Friday, December 23, 2011

Paper clip Angel

Will brought this home from school. I thought it was really clever and cute - a perfect kids' project!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Addition of Cheyenne

My niece, who is nearly 18 months old, finally made her presence known on my college-ish mixed media mural on my dining room wall. Of course, it wasn't her fault she came late to the party, it was mine. Grad school has monopolized a lot of my time in the past year! Plus, my sister-in-law breast fed her for awhile, and since everyone on the wall is eating or drinking, it may have led to some somewhat awkward photos!

This is simply a 6 x 6 layout slid into an acrylic PageFrame and hung on a thumbtack stuck in the covered corkboard I created months ago.

This was a clearanced shadow box I got for a steal - because it was without the glass it came with. I am just a huge fan of this Vita Bella line Little Yellow Bicycle came out with in 2008. I think I bought everything in the line during the CKU Provo bus tour that August. All of my favorite colors in one in classic, beautiful designs.

Canvas, frames and flea market finds - oh my!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Make paper boxes in minutes

If the video isn't showing up for you, you can check it out using this link to YouTube.

This was a fast and easy solution for custom boxes that I learned at me LSS, Scraphappy here in Pensacola. All you need are two sheets of 12 x 12 paper and a paper trimmer!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My Leadership Philosophy

My definition of leadership

Leadership defines a role an individual chooses to accept, whether it is leading alone or with others, as a job title or in a single situation. A leader must look out for each team member, provide the team with the tools necessary to be successful and provide guidance towards a common goal.

What I expect from myself

I am honest and transparent. I will give team members as much information as I can so they can do their jobs to the best of their abilities. I will not expect more from the team than I expect from myself. I have high expectations, but not unreasonable ones. I will be approachable. I will be tough, yet empathetic when it is warranted. I will provide feedback and direction when needed. I will be a sounding board. I will be a devil’s advocate and attempt to provide different perspectives so the team can make the best decisions possible. I will create an environment of empowerment, yet, if it is necessary to move the team forward, I will not be afraid to make a final decision.

I learned much from Jim Collin’s book, Good to Great: I will strive to be a Level 5 leader. I will recruit talent even if I am not sure what they will do once they join the team. I will invite the right people on to the bus and seat them in the right seats. I will not be motivated by fear. Goals should inherently motivate, but I will provide the team with the tools, compensation and security it needs so it can focus on being great. I will put the best people in the best areas for growth opportunity. I will listen more, talk less and ask questions.

I will guide, not direct. I welcome questions, feedback and constructive criticism. I will help us all pursue joy. As famed college basketball coach John Wooden suggests, I will love each team member the same. Like professor Dr. Athena du Pre’ said, if I must let someone go, it will be done out of love for them… their happiness matters, too. I will not allow others to do my “dirty work” for me. I will have the courage to address the issue myself. I will be loyal to the team and its members. I will forgive others for honest mistakes. I will also forgive myself for honest mistakes. Like Southwest Airlines, I will fire customers who do not treat team members with respect. I will provide authentic, genuine leadership and create an environment people want to be in. As exemplified by Dr. du Pre’, I will do what is necessary to have refreshed, healthy and invigorated team members so the team is creative, effective and efficient.

What I expect from team members

I expect team members to be honest, transparent and loyal. Deadlines are not to be missed. I expect them to communicate with me. If you don’t know or aren’t sure about something, don’t pretend you do. You will eventually look like a disingenuous liar. Simply say that you don’t know, but will find out quickly. I will expect the best the team has to offer, and then try to stretch the team a step higher. I expect team members to grasp and use their empowerment for the good of the group and organization. To quote the unofficial Google motto, “Don’t be evil.” I require the team members to be respectful, honest and to hold each other to high standards.

