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8.31.2006

Farm Market Flower


Outside at Outlook Farm, Westhampton, Massachusetts

An amazing shot just by co-inky-dinky. In other words, when I downloaded it off the digital camera I was like -- wow, I took that? I used an edge distresser by Heidi Swapp {from MemoryWorks} and sand paper to give the edges a "shabby" appearance. One of my scrappin buddies says, "I like how you cropped that" Yea. I have learned that it's better to crop while you are taking the shot. I have seen way nicer results on the photos. This will end up being a photo-note card or part of a set for summer notecards that I am working on.

side note about edge distressers -- I loved trying this out, always thought I'd mess up the photo. Monday night I learned that Stampin' Up is now offering a handy-sized 4-in-1 tool that includes an edge distressor, scoring tool, cutter blade, and a perforating tool. The thinks you can think with that little tool easily found by your side. Someone asked the demonstrator if you could travel with it --- Although she said yes, bec it's all enclosed, I would probably guess not- though I could be wrong. I wonder about the knife/blade part in there. But it's still a cool tool. I want one now.

8.29.2006

Back Home Postcard


I hated to leave the lake house and yet couldn't wait to get back to my computer.... I worked on a photo collage of our trip out to Massachusetts.
I planned on using it for a postcard -- but will use in our
"vacation pages" scrapbook too.

8.17.2006

Could it be any cuter?



We are doing things to get ready for back to school and for our trip out to visit friends in Massachusetts.

Yesterday was mommy and daughter night out {as she called it} We went for haircuts and then some shopping mommy/daughter style. I have to laugh because we are such girls. We came back with:

hairbands
barretts
lip gloss
hair color {for me}
glossy folders with polkadots for school
nail polish
hair shine spray and leave in conditioner {for all those morning snarls}
and a my little pony dvd {at once realizing where this shopping trip was going, I had to put down my "Eight Below" dvd. sigh. cute man in a parka}

so essentially, hair and makeup and a cute girl-flick.

This was the conversation prior to leaving the house for our cuts.

I don't want to get my hair cut, I want long hair!
We are going to get a trim.
what's that? No.
Its where you just cut a little bit to get your style evened out.
I don't want short hair!
You won't have short hair.
Are you getting your hair cut?
yes.
I don't want to get short hair!
They only do long hair. They won't cut short hair if you don't want it that way.
They don't do short hair?
Nope.
Only long?
yes. I am getting my hair medium cut.
you are? okay. But I only want long hair.

It was an exhausting car ride. Flips through a kid-cut magazine only made things more confusing. In all 1.5 inches were cut off making for a happy girl and happy mom.

Mine was a different story -- about 3 or 4 inches cut. Sounds drastic I know but really it had just grown sooo long those three to four inches were really already dead probably. feels better. shoulder length feels different, lighter. I still need to fight the urge to put it back in a pony-tail.


Going to get back to packing the family up, but had to just post one day this week at least.

Also,

Who knew getting a rubber stamp set {actually 3!} in the mail could squelsh a stressful evening with the kids. It did. It always helps to get creative and draw/paint/or stamp something. I had no idea what I would be getting as my "free" gift was going to be so mini & cute. It almost got lost in the packaging of tissue paper and bigger sets. I looked at it, and after thinking "wait, this is it?" I followed it with...

"could it be any cuter?"

I'm always surprised that it can get everyone so happy, Art Therapy...my seven year old son gets really into stamping all the shapes and images. I love that he gets into it. Last night it was just him and I. And those times are so nice. If only for a little time, then he's off teasing his sister or building some giga-giagantic lego/starwars/bionicle ship.

so on the back of the invoice we practiced.....he thought they were " little surf boards" {good idea} then I showed him what else it could make..he says "cool"

I love when online companies send you your stuff and there is a handwritten note...."Thanks" they wrote in real ink. I think that's cool. Somewhere in the big wide universe of the internet {Nebraska I think} someone put my mommy-diversion-kit together and wrote thanks. As we enter all our info on websites and message boards and we get so used to the electronic connections, never meeting in person, but feeling like we know each other so well, it is so refreshing to be greeted all of a sudden with a familiar handwritten"thanks!"

