Thursday, December 30, 2010

2011 Intentions



It is that time of year isn't it? A time for reflection and a time that most make resolutions for the new year. I'm all about the reflecting but the resolutions not so much. 2010 has been a big year for me. Dare I even say a lot of life changing stuff started to unfold.

In 2010 I....

A sort of metamorphosis began to happen inside of me. I'm still growing. I'm still finding my way. Although, through it all I'm pretty dang happy where I am at in this moment. So looking forward to 2011 I have some wishes for myself. These are my intentions, not resolutions.
  • Take more bubble baths
  • Stop taking myself so damn seriously and let the laughter out
  • Reach outward
  • Spend more time with my nose in books and less time on the computer
  • Stay healthy and be good to my body
  • Listen to more music

Those are my intentions. They are all simple things by themselves but together they lead to a fulfilling year filled with love, laughter, joy and growth.

Happy New Years!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Winter Views


Christmas Eve my Dad and I braved the cold and got out for a little while for some photos. I have to admit using my iPhone has been almost as fun and sometimes easier than lugging around my Nikon. This time I ended up taking both.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Handmade Holiday

I can finally reveal a few of the things I had been working on for gifts this year.

 



The first is a metal wall calendar I did for my mom. I added on the embellishments, the quote and the custom made magnets. The second was a broach for my step-mom. The metal piece was made then attached to a flower with a pin on the back. The last is a zodiac necklace I did for my mom. I knew I wanted to incorporate her sign so I found some custom zodiac images on Etsy that I was able to print and set in resin.

I hope they were all well received and everyone enjoyed them! It really is fun making things from the heart!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas



Hope you all have a wonderful holiday season. I wish you all relaxation, comfort and good tidings. I hope the next year brings joy for you all.

Merry Christmas!

Holiday Treats



Flipping through a gourmet gift magazine last month I saw these and thought, "I could totally make that!" So yesterday my daughter and I did. Mine aren't nearly as beautiful as the ones pictured in the catalog but I bet they taste about the same. The chocolate covered morsels were referred to as Top Hats because of their resemblance. Although mine look a little more like hats that have seen better days. The secret? There isn't one really because all that is too them is an Oreo dipped in chocolate and topped with a equally covered marshmallow. Sinfully good!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

A Season to Share


When I was writing out my Life List earlier this year one thing I really wanted to add for this Holiday Season was to sponsor a family. It has been a work in progress this past month but finally today I can check it off the list! I wasn't even sure where to start when I was planning it out in November but after a quick web search I found two organizations in our area that take applications for sponsorships. I got in touch with a local representative who asked me a few questions about how we would like to help and we were set. A week later I received paperwork in the mail about the family we would be helping. The rest was up to me. I had to get in touch with the family and find out what we could do for them. I figured gift shopping would be the easy part. It wasn't. The mom either was being humble when telling me ideas or her kids just really didn't feel comfortable making lists this year. Either way, I was given only a few hints as to what they may like. In the end though we managed to come up with several ideas for each child. The best part was stuffing a stocking for each of them with all my little finds.

Today our family headed to the grocery store to get the final items to stuff in the car. Our daughter, Hailee, was not thrilled at first to be heading to her least favorite place but soon she understood the importance of what we were doing and starting asking what else she could pick out for them. We had a little shopping cart caravan going on while trying to multitask shopping for our family as well as theirs. I decided to purchase reusable grocery bags for them to keep and we filled every single one. I think what made it so easy is that it is 100 times more exciting to grocery shop for someone else than yourself. At least for me!



When we met the family in person today it truly was heartwarming. They were gracious and polite and so welcoming. It really was a treat for us to help them out and for Hailee to see the importance of giving to others this season. I definitely think we have started a new Christmas tradition for our family in the years to come. Giving to charities is great but being able to help someone and see the impact first hand is even that much better.

Happy Holidays to you all!

Friday, December 17, 2010

For your other half


If you are looking to add a little spicy cheer to your partner's life this season there head on over to Kind Over Matter and print off Amanda's "naughty" card and hide it somewhere special.