Be brave. I expect team members to have integrity and to be accountable for their actions, choices and words. If you commit to something, anything, see it through. I don’t want to have to tell team members what to do or remind them repeatedly to do it. I do not like to micromanage. I want there to be an agreed upon consensus and each team member to take responsibility for their part in the plan. Yet, don’t be afraid to ask questions to gain better understanding. And, paraphrasing Randy Pausch in his last lecture, don’t let the brick walls stop you – those walls just show you how badly you want something. Do not be complacent and do not complain. If you have the tools to fix the problem, do it. If you don’t have the tools, ask for them. Follow up and follow through with everything you do. Embrace constructive criticism. If no one cared, or thought you were capable of achieving their expectations, no one would say anything to you.


I do not like to waste time or resources. I am impatient... but I am working on it. I love a good discussion and am competitive by nature. I like to win. But also see the benefits of a true dialogue and realize there is an appropriate time for each.


I will not tolerate cheating, lying or team members’ disrespect to themselves or others. I do not accept excuses. Habitual tardiness or absences show a lack of respect and commitment to the team and are not acceptable. Ignorance is not bliss, it is inexcusable.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Tyler Durden's 8 Rules of Innovation

A friend of mine introduced this link to me today and it absolutely resonated! I am not a huge fan of the move "Fight Club," but I thought the author's use of the parallels to get his point across was great. I have no idea who Tyler Durden is (LOL), but I like what he has to say about the rules of innovation! Be fearless!

Giving Etsy a try...

I have set up an Etsy account and one of the three items I have uploaded is this Steampunk Debutante wall decor:

I would greatly appreciate it if you would browse the store and offer suggestions!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A little John Deere here...

My friend Raeanne "commissioned" a piece for me to create for her to give to her sister-in-law as a gift for her new baby's room. The room is John Deere themed and Rae gave me a multi-photo frame to "Jessica-tize," as she put it. Here it is, before, after and on the wall:

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Whoops! Forgot to give the low down on Guthrie Gallery Night!

I just realized I never blogged about Guthrie Gallery Night! Both events went very well and it seemed like everyone had a great time. Some wer looking for inspiration, some were looking for gifts, others were just wanting an evening (or afternoon!) out of the house!

It was so much fun to be able to show off the pieces I have created for my family and answer questions about them. Everyone who attended seemed to have their own personal favorites, so I can't say which one was hands-down the most popular.

Here are some photos from the event:

Akiko and Shiho won the raffle prizes on Saturday.
Melissa loved winning the door prize on Thursday.

Actually, Melissa was thrilled to win the door prize on Thursday!

The baby boy "Zoo Baby" collection was a big hit.

My friend Kanoko added to my mantle display - she gave me the pretty green bottle, third from the left.

The "Steampunk Debutante" Collection was my favorite to work with. This is a three-frame wall hanging.
The left frame up close.
This clock cabinet is one of my favorites.
I have been asked if I will do another Guthrie Gallery Night before Christmas. I think I might, coupled with a some kind of class, which has been requested by a number of people. Could be fun, maybe a weekend in November. But, we'll have to see how my crazy fall semester pans out first (see previous post for details)!

Some of the things that are still left I plan to put on an Etsy site or something, so I'll be sure to announce that here and on Facebook. But a huge thank you to everyone who came out and were so supportive (even if they weren't totally sure what to expect!).

Summer's over....

So, my summer is officially over. My summer classes have ended and I got the As I wanted. I never would have thought I would have gotten all As in graduate school, based off of my 3.4 high school and 3.1 college GPAs, but this field of study really does resonate with me. I think it’s a good fit… and nary a calculus or biology class in the bunch!

I didn’t get to the beach once this summer, but I did get to clean most of the house and see some bands and movies with the spouse. Oh, and I am pretty much caught up on my sleep, I think. Which is a good thing, because this fall promises to be challenging!

