PRT160 – Hernias and Heart Attacks

This week we’re talking about layering layers upon layers!

The Panelists

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  • Sorken

    Ha ha! That was next on my guessing list. ;-)

  • This was such an inspiring conversation Noelle!! I already scrapped a page!!! I idolize both Dina and Shimelle so it was literally a dream come true to talk to them about something I love. Thank you so much for the opportunity!

  • PjP

    Thank you for another great, funny and informative show. I’m going to have to listen to it again though, because I can’t get my mind off the letter from the Project Lifer who suspended her album when a relative with a mental illness made life really nasty for a while. I would like to plead with her to leave some kind of record of this episode (including the particulars of the person’s illness) for posterity, because it could save a life. A friend of ours has battled bipolar disorder for nearly 20 years; she’s doing well now but she owes her life as much to her uncle’s diary as to any drug or treatment. If she hadn’t found and read that diary she wouldn’t have known, when her own symptoms first appeared that, like her uncle, she had a potentially fatal illness. Her uncle took his own life before he turned 30 but the record of his illness that he left behind spurred my friend to seek help before she followed through on her own suicide plans. Sometimes keeping a record of daily life is hard because daily life can be hard; but when stigma stifles openness, no one is helped. I guess we sometimes need to ask ourselves, are we creating “Project Perfection” or “Project REAL Life?”

  • Karla Der

    Love layering on my projects and can’t wait to try the tissue paper technique! Great episode as always :)

  • sandrabunch

    Loved, loved, LOVED this episode! Thank you so much ladies (and Izzy) for the inspiration. I had to pause to go and grab my palette knife and medium so that I could ensure it comes with me to my crop tonight!
    When I grow up, I want to be Dina – I just dream of the day when I have a space where I can just throw down paint and whatever else moves me at the time. At the moment my space is a little limiting. Hhhmmmm… I’ll have to go work on that now, too!

  • The more we discussed this question, the more something stuck at the back of my mind but it was too much of a Pandora’s Box to open really. And that is if you’re scrapping for your kids (in some way) and they read your albums, etc… if you edit out something entirely, is that actually something that could be a bit dangerous? I have trouble putting this into words, but I kept remembering what they would tell us as teachers about letting students write about or talk about their worst moments. That although it can be hard to read and though a student might dwell on it and want to write about nothing else, it can really block the healing process to suggest moving on to something lighter, because we’re then dismissing the pain the child feels. To an extreme, that is what happens when people are victims of horrible events but feel they have to keep secrets and not turn someone in or ask for help. My process for wanting to just stop with my real life documentation of my year of the super-sad was my perspective of dealing with it, but my-oh-my if that album had been for documenting the real life of a whole family, I sure wouldn’t have wanted anyone to feel like they couldn’t mention any of the stuff that happened that year, that we had to *live* some sort of edited story!

    Who knew scrapping could get so serious?! But yes, I think there is definitely a lot to think about on this topic and there is a lot of good in finding a way to tell things as you can. Your medical history angle gives me yet another way to think this through. So glad your friend found help in such a sad situation. The fact that it was a diary does make me think things like hidden journaling or an envelope that holds the story could be a way to make this work without losing the general feeling of a Project Life album.

  • Oh THANK YOU for saying that Shimelle! I’ve been thinking about the discussion for most of the night. I felt like I was a bit incoherent but I very much feel that scrapbooking for the family record has to include all the messy or bad stuff because families grow stronger from that experience. I totally understood and agree with how you handled your 2010 public Project Life dilemma so I was at an impasse and wondered if I had offended you with my views.
    Glad to be part of this discussion. I totally agree that scrapbooking feels like it should be light and airy but who has that perfect light airy life? No one. I think as long as I am honest and share what I feel comfortable sharing- scrapping serious is a great thing.

  • I wrote up a blog post with my “take away” from this awesome discussion. I think scrapping serious is a great idea for a future episode. I’ve seen so many deeply personal and wonderful projects about health issues this year.
    Here is a link-
    The post is more about my feelings on what I said in this episode but scrapping serious is something I care deeply about so I want to encourage more discussion about it if possible.

