Monday, February 08, 2016

An Unexpected Turn in My Health

I suppose I am a bit of a control freak. Normally I wouldn't say that about myself. Actually I would say that I'm a fairly calm person who deals with what comes, but truthfully when it comes to certain things I want full control over the outcome and the process.

That is particularly true with my health.

I feel that for the most part that I am a fairly healthy person, and I'm deeply grateful for that.

But for the past year and a half I haven't felt myself. And so I finally dragged myself into the doctor for a check-up. And after a long chat with my doctor, she helped me identify what was wrong and what we needed to address. Thankfully it is nothing life-threatening but it is something that I can't heal myself.

Here's another thing about myself: I hate taking medicine. I'd rather "wait out" a headache than take a pill. I even struggle taking vitamins (which frankly I should be taking). I have nothing against medicine. For some reason, I'm just fight taking it. I'm a "wait and see" kind of a person.

So when it was determined that medication might need to be part of the process to feel healthy again, I was not very thrilled. But recently I did a little exercise in which I created a mental list of what I am like when I'm healthy: engaged in social activities, spending time outdoors doing things, sleeping, having energy. And I wasn't checking many of those things off the list. I knew it was time to get the help I needed to feel better.

But here's the naive part. I just assumed that I would take the medicine and over time it would address my health issues, and I would begin to feel better. Little did I realize that my journey back to good health would involve a rather unexpected turn of events.

Just a few short days into taking the medicine, I became very ill. Bed-ridden, counting the minutes, non-stop praying for relief sick. It scared me. And the symptoms continued for days. My sweet husband on one particularly bad day where I could barely talk I was so ill made the call into my doctor to see what she could do for me. But she assured him that this is often a part of this medicine's process, and that with time the symptoms would abate and I would reach that healthy state we were aiming for.

I wasn't prepared. My schedule was full of work commitments, church commitments, being a mother, being a wife, and so much more. The anxiety of my list made me even more sick. I couldn't stay asleep for more than 20 minutes and would wake with such panic at either being ill or knowing I had something on my plate and I couldn't stop worrying about what the next minute would bring.

I became exhausted. I couldn't eat. I began losing weight. I lost energy.

Every once in a while, I am starting to feel more like myself. But here's where the control freak in me comes out. The moment I feel the symptoms pass, I charge right back in full speed. And then I pay for it. Recently I tried to run an errand after having nothing to eat for 18 hours. I was purposely trying to keep my stomach empty to combat the symptoms until I could be back at home again and "be sick." But as I sat waiting at my errand, I felt myself slipping into a faint.

I'm a professional at fainting. I have low blood pressure and am easily susceptible to fainting. And I don't just faint. The minute I come to I am beyond ill and it typically lasts for a full 24 hours. So I recognize it. I avoid it. And I try to manage it as much as possible. I had to leave. I sat in my car until the symptoms passed. And then I came home exhausted.

Clearly I have no idea how to take the necessary time for my body to heal and get better. I'm not a patient patient. But I'm working on it. So I'm going to take the 4-6 weeks my doctor warned me it would take to feel like myself again and really try to cut back and rest. I'm emptying my plate of extra things. I'm not charging ahead even when I do have good days. I'll just happily accept that it's a good day and do what I can but nothing extra.

I forget sometimes to take care of myself. It's ok to say "Hey, I need some help." It's good that I sought out my doctor and am taking charge of feeling better again. It's ok that I need some time to do that. And I'm telling myself this more than anyone. I am NOT weak. I am human. And while I have so many things I'd much rather be doing right now than being sick, it is what it is and I must accept that.

Thank you for your patience, prayers, kind words of support as I work through this. I know it will be worth it when I am feeling well again. I am worth it. We're all worth the time it takes to be as healthy as we can be.

I will continue to post as I feel well and hopefully within the next few weeks I will feel well enough to do all the things I love to do--including being creative.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Just Ask Jen Video: How to Create a Heidi Swapp Rolodex Album

This week on the Scrapbook and Cards Today Magazine blog, I'm sharing a special project I created using the Heidi Swapp Rolodex system. You can find the blog post HERE. Here's a look at the project I created:

Heidi Swapp Rolodex video with Jen Gallacher for SCT Magazine.

The video shows you some of the products from this collection, and then shows you a completed album. This was a lot of fun to work with, and I love that I can sit this on my desk. You can watch it HERE or below:

Here's another look at the album. You can see all the shimmer and shine from the metallic foil finishes making this project extra special.

Heidi Swapp Rolodex by Jen Gallacher for SCT Magazine.

Be sure to subscribe to the SCT Youtube channel HERE for addition videos!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Craft Room Tour Video and Photos with Jen Gallacher

I'm so happy to be participating in this week-long craft room tour. I know that when I set up my craft room, I researched long and hard looking at other people's room to get my room just how I wanted it to function. The best way to see my room is through this video HERE. You can also watch it below:

This was my first craft room, and my favorite thing about it (besides how well it functioned and how much I loved how it looked) was all the natural light. Here are some close-up photos of the space. Pin your favorites:

Craft Space Tour with Jen Gallacher. #scrapbookroom #craftroom #craftroomtourvideo

Craft Space Tour with Jen Gallacher. #scrapbookroom #craftroom #craftroomtourvideo

 (I always store like products together including this entire drawer of adhesives.)

Craft Space Tour with Jen Gallacher. #scrapbookroom #craftroom #craftroomtourvideo

(Decorative details really personalize this space.)

