Tuesday, July 30, 2013

With a Cherry on Top!

You can't buy happiness
but you can buy ice cream
and that is pretty much the same thing!

Week #31 LIFE'S simple pleasures - summer time

As an adult, summer still means, lazy afternoons, flip flops, the beach, a good book and ice cream!

Ice cream has gone gourmet, it now is know as frozen custard, frozen yogurt, sorbet and gelato.

We went to one of our local hangouts where you build your own frozen yogurt cup. They have a choice of about 6 different flavors you can swirl into your cup and then you can go crazy with toppings like: crushed cookies, fresh fruit, chopped nuts, crushed candy bars, cereal, cheesecake crumbles, any kind of chocolate, Carmel & butterscotch chips, sprinkles, syrups and sauces and whip cream!  And even the cherry on top!!

Yum!  or should I say YUMZ!!!!
The family of 4 in line ahead of us probably had never been to this type of ice cream parlor before. Each one made an exquisite frozen yogurt cup topped with ALL of their favorites.... their total bill was over $25. (*I know I'm frugal.... but an ice cream treat for a wee one costing over $6 I think is a bit extravagant, but that's just me!) I remember when..... you could get ice cream cones at McDonald's for .25¢
Ice cream is BIG business in the U.S. I read that on average each person consumes 48 pints per year.  Some laugh, but think it should be made into the 5th food group! What's your favorite flavor?  I don't have a favorite... I like to always try something different.... variety is the spice of LIFE!

I just read in a book for my book club, the main character made a point that really stuck with me... and it relates to the reason I've picked the topic LIFE'S simple pleasures for my blog this year..."Having surrendered to a simpler life, I am finding excitement in little things, that others might find dull."
I know that some of the topics I find to highlight here on my blog can't be relateable to everyone.  My hope is to point out that we truly can enjoy the little things. Probably I write this statement most of all....to remind myself.
 If the simple things in life don't put a smile on your face, then you will never be truly happy.
LIFE is simple, when you live simply!
Just a reminder: When you see large bold text, it is a quotation that I found.  If the author is listed I will certainly give credit, some quotes are 'unknown' or 'found' in a google search.  Most all of the creative greeting cards you see here on my blog are for sale.  I'm a very small business with a big desire to Brighten Someone's Day!!!!

Monday, July 29, 2013

More than a Grain of Sand

And for every child on the beach that day
Stands a castle tall and proud
And the warm wind crawls through the castle walls
And the night folk wake as the warm wind calls
~ David Hess Lyrics    Sandcastle sung by Elvis Presley

Week # 31 LIFE'S Simple Pleasures - summer time
We officially passed the halfway mark of Summer, can you believe it's the last week of July!   However, some think summer is only Memorial Day to Labor Day.  Ha! That's too short of a time.... I like June 21 - September 21.... the actually 4 months of the season.
You wouldn't think it's summer with the cooler temperatures we are having in the Chicago suburbs.  But there has been nothing 'normal' about our summer temperatures.  Per usual, it gives the locals something to talk about, the weather.

If you are new to my blog, WELCOME!
For the last 31 weeks I have been exploring LIFE'S simple pleasures 2013.   Thus my tag line, whimsical paper crafts with a twist on LIFE.  I try to incorporate an experience, with my interest in telling a story, combining it with pictures I've taken and enhanced with photo shop and bring in a little whimsy with some of the creative greeting cards I hand make.... to add a little more SHINE to the corner of my world and Brighten Someone's Day.
I've been trying to incorporate every day things by:
L-learning more about them    
I-inspiring others to explore around them 
F-feeling with all my senses
E-evolving and gradually developing new interests
S-shining, realizing the impact of little things
trying to find FREE or inexpensive things in and around my LIFE.

Well, this week I'm going to explore a few things  that come to mind when I think of summer.
What comes to mind when you think of summer?  Obviously, the first thing I thought of was the beach and sandcastles: A castle like structure built of wet sand, as by children at a beach!
You can shake the sand from your shoes, but it will never leave your soul.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Brighten Your Stormy Day

Until the sun comes out again for you,
my umbrella is big enough for two (or 4)

Marisse Carrier inspired- Creative Greetings!!
Week #30 LIFE'S simple pleasures - umbrella
Now that it's raining more than ever
Know that we'll still have each other
You can stand under my umbrella
You can stand under my umbrella
google image

If you are a child of the '70s like me, you either had one of these, or you wanted one of these... a bubble umbrella. 

