Friday, July 30, 2010

A Night in the Cellar

I know I've talked about this before, so my long time followers will understand.  I'm so excited!!  Tonight, I'm spending it in the cellar.  No, not a wine cellar.  The Scrapbook Cellar, silly!! 

My friend Laura graciously offers her basement/cellar/converted craft room for our monthly (roughly) getaway to help us explore our creativity.  It's there that I join her, her sister Leanne, and Cindi E in an evening of inspired creativity, snacking (with chocolate as a staple), kvetching (yes, even crafty, upbeat people have issues), and laughter (at times, side-aching laughter).  I have to say, spending time with these very talented ladies is truly one of the most enjoyably creative evenings I've ever had.  I am so incredibly grateful for all they do for me. 

And one more thing...Laura's husband, CT is just about the best hubby around for putting up with this invasion each month.  He helps us by hauling our bags (those of you who scrap know perfectly well that scrapbookers rarely travel light) down and back up the stairs, running out for our lunch or dinner, and delivering any packages that just might arrive during our session.  He's just a good guy.  We love ya, CT!! 

So tonight, I think I will draw some inspiration and maybe try to venture out into a new area.  Inspired by Leslie's 31 Day Challenge, I might try to paint some background paper.  I'll see how I'm feeling at the time.  If anything wonderful comes from it, I'll post it tomorrow!

And one thing I really need to do is get my head around doing some heritage pages.  I've got a promise with another scrapping friend to get together to work on heritage pages, now that she knows she doesn't need to do them "in order". 

What's not to love about Fridays?!?!  And what are your plans for the weekend???

Monday, July 26, 2010

I Create...Therefore, I Am!

Today, I begin a 31 Day adventure proposed by Leslie at Words of Me Project.  Leslie is inspiring her blog friends to join her in a journey to find their creative side.  All I need to do is spend at least 5 minutes each day in a creative frame of mind.  Whether it's writing, scrapbooking, cardmaking, or that painting suggestion.  Not sure that'll do it for me.
The point is, when you spend a little time each day creating, it makes it easier for you to tackle the things in your life you find less "creative".  Y' laundry.  Or dishwashing.  Or dusting.  You get the idea. 
So I think tonight I'm going to review some recent pictures I've taken and see if I can create!
If I come up with something, I'll come back and post it here. 

Feel free to join us in this little journey.  Just stop by Leslie's place for a prompt!   It'll be fun to see what others are doing.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Everything Old is New Again

It's been an interesting journey going thru old boxes that held items that my parents decided were important enough to save.  Things like keys (and to what do these belong???), eyeglasses (probably my dad's but might have also been my uncle's), religious scapulars, a dance book from Lane Senior Prom, the hospital crib tags when my little brother was born, and a Catholic's pocket manual (Seriously??  A Manual?? Like a manual to fix a car??) 

I also found some class pictures (probably my mom's) and other pictures of people I'm clueless to identify.

All were kept in this very old, very heavy suitcase. 

I suspect this case made its way to the U.S. from Ireland in the hands of my Uncle John when he emigrated to the U.S. and became a citizen in 1935.  Before I came to that conclusion, I was considering getting rid of it.  Now, I have second thoughts. Maybe it's not an antique, but it's a part of my history. 

So today, I've come up with a solution.  It will start a new life.  It will house my scrapbooks.  Now, I could go to Hobby Lobby this week and get 50% off a decorative trunk.  But I've got something better.  Whether or not this case originally lived in Ireland, or whether it started its life here, it's part of my history.  So I'm keeping it!!  And using it!  And remembering! 

And I guess that's my creativity for the day!  So, have you taken something from your past and found a new purpose for it in your life?  I'd love to hear about it!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Creativity - Are You In????

Well, we've finished installing the shelving in the craft closet, so I can start to get my craft room back in order.  And just in the nick of time.  You see, a fellow blogger has issued a challenge.  Leslie at Words of Me Project has proposed a creativity challenge that will last for 31 days beginning on July 26.  During those 31 days, we are to do something creative every day.  Whether it's writing in your journal, scrapbooking or cardmaking, painting (yes, painting walls counts), gardening, photography or whatever else is in your creative veins.  Maybe it's a little bit of each. 
By the end of the 31 days, by taking the time to care for yourself, you are happier and healthier for it.  How can you go wrong??
So I'm in!!  I'm going to spend 31 days finding something creative to do, each and every day.  It might be taking some pictures, or creating some cards, or penning some deep thoughts!!  And I'll post some of it here. 

Would you like to join in this challenge??

OH, and along with my search for a new look to my blog, I've been encouraged by Leanne at From Chaos Comes Happiness to add a button.  She's the genius behind making buttons work, so I'll need her help to make this happen.  Watch for my button in the next day or two!!  It'll look something like this:
I guess I'm getting a head start on this creativity challenge!!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

After Awhile You Learn

Going thru piles of old papers, shredding/recycling most of it, I came across this poem that my daughter emailed to me back in 1998, when she was a freshman in college.  Her note attached said it made her think of two people, me and her English IV teacher.  I wanted to share this with you.  I found it comforting:

After awhile you learn 
that what you really are
 is all the experiences
 and all the thoughts
 you've ever had
 and all the people
 who have touched your life,
 no matter how briefly.
And after awhile you learn
 that troubles are temporary
 and relationships
 aren't always permanent. 
You learn that many people
come into your life
and fade into forgetfulness,
while others remain
as warm places in your heart. 
You learn to forgive the bad times
and overcome the resentments.
And you learn to live
with love in your heart
for the good times
and for good friends
who may not be present,
but who never go away,
because the warmth of their friendship
and their essence lives within you
and becomes a part of what you are."

