Monday, June 21, 2010

New Inspiration

I have been on an art class high since taking Jane Eileen's Double-Double  class last weekend. Have you met Jane? If you haven't, you should. She is a very gentle soul with the patience of Job-witness her teaching me to sew! The class was one that would interest any level of sewer and I came away with more than just the knowledge of how to use my sewing machine-I also completed a project.

I have always considered myself "Sewing Challenged". I tried to get the little placard for my car, but the DMV failed to realize the degree to which this has affected my life. I was nervous that, though Jane explicitly stated that ANYONE could do this, I might be the ONE who made her change her mind. I am happy to say that I not only feel so much more confident about being able to use my machine ( a 622 lb, 1976 Montgomery Ward model, thank you), but actually have a fire in my soul to create more sewing projects!

One more thing-I have had problems with my machine off and on, even after having it professionally tuned up. At the class I learned that Jane is considered  "The Sewing Machine Whisperer" in the 48 contiguous. My stubborn machine behaved like a perfect lady in her presence.

The project we made is called the Double- Double. It's a fabric journal with 2 spines and 4 signatures. Getting the papers together for the inside was as much fun as the rest of the project and we all ended up with the coolest journals ever. Jane brings everything you need except for the machine and scissors, and her fabric stash is a sight to behold. Since taking the class a week ago, I have finished 2 more journals and have a couple more in the planning stages. I am far from a skilled seamstress, but each one I have made has been a little more pleasing to the eye. It is so fulfilling to be able to make something so full of personalized fabric, paper and personality. I'm hooked!!!.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Shameless Promotion

You Need This!!!
I decided it's OK for me to shamelessly promote one of my favorite companies since this is my blog-HA! I have been a member of Paula's Kit Club since its inception. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this fabulous club, it is an offshoot of the rubber stamp company "Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers". I started buying stamps from Paula Montgomery and her hubby, Chuck more years ago than I can remember. When it was a rubber stamp company, they were always a step ahead of the pack with their designs and products. One of my very favorite things in the world was their full-color, glossy, huge catalog. I have a few of them to this day because they are such great eye-candy. Paula has since founded her kit club and it is unmatched in the world of kit clubs.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

When I Grow Up...

I want to be just like my dog. And here are the reasons why:

1. She thinks I'm just perfect when I get outta bed in the morning.
2. She looks better in most of her outfits than I do in mine. And even if it's not her best look, her self-esteem dictates that she feel super-cute.
3. She doesn't have a mean bone in her body. I know not all dogs are this way, but I kid you not-she lets her 2 cat siblings have a nibble or two of her food before she partakes. And no necks are broken!
4. The tiniest things excite her so much, even if she has done them a million times. How exciting can it be to walk around the block? Apparently, pretty exciting!
5. She is more perceptive than Dr. Phil. If I'm upset or feeling down, she is aware of it almost before I am and is always at the ready with a sweet, sloppy doggie kiss.
6. She assumes that everyone is a friend (even other dogs and cats) and that no one means her harm.
7. She can fall asleep in the middle of a hard tile floor on her back, legs pointing to the sky. I'm getting to the age where I can no longer take for granted a good night's sleep and you can forget about that tile floor.
8. She doesn't have any baggage from being abandoned a few times in her life or because her Mom put her on a diet.
9. Even when she's grouchy she's not.
10. She starts each day with a huge dog-smile on her fuzzy face and with the knowing strut of one who is just bound to have a great day.

 Which brings me to something you have probably heard before, but it's fitting-"I hope to one day be the person my dog thinks I am".

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Terriers and Trying Times

I am constantly hearing about the sad state of our world. Be it the war or the economy, there is a noticeable air of negativity buzzing about. Am I crazy? Do you feel it too? I have always considered myself a mostly positive-minded person, but I am finding myself thinking in ways that surprise me. I rarely have someone just be directly rude or angry in their interactions, but seething right beneath the surface of the written and spoken word...So, what to do with these people and experiences???? I think my hubby has a good idea when he suggests that we "kill 'em with kindness". I don't mean this in a sarcastic way, but rather to take a minute when someone comes at you with negativity and really think about how personally it is meant. Let's face it-times are tough. People are struggling. So, if I feel a barb that I don't feel I initiated or deserved, I am much better off if I can remember from whence this person came. It took me until I was into my 40s to realize and really "get" that everything wasn't always about me!!! Most of the time I am simply standing in the way when something happens and it isn't meant personally. I really believe this-and I also know that I am guilty of misplaced aggression and anger as well. I would love to be someone who always knows immediately what I am feeling, why I am feeling it and handles each situation appropriately. Maybe the fact that I still mess this up makes it easier for me to have compassion when it is coming my way. And I say this with a disclaimer-I don't always do the best I could with these things, but dammit, I'm trying!!!!

