards have been made by the creative team using papers and elements from the Pixels and Company Designers’ iNSD  “More or Less” kit collaboration.

pco_mol_jc_preview

So, here are my four favourites. I’m sure you’ll like them as much as I do:

ctbloghop_ready

Why do I love these? Let me count the ways:

Artistic Photo Masks Five by Simply Tiffany Studios – These masks are dramatic. They make a real impact. I clip my photos to them but occasionally even papers. They are great for a blended, artistic feeling page. They are great clustered (as shown in the preview) or as individual frames. A very quick way to spice up your layout.

InstaLuv by Karla Dudley – These are FAB-uu! Seriously, I use these all the time. You can personalize the frames in so many ways. Lots of variation. Room for titles, a phrase, or just your photo. Totally up to you. You’ll use them again and again.

Pitter Patter kit by creashens – Ok, it is freakin’ adorable. It really is. I’m mostly nostalgic about it because it is the first kit I ever used by creashens. That opened a whole world of wonder for me. I am grateful for that.

I also love creashen’s whimsical style.

Keeping Tabs: Weekday Files by Robyn Meierotto – I can’t get enough of how awesome these look. Really awesome. I used one in my Project Life. I use them in fully digital layouts. You can journal on them. Layer photos and elements on them. You name it, just do it!

Was that enough enthusiasm for you? I hope so.

This post was brought to you by the letter:

U

You came from Celeste Smith’s blog . Next up is Aria Andrus’s blog .

And if you’d like to start back at the beginning, here is the complete, in order list:

P&Co Blog

Sarah Hemmert 
Katherine Hansen
Mandi Buchanan
Kate Christensen
Rachel Alles
Anna Drozd
Jan Fortier
Carey Bridges
Emilie Stevenson
Ronnie Crowley
Amy Kingsford
Jennifer Hignite
Celeste Smith
Melanie Ritchie —> hey peeps, that’s me.
Aria Andrus
Jennifer Evangelista
Linda Roos
Christy Carlson
Barbara Unzen
Mary Rogers
Arielle Gordon
Jeryn Carlisi
Indah Permata Sari
Melanie Call
Jen Papadimitriou
Erin Taylor
Kelly Mobley
Kim Hammond
Wendy Bretz

My first freebie!

My first freebie! 

Here is a little something for viewing my blog. It’s my first freebie. It coordinates with my new “Cutie Pie in the Sky” kit. I hope you like it. Please leave a comment to let me know what you think. Also, feel free to subscribe to my newsletter for exclusive promos and savings.