I promise it will make their day.

Almost one for the Life List

Last weekend Ken and I went to a holiday party thrown by one of his coworkers. We went the previous year and had a pretty good time and after me being sick for so long I was really looking forward to getting out and going this year. Because of a surgery I had this summer it is almost impossible for me to drink much anymore. My stomach just can't handle that much substance and I absolutely cannot vomit. Which gives me a second reason to be proactive and not overindulge. But I was determined to drink just enough to numb my sinuses into thinking I was well for the night. It worked too! Through the night we noticed people heading to the upstairs obviously checking out something of interest. As the night was winding down we wanted to poke our heads upstairs to see what the draw was. Well, here is what everyone was looking at:



Having just enough to drink to feel a little less shy I gave it a whirl. Let me say two things. First, it isn't is easy as it looks. I was spinning all over the place just trying to hang on. Second, jeans do not work well on a stripper pole. Hence why all the women you see dancing on said pole do not wear them. Bare skin makes it a heck of a lot easier to....um....hold on! I came away with a new appreciation for the art and understanding on how much strength it takes to look graceful at it. I also came away with an incredibly sexy bruise on the inside of my knee. Now, had I put the words: TRY pole dancing on my Life List, I would say I could easily check that one off. But I still want to give it a proper go and take a class where all the fun happens. If nothing else I know it will be one heck of a work out!

As you can see I am omitting the part of the story as to why our host has a stripper pole out in his shop. I figure some things are better left unsaid.

I also want to add that I was slightly hesitant to share this photo here. Not because of how I look or what I was doing but because I am afraid of being judged. Too often I worry about what others may think. In the end I decided "screw it!" This is me. This is my life and this blog documents it all. This is me having fun and being me. Cheers!

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Message...

Monday Musings

5 Reasons Why Being Sick SUCKS!

  • I feel like a Kleenex QA tester. It doesn't matter how soft they are, at the end of the day, they all feel like a burlap sack.

  • After 2 weeks I have forgotten what food tastes like and when my sense of smell starts to return it is probably going to be sensory overload.

  • Missing my December 1st deadline of being done with Christmas shopping.

  • Having the obsessive compulsive desire to wash my hands every 5 minutes and disinfecting everything I touch in hopes of not spreading the plague further.

  • Talking like my head is in a bubble. Can't I at least get a sexy husky voice when I'm sick instead?

Friday, December 10, 2010

A 'lil bit of everything update

  • Still sick. Almost better. I can feel it! I seriously am having a discussion with my immune system. I am so over this and deserve to be healthy for the whole next year. I mean it!

  • I am working on checking off the very first thing on my Life List. I plan on dedicating a post to it soon!

  • Another creation from my metalsmithing class. What started out as hopefully a jewelry piece grew a little too large. It is now a magnet on my fridge.


I hope you all are taking a moment in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season for yourselves. Cheers! I promise to have a "proper" update of some sort soon!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

On being Creative

This past year has been a lot of things for me but mostly one thing: Exploration. Through that self exploration I have learned how much of my life is driven by creativity. Ever since I can remember I have loved to create. Both of my parents have helped to foster the creativity in me. I remember my Mom always crafting things for people during the holiday season growing up. I remember my Dad helping me deck out a wooden doll house with real wall paper and carpet. In High School I was involved in the year book, photography, darkroom and art classes. I had no idea then how much those things would grow to become part of my life today.

Though others have always encouraged my creative lifestyle it is only now that I am truly realizing how much I need to create to be happy. What I don't seem to be doing is focusing on one creative medium. I have dabbled in many things from paper making to now jewelry making. I love trying it all. I am finding it doesn't really matter so much what I am doing as long as I have a creative outlet. I think I need to allow myself to to take a crooked creative path and explore as much as I can because learning and trying new things are also something that truly helps my soul flourish. Hence the reason this blog was born. This is my record of my journey and I am so thankful that you are all here to share your stories with me as well!

On another note: I apologize for the drought in blog posts as of late. I have been sick, again. This time being the third time in a little over a month. The last two illnesses were literally back to back. I figured my body was trying to tell me something when I got sick the first time and thought I was listening by slowing down. I guess maybe I didn't listen hard enough.

