Saturday, October 25, 2008

Can You Believe It?!?

Christmas is only 2 months from today! My lists of things to make and do are growing by the day. YIKES!

I was teasing my sister-in-law earlier in the week about always starting her Christmas shopping so early. She had emailed asking for the boy's wish lists already this week. Then I remembered technically, I've already started my gift collecting. In fact, I took one of the quilts I'm making for our nieces to the quilter yesterday. I'm excited to get it back and see what a difference it makes. And this afternoon I plan to start on the next one. That will be two gifts down. Well, when I completely finish them that is!

Although I won't be making all my gifts this year, I am looking forward to making several of them. One of my favorite things about Christmas is making things by hand. I have piles of books and magazines marked with all the projects I want to try this year. This one is particularly pulling at me. I've been trying to find a similiar cabinet so I can make this before December arrives.

from Somerset Studio Nov/Dec 2008

And ever since Martha began making those ornament covered wreaths several years ago, I've wanted to make one. Now you can just go out and buy one, but what fun is that?!? I've seen other versions-some out of vintage ornaments which I like best. But I think I'll use new ornaments with vintage inspired colors and go for a moderate sized one. Although this magnificent one by Jennifer Paganelli makes me swoon! Most of those are vintage ornaments!

from Better Homes & Gardens Christmas Ideas 2007

Speaking of lists-check out Janet Hopkins' chic organizer for the upcoming holiday season. I love the modern feel of it. Wish I were near Arizona to make one in the class she's teaching! Okay, enough daydreaming and list making. I've got to get busy.

Have a wonderful weekend being productive or choosing to just relax and enjoy the crisp autumn weather and activities! In between quilting I'll be trying to sneak in a quick trip to the antique mall and Target. Maybe even a chai tea latte-yum!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


I've been thinking alot lately about what I want to be when I grow up. LOL! I know, kinda late to be thinking about that. Or is it? What's that quote?
"It's never too late to be who you might have been" --George Eliot

I spent most of my childhood playing school. I fought becoming a teacher in college thinking instead I was going to be a famous singer. And then the first job I landed after graduating from college was-yep, teaching. Then life happened and I got married, had a baby and tried to stay home, but more life happened and I fell into other jobs that utilized other skills and went on with life.

Over the last several years we've had a few challenges with our youngest son and it's become more and more evident I needed to be at home when I could with him. After moving from a full time to a part time job for several years, I recently made the choice to take advantage of a position with the local school district in order to be home for my son when he is out of school and to eventually get back to where I started-teaching. Thus the thinking about what I want to be when I grow up. I'm glad it's never too late to be what you want to be-personally and professionally.

There are so many things I want to be...
an artist
a teacher
in the know
a Bella
loved and loving


Hmmm.....I feel another creative therapy session coming on. :)

Maria Shriver has a great little book I have on my reading list called, "Just Who Will You Be?". Written during a time of transition in her own life, I'm looking forward to being inspired by this successful woman and how she answered this question for herself. Check it out HERE.

So, who do you want to be?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

"Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life." --Pablo Picasso

I've seen this quote lots of times, but when I saw it today it might has well have been on a big neon sign. It really sank in just how true it really is.

Over the weekend I just felt ick. I needed to make something. Work things out by creating. So, I got to work and inspired (once again by Pam Garrison and Lisa Kaus) I made this collaged canvas for my niece Emily's fifteenth birthday. By the time I went to bed on Saturday I felt so much better. Having that outlet to decompress while trying some new techniques was so relaxing. Listening to Michael Buble on my Ipod didn't hurt either.

Some may think it completely self-indulgent to spend so much time on creative pursuits. But I think the goal should be balance. Finding time for ones self to do art, workout, garden and spend time with friends are just as important as life's other daily tasks. It's about reducing stress, finding relaxation and renewal and stretching ourselves. All good time managers encourage making time in your schedule for rest and renewal. So, however you are able to find refreshment-schedule some in the next few days.

Rest, renew and Enjoy!

P.S. I almost forgot to send a shout out to my niece, Emily. She turned 15 today and will be getting her driver's permit tomorrow. Happy Birthday and good luck, Em!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Secret Life of Bees

I love to read and when I take the time to enjoy a book I always wonder why I don't read more often. I just finished reading Sue Monk Kidd's, The Secret Life of Bees. I'd been wanting to read it for some time now and was intrigued by the title more than anything. But with the movie adaptation coming out very soon, I wanted to be sure and read it before I saw the movie. What a wonderful book! I enjoyed it so much and could picture the actresses in their roles as I read. So much so that I almost don't feel like I have to see the movie now-it was that good!

If you haven't read, The Secret Life of Bees I encourage you to do so. It is a moving story of love, forgiveness and redemption set among the racial turmoil of 1964's South Carolina. The author weaves the story of the main character so vividly you can't wait to find out how things turn out for her. Lots of layers and depth to this story that celebrates the power of forgiveness and the strength of women.

Here are a few "secrets" I learned from the book:

Live a life of no regrets.

Sisterhood is a powerful thing.

Healing comes in time.

Forgiveness is more necessary for you than the other person.

Like women, bees are wonderfully complicated creatures.

One of the greatest gifts you can give is to allow someone to tell their story and validate it.

You are stronger than you think.

Love and family can be found where we least expect it.

Here's a little preview of the movie and a clip of Jennifer Hudson singing, You Can Make It If You Try.

