About Me

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Petersburg, Virginia, United States
Interior Designer by trade, project manager by day, crafty lady by night! My college education was spent in art school where I learned to love creativity and free expression. I live with my long time boyfriend and all of our animal kidlets who fill my days with smiles and inspire me to always try for greater.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

New Endeavors

So I have not recently been doing many updates as I have had much going on in my life! Today is the first day of my new way of eating. I went to my first Weight Watchers meeting last night. I am starting the process with my mom. I have simply allowed myself to get too far out of shape and I turn 30 this year. I certainly do not want to hit that milestone feeling non-confident and like a beached whale! But I have to get it into my mind that this is not a diet, but a change in my way of life. I have to view how I eat differently and change my habits. I am pretty excited about today actually. I am starting out right, went to do my grocery shopping last night and have done my research on recipes and points values. I have my bag packed today full of veggies and fruits. I am tracking the points I eat all day long. It is an entirely new way of looking at food for me and I am not going to set myself up for failure. I want to do this the right way and allow myself every opportunity to succeed. Next Monday when I step on that scale, we will see if what I am doing will work or if I am on the wrong track entirely.
So wish me luck! For those of you who may be attempting Weight Watchers I wish you luck as well and hope that maybe we can inspire one another to be stronger and healthier.

National Teach Your Children to Save Day

April 27 is National Teach Your Children to Save Day! Start your child's future out right by giving them a foundation to build on the rest of their lives. Teach them the skills they will need to be financially stable and independent in their future. It is a great thing that as parents, we have the opportunity to mold and shape the minds of our kids. Of course, we have to be responsible in this endeavor. Good luck to you and may your children be smarter and more successful because of the skills you teach them today.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Hug an Australian Day

April 26 is Hug an Australian Day! Know anybody from Down Under? If you are like me and love to travel, then Australia is one of those places that you hope to visit one day. Take a moment today to show your appreciation for your mates! Interesting day, I know!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Sense of Smell Day

April 24 is Sense of Smell Day! Why don't you all literally wake up and smell the roses! There are so many beautiful scents around us in the air, particularly at this time of year when spring is in bloom and fragrant flowers surround us. Roses, gardenias, honeysuckles, orange blossoms. So today, take some time to pay particular attention to that nose of yours and let it lead the way. Zone in on the smells that you never really notice. The smell of fresh coffee brewing in the morning, the scent of fresh apple pie in the oven or chocolate chip cookies. There are so many things around us that will perk your senses. Celebrate your fabulous nose and let today lead you to your next project!

Nose Job -- by noahwoods  @  etsy.com

What in the World?

So- welcome to the weekend. I have not been able to do much posting on me lately because I have been so busy. So on this rainy weekend here in Virginia, I am planning on doing some new crafts, some cleaning house, and maybe even some painting of my studio! I have to admit I have been terrible and haven't even started on that one! But I have finished 4 new projects in the past 2 days! I am on a roll and I hope that I can keep it coming!
So in the near future, there will be some tutorials hopefully, some photos of new projects, and aome progress on my studio. Stay tuned!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Talk Like Shakespeare Day

April 23 is Talk Like Shakespeare Day! Today would have been William Shakespeare's 446th Birthday. The fun of today is that everyone is encouraged to speak like him! What a fun way to step outside your box or comfort zone and try something different. Here are some tips:

1.Instead of you, say thou or thee(and instead of y’all,say ye).

2.Rhymed couplets are all the rage.

3.Men are Sirrah, ladies are Mistress, and your friends are all called Cousin.

4.Instead of cursing, try calling your tormenters jackanapes or canker-blossoms or poisonous bunch-back’d toads.
Are those not hilarious names for your enemies or those who are critical of you? Try this out and perhaps thou shall get inspiration from a different point of view cousins!!
TO THINE OWN SELF BE TRUE Spiral Pendant-- by  lpjewelry  @  etsy.com

Fabulous Foodie Fridays

Happy Friday- thank goodness it is here once again!! This week I decided to share one of my favorite things in the world. I have grown up with my mother making a delectable Trifle for dessert on special occasions in the summer time. I even requested that she make it instead of a birthday cake one year! It has angel food cake mixed in with cream cheese and whipped cream and then you layer this mixture with cherry pie filling. OH MY GOODNESS! My mouth is watering just thinking about it! Here is another wonderful trifle alternative sure to please-

Strawberry Cheesecake Trifle

14-16 ServingsPrep: 20 min. + chillingIngredients

2 pints fresh strawberries, sliced

1 cup sugar, divided

2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened

3 tablespoons orange juice

3 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped

1 loaf (10-3/4 ounces) frozen pound cake, thawed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

3 ounces semisweet chocolate, grated

Chocolate curls and additional strawberries, optional


In a bowl, toss strawberries with 1/2 cup sugar; set aside.

