Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Life has been good to me - Forward Progress Challenge

I'm warning you up front ... if you don't have a lot of time, save this post for later. If you feel you're up for it, grab a cup of coffee before you start reading ... I guess you all know how much I like to hear myself speak, well, I have outdone myself this time...

Let me start by saying that I decided to quit my position as a DT over at Songbird Scraps. I had been on their team for 6 months, but was having a hard time coming up with good LO's, the lyrics just didn't speak to me anymore. I want my scrapping to be more than just displaying pretty pictures, I want to tell a story, my story, my family's story ... There are so many challenge sites to be found on the net who provide subjects perfect for my goal ... unfortunately, for me, Songbirds Scraps wasn't one of them. However, don't let this keep you from entering their challenges, that's the good thing about the diversity of the challenge sites, there's always one perfect for you, and in your case, that perfect one just might be Songbird Scraps! And with the right lyrics and the right pictures, who knows, I might play along myself some time!

Anyway, I'm telling you this for a reason. I was asked to join the DT (for a 3 month term) of the perfect challenge site, a site I have been following for so long now: Forward Progress. I'm sooooo excited ... yeah me!!! I did think twice before accepting, because their challenges aren't always easy ... some require some real soul searching. Like I said, I had been following this site for the longest time, but had never entered one of their challenges for this very reason. So I asked myself: "Would I be able to open up, to share my inner thoughts and most private feelings for the world to see?". The answer was yes. In fact, I think that's the easy part. The hardest part for me is getting them on paper, because it means I have to be honest with myself. I consider myself to be an honest person, I try not to lie, ever. Not even to spare someone's feelings. If for example I don't like your new haircut, I won't say I like it. I won't say I don't like it either ... see, it's not that I don't care about your feelings LOL. Of course my best friends all know this about me, so this doesn't really work ... if I don't comment on their new haircut, they know I don't like it LOL, so much for not hurting their feelings huh?!!! LOL. Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is that I try to be honest in relation to other people, but I have been known to lie to myself ... quite often actually. And don't we all at one point or another? So the real question was: "Would I be able to stay true to myself?" The best answer I could come up with this time was: "I'll try my best". And that's what I intend to do. I'll try to make LO's that share a little bit about me, one step at a time, the good and the bad.

The new challenge doesn't go up until the 15th, so you still have time to start creating for this month's challenge. The prompt is easy enough, or at least, it can be as easy as you want it to, and it can be interpreted in so many ways:
Taking Stock...Assessing my personal well being. How can we expect to have forward progress if we are not looking after our state of well being. peace within ourselves.. I have goals...dreams...aspirations...but how do I expect to reach those if i don't have "stock" in myself. This means evaluating your present position. Are you happy? Probably. Could you say you are even if aren't? Are we honest with our present self? If you could put a monetary number on how much one share of stock in yourself would cost, what would it be? Are you worth it?
I do hope my little introduction here has inspired some of you to participate in our challenges., I would love to see all of my friends join us! Ellen, the owner of the site, is dedicated to make this site into a huge success, and so am I and my fellow DT members ... I don't think further introductions are necessary when I say that the fabulous Lisa and the gorgeous Jocelyn are on the team as well ... And let's not forget Sasha ... now there's a girl with a story to tell! I still can't believe what awesome company I'm finding myself in!

Enough chit chat, here's my very first LO as a member of Forward Progress:

Journaling left page:

When I think about where I am at this point in my life, I can only come to the conclusion that I have everything I have ever wanted ... my family. Although in my childhood dreams I definitely was a mom, but never a SAHM, I now can't imagine nor ever wish for another life. Maybe this fact, the fact that I'm a SAHM, is the reason that I still have so many plans for our house, our home, the place where I am at most of my time. Nothing in my house is 100% the way I want it to be. Still, I wouldn't want to live anywhere else, I love my home and my life in it. But then, sometimes from one minute to the other, I get frustrated because the bathroom isn't big enough, or the electricity is playing up again... How can a person go from intense happiness to utter dissatisfaction in just a moment's time? But then I turn on the TV and watch a documentary about homeless people, or poor people in Africa or other poor countries, and I am reminded once again, for a minute anyway, how good life has been to me. Still, I don't think it's so unusual for a person to want more, I think we all do from time to time, it's in our nature. What would we be without our dreams, without goals in our lives?