It was so cool to walk to school with your best friend and stay dry.  We could actually see where we were going, together.  Look up to the sky and watch it rain and not get wet! 

It does seem what's old is new again. Many 'kids' from the Millennial Generation laugh hysterically at pictures of the Fashions of the '70s, but television shows like Gossip Girl and Sex in the City bring back the style and now... it's retro!
google image
Wouldn't it be fun in a huge crowd to stand together under this umbrella?
Because when the sunSHINES,
we'll SHINE together

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A Little SHINE on my Umbrella

Going around under an umbrella interferes with ones looking up at the sky - Jerzy Kosinski
A lightweight umbrella to shield you from the sun is called a parasol.
Para = to shield
Sole = sun
Week #30 LIFE'S simple pleasures - umbrella

During the French Impressionist era, portraits of women carrying parasols was a popular theme.
On the left is Claude Monet's Woman with a Parasol 1875.  On the right is one of my most favorite paintings, Post Impressionist George Seurat's A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte 1884
The women in these paintings carry a parasol, a canopy designed to protect against the sunlight.
I found someone is trying to create a new term for the parasol.... a sunnybrella!  I like that!
A Parasol of Light
Once upon an autumn’s dream
She walked through falling sun
Barefoot in a sea of yesterdays
Where dreams catch up to run
A parasol full of guardian light
Paving paths that break ahead
Stepping into shores of leaves
A fragrance of orange and red
Golden wings on gentle waves
Breaking over the calm of day
Carrying psalms into her heart
Listening to God along the way
©Kathy Paysen 2010

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Under the Weather

What a glorious feeling
I'm happy again....
Seems as if I have creative greeting cards for every occasion!!!

I certainly can understand if you get caught in the rain, sometimes it could be a bad thing.  Your hair gets matted to your head, your clothes cling to your body and your shoes squish when you walk. Not a pretty sight if going into a meeting or a party.

Not fun. 

But look how much fun Gene Kelly has just singing and dancing in the rain: (just click your mouse over the video... I'm sure it will bring a smile to your face, go on)

Week #30 LIFE'S simple pleasures - umbrella

It's amazing the choices we have.  Use an umbrella and stay dry or get all wet.

Getting caught in the rain for Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly) doesn't really matter because not even the weather will bring his mood down. He is happy and smitten and in love!

Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine ~ Anthony D'Angelo

With a huge smile on his face, a funny hello wave to some passersby, splashing like a kid in a huge puddle, and under the watchful eye of a curious officer.... Gene Kelly's character SHINES inspite of the rain.... as he hands his umbrella to an unsuspecting pedestrian.

Having an umbrella when it rains is one of LIFE'S simple pleasures, but bringing your on sun SHINE wherever you go.... is priceless!


Monday, July 22, 2013

A Pick-y Paper Parasol

I only drink to make other people seem interesting - George Jean Nathan

I could say:  I only drink exotic fruity cocktails on the sandy beach garnished with bright parasols. It makes the people I'm with, seem more interesting!!!
LIFE'S simple pleasures - umbrellas
Around 1932 a Polynesian themed restaurant, Trader Vic's in California introduced the first decorative umbrella in one of their exotic Mai Tai cocktails.
A paper cocktail umbrella just makes the drink more fun!  Simple.
I didn't realize until I started my Year of : LIFE'S simple pleasures... our American English language can mean and be defined in so many different ways.  You'll have to stay tuned to my blog this week and see how many ways I can add my little whimsical twist on something as simple as an umbrella!
We might get rained on or we can dance in the rain, or the sun might beat down and make us perspire or we can look up to the sky and see the clouds.... or I can make my drink just that much better by adding a little paper decoration.... come join me under this tiny umbrella.... I'll make room!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Barefoot in the Park

In the good ole summer time there is nothing more simple than being in the park at a playground! 

Oh no, all the parks I visited recently no longer have any swings that you could pump your legs really hard to reach the sky, or tall metal slides that would burn your legs as you scooted down, or wobbly merry-go-rounds that would make you dizzy as you flew off, or teeter totters (see saws) that would hurt your hoo ha (or bum) when your friend jumped off and released the balance from 6 feet up, or tether balls that would womp you on the side of your head or swinging monkey bars that would bash your finger!  Ahh, good ole playground memories.

