The Present Participle List for July 2016

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life48 Comments

A few things I'm doing in the month of July 2016.

A few things I'm doing in the month of July 2016.
Enjoying the photos that my BFF Tara Whitney took of my family while she was here in May. Tara snapped a few of me and the family, as well as some shots of my daughter and her beau. I’m going to pick out  a few and get some nice prints made. So grateful for a handful of new shots like this.

A few things I'm doing in the month of July 2016.

A few things I'm doing in the month of July 2016.

A few things I'm doing in the month of July 2016.
Working furiously on Scrapbook Your Year (details coming next week!), a new CZ Classes workshop to help you document your year in 30 photos or less a month. Whether you want to create a digital book like I have for the past two years, or if you’re a traditional pocket page scrapbooker looking for a less time consuming approach, this class is going to be something I’m so excited to share because it truly represents my complete crap-free philosophy as a memory keeper. Watch my newsletter for more information.

A few things I'm doing in the month of July 2016.
Enjoying have Dan home for the summer in a non-work capacity. This is a first for us. I’ve shared this on social media, but he was hired as a 5th grade teacher this fall. We are so excited to see this next chapter unfold for him. In the meantime, I’ve got a honey-do list that’s hella long.

Thinking about all that is going on in our country right now… of what happened just a mile from my front door here in St. Paul, Minnesota. Seeing all the divisiveness and the anger and the pain… wanting to figure out how to be a part of the solution. Wanting to do something with my time here that will matter in a real way.

On a more personal note… I posted something a few days ago about what is going on right now in our country on my Facebook business page and many people were respectful in sharing their thoughts. Only a few were not and one felt it wasn’t an appropriate venue and that she ‘came here for scrapbook design ideas’ and that she wanted me to know why she was unfollowing me and my page. I want to tell you that I respect that. I respect when people can communicate and be clear with one another. I also want to tell you that as a small business owner, if my goal is to make money above all else—and yes, I do need every single dollar that I earn right now—then I will be a business person without integrity. I don’t want to build a wall between commerce and personal responsibility. My business is me and I am my business. Memory keeping is nothing if not personal. It doesn’t mean that I will ram my ideologies down anyone’s throat, but I’m not going to pretend nothing is going on in the world and that somehow me and my business are immune to it. Thank you for reading.

Cathy ZielskeThe Present Participle List for July 2016

48 Comments on “The Present Participle List for July 2016”

  1. #1

    Sometimes I lose myself in card-making/scrapbooking blogs and websites to get inspiration. Sometimes I lose myself in card-making/scrapbooking blogs to escape to a beautiful place with beautiful and happy lives. Sometimes it helps. Sometimes I get frustrated because it seems the real world isn’t reflected in those perfect lives. You are only the 3rd person I follow in this community who has addressed our shared reality at all. I think finding beauty and happiness despite it all is our gift. But that doesn’t make reality something to be avoided either. Thanks for your typical openness, Cathy.

    1. #1.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Thank you for YOUR openness, Janet. I read something on my Facebook page from an African American page follower who talked of how her beloved scrapbook community can be insensitive during times like this… that she felt unsafe at times in that community and that broke my heart. Again, we do not all have think the same. Our country wasn’t built on one idea, but the idea that we could have ideas and passionately debate them. I don’t know. Like I sad, I’m looking for how I can be part of the solution in whatever small way I can.

  2. #2

    In my mind Cathy, you have always provided a great balance between your business, creativeness and personal thoughts. Keep it up!

  3. #3

    I wholeheartedly agree with Jan. I appreciate you sharing yourself with us. I think you have struck a great balance. Please continue…


  4. #4
    Joanna Johnson

    Your slogan, “taking the crap out of scrapbooking,” was the reason I started following you in the first place. When you’re honest and true about what’s going on in the world and in your life, that’s how I know you’re still taking the crap out. It empowers me to do the same. So yes, I love your products and I love your clean design, but I also like your point of view and personality. And that’s why have stuck with you through the years. If I want generic images, I can scroll through Pinterest. If I want a real person with real things to say showing me how memory keeping fits into a real life, I go to you. As the kids say, please just “you do you.” I’m richer for it. Thanks.