In a bowl, beat cream cheese, orange juice and remaining sugar until smooth. Fold in the whipped cream; set aside.

Drain strawberries, reserving juice; set the berries aside. Gently toss cake cubes with reserved juice. Place half of the cake in a 4-qt. trifle dish or serving bowl. Top with a third of the cream cheese mixture, half of the strawberries and half of the grated chocolate. Repeat layers. Top with remaining cream cheese mixture. Garnish with chocolate curls and strawberries if desired. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Yield: 14-16 servings.
Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (1 each) equals 344 calories, 25 g fat (15 g saturated fat), 104 mg cholesterol, 129 mg sodium, 28 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 4 g protein.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day

April 22 is Earth Day! That one day of the year when we are supposed to celebrate the Earth and the preservation of it. Of course, many of us celebrate that every single day by doing our best to practice better habits. This day is about inspiring awareness and appreciation for our environment. This year is the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. Take some time today to start a new practice in your home. Start recycling, plant a tree, take public transportation, start a compost pile. There are so many things each of us can do to preserve this planet for our children and grandchildren. Visit: http://www.epa.gov/earthday/ and take the pledge to Pick 5 habits that you can adopt in your household to make a difference.

Green Peace On Earth-- reniebritenbucher  @  etsy.com 

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wacky Weather

Well- it is Wednesday and the good news is that we are coming over the hump to the weekend! I have been fairly busy this week working on some new pieces for my Etsy shop which I hope to get listed in the next few days. Here in Virginia we have been having beautiful weather for a couple of weeks now. Sunshine, bright blue skies and pleasant temperatures. I woke up this morning, however, to a hard rain pelting on my car on the drive to work. I find myself feeling like there is no place I would rather be today than at home, curled up in my big chair reading a good book under my Snuggie with my kitties and doggies at my side. Of course, work is calling. Thank goodness for flexible hours and early clock out times! So, I am in the office but was inspired to do a post dedicated to the weather and the artists and crafters who use this as inspiration.
Check out some of these finds:

Rainy Day Necklace-- by UnnaturalElement  @  etsy.com

Lightning- Silkscreen print-- by alyoisiusspyker  @  etsy.com

Singing in the Rain Necklace-- by lucindascharms  @  etsy.com

Birds in Boots- Giant Stamps-- by psitsinthedetails  @  etsy.com

RED POPPIES in the Rain 24x20 Original Fantasy Oil Flowers Painting on Canvas-- by LUIZAVIZOLI  @   etsy.com

Let it rain -- sweet little umbrellas and rainbow colored rain drops cards-- by teresamariegrandy  @  etsy.com

Kindergarten Day

April 21 is Kindergarten Day! Ever have those moments where you simply want to revert back to your childhood? When there was no responsibility, no worries, no obligations. Simply a naive view of the world, nap time, snack time, and all the play time you could ever want! Take the time today to go back to that time. Let go of your obligations for one day and just have fun. Remember what it was like to simply get the most fun out of your day, not worrying about what bills have to be paid or what deadline is coming up at work. Tap into your inner child and you may be surprised what comes out!
Kindergarten Teacher Necklace in Mixed Metal--  MyBebesBoutique  @  etsy.com

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Pineapple Upside Down Day

April 20 is Pineapple Upside Down Day! I know- what the heck does that mean? All I've got is that it must be a celebration of a love of Pineapple Upside Down Cake. Anyone out there in this boat? Regardless, why not make today about celebrating all of the things you love. Take the time to acknowledge these things and take count of them. It will be an eye-opening experience that is sure to get you moving. And while you are at it, enjoy some pineapple upside down cake too!

