Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Beyond the Impression

I like signs!
Figuratively and literally.

I'm a visual type personality.  I need to see it, and or be reminded of it!

I literally have signs all over my house! You may have seen them highlighted before on my blog.


This above is a glossy white painted dinner plate.  But it also the base for a changeable sign.  Using a dry/erase marker I change the saying on this plate anytime. The marker writes smoothly and I can glide around the surface with ease.  I've just got to watch out for smearing with my left hand.



Being a crafty person, and a thrifty one as well .... Pinterest is my inspiration for a lot of 'stuff' ( A LOT OF STUFF).  So, the in thing was to use black chalkboard paint to make unusual chalk boards and write fun and cute things on the board.  I found the above kitchen cabinet door raw wood, unstained and unpainted for about $3.  It's approx. 12" x 15".  I spray painted it with the black chalkboard paint and used actual school white chalk and wrote one of my Halloween greetings on it.  I tried to wipe it off.... and the board/wood had absorbed the chalk writing.  It wouldn't erase and looked like a mess. I retouched the sign paint  and decided to put  permanent text on it with a very smooth chalkboard ink.  I love the results. I love what it says!!


I don't always picture the end result of a random item I purchase when being thrifty, (or is it crafty) but I'm extremely excited when something turns out even better than I could have imagined!!

This framed board is approximately 15" x 32".  I think it used to be a country calendar that had the interchangeable wood pieces for months/weeks/days.  But all I saw was a great structure and a backboard that I could make into a blackboard.

I don't think whatever man made board the back is, was too absorbent, because I spray painted it and eventually could erase the chalk message on this one.  I love how I can practice my handwriting and be creative and change out the words to whatever is happening seasonally around our home.  I see the sign, every day!!


And then  there are purchased signs, or signs that were given to me as a gift.  They are different sizes and textures and different sentimental meanings!

Signs give me comfort.  I love the fact that I can see them and be reminded of their content every day. I can think of who gave them to me, or the occasion it was purchased, or a reason behind the words!

Augustine on signs: A sign is a thing which causes us to think of something beyond the impression the thing itself makes upon the senses.

At the outset you must be very careful lest you take figurative signs literally.

Little happy reminders, that often help me to Brighten Someone's Day!






Thursday, February 26, 2015

I've Got the Fever

It's that time of year.  Holiday stuff is cleared and packed away.  Superbowl is done and over.  And now, the waiting for spring to arrive because we've had it with winter!!!!

Do you feel that way?  Do you want sunshine and warmth?  Do you have Cabin fever!

Cabin fever is an idiomatic term, first recorded in 1838,[1] for a claustrophobic reaction that takes place when a person or group is isolated and/or shut in a small space, with nothing to do for an extended period. Cabin fever describes the extreme irritability and restlessness a person may feel in these situations.


Although I miss being able to just enjoy being outdoors.... I am finding I have plenty to do to keep me busy.  Recently, I got a few card orders that I was excited to create and complete.  Here are a few examples of the birthday cards.  I love how they turned out.  I hope the recipient likes them too!


I have so much fun card making!  But a great perk from my hobby is when I get  paid for them, so, I can go shopping and buy new and fun supplies to build up my stash.


It is also fun to check out 'hundreds' of crafty sites with so many ideas.  Finding the right card to make is a challenge at times. But again, it's so much easier with new technology.  I used to have to buy magazines to get ideas... now with a few clicks on the computer.... I can go from place to place! 


Too many ideas, so little time now!!!

What do you do when you have cabin fever???? Is Spring only 23 days away?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Seeing Red

I'm feeling a bit melancholy today.



It's a lot of work to 'choose' happy. 
There is a lot of thought to be truly thoughtful. 
To carry your SHINE in your pocket when there are many cloudy days can be a challenge.

Cabin fever always happens at this time of year! People are grouchy being cooped up in the house because of unbearably could temperatures. Snow and slick roads cause headaches and accidents. Lack of sunshine causes severe mood alterations!

Yup, it kinda sucks!!!!!


Valentine's Day comes and love is in the air.  Yeah, so it's a Hallmark Holiday gone mad... but sometimes we need to be reminded to love the people who are always there for us.

 I'm still a bit wounded from a few very strange days at work.

