In Good Company! My return to Digiland!

I am so pleased to announce that I’ve just set up shop at Pixels & Company as a designer. I’ll be designing alongside of Celeste Knight, Deena Rutter, Gennifer Bursett, Jen Allyson, Meredith Cardall, Robin Meierotto, and Shirley Polk. That is a pretty talented and inspiring roster of artists.

My new products will be released twice a month. This week I released a full kit (So True), a journal card pack (So True) and an element pack (Cork Flairs: Happy). They are currently at least 30% off!

Cork Flair: Happy by Melanie Ritchie

So True | Elements by Melanie Ritchie
So True | Full Kit by Melanie Ritchie

So True | Papers by Melanie Ritchie

So True | Journal Cards by Melanie Ritchie

Here are a couple layouts from some P&Co Creative Team talent:

Happy Day by Maribel Rivas

by Maribel Rivas

This Is My Crew by Kate Christensen

by Kate Christensen

It’s Here! it’s Here!

Oh, happy day, I got the scrapbooking tool of my dreams! It showed up at my door pretending to be a cardboard box.  I opened up that box and there it was in its plastic covered glory. I bought myself a We R Memory Keepers Photo Sleeve Fuse which have just become available in stores. I am pretty busy these days but I kind of want to clear my schedule and play for a day.

Photo Sleeve Fuse Tool | Melanie Ritchie

So, what does this handy tool do, you ask? It is a burn tool that lets you seal off memorabilia and journal cards in page protectors. You can custom make your pockets  in the protectors. If you’re not a scrapbooker, just nod encouragingly, ok? If you ARE a scrapbooker (particularly of the pocket page/project life variety) you’ll understand WHY this is such a big deal.

I am looking to using this project because:

  • I won’t have to stress over how my portrait or landscape photos are going to fit  on the same page. As in, it used to be impossible.
  • I can use odd sized papers.
  • I can totally seal off sections. A locket of my daughter’s first curl. Sequins.
  • SEQUINS. Yes, I plan to fill pockets with pretty sequins and things that appear suspended in mid-air. It will be lovely.
  • I can seal off a bit of the top or side of open pockets where the paper or photo is always slipping out.

Freakin’ genius technology that is going to make this girl smile from ear to ear when she finally sits down at that craft table (eyeing it longingly right now).

That’s all for now. I’ll post again soon with a full report on the awesomeness of this tool.

Nighters!

Time Travel and an active Imagination

It is Friday! Friday! I’m doing my Friday happy dance! I just came home from a lovely evening out with a friend. We ate at a yummy vegetarian restaurant in town. Sometimes I don’t realize just how much I need a night out with good food and good conversation with a friend. I need to do this more often!

I’m so happy this week is winding down. I spent nearly every day the past two weeks at the kids’ school painting some canvas panels. I finished them five minutes before the bell rang on Wednesday. It was such a relief to see them done. I loved the process of drawing and painting. I loved being in the school lobby. It was a really positive experience for me. As all of you know, I have hermit tendencies so it was good to get out out of the house a bit. I have a renewed appreciation for being at home now. It shook me out of a rut and that was really needed. I spent yesterday and today tying up lose ends I hadn’t gotten to the past few weeks. One of those things was creating a couple of layouts for Simple Scrapper.

I made two very different layouts.

1. One is about the albums I loved as an older teenager. Even now when I hear the songs I am instantly transported back in time. I can recall the feelings, the smells, and the intensity of the moment. I wonder if it will still be this way when I am 90. I was inspired by a template that included two doilies. It seemed a bit odd that I might think doilies belong on a layout with Nirvana and RHCP album covers. I grunged them up with some purple mist and black ink. It seemed symbolic to me of a girl coming of age. The layout has bit of a messy look that fits well with how I felt back then.

Time Travel | Melanie Ritchie

2. This layout was so fun because it encompasses everything I love about Disney World. The joy I wanted to my children to experience when my husband and I took them on a very special trip in 2013. I wanted the layout to have some Winnie the Pooh elements on it but I didn’t want to detract from the photo or journaling. So I was happy to include a bit of patterned paper and stickers of bees and honey. I could look at the photo of my kids all day!