Craft Space Tour with Jen Gallacher. #scrapbookroom #craftroom #craftroomtourvideo

Craft Space Tour with Jen Gallacher. #scrapbookroom #craftroom #craftroomtourvideo

Craft Space Tour with Jen Gallacher. #scrapbookroom #craftroom #craftroomtourvideo

Craft Space Tour with Jen Gallacher. #scrapbookroom #craftroom #craftroomtourvideo

Craft Space Tour with Jen Gallacher. #scrapbookroom #craftroom #craftroomtourvideo

Craft Space Tour with Jen Gallacher. #scrapbookroom #craftroom #craftroomtourvideo
Drawers hold 12x12" paper.

Craft Space Tour with Jen Gallacher. #scrapbookroom #craftroom #craftroomtourvideo

Craft Space Tour with Jen Gallacher. #scrapbookroom #craftroom #craftroomtourvideo

Craft Space Tour with Jen Gallacher. #scrapbookroom #craftroom #craftroomtourvideo

Craft Space Tour with Jen Gallacher. #scrapbookroom #craftroom #craftroomtourvideo

I'm currently in the process of finishing up my craft room in my new home. This craft space includes a photography studio, a creative space for my daughter and even space for me to meet up with crafty friends. Subscribe HERE to my Youtube channel to watch that tour when it goes live.

Want to see more craft rooms? Start HERE on this tour of creative spaces.


Meet Six Amazing Scrapbooking Youtubers

Today you can watch six scrapbooking Youtubers at work creating scrapbooking process videos. We've each shared a NEW video for you that you can watch at your leisure. Take a moment to subscribe to each person's channel.

Scrapbooking Process Youtube Blog Hop hosted by

You can watch my video HERE on my Youtube channel or below:

Youtube Blog Hop

Here's the list of other videos to watch:

Here's a list of the channels to follow:

Here's another look at the layout I created for today's hop:

Suggested Products

Click photos for product links. Affiliate links have been used where possible. Some of the products shown in this video were donated.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Join Me Tomorrow for 2 Exciting Opportunities!

Join me tomorrow here on the blog for two exciting opportunities. The first will be a craft room tour I'm a part of this week. If you haven't seen my old craft room before, this is your chance to do so. So mark your calendars.

Craft room tour with Jen Gallacher at

Then join me here on the blog and on Youtube for a VERY special Youtube hop with some fabulous designers. This hop will introduce you to some designers you may want to follow. Plus it's full of scrapbook process videos for you to watch. Watch for that around mid-morning.

Scrapbook Process Video Hop with Jen Gallacher at

And thank you for helping me reach 5,000 Youtube subscribers yesterday. The winners will be selected and announced here this week! Haven't yet subscribed? Do so HERE.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

How to Make a Valentine Frame

Did you know that this year I'm focusing on recording more meaningful memories? There are lots of ways to make memories meaningful. One is to decorate your home with seasonal items made just by YOU!

Last year I shared this fun Valentine frame. I thought you might want to see it again this year. I have completely fallen in love with the "metallic" trend so I've added gold heat embossed feathers and a gold fringe made from tissue paper to this project. Pin it now and make later!

Valentine Frame by Jen Gallacher from

To Make This Project:

* Valentine Paper Collection
 * Ornate White Frame
* Grey Washi Tape
* Gold Embossing Powder
* Versamark Stamping Ink
* Silhouette Die Cut Machine
* Feather Die Cut Shapes
* White Photo Corners
* White Doily
* White Crochet Twine
* Gold Tissue Paper
* Fringe Scissors

This project is all about layering. Just a few simple banner shapes layered on top of one another make this project come together quickly. What makes this project special, however, are the elements of gold. For the bottom border, I cut a rectangle from gold tissue paper and then cut the bottom edge with fringe scissors (thanks for those, Martha Stewart). For the feathers, I die cut them from white cardstock and then covered them with clear Versamark stamping ink. I then embossed them with gold embossing powder for an additional "WOW" factor. Look for ways to incorporate some shine into your projects.

I love handmade items. Whenever I pass something in my home that either I or someone I care about has made, it makes me smile. It also reminds me of all the fun I had of creating the project. Sometimes what makes an item meaningful is the joy in the creative process. And that is just as important as the end result.

Use my sidebar to search for other handmade Valentine projects now!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

How to Create Valentines for Teenagers

For Valentines Day, I wanted to create a tutorial on creating Valentines that could be given out as a teenager. Teens are hard to design for. They are halfway between child and adult, and they really don't want a Spongebob Valentine (ok, perhaps some do). In today's tutorial, I'll show you how to create some simple Valentine cards that could easily be used for tags on Valentine gifts, or even as inserts into your Photo Freedom/Project Life page protectors. Here are the four Valentines I created:

Teenage Valentines by Jen Gallacher. #papercraft

Here is a close-up view of the Valentines:

Teenage Valentines by Jen Gallacher. #papercraft

Below is the helpful tutorial video which includes each of these four Valentines created from start-to-finish. You can also watch the video on my Youtube channel HERE:

If you like these craft tutorial videos, be sure to check out this playlist HERE which shares a bunch of Valentine craft videos.Take a moment to subscribe to my channel so you know each time I upload a new video!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

A Little Bit About Me!

Some of you may be new here, so I thought I would take a moment and introduce myself. The best way to get to know me is through my About Me page HERE. Click over to read more about my story!

Here's a little peek at what you'll find:

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