I fly out tomorrow to pick up the kids from my parents’ house in California. I’ll stay about 6 days to visit with family and friends before coming back. The same day I get back, my in-laws will be arriving in town, to help me out with life while the spouse is off playing softball for 10 days, representing his squadron of Marines. Why the Marine Corps has this annual event the week school starts for many kids around the country, I have no idea. Why not earlier in the summer so families can go? Or at least not have to worry about start of school flurry of activity that wreaks havoc on many households. But the Corps has never really tried to be convenient for family. No need to start now.

Will and Xan start school on the 22nd. Will will be going into 4th grade, and Xan will be starting Kindergarten. I will be starting my fourth (and hopefully, send-to-last) semester as a Strategic Communication and Leadership graduate student at the University of West Florida. Plus, I will be dropping back to part time status as a marketer Pen Air FCU so that I can pursue a new adventure: Teaching at UWF. I will be a graduate teaching assistant (GTA), teaching two public speaking courses on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. I have always wanted to try my hand at teaching at the collegiate level, and I now have my chance. It’s is going to be a very busy semester for me and I am trying to create a schedule a routine so that I have as little stress as possible – ha! Life always manages to throw a wrench (or ten) in to the plans I make, so flexibility will be a much-needed commodity.

Plus, I am doing some freelance copywriting and scrapbooking on the side. Keeping busy is a way of life for me. I'll post pictures of my latest scrappy projects soon!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Guthrie Gallery Night preparations

So, I am finishing up some projects that I have had either had concepted or started so I can showcse them next week at the two Guthrie Gallery Night next week (scroll down a couple of posts for info), and I wanted to give you sneak peek. You can also follow me on Facebook...
"Heirloom" collection

"Lemonade" collection

"Animal Crackers" collection

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Yes, I may be a feminist, but I still like men...

Ok, so follow my logic here: Recently, while in graduate school, I learned that feminists are not what society has created them to be. They do not hate men. They do not think they are better than men. They simply believe they are equal to men. Wow. Imagine that. Equal to the XY chromosome? Oh, the horrors! Yet, this is an identity I identify with. ;) I am different from a man, but together, we bring equally valuable perspectives to whatever discussion is at hand.

Seriously, though, in my reflections, I realize that I come from a long line of true feminists. Not females who think they are better than their male counterparts, not the "man-haters" pop culture likes to pigeonhole in to the definition of "lesbian," or those who were "wronged" by men and, therefore, despise them. But examples of true feminists who believe women can work and live along side the males as equals in the world. Nothing more. Nothing less.

On my paternal side, my grandmother was the first female U.S. Navy Dispersing Officer. She was not enlisted in the Navy, merely hired by them, but, in short, she was the first female to pay the bills for the installation. The keeper of the money. In fact, she was the only one who knew the combination to the safe at the Naval base in China Lake, CA, in the 1960's. A lot of responsibility... and it was even a much bigger part of the U.S. Navy than it is now, with a lot of testing and engineering that done near Ridgecrest, CA. And, yet, someone realized Grandma Barbara was the best person for the job. Amazing. I did not appreciate what she had accomplished for my gender until after she had passed away, but better late than never. Three cheers to my Grandma Barbara. Way to make the most of the opportunities you had!

Yet, the grandmother on my maternal side was no slouch. Unexpectedly, my grandfather passed away of a heart attack when my mother was just over a year old. That left my grandmother alone with a daughter to raise. Now, my Grandma Ginia was close to her parents, but she did not rely on them entirely for financial support, or just quickly marry another man for the sake of acquiring a head of household to support her and my mom. Grandma Ginia worked for a living, for an insurance company, when most uneducated women stayed home with their children. Now, my grandma did have an associates degree, which she earned before she met my grandfather, and such things were rare for women in America at that time. However, in the 1950's, World War II had ended and women were being replaced in the workplace by men who returned from war. Yet, Grandma managed to find and maintain her position as a integral part of the insurance agency she worked for for nearly 20 years. And despite her mother working for a living, my mother turned out to be a productive member of society, earning her associates degree, and nearly a bachelor's degree, before meeting my father and changing her priorities.

