Friday, January 30, 2009

Heart Paper Chains

A few posts ago, I showed you this packet of double-sided scrapbook paper I bought for a Valentine craft.

Look what I made with it!

Hearts, hearts and more hearts! Aren't they pretty? I cut the 12x12 inch scrapbook paper into one and a half and two inch strips.

I then folded the strips in half and looped over into a heart shape and secured with a glue stick. Next I cut one inch strips from the 12x12 paper and then cut those strips into eight inch pieces.

I then slipped this eight inch piece between two hearts and secured with a glue stick, making a chain of hearts looped together.

I usually make a chain of twenty hearts. Here is the finished heart paper chain hanging in the reception area window in the lobby of my office.

I have paper hearts all over the place. I am making chains for my mom, my mother-in-law and my swap partner . . . shhhsshhhh - whatever you do, don't tell Jayme !!!

It's an easy craft to make. You can sit and watch t.v. and make heart after heart after heart. The loops between each heart really make it much more attractive. You could attach the hearts to each other, but it lays so much nicer looped together with the eight inch strip. I love making them and I love looking at them, especially with the pretty scrapbook papers. I remember making paper chains as a kid. It's fun to do things now that bring back memories of sweet days gone by.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Valentine Tags Are Done!!!

What a weekend! I went to the movies and saw, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button", which was excellent, and I also saw, "Slumdog Millionaire", which was superbly phenomenal. Highly recommend both.

I also caught up on six (yes, six) episodes that I Tivo'd of Grey's Anatomy. And if that wasn't enough, Rachel sold Girl Scout cookies outside of Publix - what fun!! We (and I say "we" literally) have been in Girl Scouts since Rachel was five years old. We have sold LOTS of Girl Scout cookies.

Tonight I finally finished my Valentine Tag Book for my mom. I love it! In my last post I showed you the first four tags, front and back. Here are the fronts of the last three tags . . . Notice the embroidered "Mom" - done freehand . . . pretty cool, I must admit.

And here are the backs . . .

And one view of the finished product . . .

And another view, which I think looks better on the dark background . . .

These Valentine tags are for my mom, whose name is Esther, hence the "E" on the cover. I am very pleased with them and really felt it was such a fun project. I'm psyched! I can't wait to get them in the mail to her. I think my sweet mother will enjoy looking at all the pretties, just like her.

Now on to the next project . . .

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Valentine Tags

I have never made tags before. I actually never even knew about them. But . . . I am in love with making tags!! I heard about them when browsing blogs. Karla's Cottage is hosting a Valentine Tag Swap and while I did not participate, I have been inspired to create some of my own. I am going to make a book of six tags, so I am not yet finished, but I am so excited and wanted to share my newest creation. Now remember this is my first time making tags, but I don't think they're too bad. These will be for my mother for Valentine's Day. As she is my sweet mother, she loves anything I do - ah, there is nothing like a mother's love.

Here are the fronts . . .

And here are the backs . . .

I need to put holes in the top as I covered those up and I need to finish two more, but I am very happy with my results. What I really enjoy about this new craft is that you can be as creative as you want in the relatively small space you have to work with. I need to find additional embellishments, but I had such fun with what I had on hand. I will share the finished product, hopefully tomorrow night.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

State Soccer Tournament

We pretty much spent the day at the soccer field today as Rachel is in the AYSO State Soccer Tournament. Our first game was against West Palm Beach, a team we've played before. We didn't do too well, unfortunately. The division Rachel is in is under 19 and about half of the girls on the WPB team were 19 and freshmen in college. Many of the girls on Rachel's team are 16, but Rachel is 14 so there was a big age spread. Our girls played exceptionally well and really held their own, but the WPB team have played together since they were 10 years old and are very slick with their foot action and are very good. Our second game was against a team from Weston (Ft Lauderdale area). We gave them some real good competition, but they got us in the last quarter. It was discouraging, but our girls played great. Rachel was the optimist for the team and shared with her teammates a quote she recently heard, "You only lose if you don't try". And try they did. Two more games tomorrow, so wish them luck!!

