Wednesday, December 31, 2014

I'm Some Piece of Work

Hello, and Happy New Year's Eve.... day!

Is everybody refreshed and ready to start 2015?

If you have followed me for any portion of the past 8 years of blogging here at PRDesigns, you may have seen that for about the past four years I have 'named' my year.  That is, I don't like resolutions, mainly because I've not kept them and most studies show that when someone declares a "New Year's Resolution".... often for most, 21 days later, they have broken down and not continued.  

I didn't like doing that either.  So, a few years back at the House of Shine,  the Year of ... was introduced.  If you Google search around the Internet you will find many positive thinking bloggers have got on this bandwagon.... one word that will describe your year.

I've had the Year of...
Back to B.A.S.I,C.S
Simple Pleasures

This year was the year of POSSIBILITIES .....

And for 2015, I've given it a lot of thought, it is the year of PROGRESS.
*movement forward or toward a place
*process of improving or developing something over a period of time

I was trying to find the most perfect word for 2015, but I was dwelling too much on the words meaning as opposed to what I want the word to do for other choices were: restoration, refurbish, authenticity, movement .... ultimately I want to be ME, but an improved version of me.  I want to find simple pleasure, or balance, or the basics.... but take it one step further!

It's like I'm Peggy 1.0 right now, but what I want throughout 2015 is to be more of Peggy two point oh ... get a few bug fixes and update and then become Peggy 3.2 (Three point two) etc....  

I know along the way that some of the bug fixes and updates might not work.... but I'm going to find a way to go that extra umph  in all that I do.

I already have a few projects in mind that need updating.  And mainly what I want to do, is learn more about making a forward movement with my gifts and abilities and purpose.

There's more than one way to skin a cat (ewww) but what I'm looking forward to in 2015 is to become somewhat new and improved in my next half century. And, of course I'm still going to SHINE and definitely make a point to Brighten Someones Day.

Stop back here throughout the year,  and see what kind of PROGRESS I'm making!!!

Monday, December 15, 2014

It's a Party(napkin)

I have a lot of different 'issues'.  

I'm going to write about one of them on today's blog post.

I collect napkins.  Cocktail and dinner sizes.

I collect all kinds of napkins.  

In the picture below is a napkin over 24 years old. (Extra wedding napkins)

There is another napkin that is 20 years old.  (my #1 child had his #1 birthday)

I need help!

In all honesty, however, I have 4 or 5 each of these napkins. 

The next time we had a family party I couldn't celebrate the event with four napkins.... so, I had to go out and buy more.  If you figure that on an average every year we would have a least 4 birthday parties, holidays like Christmas and Halloween and then special events like graduations and picnics in the park .... and through the years I have just collected them in a box .... but only 4 or 5 of each.... I have lots of unused pretties that I couldn't just throw away ...

.... a pile of fun napkins!!!

As a 'new years resolution'.... I have decided not to purchase every day paper napkins for the kitchen table.  

In 2015 we will use up all of our party napkins.  We will use them every day and make each day a remembrance of all the special parties we've had in the past. It will be a party of napkins.... not on special days.... but every day.... until we run out!

Use up, reuse, recycle ....It will brighten our kitchen table..... every day!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Reindeer Games

Sometimes, well often times .... I don't think before I speak.

At work, there are plans for a holiday party, a secret Santa gift exchange, and an ugly sweater contest. 

Since I'm not really interested the 'contest' I really don't care to make a big deal out of it.  I actually have stuffed in a corner of my closet a one owner original 'cute' ugly sweater from the '80s that I can wear.

There is a buzz of excitement with some employees of 'what to wear'.  

Who knew that ugly sweater parties were such a big ta do??  Jay, one of the employees has been pressured to wear a sweater and saw that I created a few uglies to sell on the display rack at work.  He took me up on the offer to beautify his purchase.  I made sure that he didn't want to wear his $2 sweater again.  He assured me it was just for the event!

