Friday, May 21, 2010

A Rant, a Thought and a Challenge

Lately our CT girls, Vivie and I have been talking much about styles and the whole idea that some people don't consider this or that style as "real" scrapbooking. We are a team of varied styles, we take pride on that and we grow from looking at each other's art. That's when our wonderful and oh so talented PattyAnne vented out on the subject and put in writing what all of us in the team would have liked to. Here is what she wrote (thanks PA for letting me use this):



I used to think that if scrappers ran the world, we wouldn't have the world problems that we do now. The scrapping world felt so open and giving and tolerant and loving.

But I have noticed a change in the past couple of years - a growing segregation and narrow views to 'establish exactly what "real scrapping" is'. I have read harsh comments against women who make fantasy layouts, altered art layouts, art journal pages and those who use stock photography. I have been appalled at the hateful personal comments directed at these women even suggesting that they should be banned and should find a new hobby all together. I expect that these same narrow minded will be pushing for segregation and laws against such layouts being created at all.

Do you remember when Digi-scrapping was just beginning to get popular - and paper scrapping was EVERYWHERE? Many paper scrappers turned their noses up at us and said "That's not REAL scrapbooking" (Those of us who embraced both felt like we had to be in the closet about our 'other side'.

Every winter, all of these spectacularly beautiful winter/snow kits come out. Am I NOT allowed to scrap with these because I happen to now live in an area that MIGHT get one smidgen of snow once every decade? Am I not allowed to voice my memories of snowy days, to voice my dreams of sitting by a blazing fire while the blanket of white makes the world seem virgin again? The fact that I borrowed, by which I mean I asked a friend living in a very snowy region if I could scrap her photos - and gave her credit for the photos, is that NOT the same as using stock photography? I just happen to have a personal relationship with the stock photographer.

That is the scrapbook page that I made when I was 14 years old - planning my wedding. I cut out a picture from a magazine of a lady wearing a Gunne Sax dress looking oh so romantic, I put in a sticker of a cute weeto boy and girl walking holding hands, and I wrote out my plans for my wedding. Isn't that in effect STOCK PHOTOGRAPHY??? Should I, at the age of 14 have been banished from the "art" of scrapbooking??? Should someone write to "Seventeen" magazine and have me arrested on copyright violations because I used an ad of theirs in my scrapbook and NOT written down that the photo appeared in blah blah blah and was taken by blah blah blah? As I look back at that scrapbook I created from my teen years, do you realize how FEW of them have IRL photos???

What about the pages that we scrap that we have NO PHOTOS for? Is that NOT REAL scrapbooking? What about the pages that we scrap using all the wonderful art dollies rather than "real people"? I for one am jumping up on the this bandwagon. I for one feel like a liberated woman gaining this whole other way, this whole other voice, this brand new revolutionary way to express so much of what has been left pent up inside of me - because it didn't fit into other women's narrow views of scrapbooking! I am woman, hear me Roar! and Art Doll! and paint with 5 kinds of paint on the same picture! and glue metal things into my journal! and paste pictures from magazines onto my pages!

Scrapbooking is an art form. It has grown and evolved, like every art form should. Every style of page does not appeal to me, that does not make them any less valid. We can make these same arguments about styles of photography, about styles of music...

Yes, I know I always go back to music since my husband makes his living as a musician... another side of a coin of questions about art...
Beethoven, Bach & Mozart had to bash their heads against lots of narrow minded royalty about what 'real music' was as they tried to evolve and grow in their art.
When someone decided to make the electric guitar, did it quit being REAL music because that's NOT how they USED to do it? (we hear it all the time that my husband's music isn't "the real blues" because it's not this particular style - or that particular style. "The Blues Nazi's" we call 'em --- and even they can't agree on what "the real blues" is. My husband plays MUSIC - and it is touched by every genre that has ever touched his heart and soul, and there's a ton of what God put there in his blood long before he was ever put on this earth and ever picked up a guitar)

God gave us so much variety in life so that he could speak to us in so many different ways. What sings to my soul may not sing to yours. What doesn't touch my heart today may touch it tomorrow. I for one, plan to embrace and try everything I've never tried before... I'm going to taste every food I've never had, walk down a path that I've never been on, try that new technique... and I'm going to applaud you for the things you love - even if they're not my style.

