Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Follow your dreams, even if you have to chase them.

Today is September 11th. A day to reflect, observe, honor and remember those who lost their lives on this date 12 years ago, and to support those who lost loved ones and colleagues in the terrorist attacks on our nation, and give thanks to those who served in the aftermath.

The title of my post is the result of my thoughts about my life and how I live it. I can't take credit for the idea. I saw it recently on the internet and I have not been able to get it out of my mind. To go about my days without direction or purpose is an insult to the memory of those who have gone before me --  my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, teachers, pastors, friends, and colleagues. They laid a foundation for me to build on.

This is not to say, I do things at every minute of my day with this in mind; however I am making a conscientious effort to keep an awareness of this as a daily habit. As my mother used to say, when she got into her 70's and 80's, "I have a lot more days behind me than I have ahead of me." It makes a whole lot more sense to me now that I am on the "other side" of 60.

Life is fragile. Life is unpredictable. I attended calling hours yesterday for a woman who I had known since I was in third grade. We went to school and church together. We were in several classes together until we were seniors. We played at each other's houses. Her parents and my parents were brave enough to host annual pajama parties for a lot of little girls from the time we were about 12 years old until we were 16 or so. Together, she and I ruined her mother's washing machine when we tried to die yards and yards of fabric to use as a backdrop for our Junior prom decorations. After our college years, we eventually lost touch with each other and that is something I regret.

I discovered yesterday that she was a quilter, like me. I never knew that. About a half dozen of her beautiful quilts were displayed around the room where calling hours were held. Having them in view must have been a comfort to her family while they greeted people in the long line that extended out the door. She made a quilt for each of her siblings, her children and her grandchildren. While making them, she could never have known that the day would come this soon in her life when they would be a lasting sign of her love and caring for each of them. She made the time, took the time, to create something lasting and beautiful for them.

Seeing the quilts around the room and hearing the stories about them from her family was a reminder to me that it is important to get to it, do the things I say I will do, make the things I say I will make, visit the people I say I will visit. The opportunities to do those things can change in the blink of an eye, which reminds me of another of my mother's often-made remarks. "The dishes can wait." She would say this when I asked her to take a ride with me after dinner. I am glad she would let the dishes wait to spend time with me. That is a memory I treasure. My mother valued time spent with me more than she did washing the supper dishes. Those times we spent together is the fabric,  our laughter and tears are the threads of the quilt she made for me.

When I was a kid, I was always making something out of bits and pieces of cardboard, paper, string, and cloth. My mother was so busy trying to keep house and make daily meals for our hired men on the farm, that she never had the time to create things, except beautiful floral bouquets from her gardens. I used to use up all the ink in my father's ball-point pens when I needed to borrow them from his desk drawer to decorate something. That is why a new PapeMate pen hung on the tree for me every year at Christmas!

I have not changed a lot over the years in regard to making things out of cardboard, paper, string and cloth! I made a harvest-theme mini album and covered box this past week. Below are some photo of it. I will be putting a video if it on YouTube later tonight. Tomorrow I will take it to the little shop where my things are sold.

 Painted and Covered Box

 Handmade Mini Album (Cover)
 Handmade Photo Mats, Tags, Booklets


I didn't know where this post would go when I sat down to write. I am feeling a little melancholy today. I am missing the simpler times of my childhood when we
  • didn't type on our phones, we talked on them.
  • went to visit someone face to face instead of facebooking them.
  • didn't shop on Sundays because the stores were closed and; instead, we spent time at home with our families. 
  • sat around the table for home-cooked meals instead of lounging in front of the TV with a take-out dinner.
  • wrote a letter to someone, instead of blogging to everyone.

Our lives are faster paced and full of activities these days. I like all the technology we have available to us. We all benefit from it in many ways. Yet, for me, it sometimes steals me away from my plans. I get drawn to email, the Internet, online shopping at any hour I choose, text messages, facebook, faxes and voice messages. I need to walk away from it and remember what I want to accomplish every day so I can follow my dreams . . . and chase them when I need to.

What I have learned:
How I choose to spend my days does make a difference, not only in my world, but in THE world.

What I want to learn:
How to find the balance I need to do the things on my To Do List

What I appreciate:
Today.Right Now.

What I want:
World Peace. Amen.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Labor Day Weekend 2013

I am having a home day, in fact, I have had pretty much a home weekend . . . and I am loving it! Fall is really on the way. A lot of leaves have fallen off our trees and by tomorrow it will be cooler and this humidity will go away. Whew! That will be a very good thing!

I have been in the studio off and on the past few days. I go in and paint something, leave and let it dry, then go back and do the next step a few hours later. I am kind of liking having that schedule. I have always admired people who did things in stages. I usually end up getting so absorbed that I can't pull myself away and end up doing a marathon. So, for me, this is growth!

Tomorrow will be a day to work in the cooler temps on the yard. My husband and I will be cutting back some of the overgrown bushes around the house. It was too hot most days we planned to do it this past week! Now we won't have that for an excuse.

I put a couple slide shows up on YouTube today. They are photos of the projects that I already posted videos on. I like the still photos a lot and maybe I will start adding those for all my projects. You can see each page a lot better in a photo. And, you don't have to listen to me talk! :-)  My videos do tend to get long, even when I try to make them short!

Here are a couple photos that I used in the video slide shows. They show the boxes, mini albums and some of the components inside.

This one is ABC Primer.
I used Graphic 45 specialty papers.

I am on the look out for more boxes like this.
If you know where I can get some, please let me know!

I made the mini album from scratch.
I cut the chipboard for the pages,
made the pocket pages,
and fussy cut the papers to fit the box & album pages.

I made the inserts, photo books,
little journaling booklets and tags
that I stained with various techniques.
You can view the little slide show at:
on my Studio Emmy YouTube channel.
There is another slide show there, too, that I posted today.
It is a Halloween mini album and gift box.
I used some really cool specialty scrap booking paper that is like kraft paper.
Here are a couple photos of it from the slide show:
The mini album and gift box.
The components inside the mini that are the embellishments.
The interior of the covered gift box and the mini inside.
I put some orange tissue paper underneath the mini album.
You can view it at:
I have more photos of another mini and gift box to make a video slide show on YouTube, but will do that another day. It is time to get on with a few other things before the day is over.
What I have learned:
I can work on projects in sections and not exhaust myself by working on something from beginning to end in one day or weekend!
What I want to learn:
How to divide my time up evenly between my studio, my home, and my real estate career . . . or at least how to balance them better!
What I appreciate:
All the people who support me in the various aspects of my life.
What I want:
World Peace. Amen