Magic | Melanie Ritchie

Did I mention that Simple Scrapper is hosting  a free photo organization class? Sign up here.

photocrush

Next week I hope to write posts about a cute little gift my friend gave me tonight, the paintings I made for the school (I have yet to take photos of them), and some thoughts I’ve been meaning to share for the past couple months. We’ll see how that goes. In the meantime, I wish you good weather, peace, love, good health, and happiness!

Saturday Night

You may have noticed I did a little housekeeping on this here ole blog. I liked the way it looked before but I know it was a bit cumbersome to navigate so hopefully I’ve simplified things a bit. Let me know what you think!

My intention was just to post some layouts I’ve done the past few months but somehow that led to a blog clean up session! Just as well.

Anyway, my posting layouts has been long overdue. I haven’t had much time the past few months to do much scrapbooking but I hope that will change in the coming months.

1. I wrote about my views on faith. I enjoyed making a paper layout. I was so happy I even used up some 15 year old vellum AND made a washi tape leaf too! I covered a wood veneer shape (Always) with gold glitter. That was fun.

Personal Truth | Melanie Ritchie
2. This layout was so enjoyable to put together. Some whimsy, some paper, some tape, some thoughts. It does soothe my soul.

Soul Soothers | Melanie Ritchie
3. This was my heartfelt attempt to explain how my children are growing up and leaving their babyhoods far behind. I went digital with this layout.
From Mommy to Mom | Melanie Ritchie
4. I used instagram photos and Facebook statuses to document what I did during the same week in February during three different years.
Time Hop | Melanie Ritchie
5. Ah, Pinterest. How do I love thee?
Pinterest | Melanie Ritchie
6. Pocket Pages aren’t just for documenting your week. I used this one to tell the story of how I spent Saturdays when I was young. I love the nostalgia!
Hello Saturday | Melanie Ritchie

How fitting I should show my “Hello Saturday” layout last. How different this Saturday was from the ones of my childhood. Although my husband did text me an article about Golden Girls Lego. Not quite the same as watching an originally airing episode but I’ll take it. As well, I did indulge in some chips and dip. Definitely something I would have done in 1985.

Goodbye Saturday! Sleep tight!

 

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!

Ice Breakers and frozen fingers

Oh dear me, the draft of my post disappeared! I’ll paraphrase what I think I said because a few days have passed and the memory isn’t as fresh. I’m not feeling so poetic tonight.

Last weekend, we were treated to a lot of snow and then it turned to frozen rain. The return to school coincided with treacherous road conditions. Our driveway and street were an ice rink. It was a lovely Winter Wonderland otherwise. When the kids returned from school, the sky was such a pretty colour and shimmering down on the ice covered snow.

The kids wanted to walk on the snow at the park. The idea of being able to walk on snow was quite novel to them. They were fascinated they were able to walk without sinking. It reminded me of when I was a kid walking home from school. I would take short cuts through the yards of three schools. Often the snow would be up to my knees. Out of boredom and an attempt to distract myself from the cold, I’d make it bit of a contest to see how many steps I could take without breaking through the snow. I was very light footed back then.

Then they discovered they could jump and crack the snow. Even more exciting than walking on snow, was smashing through the crusty layer of ice. Luckily, I had dashed home to retrieve my camera when I saw that the sky was so lovely. So I was prepared with camera in hand.

Then my daughter realized how cold she was feeling and we quickly hurried home. Which was good timing as my fingers were quite numb with cold from taking photos.

Darn, I wish I hadn’t lost my original post. It was much better. Ha!

So, here are some of the photos I took and a layout I made with them using supplies from the Pixels & Company Designers.

mr_jan_winter6 mr_jan_winter5 mr_jan_winter4 mr_jan_winter3 mr_jan_winter1 mr_jan_winter2 Photo by Melanie Ritchie drutter-d365-winter2015-lores

Keep warm and enjoy your Sunday!

