Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Design Team Meet-Up!

Yesterday the 'NJ chapter' of the Time To Scrap Design team got together for the afternoon.
There's nothing like the comradarie of Artistic Friends getting together.
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We all started off at the local scrapbooking store. Each of us had a full basket of 'goodies' at check out. Between the 4 of us, we most definitely paid the rent for the place for the next month or 2! HAHAH!! Scrapbookers are bad influences on eachother. And our wallets screamed in pain at the check out! Aside from all the SHOPPING we did, we also had a nice afternoon of hanging out at Laura's house and just chatting. I enjoyed the girl time. Being a stay home mom of 2 toddlers, my "adult" interaction is very limited. It was SO nice to get out of this house and go out and hang out with friends. My girls enjoyed being there with Laura's kids and the adults really did have a good, long time to chat and hang out.
We have plans set to meet up with the rest of the Design Team in October at Cheryl's family beach house! I can hardly wait!!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

{Studio Friday}

This week's topic for Friday August 25th suggested by Jo: WHO!?

"I am curious to see/hear/read who everyone takes
their inspiration from - an artist of traditional
media, multimedia, craft world, living or dead.
Who would we like to have the chance to meet and
speak with, or to thank for inspiring us? "
~ Jo

Hmm... had to give this one some thought. Artist's inspiration....
Impossible to choose only one.
At first glance, the topic seemed impossible for me. I don't have any specific artists whom I try to emulate or take my style from. I'm just me, stumbling and tumbling through the creative world. I do, however, admire all forms of artwork.
Since my main craft is scrapbooking, there is one particular scrapbooker, whom I wish would get her butt in gear and start blogging, named Laura. I absolutely adore this woman. I love her scrapbooking style, her passion for her work and her compassionate heart. She probably doesn't even know how much she inspires me, even aside from the scrapbooking. She's generous, helpful, compassionate and a true friend. I LOVE her heart and her soul and just everything about her. She's awesome.
There are 2 sisters who are a great inspiration to me as well, MaryAnn and Looney. (GET A BLOG LOONEY, WILL YA?!) MaryAnn's love of antiques and oddities and her fun style have given me inspiration on many accounts. She's got a very deep love of her family which also inspires me, especially on days when I have to go visit 'that side of the family' which sometimes I really dread. She pulls me all together with one of her family stories and makes me feel like it's all Okay. Looney has a gift of writing out exactly what she feels in her heart. She gives me such a sense of comfort, reading her emails and comments on my blogs. Her advice, comedy and spirt really moves me and gets my creative writing juices flowing.
My friend Debbie inspires me deeply as well. Her love of animals is much like my own and we connect on multi-levels. If I need a pick-me-up all I need to do is click on her blog URL and scroll down to one of her horse sketches. They really give my heart a lift! I love her fun style, awesome heart and comedy! My 4 year old ADORES her blog and begs me, every day, to visit "Debbie and Mac's Blog" (Mac being one of her horses that she blogs about on occasion.)
I don't know too much about the scrapbooking 'celebrities' so I can't even say that 'so and so' or 'what's her name' inspires me. My inspirations come from my fellow bloggers and friends who share the same passion as I do, no matter what form, genre or medium, that passion is ART!

Best dog in the World!

I have bloggers block lately but decided to write SOMETHING just to get myself going again. My dog is being completely adorable today so I decided to write about her.

Zippity is really such an awesome dog! Her favourite place in the world to be is wherever I am. Her 2nd favourite place in the world is to be wherever my 2 little girls are. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
She is SO very good with them. They play so well together. I cannot imagine a more even-tempered, cool, 'hangin' out' dog than she!
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We've had a really busy summer and it's gone by so fast but I have taken hundreds (probably thousands) of photos of them and thus, the memories will all be preserved! I can't think of a more uplifting sight than children playing with a puppy!
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Friday, August 18, 2006

Long Beach Island, NJ

{"Down the Shore"}
I have fond memories of Long Beach Island from when I was a little girl. My grandparents had a houseboat and we went down as often as possible to spend time on the boat. I remember being rocked to sleep by the little waves in the bay. It was awesome!
Yesterday I brought my 2 girls to Long Beach Island to visit my friend, Cheryl and her family. We had a absolute BLAST!
Her inlaws have a gorgeous house, right on the beach. My girls were in awe that they could SEE the ocean from inside the house! Mackie's favorite view was from the top deck:
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We started the day off by going out their back door right onto the beach. We set up our umbrellas, laid out or towels and slathered on the sunblock! Cheryl and I had a nice time watching the kids play while we had a few minutes to chat. Mackie and Sammy enjoyed themselves by playing right at the water's edge and Ellie hung out under the umbrella and dug in the sand with her little green shovel.
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I bought them cute "Long Beach Island" tye-dye shirts to wear to keep the sun off them. They are so cute!! I'll post a picture here as soon as I get them from Cheryl! She was the QUEEN of photo taking yesterday!
After lunch, we took the kids to the waterpark! This was the HIT of the day! I don't have any photos but I will as soon as my friend emails them to me! It was AWESOME! My 4 year old conquered her fears of doing things by herself (going on a slide, getting her face wet, etc..) and my 2 year old conquered her fears of being splashed! I can't wait to update this post later today with PHOTOS!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

An artist in Paradise

This week's Studio Friday topic is 'Desert Island'.