Maybe the narrow minded scrappers need to start a good old fashioned "book burning"!
Burn those pop art pages!
Burn those HDR photography technique pages!
Burn those photos where the moms went in and cleaned up their kids and dressed them real pretty and then went out and re-staged that snapshot moment!
Burn the fantasy layouts that aren't real at all.
Burn those heartfelt pages about relatives that we have no photos of!
Burn every page that was ever created about 9/11 using stock photos!
Burn every remembrance page about the Haiti & Sunami disasters!
Burn every page by a person who's home was burned down & they have no photos at all!
Let's flush those impostors out - burn 'em! burn 'em all!!!


After reading this I started to think how great it would be to have a place where all types of scrapping artists had a chance to "defend" their art. A place to show the community that whether fantasy, clean, freestyle, altered, extracted, traditional, our art is a reflection of ourselves and of our soul.


So here is your challenge. Post one of your pages (it can be new, old, one that you made for this, whatever) and tell us what kind of thought process you put behind it. Tell us why that page is important and why the way you scrapped it the way you did. Show us why your style, no matter what it is, IS a reflection of you and your feeling. Be brave, speak your mind.

There are no rules, except NO BASHING. We want this challenge to be a celebration of your work, not a bashing of somebody else's style. Let's be inspired by other people's work and thoughts, no matter how different from our own.

Vivie and I together with our CT girls will be choosing a layout/explanation to be our grand prize winner. Winner will be taking home 2 ViVa products of their choice. We will be also selecting 2 random pages to win a $5 coupon to our store.

Throughout the week our team girls will be posting their layouts as inspiration... I hope you enjoy it!

Vanessa and Vivienne


Dawn said...

Fantastic post! I don't use stock photos very often but sometimes I just simply don't have the right photo to express my on this layout
This was done for a challenge about childhood dream was to be a 'cowgirl' and own a ranch with lots of reality I became a medical assistant who wanted to scrap and be a photographer for a living I'm unemployed but designing. The photo I used on that layout to me was just breathtaking and I felt a strong connection with it :).

Unica said...

Stunning layout and photo Dawn. Thank you so much for participating!

Heather T. said...

What a wonderful rant! =) I'll have to think about the assignment, though. Back later. =)

marianne said...

coming from a background where scrapbooking wasn't even known, I thought it was just wonderful when I first discovered it. Then I realised that certain people like to attach rules to it. I've been extracting and making altered art pages for a long time, posted them in galleries, and they really weren't appreciated. I now understand why. The didn't follow the rules. I thought, oh to gosh with it, I'll scrap any way I like, thank you very much. I still do :) I'd like to submit this page:,
It's a non-photo LO. I journalled about how dh romanitc in an unconventional way and it embodies everything that I like about scrapping non-traditionally. Journalling to tell the story, lots of white space to give impact and no photo, to show that it's stil me logging my memories of my life. Therefor it's still valid.
Awesome challenge girls!! Viva just rocks! Love your designs!! ♥♥marianne

Christy said...

Amen and amen. Well said PattyAnne! I love to experiment with making many different types of layouts. I also love to admire other peoples creativity, even if it isn't my own style or taste. Thank God we are all different, or the world would be a pretty boring place! This is one of my favorite layouts: The photo and the sparkle in my DD eyes just says so much about her personality! :) The idea for the layout was totally inspired by the content of the photo. Thanks for the great post!

Eryn said...

Wow!! Fabulous pages and explanations already!! Left you all some love!

ViVa Artistry is: said...

Amazing pages girls! love the heartfelt journaling Marianne and Christy, that photo is out of this world!!!

OrianaV. said...

Ok, this is the most raw and deep layouts I've ever made
Is about the guilty feeling in the air when you are a mother and I put several questions both in English and Spanish that torment me every day. The picture (stock photo) represent me and my despair, including one of the recurrent concerns I "wear on my sleeve". The bottles are full of tears and those are running through the walls too. Four pictures of my son (representing his 4 yo) One looking sad, one hiding his face in shyness, one kissing me and a tiny tiny one in the box on the first day he was born.

just Patty Anne said...

WOW! I am blown away!

I'm so glad that you posted this challenge Vanessa & Vivienne - I'm LOVING all these LO's!!!

GORGEOUS work ladies!!! I've been leaving a trail of love!