Pineapple Margarita Chunky Layered Shea Butter Bar Soap 3 - 4 oz-- myotherprincess  @  etsy.com

Monday, April 19, 2010

National Hanging Out Day

April 19 is National Hanging Out Day! That's right folks, it is in fact a Monday and perhaps you thought you got your fill over the weekend. Take an extra day if you have the time. Take it easy today and hang out, relax, and rejuvinate! We don't have to work so hard all of the time although I know for many of us, it is engraved in our brains. But if you work hard, you have to play hard too. Work on your relaxation technique today and come back ready to take on the world again tomorrow! Enjoy yourself and have a ball just Hanging Out!
Happily Hanging Out-- Stilllily  @  etsy.com

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Pet Owners Independence Day

April 18 is Pet Owners Independence Day! Everyone that owns a furry friend knows what joy they can bring to your lives. I certainly get a lot of laughs from watching mine. Oddly enough, it is suggested that today, the pet owner gets some independence. How can you do that and who would care for your pet? Personally, I couldn't stand to be away from mine. I enjoy my days so much more with them by my side! So use today to love your animals and show them some extra affection. They can cheer up even the saddest of days and provide inspiration for great works of art!

Its a Dogs Life (Set of 5)-- KatisKards  @  etsy.com

Money free weekends

So here they are, the next 10 tips on how to spend a money free weekend. It is a great way to have some fun and save some cash during these tough times.
Check them out and I hope that they will be fun for you and your family! Stay tuned next Sunday for 10 more tips!

11. Have a “cupboard potluck.” Go through your cupboards and find any items that might have slipped to the back over time. Invite some friends to do the same, then get together for a potluck dinner prepared from only these ingredients and whatever else you have on hand. It makes for a “free” meal and a lot of fun for everyone involved.

12. Clear out your media collection – books, DVDs, CDs, etc. Just go through what you’ve got, determine which ones you’d actually like to keep, and get rid of the rest. You can either sell them at a used media shop or swap them online using services like PaperBackSwap, SwapTree, and SwapADVD. In either case, you’ll get rid of stuff you don’t watch or read or listen to any more in exchange for either some money or new media to enjoy.

13. Make a 101 Goals in 1001 Days list – then start on some of them. A 101 Goals in 1001 Days list is a very effective way to codify all of the ideas of things you’d like to do all into one place, so that when you have spare time, you can just turn to the list and do what’s next on it. Spend some time thinking of things that belong on this list, then when it’s finished, you’ll have an excellent list of potential accomplishments and be ready to go with lots of activities.

14. Make decisions about and write out your will. This is a thought process that many people put off, but it makes you feel quite relieved when it’s done, adding to your peace of mind and relaxation. Spend some time thinking about what you want to happen to your personal assets when you die, particularly in terms of the personal mementos that you want others to have and where you want the value of your estate to go. Do you want it all to stay with family members? Do you want to remember a charity? Then, when you’ve figured it out, sketch out the basics of a will. Later, you’ll likely have to have a lawyer prepare it for you, but just having the decisions made doesn’t cost a thing and is a big mental relief.

15. Do a household maintenance walkthrough. Just go through your home and look for any little maintenance tasks that need to be done. Do filters need to be replaced? Are there any burnt-out light bulbs? Here’s a maintenance checklist that might give you some ideas as to what to look for. It might not be the most fun activity you can think of, but it’ll add subtly to your enjoyment of your home when it’s done – cleaner air, light bulbs in place, and so on.

16. Organize a walking tour. Find out about the interesting historical and cultural sites in your town, then go on a walking tour of it. Pack a lunch in your backpack and have a picnic on the village green or in the park. You can easily turn this into a full day if you live in a compelling area.

17. Teach yourself how to knit. Knitting requires two needles (a dollar, or probably free if your closet looks anything like ours), some yarn (extremely cheap and also likely laying in the closet if your home is like ours), a lot of patience, and an instructional video or two. Try making a scarf or two for your friends or a small blanket for a new baby in the home of a friend or a family member. While it’s not quite free, if you stick with it, you’ll make things much more valuable than the input cost of a bit of yarn, plus you may learn a compelling new skill.

18. Take some digital photographs. Take your digital camera out with you and take pictures of anything you find interesting. Take lots of them, then go home later and see if you’ve taken anything beautiful and compelling. Great images can make for the basics of homemade greeting cards (yep, keep going downwards for more on this), nice desktop wallpaper, screensavers, or many other interesting uses.