"So imagine this:
You are going to live on this absolutely amazing island
with stunning surroundings, a white beach, magnificent trees,
waterfalls, no poisonous insect on it (hahaha, so no spiders
or ugly thingies)...it's a real paradise this island. Rich in
food and water as well, so no worries on that front either.

You are allowed to bring only three items from
your studio.
Now: what would they be and what would you do with them and what
do you imagine you might create????"

Wow... decisions decisions. This is a hard decision for a scrapbooker (well, for any artist, I'm sure!) I am assuming, since this IS a Paradise Island for artists, that batteries DO grow on trees? The 1st item I'll be bringing is my digital camera.

Why? Well, to document my stay there, of course! I plan to make my own paper out of palm leaves so I won't bring any with me. It's not too hard to make paper and if it's an island in paradise then it has plenty of trees and foliage. I can make adhesive out of tree sap or some other plant related goo.
The 2nd item I would bring would be my paper trimmer.

It could be a multi-functional tool so it's a useful one. I don't need my ribbon stash because on my ideal Paradise Island, there would be all sorts of fantastic ribbon plants! (ok folks, so I'm stretching it a bit but, if you're a scrapbooker then you know how terribly DIFFICULT this topic is!!)
I would use plant and flower extracts to create beautiful coloured inks so I'm leaving my ink pads home. And since I'm creating these beautiful inks, I won't need my pens because I'll simply fashion one out of a bird feather. I learned how to do this in grade school. Who knew such a skill would come to use!!
My 3rd item would be my sewing machine.

It has multi-uses and let's face it. I LOVE the stitching look on my scrapbooking layouts!
So there we have it, my 3 "must have" scrapbooking items. It's pretty funny because if I didn't sit down and think about this, I wouldn't have ever thought that I'd bring my sewing machine!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Washing-machine Woes

My 2 year old decided to 'help' with the laundry today. *sigh* When I went to grab stuff from her hamper in her room, she decided to toss into the washer, 3 diapers. Needless to say, I didn't NOTICE until the cycle was finished and I opened the lid................... what did I find??????????????????????
DIAPER SLUDGE (thank GOD they were NEW diapers and not used! GROSS!) You know that gel-type stuff that absorbs the moisture?? Well Eeeegads............ Umm it didn't quite hold up to an entire washing machine full of WATER! All of the clothes were COVERED in this, thick, slimy GEL! I about had a heart attack! Right now it's re-washing and I really hope it all comes off and doesn't harm the washing machine!!??
Does this look like a little devil to YOU?
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Monday, August 07, 2006

Traveling the blogsphere

Who could have known that becoming a 'blogger' would bring me to so many different places in the world. Through blogging I've travelled from the United States to Malaysia, over to China, Burma, Egypt, over to Turkey, Indonesia, Micronesia, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji over through Europe and back to my own cozy blog, right here in the USA. I've seen landmarks, ceremonies, theatrical events, weddings, births, deaths, celebrations and also hardships. I've touched and been touched by so many people that I never ever dreamed of! I did all that traveling without even leaving the comfort of my own chair. I look forward to many more travels ahead of me.
I love blogging. It's a sort of therapy for me. I can toss out my joys & frustrations and I can VENT and also just be silly.
I love seeing other people's views and takes on things. Being a member of several weekly prompt groups is another way that I get to travel around and experience various types of artwork and literary pieces.
Today I think I'll start by having afternoon Tea with a friend in Scotland and then hop over to Australia to scrapbook with a friend. Who knows, maybe I'll pop in to your neck of the woods for a little visit, too!

Friday, August 04, 2006

{Studio Friday}

This week's topic for Friday August 4th suggested by Anke: "YOUR CREATIVITY ROOTS!"