Lisa said...

This is fantastic! I scrap in so many different ways, I don't have a 'style'...I just choose a style that fits my photos!
The reasoning behind this particular page is simple....I think my son when he had all his long curls (gone now, sadly *sob*) looked like a little angel or I decided to scrap a page in which that is exactly what he is....and which he will kill me for in years to come ha ha ha!
Here it is....
Hope you like it! :0) xx

crk said...

I think there is a place for all styles in the scrapping world. If we did all the same styles it would be incredibly boring browsing the galleries.

I love to scrap, yet living so far away from my family, and having only 1 child ( teenage boy ) who hates getting his photo taken more than I do, I have problems finding photos to scrap. Should I give up this hobby I love so much because I don't have many of my own photos ?

I've used stock photos a couple of times, but mostly I borrow photos from friends and give them the finished layout in return. I get to continue with this hobby that I love so much, and they get their photos scrapped. Its a win/win situation.

Having said that, I prefer to scrap my own photos. I just don't always have that option. I love to pour my heart into a layout, and feel that I scrap better when I am connected to the photo that I'm scrapping.

One of my most favourite layouts is this one: about the loss of my boyfriend. My heart is all over that page, and I've found that scrapping a page about our relationship every year on the anniversary to be therapeutic. It helps me get through a day that is always incredibly hard to get through and makes me remember something special about our relationship instead reliving the day he was taken away.

We all scrap for different reasons, and each and every one of us has just as much right to scrap as the next person. Nobody else has any right to say otherwise!


orachel said...

Well, this is a topic near and dear to my own heart. I've only been at this about 2.5 months, but I've got 26 pieces in my gallery...not a SINGLE one of them has a personal photo. There's vintage, stock, or no photos at all...but not one with a personal pic. Ex made off with all of them, and quite frankly, I deal with intense topics a lot of the time and these just say it better for me. This is probably the one that means the most to me, just because it really did help me work thru some emotional stuff about my marriage the way, my husband left me because I became disabled, so theres a LOT to work thru...and i think that comes thru best in this piece. Inspired by one of my fave twangy blues songs, Gasoline, by Lucinda Williams. Oh, and figure is the fabulous LongStock, DA StockArtist Extraordinaire. Between her and Mizz-d stock, they take the photos that document my life perfectly. Love those two!!!

Fabulous topic, gloriously entertaining bit of righteous indignation by missy patty anne, and I'm officially a devoted stalker of your blog. Also addicted to your glitters, and slobbering on rest of your products! lol

Can't wait to see rest of the submissions! Ones so far have been glorious! And not a one qualifies as 'the av-e-rage bear'. Righteous. How's about, I won't tell you you can't stick your cute naked baby into that cabbage, and you don't tell me how to create my art, 'K, guys? rofl


Tara said...

Wow girls what an amazing amazing topic!! And Patty Anne, Meatloaf sung a song that really relates to your rant, You took the words right out of my mouth!!! So very PERFECTLY said Hun!

I have one to add. Oh and be warned, it's far from traditional. ROFL! I really love the fact that I can enable myself these days to actually get my feelings out of my head and take it out in Photoshop. Awesome stress relief I tell ya. And I feel so strongly that scrapping as evolved so much into such an amazing art form now. I love it. Ok I am rambling. LOL! Here is my page:

This page is all about my journey into quitting the cigarettes. Although it didn't work because life just kept throwing curve balls at me, at the time when I was trying, this page just made me feel so much better and get so much anger out. Scrapping is awesome for this!!

Thanks heaps for looking and more importantly, thank you so much girls for this post. Speaks in volumes!!

Hugs & Kisses,
Tara xoxo

modgee said...

Love your post!!!! I have seen many comments about not "real" scrap book page because it is not traditional looking...we should all be able to appreciate the art of others, if we all scrapped in the same style it would be very boring!!!
I love to write little stories, first for my children and now for my grandchildren, my youngest granddaughter Amelia has a wonderful imagination...she was sitting playing with her dragons and castle and the start of a new story popped into my head...when I came home I spent about five hours getting this page just the way I wanted fantasy...but born from the imagination of a little girl at play...I have made several little story books and the gkids love having their name in a story about them...I'm so glad to have discovered digi-scrapping as my creative outlet,now my imagination can really take wings and fly :)

Maria said...

