Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: One Wet Clown

Crafty Tuesday: Organization

Organizing is so not my strong point. I suck at it. I pull stuff out to organize it and end up looking through it, finding stuff I forgot I had and basicly just shuffeling it around. Welp, one of my New Year's Resolution was to get my craft stuff organized. I have begun the process. I even threw away a whole trashbag full of just junk. Throwing things away can be hard for me. I am part pack rat on both sides. My mom, although organized, has boxes of 'memorabilia' from I don't know when. She even inherited some of my Great Aunt's nearly 100 years worth of 'memorabilia'. My dad is the guy who finds it easier to go out and buy something new rather than try to find where that item is hidden. His stuff is not quite as sentimental as my mom's but it is no where near as organized. I, unfortunately, save memorabilia and then have no skills in keeping it in anything even close to an organized fashion.
I love to buy card stock and decorative papers. I have a thing for anything that looks like it belongs on a collage. After a couple of months I tend to forget what I have picked up here and there because it gets put on my shelving unit which, like my many organizational boxes and containers, was purchased to help get me and keep me together.
This is what it looked like:
No wonder I can never get anything done. I can't find ANYTHING! This is just the tip of the iceberg. I have stuff in boxes, bags and drawers. I make the claim that if I had my own space this wouldn't happen but deep down I know it would. After a couple of hours I was able to get it looking like this:Two shelves. Those two shelves contained a whole trash bag worth of crap! It is a work in progress but I think eventually I may get there. Last night I even worked towards getting my papers sorted out. Not sure how I am going to store them all but at least I'm starting to see what I have.
Wish me luck!

Monday, February 22, 2010

A Visit to the Doctor

Going to the doctor is not something that usually bothers me. After a couple of kids it just starts to feel like home. This visit, however, was different. I was nervous and miserable. I was depressed and scared. I was CONVINCED that this was the visit where I had gone all to hell in a hand basket. I turn 40 in a couple of months. I didn't think it was going to bother me but apparently it's got me thinkin'.
I was certain that my blood pressure would be sky high. I HATE the blood pressure cuff with a passion ever since I was pregnant with my second kid and had to go visit the 'special doctor for women who are both OLD and pregnant'. I like to refer to him as Doctor DOOM. My blood pressure was ALWAYS high when I'd go to see him and then fine at my regular OB. Anywho, I digress. I hate the cuff and was pretty convinced that that alone was going to send my BP through the roof. The nurse laughed when she told me what it was and, in a panic, I asked 'Is that high'. She reassured me that it was normal.
Everything went fine with the doctor as well. I didn't get any 'Now that you're getting older...' speeches. I did have to get my cholesterol checked but I'll have to wait on that result. I'm just glad it's over for another year. I suppose that next year I have the mammogram to look forward to. yay.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Writer's Workshop Thursday: Childhood memory time: Write about something you loved to do as a child

I know, I know... It's supposed to be 'Change Your Life Thursday' BUT... One of things I was going to change was writing more. Welp, as fate would have it, I stumbled upon this Blog through another Blogger I had stumbled across. My 'assignment' is this: Childhood memory time: Write about something you loved to do as a child. So here goes...

I grew up in Ohio. I am the oldest of 5 and our house WAS the Kool-aid house. All the kids on our street were often over in our yard or playing on our porch. One of things we would do is pretend that we were genius runaways. The front porch was our boat from which we did research, of course. The floor beds around the porch were the dolphin tanks that contained our extremely intelligent pet dolphins whom we would take out with us on exploring junkets ( I don't think we used the word junkets back then though). The grass: the ocean, duh. The sidewalks were the safe places to take our mini-boats (bikes). We had to make sure we avoided the sharks as well as the evil group that never really had a name but was always looking to take us back to the orphanage we had escaped from.
My mom had a climbing plant with pretty purple flowers that we picked to use as our experiments. We'd crush them and mix them with dirt and water, and once in a poorly designed move on my part, old perfume, to see what our results would be.
If it was hot out we could sit on the porch with the hose and squirt one another as we rode by. Not sure what that was supposed to represent in our make-believe world but we didn't care. Our game, our rules.
We could do this for hours! We were up and down the street. Everybody's yard had something to be discovered. We were in front yards and backyards. We climbed trees and swing sets. We left messages on the sidewalk with those chalky white rocks that lined everyone's flower beds and even some driveways. No one panicked when we got out of view or earshot. We were allowed to come and go as we pleased... As long as we didn't cross any busy roads and were home for lunch or dinner.
Gosh, that was fun. Did I mention that my brother and I also used to pretend we were combing a giant's hair when we raked the yard? Another story for another day.

I hope you'll check out other people's submissions at http://mamakatslosinit.com

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Snow Fun!

Yep... It's Texas!

Don't forget to check out other people's Wordless Wednesday posts.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Crafty Tuesday: Or Where Did the Time Go and What Have I done?

So, I have to admit that on this Crafty Tuesday, doubling as Fat Tuesday, I have nothing really new to offer. I will share something a bit older. Something I have done in the past. I hope this isn't cheating.
This is a birdhouse that was commissioned by a friend for her mom. It has pictures of her cute kids on either side of it. I made it from an old cigar box with a sliding lid. It's been decoupaged... Of course. I adhered glass beads and little silver dragonfly beads to it. I wrapped the perch in a red craft wire. It's probably not all that functional but I think it makes a cute decorative piece for the mantle or wherever.

