Creativity Takes Courage

Creativity Takes Courage

Creativity Takes Courage

The subject matter of this page is a few years old, but it still makes me smile. I started participating in National Novel Writing Month in 2004. I’ve won several times. The first couple of years, if you won, Lulu (a POD publisher) would print your book. They published Denim & Diamonds, which was my 2004 winner, and I released it to the public. As part of my NaNoWriMo responsibilities as a Municipal Liaison, I sent out press releases. In 2009, Megan Murphy, a local television reporter, contacted me and asked if she could do a story about our group. She brought a videographer to my house and they filmed my story in my scrap room! It was really, really exciting. I asked if she minded if I took pictures while they were filming and these are a couple of the shots I got. It was beyond exciting to have her here, talking to me about my writing. Even though the photos are not the best in terms of lighting, they tell a story.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve been enjoying the CSI site (Color, Story, Inspiration), and when I saw the most recent case file, I knew exactly what photos I wanted to scrap. Take a look at the inspiration and you’ll see why I chose to do the layout above.

CSI: Case File 88

CSI: Case File 88

Star Trek: Meeting Arleen Martel

Arlene Martel

Arlene Martel

Arlene Martel was the first celebrity I saw at the Star Trek convention in Chicago in May 2013. I passed her in the hotel lobby with a fairly large man accompanying her. She was so elegant, with her striking good looks, dark hair and large sunglasses. At first, I thought she was Joan Collins. She nodded to me and said, “Good morning.” I was agog – a celeb spoke to me! But who was she? Would Joan Collins actually make an appearance? I knew she had been a guest star, but nothing had been said in the emails from Creation about her. When I got in the vendors area, I spotted her and immediately noted the pictures on her table – she was Spock’s wife! It was Arlene Martel! If you don’t know anything about Arlene, please check out her website here. I made my way through the line and finally got up to her. I was trying to decide which photo to buy, and one photo was of her as Spock’s wife in Amok Time. She leaned over and said, “What the hell am I holding there?”

I laughed, looked closer and said, “I think it’s a ring.”

“Oh, yes!” she said as she settled back in her chair. “They had the most fabulous jewelry on that show!”

I leaned forward and whispered, “They didn’t let you keep it, did they?”

“Oh, no, we had no idea what we were making when we were making Star Trek. Like those ears in that photo,” she pointed to the picture of her with Spock, “Those ears hurt so bad and when shooting was over, I ripped them off and tossed them on the makeup table. Couldn’t wait to get rid of them. And someone told me they sold at auction for $35,000. And I threw them away!”

Arlene Martel: In Star Trek and The Twilight Zone

Arlene Martel: In Star Trek and The Twilight Zone

When I finally settled on the photo of her with Spock, we talked about the episode and had a hilarious conversation about Vulcans going seven years without sex. Arlene laughed and said, “Seven years – can you imagine? I couldn’t go seven days!”

Arlene was an absolute delight to meet. She actually spoke with me – not just at me. Asked my opinion about television and movies. I was so impressed with her. She and her husband have written a book about mental illness. She was such a delight, I can’t imagine her having any struggles. But after meeting her, I want to read more about her.

Star Trek: Meeting Sean Kenney


Meeting Sean Kenney was exciting as all get out. He is the original Captain of the Starship Enterprise, after all! Captain Pike, all disfigured and scary, is an icon in the world of sci fi. But Sean was handsome and debonair, tall with beautiful hair. He was very nice, chatted easily, and had the most amazing eyes. I felt a little odd being so star struck, but he was really one of the most handsome men I’ve ever met. He definitely had that movie star quality about him. When I picked the photo I wanted him to sign, he pointed out that it was from Star Trek: The Original Series, the episode was The Arena. Just last weekend, my husband and I watched that episode on DVD. Every time Sean showed up on screen, I punched him and squealed, “I met him!” I don’t think my hubs was nearly impressed by that as I am. :o)

Oh, as you’ve probably figured out, this is another layout from my Star Trek album. Here’s another page. Note the bit I copied from Sean’s bookmark. He was also the Winston man. I always thought those guys were so sexy – of course, we’ve all heard of the Marlboro Man. But the Winston man had that rugged cowboy look, too.



