the Story of my Baby Blanket

It didn’t matter to me that two-years of dragging my baby blanket around was ripping it into shreds. The shredded corner was perfect for wrapping around my hands as I sucked my index finger — a dual combination that was the ultimate in security. I never went to sleep without my blanket and I took it everywhere possible.
By the time my blanket threatened to become two pieces instead of one — which would have been a great backup plan for those lonely times when I misplaced the beloved thing — Mom made me a new one. (Mom is holding the old one on the right while my big sister and I are holding the new one on the left).

“Look, it has two colors now instead of just one,” is what she probably told me. “And look how bright the colors are. Your old one is so faded.”

My old one? My “old” one had a built-in hand-wrap! It was perfect!

Plus, I hated the bright yellow side of that new blanket. It reminded me of the too-bright Arizona sun that often made my head hurt.
It was heartache, but my parents insisted, and I did finally put that old blanket into the trash. Mom and Dad hadn’t really convinced me, though. I took it back out later. They had to hide it from me until garbage day came around.

The New Blanket

Somehow I did learn to fall in love with the new blanket that my mother made me, and it went around with me everywhere, too. It was my steady and stable companion through four moves: from Arizona to two different houses in L.A., then to Michigan and finally to Kansas. Someone lost it when I went on to college (and it wasn’t me, I am sure!).

I wish I still had that blanket.

But as much as I learned to love my new blanket, I only ever loved the green side. I hated that yellow side for as long as I had it, and I kept the yellow side down so I didn’t have to look at it. The green side was calming — just what a baby blanket is for, right?

In fact, it took me until the spring of 2008 — when I was thirty-five years old — to realize that for all these years I’ve disliked the color yellow because I associated it with the overly bright side of my new baby blanket, to bright suns and headaches.

It was that spring that I finally questioned my dislike of the color yellow. Maybe it was because I’m back in Arizona again and I now love * love * love the crazy bright sun here, that it occurred to me that it didn’t make sense to completely rule out an entire hue! So I bought some yellow clothes and I was in love.
I painted my scraproom a bright buttery yellow.
And this year I hope to paint a bathroom and two walls in my living room the same happy bright color. My favorite color for painted walls is still green, though. The green in my kitchen is similar to the green on the “good” side of my new baby blanket.
I guess the walls to my home are becoming an ode to my old fabric companions. Or maybe my little home has just replaced the security I felt from my baby blankets.

* * *

Ella Publishing Co. has nominated me as one of the nine Most Influential Scrapbookers of 2010. You can learn more about this award, the nominees, and the blog tour at or

Many thanks to all the awesome congrats and answers to my “attachment” question from yesterday! I have emailed the winners, but in case you’re interested, here the random numbers and the names of the winners:

82-Pat Hines * 526-Lizzie * 583-Heather C * 311-Kate Blue * 804-Nitasha * 740-Britta * 278-Nancy * 689-Sylvie H * 172-Liz Freeze * 146-Jennifer Alfonso

Please help me honor my fellow nominees by visiting their blogs throughout the week. You could win one of 100 cool prizes! Click below to say hello to today’s spotlighted bloggers.

Giveaway: 9 Most Influential Scrapbookers 2010

I snuck my way into the scrapbooking industry.

Traditionally, scrapbookers have had to hope for a spot on a prestigious design team, or get noticed by a magazine to get a place in our competitive little world. I didn’t do that. Izzy wanted to produce a scrapbooking video tutorial. I was a scrapbooker and I have performance experience. So we combined our skills and created the Paperclipping Video Tutorials.

People started watching, and then people started purchasing memberships. It was really an amazing experience.

Full of ideas, we have since turned Paperclipping into a multi-show and event website: I started the first live scrapbooking show over the internet a few years back, and we now have two audio talk shows where we gather together interesting people with interesting things to say about our hobby — again, unlike anything we’ve ever seen in scrapbooking. It’s been fun!

We’ve just been here having a great time while expending a lot of sweat and love in order to provide the ultimate experience for scrapbookers. So it made me happy and grateful to be noticed when I got the letter from Ella Publishing, announcing they nominated me as one of the Nine Most Influential Scrapbookers for 2010.

Thanks for noticing me, Ella! 🙂

Each of us nine nominees contributed to this book, which you can purchase for only $4.99…

Or you might try and win the book, along with 9 other prizes. . .


I get to give away a prize from each of us nominees, plus the book from Ella. . .

  • A $20 gift certificate from Ella Publishing Co.
  • Two digital-scrapbooking template packs (20 templates) from Cathy Zielske
  • A six-month Paperclipping membership from Noell Hyman
  • A “Play Date” product pack from Jenni Bowlin
  • A place in either a beginner photo-editing class or a beginner digital-scrapbooking class from
    Jessica Sprague
  • A spot in the “Beginner/Intermediate Online Photography Workshop” from Maggie Holmes
  • “Paper Girl” and “On Holiday” product packs from Margie Romney-Aslett
  • A $50 gift certificate toward any class on from Renee Pearson
  • A place for you and a friend in both “Love Your Pictures, Love Your Pages” and “Journal Your
    Christmas” from Shimelle Laine
  • A place in either Elizabeth Dillow’s “Inspiration Defined” or Karen Grunberg’s “Book of Stories”
    from Stacy Julian

How to Enter

I will pick randomly, but you have to answer a question! Here’s the question:

When you were little, were you attached to a baby blanket? A thumb? A stuffed toy? What were you attached to? Or were you so independent you didn’t need anything? Please share.