I took Rachel and Logan for pizza after tonight's game. I so enjoyed sitting across from them, watching the interaction between the two children that I love with all my heart and soul. It's the little moments in life that are the most precious and I thank God every day for blessing me with two children that I am so very proud of and that I really enjoy spending time with.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Miracle on the Hudson

Can't say that I can think of anything to post about tonight that is more significant than the miracle that occured this afternoon on the Hudson River in New York City. I am just blown away by the heroism that took place with numerous people that were all in the same place at the same time. What can instill our faith in the kindness and compassion of our fellow citizens more than what happened today?

I am amazed at how the pilots, flight attendants and passengers all worked together, followed directions and did everything they were supposed to do and it worked! I am amazed at the speed of the rescue crews. I am amazed at the fact that the plane landed so gently in the water. I am amazed that the worst injury was two broken legs, which is dreadful for that individual, but my goodness!! This could have been an incredible fatality. Rescue crews prepare for this type of disaster on a regular basis. I am so impressed with each detail of this scenario and the incredible outcome. Our God is an awesome God!!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Winter in South Florida

Okay, I'm kinda feeling guilty now when I hear the weather reports from around the country. I cannot believe how cold it is all over. I live in South Florida and this is our most beautiful time of the year. But I did grow up in New Jersey and I even lived in Connecticut for a year so I know cold weather. I vividly remember scraping ice off my windshield, trudging through snow to my knees and being bundled up like a snowman and still freezing. I remember warming up my car before I got into it and driving sideways up snowcovered hilly roads. I remember chapped lips and changing out my summer and winter clothes. I remember being elated to see the crocuses popping their little heads through the remnants of snow and walking through the fallen leaves of red, orange and yellow in the crisp Fall air. I remember being snug inside away from the first winters chill with a pot of chili cooking on the stove. And I remember seeing the first snowflakes falling to the ground and the beauty of that first snowfall.

But I kinda have to admit that it is really nice to sleep with the windows open in January. It's nice to toss on a sweater in our 50 degree cold weather. It's nice to water my outdoor flowers at this time of year and marvel at the new buds that pop out so frequently. It's nice to sit at the beach and read a book, or go to the State Fair next weekend, or sit and watch my daughter's soccer tournament this Saturday.

So to all my friends throughout the land, when you are enjoying the weather this spring and summer that I am enjoying now, remember that I will be battening down the hatches to keep the hurricanes out. No matter where we live, there is always something, so I'm going to enjoy the moment because that is all I can do.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My Bucket List

Have you seen the movie, "The Bucket List"? I loved that movie. On Monday at work I received an email inquiring about my bucket list. I was requested to check off the items on the list that I have done and forward on to whomever. I found it quite interesting, when pondering after the fact, and wanted to share with you.

X Been to Europe
X Been on a cruise
X Gone on a blind date
X Skipped school
X Watched someone die
X Been to Canada
Been to Mexico
X Been to Florida
X Been on a plane
X Climbed a lighthouse
X Swam in the ocean
X Cried yourself to sleep
X Seen the cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C.
X Played cops and robbers
Flown a plane
Owned a boat
Watched grandchildren grow
Recently colored with crayons
Been to the Kentucky Derby
X Been to Key West
X Been to a rodeo
X Sang Karaoke
X Paid for a meal with coins only
X Done something you told yourself you wouldn't
X Make prank phone calls
X Laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose
X Caught a snowflake on your tongue
X Danced in the rain
X Written a letter to Santa Claus
X Been kissed under the mistletoe
X Watched the sunrise with someone
Seen the green flash at sunset
X Blown bubbles
X Gone ice-skating
X Gone to the movies
Owned a convertible
X Ever steal a traffic sign
Ever been to Hawaii
Ever been to Africa
X Ever eaten just cookies for dinner
X Ever been on t.v.
X Ever been in a car accident

