Saturday, October 29, 2011

Hello, It's Me...(cue Todd Rundgren)

Yes, I've been quite absent lately.  Too many irons in the fire.  Not that I haven't been busy creating!  I have been.  And as I've said in the past, when I ramp up on one creative thing, another one gets temporarily tossed aside. 
Things like cardmaking (40 shower invitations for my niece's wedding shower).  I like that this doesn't look like your typical wedding shower card.  Thanks to my younger sister, we got these done in a day once they were colored!

And working in my Soulbook that we started at the Scrap Cellar.  This is a book that is good to pick up whenever you start doubting your self worth, or when you lack the courage to take on something totally new.  It has statements in the book that truly speak to your soul.  That truly make you aware of how awesome you really are.  Anyway, the goal was to finish by the next time we got together.  And that time is coming fast!  We used old boxes, lots of masking tape, and acrylic paint to create this baby.  Then added our "speak to the soul" statements.  Here are some of the pages I created. 

And then there was this fun page I did in my soulbook to prove to myself that I really do have some artistic talent.  One of my colleagues at work has this beautiful sweater.  She walked in one day and I asked if I could take a picture of it, because it inspired me so.  Here's the back of the sweater:

And here's what I painted in my soulbook.

And here's just a glimpse of one of the handmade gifts for my niece.  Can't show you the whole thing, though.  Wouldn't want to spoil the surprise.

Oh, and I put together a slide show with music for my girlfriend's husband.  It was his 50th birthday. 

These are some of the things that have kept me busy enough to not be able to have a solid idea of what to blog about.  I figure now that these are done, maybe I can get back to giving you a little piece of my mind occasionally.  (Not that I can afford to give it away!!)

Anyway, this Halloween edition finds me once again proclaiming to you that I'm not a fan.  Not at all.  The only true joy I get from this holiday is that I love to see how my grandkids dress up.  But the candy thing...not so much.  The Cellar Chicks laugh at me because I call it a "beggar holiday".  Seriously folks, here's the scenario:  Adult at my door not dressed in costume, holding a bag out for candy, and when I ask who it's for, they point to the 6-month-old in the stroller.  A 6-month old!!  Yes, I'm serious!!

Monday evening, while my neighbors stay at home and hand out candy to those 6 month old, candy craving infants, I will be headed to my daughter's where I get to party with two SuperHeroes!!  Spiderman and Wonder Woman!  Pictures will follow, to be sure!

Oh, and one more thing before I go...My friend, Leanne over at From Chaos Comes Happiness has opened an Etsy shop with canvasses, prints, bookmarks and greeting cards. Many of the items feature Annalee, a character Leanne has developed.  (I swear this is Leanne's alter-ego.)  She's also got a line called Random Thoughts From Chaos that have beautiful, inspirational thoughts.  Check it out.  Let Leanne know I sent you.  (I LOVE hearing her voice when she calls all excited that someone I know purchased from her shop).

Okay, I'll try to show up a little more often here.  Have a happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

An Unexpected Gift

Let me begin by saying I'm not a fan of Oprah.  There's just too many things I don't like about her.  All to do with actions, actually.  Loved her in her very early years.  Not so much now.  However, I was directed to her website by my good friend Leanne over at From Chaos Comes Happiness.  What made me take that trip was the subject:  What I Know For Sure.

And I have to say, Oprah's on target with what she knows for sure!

Lately, it seems that some of my blogging buddies are struggling with a crisis in their lives.  Some are quite angry with what they have to say.  And I know some of it is just venting.  I get that.  We all need to vent.  But if I could stand in front of them, look them in the eye, give them a hug, I'd probably throw some of Oprah's "knows for sure" statements at them.  And hope that they really listen.  Things like, "What you put out comes back all the time, no matter what."  Or "You define your own life.  Don't let other people write your script."

And to that point, I want to share with you a gratitude moment I had.  My PG called me the other day and asked if I saw the rainbow.  Yes, I'm a rainbow freak!!  Take pictures of them all the time.  So I looked to the east and saw the right side of a rainbow.  Full spectrum.  ROYGBIV and beyond!!!  GORGEOUS!! 


So I grabbed the camera and ran outside to get pics.  And that's when I saw it.  The left side. 


Sitting before me was a complete, full spectrum rainbow.  I don't remember ever seeing one this big.  So wide I couldn't capture it in one shot. 

WOW!!  Just what I needed!!  Not sure what I've done to deserve it, but I must be doing something right!  And I know it wasn't there just for me.  But if you aren't grateful enough for things around you, you're likely to miss a gift that just happened to show up for your enjoyment!!

This has been a beautiful autumn this year.  Colors on some trees, others hanging on to their green a bit longer.  Plenty of sunshine to enjoy those colors.  We have truly been blessed in the Midwest. 

With that, I leave you with a quote by Rose Kennedy: 

"Life is not a matter of milestones, but of moments." 

Monday, October 10, 2011

I Feel Like A Millionaire!!

Okay, so if you've ever thought that going to a grade school reunion would be lame, please consider this advice.  It's probably a hundred times better than a high school reunion would be.  And here's why (in my humble opinion, of course):
In high school, you are in a room with kids who may or may not have been in your elementary school.  You spend 45 minutes with them, the bell rings and you go to your next class.  In that next class you may or may not be with the same students as the last class.  But definitely, the demographics changes.

Now in grade school, you are with the same set of kids for the entire day.  You bond with them.  You know their personalities.  They are imprinted on your brain.  So when you get together 45 years later, you have so many memories that surface. 

More pics to follow!!

Needless to say, we had a blast.  It turns out my fear of being an outcast was unfounded.  Or at least the years melted that away. 

And another know how you think you've changed so much since you were 13?  Got news for still look like you.  At least that's what our experience was.  I can honestly say there was only one of my former classmates that I would not have been able to pick out of a lineup.  They all look like an older version of themselves.  But I knew who was who.

All in all, we had so much fun.

I have one more theory about reunions.  The farther you get from your graduation date, the more you realize what's important in life.  I believe that at the 10th, 20th, 30th reunion, you spend a lot of time talking about what you do and what you've achieved.  But by the time you hit the 45th, your kids have grown and you very likely have grandkids.  And you realize what is really important in life.  Relationships.  With your family, with your friends, with your former classmates, with your God.  Relationships are what make your life rich.  And I walked away from this reunion feeling like I won a million bucks!!

Looking forward to planning the 50th!!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Reunion Time

Today's the day!  It's been in the planning committee's hands for six months already.  All because one classmate decided that it's time we get together. 

Me...not sure which grade
Today, 45 years after we graduated from eighth grade, many of my former classmates are getting together to talk about old times, talk about what has happened in our lives for the last 45 years, talk about our kids and grandkids, talk about those we couldn't find, and those who have passed.

When I was in grade school, I was convinced that I was not a likeable person.  In fact, when we were first approached about getting a committee together, I came right out and admitted that to the girl who started this up.  But seeing what I've seen raising my kids, and seeing how my daughter's 5th grade students act, I now know that it's part of growing up. 

So I'm looking forward to seeing these people who experienced some of the same doubts I did all those years ago.  I'm looking forward to hearing what their memories are.  And I'm excited!!

I'll let you know how it goes!