Wednesday, December 31, 2008

What's A Girl To Do?

Well here I am on New Years Eve. Jim just left to do a security shift at the hospital he works at. This isn't usual for him but these days with the regular staff hours cut to save money the salaried boss has to help out. Let's just hope for a nice calm night.

Besides that, this being the start of the new year I want to tell you about a site you might like and since I am just sitting here I thought I would tell you about it. The site is Goal For It.If you want to set goals for yourself and be able to track progress this place can help you out. You define your goal and then you can break it down into steps and track your progress. You can choose to get community support or keep it all private. I have made some decisions about what I want to happen with my crafty life and have set up some charts for myself.

For families with kids you can find organizing help for tasks and chores. Kids goals are always private. You can set up a chart for each child, assign days of the week for things to get done and more. When a task is done there are virtual stickers to put on the charts. There is an easy to set up point system with the kids charts and the kids can collect their points in a piggy bank. You can customize the points system by setting up rewards when certain goals are reached. Too bad I raised my kids mostly in the pre internet days!

Would you like to know more about this handy site? Video demonstrations for the adult goals section as well as setting up kids charts and how they work are available. Registrations is easy and the site is free to use. I found the site easy to use and maybe you will use and enjoy it too.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Just Saying

Merry Christmas to all!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Letting Go

We made the choice to let go of our 13 yr. old companion today.
He was just tired and weak. He had given up eating over the weekend as if he had made the choice for himself.
Patches will be missed. He was a good dog!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

It is their own fault

I heard in my previous post comments that Tammy did not like her picture. When you get reactions like this one when you take them what can you expect?
Happy Birthday whether you like it or not!

My Oldest

Today my oldest child has a birthday. Tammy is over 30 whether she admits it or not. I just won't say how much. She is a busy mom of two and sells Avon products as well. In the new year it seems very likely that they will be moving to a new home so she has lots of organizing and planning to do from now right on into January. Glad it is not me.

Like my other daughter this one won't stand still for pictures either. This was taken the day we celebrated Kaycee's birthday at her home.
Anyway, happy birthday! I really do hope you have a wonderful day!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Where in the World

No I am not talking about Carmen San Diego. Does anyone remember that computer game and later tv show besides me?

Actually Jim has asked me a couple times if I could choose a destination any where in the world, where would I like to go for a dream vacation. Gemini that I am I have answered differently every time he has asked.

There are places we have been that I would love to return to and explore further. One such place that I would return to is Calgary, Canada. We were there a few years ago during the Stampede and it was so much fun.

There are other places that I have never been to that I imagine would be wonderful to visit. What comes to mind right now are Australia or Ireland. You might notice a trend of English speaking countries here. I mean no disrepect to other places but I have a fear of getting lost in a place where I can't make myself understood. Silly I know but that is just me.

Penny pincher that I am you can bet that when the time comes to actually decide on a destination and go I will be looking for the best travel deals I can find.

What is your dream destination?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Support for Artists

If we, citizens, do not support our artists, then we sacrifice our imagination in the altar of crude reality and we end up believing in nothing and having worthless dreams.
-Yann Martel-

While I don't have any illusions about being an artist or for that matter an artisan ( call myself a crafter who does needlework) I have a presence on several sites that are filled with artists. Most of them would tell you that they are driven to create whether you buy their items or not. But my question to you is, why miss out?

Looking around our home the other night Jim and I noticed that our favorite things are those that come from someone's hands. We have a couple pieces of pottery bought on trips. I have a beautiful quilt bought in Pennsylvania. We have glass hand blown after the artist listened to our ideas on color and general shape. We have prints of watercolors from places we have been done by local artists. All of these mean so much more to us than doodads and knickknacks that were mass produced and fill our lives with maybe useful but intended to be disposable stuff.

If you are looking for handmade in any form to fill your holidays there are 4 sites I would recommend you take a look at.
  • Etsy - the biggest marketplace there is. It can be overwhelming but the things available in all types of arts at all kinds of price ranges are amazing.
  • Silkfair - not just handmade but a crafts section is there with the work of some folks that is worth a look.
  • Shop Handmade - a fairly new site. This site has some ties to green projects like planting trees. The magnifying feature makes it easier than on some sites to examine what you are condidering for purchase.
  • Art Fire - just getting started. It looks as if many artists that were on or are on Etsy are represented here. Because of the smaller size which I don't expect to continue much longer, getting to feel like you can see it all is part of the fun.

Consider handmade for the holidays and afterwords in your everyday life. It will make you feel good, kind of like having this shawl wrapped around your shoulders on a snowy night at home. Trust me on this.

Always Slow

I am usually a bit behind the curve in keeping up with books and movies. It has been out for awhile and last night I started reading Life of Pi by Yann Martel.
One sentence stood out to me in the author's notes and I want to share it with you.
If we, citizens, do not support our artists, then we sacrifice our imagination in the altar of crude reality and we end up believing in nothing and having worthless dreams.
Let me tell you that I am definitely not a fan of crude reality! I want to believe as I stitch my way through another project of one kind or another that I can do a small bit to make this world cozier.

What about you? Feel free to respond to Yann Martel's statement in the comments. I would love to hear from you.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Decorating and Gifts

In our house the major focus of Christmas decorating in years past has been the Christmas tree. For a very long time it was always a real tree. The trip to buy it was a family affair and a couple of those trips were to more than one tree lot until the tree we all liked was found.