So, here I am, two generations later, and I am the first member (not just female member!) of either side of the family to work toward a post-graduate degree. Technically, I am more educated than my husband, as I have a bachelor's degree, and he does not. However, his training as an air traffic controller is quite extensive, and earns him an abundance of college credit. With my bachelor's degree and 18 credits toward my master's degree, I merely strive to be equal to him in the eyes of society. My IQ is slightly higher, but my common sense skills are lacking slightly in comparison to his. I'd say we are pretty equal right now, in our respective areas of expertise, yet his compensation is triple mine. Why? According to Time Magazine, women make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns - when comparing the same skills, dedication and availability. Yet, no one can truly point out the reason for this. Women tend to not ask for raises, and tend to attribute accomplishments to the "team," according to a recent book I read authored by "Morning Joe" TV co-host Mika Brzenzinski. Men are more forthcoming with their personal accomplishments. Women are much more less likely to say say "no" to ridiculous requests, and tend to take more time off to have children.... pick your excuse. But should gender really matter when it comes down to who is the best person for that particular job?

The women in my family have more than proven themselves. I just hope to follow in the footsteps they have already left behind, and then spread those prints a bit farther down the path toward equality. My mother-in-law, a retired elementary school teacher of 30-plus years, recently told me, "It is still a man's world." She is probably right. However, I prefer to fight the good fight and hope than I am valued for the skills and experience I bring to the table, not the combination of chromosomes I have in my body. But the part that bothered me the most is that she brought it up now that she is retired, when gender biases aren't encountered each day in the workplace and should matter less. Was she trying to warn me? Motivate me? Seriously, people, I just want to be equal. Why is that such a problem?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Gallery Night at the Guthrie's...

The window celebrating Rodney's and my 10th anniversary.
 I don’t really consider myself an artist. Not like a painter or sculptor or that guy who creates chalk drawings that look like canyons in the sidewalk. But some of my friends seem to disagree. Especially my friend and co-worker Crystal, who is an artist herself, as well as a graphic designer. She's been harping on me about having a Gallery Night at my house to share my home decor and scrapbooks with the good people of Pensacola. And then she got some other friends and co-workers to chime in. After months of internal debate, and a heart-to-heart with the spouse (who was skeptical, but did not outright laugh), I have decided to swallow my apprehension and host a Gallery Night at my house. Well, actually two.

The Guthrie Gallery Night will be from 7-9 p.m. Thursday, July 28 and 2-4 p.m. Saturday, July 30 at my house. Bring family, friends, whomever you would like. Email me if you need directions: jessicaguthrie at hotmail. 

Feel free to come and imbibe on some refreshments as you enjoy the d├ęcor items and flip through the albums. Also, I have a number of albums and other projects that I have created that are looking for a good home (including the house album and "create" wordart below! Scroll down a few posts to see more). So, if you are looking for a unique hand-made gift for a bride, baby, or birthday, you might find the perfect gift for sale.

I will also be having a free raffle at each Gallery Night, giving away some of the albums. I hope you can stop by!

Wooden wordart with easel.
Clear acrylic house album.

"Live, Laugh, Love, Play" is in my dining room.
The "Love" quadrant of the "Live, Laugh, Love, Play" piece.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Worked on a couple of projects in between school assignments...

Somehow I seem to manage to find snippets of time in between my studies, work, and family to escape into my scrap room. I think it's my way of relaxing and allowing the creative side of my brain to work. After a couple of years of practically ignoring my scrap room, it feels to be able to go back into it and create some cool things for myself, family and friends. Here are some of the things I have done recently.