 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Completion




Finally I am putting together everything I am learning from Stephanie Lee's Homesteader's Metalsmithing class to make something of substance. I have so many more in various stages of completion but here are two I can share with you today.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Message



When I have a quiet moment, I am currently making my way through Liz Lamoreux's book, Inner Excavation. Loving it! You can imagine how my heart felt when this message fell out on my chest while reading in bed. What a beautiful special thing she did sneaking these in the books before she shipped out the pre-ordered copies. Thank you, Liz!

Monday, November 22, 2010

On being a Mom


This is how we spent our night last night. Watching our daughter, Hailee, in a hospital bed and waiting for tests. (Yes I really am crazy enough to snap the moment on my iPhone).  Thankfully she is fine and we are all home resting today. Sometimes being a parent means making intuitive choices, and sometimes those choices are made out of just plain old parental worry. Last night was of the latter for me. I'm thankful I was wrong. Now we just get to wait for the virus to run its course and I hope to avoid being barfed on anymore this week.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Endless Possibilities



This is my second week playing with fire and already I am getting better. Taking Stephanie Lee's class was something I never in a million years thought I would be doing. In fact I would even venture to say it is out of my comfort zone. Way out! I had a few moments of panic buying the supplies thinking there is no way in the world I am going to enjoy this or be able to keep up using all of the tools. But here I am. Filing, cutting, heating and sometimes burning things. It has been more fun than I could have possibly imagined. My pieces aren't perfect but I would rather think of them having that rustic earthy look. I think it is fun to take a look of my progression in photos so when I have my completed pieces in the end I will see just how far I came. They really do have their own unique beautiful looks in every stage. Also a side note: I may not share all of the completed projects on here until after Christmas because a few people that read this blog may just get a little hand-made something under the tree this year.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Unravelling



This is my final week with Susannah Conway's Unravelling, Ways of Seeing Myself e-course. It has been such an incredible journey with a group of amazing and supportive ladies. Not to mention getting to hear stories and insights from Susannah herself. Also I can't help to say how much I enjoy listening to her videos every week because of not only how down to earth and real she is but also because as an American I am enthralled with her accent.

I haven't shared much, if anything, from the past 8 weeks about Unravelling because it is a mostly private, inner journey but did want to share a few photos with you from it all. This course has truly helped me reacquaint myself with...myself! From here on out I hope I can continue my journey of self discovery and reflection. In addition, I plan on registering for Unravelling  2 next Spring. If you have any interest in taking one of her courses, I highly recommend you take the plunge and go for it!  The connections you will make will be powerful and the discoveries you will learn about yourself will be meaningful.

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Quiet Moment

Calendar Winner!

The handy-dandy random number generator picked a comment number for me and we have a winner! Congrats to Sarah from Sarah Jean Photography! I'll email you soon to send off your calendar.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Vintage Love



I never really had an interest in vintage cameras or instant cameras until this year. I'm not sure what planted that seed but now I truly have the start to a proper collection! This SX-70 is the first of my vintage cameras I have working and the first that I have added film to. Thanks to the Impossible Project, that really is possible again. I was hoping to have a photo to scan in for you from the camera but so far all I have are two very interesting looking abstract shots. The film is highly sensitive and has to be protected the moment it emerges from the camera so in my haste to cover it I messed up the first shot and the second was under exposed. I am thinking trying them outside on a cold blustery day like today was also not very intelligent. I look at it as another adventurous leaning experience for me. Now off to play some more.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Calendar Giveaway!

I adore blog giveaways! Really though, who doesn't love free stuff? I have been lucky enough to be on the receiving end of few myself. Now it is time to pay it forward with a little something fun. I will be giving away this set of 2011 calendar pages to one person drawn at random here on the blog next week.