However, I must admit the new and improved playgrounds sure are colorful and bright!
How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!

Up in the air and over the wall,
Till I can see so wide,
River and trees and cattle and all
Over the countryside--

Till I look down on the garden green,
Down on the roof so brown--
Up in the air I go flying again,
Up in the air and down!

Fun times come to mind with an old tractor tire swing tied to a thick branch off a Weeping Willow tree by a creek. A friend would pull the swing up to the perch where everyone was waiting their turn.  You would step on the tire, push off and fly for just a moment and then....jump when you were over the water.... and splash down. 
Week #29 LIFE'S simple pleasures - parks

Parks and playgrounds seem too safe, so sterile and boring. 

I don't see swings anymore. No longer do we see broken chains hanging off the hooks or rusty nails holding swinging bridges together, or swing sets that aren't bolted in the ground that rise up when someone is swinging.

With every generation brings new ideas and engineering to design stuff for kids that is safe and fun!! It's amazing what over protective parents and pesky lawsuits can do.

What's even more amazing is how everyone over 49 years of age survived!

When you are out and about this weekend and if you happen to drive by a park... hopefully it will bring a smile to your face when you remember that some of LIFE'S simple pleasures can be had in a park.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Picture Perfect

It's summer time in Illinois!

Which means it's hot, hot .... did I say HOT? 

This week we are experiencing some of the hottest weather we've had this year, with high humidity and beautiful sunshine.  What is there to do in the summer time?

This week I'm writing about one of LIFE'S simple pleasures - parks. 

There are all kinds of parks.  If you think of Central Park in New York City, you might think of the back drop for many movies.  There are trees and running paths, bridges and ponds and blankets with diversified people spread across the lawn listening to a concert.  Yellowstone National Park brings to my mind.... geysers and bison, beautiful rock formations and trees as far as the eye can see.  A local city park has swings and teeter totters and fresh cut grass with a bench under a shade tree.

I enjoy the fact that my art can imitate LIFE.  Following blogger Michelle Zindorf and learning her techniques with inks and stamps has been a great way for me to re-create some of LIFE'S simple pleasures with my creative greeting card art.
{Greeting cards you see on my blog are always for sale! Handmade and unique cards for those special people in your life.... who deserve more than a last minute grocery store card!!! ****sorry, gotta do a shameless plug!}
Back to Week #29 LIFE'S simple pleasures - parks  There many different parks we can visit, most of them FREE.  There are water parks, theme parks, playgrounds, skate parks, nature preserves, spray park, National Parks, State parks, city parks, conservation parks and amusement parks.
My husband and I enjoy one of our local parks. It is a reclaimed quarry that our city has made into a recreation area.  We have enjoyed walking trails that have led us to some interesting Geocache hides, we've packed a lunch and enjoyed a quiet picnic and most recently, we rented a kayak for an hour and cooled off in and around the natural spring fed lake on one of our hot, hot ... did I mention HOT summer days. It was only $6 dollars and we got to see young families fishing off the shore, we watched cloud formations pass overhead, we heard laughter from other paddle boats, canoes and small sail boat, we watched small planes take off and land at the nearby city airport.... and we just sat and enjoyed the moment, smack dab in the middle of the lake.
And for me, before and after (keeping my iPhone safe and dry) I enjoyed taking pictures, capturing the sites for potential blog posts, having my art imitate LIFE and being able to share some of the simple pleasures that might spark some interest for you too!
Now go on out there, and with the sun SHINE, brighten someone's day! Go have a picture perfect day, visit a park!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Have a Seat

Sitting on a park bench....
A long seat for more than one person to share.
So many ideas come to mind.... scenes from movies where people are getting engaged, or girlfriends pouring out their heart and soul, old people sitting with a bag of bird seed... feeding the pigeons, mommies watching their babies in strollers, little kids whose feet can't reach the ground... swinging them back and forth while eating an icecream cone, a businessman eating a quick lunch while catching some fresh air between appointments, resting while letting your dog sniff around, listening to a free concert, seeing the ducks land in a pond, watching the train go by...

