Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Be Kind Wednesdays

So, I have I had this thing the past year, probably longer, for performing random acts of kindness. Not that I am some kind of saint, but I really feel we are deprived of it and it doesn't cost a thing.  I enjoy spreading it because it helps it grow within me when I do.

I think our world is so dark and full of suffering at times, we all muddle through the days with our worries and struggles.  Whether they are big (death of loved one, loss of a job, divorce) or small (got a parking ticket, kids not behaving, exhausted) ~ they are our own struggles and we all have them. I wanted to bring a bit of "bright" to total strangers hoping I would make their day memorable in a good way.

Anyway, I started a couple years ago buying breakfast, lunch, coffee, for the person in the drive thru line behind me.  And it made me feel good.  And, other than the one time where the drive through attendant thought I was hitting on her boyfriend because I was trying to buy him breakfast, the gesture was well-received. (I am not kidding!!)

My kids started getting in the habit of asking "are we buying for the person behind us today?"...I started realizing I was teaching them kindness.  Kindness without recognition.  Just pure random, "I want to bless you" kindness.  I really loved doing it and I loved that they were learning too.

I had this thought, that we ~ everyone in the world ~ should just practice kindness.  All the time.  Not just around the holidays, but regularly. So I am going to make this a weekly post about Kindness. I am not sure exactly what I will post about ~ but it will have to do with Kindness.  Perhaps I will share stories of kindness I observe, how I performed kindness, or a quote on kindness.  Anyway,  I would LOVE for you share what random act of kindness you did on this post or anything else that is inspiring kindness.  Be creative in your effort to show kindness! Help spread the kindness wave by re-posting or sharing this on your FB page, whatever. Let's start a Kindness Wave! Woot Woot!!

Need some ideas to get started?

- buy coffee for the person behind you in line
- leave a note on a windshield telling some one you hope their day is great
- pay a total stranger a compliment (ie: "I love that hat!")
- let some one in when merging (I personally think we should do this all the time...too much road rage)
- pay toll for person behind you
- rake yard for someone
- donate books to library
- read books to children at book store
- return shopping carts from parking lot
- bring Fire Department coffee and doughnuts or dinner
- write a letter thanking someone who made an impact in your life
- pump someone's gas for them (think of the cold weather, elderly, etc)
- pick up trash
- leave positive comments on different blogs
- leave a generous tip

I hope these help you get started! I look forward to sharing with you and hearing from you!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Creative Corner Inspiration

When friends or family look at my art, I am often asked the question, "how did you come up with that idea?" or "how did you do that?". The answer is, most often, I just let my creative flow go.  I think about 90% of the time I sit down to create, I have no idea what I am going to create.  I just start. Some times it is a great success, sometimes I hate it and paint over it later. I really never know exactly what I will do and even if I have an idea, it often turns out very different than what my mind imagined.

I am going to try and post regularly on a project I do ~ and take you through the steps so you too can try it at home.   I'm calling it Creative Corner Inspiration.  You get an inside peek into my creative little corner of my basement ~ my hole, where I make "stuff".  Maybe you will make something too and share it with me ~ I'd love to see what it inspires you to do.

Here is a little step-by-step photo collage of what I did yesterday. (Sorry in advance for poor quality of photos.  I took them with my camera phone.) I took a 8x10 canvas and ripped vintage wallpaper, inked them and glued them down like this.  Then I took a charcoal pencil and drew a sketch.

This weekend I had been perusing some magazines and was inspired by some mixed media art that showed funky houses and another piece with a romantic looking heart.  I guess that started my inspiration for this little drawing.  After the sketch was drawn, I began filling in the scene with paint, using stencils for interest.

I continued to do layers of paint, leaving the heart mostly the original wallpapers showing through.

After I filled in and got the look I wanted, I added details and texture with burlap, old ribbon, words and metal hardware. I reinforced charcoal lines and sprayed a fixative over it to seal everything.

Here is the finished piece. Easy peasy.

I guess I was feeling like a home body this weekend.  Home IS the nicest word! :)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Pure Heaven.

Got my baby fix this week.  Sweet baby Alexandra came into this world at the beginning of the year and I finally got to spend some time rocking that cute little peanut.  Inhaling all her infant smell.  Listening to her coos.  Holding her sweet little self against my chest.   Touching her tiny fingers and hands. An entire human being in my arms.  Just perfect.