The lovely ladies at Shutter Sisters provide this free calendar template every year on their site. I selected photos that I have shot through out the past few years that are my personal favorites. The size is meant to fit perfectly into a CD jewel case but you can also fasten them together with a binder clip to hang on the wall if you prefer. I just kind of love the idea of the CD case because it is handy and a great way to re-use it! All you have to do is take off the hinges and reverse the case so it stands up.

To enter just leave your name and location in the comments below. If you aren't registered on the site please make sure to leave your email so I can contact you if you are chosen! I will draw one name from the comments on Monday, November 15 at 10:00pm EST.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Fourth Time's a Charm



Or close anyway.

This week I started the Homesteaders Metalsmithing class from Stephanie Lee and today I fired up the torch for the first time. The very first time. Scary stuff. Thankfully I did not burn myself or the house. Only the metal. Progressively I got a better hang of it. They don't look like much yet but I think they have the makings of something fabulously imperfect.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Monday Musings

5 Games on my wish list this year. Yes I am a self-proclaimed geek and proud of it.

  • EA Sports Active 2 - The first one for the Wii really blew the Wii Fit out of the water in my opinion. Now this one in combination with Kinect is sure to be even better!

  • Dance Central - Guaranteed to embarrass the snot out of me and prove to be highly amusing for others to watch I am sure.

  • Rock Band 3 - My Rock Band 2's band name is Miss Moon. Pretty much everyone in my household plays. I just refuse to sing.

  • Bananagrams - My husband and I play Words with Friends on the iPad/iPhone all the time.

  • Wii Party - For when the entire family wants to play something together. I like to make sure we get games that my daughter can enjoy too.

Picture Fall Recap

Sunday, November 7, 2010

When "Life" Happens

I am finally on the mend after a week of illness. Sometimes life is really good at telling us to slow down, if we listen. With all this reflection time and digital purging I have been doing it got me thinking even more on what I want my web presence to be. I have been toying around with the idea for weeks to do away with my photography website. My thoughts on what needed to happen kept coming back to one word: simplify. I do not need to keep updating two websites. So this is where I will be from now on. I plan on continuing on the path I have been and also sharing some of my photography here as well. I really look forward to continuing on with a creative blog and a more diversified path. I know this is where I need to be in this moment.

My Dad also mentioned to me this weekend that I am behind on my Project 52. This is also something I am choosing to let go of right now. I already did a Project 365 a few years ago. I took a picture every single day for a year. I did not miss one day, though there are some I wish I did in looking back at the quality. Trying to restart another yearly project was something I thought I could handle a few months ago but it is becoming a chore already and not something that is helping me creatively. I want to genuinely WANT to shoot art, not to squeak out a sub-par photo just for the sake of getting something done that week. So I am tabling the project for now and I feel that is OK. I am not going to beat myself up about it or be disappointed. Instead I am going to continue on being creative and try not to over schedule myself so darn much!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Detoxing


I'm not feeling well today so it seems entirely appropriate to talk about detoxing my life. Susannah from www.susannahconway.com posted this week on her blog about going through a Digital Detox. The idea is to set aside some time this week to declutter your digital life. In some ways I have already started doing that this month. There have been a lot of heavy emotional things going on for me at home and I genuinly have been working on making myself into a better "me."

I think we all have those certain people whether on Facebook, Twitter or just in our every day lives that just get under our skin. We can do one of several things in my opinion. First we can continue to let that person bother us and affect us negatively, we can change our outlook about that person or situation, or lastly we can just plain eliminate that person from our lives by trimming the fat so to speak. That is what I worked on earlier this week. Quietly "unfriending" a few people that I honestly did not know personally and every time I saw a comment from them I felt the negativity rolling off them. So that is where I started.

Susannah also talks about trimming down emails, blog subscriptions and other websites that generally are no longer adding to your life. I think it is a fabulous idea to unsubscribe to the email messages that show up and are usually automatically deleted in my case. Shopping advertisements are another great thing to trim. I get at least 20 a day in my inbox and most of them are never read. So starting today I am going to be hitting the "unsubscribe" link to those sites that are clogging up my inbox on a daily basis. Most websites thankfully make opting out a very simple process to do.