And other LIFE'S simple pleasures can be done on a bench.... watching clouds, finding Geocache hides, enjoying a favorite beverage, reading a book, eating a cookie, watching the seasons, watching people, smelling the flowers, sharing a hobby..... amazing how it all works around to a full circle.
 If you are new to my blog...WELCOME!!!!
I'm devoting my whole year 2013, to LIFE and the simple pleasures I can find for FREE or fairly inexpensive... I want to learn, inspire, feel, evolve and SHINE in all things!  I want to extend an invitaton, please feel free to scroll through my blog and find the first 29 ways I found to enjoy the beginning of this year.
Park Bench by PSR
Clouds in the sky
Birds flying high
A gentle light breeze
Trees wave their leaves
People walking on trails
Puppy dogs' waggin tails
Children out to play
Thinking of the day
Funny to say... but who knows what you'd find if YOU spotted a park bench and decided to 'sit a spell'. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Art from the Heart

Taking a small break from LIFE'S simple pleasures to display one of my creative endeavors for 2013.  Here are some of my art pieces from LIFEBOOK 2013....

Every Monday morning I get a new tutorial from Willowing & Friends, where art students get prompts, ideas, videos and more...these artists that Tam has gathered together, all have unique talents and it is inspiring to learn their techniques.

I am so used to my simple ink doodles or stamping and card making... thinking outside the box has truly been a new experience for me.  All of these pictures (paintings??) from my art journal are approximately 12" wide by14" high.  I'm using more acrylic paints and paint brushes. Adding paper pieces for collage and stencils for texture.
Seems like my work sticks close to a theme. Lots of flowers, faces and flying things. 
I need to take a deep breath. 
This journal has been very fun!! I look forward each week to try something new.
I just have to be patient. 
All this learning!  
Then I'm so excited to take pictures and play with the new  things I've learned on Photo Shop.... and then.... blurry.... there is no race.... I need to take more time and enjoy the process.
More new pictures to come!!!

Monday, July 15, 2013

A Walk in the Park

"Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike." ~ John Muir

From week to week, I never know where my blog will take me.

I have ideas how I want to highlight LIFE'S simple pleasures, but I never really know what I'm going to write about until Monday morning. I thought maybe I was more of a planner, but I think I enjoy 'finding' something that happens to come my way. And then, go from there.

Week #29 LIFE'S simple pleasures - parks

A few years ago when my husband and I realized that our path in LIFE was taking us on a new journey, the dreaded empty nest, we decided that we needed to find more things, not necessarily to fill the emptiness of the loss of day to day hands on parenting, but to search out different ways to discover what our LIFE had to offer us in our next stage.

One thing we thought about was hiking. Easy to do and virtually FREE.

I know I've written about this before (many times in many different forms).  Ironically, shortly after we made our declaration, we saw lots of different articles and stories about hiking in your own neighborhood, hiking in local parks and hiking & geocaching.  We decided that this was a sign that maybe we were on the right path. *wink

Living in the flatlands of Illinois, we knew that we weren't going to be climbing rocky or smokey mountains, we weren't going to be trekking the hot dessert wastelands and we knew unless we went on vacation somewhere out of the state, we wouldn't be hiking fo national treasures in parks.

But we did find out that there are over 25,021 acres of protected preserves in our county alone.  There are over 32 nature parks, with 17 dedicated conservation districts within a half an hour of our home.

And so, we have been visiting local parks and district conservation parks and state nature preserves.  A park is an open space providing recreational use and protection of wild life or natural habitats.
Parks have a sentimental value for us.  As long as my husband and I have been together, we have enjoyed going to the park, any park.  And through the years we have established a yearly fall family photo shoot of how we have all grown and changed throughout the year.  Parks have been a great backdrop to record the event.
Here is our little family 19 years ago.  Sweet!
We forget that life consists of small everyday experiences and it is what the happiness is made of. A walk in the park, a smile of your baby, a beautiful sunrise, unexpected compliment from a stranger...Those are the moments that count most. ~ Sumesh Nair