STAR TREK: Meeting Don Marshall

Don Marshall - autographing my photo

Don Marshall – autographing my photo

Don Marshall is probably best known for his role as Dan Erickson in the series, Land of the Giants, but I also liked him in Star Trek, where he played Lt. Boma in The Galileo Seven. He was at the Chicago Star Trek Convention, and I asked him to sign a photo, which he gladly did. As he started to sign, I asked if I could take his photo. He grinned and said, “Of course!” – it made my day that he seemed so willing to sign autographs. He seemed to truly appreciate the fans. After he signed, he asked if I wanted a page protector. Since I had already spent way more at the conference than I had intended, I was embarrassed, but asked how much. He grinned again, inclined his head towards me and said, in his amazing voice, “For you, m’lady, no charge.” Or something like that. I was so blown away by his chivalrous attitude, I couldn’t quit grinning.

I would love to get DeForest Kelley to sign this photo, too. Wouldn’t that be amazing?

Don Marshall's autograph

Don Marshall’s autograph

I am having so much fun putting this Star Trek album together. Doing it as an 8×8 has been a challenge. I usually work nearly exclusively with 12 x 12. But this new format has encouraged me to put the focus on the pictures (usually one per page), and to hide the journaling. On this particular 2 page spread, I also used a page extension and hidden journaling. It works out well – I can share the album with people without boring them to tears with my notes, yet I still have the notes to jog my memory (yeah, like I’ll ever forget this trip!!) as I sit and reminisce.

As I’ve mentioned before, going to this Convention was one of the most fun things I’ve ever done. It was so cool to meet the actors in person. And making this album is allowing me to relive the memories. Makes me smile every time I look at it!

If you don’t scrapbook, I still encourage you to print your photos out. Put them in albums. Write notes about who is in the photos and what was going on, where the photo was taken and when. Imagine if Revolution were to really happen and your only photos were stored in your phone, but there was no power. What if you never download your photos and after you die, your kids throw your iPad away because it is antiquated technology. What then? What happens to our memories?

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Scrapbooking Li…


As I worked on my Star Trek album over the past week, I realized how long I spent on each page. This album is special, and I love the memories that come to mind as I work on it. Each page has been a process, with spray ink and distress ink and embellishments so that there is a continuity to the album. And that’s all fine and good, but it makes me wonder about the rest of my life. I want to scrapbook LIFE. Given my schedule, that means that not all of my pages are going to be works of art.

And that’s OK.

I’ve decided to start sharing more of my pages, even the ones that I didn’t spend a lot of time and money on, because the CONTENT of my albums is more important than the ARTSYNESS of my albums. I scrapbook because I want to document my life, share stories of my family, and leave a legacy for those who come after me. As an example, here is my first attempt at a cover for my DIY day planner. I’ve used Franklin Covey for years, then tried DayTimer (didn’t like them), D*I*Y planners, Outlook, but nothing fit the bill. So, I decided to create my own. I’m going to try doing small monthly spiral bound planners (bound with my Zutter Bind It All)which is the coolest tool ever – it hole punches, then you insert wire binding into the holes, then use the Bind It All to close the spiral binding). I’ve got a little more work on the guts of this before I share it, but in the meantime, here’s a peek at the cover.

Day Planner Cover

So – that’s why I scrap – to document my life. The good, the bad, the daily. If you scrapbook, why do you? If you don’t, why not? (and if you are a newbie to scrapping, feel free to ask questions – this is a safe place!)

