Monday, April 23, 2012

Hi there, Volume 2

I have no clue where my blog post went.  I had it all scheduled to go live this morning and when I checked in on it, it wasn't up.  Looked into it and published it only to find a blank post!  Looks like in addition to learning new technology in our house, I also have to get used to a new blogger style.  I already had a major meltdown yesterday b/c I don't have time for the things I want to do as it is.  My dad is not well and we have a doctor appointment today.

But...onward and forward for a moment...I did get to stamp a this card Saturday.  My fashionista friend gave us a style challenge to mix patterns.  I didn't get a chance to do it with clothes, but I did work it into this card!  The chevron stripe paper is recycled from the packaging of my Heidi Swapp 12x12 Resist paper pack.  Very cool!

Have a great new week!
I'll be doing better after today is over...
We have a potluck scheduled for this Friday with a bunch of friends, so I'm looking forward to that planned social event.  I could so easily have said "not this week", but I felt like I needed that to look forward to!  And if you get in the habit of saying "not this week", things have a tendency of never happening.

Hi there!

Hmm, had a whole post written last evening...I wonder where it is now? Give me some time and I'll get this fixed. I don't have time for blogger issues.....

Thursday, April 19, 2012

April Take Twelve, Blossoms and Leaves

Getting caught up on one project today at least.
(actually two, got the March edition done, but I won't be posting it...moving forward not backward!)

Welcome to April's edition of Take Twelve with Ella Publishing!
Digital elements are from Jessica Sprague, Bohemian Bliss Paper Pack and Elements.

Cultivating a grateful heart, week 2

Proverbs 15:15,
All the days of the afflicted are evil:  but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast.

Lately that verse has meant SO much to me.

I made this art journal page with some SU inks and stamps.
I used a sponge and stipple brush and then a paper towel roll to make the circles!  Been seeing that around the net and couldn't wait to try it out!  Works pretty slick.

I still haven't settled on and been happy with the two art journals I've tried.
What kind of art journal do you have?

So this week's heart happy moments:

Yoga.  I'm back at it and even tried some heart-opening yoga.  Seems strange that something done from the outside can affect your heart inside.  But it can and does.  When you are breathing, you focus on the heart and with each breath open that area up.  And for me, opening up means letting go, so that has been helping that whole process too!  As I feel my body letting go in various relaxing poses, I tell myself that is what my mind and heart needs to do.  Let go.

Baking with the kids.  Not something I do a lot b/c I don't seem to have patience for it, but yesterday the kids had early release from school, so I asked DD2 to pick out a cookie recipe from Pinterest.  She chose Oatmeal Raisin.  Huh?  Doesn't sound like a choice of any daughter of mine LOL...I'm a chocoholic.

Careful and prayerful.  My human nature is quite strong and sometimes my thoughts and things I want to express can be quite strong too.  I needed to write an email and needed to feel an inner calm to be able to do it.  I'm thankful I knew where to go to get that calm and direction.  I'm a "jump in with both feet" chic, and so when I want to fix something, sometimes I just jump right in and say stuff without thinking.  I'm learning that's not wise.  Because then your words don't come out right.  And this was a situation I definitely didn't want to make worse.

Massage.  More letting go, need I say more?

A deep sigh of relief.  A special friendship made whole again!  Communication, understanding.  Open and honest with our feelings.  Tears and relief.  Smiles and joy.  Lessons learned.

Next up, I'm reading a book Ali Edwards suggested in one of her creative email newsletters.  I  have really enjoyed it in relation to why I can't make more time to create.  I'll be back with my thoughts about it.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


First off, thank you for the many comments and emails on my last few posts.  I've appreciated the encouragement from them as I get back into blogging mode.  Knowing you are not along in the struggle to live life at it's finest is heartening!  I'm sorry my posts are so word heavy, but I do enjoy writing.  It was a bit of a fearful thing to put yourself "out there" as they say, but's all part of opening my heart and by doing so, I received helpful words from you that encouraged me.  Thank you.

***insert hearts***
I don't know how to do that on my new computer yet...huge learning curve ahead!

A few friends and I have been enjoying the style advice of another Flybaby friend.  It's been fun to see each other's style and to see how to make our style emerge even better!  This spring I've been trying to add more color to my outfits.  And with losing weight (don't worry I've been at a stand still the last month), I've been feeling less like wearing cardivests (like this one) and wanting more  cropped sweaters (like this).  DH says I shouldn't be hiding my figure and my friends seems to be telling me the same!  SO!  With words like that, what'a girl to do?  Well, I'm not intending to flaunt everything and have stuff hanging out.  No, no, no.  That's now what he meant.  But just not to be hiding behind stuff.  I have a some back flab and that has kept me in hiding, but it does feel like it's gone down some and really, I'm noticing most people do have it so why do we try to hide something that everyone else has??  To look like we're perfect and they're not?   Eek, I hope that's not my motive.

