Let’s Play in the new year

December 6, 2013

play big

I’m so excited to start the new year with a little Play! Actually, with a lot of Play! Check out all the details online at the Big Picture Classes Play page and start packing your bags for the live event. You deserve a trip to sunny So Cal for an event like this. And besides all the scrapbooking / crafting / photography fun, you can join us for a day at Disneyland (jumping up and down shrieking like a little girl). And what’s more, is my sisters, the Disney Sisters are going to share a little part in all of this too. Swoon. Who loves Disney? We do! We do! Details on that to be revealed soon. There’s so much magic happening, I’m floating on air! I’m telling you, it’s gonna be so much fun.

And if the trip isn’t in the cards for you (although I so wish it were) consider the next best way to Play! The online version of the event. Yes, it’s true, you can enjoy Play right from the comfort of your own home/office/studio. Wheeee! There’s a $10 discount code being offered right now too which makes registering for the online event even sweeter. Use the code HULAHOOP to get the $10 off your online event registration.

The details for both of the Play! offering can be found on the Play! Event homepage. Scroll down the page and you’ll see the Live event option on the left and the Online option on the right. And scroll a little further down for the new video that pretty much tells you everything you need to know and will hopefully convince you that this is an event you’ll want to be at! Wink wink.

One way or another we want you to kick off an awesome 2014 with Play!


Collages from The Click Retreat

October 13, 2013

Back from an excellent adventure in the Outer Banks I am, like always, already diving headlong into life as I left it. Being with my family, getting back into the usual routine, and catching up on work that has piled up while I was away. But, I promised more photos and I certainly have them so I wanted to share before I get swept up in the things that often keep me too busy to get photos uploaded.

Needless to say, The Click Retreat was amazing as best illustrated by some of my favorite iPhone images of the week. Here you’ll get a glimpse of just some of the awesome ladies that were there, a small visual snippet of the magic that happened in the two gorgeous beach houses that stood side by side on the Atlantic, and the uniquely beautiful landscape that surrounds them.

The Click Retreat 2013From LAX to ORF by way of Southwest Airlines. Love being welcomed by the LOVE sign at the Norfolk Airport.

The Click Retreat 2013My dear friend Ali Edwards  and I totally windblown (have you seen the video??), a view into our room and the view from the house.

The Click Retreat 2013Me and the hostess with the mostess, Today’s Mama Rachael Herrscher, Click friends and I making memories on our Wild Horses excursion, signs of the weather with this shot of me nearly blowing off the balcony by none other than Erin Oltmanns of Today’s Mama.

The Click Retreat 2013Print of us by HP who announced HP Create,  on fabric by Spoonflower, darling beach house print by Alma Loveland, Casey Mullins and I with hand-made mustaches made by Marie-LeBaron, and me and Me Ra Koh (who brought the magic of Sony with her) catching up and enjoying the sunshine.

The Click Retreat 2013Ambiance and parties o’plenty, sponsored by Southwest Airlines and Avery.

Thank you Today’s Mama and all of the creative and generous sponsors at The Click Retreat. What an experience! I loved every minute of it.


Seeing in a New Way with my Lensbaby

October 11, 2013
obx_casey

The brave and beautiful Casey Mullins

I’ve been lucky enough to have spent the last few days on the beautiful coast of North Carolina on Islands known as The Outer Banks. I’ll admit, before this trip, I had no idea where or what The Outer Banks were so for me, being here, learning about the history, seeing this amazing landscape, and yes, even being at the whim of what they’ve referred to as a Nor’easter (of which may or may not be true) has been an enlightening and inspiring experience. And I haven’t even mentioned the fabulous company I’ve been in. The Click Retreat, hosted by Rachel Herrscher and team of Today’s Mama in collaboration with The Outer Banks Visitor Bureau has been every bit as wonderful as the location. From some of my favorite people to awesome brands, the Click Retreat has been a blast. I’ll be sharing more of the fun later. As for now, I’m really glad I brought my Lensbaby Composer with the Superwide converter. It’s been fun to experiment, play and capture the mood of the tumulus Atlantic Ocean like this. Sometimes a change of scenery can be a creative and refreshing breath of fresh air. Or in this case a gale wind. Either way, I’ve been inspired.

obx_gull

obx_woman

obx_walk

obx_tide

obx_feather

obx shoes

obx_shoes


It’s Not Easy Being Teen

September 26, 2013

 on-being-a-teenager

Sometimes I just cannot believe I have a teenager. I’ve always kind of felt like being a parent in general was surreal but, as time passes, the feeling only intensifies. I often find myself wondering how the heck I got here, how does time move so fast and how it’s possible that my child will soon be off to college. It just doesn’t seem real. And yet, here I am. Here we are.

With all the scary messages out there about how horrible, trying, difficult teenagers can be, I guess I was expecting the worst. I feel fortunate that it really hasn’t been much like what I had heard (knocking on wood). That’s not to say parenting at this stage doesn’t have challenges. But still, it’s not what I was anticipating. In fact, it’s way cooler than I ever thought it would be. And, I think my daughter feels the same way about her teenage years. Sure there’s the quintessential “issues” that are somewhat Universal to the teen experience, but I think she’s putting those into a healthy perspective as she pans out to the bigger picture of  her life’s journey. Not an easy thing to do for anyone, let along a teenager. I give her major props for that!