I was quite impressed with my bucket list. A couple hours after I forwarded my bucket list onto others, I received one from someone that had never been kissed under the mistletoe, had never gone ice-skating or been to Washington, D.C. She never climbed a lighthouse or watched someone die or played cops and robbers. It then occurred to me that I earned my place in life. I was once where she was and I've done a lot of living since then and experienced lots of things. And I realized that I am proud of where my journey has taken me and look forward to what is yet to come. How is your bucket list looking?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Let Us Create

It is such fun to go to craft stores. I have a Joann's and a Michael's nearby and I just love going to find new things to craft with. I recently read in someone's blog about a type of ink they use and highly recommended. I hate to admit that I cannot remember where I read it so I apologize for not giving credit where credit is due. I've been searching for a little while for this particular type of ink and am thrilled that I found it today at Joann's. It is called Ranger Distress Ink and the "Vintage Photo" is apparently one to die for. I also picked up the "Tea Die" and just cannot wait to use both of them. They were $4.99 each, but on sale for 40% off!

I also picked up this pad of designer scrapbook paper that is double-sided. I have a very neat "thing" that Rachel and I will be making for our Vintage Valentine Swap partners, but hush . . . it's a secret. These papers will be perfect, but I can't show you the finished product, lest I spoil the surprise.

There are so many pretty pages . . .

There won't be any time to sit and craft this week until Thursday night. I'm so anxious to get started because I have so many ideas floating around in my head. I can't wait to get started!!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

This and That

I bought new cookware right after Christmas. I love it!!

This is a set from Farberware that is teflon-coated and oh so nice. The cabinet where I keep my cookware collects a little of this and a little of that so I am in the process of cleaning out because I certainly cannot put new cookware in a messy cabinet. I have some nice drawer liners that I'm going to use and I think I may actually paint the interior to really freshen it up. Mmm, what color? It's so much fun to revamp after the holidays and I'm having a wonderful time sprucing up my nest. I'll show you when I'm finished.

Can't believe the weekend is over already. I walked and walked and walked this weekend and I feel great! We found a new little place in our town, Peaceful Wetland Sanctuary. It is just beautiful. Unfortunately I did not have my camera with me, but Rachel did, of course, so here is one of hers. It is such a truly peaceful place to walk and enjoy nature's beauty.

Rachel and I received our Vintage Valentine Swap partners. This is our first swap, and we are very excited and anxious to put together special treasures. We found some cute things when out shopping on Saturday that will be just perfect and we've got some great ideas to craft. This will be such fun!!

Monday, January 5, 2009

One Day At A Time

For those of you that have healthy eating habits, one day at a time probably holds little significance to you when it comes to food. But for those of us that get hit right between the eyes with a snack attack in the afternoon, oh boy, does one day at a time hold much credence!! I made it through my first work day, since on Weight Watchers, without giving in to a snack attack. Yeah me!!! I guess I must get bored or restless around 3pm because that's when I always look for something sweet to munch on. Today I went for a walk and bought the newspaper, came back to my office and ate some blackberries and was VERY proud of myself.

When I got home from work, we ate a quick dinner and then it was out the door to get Rachel to soccer practice. My sister, Lisa, came with us and we went for another nice, brisk walk around Village Park. It felt great! And now I am happy that I stuck with it and didn't give in. You know it's the little things for some that may be big things for others and it's those darn choices we make. And now I'm going to put some glitter on the birdhouse I painted last night. Wait till you see it. It's so cute!!!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Back to Business

Felt this sunset at Okeeheelee Park in West Palm Beach was an appropriate depiction of the end of the holiday season and the return to work tomorrow. Rachel and I went earlier this evening on a photo shoot to the park and we both got some really incredible shots. It was a beautiful evening and the perfect end to a wonderful holiday season. I shot this with my new Nikon Cool Pix, which I love.

