Sunday, March 13, 2011

Help Japan

Amazing Ashley of Lil' Blue Boo is donating 100% of the sales of her patterns between now and midnight of 3/14/2011 to Mercy Corps to help the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

This is a great time to purchase Ashley's super cute patterns and also know that your donating funds to a very worthy cause.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Simple Abundance {a much needed attitude adjustment}

You may have noticed a new button on my blog. It's the Picture Inspiration button. Picture Inspiration is a class I'm taking through Big Picture Classes. In addition to a series of weekly prompts that are intended to inspire class participants to pick up our cameras and start shooting, there is also a message board and a gallery to share our images. The class is hosted by Tracey Clark. If you've never heard of her, then chances are you've never heard of Shutter Sisters, either. You need to check out both of those sites if you have any interest in photography at all. Anyway, in Tracey's welcome to us, she discussed an inspiration tool box. This is basically the things that we surround ourselves with that offer inspiration for photography and creativity. The book Simple Abundance is part of Tracey's inspirational toolbox. I've owned this book for over 11 years.

I first discovered this book in my early years as a social worker. One of my mentors used it often in her personal life and in helping the women she worked with find balance. My mom gave me the book as a gift the first Christmas after I got married. At that time, I was in my mid-twenties. While I was certainly a mature 20-something, I didn't really "get' the book at that time. I might have thought I did. But, I was never motivated to get past the first few pages of this book of daily devotions, inspirational quotes and prompts for introspection.

Over the past 11 yrs I've moved that book from bookshelf to moving box to bookshelf to moving box as we've moved numerous times. I've picked it up periodically and flipped through the pages searching for something. But again, never quite grasped the message and was never motiviated to move beyond those first few pages.

Well, I'm now in a very different place than I was the first time I held that book. As a wife of 11 yrs, a mother of an almost 5 yr old, and a social worker who's experienced beyond my years, I find myself feeling like something is missing. I've had a few particularly challenging weeks recently. I can point to a few things in my work life or personal life that are stressful but at the same time, I just feel like I'm in an overall "funk". Ultimately, I feel burnt out. I'm exhausted, irritable and simply a little sad. Well, last Friday night, I was feeling particularly down, and I decided I didn't want to spend my weekend being a grump. That wouldn't be fun for anyone. I was suddenly reminded of Tracey's mention of Simple Abundance, in that moment I decided to soak in a hot tub filled with bubbles and delve into this book of Simple Abundance once more.

This book and it's message is exactly what I need right now. The premise of this book is that women are often depressed (on some level) because of a denial of their authentic self. Sound a little too out there? Well, think about it. When we walk around each day, as women, as mothers, as employees and we spend most of our days caring for others and doing things that are not in line with our own heart's desires, and we don't draw on our own talents, we are denying our authentic self.

(click image to enlarge)

There are principles and exercises in this book that are aimed at revealing our authentic selves and teaching ways to live authentically. I'm still only a few pages into the book, but the reason I put it down this time, wasn't because of lack of interest. Quite the opposite, actually. I wanted some time to digest the words. I wanted time to purchase or create a journal to be used as my companion as I embark on this journey.

Now, I don't mean to come off as all melancholy. Trust me, I'm OK. I'm not going to run away or quit my job or file for divorce (my marriage is quite good!). I just know I could be more OK, more "me". I know who I am (I think) and I know what I want (I think), but there's a disconnect between who I am, what I want and what I'm actually living. I need to find more balance and bring more of what I want into my life.

(I realize this is a little "deeper" subject matter than I usually discuss on this blog, but I think that may be part of the issue. I love blogging, I love crafting, I love posting photos, but I also really want to "keep it real", so I just might get a little deeper sometimes. Don't worry I'll still post super cute crafty tutorials and pics of my adorable daughter ;) )

So, I'm sure some of you can relate to all of this. Anyone want to let me know I'm not alone? Have any of you read Simple Abundance? I'd love to know your thoughts.

Pot of Paper Daisies Tutorial

Potted Paper Flowers

Check out the Crafts Unleashed blog today for my Pot of Paper Daisies Tutorial.

Happy (almost) Spring!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

More Weekend Photos...

I wish weekends were longer than 2 days...

Monday, March 7, 2011

Mom's Lucky Charm Scrapbook Page Featured!

What a great way to start my Monday! I just found out my recent scrapbook layout was featured on the Core'dinations blog! I absolutely love the Core'dinations cardstock and I'm so pleased that my page was featured! Also, I've got another Core'dinations project posting at Crafts Unleashed later this week. You can get a peek at the project in my tutorial of how to make a paper daisy.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, March 6, 2011


I had a much needed relaxing weekend. A time to reconnect with my family and with myself. While my job as a social worker is very rewarding, it also requires diligent self-care. If I don't take the time to tend to myself, then I'm no good to anyone else. Pretty good words to live by for anyone. So, I spent this weekend tending to myself; doing things that are good for my soul. My camera is good for my soul. I've learned a lot about photography by playing with my camera this weekend. I've got plans to share the little lessons I've learned about photography since I bought my DSLR, so I hope it's not too long before I'm able to share my resources, links and inspiration with you. Until then, I share a few of my shots I captured this weekend.

Hubby is an avid golfer and Taylor's been watching golf on TV since she was born. She's been asking when Daddy's going to take her golfing pretty much since she could talk. Well, strong willed, independent, high energy, and short attention span, are not characteristics that combine to create a good golf student. So, we had held off on exposing her to the actual game until we were convinced she would have the patience to listen to instruction. Golf is taken very seriously in our household. Lucky for her, today was that day, and Daddy took her to a nearby driving range.

This last shot is my favorite from the whole weekend. She did really, really well. She listened to Daddy the whole time. No arguing and was very focused. In looking back at the shots, Daddy is quite impressed with her form, too. She was just disappointed that she didn't get to ride in the golf cart.

I had a great weekend. Hope you did, too!