Scrapbook Challenge : I Love You Today Because

Hello from Park City, Utah!  As I am resting here at the resort after a short hike, it dawned on me that I have not posted a new challenge.  I meant to post it on Sunday before my departure for Utah, but I guess I had other things on my mind.  And once I arrived in Park City, I was in vacation/relaxation mode so I did not even think about the challenge.  Sorry.

Inspired by Ali’s current project “I Love You Today Because”, I challenge you to create a layout or mini-book about the person(s) you love.   Ali is offering a free download of her I love you journal strips here.

Send your layouts to tginguyen at gmail dot com by Saturday, July 24.

Have fun!  (By the way, I love you today because you are reading my blog and are participating in these challenges.)

Scrapbook Challenge : 7 Wonders

For your viewing pleasure, I am excited to share the layouts of our 7 Wonders scrapbook challenge.

Me : Simple layout that focuses on photos and words.

JOURNALING : 1) Nature.  The outdoors is a large playground that begs to be explored.  2) Learning and teaching others to learn.  3) Connections.  Relationships.  The world isn’t as big of a place as I once thought.  4) Jim.  He makes life wonderful.  Everyday.  5) Life.  The union between a sperm and an egg to create a little person boggles my mind.  6) My mom and her stories of life, survival and love.  7) My future.

Laura : Love the list of her 7 wonders in labels.  Laura, I thought about doing the same thing but in the end, I printed photos for my layout.

Zarogina : I am jealous that Zarogina has been to all of these gorgeous places.  Great color combination here, Z!

Nathalie : Check out this adorable mini-book from Nathalie!  Love the bight colors, white lines that frame the photos, and the simple layout of each page.  Love the focus on words and photos here too!

Felicia : Love what Felicia did with the pattern paper on the right.  I have the same paper and have not figured out what to do with it.  Thanks for the idea, Felicia.

Thanks for sharing your work, ladies!  I love everyone’s interpretation of the challenge and as always, I am excited to see what y’all come up with next.

Scrapbook Challenge : 7 Wonders of Your World

I love to travel.  During the year, I dream of all of the places I would like to explore.  Part of my list include items from the 7 Wonders of the World.  Do you know what the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World are?  How about the Modern World?  Read on to find out …

7 Wonders of the Ancient World

  1. Great Pyramid Giza
  2. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon
  3. The Statue of Zeus at Olympia
  4. The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
  5. Mausoleum of Maussollos at Halicarnassus
  6. The Colossus of Rhodes
  7. Disputed : The Lighthouse of Alexandria or The Ishtar Gate

7 Wonders of the Medieval World

  1. Stone Henge
  2. The Colosseum
  3. The Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa
  4. The Great Wall of China
  5. Porcelain Tower of Nanjing
  6. Hagia Sofia
  7. Leaning Tower of Pisa

7 Wonders of the Modern World (according to the American Society of Civil Engineers)

  1. The Channel Tunnel (between the United Kingdom and France)
  2. CN Tower (Toronto)
  3. Empire State Building (been there!)
  4. Golden Gate Bridge (been there!)
  5. Itaipu Dam (between Brazil and Paraguay)
  6. Zuiderzee Works (The Netherlands)
  7. Panama Canal

It is now your turn to come up with the 7 Wonders of Your World.  OK, so the lists above only mention physical structures but you do not have to limit yourself to physical structures or things.  What are 7 wonderful things you have some connection with?  What are 7 wonderful things that you have had a hand in helping, aiding, or guiding?  What are the 7 things that are most important to you?  (To me, this challenge goes along with the Pride Challenge — instead of listing one thing, can you come up with 7?)

Are you ready to share the 7 Wonders of Your World?  Interpret it anyway you wish.  I am anxious to see what wonders ignite your world!  Be ready to share your layout(s) on Saturday, July 10.

Scrapbook Challenge : Pride

Me : Simply put, I’m proud of what I do.

Felicia : Proud mama. (By the way, yellow is my new favorite color and I’m totally diggin’ this pattern paper.  Felicia, you have a lot to be proud of!)

Nathalie : Another proud mama.  (I so love the details in this layout — the outlining of the stars, the star used to replace the “o” in “so”, the shrunken certificate to fit on a 6×12 layout.  I also love that Nathalie’s son is an awesome junior scientist!  Can’t wait for him to be part of the scientific community.)

Zarogina : Proud aunt.  (OK, I have to admit that I would not know what to do with this pretty pattern paper.  Zarogina, you pulled it off like a charm!  Love the way you attached the journal pieces.  Sweet layout.)

Thanks for participating ladies!  I’m having so much fun doing the challenges and love seeing your amazing creations.  Keep them coming.

Scrapbook Challenge : Advice (due June 12, 2010)

Our next challenge is from the lovely Laura.  The topic? 


This is open for interpretation … it can be the best advice you ever received, advice you’d give others or wish you would have received or from a particular day/era, etc.