I want to add that I think this is something that can be done gently and with care. It doesn't have to be brutal and with a "Delete it all" attitude. There are so many great blogs that I do generally enjoy reading even if I don't get to them every day. There are so many great people out there that add something to my life and that I want to continue to connect with. Detoxing doesn't mean starting over, it just means trimming down a bit to make things more manageable and creating a more positive space around us.

If you want to see Susannah's invitation to participate in your own detox, click on over here.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Monday Musings

5 things I am thankful for in this moment.

  • Hot Tea...lots and lots of hot tea, sweetened with sugar. Lots and lots of sugar.

  • That my husband is in town this week to deal with my daughters tooth extractions. I don't do teeth.

  • Finally getting my new road bike after 3 weeks of waiting.

  • Hearing my daughter say: "Thank You" at every house we visited trick-or-treating.

  • Warm fuzzy blankets and piles of new books to read.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

In just a few minutes we will be out the door braving the cool weather to trick-or-treat. Hope everyone had a fantastic weekend and Halloween!

My Jack Pumpkin


Doesn't my husband make a great pirate? He even was a good sport about the eye liner.
Me as "Sookie" from True Blood.
Our little "Scooby". Can you tell the Tooth Fairy visited last night?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Sweet Treats



Tonight my daughter's school is having a Harvest Carnival party and I signed up to donate cookies for the "Treat Walk" aka: a Cake Walk but with other stuff besides cakes. Most moms would probably feel obligated to actually bake the cookies but not me. Never even considered it actually. I don't particularly love to bake so why would I stress over something like that when there are dozens of fabulous places where you can actually buy pre-made cookies!

Of course, I had in my head what I thought the cookies should look like and didn't want to just bring the standard bakery chocolate chip. Which is where my perfection issues crop up. If I was truly embracing what should have been a no-stress attitude I would have been content with the cookies I found at the first store I went to, or even the second. In the end, I ended up driving to the other end of town to a bakery that I hoped would have something much fancier than the grocery store. They did, thankfully, fresh out of the oven.  I thought I was being particularly smart by only purchasing the minimum we needed for the walk as to not have leftovers at home. I almost made it out the store with just the cookies. Almost. But the smell in there is sinfully delicious so now we have doughnuts waiting for breakfast. Fabulously hand-made gooey doughnuts!

What did I learn? That driving store to store saved me little time and I could have easily baked the cookies at home in the time I spent. But at least this way my kitchen stayed clean!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Life List


Quietly on my own I have been working on my life list. THE Life List. My story. My hopes. My dreams. It isn't terribly long yet or far fetched and I think that is OK. I tried to keep most everything tangible and measurable and all are very much in my reach. I have been so inspired from reading other lists on peoples blogs I figured it was time to share mine. I believe we all have a list whether we know it or not. Everyone has those secret dreams that are kept inside pertaining to things we want to do, "someday." When my husband found out I was writing a list he even shared a few of his wishes with me. I think the act of writing out a list is the first step towards living a more fulfilling life. I also think it is important to think of a Life List as a set of hopes and dreams instead of another reason to look for disappointment if they all are not accomplished right away. Do I think I will get to every single one of these before I stop walking on this Earth? Maybe, maybe not. Even if I don't that is OK. I have something to look forward to and something to strive for, one small check mark at a time.

If you need a little nudge getting started with your own list here are a few great links to help:

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Halloween Treat Bucket


Just a quick post to share the gift my daughter, Hailee, and I made for her Kindergarten teacher. The plastic buckets can be purchased at the craft store for around $4 which is also where I found the yummy Halloween popcorn mix to go inside. The outside paper embellishments all came from a scrapbook kit. Quick and easy! Plus, Hailee felt so proud getting to hand it to her teacher today.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Monday Musings

5 E-courses to for personal development, creativity and self-exploration:

  • Tracey Clark's Picture the Holidays. I am currently participating in the Picture Fall Photography class and am loving the prompts and inspiration. Sign ups are currently open now for the Holiday course.

  • Susannah Conway's Unravelling Courses. Also a course I am currently participating in. Susannah is an absolute treasure of a person and inspires me so much. Her courses have limited enrollment and do fill up extremely fast so make sure to mark the next enrollment date on your calendar if you wish you sign up.