Thanks for sharing her Kassie! :)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Friday Night Lights...sort of.

Tonight we went to the IHS basketball game to watch our daughter represent the sophomore class in the school's "Coming Home" court.  She got ready with her friend Grace and was escorted by her friend Shahil.  Five minutes of woot woot and picture taking by her mom in the front of the gym! :) love you sweet girl!

Grace & Sarah.

Sarah & Shahil.

Friday, January 25, 2013


Last week was a crazy busy week, but a great crazy.  My sweet friend Michelle and her daughter came to visit us from Ohio.  They used to live here, became best buddies (me & Michelle)  (Sarah & Amber), then they moved away last May.  It's not often you find a friend who is "true"...there for you in all things, wipe tears, tell you what you don't want to hear, pray for you and with you, laugh so hard with that you feel like you did 1000 crunches -kind of friend. That's what we are together.

So they came in Wednesday and stayed through the weekend.  The girls had tickets to THE HOTTEST concert in Nashville this weekend ~ I am talking about Justin Bieber of course. So we had some fun playing downtown and searching for the perfect cup of coffee!

We did a little shopping.  The girls were picking out stuff that reminded us of the things we wore in the 80s....down to the ripped jean vests! :) I kept singing Madonna songs while they modeled their clothes. Ha!

Just me and Amber using our WonderTwin powers. :)

Hanging in my kitchen.

Glam girls being silly and entertaining.

Just total glam all around.  Faces and wardrobe. :) 

Taught Michelle how to knit and got her started on a potato chip swirl scarf. So therapeutic too.

Sigh. It went too fast.  Miss these gals already! 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


(a note to my little tribe of readers...these past two posts were scheduled to publish and didn't...not sure why ~ user error probably!! Anyway, they are not timely but still heart felt)

As winter break comes to a close, we had a good long day of "quality family time" and celebrated Vince's birthday.

Started the day discovering a HUGE...I mean GINORMOUS mess in my art studio.  One of the dogs had ripped open the plastic bag of garbage and it was ALL over the floor.  Needless to say I was not too happy.  And how do you find the guilty culprit when you have two dogs?  Well, how about the one with paint and glitter all over herself??

She even had it on her paws.  Now, I kind of laugh at her because it's like she is wearing the "scarlet letter" on her face announcing her guilt for all to see, but she is kind of oblivious to it.  Good thing I love this dog!

Then off to the bowling alley for some fun.  Since there was a 45 minute wait for the lanes, we killed some time in the arcade. I love skeeball and I destroyed my family.  That's my score on the right. :)

Then we played some basketball which I am not so good at but I actually won the first match! Beginners luck. I lost every one after that, but it was fun!

A little bit of air hockey.  I am pretty sure that 90% of the goals I made were "own goals". Ha!

Then off to the lanes, where Ben entertained with his "creative rolls"; I celebrated with fun dances; Vince smoked us with his strikes and Sarah cringed from all our embarrassing antics!

Rushed home to watch the Sooner game...well as much as you can rush in this traffic.

Then presents, cake (my homemade Double Chocolate Torte) and some football watching. No update on the game. It wasn't pretty.

I don't know why but I love pictures of people blowing out their candles.  No, they typically aren't flattering, but it is in that exact moment they are wishing for something good.  It is a little magical to me!

Happy wishes to you all this week!

Sunday, January 6, 2013


Woke up this morning with a raging migraine. I actually went to bed with it, slept terribly and woke up with it.  I wasn't sure if I was getting the flu or a head cold or just a migraine.  I took a warm bath, popped a few Execdrin Migraine (those are the bomb) and crawled back in bed.  I woke up like a new person!

Today is our day to host Sunday dinner (we alternate with my brother's family), so I prepped the food, made a pie, had the kids help with salad and dishes.  I was enjoying my mellow Sunday mix on my Bose system and walked out on our deck. It was warm!  Like finally not freezing, no cold wind, warm.

I put the cushions in a chair and assumed the position of a serious loafer.  Sweatpants. Check.  Slippers. Check.  Mellow mix of James Taylor, Neil Young, John Denver, and Elton John. Check.

