February 29, 2008

My Love of British Robins

If you read my last post, you know I am a big bird watcher. Not as much now as I used to be, with my girls in tow, but when we are somewhere new everyone does take time to let Mama get some new ones for her life list. I know one day they will want to join along as well. You should have seen them when we were in Japan, pointing to birds to see if I had seen it yet.
When I lived in Wales, I would go about constantly with my bird book in my backpack pack and some binoculars to see. If I was on the train I had to keep my eyes peeled so that I could capture that new bird for my list.
My friends were very understanding of this, although they did kid me about it sometimes. I mean, I was only in my twenties and I don't think it is a common "sport" for people that age.
One day, my friend Gavin and I were walking along the canal in Llangollen. A beautiful little spot in Wales. I mean seriously, the beauty there is so different and hypnotizing. I can't wait to visit again one day. It was the perfect time of day for bird watching, late afternoon, all of the blue tits and others jumping about for their dinner. I noticed a little bird that flew into a tall bush. I popped my head in, and instead of the little bird hopping away from me, it hopped towards me. It was a a tiny British Robin, nothing at all like the stuck up ones here in the states. This one was so sweet but stood it's ground as well. It just looked at me and hopped about like I wasn't even there. I fell in love instantly!
So naturally, I love images of British Robins and during the past couple of years have started a search for just that. It really wouldn't be nice for me to capture one and bring it home, so images are what I really need to "catch". There is a whole series of pottery in the UK by an artist that paints all of these British birds. I must acquire some of it, if I could only find some that didn't cost a small fortune.

This is an old cigarette trading card that I won on ebay last year. Yes, you heard me right, a cigarette trading card. I didn't even know they existed and come to find out they have all sorts of these, sports, various people and animals, etc. etc.
The kind person that I won it from included the stamp as well. I was so excited. The artificial bird is one that I just recently won on ebay. I didn't' care what I had to pay, I HAD to have this little guy. Luckily I didn't have to go on a huge bidding war.

These are some beautiful die cuts that I just acquired from a website and I just went through every sheet they had and clicked "add to cart" when I saw one of my little friends.

I also have a collection within the madness of files of images on my computer. There are lots of web sites that have free images, and some people have taken some amazing pics and posted them for those of us who live in the states and can't take their own.

A Vintage Card

One purchased from a collage sheet.

Another Ebay Find

Purchased Collage Sheet

Purchased Collage CD

I actually found this one here in my own city in Tennessee. I couldn't believe it and let out the loudest gasp. I almost gave the owner a heart attack.

Above is one of the many that my amazing friend Carolyn sent me. And that isn't what makes her amazing, it is just one of the many thoughtful things she has done for me. She has a beautiful heart. She lives in England and I really hope to meet in person one day.

At the time, when she sent me this wonderful card, she didn't know how obsessed I was with these little cuties. Imagine the smile on my face when I opened this up.

Recently, Carolyn sent me this REAL picture taken of the Arc de Triumph. You just have to zoom in on it and take a look at the cars that are driving around the round about, that my father and I almost got killed on while visiting. WARNING - Please use the underground pathway to the Arc, DO NOT try to cross the street. Results could be fatal!

I love this picture so much, and I am so thankful that she actually gave it to me. I mean, how sweet is that! And to make it even better she included this playing card that she had with my little buddy on it. I was literally in tears with joy. THANK YOU SO MUCH CAROLYN! YOU ARE SO WONDERFUL!

So, most know, I am obsessed with Paris as well. This is a real photo postcard that I just won on ebay. I just love how you can see the Arc de Triumph in the background with all of the roads leading to it. Fabulous shot!

A wonderful altered image by the great Carolyn!

She sent me both of these as well (above card and below image).

Guess Who?

Tell me the above shot couldn't be published in a book. Carolyn is an amazing photographer. You should check out her work on her blog http://magpie-pixie.blogspot.com/. She has an eye for capturing an image so beautifully. Above is a picture that she took while having a weekend away. I was so happy when she sent this image to me of their daily visitor.

I have never posted a picture of myself on my blog. But this is just too funny. Carolyn had sent me this picture and I somehow managed to paste a picture of my head near it and "painted" in my body on my computer. I think it looks hilarious so I hope that you enjoy a giggle from this. And for many of you, now you know what I look like. Well, my face and hair. Uh, that's not my real body, LOL!

So, if your in Great Britain, and you see my friend the robin, please blow it a kiss for me and say hello. Hope you enjoyed my collection!

Have a great weekend and may you and yours have good health! The flu and all sorts of other yuck is still going on here. My oldest is sick again and lots of schools are still closed this week.