  • Stephanie Lee's Homesteader Metalsmithing E-course. I made the leap and signed up for this course as well. It will be a totally new and challenging experience for me. I can't wait!

  • Andrea Schroeder's Creativity 101 E-course. She is offering this for free, all you have to do is sign up with your email. I haven't had a chance to dive into this one yet but it is definitely on my to-do list.

  • Drew Bennett's Personal Branding BootCamp. Another great free course currently being offered. If you are a blogger and want to streamline your brand then I highly recommend checking this out.


 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Quick & Easy Fall Cards



I wanted to share these quick and easy cards I made today for Fall. Literally they took me a whole 5 minutes. If you are in a pinch and need a quick idea for a thank you card or some party invitations these will do just the trick!

First you need words, a lot of them. Open up a new Word document and start typing. Brainstorm any Fall themed words that comes to mind until you fill up approximately 3 lines. Then highlight your text and copy and paste it until your page is full. I used a smaller font size around 8 points. Pick out your favorite Fall color of cardstock paper and print. To make even better use of your paper make sure to change your margins (something I did not do in the photo below).


Then you need to select a punch. The larger the better so you can actually see some of the words. Make sure your words are going in the direction you want them to read and punch out your shape.



For my card base I used plain white cardstock and attached the cutout with a raised dimensional adhesive. You could easily dress this up more but for a quick time-saving project I think the simplicity of it is just perfect! If you have a birthday coming up and need invitations this would work just the same with a balloon punch shape. The possibilities are endless!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

How E-mealz Saved Our Dinnertime

Italian Casserole and Salad
I never really learned how to cook growing up. Or sew, or bake for that matter. Basically I pale in comparison to the stereotypical housewife image. My mom claims I never wanted to learn those things so she just didn't teach me. So now I just stumble through these things on my own as an adult and boy do I ever stumble. In the past, dinner was a huge stress for me. I will admit a lot of those days my husband would come home from work and I still had not figured it out. Leading us to a quick meal of a-la-TV-Dinners. Before becoming a mother it was even worse. At some point I had to pick up my game. I think it was right around the time my daughter graduated from baby food that I knew I could not squeak by anymore with last minute preparations. I tried meal planning on my own for awhile and was overwhelmed to the point that I just stopped all together. Then we were back to square one and once again I was facing my husband walking through the door with no clue what I would be putting on the table. As a side note I want to add that I have a wonderful husband who could care less if we have corn dogs with frozen corn or leftover pizza for dinner. He is an easygoing guy like that and I am so thankful. But still, I wanted to do better and wanted our family to eat better.

So in my quest a few months ago I heard about E-mealz. I thought maybe THIS would be something I could do. At $5 a month I really could not go wrong. So I signed us up for the Low-fat Family Plan. Now because I rarely do things by the book, because I always tend to find my own way, I haven't been following the plan exactly. The meals are large enough where I only pick 2-3 a week to make. The rest of the nights we do something simple like going out to eat or having left-overs. I have yet to see a repeat in recipes and keep going back through to check out old ones I have yet to try. You get 7 recipes a week with the family plan so I always have extras to choose from.

The Benefits:
  • Uncomplicated recipes that even I can follow and most require minimal ingredients
  • There has yet to be a recipe that we have disliked
  • Did I mention easy?
  • A shopping list is included every week
  • Side dishes are also suggested and included
  • The portions in the family plan are large enough to easily feed a family of 4, probably much more
  • Low-cost solution to meal planning
  • Many meal plan options to chose from including gluten-free and low-fat

The only downside I have come across is that I am the mother to the world's pickiest eater. And she has only eaten one of the meals to date. The rest of the time I end up making something separate for her. Yes, we make her try them all which usually results in a gag fest at the table and me silently hoping she doesn't vomit, again, on her plate. I have hope someday this will change.