19. Share those digital photographs with others. Sign up for a free Flickr account, then upload some of your most interesting pictures to share with others. Spend the time to title them appropriately, add interesting captions, and allow them to be used under a Creative Commons Attribution license so your images can be enjoyed by as many people as possible.

20. Start a blog on a topic that interests you. You can get a free blog at Wordpress or Blogger. Join the service and start a blog on a topic that interests you. Not only can it be a ton of fun, it also helps you improve your communication skills, reach out to others, and perhaps earn a bit of income as well.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Blah, Blah, Blah Day

April 17 is Blah, Blah, Blah Day folks!!! This day is to do all of the things that others have been nagging you to do, or the things that have been nagging you. Take some time to do those pesky projects around the house or take on a larger than life project that you have been putting off. Get a jump start on a new craft project that will be anything BUT Blah! Whatever you do- make the most of the day and get that fulfillinf feeling of accomplishment-

blah blah blah.--  exit343design  @  etsy.com

Happy Saturday!!

Good morning bloggers and Happy Saturday!! It is a bit rainy here in good old Virginia, but it is a new day nonetheless. Time to refresh and renew for a few days before we get back to a new work week.
Big plans for me today! i am seeing a very old friend that I have not seen since middle school! We were the best of friends back then and now, we need to do some catching up! I am fan of wine in all its wonderful forms and there just happens to be a wine festival going on here in town today. So here is hoping that the weather will clear up a bit and cooperate for us. It will be good times, good wine, music, crafters, and food. I am really looking forward to it!
I hope that each of you will have a wonderful day doing whatever it is that helps you refresh. Enjoy the day- get the most out of it!
Wine-lover's Still Life with an Apple Stained Glass Panel--  FleetingStillness  @  etsy.com

Friday, April 16, 2010

National Wear Your Pajamas to Work Day

April 16 is National Wear Your Pajamas to Work Day!! For those of you who work from home or craft full time, take the day to stay in your PJs all day long!! I must admit, I would never walk into my workplace dressed in my footy pajamas (JK) but what a great way to keep your day low key, low stress, and help you come down out of whatever funk you may experiencing this week. It is Friday folks! Get the blood pumping and get to work on something that makes you feel special and inspired today!!

Pajama P. J. Party Hen House original painting outsider folk art Dan C-- folkit  @  etsy.com

Hand in hand with this low key day is the fact that today is also National Stress Awareness Day and High Five Day!! High five some people you come in contact with, and keep things fun. Lower the stress level today and get ready for the weekend!

Fabulous Foodie Fridays

It is Friday once again folks (Can I get a great big AMEN). Get your chocolate fix and kick the weekend off right with this sinful recipe. It looks fabulous and tastes the same way-
Try this one out today!

Fudgy Brownies

30 ServingsPrep: 15 min. + chilling Bake: 25 min. + coolingIngredients

1 package fudge brownie mix (13-inch x 9-inch pan size)

1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

1/2 cup butter, softened

2 to 3 tablespoons peanut butter

2 tablespoons cold 2% milk

4-1/2 teaspoons instant vanilla pudding mix

1 can (16 ounces) chocolate fudge frosting


Prepare and bake brownies according to package directions. Cool on a wire rack.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, beat the confectioners' sugar, butter, peanut butter, milk and pudding mix until smooth. Spread over brownies. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until firm. Frost with chocolate fudge frosting just before cutting. Yield: 2-1/2 dozen.
Nutrition Facts: 1 brownie equals 236 calories, 12 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 23 mg cholesterol, 145 mg sodium, 31 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 2 g protein.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Stress? I Don't Know the Meaning of the Word

If you are like me, life tends to get in the way of many of things that we wish or hope to do. Of course responsibility and obligations take precendence, but when you need a moment of sanity and a moment of release and you feel like you may just UNRAVEL What do you do? These days, it seems as though my moments of silence and serenity are fewer and far between. Of course, what room do I have to complain when I don't even have children yet? I certainly give props to the women of the world who work a full time job, have husbands and small children and still aspire to get their own dreams of owning their own businesses off the ground. I salute you!!
These days, I am working overtime to supplement some of the income that we lost when my boyfriend was laid off of his job. As if that event alone did not add enough stress to our lives! I am slowly working on redoing our home, attempting to get my Etsy shop off of the ground, tending to our home and chores of daily life, and attempting to find some time for a social life and family time. Doesn't sound like much, but when I crawl into bed at night and fall asleep the moment my head hits the pillow, I know that exhaustion has taken over. It is horrible to become a slave to the in and out day to day routines of our lives. While I love structure and routine, I find myself wondering, Is There More? I find myself screaming in my brain for a moment of absolute silence and down time. If I could simply sit in my studio and create with the doors closed, the windows open and the radio on with no interruptions, I would be in total bliss. But life happens, right? So what do you do when you simply need to come down from the high that is he feeling of being completely overwhelmed? You need to find creative ways to relieve that stress. Creativity helps us to thrive in all that we do and being creative in all things helps to keep us motivated and inspired.