The best of intentions

Always. Who doesn’t hope to accomplish all their yearly goals and tie them up in a neat little package with ribbon and bows just in time to ring in the new year? I do. I always think this year I’m going to accomplish it. Yeah, um, no. It didn’t happen. Ah well. At least I’m relaxed about it.

I’m going to start my year right though. I’m going to plan out projects, assess my goals and see what I want to get done for 2015. On my own terms. No guilt.

To help myself as best I can, I’m attending Simple Scrapper’s annual online event to plan out my year. Won’t you join me January 7th, as I Start Fresh?

 

To tie up those loose ends of 2014, I’m going to show you some layouts I worked on. I had wanted to work mainly with traditional scrapbook supplies but when time is limited I tend to work digitally.

  1. I made this page when I thought I was ahead of schedule. HAAAAA!!! Silly me.
    dec1_6x6lores
  2. By the second week of December, we were all sick with colds. Bronchitis came for a visit. I’m still waiting for it to leave.
    dec10layout-lores
  3. I switched things up after I returned from my parents after Christmas. I grabbed an old photo as I was inspired by a story starter prompt. I used a Simple Scrapper template to build the layout. It documented a weekend getaway during a challenging period of my life.Ritchie_2_600 (1)
  4. I used another Simple Scrapper template and story starter to profess my love of Pinterest in a layout. By the way, feel free to peruse my Pinterest gallery.
    ritchie_Jan15#1SSr

I will be seeing you soon. My biggest resolution is to be consistent with my blogging. Let’s just see how I do, shall we?

Designing for December

One day in the summer I got asked by the lovely and talented Kelly Sill to create a digital kit for her upcoming Holiday class at Scrapaneers. I said “Heck ya, I’m interested!” and that was the truth.

I’ve been a fan of Kelly for quite some time. She has a style that is all her own. A very clean sleek look to both her digital products and her own scrapbooking. I followed her blog posts to see what new projects she was working on. So, I was pretty happy when she began instructing classes.

Discover December” is going to be packed with oodles of holiday goodness. She will show her students how to create their own 8″x8″ album with the templates, digital kit, word art, glitter styles, and overlays included in the class kit. Seriously, oodles of goodness. I was lucky enough to create the digital kit and was thrilled to find out Karla Dudley was creating matching glitter styles and Taylormade Designs was creating matching word art. Very very cool!

Here’s a peek of the class kit included with enrolment.

DD14_launch-banner-new

Right now the class is on sale until November 10th. Class begins on December 1st. Be sure to check it out!

Two new layouts and a Happy National Scrapbook Day!

Happy National Scrapbooking Day everyone! I’m convalescing on the sofa bed in my craft room on this gloomy day. My mood cannot be dimmed as today is a happy day! I would like to be creating layouts but I have just enough energy to do a little writing and take frequent naps. I had my wisdom teeth yanked out 48 hours ago so priority #1 is getting some R&R.

In April, I worked on decluttering and organizing the house and my craft room. The Easter Bunny came for a visit and left the kids lots of treats. I had the pleasure of taking a solo trip to Nova Scotia to visit my best friend. It was JUST what I needed! Now it is May and time for me to share my layouts.

Both layouts were made with a template that comes with premium membership at the Simple Scrapper. I am linking up this post with my layout to the Simple Scrapper blog for the Community Show & Tell. Check out all the other layouts and add your own layout or creative project for everyone to see. For details on linking up, see the Simple Scrapper blog.