We finally realized late last Friday afternoon that although we thought there may have been a full moon (?) it was indeed Friday the 13th.  

Customers had odd requests (against policy, which they can't understand why we have rules).  A few were not pleasant and demanding.  Customers left their carts unattended and others rifled through their goods.  Causing strange exchanges at the checkout counter.

Although I didn't work the weekend, the strangeness continued yesterday (Monday). A customer accused me loudly that I never gave him his receipt and was demanding a refund on his purchase. With the managers assistance in the situation, it was amazing how he miraculously found his receipt in his wallet when he opened it. He did apologize, but not before other customers and other employees heard his complaints.

Two customers 'ganged' up on me questioning the price of an item.  They both saw a sign that it was 50% off.  I was shown the sign.... they both had misread it. No apologies there.

The kicker to this strange day, is a customer who accused me of having an attitude. It wasn't enough that I wasn't even checking her items out ... her friend/sister was at my register wondering if her donated item worked.  I do not know, but you have 3 days, keep the receipt and you can return it if it's not working properly.  Can I put these batteries in it and test it.  Yes you can, but you have to purchase the items.  Do you have a screw driver to open the back. No we don't.  Can I return it to any GW store?  No, only those that are in our district.  After her purchase was made and completed, she searched through her purse stating she had something.... (by the way there are customers in line, waiting) as she continues to go through her messy purse, she repeats herself "I have a".... coupon?gift card? receipt?..... I don't know.  As her sister asks me if I am a manager.  I say no, and she says that I have an attitude.  I look at her as my face reddens.  What to say.... keep my mouth shut?  I keep my stare and say to her "God Bless You"..... she continues her glare.... and I say it again.... "God Bless You."

The next customer steps up in line and mumbles 'if you have a coupon you're supposed to place it before you order, idiot."  I just thanked him and continued checking out other customers.

Customer service?  Some may think it's a joke.  There is no customer service!  But try to give customer service?  And deal with some pretty harsh critics!!


Shower the people you love with love.  

That is the way to go.  Love and cherish the people you love!!!

There are some people in this world who will always find fault in what you do. They are miserable, sad people.  

Now, to take a deep breath and have a red velvet Valentine Cupcake!!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Perfectly, Imperfect Girls

Practice makes PROGRESS.

I must admit that through the years, it was very boring to practice things ... like playing the piano, playing the cello and doing math or science problems.  Now, 40 years later I practice a lot of things.... every day!!!

I try my best to create (something) every day.


I am on this kick where I make a background page of different colors and textures, and then plop a charming little girl in the middle.  Head tilted, cute outfit, dainty shoes, heart shaped lips, big hair....


I must admit that I like practicing this task.  Painting is still a bit difficult for me because I can't control the paint as much as I can with a colored pencil or marker.  I know there should be shading or highlighting, but I just don't know how much, or how to blend it accurately. However, another thing I like about these 'mixed media' pieces is that I can use a little bit of everything.... water colors, markers, paint, doodle pens.

I also practice my penmanship and writing every day.  At least at some point I make a conscientious effort to think about what I'm doing and try to improve somehow.

And I try to do that with my daily interactions as well.  As I do things for others, I practice being kind and  I make an effort to be aware of their feelings. I keep on task, trying to improve myself.


I might be a work in PROGRESS but every day, I get a little bit wiser, a little bit better, a little bit stronger.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Happy Girls Are Prettiest

I thought for sure that I would able to blog more in 2015.  

I was wrong.

I've mentioned before that I feel most creative with my writing in the morning.  I bring my lap top downstairs from my "Creative Nook".  Place it at my meal spot on the kitchen table.  Get my favorite iced beverage of homemade Starbucks coffee, settle down and look outside the kitchen window ... for inspiration.

Not that the month of January went by in a blur, but I really didn't have too many free mornings to just sit and ponder. (that makes me sad).


What I got instead in January was Capture 30.  I took an online class from one of my favorite artist/crafters, Heidi Swapp.  I was prompted every day to write something in a creative planner... Capture the Moment.


So, instead of blogging, I was practicing my penmanship, I was creating doodle flaps, I was placing stickers and I was documenting in just a few words, what had happened each and every day.

