Boost your creativity

Dear Fellow Journalers,

Is it possible to let go of electronic devices? I was reading an article recently about taking a break from such devices as TV, cell phone, laptop etc.  The author suggested that while digital and electronic devices make our lives easier they also limit our ability to solve problems. One of the things that really “bugs” me about smart phones is that they take us away from communicating with people. How many times have you been in a restaurant and seen a nice family sitting down for dinner and the children are texting away and the parents are trying to have a conversation with them?!

Digital and electronic devices can make our lives easier, that is true. You can Google a journal prompt, use Pinterest for a journal cover, or check someone’s blog for a tutorial. Convinced yet?

Why not try letting go for 1 week. Instead of using the Note app feature, take a pen and lined paper and write a “To Do” list. Guess what?  You won’t have to worry about batteries or syncing issues. You’ll feel so accomplished when you physically cross  something off the list.

When was the last time you picked up a magazine or hard covered book? I have to admit I have had a problem with this one. I tend to check to see if the book I want to read is on Kindle rather than go to my wonderful library. I reason that I won’t have to go out and I won’t have any due date to worry about. But sometimes I will admit, I miss turning pages the “old-fashioned way”. Oh, and you can keep the pages of a book open indefinitely!

Post-its are not just for the office. Apparently there is an app for that one too. But a real-life, honest-to-goodness pink/yellow/blue piece of sticky paper can be stuck almost anywhere – your fridge, your bathroom mirror and your calendar! You can’t forget what you are trying to remember if you see that reminder during the day. You will probably tackle the problem/task faster too. Problem solved.

Computer puzzles – ok, I admit it. I am addicted to Solitaire. It is an enormous waste of time. But the game makes me think and sometimes helps me solve a sketch for a card or a post I am trying to re-write.

Coloring Books are not just for children. Our Granddaughter loves to use crayons. She puts several colors in her little fist and scribbles away. Mickey Mouse gets yellow ears and Minnie sports purple shoes. A lot of time, she coaxes her Grandparents to join in the fun. I found that coloring was really satisfying. I had to use my creativity and problem solving abilities.

If you try disconnecting for a period of time, write and let me know about your journey in boosting your creativity.

‘Til next time,


Copyright – 2015   by Uniquelyyourscraftjournal

All rights reserved.

Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given

To Sallie and uniquelyyourscraftjournal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

You may reach Sallie at

Memorial Day

Dear Fellow Journalers,

The following is from Memorial Day 2013 written by our friend G. Enjoy!


Last Friday, my adopted granddaughter Carla arrived for a sleepover and to spend the day on Saturday. As she arrived, I was in the middle of the constant effort to clean out the many years of accumulated stuff in our home and I was working on the many boxes of military uniforms and insignia that piled up over the years. Stuff was all over the floor in the living room.

Carla slept later than usual on Saturday morning, probably because of the 92 pieces of pepperoni pizza she’d eaten the night before.

As she groggily made her way down the hallway, I looked up from this military mess I was working on, said good morning and asked if she wanted some breakfast.

“No thanks Granppy, I’m not hungry (wonder why?) Just some milk please.”

“You want to watch cartoons while you wake up honey?”

But for some strange reason, she was more interested in what I was doing. She clambered up on my lap, and began to ask questions.

“What’s that Granppy? What does that mean Granppy?” I did my best to explain.

We even found some old photos of long ago and far away. Carla remarked “Boy Granppy, you were handsome then!” I laughed so hard I almost busted a gut. Realizing what she had said, she tried to recover. ‘I mean you’re still handsome now, only much older!” I almost fell off the chair I was laughing so hard.

Finally we reached the box that contained my medals. I tried to close the box quickly, favoring to sort this one in private.  Carla was having none of it. She demanded that I identify each one. I tried to fluff this off, but she insisted.

When I finished, she said “Boy Granppy, you were brave!”

I really wanted to get this one right. I wanted desperately to say the right thing. I wanted her to know that there is no glory in war, only pain, suffering and heartbreak.

“No sweetie, I was afraid, VERY afraid. But I prayed that God would give me strength and love, because love of my country, of freedom, and of my fellow Marines would give me the strength to do what I had to do, and God answered my prayers.”