I love the optimism of a New Year. I feel so charged and capable of anything. I love daily meditation-type books. At the start of a New Year, I always try to start my favorite meditation books with the hope of reading daily throughout the year. I usually lose track somewhere along the line, but I'm off to a good start this year. I have two favorites. One is Grace Notes by Alexandra Stoddard. I keep that book on my desk at work and read it each morning before I start my workday.

My other favorite is called Journey to the Heart by Melody Beattie. The meditation for January 2nd was perfect, in my opinion. It is entitled, "Map Your Own Journey". I am all about our journey, as one can determine from the title of my blog. Each of us is on a unique, personal journey and no two are alike. We make our own decisions, walk in our own shoes, climb our own hills and bask in our own glory. We are each free to have the experiences our souls lead us to. We make good choices and we make bad ones, but they are ours and each is a significant part of our life's journey. It's not always the highlights of our lives that are significant, but all those little things in between that make us who we are.

As the sun goes down on another day, another year, another holiday season, I look with promise to the days that lie ahead in my journey. And off to work I go . . .

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Do You Decoupage?

I have not decoupaged anything in years, but I found some interesting things to decoupage at Michael's today and just had to get them. They are the prettiest embossed papers with such a nice variety of images both large and small.

Here's a closer look at some of the different images.

I have been in such a crafty mood lately and I feel so adventurous. I plan to sit and experiment tomorrow with this and some other things I've been accumulating to create something unique and beautiful!! I am feeling very inspired so let's see if I can create with my hands what I envision in my mind. What fun!!!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Read Your Own Books

When "surfing" blogs recently, I came across an interesting challenge that I decided to participate in. Read Your Own Books is a great opportunity to read some of the books that I've bought, but haven't yet read. While it is not required to create a list, I wanted an idea of what I was getting myself into. After perusing my bookshelves with pen in hand, I made a list of 58 books that I have not read. Wow! I have many other reference books, motivational books, decorating books and cookbooks that I have not read cover-to-cover, but I am not including them on my list. Novels only!! And I'm surprised (or chagrined) to say that I had doubles of two books!!! Those are first on my list, after I finish my current book. I also belong to a monthly book club. January's selection is "Pillars of the Earth" by Ken Follett. I have to finish that also.

Sounds like I'll be so busy reading, in addition to all of the other things I have to do like work, laundry, cleaning, etc., that hopefully I will steer clear of "snack-mode" so I can stay on track with Weight Watchers. My goal for "Read Your Own Books" is twenty books. Not sure if I can do it, but I'm going to give it my best shot. I love lists and it will be such fun to cross books off this list. If for nothing else, I'm sure I will meet more bloggers through this challenge and that is always a wonderful thing. Happy reading!!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

2009: A Year of Transformation

My transformation starts with my new blog banner. I love it! Each picture is a reflection of a part of me: the sunrise - the dawn of a new day, my journey along life's road, the beach that I love, Royal Albert Old Country Roses (my favorite china pattern), the beauty of a field of wildflowers and a photo of my bedroom dresser. I feel good when I see all of these pictures.

Today I sat in Barnes and Noble and read The Artful Blogger. It was wonderful! They say that your banner is what makes your blog and I've never had a banner so that is my first transformation. I joined Weight Watchers on Wednesday - my second transformation. I'm nervous about that one as it is probably the 3rd or 4th time I've joined, if that tells you anything.

I have learned so much from other bloggers recently. I have learned that I want to express myself more artistically. I love the blog "Mind Wide Open" which I found through Heirlooms and Joy to the Blog. My heart races when I see the posts on these blogs. I've also learned so much from Sherri's Reading Jubilee. There is a challenge that excites me - "Read Your Own Books". I need to go through the books I own and read those I've been holding on to, but haven't read. Probably a goal of 20 books is unrealistic, but that's what I'm going to shoot for.

I am sitting in my dining room right now, listening to Norah Jones, scattered candles burning throughout the house, my windchimes heralding me sweetly. I feel very peaceful and content and that is a wonderful way to start 2009 - my year of transformation. This year's journey will be significant - not that they all are not. I envision positive change this year and I am off to a good start.