Friday, July 12, 2013

The Accumulator

If something has sentimental value to it, sharing those things with others can create positive emotions and keep the past present.
Week #28 LIFE'S simple pleasures - collections
The 'hobby' of gathering and storing 'things' and neatly organizing, maintaining and finding special items are all part of the positive aspects of being a collector
For every hobby collector, there is probably someone who goes overboard.   The images of Hoarding Buried Alive and Hoarders television shows are more likely to come to mind when someone shares their 'hobby' with someone who doesn't have the same interests.  There are always extremes in all situations.
** This by no means relates to anyone that I know personally.... you can put really any hobby item in place for the 'toy train'. 
If a toy train collector creates an entire room for his collection, and he has hundreds of trains that run on a track with miniature trees and crossing gates, some are kept in special glass boxes on shelves, he re-wires the electric to his home to hold all the volts to run the trains, pours real water for steam in the engine, has beautifully framed paintings and posters of train memorabilia covering the walls, there is a wide screen tv that plays videos and special train songs being piped in through the speakers, he washes and waxes the trains, adds oil to the tracks, paints special figurines in the small old town villages .... someone visiting this room who doesn't particular find an interest in toy trains would easily think this person is reliving their child hood and could be on the verge of hoarding. But really, he is just a true collector, items are neatly organized, maintained and maniuplated with ease.  Sharing his passion creates positive emotions! 

I don't particularly collect slippers, but my cute mom enjoys making them and gives them to me.  We use them in my family, but I also like to share them with friends.  Right now, I have a small 'collection' of slippers... I know where they are and I can include them in a wonderful and thoughtful gift for someone. 
I have small collections that don't overwhelm me and take over my life.  Many of my collections make me smile and like most things I do in LIFE, everything in moderation.
I don't go out of my way to collect thread.  But through the years, I figured using colorful items in jars is a simple way to create a unique decoration for my home.  Someone once told me, you should have a few items out just to start a conversation... thus a conversation piece.

To accommodate all of these unique and outrageous collections, hobby stores have designed all kinds of ways for the enthusiast to display their 'stuff'.  They actually have album cover frames.  There are shadow boxes and intersting case holders.  Albums, the actual cardboard sleeve that would hold a 'real' vinyl record.... we no longer have a stereo, let alone a record player... but we did keep a 'small' collection (maybe 30?) of albums...  because we have the emotional attachment of them to our youth... where LIFE seemed so easy and music was a part of our every day activities... some of these covers are actually pretty cool little pieces of art!  We now have conversation starters when you walk down into our basement!
They may not be of value to anyone else... maybe a few items that I 'collect' could be... antique sewing machine, Cabbage Patch doll with it's original adoption papers, Big Little books from Western Publishing, Longaberger Baskets, Beany Babies... a little bit of everything. 
One of LIFE'S simple pleasures is collecting things that engage you and are of emotional value and interest to you and help you relive happier times from our childhood!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Button, Button, who's got the Button?

She'll be cute as a button, everyone knows
From her tiny little curls to her chubby little toes.

Week # 28 LIFE'S simple pleasures - collections
Let me reiterate ... there is a difference between being a 'collector' and being a compulsive hoarder
If the 'items' you collect create  a certain pattern of behavior with an excessive acquisition of an item(s) and cause a person an inability to function, with impairment of living, eating and sleeping conditions and cause a risk to their health... those factors are significantly different than a person who collects items for a hobby. 
It is, but isn't.... funny.  We all know about those hoarding shows where the people can't even walk through their house because they have real garbage piled to the ceiling. They may 'say' they collect newspapers and magazines and aluminum cans and plastic bags, but they have a few more issues than I'm qualified to write about.
In modern clothing and fashion design, a button is a small fastener. Commonly made of plastic they are meant to secure two pieces of fabric together.  They are often used for ornamentation and have been made from wood, seashells, leather, metal, glass, and semi-precious stones.  Artisans have a long history of construction and decoration techniques that reflect a timeline of materials in the technology of  button making.
Yes, I admit that I have purchased buttons.  I have a few creative vessels that hold my tiny art objects.  Ball jars and tins.  But most of my buttons were inherited.  And now hundreds, maybe even thousands sit and wait for my creative juices to flow and use them for some sort of creative greeting!
I didn't realize until after I took this picture of a special 'antique' tin that holds most of my buttons. There is a great artsy fartsy name printed on the lid.  It appears however.... it was a chocolate tin!
Artstyle Chocolate .... wow, just checked it out on ETSY, it could be a collectors items, someone is selling my exact one for $32!!  
Looks like there is more information about the tin can for the chocolates that were made in the late 1920s, rather than the chocolate company itself.
Thanks to my mother.... I have a small collection of buttons. 
It's fun to drag my hand through the tin.  Buttons don't break, easily.  They come in all shapes and sizes.  One, two.... four holes.  Some have a shank on the back that you loop the thread through.  Some buttons are embossed with an emblem and some buttons sparkle in the sunlight.
People 'collect' all kinds of things because they are interested in them.  Some popular items include: coins, dvds, sports trading cards, cereal box prizes, record albums, stamps, post cards, books, tea cups, art, trains, event memorabilia etc....  You name it, I'm sure there is someone who collects it and is willing to pay the price to add to their collection.... and there are some people who have invested a lot of time and money into their collections because it just makes them happy!
You can 'push' someone's button, you have a belly button, you can hit the like.... reset.... start.... send... snooze button.  And maybe hitting the elevator button or the walk button 10 times will make it happen a lot faster. :)

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

You Are A Child's Plaything

Ride like the wind Bullseye!

