Jan2015_BlogHeader_SAJanuary. A new year. A clean slate. Time for resolutions that last until February, if you’re lucky. But it’s also a time to reflect. How do you sum up a year of your life? January 1 is just another day. Someone, some time, decided that the year would begin in January and end in December, but it is completely artificial, really. Yet you can’t help treating it as a significant milestone. Maybe there’s a sigh of relief at getting through the year unscathed. Perhaps there’s rising excitement about a special event coming up. Maybe you are tired and just want a holiday. Maybe this will be the year you get fit or thin or organised or give up smoking or take up knitting or learn a language or spend more time with your family or learn to live more simply. Maybe you are hoping for an uneventful year with no nasty surprises. Maybe this will be your year to shine.

When I reflect on 2014 it has been quite a momentous year for me and my family. This time last year I was living in my home of 22 years, in Sydney, Australia. I had a full time job, as well as my work as part of the pixels2Pages team. I had one son at home, and one living an hour away. I was a member of a church I had been attending since 1979. I had friends and family nearby, and life was pretty comfortable. Fast forward 12 months. If you’ve read my blogs or seen my pages on our pixels2Pages Facebook page you’ll know my life has taken some sharp turns since then. Instead of our hundred year old 5 bedroom semi-detached house in Sydney, we now live in an almost new, modern, two-bedroom apartment on a man-made island in Doha Qatar. My two sons are living in my house, together with two flatmates. I quit my day job, and I’m now an ex-pat wife living in the Middle East. Other than my husband, my family are all on the other side of the world. We’ve joined a new, large church and are learning new patterns of worship and lots of new songs. I’m a long way from my old friends of many years, but meeting new people and making new friends all the time.

It’s been (and continues to be) an amazing journey, and one I never expected that I would be taking. Life really does catch us by surprise sometimes. To be honest, we are loving life over here. We are empty-nesters for the first time, and while we do miss our sons we are loving the freedom and flexibility that comes with that territory. Quitting my day job has allowed me to devote more time to what I love better (pixels2Pages, of course!) but also to enjoy getting involved with other women here, and committing to regular activites like MahJong, craft groups, book club, the Natural History Group and more. And I’ve had opportunities to indulge my love of travel, which was one of the attractions of coming over here in the first place.

Of course, through all the changes, my constant companion has been my laptop, loaded with photos and my favourite programs, Artisan and Historian. I have created around 180 pages in 2014, but only finished one StoryBook and some canvas prints. I love digital scrapbooking for lots of reasons, not the least of which is its portability! I can work wherever I am, and setting up and packing away take moments. My completed albums take up hardly any room on my bookshelves. My goal for this year is to finish the several projects I have on the go, and get them printed! I love that the Panstoria Print Shop will ship direct to me over here in Doha, and I am determined to fill my coffee table with Photo Books of my travels, and my life in this exciting and very different phase of our lives. I’d like to say I won’t start any new projects until I’ve finished one I’m in the middle of – but I already did!

So no New year’s Resolutions this year, but I am setting myself a few goals. Get a new Fitbit (my last one died) and start counting my steps again. Get more involved in local life (I think 6 months is long enough to allow myself settling in time!). Finish all the unfinished travel scrapbook projects, and keep up to date on current photos. Ambitious? Probably. But if I can’t catch up this year, I will only be more behind next year or the year after. It’s not like it’s a chore! I love digi-scrapping!! I’ve been incredibly blessed with the amount of travel I’ve been able to do in the last few years, and the fabulous places I’ve been, so it is certainly no hardship to spend time reminiscing and reliving those times.

Below are a few pages from my unfinished projects. You can see I have my work cut out! If you’ve been with p2P for a while you might recognise a few of these from old Blueprints or videos. I’m a little embarrassed to reveal how far behind I am! I might need you all to keep me accountable. I have no excuses.

So what are your scrapbooking goals for 2015?

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21 Responses to Blog: No excuses

  1. mindys7 says:

    LOVE your blog (as always) Shelley. It is so fun to travel with you via cyber space.
    My goals (if I write them down them maybe I will hold myself accountable? And maybe you will too? heh heh): 1. Finish UFO’s including Cedar, E & B’s wedding and my version of it, 1st half of 2013, first 1/2 of 2014 (got 70+ pgs done!), last 1/2 of 2014, Twins’ 90th Bday and there’s probably more! 2. Link my Pixie Dust to Artisan, 3. Tag my content especially PD. 4. Print those UFO’s that I get finished. It really motivates me to get books ready to print knowing you Pixies will be holding the p2P crops knowing I can get the coupon code for printing at Panstoria Printshop. Loved our LIVE session with Mary at Silverton…she is such an inspiration, motivator and good teacher all of which have motivated me.
    Thanks for all you (and the rest of the Pixies) do for us digi scrapers!