I have a pretty crafty family. I hadn't really taken the time to really sit down and think about that until today.
My mother is very creative. She's a talented writer and stained glass artist. She's got her own business and creates beautiful windows and intricate pieces.
My father was creative too, though he didn't tell anyone about it. He was a songwriter. He had several songs that he wanted to submit for publication but I think he procrastinated or feared rejection so they sat, unheard, under his bed.
I didn't inherit any fear of rejection. I'm an 'in your face' sort of personality. If ya don't like what I have to offer, I smile and go elsewhere. Rejection, to me, is a path to learning. I never have feared it. I guess I'm just weird?!
My paternal grandfather was a classical music composer. He composed hundreds and hundreds of pieces for pleasure and also for a local church. All of his music is safely preserved in his binders. I want, dearly, to have them someday! I hope that will happen!!
My paternal grandmother is a fiber-arts crafter. She knits and does needle point and crocheting.
My maternal granmother's craft was knitting and plastic canvas cross stitch and my maternal grandfather's craft is MUSIC and GOLF!
As far as inheriting creativity... I would imagine that we have inate abilities and that we do get traits from our ancestors.
A talent I have is music. If you hand me a musical instrument, I can play it. I have always been able to do this and it makes my cousin INSANE. MUHAHAHAHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I don't think I have a natural talent for paper arts (Scrapbooking). I think that's a learned experience. It doesn't always come easy for me and quite honest, I get frustrated more than not!
Maybe I get my writing bug from my mom? Not sure. All I know is that I've had it ever since I could write. I wrote my 1st story in 1st grade.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Hot, Hazy & Humid

The heat wave here has been insane. This area just isn't used to temperatures over 100. The heat-index was as high as 112 the other day. It's unbearable.
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The hardest part is having 2 toddlers who, desperately, want nothing more than to go outside. We've attempted it on brief occasions only to be weighed down by the hot heavy humidity. It's sad, the girls usually wind up crying because they are miserable so we wind up back inside where they get 'cabin fever' and act like circus monkeys.
When you walk out the door you are greeted by a slap in the face by a wall of heat and humidity. Think about a nice wool rug. Wet that wool rug in a pot of boiling water. Now immediately hang it up in your doorway and walk into it. That's what it feels like when we attempt to walk out the door.
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I went grocery shopping yesterday at 9AM. It was already 95 degrees by that time. When I got home, I started bringing in the bags and noticed that there were NO BIRDS around. I didn't SEE any nor did I HEAR any! It was really creepy. What I did hear were 100,000,000s of BUGS humming, chirring and buzzing. It was simply too hot for the birds to even be out. Even in the dead of Winter we have birds so I knew it was extreme.
The air looks blurry. There is soooooo much humidity that the air just hangs like wet muslin. It's like breathing in water. Totally gross. I am out there a few times a day watering the plants. They are suffering too. It's just a yucky, hot, humid, sweaty summer. (did I mention that I am NOT a Summer person?!)
It's 92 degrees already and it's only 8:34AM.
I know that there are a lot of places with higher temperatures; Texas, Arizona, Louisiana, Death Valley etc.. but this isn't those places. This is the North East.
They say today will be 104 with heat index skyrocketing past 110. Lovely. Even my dogs, who are usually exuberant about going outside, are lounging around, refusing to go out unless I press the issue. I guess it'll be yet another day, all cooped up with 2 crazed circus monkeys, riding out the heat wave.
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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Just my 2 Cents Worth {Sunday Scribblings}

The prompt atSunday Scribblings for this past Sunday was "My 2 Cents"
We are to take the prompts any way we wish and run with the idea. For me, this is what came to mind:

Can money buy happiness?
Obviously in the literal sense, money cannot 'purchase' happiness. BUT does having money make one happy?
Well I have thought about this a lot and I really think that having money versus not having money does make a difference in people's emotions.
Let's think towards the end of the month when we must sit and reflect on our finances. I really believe that ones who have a wicked struggle to get their bills paid will be a little less exuberant than those who get them paid without a fight.
Of course money does make a difference in the style of life that we live. Why are people afraid to admit that money does have something to do with happiness?
As Suze Orman says,
"But money does have a place at the table. If you don't have money to buy things, you're going to be very frustrated. It's just that simple"
I agree with her statement.
I do think that money is a major factor in our emotions. If we're constantly worried about making ends meet, there's little room to relax and take a deep breath.
As I 'watch' all the celebrities, I notice that they seem miserable. WHAT? Miserable with all that money? YES, MISERABLE for other reasons. They have nothing to look forward to. They have it all already. They have money; lots and lots of it but still, look at the covers of most celebrity magazines. The headlines are shouting out about how miserable they are. This is because everything to them is disposible, including relationships. Why is it that sooooo many celebrities simply cannot stay in a relationship for more than a few months to a few years? It's because of boredome. They have everything already so they want 'new, fresh exciting' in their lives and the only way to achieve this is by going out and starting a NEW relationship. Money cannot buy them a functional relationship. Many of them are spoiled because they have everything. They don't want to put forth effort to make a relationship work so to them, it's disposable. (this doesn't just go for celebritites!)
Money doesn't buy happiness but it sure does help in the big scheme of things!