“Every worthwhile accomplishment, big or little, has its stages of drudgery and triumph; a beginning, a struggle and a victory.”

Because Stree is Bad (Print)--thedreamygiraffe  @  etsy.com

Here are some ways to relieve the stress of your everyday lives:

1) Dance. Put on your favorite dance tunes and disco, twist, boogie, bump and shake your stress (AND pounds) away. Don't worry about what you look like - no one's watching. :)

2) Sing. Sing in the car, the shower, and while you're doing your chores. You don't have to be an American Idol contestant (have you heard some of them?) to bellow out your favorite songs.

3) Hum. When you're feeling ho-hum; HUM. Hum in the car. Hum in the grocery store. Hum while you're cutting your grass or cleaning the bathroom. It's an instant spirit booster and you don't have to remember any lyrics!

4) Laugh. Listen to your favorite comedian. Watch your favorite sitcom or funny movie. Have jokes emailed to your inbox. Chat with a friend and recall fun times. You'll feel much better - no joke!

5) Read. Escape to a new land, solve a mystery or fall in love. How? Read a novel. Make this a bedtime ritual and give the sheep a night off.

6) Create. Pull out the paints, beads, fabric, silks, etc. you've been holding hostage in your closet. Create a masterpiece!

7) Play. Play like a kid. Catch fireflies, blow bubbles, run through the sprinkler and play in the sandbox. Play tag and musical chairs. Chalk up the driveway. Splash in the puddles and build a snowman. Hula hoop. Hop, skip, and jump!

8) Play with Toys. Rummage through your kid's toy box and pull out the Barbie dolls and the Playdough. Build a Lego castle. Color and finger paint. Do a jigsaw puzzle. Play Battleship and Twister. It's fun - I kid you not!

9) Play Sports. Get outdoors! The fresh air and the exercise will definitely relieve some stress. Skate, bike and throw a Frisbee. Play badminton and volleyball. Swim. Play ball!

10) Decorate. Light it up! Buy a lava lamp. Light the candles and fireplace. String up motion Christmas lights (yes, you can use them all year round). Set up an aquarium (real or fake). The effect is both festive and hypnotic.

Get to Know Your Customers Day

April 15 is Get to Know Your Customers Day!! What a great opportunity to network and get to know more about those people who appreciate and purchase your crafts!! Find out some more about your customers, their needs, their wants, their critiques. This could certainly help you to get a better handle on what you should be providing and inspire you to expand your customer base!!

Retro Abstract Tree Painting Art Print on Wood- Sunshine-   Sascalia  @  etsy.com

As an added bonus, today you get to take your pick folks! To make up for the lame National Be Kind to Lawyers Day yesterday, today is also McDonalds Day, Take a Wild Guess Day, and That Sucks Day!! Whatever works to get your mind reeling, to get your creative juices flowing and get you to go out and live the day to the best of your ability!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Working in the Moment

So I finished up my list of wreaths for family members last night. I had one left to make for my "Mother-in-law". Of course, having never made one for her before, I wanted this one to be spectacular and awe-inspiring, and cute and trendy. She is quite the trendy lady! Not to put any pressure on myself, huh?

So I decided to have Jason, my boyfriend, take some photos of me working. Don't I just look deep in concentration?

See that vase of roses in the background? Jason told me that to help inspire me, he would get me fresh flowers every week for my studio. Is that not the sweetest thing ever. And I must admit, they are beautiful and have certainly helped to get me in creative mode!

Here is the finished product for Jason's mom. This will be traveling to Texas here in the next few days and I think the vibrant colors will be great for the summertime and for the heat that Texas experiences! I sure hope that she likes it and hope to get some products like this one up on my Etsy page soon!

