Sunday, October 28, 2012

Pass The Book - WINNER!

And the winner is...


I'll have Art Journaling in the mail to you by Wednesday (sooner if Hurricane Sandy permits!).

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Photo Walk - Part II

I want to thank everyone who left comments on my Presidential Politics post. I really appreciated the honest feedback and the subsequent email exchanges with a few of you!

And I need to remind everyone that I have a Pass The Book Year 2 up for grabs! Leave a comment on my post if you want to be added to the drawing.

Jay and I did a second walk at Peace Valley Park last weekend.  Went the other way around the lake and got so many fun photos that I ended up creating a companion page to the original page posted here.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Pass The Book

I've been hanging onto this book for waaaaaayyyy too long. I think I was secretly hoping that Melissa would forget all about it and it could just live with me forever.

Alas, the time has come for me to pass it on.  If you love looking at artsy art journaling, lots of gorgeous inspiration and color and technique, then please leave a comment letting me know you are interested and I'll choose a winner on Sunday. Maybe. If I don't conveniently forget again.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Presidential Politics - a question

I know that the title of this post will scare some away. But I'm not here to support a candidate, bash a candidate, espouse a particular view, or sway anyone to my way of thinking. So no worries.

I'm here to raise a question that will hopefully garner a few honest answers. You see, I am undecided. As in, truly torn. I believe strongly in exercising the right to vote, but I also feel the burden of making the right choice. I live in a "swing" state - one that could make a big difference in the final electoral college tally. Unfortunately, I don't have a Presidential candidate I can really believe in at this point. Neither has presented a seemingly workable plan to deal with our rising deficit, our unemployment rates, or our economy. Neither has given clear answers on foreign policy issues. And some answers regarding social policy frankly scare me.
layout is made from "Politics as Usual" kit by Penny Springman and I closely copied one of the inspirational layouts.
I know that some folks in other countries follow the U.S. elections very closely and have opinions about which candidate would be the better leader. So I'm wondering.... what is the consensus where you are? When the folks in your country weigh the good against the bad, who comes out on top and what are the driving factors?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Just A Quote For Friday

Photo of hawk taken during a walk around the block in our neighborhood. Very hard to get any detail when you are shooting up into the sky (into the sun)!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Photo Walk

The Scott Kelby Fifth Annual Worldwide Photo Walk was scheduled for Saturday, October 13, 2012.  Jay and I were signed up to participate in one in Bethlehem PA. But the weather on Saturday was a bit on the chilly side. We decided to go see Argo instead, and deferred our Photo Walk to Sunday. Which turned out to be a brilliant plan. The weather yesterday was FABULOUS, sunny and a balmy 71 degrees. We took a walk at Peace Valley Park and here are some of the photos we captured:

This layout was created using Krystal Hartley's "Thankfully" kit and Moriginal's Template #47 (altered).

Saturday, October 13, 2012

What's Up???

I've been disappointing myself lately with my total lack of non-meme type blog posts.  Seems I am rarely successful at more than the Friday quote, OLW blog hop, and Storytelling Sunday.  Which doesn't mean there is nothing going on in my life... quite the contrary, so many things I could potentially blog about that I don't know where to start!

First off, I'm still sick. Two weeks into this miserable cold, 10 days of antibiotics, and no sign that it is leaving anytime soon. Ugh. I shall persevere. It's definitely been messing with my mojo!

I've been playing with the Canon 60D more often lately. Yesterday's photo was one I caught in the late afternoon light. I walked into the kitchen to start dinner and saw this beautiful light falling on the hibiscus plant (that has just been moved indoors as we are now getting frost at night). So instead of starting dinner, I grabbed my camera! Good thing I didn't wait, five minutes later that light was gone.

I'm also signed up for a private version of LOAD this month, available only to members of the ScrapHappy community.  I did great for the first three days, then got sick and had too many days where I did not have the energy to attempt a layout.  Trying to get back into my groove now.  So I'll leave you with two of the layouts I've done recently:

This one of Becca is created with Krystal Hartley's "She's Got A Way" kit (sorry, no longer available) and the template is PencilLines Sketch #146.

This one of Rachel, finished just last night, is created with Krystal Hartley's "I Believe in Yesterday" kit which is on sale at 60% off (just $2.40!) until midnight on Monday. I used Katie Pertiet's "Your Beauty" layered template and the title is Chopin Script with a stroke outline. And thanks to One Direction for the title inspiration.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

For Deb

My Mom, Susanne Fancher Doughty, died on February 28, 1998 of renal cell cancer. She was 56 years old. At her funeral service, when the pastor delivered the eulogy, she said in part:
Quite a while back I took a group of teens to see the AIDS quilt project when it was here in the Elmira area. One block in particular from that massive quilt captivated my heart. It was a procession of penguins passing beneath a rainbow. Once the pudgy little black and white penguins went through the arch of the rainbow, they were transformed. No longer plain ole' black and white, they took on the colors of the rainbow. Blue and white, orange and white, purple and white penguins waddled under a banner that said "Just passin' through." That's what Sue's life has done for so many of you during the time she was "passing through." She transformed your lives giving them color and beauty and joy.
Yesterday Deb's Mom, Marti died from ovarian cancer. And I'm certain that the same could be said of Marti, that she transformed the lives of all she touched, giving them color and beauty and joy, during the time that she was passing through.

