Saturday, February 28, 2009

10 Reasons to Be Happy

I was doing my weekend ritual of eating a bowl of oatmeal while reading the newspaper, when I saw an article entitled "Chin Up, Folks: 25 reasons to be happy". It's especially important in today's times that we remember the things that make us happy and for which we are grateful. So in the spirit of focusing on the positive, I put forth my own list of 10, in no particular order:
  1. My cats, Gracie and Nipper
  2. Beautiful flowers
  3. Daylight savings time
  4. The colors pink and yellow
  5. Friends and family
  6. Indoor plumbing
  7. Butterflies
  8. The library
  9. Dark chocolate
  10. A sky full of stars

What makes you happy?

Friday, February 27, 2009

In the Mood

...for pie. Fruit pie to be exact. Might have to make a trip to the Farmer's Market tomorrow, one of my favorite places. It's not quite as enjoyable this time of year as it is in the summer, but it's always fun to see what's new. Last time I discovered a crepe van. Mmmmm... I love fruit crepes. I guess that just might have to do for now.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

This One's for You, Mom

I made this scrapbook layout last fall in Cathy Zielske's Design Your Life class at Big Picture Scrapbooking. So here's the story behind this layout: my dear mom, who is from Sweden, has had a longstanding habit of mangling the English language. Some years back, she had gone on a shopping trip and was really excited about something she purchased. I asked her where she bought the item and she replied "World Asses". I thought for a moment and then the light bulb went on. She had gone shopping at Whole Earth Access! And that's how it is with my mom. Gotta love her. :-)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Woo Hoo, A New Michaels is Coming Here!

One of Michael's craft stores in the new concept formula will be opening March 8 in Colma, which is not too far from my city. You may or may not be familiar with Colma -- it's known as the town where the population of non-living people is higher than the living. Its cemetaries go back from the 1800's and most famous people who lived in the 1800's and first half of the 1900's in the San Francisco area are buried there. But I digress... I'm quite excited about seeing this store; however since I've committed to shop from what I already own, I don't think I'll be buying much.

Monday, February 23, 2009

It's Cherry Blossom Time

One of my favorites things about February (besides Valentine's Day, President's Day and my birthday!) is the cherry blossoms. It makes me sad that they only bloom for one month each year, but oh what a month. Cherry blossoms are a wonderful surprise. They keep you guessing... how long until they blossom? Will it be another three weeks, two weeks, next week? Maybe in just a few days? And when you least expect it, there they are. Greeting you as if to say, "winter is almost over, hang in there"!

Last week I noticed the buds. And then, boom - here they come, bringing smiles all around. Enjoy them while you can.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Nikon Withdrawal

Yesterday I took my Nikon in for cleaning and repair and now I'm feeling naked without it. Since I finished Karen Russell's The Photographer's Workshop class, I've gotten used to taking a lot more photos on a more regular basis than in the past. On top of that, I have a new lens (Tamron f2.8 28-75mm) arriving any day and I'm dying to play with it. So, I'm going through some withdrawal. Oh, yes, I do have my old point-and-shoot which I will use. It just isn't quite as much fun.

So in the spirit of wishing my camera a quick return, here's one of the last photos I took with it. The only problem I have taking photos of food is that Gracie loves desserts and will jump into the scene to eat the subject!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Make a Vintage Style Collage Card

It doesn't take much to make a card. Recently, I was inspired to make a card vintage-style with this bird image. Actually, I cut it out of a calendar from 2008 (I couldn't wait for the year to end just so I could cut up the calendar with a year's worth of birds!). Then I started with a piece of cardstock that I sprayed with Tattered Angel's Glimmer Mist in Honey Dew. Next, I tore a piece of music sheet paper from a book I got at Barnes and Noble's on clearance for $1 a few years ago, just for this purpose. I've used this over and over since then. Then, I added some embellishments: a piece of lace, a paper flower, some pom pom ribbon, a strip of bling and a little butterfly sticker to finish it off. And voila!

So if that's all it takes, then why do we need so much stuff?! One of the funniest things I've heard is someone rationalizing that if they buy some basic supplies to make cards, they will spend less than if they purchased them. As anyone who has done this knows, each card will wind up costing about $19.99 by the time you get done buying all the yummy supplies! But that's okay, because it's just as important that we express our creativity. And as an added bonus, so many people appreciate receiving something handmade with love.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Take My Picture, Please!

There are certain items that just scream to be photographed. I found these washclothes at the store and was taken by how pretty they looked. I really did need some new ones, but had they not been packaged so prettily, I have to admit I probably would not have bought them. But buy them I did, and before I can use them I must take their picture! So here's one that I like. Anything with a ribbon just makes me happy.