  • Cindy_deRosier

    It’s with mixed emotions that I heard on the show and read in the comments that there are many others who have an estranged relative who is mentally ill. It’s sad, of course, that it is so common, but there is a comfort in knowing we are not the only ones. I have not scrapped anything about our relative; he just disappeared from family photos. Even if I wanted to scrap about it (which I don’t), it would be hard for a number of reasons. First, it’s harder to scrap an absence than a presence. I suppose I could scrap a family picture and point out that he’s not there, but that doesn’t feel right. Then there’s the journaling – it’s such a complex situation that I don’t feel like I could explain it in a paragraph or two. Finally, there’s the hope that he will eventually seek help and rejoin the family. I’d much rather wait and scrap his return to the family than his absence, if that ever happens.

  • Oh I completely agree with wanting to hear an episode about serious scrapping!

  • Sam Sheppard Pirkle

    Great show!!! I am a new listener who has been listening to all the episodes one by one and some I have listened to twice. I have laughed and cried with your panel on several shows. Keep up the good work!!!

  • Oh goodness, in no way did you or could you offend me on that matter (if any matter)!

    I’ve found I deal with the ‘serious scrapping’ differently at different times in my life (don’t we all?) because sometimes the sad things are single events that overwhelm otherwise normal stuff, and some times the sad things are long, ongoing processes that just take over everything. The year before I met my husband, I was have a year of the latter, and the pages I made them have a lot of writing that documents at first a lot of questioning and insecurity and a fair amount of shock (you know those times when hindsight is 20/20 but in the present you just DIDN’T see it coming!) and then it goes on to an almost rebellious tone of finding my feet and pages with titles like ‘you can’t keep me down’. I don’t have a problem looking back at those pages like I do my real life 2010. Maybe because all the stuff in that year is stuff that I was able to heal and step forward and put it in the past. That’s very different to how we feel when our loved ones pass away (and I think as sad as it still makes me, recovering from the loss of my grandfather is a more straight forward process than losing a friend who was my own age) and that is a big part of why I don’t want to go back to that book. I don’t *want* to recover fully from those losses – because to do so would be to deny how much I was gifted to know those people for the time that I did. That makes it harder to return to that scrapbook, but with more time I have included my thoughts on my grief and remembering them in other ways throughout my scrapping. It took a different tone of writing to work well for me – and now I’ve circled back to Noelle and Izzy choosing the right way to discuss their family member with their kids, being thankful and hopeful for the good.

  • Rather than scrapbook about the illness of my family member and the bad experiences (which I may or may not do in the future), I’ve chosen instead to scrapbook the good memories I have with that person. That’s been a good way for me to heal. When I scrapbook the good times with that person it feels like I still have a relationship with the part of that person I love so much. It’s like I get to enjoy the relationship that way, since I can’t in real life. Is it like that for you, Shimelle?

  • Wanda Woemmel Rohlfing

    First, let me just say, I love love love your show! I am listening via my podcasts app while driving back and forth to work each day. I try to listen to about 6 episodes a week – have made it up to episode 66 so far, I also listening to the current show each week – hoping to meet in the middle some day. You guys really rock and PRT has become like a best friend – driving 45 minutes one way to work can get lonely.. I just started listening to this week’s show today but I couldn’t wait to share my iphone app finds with all of you – so I may comment again later. Anyway, I found the most amazing blog post via pinterest with 12 apps for scrapbooking and I knew you guys would love this:

    I already had several they mentioned but I did find some new ones that so far I haven’t yet heard you mention on your shows (I have a lot more to listen to, so if you’ve mentioned these apps already – please don’t take offense…I just haven’t made it there yet – getting there!) I downloaded three right off the bat. I am loving Moldiv, Catch and Collect. Moldiv is an app that lets you make photo collages, add text, and print – not only will this be good for scrapbooking but I can totally see this assisting with photos for my blog.. Catch lets you grab comments via typing or recording comments. I am not comfortable with long typing on the iphone so this app is perfect for getting those everyday silly comments my 2yr old grand daughter spouts off. Collect lets you select a photo a day in a calendar type layout and it sends you reminders – won’t that be great for Project Life or LOAD! I have been too afraid to try Project Life or LOAD as I hate starting a project and never finishing – I really think these apps may help get me off my booty and on to Project Life… I know they will help me with filling my first ever This and That journal from SU.

    Anyway, hope you find something useful to share with others – thanks for listening and thanks for all the sharing you do! Love you guys!

