Paper Lovers Studio Scrapbooking Challenge


Well, it appears that Paper Lovers Studio has issued a challenge for people to create a scrapbook page without using any pictures.  Here’s my entry:


This page features the very first drawing my son made of me. I think he was about 2 1/2 or so when he made this.  I remember being so happy that drew me smiling–what with the terrible two’s and all, I didn’t always feel like I did a lot of smiling at the time.  It’s kind of hard to see in this picture, but I promise, it’s there! What a sweetie 🙂


Find Your Voice: Week 2 (part 1)


As you may know, I am participating in the Find Your Voice summer storytelling workshop. It’s a free workshop which has guided writing, photography, and craft prompts.  And it’s a lot of fun, and you can sign up any time, so if you’re interested, stop by and join in!

I have decided to break week 2 into smaller chunks. It’s pretty intensive, and I can only process so much at a time. That being said, here are my short answers for the About Me section.

NAME: Valerie Ryan

AGE: 31



NICKNAME: Val, Smiley

DOB: 8/18/81


COLOR: turquoise

BOOKS: The Velveteen Rabbit, the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon

HOBBIES: “arts and crafts,” horseback riding, running, reading

FOOD: eggs (any), pie (any)

HOLIDAY: Winter Solstice

MUSIC: varies by my mood, but Coldplay, P!nk, and Beats Antique are always some of my favorite choices

BEST ACCOMPLISHMENT: learning to ride a bike at the age of 28

WORST DAY: My first day of 7th grade

LONGEST TRIP: 1 week (various)

FURTHEST FROM HOME: Vegas  for a conference


FUNNIEST QUIRK- I have 2 different thumbs: one from my mom and one from my dad. For real. Look:



You’d think with being named after an actress and a soap opera character, I was destined to be a movie star, or a drama queen at the very least.  My Dad picked Valerie after his favorite actress Valerie Bertinelli.  My mom chose  Ryan as my middle name after the lead character in the soap opera Ryan’s Hope. However, I’m not much of an actress, and I’m only a drama queen on special occasions.  Lucky break for the folks? Or did I just miss my calling?

NICKNAME: “Smiley”
When I was little, I spent most of my time at the home of an elderly couple who I came to call Granny and Pa.  Pa was the one who gave me my childhood nickname.  He was an illiterate farmer and WWII vet; a hard worker and a man a few words. Pa and I would often sit in companionable silence–at the breakfast table over a plate of biscuits and gravy; on the front porch swing while I watched the curlicues tumble out of his whittling stick; on the couch watching the Ralph Emory Show while he cleaned out his ears with a matchstick.  “That’n there,” he’d say, “she’s a good’n. Don’t cause no trouble. Quiet. Jus’ sits there ‘n smiles at ye all the time.”

(to be continued)


Find Your Voice: Week one


Today I finished up my writing prompt and journaling for week one. I’m working in a book that I had made a while back.  Today I made the cover page:


I’ve decided that the theme for my book is going to be the title of this course: Find your voice.  I think this will be important for me because I tend to be a bit of a wall flower. I have volumes and volumes written down, but I rarely share or give an opinion or do or say anything that might rock the boat for those around me.  So for me this project is going to be about speaking up!


I also worked on assignment one. I chose to respond to the questions “What makes a great story? What are your favorite stories? and What is storytelling?” all wrapped up into one:


My response:

Storytelling/Great Stories are

fun, emotional, humorous, imaginative, magical, creative, honest, true, engrossing, entertaining, healing, and informative”

So there you have it, folks. 🙂

Looking forward to week 2!


New Project!!!


So, today I started the Find Your Voice: Summer Storytelling Workshop!  I am super excited about the workshop. Just the other day I was whining in my journal about how I wanted some new a fresh journal prompts and writing inspiration, then WAH-LAH!  I run across the link to this group.(And it’s FREE!! excuses…so go sign up, K?)

Since I just got my hands on some new bookbinding tools, I had been all set to do mine loose leaf and then bind it all together myself. But, while I was digging around in the art room I came upon a little book I had put together months ago and decided to use it instead:


Cute, yes? The front and back covers are repurposed old hardback books from the thrift store that I’ve covered in a hunk of wallpaper (also from the thrift store).  Wrap around a few strands of ribbon and lace, add a leaf charm from a broken piece of jewelry, and it’s all set to go!


The inside is just a mixture of random scraps of paper, lined paper, vellum, envelopes, music, book text, and the like.  Can’t wait to fill it up!