Layouts are due on Saturday, June 12, 2010.  Email your layouts to me at tginguyen at gmail dot com.  Happy scrapping!

Hope you’re all having a wonderful Memorial Day weekend.

Scrapbook Challenge : Collections

When I told my non-scrapbooker friends that I’m doing a project on collections, they looked at me and said, “You’re so weird!”  OK, so tell me something I don’t know.  Anyway, many of them say don’t collect anything, but after I’ve planted the seed in their heads, they ponder it over and come up with a plethora of things!

As for me, I’m a huge collector of hats.  And Dansko shoes (absolutely love them).  And costumes.  And because I’m a scrapbooker, I’m also a collector of paper, adhesives, letter stickers, photos and stories.

For this challenge, I’ve decided to showcase my hat collection.  It is my signature piece.  It makes me, me.  My friends make fun, but my hats always bring smiles to the faces of the many strangers I cross paths with.  I remember sitting at a restaurant enjoying my burger when this little four year old boy walks by and shyly whispers, “I love your hat.” and walks away.  It was the cutest thing because it was totally unexpected.

This layout was inspired by Lisa Dickinson’s recent Fun with Fonts blog entry on the WCS blog.  I love mixing fonts and when I saw Lisa‘s work, I was immediately inspired.  I don’t love my handwriting, but I thought I’d try to write the word on cardstock and cut it out with sharp scissors.  It was somewhat tedious, but I love the way it turned out!  And by the way, these photos are all self-portraits!

Here’s a look at some of the other contributors to this challenge.

Laura : She has an impressive collection of Starbucks cups.  I know because I’ve seen them, in person!  I love the framing of the photos within the black lines and the bit of detail at the top of the page.  Laura and I think alike because we both included hand-drawn + hand-cut words in the title of our pages.  Love the word love.

Emily : When I initially posted this challenge, Emily wanted to be excused from it (just like the students!)  because she could not come up with anything that she collects.  Now check out this awesome page below!  I love the hand-stitching frame and handwritten journal border.  Emily, where did you get those pretty flowers?

Felicia :  What an impressive collection of books!

The following are collections from people who do not scrapbook.  Thanks for sharing your photos.

Lisa : Wind-up toys

Villeneuve Family : Duckies

Kara : Cupcake cups, cookie cutters, Disney DVDs, and many others.  She actually has many collections even though she couldn’t come up with anything when I initially asked her.  This girl is crazy about cupcakes!  She’s got amazing baking skills — and she makes personalized birthday cupcakes for those she loves.

She loves to bake and decorate cookies, hence the crazy cookie cutter collection.  Who needs this many cookie cutters, anyway?  Oh wait, not pictured here is her collection of ice cream sandwich cookie cutters.

And she has an insane collection of DVDs.  Crazypants has enough DVDs to fill two bookcases — yeah, TWO!  And she watches them all over and over again.

Kara, you can no longer say you don’t have any collections.  You have plenty!!!

Scrapbook Challenge : Collections

My friend collects daylilies.

Another friend collects rubber duckies.  Her bathroom is filled with them — and for each holiday, you can find a plethora of ducks to match!

My brother collects 50’s furniture and ceramic dogs.  (Yeah, ceramic dogs.  WTF?)

And my buddy from Hawaii collects Pinky-Street Japanese dolls.  Actually, he seems to collect lots of things — check out his Room of Doom and inspiring toy photos.

What do you collect?  I’m opening this challenge up to ALL scrapbookers, nonscrapbookers, and photographers who have some serious collection(s) to share.  Submit your photos or page layouts to me at tginguyen at gmail dot com by Saturday, May 29.  I’ll post your submissions by the evening of May 29.

I can’t wait to see what y’all hoard.

Scrapbook Challenge : Collections

My friend collects rocks.  She picks one up from every hike, every trip.  Each rock has its own story — and if you ask, the story unfolds to reveal an exciting adventure.

My sister collects yarn.  She has a treasure chest full of yarn that she draws inspiration from.

Most of us have some sort of collection.  What’s yours?  Scrap your collection.  The more bizarre, the better.  Oh, by the way, there’s a fabulous collection of household juicers in the June edition of Martha Stewart Living.  They made me smile.

Layouts are due on Saturday, May 29.  Please email your pages to me at tginguyen at gmail dot com.  We look forward to seeing your creations.

Scrapbook Challenge : Then & Now

For your viewing pleasure, I am excited to share the layouts of our scrapbook challenge.


I used the GT April/May Kit.  (The papers in this kit are vibrant and perfect for your summer layouts.  More on kit contents later.)

I ended up with a lot of journaling so the picture flips open to reveal the story.

Journaling : 2001 : At 25 years old, I was a 1st year Teach for America teacher at Hollenbeck Middle School in East Los Angeles.  I was young, naïve, inexperienced, energetic, idealistic, and determined to reach every single student I came in contact with.  The 7th and 8th graders I taught in the first month of school carefully observed my moves and mannerisms and figured out that I was a new teacher.  They sensed my weaknesses and slowly ate me alive.