So I took this....

Checked out 'Ugly Sweaters' on Pinterest and found this.... (cute guy)

.... and using supplies I had on hand, a glue gun, some scissors and a strict 1/2 hour time limit.... came up with this.

Now, I don't know if Jay will win the best UGLIEST sweater, but with the little jingle bell added to the pom pom nose.... you can't help but think it's kinda cute.... too!!!!

This is another Pinterest SUCCESS for me.

I'll let you know what my co-worker thinks and the reaction he gets for this silly little sweater party. What will they think of next for the holiday parties..... reindeer games????

Go Brighten Someones Day and SHINE!!!!

Monday, December 08, 2014

Bring on more Men

Every year at about this time, it's quite obvious that I'm obsessed with a certain man. 

Really, there are all kinds of these men everywhere.  And I am pretty much in love with the cuter ones!!!!

Snowmen .... of course!!!

I like to make them.  

This time round I saw a metal spoon, pounded flat and painted with a fluffy figure.  So, I had to go get my own cheap spoons, flatten them (tiny sledge hammer and metal bar from my jewelry making) and paint them.  Then I added a few important accessories to his image, heart, earmuffs, scarf and bird house.... and then a little bling to the handle,..wire, bead and bow!

Oh, I can't make just one!  

And, there might be more in my future.

Add to the gift..... a tag, of course with a stamped snowman and the present is all ready for giving!

These kind of men melt my heart!!! And Brighten my Day!

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Keep Calm and Build a Snowman

Some people are worth melting for .... is a quote from Olaf, the snowman from the latest Disney animation move, Frozen. 

You don't always need snow and ice to build a snowman!

I needed to make a teenage girl birthday card and remembered that the movie Frozen is still a big hit. Some like the catchy songs, others like the strong characters and what they stand for, and others love the cute sidekick that bring humor to the story.  

Hi, I'm Olaf and I like warm hugs!

Once again, I give props to all those creative papercrafters who have come before me and figured out, took the time, had the vision of how to take some paper, use a punch and assemble some circles and dots and make those things pop onto the page and make something fun and cute.

I took the bits and pieces, the circles and odd shapes, added some doodles and created Olaf as well, and popped him on a cute happy birthday card.

I'm happy with the results.  

Let's Brighten Someones Day!

What can I create for you?

Monday, December 01, 2014

Shiny and New

Thanksgiving has come and gone.

The kids were home for a few days for their fall break.  Now they both have gone back to school.

The two inches of snow we had on the ground melted with sunshine and 46 degree temperatures this weekend.

And, the few bucks we had in our pocket are definitely spent!  

One surprise purchase was a new microwave.  Ugh, right before our Thanksgiving feast!  Thank goodness for early Black Friday sales.... we hope, we think we got a deal.

I started to reheat some left overs and the microwave light came on.  The keypad worked as I entered the time to reheat, and the turntable inside rotated as the power started.  Three minutes later I pulled out my food, and it was still cold.  That was weird!!!!

I tried again.  Nothing happened.  Then I put a glass measuring cup filled with water and powered up the oven.  Lights, motor and turntable all worked.... but the water was still cold.  Something was wrong, but what?

The hubby and I ran errands and one of them was stopping at our local appliance store.  The magnetron tube was kaput and we had run out the warranty about a year and half ago.  The part would run us over $170, not including labor.  All said and done, to repair the unit would cost up to $300!  Yikes!

That was information from the parts department.  From the sales department they told us a replacement for the same current model was on sale for Black Friday deals.  He gave us a price of $320.  A new unit for 20 bucks more?  Maybe.

So, the hubby checked online and found a 'great' deal at a big box store near his office and was able to find the exact microwave we wanted for $250.  

Right before the big day I had a shiny and new, working microwave.  I am very thankful.  And I am very blessed.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Simple Ride

Per usual, I get so excited when something comes together that I have seen, worked on in my mind and then when I put it to paper...shaazam.... it turns out.

