Saturday, January 17, 2015

Project Life-Figuring out my way

Wow! It's been a whole year since I blogged! I can't say that it's surprising though. Blogging, I've found is something you really have to be serious about to get it done. Last year it was one of my "resolutions" and I think we all see how those usually turn in, they don't. So this year, instead of making resolutions I am making intentions. And one of my intentions is just to blog more often. Not once a week, or once a month. Just more often than I have in the past. If I exceed that I will be doing better than I was. 2014 wasn't a kind year for me, but despite that I am keeping my heart and mind in a good space as much as I can, planning for the future and trying not to worry about the past.

Today I want to talk about something I have wanted to do for about three years. Project Life! Most of us know what it is. Some don't. If you are in the minority and don't go Here to find out about this awesome and easy memory keeping plan created by the amazing Becky Higgins.

I've had the supplies to do Project Life for about 3 years, sitting in my art room mocking me for not picking them up and starting some sort of memory keeping. It's ironic in a way, because I got my start  doing mixed media art by discovering traditional scrapbooking and paper crafting. When I find something that really interests me I usually jump in with both feet, so I began to scrapbook, bought many supplies that I never used, and quickly became bored doing 12x12 layouts and mini albums. However, finding scrapbooking guided me towards discovering how much I really love mixed media art. So despite all the paper hoarding, embellishments sitting around doing nothing and me feeling frustrated for awhile, everything worked out for the best. I now use those 12x12 papers, embellishments, etc in a variety of mixed media art and art journals. But then along came Project Life. A whole new use for those supplies was born.

2015 Title Page
I was very intrigued by this new system that the amazing Becky Higgins introduced to the memory keeping world. I thought to myself, now that should be doable. So I started ordering core kits, albums, grid cards, even digital kits. And the core kits were a little hard to come by in those first couple of years and the variety was limited. But mine just sat there, the same as my traditional scrapbooking supplies. And they sat there unorganized to boot.

Towards the end of December of last year I started thinking about Project Life again (among many other things) and why I hadn't made it a priority in the last three years, lamenting at the albums of memories I could have completed in that time. Then, the thought that I could make these albums for my grandsons came to mind. I had been wanting to start writing in a book for Tucker, the oldest, for a long time but just writing isn't really what I wanted to do for him. I did start a journal just for the boys this year, but I wanted something that could hold tangible pieces of my life and my written words. It dawned on me that PL would give me the freedom to be creative and also allow me to tell the stories that I want them to know about me, about how I lived my daily life, and what was important to me. It will tell them who their Grannye Kellye is, what she did, what she stood for,  and what she  dreamed about. I really wish I knew all of those things and more about my grandmothers but I really know very little about their daily lives. That gave me all of the motivation I needed to make doing Project Life a priority this year and in the years to come.

I started doing research on other people's approach to their Project Life process. I wanted to see what was working for other people and what wasn't working. I looked on Pinterest, did lots of web searches and reading websites, watched YouTube videos, and I followed conversations in some of the Facebook groups I am in. There is a ton of information out there! I noticed a lot of people were converting from doing 12x12 albums to smaller sizes, like 6x8. Others were switching from doing weekly spreads to monthly spreads. Others were switching to doing only digital using the Project Life App that was introduced recently. I took all of this info into account when deciding how I would approach my Project Life for the first year and my takeaway from it was that I'm not really going to have a lot of rules.

The upper right 4x6 will be filled in with "one little thing" for each day of January
  • Above all, I want to feel free to use whatever page protector design that my photos, mood, or theme, etc. calls for. I don't want to be tied down to using only Design A all year. To me, that would just be extremely boring. I need some variety. 
  • My plan is to make one weekly spread this year of at least 2 pages, but if I want to add more I will.
  •  I will also be including one of the 6x12 envelopes and keeping all of my receipts for the month in it. This serves two purposes. I have my receipts and my ancestors can see what I spent my money on!
  • If possible I will be using rounded corners on my cards and pictures. In some instances I have found that I could not round them. For example, the calendar cards I chose to use have type that is so close to the edges of the corners I would chomp it off if I rounded them.
  • I will use my own handwriting as much as I can tolerate. I know I will be typing on journaling cards too but I want to practice my handwriting more so that it will get better, which will then make me happier to look at it and want to use it even more

I'm using a lot of tools to help me construct my pages such as apps, my printer, an HP Envy 7640 (I am printing at home; to me it's just more convenient-more on my ink strategy in another post), my planner for PL, corner rounder, lots of different pens, stamps, ink pads, spray ink, cards organized by color in plastic containers, page protectors stored in an album, my Smash labeler, Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher, and also some tools that some wouldn't call "traditional" PL supplies such as white sage and a conch shell and my feather fan. I usually smudge myself just to help clear my energy and put myself in the right frame of mind. I also diffuse essential oils into the air. Which oil(s) I use depend on my mood. I like to feel at peace while creating but it can't always be that way so the times that I can't feel peaceful are usually the times that I just paint or do something in my art journal, not Project Life.

