Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A Year Of Kindness - Challenge Week 39

Back in Challenge Week 32 I asked you to consider donating school/office supplies to schools or other charities that collect them for disadvantaged students. Today I got my letter from Pennridge FISH, indicating that through the donations made by myself and others, they were able to provide nearly 250 filled backpacks to needy children in the area. That feedback just makes me feel warm and fuzzy all over!

This week, the challenge is similar, but with a slightly different angle. This week I am asking you to consider donating art supplies - you know, those unused, no-longer-needed, excess, taking-up-space items that are preventing you from finding the stuff you really want to use!  If you are anything like me, a regular purge of scrapbooking and other art-related supplies is a must.  I try to find "good homes" for the items that no longer serve me. If you know another scrapbooker or knitter or mixed media artist who can use the goodies that are no longer serving you, that's awesome - a RAK (Random Act of Kindness) toward that person is one way to donate art supplies.

Another is to consider donating  them to places such as daycare centers, schools, hospitals, retirement centers, nursing homes, homeless shelters, art therapy centers and the like. These institutions generally run on limited budgets and are always grateful for supplies to keep their students, patients, and clients happy and engaged.  Check locally around you - likely there are lots of places that would be grateful for your donation.
Still stumped? A quick google search will net you dozens of places to send those supplies. Two that I found today that captured my imagination:

Handyhandsreflections.org  accepts donations of scrapbooking supplies which they use to create and donate personalized memory albums for loved ones experiencing end of life.  They have a few testimonials of the types of albums and situations that they have provided for.

Scrappdx.org is a "thrift shop" for artists, crafters, teachers, parents and DIY-ers.  Their mission is to facilitate creative reuse of crafting materials of all kinds. They accept donations and then resell the items at very low prices to those who use them in crafting.  In doing so, they keep tons of "stuff" from ending up in landfills. Check out their seriously cool website!

While these are U.S. based organizations, I'm sure my international readers can find similar organizations closer to home. Finding a charity that you feel good about helping out can ease the discomfort of letting go of those scrapbooking supplies!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Scavenger Hunt 5 - the final few

 #3 Birds On a Wire.  What, you can't see them?  They are almost dead center in the photo, below the traffic lights facing the other direction, on the wire stretching between the top edge of the hotel and the street light.  Roughly a dozen of them. I would show you zoomed in, but all you'd see is pixellated blobs. I saw them clear as day sitting at this traffic light. Unfortunately, my iPhone did not.

 So I give you this shot, taken for me by Jay on Saturday morning. Seriously, birds on a wire has become a running joke when we are in the car. So he saw this driving himself to work and snapped the photo for me.

#6. An urban street scene. The streets of Washington D.C. as taken in front of the Thai Restaurant that Sarah and I were visiting for dinner on Friday night.
#7. A rural landscape. Shot from the Bloomsburg University campus. A great view of the valley and the rolling hills of Pennsylvania.

Which leaves me with #10, the photo bomb:
The view of the Oprah Live the Life You Want Weekend event from the nosebleed section of the Verizon Center in Washington D.C.  Seriously, I got vertigo the first time we went up to our seats and turned around toward the stage. It is kind of terrifying. Oprah looked like an ant on that stage. And I'm not really sure this counts as a photo bomb, but I was trying to get the crowd seated and didn't expect all these people to be popping up in their seats.  In any event, I did get both alternates, so I'm calling it good!

Monday, September 22, 2014

A Year of Kindness - Challenge Week 38

So how did you TREAT yourself last week?  My weekend with Sarah (and her work friend Chad) at the Oprah Live the Life You Want weekend event was, in a word, phenomenal! Very uplifting and empowering. Lots of great things to mull over and implement in my life in the coming weeks. Wish I had the time to be more specific, but I'm sneaking this in before heading off to California. In fact, when this posts, I'll be boarding a plane...

One thing that everyone who reads this blog has in common is that we are a creative lot. From scrapbooking to knitting, mixed media to writing, photography to book making, this common thread binds us all.  This week's challenge is to REACH OUT to an artist who has influenced or inspired you - famous or not, it doesn't matter - and just say thank you. Let them know that their work has made a difference in your life. Everyone loves to know that what they are doing matters. That it touches others in one way or another. So pick someone and let them know!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Scavenger Hunt - 4 Playing Catch Up

It has been awhile since I've posted any Scavenger Hunt photos. So here goes...

#2 - A garden gnome.  I've been on the look-out for one of these guys since forever June. And never saw one. Well, as it turns out, he wasn't visible from the street. This little guy is on the porch of the house directly across the street from me! And I would have never known had I not been outside taking a photo of a hot air balloon and discussing the Scavenger Hunt with my next door neighbor.

#12 A Mascot. I am not a sports fan and don't get to games. So when we went to Bloomsburg last Friday to take Rachel & Becca out to lunch for their 21st birthday (yes, my babies are 21... YIKES!) I asked them to take me to the bookstore so I could get this photo.

#14 - A Parade.... of college students on the Bloomsburg campus. Which is apparently as close to a parade as I'm going to get this Summer!

#18  A Waterfall.  This was taken in Putnam CT. Jay and I went to "Mystic Country" over Labor Day weekend to visit antique shops. I was so happy to find this... not just one waterfall... if you look closely you can count at least five different spots that have water tumbling down!