How can I explain this picture ....

It is mixed media.
It is approx. 12" x14", thin painters canvas. 
I ripped pieces of two different colors of patterned paper, one in blues .... for the sky and.... one in greens for the land.  Then I mod podged (glued randomly) the paper pieces on the board.  After a few days when I had free time, I started to sketch out the bike/basket/flowers and painted them in. 
I am a realist in so many ways and would like to paint that way... real and how I see it, but this is one dimensional and sort of country folk art-ish!
I added some random white dots from a small portion of painted bubble wrap.  After the painting was dry, I used the computer for the sentiments, and sealed the picture with another coat of mod podge. Up close you can see the bumpy texture of all the layers.... which creates the 'mixed' media.

To go along with the painting, I created a 'mini me' greeting card.  A much smaller version on a 4-1/4" x 5-1/2" card.
I am very happy the way these two projects turned out!!! Success!
Come back and visit me again..... to see what I'm creating!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Worth Melting For

Sometimes, many times .... I don't believe in myself. I'm learning how to correct that!!!

I love to doodle.

I love to cReatE.

And sometimes I am shocked when things actually turn out.

I get giddy with happiness when I can turn this ....

Into this!
I still am amazed 30 years later after creatively making my own greeting cards that I can turn a blob of something .... into something else.  And I really love the process and the results.

And of course, I will always admit that a lot of truly creative artist have led the way.  The top left snowman is a version of Olaf from the Disney animated movie Frozen.  Just turning the carrot nose, having a few sprigs on top of his head and popped out eyes .... just makes him adorable.

..... I never met a snowman that I didn't like.
When I finished these 4 small pages (approx. 4" x 6") .... I'm like a little kid.... see what I did???
I can't wait to finish them and send them off to Brighten Someones Day!!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

One Potato, Two

Just like any new fad or trend ... it got started for a number of reasons.  Someone saw it and filled a need or a void.  It's possible that the trend setter tells all about how and why it started .... but sometimes it's not known who started it or why .... and when you see a lot of people getting on board and following, you can't help yourself but be part of it too.

It's simple and it's positive, finding hearts in all of nature's elements!  They reveal themselves everywhere!
Moved by a simple message that beauty, and love, radiate all around us, ready to inspire, uplift, even heal in some small way, if we're open to receiving them. This according to my initial Google search on 'finding hearts in unusual places'.  Here
Throughout this past year, I have found hearts in an sun filled illuminated Grapevine leaf in Missouri, to a small rough rock embedded in the ground on a Geocache hunt. And it's true.....they often reveal themselves to those who are ready to receive them!

Over the weekend I opened my 8 pound potato bag and the first potato I pulled out was the one above.  Surprised, I had to go find my iPhone so I could take a picture.  This potato was too big to be baked with the evening meal, and I really didn't want to spoil my heart find .... so I pulled out the next potato ... and look....
... a baby heart.  Worthy of another picture.
Finding hearts in dirt and garbage has the same sort of spiritual quality, only the heart shape is more universal. Its magic comes not just in the power of sharing it, but in the new way people begin to look at the scenery around them — and the different ways they find to connect with a simple shape.
And this too, relates (in my mind) to my Year of Possibilities.  Finding something positive, learning to bring my SHINE on and working toward sharing and Brightening Someone's Day!
Finding hearts is not only fun to do, but it's a positive reinforcement that there is a lot of good happening in the world.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Before, After & After

Last weeks' post was a view into our backyard.

This tree always lets the leaves 'fall' so late. 
All of our other trees have been empty for almost 3 weeks.  But this huge mulberry tree loves to hang on to its' leaves until the middle of November.  We used to place a bet in the family, and whoever guessed closest to the 'release' date, won the pot!  But now since we are an empty bets!  The backyard looked like this on Monday, November 10, 2014. 
It was a nice fall day with temps in the mid 50s.