Isn't Target Great?

I really, really have tried to stay out of stores recently but I could not resist this lamp I found at Target today. Since I've been organizing the craft room, I knew it would look just right in there. The only problem is I can't decide if I want to keep the white shade or the pink shade with it.

The room has walls the color of chocolate milk, the furniture in the craft half of the room is white, and the furniture in other half is medium wood (pc desk, tv stand, secretary) and the accent color is pink. So, either the pink or white would work. I also spied some adorable white sheer curtains with pink polkadots at Bed Bath & Beyond. I am very tempted to get them. Hmmm... there may be a field trip tomorrow. Besides, a girl has to treat herself for her birthday, doesn't she?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Mail Anyone?

I spent my day today continuing to work on organizing my craft room. I have to admit that I'm not entirely following each week's lesson in Get Organized and Be Inspired. I'm a bit anxious to get going and since I've had the week off for vacation, I'm taking advantage of the time to skip ahead. Besides, the whole sketching-your-room-layout isn't really working for me. I'm so visual that I find it really hard to measure, sketch and then know what it's supposed to look like. My room is starting to look really good but you should see my hallway outside the room. Stuffed with boxes and things! I don't want to put any of it back in so I think it will live out there until I figure out what to do with it all.

So there I was, feeling pretty good about all the progress I made today when the mail came. It was a nice surprise to see two birthday cards but my excitement quickly turned to disappointment. There, with the rest of the mail was a fat envelope from the IRS. I knew a fat envelope could not be good! Those darn tax people, they've decided that I made a mistake on last year's return and are asking for a chunk of money back. Happy birthday to me. :-(

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Getting Organized (Again)

Do you have a lot of unfinished projects? I find that I always have quite a few, unfortunately. I say unfortunately because it's rare that I go back and finish them. Some are from classes that I've taken, but didn't get a chance to finish the project. Some are projects that I started but then moved on to something else. Some are actually what I call "projects waiting to happen"! Often I see pictures, products or items that inspire me, or just an idea I have, and the collected items sit waiting for that day when the motivation finally hits. Sometimes I just lose the motivation after I start.

Right now, I'm taking the Get Organized and Be Inspired class on Big Picture Scrapbooking. One of our tasks is to purge and sort our goods. So, I've come upon several of these unfinished projects. Taking this class has given me the courage to let go of things including some projects that I know I won't finish.

This picture of is my "all purpose" room. Aside from my art supplies, this is where the computer and tv are, as well as files upon files so a lot of different things happen in this room. My goal is to get really organized so I can create in a place where I truly feel inspired. I'll post again when I've finished with my organization and decorating. I've got a ways to go!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Is it Almost Spring?

I've been thinking about the flowers and plants I'm going to buy next month when spring arrives. One of the key purchases I must make is a tree of some sort for my front entrance. Each year, a pair of birds (robin red breasts?) come and make a nest. I had a tall jasmine tree that was perfect for them - the nest was hidden quite nicely. However, all plants had to be trimmed to the ground in 2007 due to a big project in my complex which included residing all the buildings. Luckily, the birds had already nested by the time I had to trim the tree. But last year, when the work was completed, I was left with a bare entryway. I bought a beautiful tea tree plant that looked very Victorian and sweet. And then the birds appeared! Even though this tree was much lower and not very bushy, they went ahead and built the nest. It was wonderful watching the parent birds each day as they would fly into the bushy top and attend to the speckled eggs.

Then one night, I heard a commotion outside and found the tree on the ground. Some babies were missing with some in the nest and one on the ground. I placed it back into the tree, set it back upright and bought chickenwire to place around the tree to ward off raccoons and any other critter that might be in the neighborhood. It was a joy to see those baby birds and we missed all the birds when it was time for them to fly away. All this to say I must go buy a tree for they will be expecting a home for their nest very soon. What are your plans for spring?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Happy Belated Valentine's Day

I found these cookies on the counter at work and just knew I had to abscond with them for another photo op. Gracie smelled them from another room where she was sleeping and jumped right into my photo shoot to lick them. She has a thing for pastry and cookies. Hmmm, don't we all.

Meet Nipper

This is Nipper. Really, we just call her Nippy or Nip. She's a good girl but a bit of a couch potato. She sleeps from 9am to 5pm most days. That's okay - we still love her.

Isn't Food Beautiful?

There are times when I see certain foods and I think "oooh, I must photograph that!" Especially when it's dessert.

Now I'm blogging, too.

Still figuring it out...!