I've also started a FaceBook group called 'Craft-Tacular'. It's nothin' too fancy. Just a place for crafters to get together and encourage one another. I'm hoping that people will share ideas, tips, blogs, favorite sites and constructive criticism. I'm currently running a contest on it for anyone who posts something, ANYTHING, about crafting. I will choose a name from the participants and let them choose one of my treasure boxes. It's open to crafters everywhere so I hope you'll check it out and share your gifts with us!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Change Your Life Thursday: Nothin' too drastic

Welp, this week I started eating more salads. I'm trying to have one a day... At least. I'm also trying to do more physical play with the kids. For instance... Today we had a snowball fight and built a snowman.
Yep, this is Texas...
Not sure how many calories I burn but it sure makes me feel better.
As for the other stuff... My friend Jen got the OK on our story time with the refugees. I'm pretty excited. I think it should be fun and I think it will really help me too figure out what I really want to do with my life.
Hope you're all taking baby steps to new and better lives!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Goofballs

If you want to see more Wordless Wednesday go to http://www.wordlesswednesday.com
There is some really fun stuff.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Crafty Tuesday... A day early

So this past weekend we had two birthday parties to attend. The first was for a three-year-old girly-girl and the second was for a four-year-old princess with more than a splash of tomboy thrown in the mix.
For the girly-girl I repurposed an old cigar box. I painted it pink and decoupaged a bird that I designed on to the top. Next I used dimensional paint to add yellow polka dots and trimmed the edge with a pink boa (that I hope won't shed too much. I decked out the inside with paper and ribbon to cover the cigar motif. I used a round bead and a ribbon loop for a closure. I was pretty happy with how it turned out.

For my tomboy I used an un-finished box from Michael's. Apparently cigar boxes are becoming harder to get hold of. I painted it metallic purple. I only did one coat so it looked more like stain. I added a cutesy caterpillar made from paper scraps, a pipe cleaner for a stick, a bead for a nose and, of course, some googly eyes. I trimmed the top with some white, fuzzy fiber that I made a chain out of (don't know what else to call it). My son then decided we should add some beads so we did. I left the inside of this one plain since it was clean of any advertising.

Both girls seemed happy with these and I had fun making them. Next it's on to some more decoupaged frames for a friend. Man, I love glue! :)

Hope some of you are out there being crafty as well.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Change Your Life Thursday

So... I'm still working on figuring out what it is I should be doing with my life. This past week I had some very telling reactions to a couple of different events.

First: I was having a terrible day. I can't pinpoint any one thing that was irritating me. I was just in a bad mood. I went through most of the day in that mood. I knew I couldn't have been too much fun for ANYONE to be around. Finally, we got the kids to bed and I could think. I sat down, still in a foul mood, and began working on a birthday present for a friend. I was painting and gluing. Everything got better. I didn't become 'perky' by any means but I felt way better.

Second: My friend Jen is finishing up a degree in nursing. As a part of one of her classes she needs to work on a community development type project. She's thinking of setting up a story time for a group of families who are refugees from Burma. She asked for my help. The ideas for that have been flowing ever since. She still needs to get it approved but if she does we'll be on our way.

I guess that I have learned that, yes, I truly do love making things and that I have a real passion for sharing stories and art with others. Now I just have to figure out how to make all of that relatively lucrative for me. It still feels like a pretty big step for me. Like I may be narrowing in on a direction.

How are the rest of you doing?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: The Artists in the House

I know that one picture is worth a thousand words but I like to talk... A LOT.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Books I LOVE

I am a reader. I always have been. I was that kid that got in trouble for having the lights on after bed time. I used to walk to the local library in Elyria and scour the shelves. I loved the Boxcar Children, Paddington, Snowbound with Betsy and, for whatever reason, Art Linkletter's Kids' Say the Darndest Things series.
I still love books and have started a couple different book clubs. Last I knew the one I started at the University of Mississippi was still up and running. I have one now on FaceBook if you're interested. Just look up 'Our Very Own Book Club'.
Anyway, here is a list of some of my current and all-time favorites.

Geek Love by Katherine Dunn: This one is not for the feint of heart. It's about a couple who decide to create their own freak show by doing WHATEVER they can to give birth to natural born freaks. Let's just say that Olympia, the narrator, is one of their more normal children and she is a bald, albino, hunchback dwarf.

Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins: This epic tale is one I need to read again soon. One man finds the elixir of eternal life. This is his journey and the journey for his one true love.

Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson: This is a kids book and is a new favorite. It's the prequel to Peter Pan. Peter starts off the story as an orphan who is being put on a ship with a few other orphans. He has no idea what the reason is. You learn how Peter comes to find Neverland, how he learns to fly and even how Captain Hook becomes Captain Hook. It's the first in a series and I hope to read the rest soon.

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore: Anyone who knows me knows that this is one of my all time favorites. In this one Biff, best friend to Joshua (Jesus), is brought back to write his version of things that happened. This one is laugh out-loud funny. You find out what happens in all those years the bible misses. By the end, whatever your thoughts on who Jesus of Nazareth was I think you'll hope he really did have a friend like this. Also my favorite Mary Magdeline interpretation.

Prom Dates from Hell by Rosemary Clement Moore: I started reading this series because the author comes into the Barnes and Noble I work at. I absolutely ADORE it. It's about a girl who wants to ignore the fact that she's psychic but when she starts getting wierd visions she knows she has to act... Even if that means going to the dreaded prom. It sort of makes me think of Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Heathers (Mean Girls for those of you to young to remember Heathers). I read Twilight and didn't care for it. I thought that what's her name was a bit winey and helpless. None of that in here. Much stronger female lead. It restored my faith in good teen fiction!

I guess that's enough of my ranting for now. Maybe I have inspired you to read something new or re-read something old.
If you love books don't forget to share your love by donating books to organizations that can get them into the hands of kids and teens. Some young people never ever own a book!