Here I am.

And I was sitting here, I was overcome with PURE gratitude.  Like a crazy, big, fat, warm hug from God kind of gratitude.  I was thinking to myself, He knew I didn't feel great ~ headache gone.  He knew I was in a funk because of the gray blahs of January and he gave me this AWESOME sunny moment to just chill.  I closed my eyes and let the sun warm my cheeks.  It was pure bliss.

As I was enjoying the moment, the sun slipped behind a cloud and it instantly grew chilly. I opened my eyes, as if to say "what the heck?".  And then it slipped right out from behind that cloud and immediately resumed warming. This little moment made me think.  When things are going great in our world we are pleased as punch, and we have our eyes closed to God.  But as soon as we start to face challenges and storms, we immediately open our eyes and think/say, "hey ~ where are you God?".  But He is ALWAYS there.  We just let the crappy "clouds" of our life (the temporary setbacks, the bad days, the disappointments) block our faith to KNOWing God is always there.

Makes me think of the verse:  "Be still and KNOW I am God."

I hope you have a pure bliss, full of gratitude, kind of day!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

January Blahs

I  have to admit January is by far my least favorite month.

There is no fabulous holiday...unless you consider New Year's a fabulous holiday and I don't.  I almost never go out. It's just not my scene.  Plus my dog has a little freak fest all night while people shoot off fireworks.

My husband insists on making black-eyed peas that cook all day and make my house stink like sewer full of dirty diapers. (We have since compromised that he cook them in a crockpot in the garage) Now after 20 years together I have learned to like them, but I definitely don't love them and I eat them only once a year.  I can honestly say they have never brought me good luck, because statistically I have had as many good years as I have bad ones.  But I eat them anyway because it makes him happy (and I don't have to smell them).

The weather in January is cold and gray. Blah.  I don't like either. Everything looks dead.

Football season is over.  I really love to watch college football (the Gators and the Sooners) and unless they are in the championship or a bowl game, the season is pretty much over.

I always feel this pressure to make resolutions, clean, and fix everything wrong in my life. I spend lots of time crafting lists and then by May I am depressed because I have done little or nothing on said lists.

To make things worse, January has an extra day.  I really think it should take notes from February and follow suit.

I was feeling especially cold and blah today...dreaming of the beach so I painted this little scene. (It's only a 4x4 canvas).

Now I think I'll go back to bed and dream about waking up somewhere warm and sunny!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Hello 2013

I have no idea how the last half of 2012 slipped by so fast, and I know people say it all the time, but I think this past year we really were moving at warp speed.  I mean Christmas didn't even seem to come at the right time of the year. So I am hoping that 2013 brings a little more sanity and normal pace to my life.

I haven't made any New Year resolutions or written down any goals.  Not that I don't have any floating around in my crazy mind, I do, but I want to carefully select what I do this year. I want to say "no" to things that don't align with my values.  For example, I would love to grow my art and photography business where I can write a check for my mortgage and pay it off (lol!!) but does that really fit with the things I value: such as spending more time with my kids especially as they grow older and will be leaving home in a blink of an eye?  So, what things will I say "yes" to and where will I draw the line? I am not sure and I am sure much of it will be decided by a higher power than myself!

Speaking of art... I spent much of New Year's Eve painting.  In fact, most of the day I jammed to some tunes in the solitude of my basement "studio" letting my intuitive side take over.  I had started a couple canvases in October after taking a wonderful online class from Flora Bowley.  However they were pushed to the side the past two months.  Flora teaches you to let your inhibitions go...which I have to admit is very hard for me at times because I am so "type A" in other facets of my life. But I admit, it feels soooo good!

Here is the first phase of my painting:

Then it turned into this (at this point I really thought maybe a fish diving into water or a tree):

After New Year's Eve, it was looking like this:

Here are some close ups:

I think I am in LoVe....with her.  She is how I would like to see me in 2013. (who chuckled when I said that?!!)  She is full of ideas, creativity, love, passion, imagination, strength, wonder, joy, and openness. Although she isn't quite finished, I love her because she is a reflection of how I feel and who I hope to be.  I hope you see her in me this year!

Would love to hear your vision for 2013!