  • AnnieB

    Great episode, as always! Can someone tell me where I can find Tara Anderson, as referred to by Shimelle in regards to delicate layers? Thanks.

  • Great resource! Thanks for sharing the link, as well as your own faves! I haven’t heard of any of these 3 (or at least I don’t remember them!). :)

  • Bookworm9798

    I wonder if it is this person: Flickr: | Blog: | One of the projects on her blog made me gasp at its loveliness.

  • Jennifer G.

    Is there a video somewhere showing the process Dina mentioned for stamping on tissue paper? I am a visual learner. One of the many reasons I love the Paperclipping videos put out by Noell.

  • Yes, Tara Anderson blogs at The Pink Couch. She has also done a great deal of work for the Crate Paper blog over the years. Her work is always so beautiful.

  • Yes, definitely. There is a certain mood I have to be in, and I’m sure someone with a good background in psychology and such would have the right words for this, but there are days where my mood is more on the ‘happy to have ever known’ side than the ‘I can’t believe my friend is gone’ side. Yes? Something in everyday life will catch a little idea and bring back a memory and then I’ll scrap about that. Sometimes when I get to the writing, it is obvious that I’m writing about the event after my friend had gone, other times you wouldn’t necessarily know. I’ve also told stories from the same events in different ways when they take on that added context. My friend and I were in an opera together that was the first proper opera for both of us, and it was at the time that Mary Katherine Gallacher was a recurring character on SNL, and we would quote her all the time. When we walked off stage after opening night, we both did the MKG pose and shouted ‘first opera!’ – and that was the story I had told the first time I scrapped that event, just a year or two after it happened. It’s a story that is only important to me really, as I don’t think anyone will get the MKG jokes, but who knows – maybe someone will youtube it in a decade and still find it funny. Maybe. Anyway, when I had one of those ‘happy to have ever known’ days, I scrapped a few more photos from our first opera, and I focused more on the smaller things I remembered and the timeline of how that whole process went for the two of us working on this big project from the start to the finish, and how we were the only two freshmen in the production, all the more serious stuff – because it did me a world of good to write about how much my friend had helped me. I wouldn’t trade that first layout for anything – I LOVE that I captured that crazy energetic silliness! But dealt these cards, I am glad that my memory will still let me think back on not just the silly, but also the gratitude for all the different kinds of good that friend brought to my life. I also try very hard to think of people we have lost on their birthdays more than the day they passed or left our lives – which probably sounds hokey – but in thinking of how scrapbooking makes us record dates, this is something that has just made sense to me in how I could have picked up the positive in my year of documenting real life sad – by focusing on a birthday or other happy day on the calendar for that person rather than a date of such sad news.

    Oh dear me. I’ve gone way off topic AND I’ve written a dissertation of a blog comment. Carry on. As you were. ;-)

  • Madeleine Lopez

    Amazing episode! I learned so much. Thanks to you and all your guests for sharing your techniques and tips. I will be replaying this episode while I scrap. I am looking forward to listening again and again.

  • fancyscrapper

    Okay, there were so many fun ideas in this episode, I feel like I need to listen again with my “idea notebook” and jot down some notes! Michelle with the punched strip of paper held down by washi tape, Shimelle with washi tape to unify different stickers, Dina with the use-whatever’s-on-the-desk kind of challenge, and Noelle with the “rule of thirds” reminder. . . . these are just the first jumble I think of when I try to remember all the good ideas you guys threw around! Oh, and Izzy with the tissue paper, stamp, and gel medium, or, wait, was that someone else?

    Gotta listen again! Great show, guys!

  • Debbie

    Shimelle mentioned several other scrapbookers during the show. I was listening in the car and wasn’t able to take note, but I would like to see their styles. Does anyone remember who Shimelle mentioned?

  • Shimelle Laine

    Tara Anderson, who blogs at The Pink Couch, and Christine Middlecamp, whose blog is called Retrospection. Both have worked extensively with Crate Paper, and the Crate Paper design team as a whole tends to be a team that are layering experts.