Due to an increase in 6th grade enrollment, my principal moved me down to 6th grade. Although I did not want to make the switch, the move turned out to be a blessing in disguise.  I team-taught with Kelvey Stewart, also a first year TFA teacher.  Between the two of us, we had about 70 students.  I taught math and science while she taught reading and English.  We each had one ancient civilizations class.  We worked long hours, carefully planned each lesson to meet the needs of all of our students while maintaining our high expectations, dealt with a ton of behavior issues, tried various reward systems, and learned that teaching is way harder than it seems.

We struggled each day to keep the attention of squirrelly six graders and to be consistent in our discipline plan.  Our days were long and hard.  We became buddies with the night custodial staff because we were at school long after the dismissal bell.

Jose T. haunted my dreams that year (and many years after).  Although we experienced many challenges that first year, we also celebrated many successes.  We each established a classroom library filled with books of varying reading levels for our students.  We brought Ancient Civilizations to life with several Living History Days.

Together, we made a great team. We were the Dynamic Duo – relentless, idealistic, somewhat stubborn, and determined to motivate and inspire every student we taught.

During that year, I also became a NASA Ambassador teacher at Cal State LA.  I presented at the national NSTA conference in San Diego, CA and attended a plethora of workshops.  Teaching ruled my life.

2010 : Now, I’m 34 years old, getting ready to finish my 9th year of teaching!  With 9 years of experience under my belt, I am no longer as idealistic but more realistic.  I am now teaching 8th grade physical science in Elk Grove, CA.  I have a total of 220 students of varying abilities.  I no longer fear 8th graders; instead, they fear me.  I am strict and maintain an orderly classroom.  I still deal with typical student behavior issues but do not write as many referrals as I did my first year.  I am still energetic, enthusiastic about my subject, and inspired to make learning fun.  I do what I can to connect with my students but am not crushed if I don’t reach them all.  I am happy if I can turn kids onto science.  I am lucky if I can touch the life of one child.

I still work long hours but no longer spend endless hours at school.  I continue to improve my practice by attending workshops and conferences but I am more selective of the type of classes I sign up for.  I do more hands on activities and continue to build my repertoire, which now includes a Halloween Science Spooktacular Show.

Jose T. no longer haunts my dreams.  I am a good class manager and can get students to work.  I continue to create a safe and comfortable learning community within my classroom and provide memorable learning experiences for students to help them discovery the science that surrounds them.

When I joined TFA in 2001, I intended to teach for 2 years, 3 at the most.  Teaching once ruled my life.  After 9 years, I’m finally learning how to balance my teaching career with my personal life.  Aside from teaching, planning and grading papers, I now find time to enjoy my hobbies, exercise, read books, visit my family, and cook.

Love the design of Laura’s page — the awesome handwritten journaling along the side with letter stickers to emphasize her feelings toward her son’s 16th birthday and the strips of pattern paper beneath the photo with the bold heart.

Journaling : I know it sounds cliche but where has the time gone?  Each year on your birthday, I pause to remember your birth.  I was so scared!  I didn’t have experience with babies!  Look at you now.  Sixteen years old!  This tall young man that I use to rock to sleep in my arms!  Derek — I am so proud of the wonderful young man you have become and I look forward to all of the great adventures that lie ahead!  I love you!  -Mom

Love the orange/blue combination that Zarogina used in this layout.  Check out that precious photo of them on the right.  Love it!

Journaling : There are 29 years between one photo and the other. Carolina is my big sister. She always has taken care of me, since I can remember. She is very caring, protective and loving sister and despite the distance, we keep in touch on a daily basis. I admire my big sis, her strength and courage in times of adversity and all the difficulties life has put her through. I love her very much.  (Zarogina took the photo before she journaled.)

Here’s one from Emily in Australia.  I love the beige + pink + brown combination.

Journaling : At 18, I was still in year 12 at SOTE, self conscious and lacking in confidence in myself, worried about what other people thought of me.  At 31, I am happy and secure.  Loved.  In love.  A wife.  A teacher.  A step mum.

Emily is such an overachiever — instead of creating one layout for the challenge, she created two!  Love the scallop edges, bling + layering of the different pattern papers.

Journaling : Then : We were both still at uni.  We both had idealistic ides about what teaching would be like.  We were both single.  We both wanted to meet and fall in love with Mr Right.  We both lived in Brisbane.

Now : We are both experienced teachers (7 years in the job).  We both have high but realistic expectations of ourselves & our students.  We both met and married our Mr Right within months of each other.  You live in Warwick (my home town) & I live in Roma – 5 hours away.

I’m diggin’ the round doilies in Felicia’s layout.  (Felicia — is that a photo of you on your wedding day?)

Thanks ladies for participating in the challenge!  We look forward to having you join us again.  I’ll post the new challenge Monday (5/17) evening.