This is the backyard on Tuesday the 11th.  Over night and through most of the morning the tree just let it go...... and now it looked like this..... the temperature was dropping fast and it was only in the upper 20s that day.
We waited until this past weekend (Saturday) and mowed, mulched, raked and blew tons of leaves.  It took hours.... I was exhausted .... and I didn't get a photo.... until Sunday morning when the yard looked like this.....

Good thing we had a very small window to clean up the majority of the leaves!!!  Fall and winter in less than 7 days.  The lovely mid-west.
I still love this view.... every day!!!  Before and after!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Make Like a Tree... and Leave

I see a mess outside my kitchen window. This is the view into our backyard.

However, when I saw this picture I took, it doesn't look that bad.  (Have I ever mentioned that I love having my camera on my iphone.... instant pictures.... so cool)

But believe me, wet, soggy leaves from this huge mulberry tree and the huge hostas that scatter around the base .... looks like a lot of work to me!!! The tree in psychological terms is ... still half full!!! Eight years now, this tree always decides to let go into almost mid-November.

The temperature is dropping from the high 50s yesterday to the low 30s tomorrow.  Frozen leaves anyone???

I am always grateful to sit at my kitchen table and type my blog.... while I get to see first hand all that nature IS, just outside my very own window.  I am truly blessed.

How can I Brighten Someones Day .... today! :0)

Friday, November 07, 2014

Established in 1990

I love the way this sign turned out.  It is a Pinterest success. 
I have posted about my chalkboard signs before. 
Earlier, you saw this sign in my fall basket on the front porch ....

According to the directions on the chalkboard ink pen, I was supposed to be able to erase the letters.  I used a rag and nothing smudged.  I got a corner of the rag damp and tried to wipe away Trick-or-Treat... a bit of a smudge.... but my spider didn't go away. 
 I figured that on this cabinet door that is about 10" x 14",  it had absorbed the black chalkboard paint and it wasn't going to be cleaned that easily.  Now too, it had absorbed the chalk ink.  Fine, I didn't want to scrub and rub all the black paint off, so I took the sign outside and sprayed a new layer of black paint over the text. 
And I started a new project on a 'clean' slate.
I figured the new sign would have to be a permanent sign.... I had seen ideas all over Pinterest, fun stuff about family, and decided the Robinson's needed to be reminded when they were established.  
This is how it turned out!!!
Stay tuned for the rest of the story!!!

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Any Combination Works


I recently had a card order that I was excited to create and complete. 

Here are my cute creative greeting cards for this week.

Just like I hear and read about all the time, paper crafters are paper hoarders.  We buy lots of pretty papers that we love.  We use our papers, but we also just like to hoard them and say .... oh, maybe on the next project I will use this paper.  Or, it has to be a real special card that gets this paper!!! Or we just like to touch and look at ALL of our pretty papers!!!!

This celebrate card can be be made in hundreds of different ways, just by changing out the color scheme for the stars.  For a baby card you could use pastel colors, more feminine? pinks ..... school colors for a graduation.... silvers and gold for a milestone birthday... or, quite literally any combination in-between .... for anything!

I'm liking the layers and the textures on this card.  You can even pull out the little 'note' and write a surprise sentiment on the back.... tuck it back into the envelope, open the card and sign something on the inside.... two for one!! Depending how thick you want the card... you could tie a pretty bow or even add a gift card.  Again, this type of card can be made with any colors of patterned paper.

The card above could be any color combination.  And to make the card a bit more whimsical, I could add my Bee stamp... or even make a cute paper punched little winged bee that would pop off the card.

And finally in this set .... thinking ahead, a 5 pak of Christmas cards.  Although there are lots of bits and pieces added to this card, it is very simple with a simple sentiment.
So, there you go.  Here are the creative greetings I've made over the past week. 
Can I make something for you?  And help you Brighten Someones' Day???