OH thank you! I should let my mother read this, she's the biggest one in my life that made me feel that I wasn't creating art.. I did stand up to her and now she tries to be nice.

this one was very emotional and pour out of me within minutes

KImmy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
KImmy said...

Well said, PA! But, then you always have such a way with words! I love that as a digital scrapbooker, I am an artist and I have my own artistic style. I've always taught my children that art is self expression and there is no wrong or right. Just express yourself -- be bold, be daring and color outside the lines. Bravo to every scrapbooker who feels the freedom to scrap in a way that expresses their individuality. Here's one of my layouts: (sorry, deleted my last post because it cut off some of the url)

sunnie2004 said...

Ladies Ladies Ladies!!! I am just tickled to no end you all shared a piece of you with us! Such wonderful work you all have done! I am so happy to amoungst scrappers artists and everything in the between. Again thanks for sharing!
caren aka sunnie2004

Unica said...

Oh my... I come back from a day with the family to these wonderful responses!!! I'm so very happy to see your amazing work and for your sharing of yourselves with us. I'll be leaving everyone some love in the am (gotta get twins to bed now) and I'll also be posting my own layouts for you. Many hugs.

Eryn said...

wow these pages are awesome!! Thank you everyone for sharing! I'd just like to apologise to the ladies whose LOs are at Scrap Girls ...I can't register for some reason, but once I can I will leave some love!

Lou Ann said...

Discovering scrapbooking was perhaps one of the most important times in my life. To be able to do just what I please with a layout and having the pleasure of sharing it with so many lovely people has been a godsend for me! I love looking at all the different styles be it an ATC, an art journal or just a traditional scrapbook layout - how boring would life be if we all were not different!

This layout was done as a challenge at Deviant Scrap to scrap our biggest fear. Being a single mom for many many years, struggling to raise my kids, working and trying to just remain myself has always been very hard. So looking in the mirror and forgetting who I am has always been my biggest challenge and my biggest fear. I can truly say that scrapbooking has played a huge role in "me being me"! It has given me an outlet to express myself in ways that sometimes the outside world doesn't see. Thanks for this challenge ladies!

Microferk Designs said...

Excellent post!
There is room for anything under the sun, and while people have their own styles, preferences and guidelines, I think it is all legitimate- and beautiful!

Microferk Designs said...

Ooops forgot the layout:
This was a fairly recent LO that spoke of the cycle of goodbyes we make when we lose a loved one, especially one too soon in life.
Each of those pieces holds a certain symbolism on my journey to say goodbye to our oldest son, Nicholas. The eye that always looks back and holds a tear, the black rose to show the fleeting beauty of life, the "moon-like" journal block to symbolize the spirituality that has been my saving grace, the twisting ribbon that holds all the pieces of emotions together in my head, the key that holds a prominent place in both layout and life and points toward self-actualization, the fence that has been broken- which is good, to leave behind the archaic forms of protection we weave around our souls, the leaf that symbolizes growth, and red as the color of strength, life force and passionate anger, and the "green man", symbolizing the male aspect of the god, who I continually use as inspiration for the wisdom in this path my life has taken.

Thank you for giving us a voice to express ourselves here ladies!

Unica said...

Hi girls,
left all of you some love. I'm blown away by the art you produce. Just incredible!
Carolyn, yours was the only layout I wasn't able to leave love at since I'm not yet registered at Pickleberry Pop. I wanted you to know that your journaling is beautiful and that it takes a lot of strength to put into papers those memories. great work sweetie.
Hugs to all

Gina Barnaba said...

Wow! These pages of such raw emotion and art is just the most amazing pieces I have seen in a long time! Hats of to all of you and thank you so much for participating in this challenge!

crk said...

Ladies I've commented on as many as I could, but will register for Deviant, SM and Scrapgirls later.

Vanessa I totally understand, I would have given a DST link but only have that layout uploaded to PBP.

Thank you for all the comments I've received ladies, I really appreciate that you took the time to read my journalling and comment on my page.


modgee said...

I enjoyed myself so much in this challenge...all the varied art forms are so wonderfully unique and ladies all of your talent is gorgeous to look was so nice to stroll through this collection of art with all the explanation behind each one made every page come alive with your story. Thanks so much for sharing all of your stories and creations...also thank you bunches for all of your wonderful comments :)
I still have to register at a few places before I can leave some love.