1. Easter Bunnies: Oooh, I had fun with this one. I finally succeeded in stitching on a layout with a sewing machine (the circles under “wonderful”). Huge accomplishment for me. Check that off my bucket list! I bought the photo booth Easter props at Target for $5. I’m loving that retro vintage bunny chipboard sticker.

ritchie_may14-s2lores

 

2. You & Me:  The goal was to create a layout telling the story of how I met my best friend. I ended up sharing more of a timeline on the times and places we’ve been together. I made the layout the week before I got to visit her in Nova Scotia! It had been 3 years since we’d last visited each other. Such a good time! I love putting lots of journaling on a page. I hope to add more journaling to my pages in the future.

ritchie_may14-story2lores

Again, I’d like to remind everyone that I’ve been asked to teach on a scrapbooking cruise (Pure Magic Croppers) for next winter. Do you want to join me, Feb 22-Mar 1 2015 on a week long cruise to Florida and the Bahamas?  I’ll be teaching a class on each of the three “at sea” days. If you would like more details, check out the Pure Magic Vacations page on facebook.

Huzzah! Two new layouts and a cruise!

March has flown by. Well, more like roared… lion-like. ROAR! Snow. Snow. Snow. Freezing. Snow.

In more joyous news, birthday parties were had. Relatives visited. Moods lifted. Clutter decluttered. Stuff happened.

I also found time to scrapbook. Or as I like to say, “Craft happened”.

Before I get to showing my two layouts, I wanted to also share something interesting that popped up on my calendar. I’ve been asked to teach on a scrapbooking cruise (Pure Magic Croppers) for next winter. Do you want to join me, Feb 22-Mar 1 2015 on a week long cruise to Florida and the Bahamas?  I’ll be teaching a class on each of the three “at sea” days. If you would like more details, check out the Pure Magic Vacations page on facebook.

Now about those layouts. Both layouts were made with a template that comes with premium membership at the Simple Scrapper. I am linking up this post with my layout to the Simple Scrapper blog for the Community Show & Tell. Check out all the other layouts and add your own layout or creative project for everyone to see. For details on linking up, see the Simple Scrapper blog.

1. My plan was to make a layout showing something currently in my home that honours my past. I have a great attachment to my maternal Grandma and I keep several items I inherited in my kitchen.  My life has changed so much in the past decade and I live hours away from my hometown. Surrounding myself with these mementos connects me to the people and places that are no longer in my life.

ritchie_apr14-s3-lores

2.  I am slowly documenting my Disney vacation from last November. The entire trip is in a D-ring album with pocket pages. The highlights of the trip will become 12×12 pages. This layout is a small moment that might not seem worthy of a whole layout. Yet, to me, it is exactly why I wanted to take my kids to Disney World. The place specializes in magic. As a kid, I remember that sense of wonder and amazement at water fountains and colourful lights. I think I was as excited as my daughter to see these stones twinkle as we were leaving Epcot at twilight.

ritchie_apr14-story10-lores

Happy Spring! May it bring lots of flowers and happy moments!

Save $10! Pre-register for All Star Digital Scrapbooking Techniques

I wanted to let all of you know about the pre-registration sale for All Stars Digital Techniques at Scrapaneers, opening August 5th. Register between now and July 1 and save $10.00 on the price of the class for either the Photoshop or the Photoshop Elements version.

I am very pleased to say I’m one of the instructors in the All Stars class. The entire class is self-paced with over two hours of video lessons geared towards the intermediate digital scrapbooker. Be sure to check out the class description to see the line-up of amazingly talented instructors… I can’t wait to learn a few new tips and tricks!

The photo below shows a sneak peek of my video lesson.

One Little Word… what’s the word?

Ok, so I’ve already told you my one little word is “Authentic”. What I haven’t done is shown you my intentions for the year. I made a two page 8 1/2 x 11 spread of 18 cards. Nine on one side, Nine on the other. I haven’t decided whether I want to add little month tags, or little number tags to 12 of the cards. The idea is to have an action and intention for each month. I used Odds & Ends by Cosmo Cricket for most of the cards, as well as some Thickers stickers. I handwrote “Authentic” on the 12 cards with a black marker. Then on little strips of kraft paper I made a rough banner with white marker. I outlined it in black and wrote my intention word on the banner. Then I cut out the banners and stuck them on the cards with a 3D foam sticker, for a bit of depth. I still think the cards need a bit of embellishment. When I find the right thing, I’ll finish them off.

1. The whole shebang, front and back.

2. Closeups.

authOLW1

authOLW2