  5. #5

    First, that Tara is awesome. Great pictures! She did have a pretty good looking family to work with ?. As far as what’s going on in the country, I feel we need to communicate about it no matter what our profession is. It’s real and not going to go away. We all need to work together to fix the problems. Scrapbooking is a picture and story about real life. These stories are real life. That’s all. You always keep it real. Please keep on doing that!

  6. #6

    Cathy, you are awesome! I appreciate that you are candid and honest and that you share your feelings. There’s a reason I only follow your blog and one other scrapper’s-you are genuine and kind and open. Keep on doin’ what you do!

  7. #7

    Two things…
    (1) I am SO excited for Scrapbook Your Year. I cannot wait for it to go live.
    (2) I really loved your post and deeply respect you for using your voice and being willing to be uncomfortable and vulnerable in a public forum. I was feeling to raw and disillusioned in the moment go acknowledge it when I read it. But I want you to know: I see you. And I really appreciate your heart.

  8. #8
    Michelle t

    I just wanted to say that you didn’t do anything wrong. Or say anything wrong. I’m sorry that happened. It shouldn’t have. I had a better reply but it didn’t take it and in the interim I lost my train of thought. I just wanted to lend a hand of support. Congratulations on your husband getting the teaching job. That’s flipping awesome. Your photos are lovely, too, what a gift. Michelle t

  9. #9

    I totally loved your post about what is happening in your neighborhood. I don’t look at your blog as completely about scrapbooking and that’s one of the reasons why I’ve enjoyed it. We’ve all enjoyed peeks into your personal life, including Dan’s transition to teaching and your work toward a healthier lifestyle, your daughter moving off to college life, even Prince dying. Why anyone would be upset about you mentioning the recent events that hit so close to your home as being inappropriate from your other posts that were also personal, is beyond me. I thought your post was wonderful and frankly I would have been surprised if you didn’t mention it. Keep sharing your heart Cathy. Its why we love you.

  10. #11

    I want to applause you for your authenticity and transparency. You hit the nail on the head when you said that our country (hell, our world) is divide, angry, and in pain. You are being part of the solution by being a loving, productive citizen in these United States of America. Thank you. I don’t know what other answer there could be except to love one another. You have a platform and you use it in a responsible and caring way. Stay real. Stay you. You will be rewarded for it.

  11. #12
    kay Gregory-Clark

    Cathy, your followers love your honesty & forthrightness (is that a word?!) and authenticity. So I was confused when I read this statement: “then I will be a business person without integrity.” Did you really mean to say “without integrity”? I’ve always considered you as someone with a LOT of integrity! BTW, I haven’t read your FB posts as I don’t do FB very often. I can’t imagine, however, that it was inappropriate.
    Congrats to Dan! And the lovebirds in the tree is such a great photo.
    I have been choking back tears since hearing of the tragedy in Dallas & elsewhere, but I don’t know what I can do about it—except to try to send love energy whenever & wherever I can. Wish there were something more physical, though. Let us know if, as a scrapbooker & businesswoman, you come up with something. Meanwhile, I think we need to be as real as possible in our scrapbooking—& also supportive of others who are trying. I felt for that poor African-American follower who voiced her fear in what should be one of the safest communities in existence. OK, I could go on but better not.

    1. #12.1

      Hey Kay! Oh, that sentence said if I choose to place making money over voicing my opinions, then I would be a business without integrity. 🙂 My goal is to HAVE integrity, even if it means losing sales because someone decides they don’t like what I’m voicing.

  12. #13

    Oh my goodness! Where did your little kids go? They have truly blossomed and I love the photos you have shared with us. I am so happy to see your family together.