Last night, at yet another back to school night, my husband and I traipsed around her high school stomping grounds getting the scoop on what is her daily life. It was the 3rd time we’ve attended as my daughter is a junior now (see? I have no idea how that happened) but even as high school veterans, it still totally amazes/bewilders/eludes me. Tracing her steps from building to building, walking the paths, passing through the architecture, sitting in the seats and staring at the walls of her life outside of home is never lost on me. As I listened to each teacher’s jam-packed presentation, tried to keep up with the power points, and took notes of anything I felt like might be of importance for future reference, I couldn’t help but think how hard it must be to be in high school now. With so much academic pressure, so many extra-curricular expectations , and so much  responsibility to keep it all together. They are having to live in the present while focusing on the future, all the time. And that’s not even mentioning the social pressures. We all remember that. From navigating friends to communicating with teachers to hyper-active hormones, it just can’t be easy.

It’s really no wonder then that things can get dicey at home. I get stressed out just watching my teen live her life. True, I might be a little more involved than I have to be (my husband tries to remind me to take a step back for my sake and hers) but even still, I can hardly keep up with her and everything that she’s got to squeeze in every day,  and it’s not even my life. I know that she’s exhausted and often pushed over-capacity. I know that when I get frustrated with her for forgetting things, staying up late, waking up late, wasting her time, it doesn’t help. At all. I know she is doing the best she can under overwhelming expectations.  Which is why that even when I’m fuming mad at 11pm waiting for her to get released from musical theater rehearsal, I try to remember that she needs me. When she calls in the middle of the day in a panic that she forgot her homework on the printer, she needs me. When wakes me, home late from an evening with friends and she wants to tell me all about it over tea, she needs me. For help, for support, for understanding, for guidance, for companionship, for unconditional love. And no matter how fast the time passes, no matter where her wings take her, no matter how grown up she gets,  I am so hoping she will keep needing me for all of that. Today, tomorrow and for always.

I recently shared a story and a project on my Babble Voices blog Reframed that relates to the subject of my daughter and how hard I know it is growing up and being a teenager. If I can continually repeat the uplifting, inspiring and encouraging messages I believe she needs to hear, then I know I’m being the best advocate I can be for her. Plus, I know (and she knows) that these messages ring true even when I’m unable to keep my cool on the tough days. Thankfully, the Rhonna Designs app offers all of these amazing messages and more. It’s a photo app dream come true and helped me say the things I always want to say to my daughter. The collection of cards I made for her (and the ‘how-to” part) can be found at Babble. I also made cards for her that are OF her. using pictures of her that I love, paired with words that I know fit her to a T. These few probably mean the most to her. And to me. Sniff sniff.

empowering-messages-for-teens

 


25 Things You May or May Not Know About Me

September 24, 2013

25 things about tracey clark
I’ve been hanging around the interwebs for so long now, sometimes I forget that even still, I am meeting more and more new friends each and every day. That being said, I thought I’d just toss out a few things about myself. You know, for the sake of getting to know each other a little better. So, here’s 25 things that you may or may not know about me.

1.  I’m tall (5’10”)

2.  I’ve been married for nearly 18 years (which we both think is pretty awesome)

3.  I am / we are raising two bright, beautiful, and unstoppable daughters (10 & 15)

4.  I have /we have 2 ridiculously adorable and hilarious dogs

5.  I spend / we spend most Saturday mornings herding cats (true story)

6.  I have an extreme problem with clutter

7.  I collect coffee mugs and pint glasses (because I love coffee and beer, usually not together)

8.  I believe that photography saves me everyday

9.  I did not go to school for photography (I graduated with a BA in art)

10. I have finally realized that I am enough

11. I write a blog at Babble called Reframed

12. I’ve written 4 books, which still feels surreal to me because…

13. I did not get good grades in English

14. I’m a Champion for the United Nation’s Shot@Life Campaign and still…

15. I consider myself the unlikely activist (my daughter has lead the way for me)

16. I have a new found love affair with Project Life (yes, that means scrapbooking. unlikely? kinda.)

17. I’ve been #NintendoEnthused since 2006 and…

18. I would consider us a “gaming” family (again, pretty unlikely and yet here we are)

19. I am the first born of the 3 Disney Sisters which of course means…

20. I love all things Disney (parks, movies, games Infinity anyone?, magic, etc)

21. I really love speaking and sharing at gathering and events and as a matter of fact…

22. I’ll be at 2 retreats in October; Click Blogger Retreat and The Creative Joy Retreat. Sidenote: I would LOVE to see you at one of these!

23. I’ve taught (and am teaching) a whole slew of online photo creativity classes at Big Picture Classes

24. I’m the founder of Shutter Sisters, co-founder of Our Collective and we offer a lovely monthly publication (And lots of other good stuff to come)

25. I am really trying to keep it real

And now, it’s your turn. What should I know about you?


My Project Life Adventure Begins

August 20, 2013

I’m pretty excited about this. As if you couldn’t tell.

For those of you on the Project Life train already, how do you like it? What’s your favorite part about it? Any hints for the newbies?

And for those of you like me, who are just starting to dabble, where you at with it? So happy we’re in it together. It makes it so much cooler!

And lastly, if you’re scratching your head thinking, “Wait, Tracey is scrapbooking? What is going on over here?” let me just say that I’m as surprised as you are. But hey, new adventures can be fun and I’m really looking forward to this one. I will be sharing my process as I go so if you want to join me, I would love that! Leave comments, leave links, share your story, your thoughts, your process. You can also join me in my class Picture Everyday where the last week will actually be about getting our lovely photos off of the computer and into Project Life pages. Woohoo! It’s going to be awesome.