Chase Masterson: Dabo Girl Extraordinaire

Chase Masterson as Leeta

Chase Masterson as Leeta

As Carol and I walked through the vendor area, she spotted a man putting together some type of game. It took a few minutes, but it hit both of us . . . and Carol shouted, “Dabo!” Although Chase wasn’t at the table, but we saw her on stage shortly thereafter. Max Grodenchik was on stage talking about his character, Rom, and talk of course turned to his love interest, Leeta. The curtains parted and out came Chase, dressed in a black sequined gown with jewels that sparkled with every move of her wrist. They sang a song together and then Max told how things were a bit awkward during the filming of Deep Space Nine, because he has his on-stage love, Leeta, and his real life love, mmmmm – her name escapes me at the moment – were sometimes together. His real life love was a writer (?) for Deep Space Nine. Everyone snickered at the uncomfortable position Max described, then the curtains parted and they were both on stage. It was a Rom sandwich! They sang a bad parody of I’ve Got Two Babes, which was a hoot.

Shortly after Chase’s time on stage, which was largely spent singing, we met her out in the vendor area and I got her autograph. Dabo was set up, but we didn’t play. Oh well – she still gave us an “I played Dabo with Chase” button pin!

Chase Masterson

Chase Masterson

These pages are part of my Star Trek mini-album, which is an 8 x 8 Maya Road binder album. The pages are both Simple Stories patterned paper over Kraft paper, which has been spritzed with Heidi Swapp Color Shine in teal. The first page incorporates some Tim Holtz tissue tape. I used Stickles black diamond to highlight the black swirls at the bottom of the second page, used some Queen & Co. Trendy Tape (film strip on the first page, black w/ stars & swirls on the second).

Thanks for looking!

Aron Eisenberg: Follow Your Dreams


Aron Eisenberg is probably best known as Nog on Deep Space Nine. We watched him and Jake grow up together, but I had no idea that he was actually an adult at the time he was cast as Nog. Aron was born with kidney problems, which stunted his growth. He had a transplant when he was a teenager. If I remember correctly, he also lost his father at a young age. As Aron shared his experiences, it really hit home – here was a kid that was short, had health concerns, and still was successful in Hollywood.


Then he told a story about driving to work every day and seeing a beautiful tree. Every day, he thought about shooting it. And every day he drove past it. One day, he stopped mid-trip and turned around to retrieve his camera. He returned to the tree and took the photograph that started his photography business. You can see it in the photo below on his business card.


Aron was so nice – very personable. He was OK with me taking a photo of him, and was courteous to everyone who approached him. I really enjoyed his talk – and his admonition to not “pass that tree” day after day was so powerful. He set his sights on goals and made his dreams come true. Best of all, he’s encouraging others to do the same. That, in my book, says a great deal about his character.

These pages are part of my Star Trek mini-album, which is an 8×8 Maya Road binder album. These pages use Kraft paper as a base, misted with Heidi Swapp Color Shine in Teal, and are embellished using Simple Stories Destination patterned paper and stickers.

Lincoln’s Tomb

JR & Lori rubbing Lincoln's nose for luck.

JR & Lori rubbing Lincoln’s nose for luck.

We’ve been to Lincoln’s Tomb twice now. Each time has been a moving experience. The sense of powerful greatness and respect is overwhelming. It is truly an awe-inspiring experience. If you happen to be going through Springfield, Illinois, plan to stop by Lincoln’s Tomb. It’s easy to find, and won’t take you very long.

If you go, here are some tips:

  • Stop on the way in and see the burial site of Roy Bertelli, also know as Mr. Accordion. Check out more info at Roadside America.
  • Silence your cell phone before you go in. It’s about respect.
  • Rub Lincoln’s nose for luck.
  • Look for the hidden horse inside the building where the tomb is. Hint: it is much like looking for animals in clouds.
  • Depending on the direction you’re going, consider checking out other Route 66 spots.


Star Trek: Chicago!