*The Secret Life of Bees stars Dakota Fanning and features Queen Latifah, Alicia Keys, Jennifer Hudson and Sophie Okonedo. In theaters October 17th.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Disney Adventures, Part III - Even a bad day is good at Disney

We were so blessed to be able to enjoy all of the parks at Disney World. It really is difficult to pick a favorite as they are all so unique. Animal Kingdom in particularl is one of a kind. Part wildlife refuge and part amusement park, it is filled will all kinds of wonder. We had a more abbreviated trip to the park this time, but each of us managed to get to do at least one thing we had really wanted. Brady and Jeff rode Expedition Everest a total of 4 times before finally calling it quits. Brady ended up with a headache and had to take an afternoon siesta to recover. Before heading back to the resort though we were able to see one of Disney's newest productions, Finding Nemo the Musical. This was such a delight! The story of the little clown fish and his rescue is told using puppetry. But not just any old puppetry. Well, you just have to see it to believe it. I was able to get a few photos so take a look for yourself. The music and choreography are broadway quality and the bubbles raining down on us at the end of the show were just the right suprise at the end of this feel good story.

Our fourth day had to be my favorite day. We were finally in vacation mode and spent the day at Disney's Hollywood Studios. So that we would all have a chance to get to do our favorite things we split up a little on this day. Jeff and Brady's coaster count for this park was 6 times on the Rockin' Rollercoaster. I was able to watch street performers, do some shopping, attend a Disney animation class (we drew Tink!) and walk through -a museum and documentary about Walt Disney. We were able to get a turn on the new Toy Story ride and spend time in Pixar Place. What a cool ride-no wonder the Fast Passes were gone before 2 in the afternoon. It's as though you've been dropped into bedroom and your playing the different carnival games in 4D! So cool! But my favorite thing I did this year was the museum and documentary about Walt Disney. What an amazing story about this man who worked his entire life to fulfill the dreams of his imagination until they were reality. He truly is an inspiration to dreamers everywhere.

We rounded out the day by having dinner at Ohana at the Polynesian Resort. It's always so fun to ride the monorail and get a bit of a bird's eye view of much of the Disney property including the Grand Floridian and some of the golf courses. We love this restaurant-so family oriented and the food served family style is AMAZING-especially the bread pudding with vanilla sauce just like m grandma used to make! The cherry on top of our day was heading back to Magic Kingdom for Spectro Magic parade followed by fireworks. A dream of a day!

Our last day at Disney was very quick. We did the Breakfast with Mickey again and I'm so glad we did. This was probably the last year Brady will want to see the characters and this venue just works so much better for us than waiting in line at the parks to see them. They are so good about spending as much time with each child and their family as you'd like while ensuring everyone gets a turn. We rounded out the day at Magic Kingdom and just didn't have near enough time. There was time for riding Space Mountain at least 3 times and seeing the new Monsters Inc show--Brady's fav character this time was Mike Wazowski. I got to walk through Main Street USA a little more and enjoy all the beautiful fall decorations. We always think there isn't that much we want to do at Magic Kingdom, but then leave wishing we'd had more time. It was a little sad to head out for the airport that day. I loved this message carved in pumpkins over the archways as you leave the park-See Ya Real Soon.

I'll close with a quote from one of the songs from the musical, Wicked. Can't help but think of Walt Disney when I hear this lyric: Happy is what happens when all your dreams come true. If you've come back to read all three parts of our Disney Adventures-thank you. Hopefully, I've been able to give you just a glimpse of how much we enjoyed our trip.

May all your dreams come true!

Saturday, October 04, 2008


Maybe it's because we've been away from home or the time of year, but I'm finding myself craving wanting to be at home. Cleaning, purging and sorting, sprucing up. Could just be that everything is a mess and I can't stand it anymore, too! Hoping to spend the next few weekends here at home getting things back in order. Then I can get back to all the projects I have swirling in my head.

It's a beautiful indian summer day and I have made a bit of progress. I have my Itunes going and my favorite candle lit and I'm going to reward my progress by putting together a new kit I received today from Kenner Road. You can read more about the designer and her kit club HERE. Very cool seasonal vintage materials to work with-I'll share a photo of the finished project tomorrow. And I'll have Part III of our Disney Adventures so tune back in.

In the meantime, I'll leave you with a photo of the "man in the moon" pumpkin my mom painted for me. Just love him and have been so inspired by my mom lately. She's gotten all kinds of projects completed lately including several I'd planned to try. That's retirement for ya!

Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Living in the Moment

One of my greatest faults is that I fail far too often to live in the moment. Either dwelling on the past or worrying about the future I often overlook the blessings of tOdAY.

Several scrapbook bloggers are participating in the Give Yourself a Present challenge. Participants are encouraged to take 10-12 photos representing their life NOW and create a minibook they can carry in their purse and look at each time they run across it prompting them to be grateful for the life they enjoy now. A year from now to the day we'll look at our books and see how many things which were present in our life a year ago may be gone or have changed and journal or scrapbook about it. This is a celebration of your present with all it's good, bad and indifferent. Give yourself a present today and check out Stacy Julian's blog for more info. I encourage even you nonscrapbookers out there to do this challenge. One of my favorite scrapbookers, Heidi Swapp is participating. Check out her take HERE. She's such an overachiever!

Also, this week Ali Edwards is doing her A Week In the Life album prompts on her blog. She has such great ideas for documenting the every day. I love this quote she has on her sidebar. It reads in part, "Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are." --Mary Jean Iron

Check out Ali's blog for great ideas for capturing those everyday moments that fill our memories.

Here's a little more inspiration courtesy of Trace Adkins. Quick, go grab your camera and document your life!

You're gonna miss this

You're gonna want this back

You're gonna wish these days

hadn't gone by so fast

These are some good times

So take a good look around

You may not know it now

But you're gonna miss this