What do the toys do when Andy their owner leaves the room? They of course come to LIFE! 
There is something about a great kids' movie that makes me smile anytime I see one of the characters or I hear a theme song.  You've got a friend in me!!!  I love the story of Toy Story.... 1, 2, 3! 
Toy Soldiers
Week # 28 LIFE'S simple pleasures - collections
Collectables or collectibles, are objects regarded as being of value or interest. 
I have a few different collectables.  I never actually sought out collecting Toy Story toys... but here's how I think it happened.

It's obvious, a sign of the times!  1995 and my son was two.... a perfect way to decorate his little boy room.... just like the 'real' kid Andy's clouds on his bedroom walls in the movie.... (maybe when I come across it in a scrapbook I'll find a picture of what my son's room turned out to be.) 

I always admired the great marketing plan Pixar and Disney movie makers had... sell the toys that are being promoted in the movie. There was wallpaper and bedding just like the kids' in the movie. Even Disney theme parks had exclusive rides about the characters.... or parts of the movie. Buy the toy at the end of the ride!  Perfect!
If you think back just like many of the simple pleasures I've highlighted on my blog.... the sign of the times can be determined by the popular characters, celebrities, sports teams and musicians of the era.... back in the 30s and 40s little bedrooms would be sparsley decorated with themes (or items) related cowboys and Indians  and war hero's, during the 40s and 50s sports teams were hot and dreamy singers were popular, in the 60s and 70s rock bands and musicians were hip, then in 80s & 90s StarWars and other cult movies were all the rage.... it all goes through a POP(ular) cycle.
Woody & Buzz
So of course, we bought our son his own Woody (Doll) and Buzz Lightyear.   We got a Piggy Bank... the Slinky dog.... If you look behind Woody, you'll notice a Fisher Price phone.... that isn't a remake, it's the actual one I had when I was a little girl. 
What's old is new again... or it becomes a collectable.... for what dollar value??? How can you put a price tag on memories? The fun thing about collectables is that we all have our different reasons why we like something. What's one man's junk is another man's treasure?
As the kids grew up and into their next stage, they no longer found the fascination with these Toy Story toys... but with each new movie, McDonald's and Target started selling tiny collectibles of all the characters from the movie.  And my family loved finding ones we didn't have yet... so the collection grew.  Every Christmas I got a new toy... to add to the collection!
Now these cute and fun toys sit on a few shelves in our basement.... collecting dust.  Sometimes I wonder what happens when the lights go out.... it makes me smile to think that maybe they have a little fun when the humans are away!

Monday, July 08, 2013

Gnome Sweet Gnome

Say hello to my little friend!
Week #28 LIFE'S simple pleasures - collections
I have a small collection of garden gnomes.  They are cute humanoid creatures with pointy hats.  They often have a beard, carry a pipe and sometimes are captured napping.
They are 'fun sized' garden ornaments that protect a garden or lawn from evil sorcery.
Small collection means: about 7
Little garden gnomes are kidnapped and travel around the world.  Have you seen the Travelocity gnome? Oh the adventures they get to go on.
My very first blog postings were about our gnome, appropriately named Gname.   (He's the middle gnome in the 3 pack picture above.) I had no idea what I would write about, so I was going to take the gnome with us to different places in our new home town and share pictures and his experiences.  Seven years later, I have found plenty to talk about on my blog.  But I have brought Gname back, full circle.

Just so you know, there is a difference between a small collection and a hoard.  Hoarding items (it could be gnomes) is a special condition that carries extreme symptoms that limit a persons ability to function successfully in life.  It is an equal opportunity illness... affecting people of all ages and backgrounds.
Now that we are straight on collecting vs. hoarding...... this weeks simple pleasures.... a few of my collections.  What are special things you look for when you go to a souvenir shop?  What do friends and family members get you when it's your special day? What do you like to collect?


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