  2. Sandy says:

    Shelley, I love the way you have written this. We all have those unfinished projects lurking and you have made them seem as though they aren’t big enough to be tackled. I have a couple projects for others that I started and need to finish early this year, since they were promised last year. Those are at the top of my current list. I will be at a beach house retreat this weekend and am hoping to make a very big dent on both of them. I, too, need to catch up on a couple years that have been neglected. Plus I still need to finish my Rome book to complete the set for Italy. I promise I will gently nudge you if you will do the same for me.

  3. Kerrianne says:

    Love all of your pages Shelley! Once you have caught up, I might use your ‘recipe’ to success to catch myself up 🙂

  4. Deanna Emmert says:

    I have enjoyed viewing your traveling experiences through your gorgeous and fun pages, Shelley. It’s like combining a geography lesson (I love geography) with great photos that “take me away” for a brief time. That was good this last year when I was pretty stuck most of the year in the same place as we searched for and finally purchased our first home after 29 years of renting! But now it’s time finish the major projects around here and see about ME being able to wander around our beautiful state of Oregon again (I am so glad for the variety around here) AND getting OUT of it this summer which we are definitely planning on! 😀 Blessings and joy in your new year!

    • Shelley says:

      Oh, congratulations on your new home!!! I’ve never been to Oregon but it is somewhere I’ve always wanted to visit. One of my favourite things about p2P is all the “virtual travel” we get to indulge in.

  5. Kay says:

    Your pages are always an inspiration. I love your style and colors!

  6. sistersunshine says:

    Shelley, Peace & joy. Scrapbooking goals for 2015:
    1) Move finished projects to a dedicated EHD for storage, after creating HiRes jpegs that I upload to FOREVER.
    2) Evaluate unfinished projects ongoing (UFOs) as to value of a) finish as stand alone project b) combine completed pages together and print books (no one said I COULDN’T have RANDOM pages in my Storybooks now did they) and c) DELETE as pages I did for SOME reason, but that reason is already covered in OTHER SBs.
    3) Get serious about Content Management- p2P LIVE LIVONIA’s ‘class’ content has really gotten me to open my eyes and realize that I need to be ‘intentional’ with how I handle my content… what I am doing now is no longer working for me… I want to spend more time scrapping and less time ‘looking for’.
    4) As always spend time preparing for p2P LIVE Mackinac Island events… 2016 is going to be EPIC… already have several amazing activities that are NEW to me… so they HAVE TO BE NEW to others too. (I LOVE my little Fairie Isle… the Islanders have really opened their hearts and homes to me when I ask if xxx is possible… I get questions all the time when are you (p2P PEEPs) coming back.
    Shelley as always our lives appear to be running in parallel, fit bit died… need to get back on that band wagon, empty nest, and living the dream (that I would NEVER have imagined a few years ago) 2015 has quite a few adventures in store for me. And I can’t wait to share them with you all via crops, FB, and just plain dropping in to say HI! *U* Kathleen

    • Shelley says:

      Thanks for sharing your goals Kathleen. Sounds like we need to keep each other accountable!! PS One day I’ll get to Mackinac!!

      • sistersunshine says:

        Shelley, Peace & joy. KNOW that you would be more than welcome… I’m enjoying this time of my life and love being able to share it with others… I truly believe Mackinac Island is one the United States National Treasures. I hope anyone that is part of this group and has the Fairie Isle on their ‘bucket list’ takes advantage of coming when p2P offers their next LIVE event, ask anyone who HAS attended… it’s FUN and FULL of adventures. *U* Kathleen

    • Kristeen says:

      Oh I think I need to keep my eyes and ears open for a Mackinac trip!

      • sistersunshine says:

        Kristeen, Peace & joy. If you want to connect with me on FB I am keeping a list of those that are interested in the next event. *U* Kathleen M Eichler on FB

  7. Jan says:

    Beautiful pages, Shelley! And great goals, too. I wish you success!!

  8. Linda DeLaughter says:

    Your talent for beautiful digi-pages is expressed so wonderfully in these pages! “Samburu Sunrise” took my breath away, and I could not seem to leave the pages “Bird on a Wire” and “Just Breathe”! Thank you for sharing your talents with us!

  9. adakallen says:

    LOVE your Blog! I may use it as an example for writing my year!
    LOVE your pages! I may have to scraplife a “couple” of them…I see several challenges/techniques I have done before but forgotten about!
    LOVE YOU and your work!

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