When I realized that there was going to be a Star Trek convention in Chicago, I started making plans. Going to a con has been on my bucket list for ages – at least since the hubs and I visited Las Vegas in August 2007 and did Star Trek: The Experience (that’s a whole ‘ nother post!). Since this was our first convention and we were doing it on a budget, we opted to go for the Friday session only, general admission, to sort of get a feel for things and figure out the best way to do a con. If you enjoy Star Trek at all, I highly recommend going. Here are some tips to make the experience the best possible on a tight budget:

*Stay at a nearby hotel. The Westin in Chicago was expensive as all get out, and I felt a bit out of place. I paid $179 a night, for a hotel that featured $29 burgers and a broken pool. That said, it was nice to be able to just walk up to the room after the Star Trek Rat Pack.

*Bring your own food. There were no food vendors around, and the hotel restaurant was really expensive. When I asked the concierge for some suggestions for a reasonably priced restaurant, she directed me to a list of nearby steak houses. When I called to get prices for entrees, several happily told me their entrees ranged from $49 to $150. I went back and asked for directions to something cheaper, like an Outback or a Texas Roadhouse. The poor woman nearly broke her lips twisting them in disgust, but she did give us directions to an Outback. Only later did we find out there was a McDonald’s nearly adjacent to the hotel, and a Ruby Tuesday’s just around the corner.

*Bring cash – preferably $20 bills. Most of the stars will sign autographs, and most charge $20, $40 or $60.

*Bring a camera. Ask permission before you take photos, but you’ll want photos of the attendees as well as the stars!

*General admission seats are still decent. They’re much cheaper than the full package seats. Granted, you won’t get all the included autographs, but if you’re on a tight budget, you’ll be able to pick and choose the autographs you want to purchase.

*Have fun! Document your trip! Keep souvenirs like your hotel bill and your wristband. And if you need help with your album, let me know. I’d be glad to make one for you (and I won’t charge you an arm and a leg).



The Joy is in the Journey


I went to a scrapbooking crop last year to benefit the Buddy Pack Program with the Central Missouri Food Bank and had the pleasure of meeting and talking with Lisa Bearnson, founding editor of Creating Keepsakes and entrepreneurial scrapbooker extraordinaire. Her keynote talk was on Finding Joy in the Journey. She impressed me beyond belief, so I’m going to share a bit of her talk here, though I am sure I am not doing it justice.

To begin, she told a little bit of how she got started. She was working as an editor for WordPerfect magazine. OK, let me digress for a moment. WordPerfect used to be THE word processing software. I took classes on it, I was good at it, and was even offered a job teaching people how to use it back when I worked at Central Missouri State (now UCM). I read WordPerfect magazine. This was all back in the late ’80’s/early ’90s, before Bill Gates took over the world. So, anyway, Lisa was working for WordPerfect magazine. She had lunch with a friend, was complaining about her job, and her friend asked her what kind of magazine she’d rather be working in. She said scrapbooking, of course! (my takeaway: wouldn’t it be nice if we could all answer that question so quickly?). She told her husband about it that night and he supported her, said let’s do it. (my takeaway: wouldn’t it be nice if we could always be supported that quickly, that easily and that unconditionally?) They got together with another couple, each mortgaged their homes for $50,000 and went to a publishing seminar, where they approached someone with PrimeMedia (I’m sure I’m spelling that wrong, but I don’t want to go look it up right now. I’d rather just tell my story. Bear with me.) He laughed at them, said they hadn’t done a year’s worth of market research. Said that they needed at least a million dollars to start. Said it was a stupid topic for a magazine. They did it anyway. It was successful. And that same company bought Creating Keepsakes years later. Apparently it wasn’t such a stupid idea.  Take THAT, Mr. Expert!

I loved that. So here’s what I’m going to try to do, and what I encourage you to do.

  • Don’t listen to experts. They don’t really know everything.
  • Do listen to your gut.
  • Don’t be afraid to say yes.
  • Do take chances.

What would you rather be working on right now? Seriously. Comment below and let me know.