I'm looking forward at the end of 2015, to look at my album(s) and reflect on a year full of many good things that will make my heart swell with bliss and also the not so great things, so that I will remember what I have been through and how strong I am and so that my grandson will know that too. Project Life is really for them, Tucker and Gavin. I love those boys and I hope they love my albums. When we make these albums for other people, as well as ourselves, they become that much more special.

Here's a few photos of some of the details of my first pages. I hope all of you are having an amazing weekend! xoxo

January 6x12 Envelope for Receipts

Signing Off!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

My Path

Along this path my soul expands
the knowledge that I crave has room
enter into my being.

Along this path there is no room for fear
my warrior goddess stands tall
her sacred tools by her side.

Along this path I seek heart-connected relationships
other wild women, artists, healers and seekers
I can have connection with others who love the journey.

Along this path my heart swells with eternal love
makes me want to skip, dance and sing
I know that I have finally found my-self again.

Along this path I see the hearts and souls of others
have been through many things, good and bad
still persevere and celebrate the lessons they learn.

Along this path, my path, I can see my big life and it's the best one ever,
for me.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Finding my Vision.

I've been vision-booking.

Ever since I took Hannah Marcotti's class, Hello Awakening Woman, at Serendipity last September, in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, (which is the *perfect* location for this retreat), I have been addicted to the technique of vision-booking. With Hannah's buttery, yummy voice, she soothes you as she teaches you how to take magazines and cut out images and text that speak to you and then you just start gluing things down without much thought really. With a glue stick.  And a composition book. That's it. Sounds sounds so very simple. And it is really. But it goes so much deeper than that when you go back and look at what you have glued down.

Hannah talked of things that she glued down actually manifesting in her life and I absolutely believe that it can happen if you "vision it." I've already been surprised by some of the things that have happened to be placed next to each other and it has kind of made me addicted to vision-booking. I have started to hoard my magazine so I can cut them up instead of just recycling them outright. Only the waste of the magazine goes now. The forgettable parts. For me anyway. For someone else, what I cut up may be their precious thing that they paste into their book. That is one of the beautiful parts of this technique. As the saying goes…"One man's trash is another man's treasure.

One of the biggest things that surprised me about Hannah's class was that it reminded me of a time when I was a young girl where I did similar things with magazines, cutting out the things that called to me, pasting them down in composition books. The kinds with the black covers, lined, that we had to buy for school. I'm not really sure why I quit doing it. I didn't just quit one day and that was it. It went away gradually. Stopping for awhile, then picking it up momentarily, then coming back, and away, until finally one day there was just no time for it. Life became too-filled. I had no room for visioning. I had no room for me. Then I lost me.

Years later, while finding me again, Hannah teaches me of vision-booking and I don't think it was by mistake. I believe it's a great enhancement to journaling, and a great thing to incorporate into your life to "envision"one's life, basically. Try it yourself with just a few prompts such as "I am" and "I deserve" which come straight from Hannah. Cut out things in some magazines that inspire you and then start pasting them down. You will probably be surprised and amazed at what you begin to see. I was.

Hannah gave us temporary tattoos that say the word "yes" on them. All we need to do is say yes. I still have that little tattoo and something is telling me that it's time for me to use it. It's time for me to say yes. Things that seemed so insurmountable just a year ago seem so, not easy, but so much smoother now. I don't feel like I need to fight it so much. I can manage things. So if I can do those things, why not do even bigger things? Why not? A girl's gotta dream doesn't she?

Thank you Hannah, for being you with your voice of butter and heart of gold, and for your wisdom and your spirit. You are one amazing awakening woman. You can check out Hannah's offerings at

Thursday, November 21, 2013

One long year...

it's been a long year
full of change and healing.

i drove and flew to places as close as 2-3 hours
as far as across the country,

from the sandy deserts of arizona
beautiful beaches of the obx,
warm, sulpher hot spring at esalen
beautiful mountains near petaluma.

my heart feels grateful and full,
and my throat feels more open and
i feel able to speak my truth.

my authentic-self has returned to the surface
and i no longer feel the need to
suppress my emotions  or
feel like i am not enough.

i am enough. we are all enough.

i have the biggest dreams for
i no longer see only darkness,
see light streaming into the tunnel
i have been living inside of
and have been digging my way
out of
for so many years

i am right at the entrance
to the beginning of
the rest of my life.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Things Are A'Changin