This first project, I guess you could say was "commissioned." My friend and co-worker, Brad, asked me to create something for his wife, Christy, who graduated with a degree in elementary education this weekend. I went to one of my favorite flea markets and found this framed bulletin board. I think refinished it, added a metal sheet under the top alphabet paper and then used chalkboard vinyl in the center so it was truly for for a teacher. Brad also gave me some pictures from her last day of student teaching, so I added those, which I mounted to acrylic panels, stamped with flourish designed for a softer, yet layered look. There is even a little canvas pocket, filled with sticks of chalk. Brad loved it and I hope Christy does, too!

Last weekend, Scraphappy in Pensacola had a guest instructor, Lynn Warner, teaching classes. I took one on Friday night, in which Lynn walked us through several different flower-making techniques. I can;t remember the last time I took a scrap class, so, in the middle of a crazy end-of-the-semester two weeks of final project, I figured I needed to "waste" some time being creative. So glad I did! It was just the break I needed and I came away with some really great ideas, all on the tags below, one of which I used today.

This is a rolled paper flower for my son Will's teacher for the first day of teacher Appreciation Week tomorrow. He's supposed to bring a flower. I figured this one would last longer than a "real" flower and then Will wrote a sweet note to his teacher about how much he had enjoyed being in her class this year. To make a flower like this, simply tear out (yea, tear... it does not have to be perfectly round!) a circle and then tear it in a spiral from the outside in, so the spiral is about 1/4 to 1/2 inch wide leaving a small, roundish center. Then take the outside end of the spiral and start curling it tightly toward the center. Once it is completely rolled up, let it go, and twist it to the bottom of the flower is resting on the roundish center. put some glue or glue dots to hold the flower in place. Then set the flower right side up on the table in front of you and then push down hard on it wit your hand. That creates the crushed rose look.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Made a wrong turn, once or twice 
Dug my way out, blood and fire 
Bad decisions, that's alright 
Welcome to my silly life 
Mistreated, misplaced, misunderstood 
Miss 'No way, it's all good', it didn't slow me down 
Mistaken, always second guessing, underestimated 
Look, I'm still around 

Pretty pretty please, don't you ever ever feel 
Like you're less than, less than perfect 
Pretty pretty please, if you ever ever feel like you're nothing 
You are perfect to me! 

You're so mean, when you talk about yourself, you were wrong 
Change the voices in your head, make them like you instead 
So complicated, look happy, you'll make it! 
Filled with so much hatred, such a tired game 
It's enough! I've done all I can think of 
Chased down all my demons, I've seen you do the same 

Oh, pretty pretty please, don't you ever ever feel 
Like you're less than, less than perfect 
Pretty pretty please, if you ever ever feel like you're nothing 

You are perfect to me 

The whole world's scared so I swallow the fear 
The only thing I should be drinking is an ice cold beer 
So cool in line, and we try try try, but we try too hard and it's a waste of my time 
Done looking for the critics, cause they're everywhere 
They dont like my jeans, they don't get my hair 
Exchange ourselves, and we do it all the time 
Why do we do that? Why do I do that? 

Why do I do that? 

Yeah, oh, oh baby, pretty baby! 
Pretty pretty please, don't you ever ever feel 
Like you're less than, less than perfect 
Pretty pretty please, if you ever ever feel 
Like you're nothing, you are perfect to me 
You're perfect, you're perfect to me! 
Pretty pretty please, if you ever ever feel like you're nothing 
You are perfect to me

Monday, April 04, 2011

A "Love"-ly Renaissance Woman

My Mom and I met Grace Zabriskie, actress (think Lois Hendrickson in "Big Love"), poet and visual artist tonight at UWF. Very interesting lady and I enjoyed listening to her perspective on the "Renaissance Woman." I love the boxes she creates! Take a look:

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spring Break projects...

I took my college's Spring Break off of work, and although it wasn't all fun, games and adhesive (I did have to do some homework for my graduate classes - yuck!), I did manage to finish and create plenty of new projects. And most of them for myself!

Live Laugh Love Play is a wire mesh and wood frame wall hanging created from pieces I had around the scrap room and stuff I found at local flea markets. I wanted a place to display photos and memories of family fun.