Tomorrow I will share my own story of emotional childhood attachment. You have until tonight to enter the drawing with your comment. Ten people will win!

ETA: Thank you! This contest is now closed! I have emailed the winners, but in case you’re interested, here the random numbers and the names of the winners:

82-Pat Hines * 526-Lizzie * 583-Heather C * 311-Kate Blue * 804-Nitasha * 740-Britta * 278-Nancy * 689-Sylvie H * 172-Liz Freeze * 146-Jennifer Alfonso


Music Monday: Charlie’s Unpredictable Rhythms

My Dance Background & Unpredictability

(the darkest blue legs in the middle of the stage are mine. Freshman year. 1980’s dancewear scariness)

I got lucky when my family moved to Michigan. There was a middle school that was part of the Michigan “Magnet” program. Abbot Middle School had a music-dance-theatre emphasis and even though my local school sat just down the street from where I lived, I took a bus to Abbot Middle School so I could get dance and vocal training and experience.

I had been choreographing dance pieces for fun since I was a young kid, but it was at this school that I got to choreograph on assignment and perform my numbers for other people. I also got to see other the other kids’ pieces. That is where I realized I had an intuitive sense for dance choreography, at least in one aspect — an aspect I realized was not a natural instinct for everyone: predictability. Or, rather, being unpredictable.

The other dancers in my class always repeated each 1-2 count movement on the other side of their body for counts 3-4, and then repeated the sequence a second time.

Right then left — again — right then left. (snore).

I preferred to keep the audience on constant alert so they would never know what I was doing next. Sometimes I would repeat a movement for three counts, but then do something totally unexpected on count four. I would often run a sequence beyond or just short of the standard 1-4 count or 1-8 count rhythm.

Red Hot Chili Peppers

I like the unpredictable and it’s the unpredictable, constantly changing guitar of John Frusciante that most stirs me in the song, Especially in Michigan, on the Stadium Arcadium album, which I blogged about a while back. I also mentioned the song, Charlie, in that original blog post. Charlie — a song about imagination and anything that happens to be your own personal inspiration — has the most unusual, unpredictable, tricky and complicated rhythm.

the Tricky and Complicated Rhythms of Charlie

First off, a disclaimer: I learned to count music for piano, singing, and dance. It’s been years, though, since I’ve had to count music and I’ll be honest — I don’t remember how it all works anymore. In the last fifteen years, the only motivation I’ve had to count music is to figure out how to count the musical timing of this song, Charlie, because it’s so unconventional.

To start with, there seems to be a regular 4-count rhythm for Anthony Kiedis’s lyrics, for the bridge and the chorus, and for the end of the song. As far as I can tell, Flea’s bass timing seems to be a 4-count, as well.

But Frusciante’s guitar goes nuts, playing its own rhythm. And somehow, while his guitar rhythm is totally different from every other part in the song during the verses and the beginning (I can’t even count his guitar parts because the rhythm seems to change mid-sequence), the song is somehow cohesive.

At the same time, Chad’s drum beat, while more conventional than Frusciante’s guitar, sparks its own surprise on every other fourth count. He drums a beat on the 2nd count, plus every other 4th. What about that missing 4th count interval? Chad hits it an eighth of a count later, every other time. Basically, he uses an even-note syncopated rhythm except for every other 4th beat, where he switches to an off-beat syncopation.

Unlike a lot of experimental or unusual songs, Charlie still has a great hook, so it’s unique qualities don’t sacrifice its ability to implant its melody into your psyche, or to capture a wide audience. It’s an absolutely captivating song from a band that, I still insist, is one of the most talented bands of all time. And totally unpredictable in the most endearing way.

* * *

Ella Publishing Co. has nominated me as one of the nine Most Influential Scrapbookers of 2010. You can learn more about this award, the nominees, and the blog tour at or

Please help me honor my fellow nominees by visiting their blogs throughout the week. You could win one of 100 cool prizes! Click below to say hello to today’s spotlighted bloggers.

First to the Ella website…

and then to the blog of the first highlighted nominee…

Getting Acquainted

Over the last few years we’ve made it a priority to take our kids on long visits to see my parents at their farm in Missouri. I love re-introducing my parents to these awesome young people I have in my life. I love acquainting my kids with the two loving people who raised me and gave me so much.
Below, Aiden and Grandpa are having a quiet little moment. Just enjoying the beauty of life on a farm, no frills…
Then they got a little conversation going and my dad got to experience the complete joy of talking to Aiden, my very funny and surprisingly articulate little boy.
He also got to see what a joy our dog, Gatsby, is…
After hearing how much Aiden loves to make stuff — 3-dimensional things out of paper and discarded pieces of plastic that normally go in the trash — Grandpa took him into his workshop, found some tools he could pass down to the cute little dude and taught him how to use them…

* * *

We drove back into town yesterday to find that Ella Publishing would be announcing myself and eight other awesome ladies as the nominees of this award…

I must say, it feels good to have my work (along with Izzy’s) acknowledged for all we do with

Normally I don’t put scrapbooky stuff on this blog (just my photos and stories), but Ella has set me up to run a week-long event with a prize-drawing here instead of on Paperclipping. So, all next week I will be here on this blog, linking to the other winners and their drawings, and on Tuesday we’ll have our own drawing!

In the meantime, you might want to check out this eBook that has layouts and time-saving scrapbooking tips from me and the other eight nominees.