Journaling right page

Yes, 3 different kind of bricks. The exterior of our home definitely leaves room for improvement. However, this ugly exterior houses a safe haven for our family. It's our own cozy little place, where we are building our own happy memories.

Our bathroom ("the little white room") definitely could do with a make-over... but ... it provides us with everything we need: water, just by turning the tap ... what a luxury!

Yes, there are way to many weeds in our garden, and we so need to replace our fences. But, when our kids are playing here, and the garden is filled with laughter, this garden feels like paradise!

I know, I know, a lot of journaling on these pages, but for me it was very therapeutic to write it down. I can feel very dissatisfied at times, and sometimes I need a little reminder of what's really important in life, and just how blessed I am ... something I forget sometimes!

How to:

I started out by using glimmer mist on the left page (sooooo love glimmer mist, I'll be buying lots more of that I tell you!!!) and acrylic paints on the right page.

And what do you know, I used my sewing machine again for the frame!! I'm telling you, those girls over at The Next Step really get under my skin with their wonderful techniques!

The images on the left are images I found on the net, the images on the right are actual pictures of my home.

I drew a bare tree on a piece of cereals' packaging and inked them with my distress inks.

The title is chipboard which I inked and embossed (loooooove the look of embossing - so glad I finally bought me a heat gun and some embossing powders ... it's a whole new world LOL!!)

I wanted the tree on the right to be very bright, I wanted to create a big contrast with the bare tree on the left. However, I didn't have any green acrylic paint, so to create the leaves, I used the oil pastels I have bought recently (another thing Lucy from The Next Step inspired me to buy!). I was so pleasantly surprised, it's very easy to use and the colours are gorgeous in real life, I'll so be using these again on my pages! And to give it some extra "oemph" I added some really bright flowers.

A very simple LO to make, but I love the result. For once it came out exactly as I had planned in my head ... a first I think! Keandra commented on one of my last LO's that she was shocked because that LO was so different for me ... well my friend, I guess you'll be even more shocked now! I think this looks nothing like I've ever done before and Keandra, I'll tell you a little secret ... you'll be even more shocked when you see my next one (can't share it just yet, but I will soon... ). I have no idea why my LO's keep changing so much. Do I get bored with one look, or does the look simply change because I tend to try new techniques a lot? I don't know, but I do know I like the fact that a lot of my pages look different and I hope this won't change any time soon.

And if my post isn't long enough already, I still want to share the following. Christina loves to draw, and she's always giving them to me as presents... Look at what she drew for me the other day, I so love this:

It reads: For mama ... The best scrapper ever ... 1st place
The little guy says: And the winner is Peggy and he's standing on the "sjuri block" (that's how she wrote it LOL, isn't that cute?)
In her eyes I'm the best, isn't that sweet? And did you notice how skinny she drew me LOL ... that girl sure loves her mama haha. I'll treasure this image of her of me, I know this perfect image won't last for long anymore...

Well, I hope I haven't bored you too much, and I do apologize for assuming that you all have the time to read such a lenghty post. For those of you that have made it all the way down, know that I'm extremely grateful to have such dedicated friends who put up with my talkative nature LOL. Oh, and thanks to all of you who took the time to leave Chloë a comment on her LO, please know that all of you made a little girl very happy!

Oh, and remember, try to play along with Forward Progress!!
Love xxx Peggy


  1. love your LO Peggy, i will check this challenge site out...sounds very interesting and i think its great to do these types of LOs instead of "pretty" ones all the time. Well done! That drawing is soooo gorgeous, i have a tear in my eye from looking at it...what a sweetie!

  2. I'm so proud of you Peggy! I think there does come a time in scrapping that we need to assess why we scrap and how true those pages are in our own albums long after those challenges are finished. I adore your layout- its gorgeous and heartfelt. I was far from bored. You took me on a journey. A lovely journey and it ended at the beautiful picture your daughter drew.
    (sigh....just so lovely)

  3. Peggy, what amazing news girl...congrats!! That challenge site sounds wonderful and like something I'll definitely be checking out. I simply adore this layout hon. It's so FULL of feeling and I can see you shine through it for sure. Just beautiful...