P.S. Does anyone know why I suddenly can't get any of my post to space in between paragraphs? It is really driving me crazy & any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

February 28, 2008

A Little Snow Can Be So Magical

For many of you, like my friend Abbie, the snow we had yesterday would be a welcomed event. Yes, snow, a welcomed event for some of you that are practically trapped in your home because the snow is so deep. I couldn't imagine!
Right as I was taking my oldest to school yesterday, the snow began. This is a sight that we don't really see in my neck of the woods. We used to get a good snow yearly, but that seemed to end a year or so after we had the blizzard of "93". This event, for many of you, would be nothing at all to deal with. But for the folks here, we were all trapped. We aren't used to huge amounts of snow. I was stuck in my house for days, all alone, but thankfully had electricity, food, and water. It was that event that really turned me into a huge bird watcher. I was fascinated by the variety of birds at my feeders and have held onto that ever since. I couldn't even tell you how many I have on my "life list" at this point, from all around the world.
Any who, if a flurry of snow even falls, my girls are fascinated. They are suddenly swept away to a magical land full of excitement. "Mommy, it's snowing, it's snowing! Wake up, look at the snow!" I love the feel of the air as it begins to snow and the way the sunlight looks so different filtering through the clouds.
It was so cold, I could not open my car doors because they were frozen shut. I had to open the back of my van and crawl to the front. Just a crazy start to my day when my husband is gone on a business trip. Oddly, he is in Montana and it is warmer there then here in Tennessee. In fact, it just now reached 30 degrees.
I thought of Abbie as I took these pictures because I know it will give her a good laugh. That poor girl has was too much snow.
Here I go, down the road on our snowy adventure....

The girls stared out the window in awe of the white beauty falling from the sky...

The roads actually started to freeze up a bit. I probably shouldn't have had my camera in hand, but believe it or not I did have both hands on the steering wheel. I know Abbie, this is NOTHING compared to what you get. Can you believe this starts an excited panic here?

View out of my rolled up window. I love the back roads that I take to get to the school. I suddenly feel like I live out in the country. That's how it is here. One minute your stuck in traffic on the interstate, take an exit, drive down a couple of roads and here you are.

I stare at this house every time I go past it. I would love to have an old home on some land. That is my dream, down the road, when the girls are in college.

Is this not the cutest, little buggy boots in the snow with pjs. My youngest was still in her pajamas when we left, actually, so was I. I usually sleep in sweats when I know I am doing the morning commute because I can just pop on a coat and no one even sees me. Raise of hands, you know you have done that too.

Yippee! Look at the snow! I'm gonna throw some at mommy! I know Abbie, it's only a dusting and something you would probably really like to see. Sherry probably would too being the Canadian that she is. Lot's of snow in her area too!

Um, how many pictures have I posted now of the trees in my backyard? I just love them though, except for when they fall on our car. Watching the snow drift down and the feeling of the air as I watch it fall, guess it is magical to me as well.

Coco's first steps in the snow. He really didn't know what to think, especially when it really started to come down.

It's cool when it falls all over the trampoline and you can jump on it. Just watch out cause it can get a little slippery!

The blue sky always follows though. It was gone almost as soon as it came. It wasn't the snow I wanted for my girls, just the one of the year to play, make snow angels, ride a sled, but it was still magical for them. I know they will always hold the memory of the snowy morning, the way the snow felt as it fell on their face and the way they could pick it up and toss it. And as usual, I captured the entire moment on film, well, a digital camera but you get the point.

I hope that you enjoyed my snowy adventure and I also hope that the weather today, for you, is exactly the way you want it! Enjoy the moment and your day!

February 26, 2008

Sneak Peak For Val

Here is a little round robin sneak peak for Val at http://wanderlustnpixiedust.typepad.com/. I wrote earlier about a round robin that we are doing together along with the talented
Priscilla from http://www.fleamarketqueen.blogspot.com/ and Maria from http://thejunkkdrawer.blogspot.com/. I altered four pages in her book.

I have really enjoyed this event and feel like I have really grown as an "artists". Funny how I am still self conscious and don't feel like I have earned the title yet. I have seen so many talented people here in blog land that have really inspired me.
On another note, Abbie over at http://damseldesigns.blogspot.com/ is really yearning for spring. Of course, she lives in New Hampshire and seems to be surrounded by snow on a continuous basis.
I have been telling Abbie that I would love to have just one good snow this year for my girls to play in but it doesn't happen where we are located in Tennessee. We used to get a couple of good snows a year a decade or more ago, but not anymore. The weather has just been extra weird this year.
Day before yesterday, it was so warm and pretty outside. I actually drove with the window part way down. For the first time, I actually yearned for spring. I am sick of this freezing one day, warm the next, and the crazy winds we have been having. I thought to myself, "Cool, maybe it is spring time". Next thing I know, I get an alert that we are under a winter weather advisory and that tonight and tomorrow the temps with these crazy winds will be in the teens. I was so irritated that I felt like I was having an Abbie moment. Be sure to check out the survey on her blog and cast your vote.
Everyone, go outside with your shakers and do a dance for spring! Or at least a dance for the weather to stay either cold or hot. So, sleep well, and stay warm, or cool, or whatever the weather is deciding to do in your neck of the woods tonight!