    I’ve loved your work since the beginning and although I haven’t done anything in my craft space in at least a year, I still try to keep up with a few blogs. Since my mom died I haven’t had the spirit in me to do anything but I still get joy looking at other people’s creations and pinning ideas for when I do get my mojo back. I have always loved your simple style and your frankness. You talk about things out loud that I only say in my head and I applaud you for that. Thank you for saying things that I’m afraid to say.

    I get stuck in my emotions too much sometimes so although I am aware of recent events I have not been watching much news or reading everything. I don’t want to be an ostrich but when it gets overwhelming I need to do that for awhile. People are often so angry with their opinions, especially on Facebook, and they forget about respect. This pertains to politics, religion, world happenings, everything really. I wish people could be more respectful of each other while still being open and honest. Maybe you could teach a class on that?

    Anyways, I just wanted to say thank you for sharing so much of your life. I don’t usually comment much but I have cried with you and have cheered for you and your family over the years. Seeing your family on the front steps today made my heart smile.

  13. #14
    Carol Clayton


    I don’t think I’ve told you lately, but I love you. Sure, I knew you were going to be a scrapbooking rockstar from the first layout you posted on TwoPeas and I still can’t get enough of your mad design skillz, but it is way more than that. You rock as a person. Just sayin’.

    Carol in SLC

  14. #15

    personally I appreciated your words. I don’t want to see a cute layout all the time. Intelligent and thoughtful people are inspiring. You are inspiring. We need to have conversations with one another and with our children. Each person needs to contribute in a way they are comfortable with. You are comfortable and gifted with your writing skills and I appreciate you putting real life out there for all of us to read. Keep on being you!

  15. #16

    I am so happy for your family and Dan that he got a job. Now the fun begins!!

    I have gone around for the past week with a sick feeling in my stomach. I have a black son in law who is wonderful, never been in trouble, and does not carry, but it makes me scared for him and his family. He speaks with such sense on both sides of the issue. Anyway, thanks for speaking up and not glossing it over.

    1. #16.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Deb, I’m sure when it’s your family, it takes on a new meaning. 🙂 The more I learn about what black people experience EVERY day in this country the more I believe things have to change. I really truly do. I want to be part of the solution. I’m learning. And I’m listening. But then I need to take action, too.

  16. #17
    Louise Nakkan

    First of all, thank you For sharing the fabulous pics of the fam. As someone who has followed your work ( and Miss Tara’s) ‘ from Oz for many years ( dare I say, since the beginning ?) it’s a treat to see your family grow and change. A most heart felt thank you
    As part of a family in Australia, I have been reading and watching all events in the U.S. Over the last few months most intently. I’ve felt saddened , grieved, hopeful and angered in equal measure. And just when I’ve felt particularly hopeless about it all, someone speaks up or posts or shows that there are still caring, sensible, tolerant people there who will make a difference. You’re one of them Cathy, so thank you for that too. Good luck to all the fam for the changes the future is bringing. Can’t wait for the next episodes !

    1. #19.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Shane, thank you for sharing this and yes, I will check it out. Sorry your comment was in moderation. My blog comments are not coming through to my email right now and I just saw your comment. 🙂

  17. #20

    Cathy I have always loved your authentic style and openness, something I strive to have more of. Thank you for putting yourself in the public eye and helping me to find my creative balance between motherhood, work and creative Diva status!
    P.S. Love your sense of humour! Never change!!!

  18. #21
    Sharon Kanniainen

    Thank you for posting the wonderful pictures of your family. Aidan and Cole have grown to be beautiful young adults. It was such a pleasure being their teacher. I learned as much from them as I taught them. Congrats to Dan on his teaching job! Cathy you keep being that wonderful open honest and articulate woman that I have known for many years.
    “Ms K”

  19. #22

    You have integrity in SPADES. it’s why your blog/social media space is a must see in my world. The world is full of beauty and awesomeness as well as pain and ugliness. To only reflect one without the other…. that would just be sad. I’m sorry someone left those comments… your realness is the reason so many of us are part of your world. ??