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Why I Blog

Over the years, I have had people ask me what blogging is, and why do I blog

I always found that question to be quite interesting, because I don't think I'm a technological whiz by any means, but why did I jump on board to the blogging world?

This new part of technology was starting to build up online, or on the computer called Blogging.
A blog (a truncation of the expression weblog)[1] is a discussion or informational site published on the World Wide Web and consisting of discrete entries ("posts") typically displayed in reverse chronological order (the most recent post appears first). Until 2009 blogs were usually the work of a single individual...

A little over eight years ago we moved to Illinois.  Just like any family move we had in the past, there is always an adjustment period when we get to the new house.  Organizing a new home, getting everyone settled in to their routines, finding music teachers and doctors, grocery shopping and home decorating, gymnastics and hockey practices, good vets and hair stylist, restaurants and car washes .... the list is huge.
At first, I used my computer and blogging as a diary, a place to write about things that were happening in our 'new' life, in our new home.
I used blogging as a tool to work on my writing style and my story telling.
I used it to 'show off' pictures of things I created, made, doodled, designed, cooked or costumed.
I used blogging after I took an online class or learned something new that I could describe and add pictures .... I learned how to enhance my photo taking and using all the tools the computer programs had to upload and download 'stuff'.
I didn't really think anybody would read my blog....maybe only those I invited. 
When I met new people and they found out that I created cards, or painted and designed something, they would ask if I had a website.... I had something more.... I had a blog and it was 'free-er' than a website.  At least if they made the effort.... they could actually see and read the story behind the creativity.

Often I have heard that some people couldn't find my blog, or they couldn't comment or they couldn't 'look around'.  That makes me sad, because I thought my 'thoughts' were very simple....and my blog layout is very basic, as I am a very 'SIMPLE' person. I'm not sure how to help others who come to visit.  Hopefully they aren't too frustrated when visiting me here at creative greetings.....whimsical paper crafts with a twist on LIFE!!!
I'm not afraid that I'm sharing too much personal information.  I guess know I'm pretty lucky.... I have strong core values, I follow the law and I don't 'really' use my blog to target or criticize an individual who may be different than me.
I use it to share things that are beautiful and things I think are interesting for others. It's a way to express myself... even if know no one is actually listening.... all the time.
At one time, I thought my blog would be a good way to 'sell' myself (things I make) .... but I discovered it was not.  All I know for sure is that I am embracing what I like and love and what I want to share .... and I like to show that on my blog!!
I got the opportunity to dress up for Halloween at work.  I did it because it was Possible!!! And I'm not missing out on any opportunities that let me express my whimsical side .... a bigger part of me really doesn't care what anyone thinks about me anymore .... life is too short to be any other way!
I write a blog because I can, it's fun, it's something creative, it's easy to share and it's become a positive habit in my life.  It helps me to spread SHINE and hopefully, Brighten Someones' Day!!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Fall Walk

Social Media the social interaction among people in which they create, share or exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks.

For the longest time I couldn't remember that short phrase .... social media.  It reminds me of Social Studies and the Media Room in Junior High School.  But I guess that could be a realistic definition. 

Its the 'new' way people interact and communicate with each other through electronic devices.

Back then is was a battered and used social studies book with worn edges and dog eared pages, our name signed in the front.... and forbidden pencil markings in the columns. And 'media' or audio visual was the place the teachers' pet got to wonder the halls taking the long route to the library to 'check out' the overhead projector or film reels or even the portable TV on a stand.

UPDATE: I can't be positive the upload is visible, I tried.... if not you can click to start my fall video.... and or.... if you are viewing this blog post on the current day I posted, there to the right -----> in the Instagram spot.... click on the picture with the beautiful fall tree!!!
So, if the 'new way' works.... with my little portable phone, I was able to take pictures during one of my recent walks on a beautiful fall day.  I took the pictures and added them to a 'free' application that put them in a sequence and added music to make it into a 15 second movie.  That I then, was able to load back on to my computer, where I could upload it into my blog, for anyone to click on to view.
And a day in my life is captured as simple as that... and it now is spread around the world in a matter of seconds.  Who would have thought 35 years ago, social media would be one of the ways we communicate in 2014?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Weird & Confident

Always creating .... something!