Eventually we bought an artificial tree. It is huge! It is maybe 7 feet tall and very full. It looks gorgeous when it is all lit and has the ornaments on it. Being down here in Arizona we are not hosting the big family Christmas anymore and it does not seem worth it to do it all up just for Jim and I.

I don't want to let the season slip by without doing something however. Two easy ways to add some seasonal decor are with wreathes and centerpieces. Even with his long hours we have dinner together every night and I like to set a pretty table.

There are some people we buy gifts for that have every thing they want or need. Giving them something fresh and beautiful or sweet and yummy maybe in a Christmas gift basket is one way to let them know they are remembered and cherished this time of year. I think choosing these type of gifts is part of the holiday fun and I always enjoy it.

Monday, December 8, 2008

A Recent Purchase

Actually this has been my only purchase on Etsy so far and I am so pleased with it. I bought a calendar for next year from Lauren Alexander. The image above shows the art I will get to see each month. I just love it! If you would like to see more of this artist's work clicking on the mini shop below will take you there! Now go shopping!

For the New Year

I love calendars however I usually just end up hanging a free one from some business and scribble things I need to remember on it. I realized that list making and calendar notes were taking up too much of my time. I will have one and only one calendar online and I have decided to do away with lists except for the grocery store. I know what I need to do and making a list is just a distraction from getting things done.

For the past little while I have been working on images and spreadsheets and making plans for how to run multiple shops and keep it all together. I think I have things pretty well set up. So now things can run smoothly or I will be the best organized failure on the planet.

Enough whining. I really want to share a shop with you. You see I still wanted a calendar to look at and I found a very nice one. It was in Lauren Alexander's shop. The art is charming and it has no room for wasting time writing notes that I would really pay no attention to anyway.
Take a look at her shop. I think you will like it too.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

My Work

A Slide Show of Some of my Work.
I was just playing around with my Windows Live Space and made a slide show. Do you think that there will ever come a day when you like all things in one place. With blogs some features I like here on blogger and I like some of the features of Live Spaces.
It is the same with my shops. Each site has something I like and something I don't. I will say right now that the places with the administration the listens to its customers the most are Art Fire and Silkfair.
But of course that is one silly old woman's opinion.

Beauty for the Holidays

I wanted to share a shop with you today that can help you with your holiday shopping. So many people love handcrafted bath products and this shop is amazing. If you shop here you can give a bit of luxury that will definitely be appreciated by the recipient.

The shop is Spotted Cow Soaps and her beautiful soaps, bath fizzies, lotions and scrubs come to you from her hands and home in Vermont. There is a section of soaps for the guys, and no it is not on a rope, as well as Christmas products to brighten the season.

Ready to go shopping? To get to this shop just use any link in the post or click on any of the pictures in the graphic below. Happy shopping!

Friday, December 5, 2008

For Your Tree

I always wanted to have a tree full of this type of ornament. They are so beautiful. I found a shop on Art Fire that has about a dozen different ones. If you like them like I do you will want to take a look at Dancing Wind Designs.

Poinsettias of Course!

For me the first flower that comes to mind when I think of winter are poinsettias. I love the delicacy of the pointed petals and leaves. The colors they come in are beautiful too and go from a creamy white to deep red.

PV Creations

As a child I don't remember ever seeing them until we moved to California from Kansas when I was about 8. The house we lived in had one on the backyard. This was not some potted plant to set out and look pretty. It was a 6 or 7 foot tall bush! I remember as a kid breaking off small branches to see the milky sap that came out.

Clinging Images

I buy one or two potted ones every year hoping to keep them going until the next Christmas but I don't have much luck. If any one has any tip for growing these lovely flowers please leave me a comment.

If you like the visuals I used for this post the pictures are linked to the shops I found them in. Just click!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

New Look

I have been selling or at least occupying a bit of cyber space with that intention for a couple years now. Over that time I have lost track of how many times I have changed avatars and banners. I am not a graphic artist or a fantastic photographer but I try. I kept trying out fonts and graphics to create a look and as soon as I was done with a new design I knew I would just live with it for awhile and change again later.

This morning enjoying the sunshine and a cup of coffee I looked across the yard and spotted a bird peeking from the leaves on a bush we have. I watched for a bit before it hit me that this was the type of image I was looking for! I went to get the camera and the bird ducked back in among the leaves. When I returned I had to wait a bit before it peeked out again. I didn't try to get too close being afraid it would duck back in and not come out. I shot lots of pictures hoping that without a tripod they would come out okay.It worked. I now have an image that is my own. No copying of anyone else and I think that it fits my cozy life theme. This is one of the photos I worked with and if you follow the links to my shops using the widgets on the right you can see how I used it. I also used it as a header for this blog and my other blog. Look around at how I used it and give me some feedback if you are willing and have some time. I guess that (the time part) is a bit of a joke for all of us these days, huh?

For Kaycee

One of the events included in our Thanksgiving trip to Utah was celebrating a birthday. Our oldest granddaughter turns 11 today and we had an early celebration while Grandpa and Grandma were around. We all got together on Friday (Black Friday) and went bowling and then back to the house for cake and ice cream. It was a fun day!So on your real birthday Kaycee I want to wish you all the best!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Could Be

The results could be me. Maybe I messed up on the closet question because mine is organized and messy. Take the quick quiz and see how you are labeled.

Your Personality is Very Rare (INTP)

Your personality type is goofy, imaginative, relaxed, and brilliant.

Only about 4% of all people have your personality, including 2% of all women and 6% of all men

You are Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking, and Perceiving.

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