Zakirah Zakaria said...

Great thought.

IMHO those who had found their styles wouldn't have any problems scrapping pages with photos or not, or trying to scrap a little bit quirkier than usual (with fantasy stuff, stock photos, etc).

Digiscrapping, to me, is a quick creative outlet & provides instant gratification that paper scrapping or painting couldn't provide to me. I'm so slow when I scrap with paper, and painting...I only paint with acrylic paints and use the impasto technique (dry brush on dry canvas - paints are usually mixed on the canvas). Acrylic paints dry up fast when not mixed with water and I just love the texture of the paint on canvas when it dries.

OK back to the topic.

Here's a page I made with no photos, full of journaling. The journaling is from my diary which I kept since I was admitted to psychiatric ward in early March this year.

Lisa said...

You say toe-may-toe, I say spell potato p-o-t-a-t-o-e and so does Al Gore. The point...lets not get hung up in the semantics. Someone wants to define what scrapbooking is...fine with me. Music for example has many different textures and, rock, r&b, classic, rap, etc. So does digi-art; whether traditional scrapbook style, a total fantasy layout, or an art journal page. I accept that much of what I do goes well beyond traditional scrapping and enters the realm of ART! I think the important thing is to not condemn those that go beyond the traditional but to encourage and embrace ART in all of its beautiful forms and sometimes not so beautiful forms, like my layout here

Why did I do that layout...because I will forever be haunted by the image a gentleman stitting in a chair in an examining room; the ENT resident poking at a tumor growing in the gentleman's throat--then two weeks later, seeing the same patient in the elevators, I.V. in tote, recieving his cancer treatment...his diagnosis was not a good one; and he looked like death warmed over!

Stefanie Eskander said...

This has definitely been an interesting discussion. I think for me, it all has to do with the motivation and reason to scrap: is it Emotion? Is it Art? Is it Memories? Is it Storytelling? For me it's memories and storytelling. Both visual and in words. Much of what I do is not only the visual layout I create, but what I write on my blog. I love seeing and reading the journaling of the layouts linked here that are so personal and emotional. But, for me, that's just not my style. I'm just a simple storyteller, trying to share the visual and sometimes verbal stories of my life. I just don't connect with things that are too emotional or difficult. Maybe my life hasn't had enough angst. Who knows? My work tends to be happy, straightforward, but still personal. Personal because I only want my own photos and stuff on my LOs. Personal because they are about the things that are important to me, and they are the things I want to share with my family. I really want ME to show through my work, and often layouts I see posted on online galleries don't tell me anything about the creator.
I enjoy looking at symbolic layouts, they are often so personal and deep. I do layouts like this once in awhile. I think it's fun to do, and a change from the usual. But that tends to be the exception rather than the rule. I like to think that someone looking at my "body of work" would come out knowing a great deal about me, my life, my family, and my heritage. I like that. I'm not trying to be elusive or mysterious, I'm trying to be clear and open.
This layout is about as symbolic as I get:

ViVa Artistry is: said...

Lisa, I'm in awe of your work. So creative and deep... I love your execution of your ideas. fantastic art!

Stephanie, this is exactly what this challenge is about. It's the fact that we are so different, yet we are all trying to express ourselves with our layouts. You don't need to be mysterious to show depth. Your page is remarkable in that it is straight forward but shows a deeper layer of you. It shows your connection with your family, it tell us of your relationship with your dh and your children and most of all it tell us that you have a good understanding of who you are.

just Patty Anne said...

Back again - and blown away again. I didn't know the beauty that would come our way from posting this rant.

I have been positively moved to tears looking at all of the varied art that has been posted so far - and reading the extra story-telling behind each of them has really put it all over the top.

Thank ALL of you that have posted so far... the sharing of yourselves in this way has been so uplifting for me. THANK YOU!!!

Trish said...