8.11.2006

Handwriting Fonts




Creating....loving it and making such a beautiful mess with all the pretty paper and tools.




















and..your own handwriting and doodles can be fun...see....I encourage scrapper friends to use their own handwriting - it makes it so unique. But, I still collect all the free fonts I can get my hands on. Creating Keepsakes just offered two free fonts from two of their designers {you have to go to the website and message board} and they are beautiful! They're handwriting fonts!

Fun with journaling strips and Blue Princess

You know, I could work on those cards and such all day. Wish I could work like this all day. But a sink full of yucky dishes has been waiting.....

I had a creative bug a few days in a row, loved working on the journaling strips this way, I had never tried it. But have seen it in all the scrapbooking/paper craft magazines, a million places. Always seemed like it might take too long but actually it was fun...its all about how your feeling when you sit down with all the tools and the creative juices start flowing. It also reminds me of the magnetic poetry words. This week I also found out that the company that makes the magnetic poetry also now offers them as rubber stamp sets. Know what my next online purchase is????

We've had a good week, in that its no longer a gazillion degrees out. 30 degrees less than last week is what the weather man said. Wow. 72 feels wonderful.

In the "funny things kids say.." department:

There's this six year old girl here who happens to like to play dress up, who happens to like wearing a blue princess crown this week. Everywhere. This week she wore it to her playdates, our trip to the grocery store, the beach, the soccer picnic and who knows where else...It is blue and sparkley, and glitzy, and glamed up with all things shimmery. The women at the grocery store said "happy birthday honey" {its not her birthday} she says "its not my birthday, I'm blue princess." Oh, okay.

I had heard her proclaim that she was blue princess one day but I didn't know she was going to carry through all week. I would have taken a picture had I know the blue princess was only going to last one week. As is the case today there has been no sign of the blue princess. I must have had something to do with encouraging the color because on Sunday of this week, she was wearing something blue. This shade of blue is hers. She looks so beautiful in it. The browns of her eyes and hair and soft tan of her skin look great matched with it. So I say "Blue is your color sweetie, that looks so good on you." Since then only blue garments are getting the nod. In fact there was a whole separation of blue v.s. other colors in the clothes department this week. Now there is a pile of pink purple yellow and red in her room. These are unapproved blue princess colors. White is okay, I'm told. One day she comes out wearing a {blue} houndstooth pattern skirt with a {of course, blue} striped shirt. Both the same shade of this wonderful robin's egg/turquoisesy blue. She has alot of it already in her stash, I had just never noticed it. I comment that the combo doesn't quite "go" together. She says back {while tossing her hair and walking down the hallway} "Blue princess wears what she wants."
hmmmm?


And overheard in the car while sitting next to the youngest....."I'm glad that I have a baby brother like you {news to us} because little sisters can be so naggy." This gets my husband and I to glance quietly at each other, he mouths "write it down" to me. I look behind to the way back row in the mini van at older sibling, big brother, he has a quizzical look peering over the seat. She pretends to be completely oblivious to our jaws dropping and sighs as she looks out the van window.

one word d-r-a-m-a.

8.07.2006

A pony ride and Brain Age



Something I've been working on all week, a digital layout of our first pony ride.

She is still smiling about this ride two weeks later. Thank you God for ponies. Thank you for that smile on that little face.

I loved playing and creating this. Loved the pretty paper kit from www.digitalfreebies.com and the flourishes and swirls designs from www.scrapartist.com

We just had a one week mini-vacation, just here at home. Did the beach and some parks for the kids. Been keeping busy with soduko. I know now why its addicting.....It all started out slowly, but then I downloaded a puzzle to my desktop {this was waaaaaaaaaaay more fun than doing it on paper} then I was buying some games for the "kids" and I found a Nintendo DS version. Now I'm hooked. My son says, "mom, you're playing with the DS too much." Hey, isn't that supposed to be my line? The DS version comes on a game cartridge named "Brain Age."