I've searched and can't find the author, so if anyone knows, please let me know. I'd be happy to add the credit!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Random Thoughts

  • Having a dream about the death of a friend of a friend is disturbing. Especially when you're pretty sure the friend of your friend is pretty healthy.  Do you tell your friend about your dream and risk upsetting him, too?
  • Crawling up into the attic (thanks to help from my older grandson) is sort of like a treasure hunt.  Things have been up there for so long you forget what's there.  It can be both a sad and a joyous adventure.  And a walk down memory lane.
  • I'm hooked on Starbucks' Caramel Frappuchinos. 
  • Once you forget about expressing gratitude every day, you open the door for the negativity to walk right in.  Makes getting angry so much easier.  YUCK!!
  • Having a weekly chat with a friend sort of centers me and gets me focused all over again.  I hope I give her the same "feel-good" feeling. 
  • It is amazing how spending time with your grandkids will fill you with such joy that it changes your outlook on everything!!
  • Accomplishing some long neglected things around the house gives me an incredible high.  I love marking things off my to-do (or as Leanne says, TA-DA) list. 
  • Digi-scrapping can be the quick fix to fulfill the creative need.  I've found that I enjoy digi-scrapping while my beloved PG sits watching TV.  We can both be in the same room, yet do what we enjoy.
  • I love making pasta sauce, love the way my house smells as it cooks and even though it was a weird day to be make it (given that it was 90 outside), I'm glad I took the time!
  • I've begun a daily gratitude email with my girlfriend.  We make sure we tell each other each day what we are grateful for.  First steps in getting the law of attraction to bring you more of what you can be grateful for.
So, if you were emailing me your gratitude for the day, what would it be??

Monday, July 5, 2010

Two Raisins

I participated in a mindfulness study a couple of years ago.  Women with breast cancer were invited to this study to see whether practicing mindfulness regularly would make a difference in immune system activity.  We were taught how to meditate, a little yoga, and other mindful exercises.

On the first night, as these dozen women sat in a circle, we briefly shared our journeys that led us to become participants in this study.  Once we got to know a little about each other, it was time to begin with a little exercise I've since nicknamed, "Two Raisins."  The leader placed two raisins in our hands, and she would then coach us in "mindfully experiencing" these raisins. But as she placed those raisins in MY hand, I looked at them, looked up and looked right into the eyes of the girl directly across from me.  The one sitting right next to the leader.  Gina.  And when I looked into her eyes I saw the same thing my eyes must have been telling her.  Neither of us liked raisins!!  She mouthed "I hate raisins".  We both smiled.

At the break, Gina and I sat and talked.  We talked about life with breast cancer and she shared what her life had been like dealing with metastatic breast cancer.  We talked about our families.  We connected.  I loved her smile.  I loved her outlook on life's obstacles.  I loved hearing how she reestablished her relationship with her dad because of her cancer. I got angry with her sister (even though I'd never met her) when her sister was a little too blunt about survival rates for her type of cancer.  We just connected. 

When the study was completed 8 weeks later, we kept in contact via e-mail.  Not often.  Mostly as an update on what she was next going thru for treatment.  Tried to get together a couple of times, but the timing just didn't work out. 

As I was watching TV last night, I saw a commercial that reminded me of Gina.  And I realized it had been a while since I'd received an update.  Checked my last sent email, and it was last November.  Hmmmm... she'd never gone that long before.  I googled her name.  And found her obituary.  My heart felt crushed.

You know that expression that people come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime?  I met Gina for a reason.  And I think I know what that reason is.  When I think of her, I think of serenity.  I think of peace.  And I smile.

God bless your family, Gina.  You certainly showed your daughters how to live a full life, no matter how short it might be.  And thank you for coming into my life.  It may have been brief, but it sure was a joy to know you.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Celebrating our Independence!

When I was in high school, I really couldn't get the whole significance of studying history. SNOOOOOOZER classes.  Somewhere along the way to having grown kids, I found history.  Maybe it was a combination of scrapbooking and genealogy and realizing that, duh, my ancestors had something to do with history!!  Not sure!  But when I think about what was involved in making this country free, I'm amazed. 

One of the best movies that I've seen about our country's struggles to become independent was the movie "John Adams" released in 2008.  It's a multi-part made for TV movie, so you need to take it in small doses, but it's really a great look at the sacrifices these people made to break free from their ties with England.

This may make me sound like a mega-dork, but I have always felt a tug at my heart when I hear and sing the Star Spangled Banner.  And when I pledge allegiance, I feel the allegiance.  I love this country.  I love that there were men who sat around discussing what it meant to be free.  I love that they decided to put it on paper.   
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
On this day the celebration of our independence, I just want to say a prayer and thank those who have fought for our freedom. And in this crazy time when there are threats to change the interpretation of that constitution, I pray that those whose voices have long been silent will step forward to be heard.

To my dear blog friends, I hope you have a fun filled weekend celebrating your freedom with your family and friends.