So anyhoo, I had to make my fashionista friend a card.  I pulled out some new paper (Heidi Swapp's 12x12 resist) I brought home from that Archiver's trip back in March.  Awesome stuff, paired with Mr. Huey's paint sprays (which by the way is what I used on my art journal page in yesterday's post...sorry I forgot to post about how I made the page...I was feeling too wordy already with what I posted!).  These are made by Studio Calico!

And some mail art to go along with it,

So happy day! 
I'm off to get the clothes on the line (extra getting done today b/c tomorrow is suppose to be rainy and I'm challenging myself to use my dryer as little as possible) and get a run in before I head to town. (oops, just got shipping notification that my new running shoes will be delivered today.  I think I'll hold off on that run until this afternoon!  Gotta' love  I've got lots of errands to get done in town today, and then I'm taking my dad to lunch.  And I might need to have pie for dessert.  We're going to a cafe that I've never been to, but is an old stand-by to the older population of our town.  But it's closing in June, so I best get my in there to be part of it's history!  I keep hearing about their pies...

Had lunch with an elderly friend yesterday too.
Putting those hibernated social skills back into ACTION...
and guess heart is joyful!
And I got some new clothes
(went shopping before I visited her)
...pops of color to add to my collection.  Yea!

It's also the 12th, so I'm participating in Ella Publishing's Take Twelve.  I still need to fine-tune my March edition of this, but I'm super excited about documenting spring in this month's edition.  Stay tuned!

Just had to add one more set of ().

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Cutlivating a grateful heart

I've been meaning to get this going all year.  Seriously!  It's been on my mind THAT. LONG.  Wanting to combine art journaling and a gratefulness series.  I found this stamp in one of my SU sets and was so moved by it one day back in January.  "A grateful heart is the mainspring of happiness."  That really hit home.  Feels good to finally get this together and start.  I don't know if it will be an every week occurrence. I want it to be every week, but I don't set myself up with too many goals that aren't relevant to the demands of every day life! It's not been busy, just wonderful and fun (now that I'm out of my rut), and I've been soaking it all up and learning a few things along the way.

One of the things I've been learning about is "letting go".  Letting  go every. single. night. when I get down to pray.  Things that got under my skin that day need to be let go of.  Feelings/emotions that were sad or hurt need to be let go.  It's all negative energy and not worth another day's acknowledgement.  I could be holding on to so much more that is good and positive and I. will.  Moving forward. 
Being open and honest with myself and others.  Opening my heart.  Not holding grudges.  Letting others just be who they are and, I, firmly settled in who I am. I did this last week and it was SO liberating!

I've also learned more about how I love to socialize.  I need it.  I love visiting with others.  I'm going to make this happen MORE.  I'm afraid we as humans tend to let this slip in the hustle and bustle we call life.  Another reason to let go of busy and realize you have time to do the things you want and love.  Things that are at the very core of living for others.  Summer always seems "busier", and yes, there is more outdoor/garden work, but I'm not letting that stop me from getting OUT and also having folks IN.  Togetherness is what feeds our compassion for one another as we learn to mingle and mix and love each other despite weaknesses and failures.  Whew, that's deep eh?  ;) Simply, we. are. not. too. busy. to. do. what. we. love.
Where is my treasure?

Yoga.  I think I've almost gone a month without it.  Not good.  I can feel it in every fiber of my body.  Tight.  Nervous.  So I'm getting back into it again.  I let it go b/c it didn't burn enough calories.  Now, I don't care how few calories it burns, calorie burn isn't the only healthy thing going.  My body needs to unwind.  The evening stretching will be back in action.

I also enjoyed food for my soul at our spring special church meetings.  The visits beforehand, the spirit left behind in our homes and the living bread that fed my soul.  It renewed my goals from this fall. And renewed my love for my place as a full-time SAHM.  It's where I need to be.
An efficient, focused but loving home manager.
Many roles.  Love to go all the way around.
Prov. 31 anyone?

No School days.  We've had several of them lately.  Two for spring break and four for Easter break.  And an early release day.  Looking forward to summer!  No school brings the lack of routine and schedule that we all need at times.  One day was spent shopping.  One day was spent with one daughter scrapbooking.  Other days were just simply spent at home.

Enjoy the new week!
Love this little gem that goes along perfectly with my quest to cultivate joy,


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

April edition of 10 THINGS

Welcome April 10th!
This month's edition of 10 Things is a bit random as I venture back into blog-land and catch you up on some thoughts I've been wanting to share!  I also wanted to share with you an exciting event I saw on Shimelle's blog. I don't know if I'll be able to join or not, but it sounds very fun. Scrapbooking Weekend news.