I've tried many times to write this blog post. I've fretted, worried and wondered..."Should I really share this much of my life with people?" Then I'd think to myself, "no one will read it anyway" as I sometimes do in a self deprecating way. I've been mildly challenged to write more by a few friends, one I've met in real life and have come to respect ginormously, and others that I've only met online but have come to know as much as I could possibly know, without having met them in real life, yet. So I've decided to accept their challenge and go with what I know, which is my thirst for infinite knowledge, my long and tedious quest for personal growth and healing, my desire to have more meaningful, heart-connected relationships with other women, my ferocious urge and longing to give back to others what I am learning about myself, the creative initiate inside of me that is emerging, changing and leading me into a new way of life, my own reawakening of the spirit and soul, and the beauty of love that I am learning how to give without expecting anything in return, and the power I am taking back from places it did not belong to begin with. I could go on with those things, those truths. The things I am learning from the extraordinarily authentic and "truth"-filled human beings who's soul's I am in love with and I honor them with the commitment I make, to heal my own self, my own soul and to transform into knowing who I have always been from the beginning and fulfilling my path on this earth. Most of all I give thanks to my Creator, because without Him, I could never create my own beautiful life.

So where to begin? Some of my friends out there may think that I'm certifiably insane after reading the next few blog posts that I will write, including this one. My hope is that if I am to suffer any judgement over my beliefs, which have always lived inside of me and have been waiting patiently for me to catch up to them, dance with them like a Hafiz poem that can make you laugh and cry at the same instant, that the judgement will be more towards the positive side than the negative. I know how people can be with their judgements, so I'm prepared to lose a few people from my circle of friends. And that's ok. In fact, it's already happened. It happens in the circle of life. (Notice the circles so far, and the circles to come) I'm very sensitive and tender-hearted so it can sometimes be very hurtful, but I'm learning that I don't have to let it affect me to the extent I have in the past. I'm becoming whole again, little by little. One tiny baby step taken every single day, knowing that I will stumble now and again, just as little babes do.

The solidification of my "wholeness" has been a very complex, beautiful, symphony of people, places, and sometimes, things, that have brought me to where I am now and where I am going. Without all of the people, places and things, I would still be stuck in a black hole of unrelenting torment, mental disarray and chaos. For so many years, very few people even knew that I carried so much "weight" around all of the time, that I was in pain and anguish. I smiled, said everything was fine, never wanted anyone to feel my anguish. But I felt diminished and worthless. I was worthless, in my own opinion because I had been taught that I was worthless. I was taught that I should never cry, have no opinion, keep my mouth shut and never cross the tyrant. What is worse is that I was given mixed signals about it because I was always treated differently around certain people than I was with others. I was treated better around certain people. For years afterwards, when I realized how I had become what I was, I started to show how I felt in a very strong manner. I was crushed from my inner being and finally I let it out. Unfortunately, I think that in releasing all of that built up anguish and sorrow I actually caused people to run from me. I was that "too much" woman that Pixie Campbell and Athena Perakis speak of on Sacred Grit to the nth degree. I was beginning, in my own "there is no wrong way" way of dealing with all of my heartache and pain. It wasn't the best way but it was my way.

Now I have to take responsibility, because it's my beautiful life and I don't have to let that ruin my entire spirit and soul.  I was a child when my torment started and it really never ended as far as the trauma it instilled into my body. However,  I have managed to learn, with the help of a few tremendously wise mentors, that I can put a stop to the torment and pain. I can learn to manage it.  I am able to learn that I am worth something and I do belong. My feelings do matter. Your feelings matter. You matter. We all matter. If only we could all realize this and treat each other like we all matter. But not everyone will think this way,  at any time in their life. I cannot be responsible for the fact that they do not. I can only be responsible for the way I treat other beings and for the way I treat myself.

If you look at the world you can see that it is a beautiful symphony of things that work together. We as women need to look at this and employ mother nature's ways back into our lives again. We need to care about each other and ourselves. Circling women feed each other's soul and give each woman in that circle a place to feel safe, even for a few hours, and it encourages them to be better women, who can then go out and help our men and children be better souls. I want that world. I want to live in that world. Let's make it bigger.
Come with me to find the magic in our own healing in the circles that we will create. I'm just getting started. I hope you will join me.
Kellye Kimmel

Sunday, September 22, 2013

My blog really needs some loving care....

I know that my blog really needs some loving care and attention right now. I'm trying things out and changing things up but not really liking what is going on with it now, so bear with me on that one.

I just wanted to share my latest project for Anna's Beachside Scrapbooking. This is a mixed media album by Prima that I am putting a lot of different "My Favorite Things" inside. The cover was created with washi tape and decorated with a Julie Nutting Doll.

Thank you Anna for providing me with such great tools to make these projects! I hope your customers enjoy and find some inspiration within them.