February 24, 2008

Creative Therapy

Having a blog and my etsy shop have really changed my life for the better. I feel more complete now, like I have more purpose. Don't get me wrong, I know how blessed I am to have the job of SAHM. People don't give SAHM enough credit for their JOB. Even I didn't give moms enough credit before I had my own children. I thought I knew it all because I was a teacher. Not true! And it is a job; cleaning, cooking, bathing toddlers and making lunches, and it never stops. Just because it is the weekend doesn't mean that a mom has the day off.

Lucky for me I have an amazing husband. Yesterday a friend of mine had her Stampin' Up Saturday gathering to make cards, drink coffee and "have a break". My best friend was there and we actually got to spend the entire day together. And I really mean the ENTIRE day. From 10:00 in the morning till 12:00 midnight when I got home. We went from making cards, to eating lunch, then to a movie (27 Dresses which was really cute) and then off to watch the Tennessee game. I'm not big into watching sports, but that was an amazing game! I know, I should be more supportive, being the Volunteer graduate that I am. But hey, I am mentioning it here. Congrats to the UT men's basketball team, enough said.

So, my amazing husband told me to take my time because he knew that I needed a break. Last week my oldest was sick and then schools were closed due to all of the cooties going around. I was OVER it and REALLY wanted to get out of the house. Hell, I had been stuck in it for six days with sickness. "Calgon take me away!"

Hubby did ALL of the laundry during the past two days. I can actually walk into my laundry room. He also installed a new garbage disposal and took care of the girls. When my husband decides to do something, he does it amazingly well. Thank you so much honey! You are the best!

Even on Friday night he gave me a break. I sat on my spot in the floor of my craft room, I mean, my STUDIO, and created to my hearts content. Then, I took pictures and listed all of my items in my shop. It felt fabulous!

I love fancy paper, big ribbons and all of my cool Eiffel Tower stamps. I can never have to many and look for new ones almost daily.

This stamp is by Just Johannah. It is just so whimsical and pretty. I stamped it onto some lovely toile paper, another fav, and even put embossed card stock on the back with a black rhinestone on the tippy top!
I also love unique bird stamps. This one is not unique as I am sure you have all seen it and probably own it yourself. I mean really, who doesn't love all of the items from Cavallini & Co. And by the way, have you seen the cover of their new 2009 Bird Calendar? If not, click here.... http://www.cavallini.com/calendars.html.

Love the tower, love my tags!

This batch I really love. It is one of my new unmounted rubber stamps and I used it on some of my vintage ledger paper. So, a ledger stamp on some ledger paper - cool!

I had a great weekend, and I hope that all of you did as well. It has been quiet here in blog land, but I think that will change tomorrow. Hope you all have a great Monday and a great week!

Brakes.... Screechchchchchcchchchchchch!!!!!!

Wait, before I go, (I feel like the little boy in the A Christmas Story movie at the top of the slide before Santa shoves him down) have any of you seen the movie Life Is Beautiful (1998)? I watched it today and it was amazing. I have to warn you that I literally wept at the end of the movie and it really worried my husband who had been downstairs finishing the laundry. It was just so amazing, this wonderful father in the movie. Here is some more from Yahoo! Movies.

"In 1939, Guido, an Italian Jew, falls in love with Dora, who isn't Jewish. He woos her away from the Fascist official she has been dating, and they get married. Their son Giosue grows up among growing anti-Semitism. As the war progresses, Guido and Giosue are arrested and taken to a concentration camp. Dora goes too, determined not to separate the family. In the midst of the horrors of the camp, Guido protects his son by pretending that survival in the concentration camp is an elaborate game with which Giosue must play along or be sent home."

February 22, 2008

My 50TH Post... And The Winner Is...

Let me start this amazing day by saying "Meow". I am honored to be here to help and present this prize for my dear mommy Rhonda on this day of her 50Th post!

It is wonderful that she trusts me with picking the name from her great grandmother's fine china.

I wonder if she might serve me some tuna from it later this afternoon?

I do love tuna!

So, off to pick....

Let me grab one of these pretty little names with my pretty little paw!

Ah, yes.......

I think this one will do nicely.

Meow... and the winner is.....

BOO! (That's a little inside joke between K & I)

Thank you Coco for helping me during my joyous event!

Okay, that was really silly, but I had to do something different.

Thank you so much to all of you who have become such dear friends, my current and new visitors, and all of those who signed up for my 50Th post giveaway.

Congrats Kathy on your win. I will have to have some BOO fun with this. Just email me your snail mail, and I will get your goodies right out to you.

I look forward to many more blog posts and making lots of new friends. Many of those who have visited for the first time and left me a message have some amazing blogs. I have definitely found some wonderful new places to visit. I have really enjoyed this post for that very reason. I will have to do a giveaway more often so that I can meet even more.

I thank God for each and every one of you and feel so blessed to be part of this community! Have a fabulous weekend!