This was a poker-themed (huge) wall clock before I got through with it. Now it's showing off five of my favorite photos from a family photo shoot in November - and it's going on my office at work so I can remember what - and who - I am working so hard for. Those of you who were on the SoCal to Provo bus tour in 2008 may recognize the papers and embellishments: They are from Little Yellow Bicycle's Vita Bella (Beautiful Life) line. I still love it!

Kaiser's wooden flourishes and flowers have always been in my scrap room for awhile, but I could never find just the right project to use them on. I finally did when I paired some of Kaiser's papers with Creative Imagination's "Create" wood word.

I had enough scraps left over to create a house album with two Clear Scraps house-shaped acrylic albums I wire-bound together. Some Prima flowers and Heidi Swapp bling added the finishing touches - just needs photos now!

I have wanted to complete this project for awhile... I found an old window at a local flea market and added Hambly and Creative Imaginations transparencies along with photos of Rodney and I from the past 10 years of our marriage. The photos are backed with 6x8 acrylic (available through From Cover 2 Cover). Chipboard letters are from Scenic Route and Rusty Pickle, prior to their closing. And there are those wooden flourishes from Kaiser...!

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Shoot. Fire. Aim.

This is actually something I wrote a while back, but still think the basic ideas are relevant.

Start – Then have meetings!

Disorderly action is better than orderly inaction.

Shoot. Fire. Aim.

The way I work on projects is:

· * - 1) come up with an idea/goal

· * 2) figure out possible ways to accomplish the goal

· * 3) some initial research to eliminate the least likely ways to reach the goal

· * 4) dig in and get started

· Unforeseen challenges ALWAYS pop up, so switching gears and adjusting methods as you work toward your goal is normal, not the exception.

I know that not everyone works the same way, and I used to think I could embrace others’ way of completing projects. But, recently, I have found that I am not as welcoming to new processes as I have been in the past. While it may not be the absolute truth, my perception of some of my team mates is that they are more motivated by the following phrases:

Analysis by paralysis

Procrastinators: The leaders of tomorrow

Indecision is the key to flexibility.

Needless to say, the team does not work together smoothly. And I so wish it would. We could accomplish so much more! These situations have been addressed by various forms of management for at least a year now, with little or no results. Management is aware, and small steps are taken, but, really, I don’t understand why something more drastic is not done, like termination, or placing the person in a different job. That’s actually something I hope to learn in these classes – why is the removal of poor employee rarely done? This is not the only workplace I have seen this be a problem in, so there must be some universal issues. Or is this a taboo subject that could use some dialogue?

The reason I digressed to poor personnel when it comes to time management is because the team could be so much more effective and efficient with team members who understood efficiency, planning and organization. Because of their poor time management skills, those who do have good time management skills end up doing more work to make up for what the others can’t (or won’t) do, leaving the efficient employees feeling stressed out and overworked.

It is so important to hire the right people. I can see why interview processes at good companies are so long – you really need to get to know the true person as best you can before you extend them an offer. Something for me to keep in mind: Taking more time to get the right candidate to begin with can save your months of time in the future! Hire hard and manage easy. Discuss...

Friday, March 04, 2011

Back to the blog...

Well, it's been more than a year since I posted to this blog. I thought it would be time to do so. I do realize I still have followers and, to be fair, I should tell you that this blog will not just be about scrapbooking and crafting anymore, but more of a documentation of the world through my eyes. Hmm... that sounds a little deep, but you get the idea. And I'll probably toss in some humor, sarcasm and anecdotes. And, of course, some scrapbooking. I have had a love-hate relationship with my scraproom for the past year, but I have managed to create some projects...

A project shipped to Creative Escape for a charity auction.

A birthday gift for my friend and co-worker.

An album for a class that never happened.

A wall hanging kit project.

A birthday gift for a former co-worker ad fellow military wife.