Although I'm not blogging as much as I once did, I still am creating. Here are some of my latest creative greetings!!
I have some really cute fall patterned papers that I wanted to use.  So I made a couple of these Have a Good Day cards.
Although this one above doesn't look like a card, it actually folds flat, but when opened becomes a pop up box card. Some fav person of mine is working with a circus theme for their homecoming this year and I thought I would try to commemorate the idea.  I had so much fun making this. 
I really don't want to tell you how much time I spent with the details!!!  But while the boys were sitting just watching a football game this weekend.... I was keeping my hands busy and created this while I listened to the game.
Here is a high end copy cat card.  It's water colors and markers.  I loved how it turned out.  Fancy fashion fabulous for a friend who is turning fifty!
I found a quote the other day that I'm really, really liking.
If you're going to be weird, be confident about it.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Happy Fall Y'all

The boys have been missing for a while. 
But I am getting back on track to do more of the things I love to do ...  instead of cleaning and dusting .... I am creating and crafting.
Stay tuned .... because every day there is a new POSSIBILITY!
Find your SHINE

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

It's All Greek to Me

When your kids get to a point in their lives... when you remember it like yesterday that you were experiencing similar situations, you know you've gotten to the next stage in your own life.... you're getting old.

It's not that I feel like I was 'just' in college, but I remember some of the old days.  I know my college experience was definitely NOT like the days my kids are experiencing in their universities.  I went to a small private Lutheran College, barely 1,000 students.... not some big university that has it's largest student population ever, over 30,000+(that's grad and undergrad)

I don't recall ever attending a football game or any other sporting event (I was a commuter student, so I'm sure I had something better to do off campus).... let alone plan an entire day of tailgating, socializing and drinking ... before filing into a stadium filled with over 71,000 current students, alumni, parents and friends. I don't think my parents ever owned a t-shirt, sweatshirt or a banner with my college name on it!!!!

But here we are, attending our 2nd college football game of the year.  The Missouri Tigers vs the Georgia Bulldogs.  The opposing team won BIG time.... 0 -37.  I didn't feel a great loss, since I'm not that vested a Mizzou fan.

We went to CoMo (short for Columbia Missouri) to visit Sissy for Dad's Weekend.  Her Sorority, Pi Beta Phi  (PiPhi for short) wanted to recognize their dads (the one's who assist in paying the tuition????).  They also celebrate parents weekend, mom's weekend, homecoming and whatever else when there are home football games.

It takes the best to raise the best.
Learning about Greek Life is an eye opener, at least to me. 
Jeff was a Lambda Chi Alpha when he attended Indiana State University. Not every University or College recognizes Greek Sororities and Fraternities as a major part of their campus organizations. At some schools it's a big deal, at other schools they hardly recognize it.
To many they say, what's the point?  It's snobby rich kids.  Or they exclude people.  It's a secret organization.  It's just plain weird.  I guess it can be all of the above ... but not every chapter's sole purpose is to have the best parties.  The friendships and camaraderie they establish is second behind what they stand for when it comes to volunteering for a cause or a philanthropy awareness.  Sissy's sorority has strict rules on academics and they need to maintain a high grade point average to participate and continue in the organization.  Alumni are a great support to the sororities often recommending 'sisters' for placement and employment and fundraising!

There are a lot of beautiful spots around campus to take pictures.  One place is in front of the 6 Iconic Columns.  These are the only remains left after a major fire in1892. Read about it here .

It was a nice fall weekend to drive the 7-1/2 hours to visit with our beautiful, smart and fun daughter.  We are so fortunate and blessed to have the opportunity to experience some of the college LIFE through our children.  Their POSSIBILITIES for their future are endless.


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