Also, we just switched from the Family Meal Plan to the Couples Mean Plan which only has 5 meals a week instead of 7. Less to choose from but still low-fat. I am hoping this way we will cut down on the amount of left0vers we have because we just weren't getting through them all before having to toss them.

Overall I am incredibly happy with the service and plan on continuing with my subscription. If you are interested in checking them out click on over to their homepage and download a sample menu or enter your email in the box to receive 2 free family dinners to try on your own.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Monday Musings

5 things that inspire me in this moment:

  • This post by Meghan at Life Refocused

  • Vintage Cameras

  • Reading this quote in a moment of clarity: "The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are." - Joseph Campbell

  • Discovering I can journal with photos, clippings and color instead of just words.

  • These beautiful engraved beach pebbles.


Happy Monday!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday Finds



Jessica from Crafitly Ever After is sharing this adorable Halloween printable freebie on her blog along with a few other variations. Make sure to visit her new site and print yours out too. I love them all but the Eat, Drink and Be Scary sign was my favorite! Luckily I had the perfect frame hanging around from IKEA  just waiting for this sign.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Monday Musings

Why not start out Monday with reflection and cast aside the weekly dread?

5 things that make me happy, in this moment.

  • The ornamental grass blowing in the breeze this time of year. It is impossible for me to walk by and not touch the foofy tops.

  • All the new blogs I am discovering and devouring as fast as I can. Like this one and this one.

  • The fact that I survived my first Pilates class this morning!

  • My new hat from Piper and Paisley. I got so many compliments on it this weekend I think I may be becoming a hat person!

  • Playing Splode on the iPad. There is just something very meditative and zen about the cute little fluffy guys bursting to relaxing music.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I'm not perfect and neither is this picture



This week I have been engrossed with expanding my blog subscriptions across the web. I stumble on a fabulous site and one leads to another in my reading and so on. I came across a few women talking about the Perfect Protest in honor of Brene Brown's new book, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are. Instead of trying to describe the movement I will just direct you to Brene's site as she really says it best. 

I struggle with perfectionism in so many things as I am sure most of the world does. Learning to embrace who I am and celebrate my imperfections is something I am working on, one day at a time.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Snail Mail is not dead...yet


In the current world we live in, technology is key. Email, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, instant messaging and texting now are our main forms of communication. It is hard to imagine sometimes what I would do without all those tools. Even my daughter's Kindergarten teacher uses email as her direct line of communication to parents.

It is refreshing to discover that there are still people out there who actually write letters. Yes, in ink and on real paper! Not long ago I stumbled upon a great website called Postcrossing dedicated to nothing else but the art of mailing postcards. It took me a few months to register and take the plunge because I had security concerns with random strangers getting my mailing address. The entire idea behind the site is to send and receive postcards to other registered users from all over the world. The common language is English but besides that there are very few requirements. You cannot get another users address from their profile. The only time you can view a mailing address is when you are ready to send a card. The system will then generate a random recipient for you and display the address. You do no have to put your return address on the postcard either. I am finding this system safe enough to fit into my comfort zone. The user profile section on the site will keep track of the countries you have received and sent cards too. There is even a place to add scans or photos of the postcards to be added to your own personal postcard wall. I sent my first two postcards just weeks ago and have already received four. One from Italy, Canada, Germany and The Netherlands. Every postcard I have received has been a little peek into the senders home country or town. It is a fun way to learn more about the world we live in and places we may never get to visit.

The postcards I have been sending off were created with my own images. I had them custom printed by MOO, a fabulous company and one I cannot say enough nice things about. I have gotten everything from business cards to greeting cards printed by them and they all are wonderful!

So is snail mail dead? Not quite according to Postcrossing users!

Monday, September 27, 2010

On Being an Artist


There is something incredibly fulfilling to be able to create my own art and actually display it on my wall. I have been exploring photography for two years now and for the first time finally felt ready to hang one of my own pieces on my wall. This image was taken only a few weeks ago on a photography workshop retreat I was at. It is by far an instant favorite. Being an artist doesn't mean that everyone has to like this piece or understand it. I created it in just this way because it made me feel. Looking at this photo in my office every day will bring me serenity. I created it for me.