Supposedly, you are to train your brain to keep it healthy and sharp. This is not a new idea, but the game comes with puzzles and quick math problems to solve that actually make it fun. Brain Age comes with a mini science lesson about how the brain works. The puzzles and questions are designed to "activate the prefrontal cortex" of our brains and make them work harder and stay sharp. I was glad to see that reading out loud is actually one of those activities that help with that, I do that all the time. {I figured I was golden.} I mentioned the prefrontal cortex thing to my husband {who hadn't really tried the game yet} and he just gave me a weird look, then made a dirty-boy comment about activating his prefrontal.

The game software is a little humorous too. After a brain age check I did a few days after starting my "training" the computer image of a talking head comes on and types "...your brain is very tired..." then the next day, after I tanked on some math problems {man, I didn't realize remembering my math tables could be so hard?!?!} the talking head says "...your brain is asking for help..." very funny. I keep asking my hubby if he has gotten the same message and he says no. I think he's covering up. Being that a 20 brain age score is the best, you are supposed to keep up the training to get close to that goal. My first attempt about a week and a half ago was a very poor 70. Yikes! And for those of us that tend to get a little competitive with games and scores {ahem, not me, really} it makes you work harder cause it records your "brain age" right there on the screen and then saves your file. Whoa. No way I was going to stay on file with a 70! Naturally, you do the puzzles enough and you start to get the hang of it and your memory improves considerably. By the other day I was up to 54, then 41. The head comes on and says "...you are such a trooper...you are much closer to your actual age...." and then something about an "old brain." Niiiice. I finally reached my personal best at 24 on Friday. Try taking a swipe at me now talking head...I got a "...you are doing well, might almost beat me..." huh? Anyway, a fun game to pass the idle time {not that I have that much} and the soduko is fun.

8.02.2006

A sad week for journaling

Its been a down kind of week. I find it hard to want to journal or even log into check email and such. I have never figured out why but I just find it hard to write about things that are making me sad. I like to stay upbeat and positive, as a way to remind myself of all that is good around me. That is being thrown out the window today.

I have journaled for a long time, privately, at least, but blogging is different -- for me its been more about exploring a creative side that has long been "at rest." If I think back to times that have been tough -- I did journal quite a bit about the things that effected me. I also have a tendency to summarize the "unsettling things"in my blog entries into categories, like a list. So I think I do this so its down on paper and off my mind and that I have explored {at least a little} the reasons for feeling sad. Then I move on. I admit I like to skim over those sad thoughts quickly.

Keeping a journal is a good way to explore why you are feeling a certain way -- by doing such you are supposed to help yourself get over what is troubling you, by doing such you are making yourself look deep into what really matters and what is good in your life. But you know life just happens sometimes, that there is no getting better, its just about getting over it in the best way you can. In the most positive way you can. Coping with changes and sadnesses that enter into our lives is just in fact, part of life itself. So I love this part. And hate this part.

Not sure when it started, but I can totally categorize it into "losing people in our lives" mostly. Its been going on in my head for several weeks now.

A close friend's Dad not doing well, and in his last few days. I can't imagine that last troubling week for her and her family. These are things I have never had to go through in my own family yet. Receiving the communication from her this week that he had passed on early in the week made me feel sad all over again. For her, for them, for all that have to go through losing a loved one. A sort of relief for her that his painful time is over. But pain that she has to struggle through more grief at losing a parent. I keep her in my thoughts.

The news of killing and fighting overseas. Any of it. All of it. Why children? Why? What those families are going through no one should. I keep them in my thoughts.

The news of a kindergartener in our district with an inoperable, stem cell brain tumor. The email says P.U.S.H. Pray Until Something Happens...
"Her tumor is inoperable and resisting treatment. Her days are numbered, ..." She is the same age as my kindergartener going into first grade. Today is Alyssa's birthday. She turns six. Happy sweet birthday little Alyssa!! You deserve so much more time. Your mommy and daddy deserve to have so much more time. Can't even imagine having to face the prospect of losing one of my children. Can't even imagine. I keep the family in my thoughts.

All of sudden I get a rush of warmth to my cheeks and tears in my eyes. I can't wrap myself around the thought of not having one of my babies. I realize why I write their stories. Why I jot down silly words. Why I keep the pictures and drawings, even the not so adorable ones, near my bed, in my purse, in books, in albums, in random places. Because there is no random space in my heart. All space is taken by the love and bonds that exsist.

~M