#20 A Bus with a picture painted on it.  I have come to the conclusion that buses here in the northeastern United States are BORING! Most of them have the name of the bus company and a few stripes painted down the side. That's it. No pictures. We did spot this one on the drive to Connecticut and I managed to snap a picture from the passenger seat.

Alternative A - A Hot Air Balloon. Believe it or not, this photo was taken from my front yard. I was sitting at my computer when I heard the sound of the balloon. So I grabbed my camera (this is one of only a few not taken on the iPhone!) and headed outside. It was almost sunset. This balloon was riding so low, it skimmed the top of the trees and went right over my roof! I suspect they ended up landing in the soccer field behind the grocery store. My next door neighbor was also out taking pictures. I told her about the Scavenger Hunt. And that is when I learned our neighbor across the street had a gnome.
Alternative B - A Bird House.  Found this one this past weekend when Jay and I were at an antique store up in Allentown (no, I didn't buy it - took the photo in the store). Love the weathered look and the faucet handles as perches!

Which leaves me needing an urban street scene, a rural landscape, a photo bomb, and the ever elusive birds on wire...  I have been seeing birds on wires lately... always when I am driving and always on roadways where there is NO PLACE to pull over. Never out on a walk in my own neighborhood. That would be too easy, right? I'll be right down to the last minute getting these last few photos in! With my travel schedule, I will probably have to post my last few (IF I can get them) via iPhone to Facebook!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Life Tunes 4

Well, it is September 17th and that means I'm already two days late with the 4th installment of Life Tunes! (sorry).  This month's suggested theme is dance tunes. What is the one song guaranteed to get your toes tapping, hips shaking, body moving?  Here is my layout:

The layout was created with Krystal Hartley's latest kit "Soundtrack". The terrible photo is actually of my sister Deanna and I dancing to "YMCA" at a Convention, back in the days when I was in the scrapbook biz... but it is the only photo I could find of me dancing... and I had to ask the friend who took it for it! Guess I don't dance all that much...

Now it's YOUR turn to share your favorite dance tune.  You can create a layout, write a blog post, or share a link to a YouTube video. The linky will remain open until the end of the month, so you have plenty of time to join in!

A Year of Kindness - Challenge Week 37

I hope that last week you all had an opportunity to practice kindness by being nice to someone who annoys you. I had a few opportunities and was glad to take advantage of them and flex my patience muscles... those muscles still need some good work-outs... they tend to get flabby when I'm not paying close attention!

This week we are turning the tables back to ourselves - your challenge - TREAT YOURSELF.

Whether you give yourself a spa day, buy yourself some flowers, take yourself on a photo walk, gift yourself with time to be creative.... whatever you choose... just do something for yourself that will help you refill your own well.

I'm heading on a train to D.C. on Friday morning. Spending two days with my girl Sarah and going to see the "Oprah Live The Life You Want" weekend. I hope to come back inspired and full of energy.  Because I'm home for ONE day before I turn around and hop a plane to California for a work conference. I already feel as though I've been scarce on my blog and it is because September is proving to be a crazy month. Sarah was home the first weekend. I put her on the train on Monday afternoon, cleaned up the guest room on Tuesday, and picked my mother up from the airport on Wednesday. She was here through Saturday. And I feel like I am still trying to catch up with my own life while preparing for this next round of travel.  I'm pretty much gone for the rest of September!  So if you don't see me posting much or commenting on your blogs, that is why. Busy girl!

Monday, September 8, 2014

A Year Of Kindness - Challenge Week 36

This week I'm asking you to practice kindness by being kind to someone who annoys you. Give them extra attention and support. It can be so easy to turn away from or react adversely towards those who may most need your kindness when their behavior is less than pleasant. This is an opportunity to really hone your kindness skills and step outside of your natural reaction. See if you can turn them around with kindness!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Coming Soon - Life Tunes 4!

Last month in Life Tunes we considered beloved songs from a movie soundtrack.  Feels Like Home To Me is still playing in my mind on repeat!  

This month, for the 4th of our 6 Life Tunes, my suggested theme is your favorite dance song.  What is the one song that is guaranteed to get you out of your seat and on the dance floor? Or if you aren't into dancing, what is the one that you can't help but tap your toes to???  I challenge you not just to name that tune, but to provide a photo of yourself dancing!   This month I'll be creating a layout about this song:

No doubt about it, I was a child of the 70's!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

One Thing Leads To Another - Contest Winner

I honestly had to chuckle at the guesses that were coming in on the number of layouts in my 4.5" pile.  To those of my blog friends unitiated in a print of a digital layout - it is the same thickness as a photograph, just 12x12 (or whatever size you print at).  

So to help you out... a box of 100 sheets of photo paper (including packaging) measures 3/4 of an inch.  

Yes, the guesses were woefully low.

The total number of pages in that stack...


.... was....



(drum roll please)...  *********************************************


******************************  TA DA!!!!


Which means my winner is Karen!  Kudos Karen - I'll take care of the prize later this week.

A Year of Kindness - Challenge Week 35

I'm running late again. Jay and I were away for the long weekend and I'm still catching up on both life and sleep!

This week's challenge is to ACKNOWLEDGE VOLUNTEER WORKERS in your community. Take a tray of cookies to your volunteer fire fighters. Write a note of thanks to local groups that help in some way to make your community or environment a better place to live.  These unsung everyday heroes should be celebrated.  I am sure they would like to know that their efforts are making a difference and are appreciated