    - April

    P.S. LOVE that picture Christina drew for you. I bet your heart melted when she showed it to you. You are very loved. :)

  4. i think this is the 4th time i have read your journaling and i keep coming away with a bit more. i, too, am intense and go from one thing and 180 to something else all day long. thanks for sharing this with us, i can't tell you what it means to me that you believe in what we are doing over at FP! there are certain things we need to focus on in our lives for sure.

    August 4, 2009 4:12 PM

  5. Ik heb het bijna helemaal gelezen, en dat ook nog in het Engels! Ik vind het al knap dat je zo'n lang (en ook nog interessant) verhaal schrijft en dat je dat ook nog in het Engels doet.
    Wat goed dat je een paar maanden mee mag doen aan deze uitdagende challenge! Ik kende hem niet, maar het spreekt me wel aan. Heel vele succes ermee!


  6. Not bored at bit, Peggy! I love your passion for creating and the way you really put your heart into whatever you do. Congrats on your new DT spot!

    Wonderful layout - so thought provoking and I love how it tells a story - wonderful!! And aren't the oil pastels fun! Glad you liked them!

    And Christina!! What a wonderful little artist she is! Tell her I said hi! :)

  7. WOW .. I am just in awe of your journaling real talk .. I love it so much and your open about it all .. I LOVE IT ..

    the LO is fabulous .. simply fabulous ..

  8. Hoi,

    Ik kwam al 'bloghoppend' (tss wat een woord!!!)
    bij je terecht. Je maakt echt prachtige dingen,
    ik maak vooral kaarten, af en toe doe ik wat aan scrappen mar eigenlijk enkel van vakantiefoto's, het merendeel van mijn hobbytijd gaat naar het kaarten maken.

    Ik zag dat je in Antwerpen woont, ik woon zelf ts Antwerpen en Mechelen in ,nml Kontich.

    Ik ga je blog volgen ,dan kan ik zeker je lay-outs nog komen bewonderen !!!

    Groetjes Peggy

  9. this is INCREDIBLE! LOVE this so much. your handwriting is beautiful as well! :)

    ...and that tree is so creative!

    have a great day.


  10. Peggy, wat een geweldige layout en een geweldige journaling. Ik bewonder je hierom, ik zou willen dat ik ook de moed zou hebben om zulke persoonlijke woorden te gebruiken. En wat goed dat je gevraagd bent voor het DT van dit challenge-blog!! Echt verdiend, deze eerste bijdrage is echt indrukwekkend.
    En je Engels is zo goed!! Goh, nog meer om 'jaloers' op te zijn!
    Prachtige tekening van je dochter! Ze hebben de creativiteit van hun moeder geerfd!
    Groetjes, Jenneke

  11. First of all, I hate my internet service still, it has taken me 20 mins to leave this comment (I keep phoning them to complain and hopefully this will get resolved real quick!) SEcondly, congrats on the DT!!! Looovveee that layout and the whole meaning behind it. I'm off right now to check this new blog out because you know how I love a challenge!!

  12. This is so touching Peggy. I am so glad you followed your heart! You will never regret your decision! YOU GO GIRL!!!

  13. Ahhhhh...my sweet Peggy...you never cease to amaze me....I just adore you...you spirit is so uplifting....going for the gusto in life...is there any other way!!!! Your journaling reaches out and touches my heart!!! This is life.....family, mismatched bricks and bathrooms that are what they are!!!! I have reached so many times for perfection and have not yet figured out how to grab it...and that is OK!!!! If something does not work for you change it!!! Change is hard and scary...but it is so uplifting!!! Oh my...listen to me going on and on....but you draw me into your world!!! Your LO is stunning.....I adore your style....I want to be like you...I want to venture into new areas....You gave me a nudge today and that is soooooo good!!! I got your package together and hoping that Joe can get it to the post office on Monday!!!!! Love you Team Member!!!! Have a weekend filled with smiles!!! :)