I know first-hand some of the feelings Deb is experiencing today. Relief that it is over, that her mother is no longer suffering. Gratitude that Marti made it to her 70th birthday, which was celebrated with extended family and friends. Sorrow and grief at the loss of someone who was such an integral part of your life. Numbness as you go through the motions of final arrangements, attending a service, saying good-bye, and ultimately comforting those who are trying to comfort you. Joy as you remember the good times and celebrate the life that was, that will carry on in your heart forever.

It is a lot to feel all at once, a dizzying heady mix of emotion that ultimately leaves you wrung out and exhausted. I'm almost shocked at how easy it is to recall exactly how I felt back then, 14 years ago, how quickly all of that can rise back to the surface. Today I'm wishing for Deb grace and strength and laughter and joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight. ~Kahlil Gibran

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Storytelling Sunday - Photography Love

Growing up, my Mom was always into photography. She would set up actual photo shoots with us kids, draping sheets for backdrops or trying to use natural light filtered through sheer curtains. I think she shot with a Nikon camera. In our apartment in Chicago, she even had a closet that she used as a dark room and she developed a lot of her own photos.

Because my eyelashes were so blonde, she would often put mascara on me just so they would show up in photos. And she would try to pose Deanna and I - only Deanna was a toddler and not much for posing or sitting still, so we have shot after shot of her squirming or frowning, obviously not into being a model for Mom.  But we also have shots like this:

Shots where you can clearly see how blonde I was, contrasted with Deanna's fiery copper red hair. Hair that I was so jealous of growing up! Her hair would hold a curl and could be styled in so many ways that my stick straight mane just couldn't... but I digress.  Here I am probably six years old and Deanna is two.  And I love that we have this shot of us (and several more) because our Mom was into photography as a hobby.

My own love for photography started as a teen. I'm pretty sure it was a natural offshoot of growing up around good cameras.  I don't know that I'll ever be much of a "people" photographer, but I love taking nature shots! And I'm finally playing with that Canon 60D that I got for my birthday. And I just wanted to take this opportunity on Storytelling Sunday to acknowledge the part my Mom played in my current obsession. Thanks Mom!  I just wish she were still around to teach me a thing or three.

This post is submitted in conjunction with Sian's Storytelling Sunday.  To read more stories, check out the links at Sian's blog.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Just A Quote For Friday

“Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.” 
― Lauren DeStefanoWither

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Hello October

In lieu of the "Hello Monday" posts, I'm thinking about going with a monthly format like this. Haven't fully committed yet... we'll see...

linking to Ali Edwards' "Around Here" post


Fighting a monster head cold/sinus infection that is making me feel like crap, has completely knocked me on my ass, and has me down for the count.

Feeling very guilty that I haven't been doing much blog commenting lately. To all my blog friends - I may not have the energy to comment, but I have been reading everything and thoroughly enjoying all your posts!

Reading Daring Greatly by Brene Brown (currently #1 on NYTimes advice Best Seller list) and Happier at Home (currently #7 on the same list) by Gretchen Rubin. I truly enjoy both of these authors and highly recommend their books (and no, these aren't affiliate links and I don't get anything for saying the books are good!).

Wearing sweaters. I haven't switched over the closet yet, but I know the time is coming soon!

Struggling to stay organized and caught up with all the various things I want to do.

Learning to use my Canon 60D camera. Yes, I finally got the DVD to work on my laptop yesterday and watched most of it!

Savoring the moments when I can truly see the leaps in growth and maturity of my daughters and enjoying the glimpses of the adults they are rapidly becoming.

Watching Autumn unfolding before my eyes.

Anticipating a quieter, more laid-back, stay-at-home kind of month.

Thinking about Christmas. Yes, already.

What is happening currently in your world?

Monday, October 1, 2012

One Little Word Blog Hop - October 1st Edition

Hello! Whether you arrived here from Monica's Blog as part of the One Little Word Blog Hop, or you are here because you love me and drop by regularly... Welcome! I love visitors! The One Little Word Blog Hop is a monthly hop run by Margie for members of Ali Edwards' One Little Word class over at Big Picture Classes. 

October's assignment from Ali was to choose a battle we wanted to fight or something we were celebrating and write about it.  I considered this carefully - I wasn't really prepared to fight any battles, but I was game for a challenge, so I changed the template slightly - here's what I wrote:

I loved painting the edges with watercolors and adding the washi tape and embellishments to fill the blank spot that didn't get filled with journaling. What a difference it made in an otherwise very simple template!

So I did get my camera out of the bag.  And I did load the DVD on my laptop and TRIED to play it.  I am not particularly computer savvy and can't for the life of me figure out why DVD's won't play on my laptop (and yes, it has a DVD player and 2 different DVD software programs installed).  In any event, I spent my free time on Friday trying to get the DVD to play, to no avail.  But I don't consider this a failed challenge!

Today I am home sick (called out of work) with a miserable head cold (sore throat, can't breathe, can't talk).  So once this post goes live, I am going to go watch at least one chapter of that DVD on our television, with my camera in hand!  I discovered that the DVD has like 50 chapters, so actually getting through it may take some time!

And here's my FOCUS tracker for September:
 It's easy to see that September wasn't a banner month for me.  Meditation, logging food, and classes definitely took a back seat to all the travel and other things going on. But that is life and it happens sometimes. October is looking a lot calmer so hopefully we'll see some improvement next month.

If you are following along for the One Little Word Blog Hop, your next stop is Ruth's Blog. If you get lost or a link is broken, you can come back here or go to Margie's blog to find your way.