The pictures here is the open planner with all the days of January filled in, with either weather reports, food menus, feelings and favorite quotes.


I'm really sad the class is over, which a lot of my classmates feel the same.  Heidi is such an inspiration when it comes to different ways to document the ordinary every day life events!

The best thing about taking the class is, that I have the tools.... I should be able to incorporate the cuteness in each new month's pages.

The other good thing is that so many of the crafters I 'follow' on line are on the Planner bandwagon... and a lot of them are giving free tips and techniques how to make a really cute calendar to remember those ordinary days of 2015.

Ordinary days???? 

Snow days!!!  

The blizzard of 2015.  

This was a picture out the second floor window that faces the front (south) of our house.  All the men of the neighborhood were out getting the first round of snow cleared from their driveways.  On the new Holiday, Superbowl Sunday, we got about 12+" of snow, before the wind picked up and caused drifting.


Here, two days later.... no snow melting.  The bird feeder, out the window to  my world has a cute marshmallow fluff topping.

Winter in the Midwest.  Gotta love it.... what else can you do about it?  Complain???  Not me, at least not anymore.... I intend to capture each day and embrace it for what it has to offer.


And too, I  may not blogging in the morning... but it gives me the opportunity to create every day in the evening.  After a long day... I get to play and doodle and paint.... and find ways to create fun colorful art from the heart.

After I finished her, I thought she was a whimsical version of Alice in Wonderland... that , or a clown.... but she is cute.

Happy Girls are the Prettiest!

Brighten Someone's Day!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

This is NOT a Hobby

I  don't think I mentioned, but over the holiday break ....I got a 'new' craft room.

One day I may show it, but right now it's in the middle of a creative upheaval.

After getting new carpeting upstairs, my oh-so-smart hubby made a suggestion that I move my 'office' to one of the front rooms, Bubba's old bedroom.  It's bigger and has built in shelves. I was SOLD!



We thought doing this before, but now that Bubba has accepted a job in Kansas City when he graduates from the University of Iowa in May.... he probably wont be coming back to his old room.  

So, we flip flopped.  

My old craft space has now become the 'spare' bedroom, and his old bedroom has become my creative office.  It's been a month and I still can't find some of my 'stuff'.  And I have yet to purge and get rid of things in hopes that I can find another use for them. Creativity in process.... making PROGRESS!


What is exciting is. that I'm back to card making.

I'm taking an on-line class and I'm working in an art journal .... I am being 'creative' every day.  In some way or another I doodle, practice my handwriting, journal, create a background, make a card, edit a picture in photo shop.... something to be creative.... and I love, love , LOVE it!


Today's post it's all about these fun birds.  Simple round shapes, half round shapes, imperfect round shapes.... and a cute little birdie emerges.

Brighten Someone's Day with a creative greeting!!!!

Being creative is not a hobby, it is a way of life!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Settle for Progress

I love nothing more than a clear cut sign.  

It helps to affirm that I am on the right track.

I got a lot of those signs today! Actually, so far..... 3 signs


  • I found this quote on Instagram from someone who I admire.


We must dismantle our perfectionism and settle for progress.

2015 is my year of PROGRESS .... and I love when I find it!  

I always thought the 'word' perfect is over-rated.  I don't want to be 'perfect', I want to do the best I can at what I do. Strive for progress not perfection.

  • And then paraphrasing my horoscope: While you may already be questioning some of the resolutions you moved into the year with, this is what is making 2015 so exiting, a year full of adventure where you have the freedom to change your mind or make it up as you go.  At this point nothing is written in stone.... and.... you have to be willing to take a risk even though there is the unerring law of Karma which says that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Expect the best today as it may indeed be one of those days in which you are blessed with the unexpected.

  • While I was working out today to train for * 13.1 NYC 4.19.15 an older gentleman (35 years older)  that I was riding a stationary bicycle next to started to chat with me just as I put in my headphones.  He didn't think he was interrupting me.... and a half hour later we ended our conversation with how small the world is when you take a moment to listen to the person next to you.

I am so happy that I had the day off from work today.  Because I was able to work on some other things... I may not be there yet, but I'm closer than I was yesterday! 

Now that's PROGRESS

*more to come 

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