Edited to add:  Also check out Melissa's fun post full of 10 links of freebie fun!
I mentioned two of them here so that was a fun coincidence.

1.  My DD1 and I had an awesome scrapbook day together.  In all, (that day and a few days at home working on some more pages), I got 10 pages done!!  I scrapbooked wedding photos.  

Here a few glimpses of them,

2.  I didn't do much with my OLW through the month of March, but it was working in the background and I realized that the things I took photos of in February were not necessarily the things I really wanted to focus my cultivating in and on.  I came to the realization that getting out and about and visiting our dear shut-in friends in a huge part of joy in my life.  I was doing very good with it this fall/early winter, but then sickness and the holidays arrived and you know how hard it is to reestablish good habits!  So the underlying thoughts of my mind have been to restore that joy.  I've also noticed through various social occasions this month, that I am a social butterfly. So we are going to get back into the habit of having more company.

3.  Spring has arrived.  Not so sure I'm ready for it, but by the sounds of what others have been saying, winter went by too fast for them also.  I finally made myself get out and document the arrival of spring through photography.  I've taken some bike rides and outdoor runs and while those feel fabulous to do again, I just haven't finished with winter yet!  I'm looking forward to the some cooler/rainy days this week to help me settle into finishing some winter projects.

First spring bouquet,

4.  I'm losing weight. March was all about maintaining due to two birthday celebrations and some company.  But I did manage to lose 1 lb, maybe a tad more, I forget exactly.  Now I need to get back on the bandwagon (  The month of May will bring another birthday celebration in our house, but until then, I'm more than ready to reduce my sugar intake!

5.  Speaking of things that need to start up again, I've let go of my yoga routine the last month or too and I can really feel it.  I've started getting back into it and I can feel my body letting sighs of relief go!  Healthy bodies need a release from the tension of everyday life.  And speaking of letting go...I've got some other things I'm letting go of.  Yoga is a wonderful release for our bodies and I'm working on teaching my heart and mind to let go also.  It's so liberating with the few things I've been letting go of...

6.  Fresh goodness is back!  We spent all day Sunday with some wonderful friends.  She is in the process of becoming a certified organic gardener.  She shared a HUGE bag of spinach with us (along with many other goodies like certified organic seed potatoes and kale seeds...b/c kale is soooo good in smoothies that I'm also going to make more of) and some basil seedlings...think fresh pesto....!!  We ate so well while visiting them.  I always feel like we eat good, but whenever we visit these dear friends, I'm always freshly inspired in the veggie department.  I have a new recipe to try, Baba Ghanoush!  
Ooo baby that stuff is Good! (MJ, you know where we were now!!)  
And our own asparagus is in full production mode.  Love plates of goodness like this where there is hardly room for main dish.  Time to pull this fun cookbook off the shelf for fresh ideas for all the delicious produce coming now.

7.  Learning new things.  I have a few new things to be learning about this month.  I'm feeling overwhelmed, but I know with 15 min of focus with my timer, I can break down this learning process into something that is fun and enjoyable.  Brain freeze go away!

8.  My Mondays were insane and I was hating the thought of Monday rolling around.  Not a good way to start off the week.  So I've switched things around, and I'm so relieved.  You know I hate the word busy.  And like we heard Sunday, we often chose our busy.  I was not wanting to chose busy.  It's something I avoid at all costs.  A safe avoidance has happened!

9.  I'm really enjoying Ali Edward's weekly Creative Lifts newsletter.  They are so inspiring.
Here are the Archives if you are interested in reading them...and then signing up for them.
What have you been reading?  I love good read recommendations!

10.  Happy mail!  I got this beautiful card in the mail last week.  It was so bright and cheerful and also a new artsy idea that I had just heard about a few days before receiving it!  I was thrilled to be holding the very idea in my little hands.  Zentangle.

Thank you for stopping by!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Hello! I hope it doesn't echo too badly in here.

It's been awhile.  Sorry about that!  I just got into a creative and blogging rut and it was hard to pull myself out of!  But spring is no longer springing, it's just plain HERE!

A few photos that went into my Project Life album this week,

Lilacs and pear,

Peach blossoms,

Redbuds in bloom,

And a few cards I've made lately,

 Anniversary greetings, (made 3 of these!)

 Birthday greetings,

Spring inspired,

Patriotic birthday greetings,
(sorry not an exact link to this card idea, I will look into this further to pinpoint the org. source of this card)

Poppy sympathy,

Loving my Pinterest Stamping Inspiration 
board for help during creative ruts!
I don't like finding links that don't go to the original source though...I'm working on fixing them whenever I discover it.

I'll hope to be back on the 10th with  
I figure that will be a good and easy way to catch you up on a few other things that have been going on.
(like scrapbooking believe it or not!!)
But for now, I must go back to enjoying Easter vacation and wonderful, fun times with my family.