  • soapHOUSEmama

    This was an awesome episode, as usual! So many thought provoking ideas presented! I was especially struck by the commenter and the discussion afterward regarding scrapbooking difficult family relationships and/or situations. It has been on my mind all week, since I first listened. I too have a similar situation. Fortunately, my children were in bed during the most hurtful incident and have not been made aware of it since. They were young enough at the time that they don’t really know to even ask about the people involved. With that in mind, I have never included it in any of my family scrapbooking. I scrap about things we do as a family (and wasn’t a scrapbooker prior to this situation) and since these people are no longer a part of our lives, they are not in our scrapbook. I did, however, feel a need to “release” some of the feelings I was having toward the incident. I have a scrapbook that is for me and me alone. It is not on display in my home. I am not much of an art journaler, so it serves as my layouts of messy thoughts and such. A bit of a hybrid approach, I suppose. Anyhoo – I did a layout recording all of my feelings. I wrote a stream of conscious type journal entry full of all of the angry thoughts I was having, thoughts I never want to read again and certainly don’t want anyone else to read! I then folded the papers, stuck them in a decorative glassine envelope that had diagonal stripes on it and stitched along every stripe, adhering it to the back of the page.

    Even if someone tries to undo it, it will be so marred, it will be incomprehensible. NO ONE is ever going to see those thoughts. But boy did it feel GOOD to get them out of my head and onto the page. The title of the layout is simply “free.” I will always know what the layout is about, but no one else will… and you know what? I have forgotten many of the things I wrote in that pocket as well, as time has gone by. Truly very healing.

    In terms of the original question regarding her situation and project life, I agree with so many of the other comments here. Project life is about real life. I personally would Include the positives, or put a positive spin on the negatives… like Noell and Izzy mentioned they do in their conversations at home with their children. Perhaps one little pocket in the PL spread that is a tag in an envelope simply stating something to the effect of: “we love Jane, Jane is having a hard time right now, we are sending her good thoughts.” Or something…

    Anyway, a very long and wordy comment just to say that if you are not much of an art journaler, but have things to get out of your head and don’t want anyone else to see it… write it down, mess it up, stitch it on a page, and call it a day :)

    Oh yes – and envelopes are your friend!

  • That is fascinating to me — the idea of putting it in a glassine envelope and using the decorative stripes as guidelines for sewing over the entire letter so the words become illegible if it ever gets taken apart. Nice!

  • Mari

    I have to suggest checking out Swirlydoos if you want to see some SERIOUS layering! Don’t miss their forums – check out the DT forums (this layout from this month’s kit is amazing: ) Or this one from last year – which doesn’t actually look like much in the picture, but I had a chance to see it in person and it is AMAZING ( )

  • Bec

    I admit that I was a bit disturbed by the discussion about family members with mental health issues. My request is that please let us not perpetuate the stigma that everyone with severe mental health diagnoses are a threat to family and loved ones. I do know of what I speak and I had to let go of the love of my life because I personally could not handle it anymore after many many years of trying to help and never knowing quite what I would come home to after a day at work. Thinking that a good spell was going to last forever and that a new treatment regime was the one that would work for long-term. He was very brilliant and it still breaks my heart and challenges my understanding to “get” why he has to endure this.

    However, there are many of us out there with diagnoses from major depression to bipolar disorder to various personality disorders who, with good treatment, function very well and maintain good family relationships. Not only am I a former wife of someone with a severe mental illness (schizophrenia) that was very resistant to treatment, I am also a healthcare professional. My hope is that we put our voices out there to press for more research and better treatment options that perhaps one day will help our loved ones who struggle their entire life. Thanks for listening.

    Loved all the discussion of layering.

  • pamsfriend

    Hi there. You all mentioned names of other scrappers who are good at layering, but I was listening when I couldn’t write the names down. Did anyone catch other names or know those names off the top of their heads? If so, can you please reply?

    Noell & Izzy, thanks for another STELLAR show and thank you to all the guests. I LOVE the shows that deal w/technique and are so great and giving me new ideas like the tissue-paper stamping thing. PRT is my favorite podcast!

  • I have two close friends who have extremely challenging mental illnesses but they work hard to maintain stable lives and I know I am perfectly safe with them. On the other hand, the specific incidences we were discussing were not that way. There is a long history of aggression and a semi-mild violence and the final incident was scary. I often feel unsafe still, even though that person is in another state. In incidences like this, a person has every right to protect themselves, and I don’t believe we should not have discussed how we deal with these experiences as scrapbookers.