This wonderful, amazing child said no words, only put her hands around my neck, kissed my cheek, and hugged me. Right then and there, if I ever needed affirmation of the things I had done, I got it.

While I’m very concerned about America today, this sweet child of God made me know that our American way of life must go on, and the things my brother soldiers and I did made her an inheritor to the heritage of freedom.

Carla slid off my lap, and poured herself another glass of milk. (She only spilled a little!) Then she went over to an American flag displayed in a corner of the room.

“Granppy, know what I like best about America?”

“No honey, what?”

“McDonalds Happy Meals!”

How can you argue with logic like that? Glancing at my watch, I saw it was about that time.

“OK Sunshine, go wash you face, brush your teeth, get dressed and let’s go!”





Life is like

“Life is like a landscape. You live in the midst of it, but can describe it only from the vantage point of distance.”

Charles A. Lindbergh

Charles A. Lindbergh is one of my heroes. I admire his courage and determination in the midst of naysayers, air disasters, family pressures and the media. His Spirit of ST Louis still “flies” at the Air and Space Museum in Washington DC. His epoch flight took place on May 22, 1927.


Art Journaling with Sizzix

Dear Fellow Journalers,

One of my favorite crafting tool  is my Sizzix die cutting machine. I have made so many different cards and paper crafting items with the dies and embossing folders that are made specifically for this machine. So when I came across this tutorial I had to read and share. This tutorial uses any type of die cutting machine and a Spellbinders die. This is useful for making a statement on a journal page or highlighting an image. Enjoy!


Creating Frames with Nestabilities™ dies

by Beate Johns

Create cardstock frames with Nestabilities dies.


  • Cardstock
  • Wizard™, or other die cut machine
  • Two Cutting Mats
  • Magnetic Spacer Plate
  • Tan Embossing Mat
  • Two Nestabilities™ dies, that will create your frame, Label 13 Nestabilities dies used here


  1. Step 1

    Place a piece of cardstock on a Cutting Mat. Place your two Nestabilities™ dies on top of it, cutting lines facing down.

  2. Step 2

    Top dies first with magnetic spacer plate, then with second cutting mat.

  3. Run sandwich through the Wizard™.

  4. Step 3

    Place dies cutting lines facing up with your cardstock frame between the dies.

  5. Step 3

    Top sandwich first with tan embossing mat, then with second cutting mat. Run sandwich through the Wizard™.

  6. Step 4

    Your frame is ready to use on your project.



  1. Using a different die-cutting system?
    You can find a comprehensive download that provides sandwich recipes for most major die-cutting machines on the market here.

    Mix and Match

    You don’t always have to use the same die shape. Try a regular oval, circle or square die inside a label die.

Read more:


Puzzle of Life

Dear Fellow Journalers,

Puzzle Piece

Puzzle Piece


Several months ago, our Library sponsored a Puzzle-Off contest. Each 1000 piece puzzle was the same and the teams competed for prizes. I loved putting puzzles together when I was younger. The puzzles I worked on were copies of Charles Wysoski paintings.  I remember that it took several days to complete the puzzle and while a challenge it was rewarding when the pieces fit together. Some of the puzzles were so beautiful that I used Mod Podge and hung them on my craft room wall.

Have you ever realized how many similarities there are between puzzles and life? In a puzzle, each piece plays such an important part in the big picture. Loose a piece and you loose a part of the picture. I remember once loosing a puzzle piece of a wood paneling. No big deal I thought. But the finished product sure did look odd! (As though something was missing!!!) In life, it is people and events who play the important parts.

Everyone knows that in puzzle-making, you put the frame (edges) together first. Sometimes you can have a piece that you are sure fits somewhere but it doesn’t. That can be frustrating.

The pieces in my life, my family, my friends, community, celebrations are a mixture of good and bad, joy and tears, happiness and sorrow Each event or person comes into our lives for a purpose. We never really know how our life fits together and won’t until the end.

As my Granddaughter and I face new birthdays this month, I hope that the pieces of our lives continue to make us happy and we continue on this journey of puzzle-making with joy, peace and love.

‘Til next time,


Copyright – 2015   by Uniquelyyourscraftjournal

All rights reserved.

Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given

To Sallie and uniquelyyourscraftjournal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

You may reach Sallie at

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