(saw this posted on DST so came read, looked, now feel motivated to comment lol)
I do not do fantasy style layouts, or use stock photos. I'm very firmly a traditional scrapper, and am more than happy to stay that way. I've done a few layouts that could be considered to be fantasy-esque, but its not something I want for my pages. As a person who studied art in school I've always been of the mind that if I want a layout completely based in fantasy I could just draw and create it myself and save me some money.
My pages are for my memories. What I want to remember about my children or our life. If I don't have a photo for a theme or memory I want to record (which is rare) I just don't use one. Yet I do not consider my pages any less ART than pages that are full blown fantasies. It still requires the same thought process of "What should I use?" "How should I place this?" "What best compliments this?" etc. So in saying that one style is "ART" while another isn't is rather hurtful, and just as ugly to those who do traditional pages as it is to those who do fantasy ones.
This has to be one of my most heartfelt pages recently:
Its about remembering my two sons as they were at that point in their lives, about the simple joys and pleasures they found in things. I've scrapped those pictures now twice and each time I try to put more of my heart into it to try to truly capture that moment the best I can.

Lorry said...

I love this post. I scrap for me. If other people like it too, that's cool, but my motivation is to capture a moment, a feeling, or an event so I can remember it later. Whatever style captures what I want to capture is the style I will use for that LO, regardless of what anyone else thinks is appropriate!

My husband used to make fun of me for taking pictures of "just stuff" all the time, but after seeing some of my LOs, he gets it now. You don't have to have a person or famous landmark in the shot for it to be meaningful, and that's why I chose this LO of mine:

It still makes me tear up because I remember so vividly how excited we were at the time and how much it meant to me to finally buy something for our baby. It's not a picture of "just clothes" to me. It's a representation of a big event in my life and all the feelings that came with it.

ViVa Artistry is: said...

Trish and Lorri, thanks for playing along. Left you girls some love.

Trish, that's exactly what we were talking about. It doesn't matter what your style is... if you do it with passion, with emotion, if you are preserving your memories, or expressing yourself -- that's scrapbooking and that's definitely ART.

ViVa Artistry is: said...

ps. Sorry for mispelling your name Lorry. ;)

Karin said...

First, fantastic post!

Here's my page. It is by no means the definitive me as a scrapper nor as an artist. However, it is the definitive me on the day that I made it. It's a new format to me, I had experimented with ATCs, the traditional 12 x 12, moo card size and even letter size, but never a skinny. This one started out as a 12 x 12, but didn't feel or look right. It's all about how, for me, love can you bring you up (the wings), bring you down (the steel grey wall), break your heart (the hole), keep you where you don't necessarily want to be (the nail) and yet, through all the rust, the heart (and therefore love) still shines.

Karli-Marie said...

I absolutely loved reading your "rant." I hate that there can be this us vs. them mentality, not only in the world, but even in such a small microcosm of it as the scrapping world. It's unfortunate because we all have something new to learn from one other.

Personally, I think that it comes from a place of fear. If you don't understand it, it must not be right. Sad really, because people so often forget that these are exactly the kind of emotions that tear us apart as people. Solidarity is the only way to go.

Anyway, here's one of my latest LOs. When I scrap for myself I try to scrap from the heart, but I don't always post them, and it's even more rare for me to photograph myself for an LO of this nature, but I took the plunge.

There's something too vulnerable about putting yourself and your TRUE emotions on display to the world, but at the same time sometimes I find that airing these deep dark feelings that linger inside of me actually helps them to subside. So here is "J'ai une âme solitaire," or "I am a lonely soul."

It's dark, layered, blended to death, but it is what is in my heart right now. Thanks for looking.

pieters said...

Very thoughtful post. I don't struggle with is or isn't something scrapbooking - but more so understanding the artist work. Sometimes it feels like everything was just heaved on a page without any rhyme or reason. But, then when I think that I just tend to stop my thoughts and move on. Heh...I don't even agree with some of the famous artist hanging in there ya go!

Here's my entry:

a recent journal prompt about being rebellious. for me, it's how many people see me and try to keep me a certain way but really don't know the real me. the cracks in the forehead represent the pressure to keep up the image...and as you see there's abit of blood because it's too much.


goodtexan said...
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goodtexan said...
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goodtexan said...

Right on, Patty! This had to be said for a long time and I agree with you 100%. I have long wondered what makes some people think they are appointed judges of the art? What a bunch of intolerant people with an extremely LIMITED view. That said, here is a LO of mine using a stock photo, photos of her are hard to come by and I sure do not have any, lol.

Wonder what happened.... I had to delete twice, my post would come up as something rather different