  20. #23
    kay Gregory-Clark

    Cathy, I apologize. I totally misinterpreted your statement about “integrity” & business. The reason I was so surprised was because I DO think you “have integrity in SPADES,” as Kelly says. When you restated it here in Comments, it made much more sense. I’m so sorry!

  21. #24
    Cheri Andrews

    So honestly, I have followed you since your kids were little people largely because you KEEP IT REAL and you have a great sense of humor. Your mad design skillz and scrapbooking content are only part of the whole package of what can be gained and learned through your blog. So please don’t change a thing – I come here for far more than just scrapbook stuff (although I love all that too!). I’m glad the person who decided to unfollow you was able to speak her mind and act on her conscience, but I don’t think she represents the vast majority of your readers!

  22. #25

    We were talking about Facebook at work today and there was disagreement among the women about what they want to see or not if they use FB. Some want to see only the ‘good’ (fun) posts/photos, and not posts about anything negative or about personal struggle or illness (please NO – ” it makes me feel sick!”). Some love seeing travel photos of others, while such posts make others feel ‘boring’ and dissatisfied with their own lives. Some see it as a way to project their own lives as more interesting than the reality. One has a friend who was told by her psychologist to stay off FB as she wants to help every time she sees someone with a problem, leading her to feelings of helplessness and depression! Those were only some of the comments.
    I guess having a blog and a scrapbooking business will evoke similar responses in people. Some want everything ‘nicey-nicey’ and others want it ‘real’. Some like hear about problems/issues, and others are looking for escape. Some (like me) like a bit of both!
    It would be handy to know (however confronting) what brings each person to your business/blog, what keeps them, and what causes them to drift away. At least one woman came back to tell you. How extraordinary of her (unless she was just mouthing off!) There’s the million dollar question – why are WE here????, ha ha! And what will attract us to put our money down and keep your mortgage paid (if you have one)?
    Ah, sigh.
    Me? I like your style. I buy, and would buy more if I had more time, talent and it was ‘easier’ for me to scrap (like you), or maybe if I had more of your wit, charm, and journalistic talent….Other times I just like to come and read. Be inspired. See your lovely photos. Enjoy watching your family evolve. (Congrats to your husband on his new job by the way!) Be challenged. Find interesting leads to music, new sports (ultimate frisbee) etc. Find someone who is finding life a teeny bit of a grind sometimes…and see how you tackle the issues/challenges…
    So keep being you. x

  23. #26

    Cathy, I haven’t done any scrapbooking the last few years, so I’ve stopped following some of the blogs I used to follow, but occasionally I check out your blog. One of the things I’ve always appreciated about you and your approach is honesty. I always wondered about the dichotomy between “scrapbook world” and real life, the latter of which is far from perfect. I even wrote a page about it in “Me, the Abridged Version”, which I scrapbooked several years ago. Nobody has a perfect life, yet you’d never know it from what gets posted in scrapbook pages. You said what needed to be said on Facebook, and I applaud you for it.

  24. #27

    “Memory keeping is nothing if not personal.” Nice. (And I admit, it reminded me of that line from my fave movie, “Whatever else anything is, it ought to begin by being personal.”)

    Scrapbooking and photography document life, and you have always encouraged us to be real in our documentation. You’ve demonstrated how to do that with your own life and amazing family, and helped us to do it along with you. Life can be crazy-good and beautiful and also ugly and tragic and messy.

    My personal response to these tragedies is to pray … for God’s hand of protection on our police forces, for His wisdom for our leaders as they deal with these situations, and that He would show us how to better love our neighbors as ourselves. And there’s nothing wrong with mailing off a note of appreciation to your local police station, thanking them for their service.

    Blessings on you and your family.

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