  One great way for me to stay centered and positive is to play with my art supplies. I love participating in art swaps and I am currently hosting an altered art book swap. What a kick this has been! I have  the good fortune to be playing at this with 5 ladies, all of whom I have admired for their artistic prowess for quite some time. It is set up to have only 2 weeks between mailing dates which has definitely been a challenge at times, but it has also kept me creating when I might have otherwise opted out. In this particular swap we each chose a different theme and that has just added to the fun-no chance for boredom or repetition. The themes are: "Play", "Alice in Wonderland", "Creative Abandon", "Love & the color Red", "Women of the world" and mine is "Exploring your inner Pin-Up Girl". Quite a diverse group, huh? I have only done 3 of the books thus far, but look so forward to seeing all the others. In the meantime-here are some recent artsy endeavors that have helped me keep things straight in this crazy world...

The little guy on the right was a Hobby Lobby purchase.
My Mom recently adopted a sweet Cairn Terrier
she named "Abby". I painted the all-black figure
to resemble Abby and added a real doggie collar with a tiny red bell and sent her North for Christmas.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Public Service Message

A quick note to all my friends in blogland. I have had a couple of comments posted to this blog in Japanese. I went to a translator site and found that they were advertisements for adult websites and products. It is infuriating to think that these types of people/businesses are now popping up on my blog, but I thought I should give you all a heads-up just in case. Besides the obvious issues, it worries me for viruses and pop-ups. My son, who is much more computer savvy that his Mom, said to delete the comments without opening them and there should be no problem.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What is gratitude?

I know everyone is being affected by the state of our world of late. The people who risk their lives each day to provide a safe and free land for all of us in the US are ever present in my mind. For these people and their selfless acts of patriotism, I give thanks.

I don't know a single person who has not, in some way, been affected by the current economy. I have to honestly tell you that I had never, in my 50 years on this planet, been personally affected by a weak economy...until this past year. My husband spent a few months laid-off from his job for the first time in his 35+ working years. It's so easy to say you understand what it's like to have to cut back and do without, but you reach a whole new level of understanding when your income is cut to nothing. This Thanksgiving my husband is working. For his career and his dedication to our family and maintaining our life and lifestyle by working as hard as he does every day, I give thanks.

I have several friends who are going through a lay-off this very day. I can only say that I understand and that I send you prayers for better days and for an improvement in your situation VERY SOON!!! For all my friends and their support and care, I give thanks.

I can't write this post without mentioning those who are ill. It seems it is everywhere, and I have no doubt that the stress we feel as a world is at least in part, reason for these ills. I have wonderfully healthy children. My husband and I are healthy. And though I constantly take our good health for granted, I feel deeply that we are so fortunate to be well. For all of this, I give thanks.

In times such as these it is easy to forget that we all have much for which we should be grateful. For every ill or problem or adversity I face in my life, there are many others who struggle every day for the things that I so quickly forget about and lament. In my mind, true gratitude is that which we feel when times are tough. It is what we feel when it would be easier to feel sorry for ourselves or to give into the general concensus that all is bad in the world today. Gratitude is something we carry in our hearts in anticipation of things getting better and remembrance of things being worse.

Today I will work to stay in a state of gratitude. Happy Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Stuff It!

I am forever amazed and excited at the fun things I come across out in blogland. Today, as I was surfing my regular haunts, I decided to take some time to see what was up with their favorites. Look what I found!!!

The International League of Championship Matchbox Stuffers . I had to go see what this was all about and now the creative brain juices are flowing. I have never seen so much fun packed into such a small place. It seems these crafty people take ordinary matchboxes, add their own special touch by decorating them, and cleverly stuff them with...STUFF!!! Lots of stuff! What a fun idea. Anyone who loves tiny bits and bobs will love these photos.
Here are a couple I whipped up this morning to give you an idea of what I'm talking about-one with a Christmas theme, and one Asian. Quick & easy, but I haven't stuffed them yet.

This got me thinking-are there a few of you out there who would be interested in doing a stuffed matchbox swap? I think it would be a blast and I would love to host the swap if there is enough interest. I think 10 would be a great number, so if you are interested, leave me a comment and tell your friends-let's have some fun!