National Be Kind to Lawyer's Day

April 14 is National Be Kind to Lawyers Day! I know folks, I am really stretching today- huh? Just aren't a lot of interesting things going on today except for the fact that it is HUMP Day! So for those of you who are a lawyer, know a lawyer, or need a lawyer- give them some extra kindness today!

Trust Me I'm A Lawyer T-shirt Tee More Colors S - 2XL-  signaturetshirts  @  etsy.com

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

National Moment of Laughter Day

April 13 is National Moment of Laughter Day. Make yourself laugh today, make others laugh, bring smiles and happiness to someone's life today! After all, laughter is the very best medicine of them all. You never know what kind of struggles people are facing every day of their lives. Tell jokes, be funny, be happy! Make someone else's life a little happier today, and yours as well. Nothing brings inspires you more than inspiring happiness in the world!
Laughter (fabric collage) -- featheredneststudio  @  etsy.com

Latest Work

So this weekend, I worked on several new wreaths for people I work with as well as family members who had ordered them from me. It was my first opportunity to work in my studio for an extended period of time and man, I can't wait for the paint to be done! It will be so much more bright and cheerful!! I have a list of items that I need to buy to make the space better. Better lighting, a better work chair, etc.
I got so much accomplished though- I made 3 different wreaths, I have one more to complete, and I made an arrangement to place on my grandfather's grave at the cemetary. Here are some photos of my most recent projects which are not for sale on my Etsy site as they are already spoken for:
This particular wreath was made for my grandmother. She lives in an assisted living facility and they seem to have some type of competition going on as to who has the prettiest and brightest wreath. I had to make her one for the season and it definitely brightens up her door!

This wreath was made for a woman that I work with who wanted an apple themed wreath to go in her kitchen. I sure hope that she will be happy with this one. It kind of reminds me of the wreaths you see in historic Williamsburg, VA around the holidays.

This frame is also for the woman that I work with. She wanted a large wreath with summer themed flowers. This is the largest wreath I have ever made- 31" in Diameter!! I used hibiscus blossoms, tulips, even a dragonfly and some ladybugs. The ribbon is yellow with white polka dots. I think it turned out great!

And of course, I had my little buddies with me to humor me and to keep me company. They got to sleep when I wanted to- but had to keep on keeping on and get the work done!!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Walk on Your Wild Side Day

April 12 is Walk on Your Wild Side Day!!! Get crazy- get wild- get funky. Step outside the box of your daily routine and do something out of the norm for yourself. This different perspective could certainly provide you with insight into an entirely new realm of creativity for your craft! Enjoy yourself and get up close and personal with the wild inner you!
Wild Side Ring-  jlpisrael  @  etsy.com

Monday Motivation

Well it is Monday once again- the start of a new week. I know exactly what you are thinking, "Is it Friday yet?" I can't help you there, but I can tell you not to wish your life away!! Friday will be here soon enough, but we may as well make the best of this time we are given and get motivated to create some of our best pieces yet. Each Monday, I will strive to bring you some motivation to help get you started on your way to craft and creative greatness. Take this Monday and give it all you can to make this a great week. Here is today's quote:

"Without inspiration the best powers of the mind remain dormant, there is a fuel in us which needs to be ignited with sparks."

Johann Gottfried Von Herder
Good luck!! Happy Monday!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Eight Track Tape Day

April 11 is eight track tape day! Does anyone remember those? They were still around when I was little, but cassette tapes had taken over in the industry. What a fun and random thing to celebrate! Perhaps this could inspire you to do something unique and fun with your crafts on this beautiful weekend!


Money Free weekend

Ever wonder what you could possible get done on a Sunday or what could occupy your time that doesn't involve money? Well here are some great tips on things you can do in your spare time to experience a "Money-free weekend". In tough ecomonic times like these, we could all use some tips to stay more frugal. Try these first 10 out and next week, I'll provide you with 10 more. Who knows, these may help to inspire you to do more great things!

1. Check out the community calendar. Look at your town’s website (as well as those of cities and towns nearby) or stop by city hall to find a list of events going on in the community, many of which are free. You’ll often be surprised at how many interesting (and free) activities are going on right now in your area.

2. Visit your community library. Not only is a library a warehouse of books, most libraries also have extensive CD and DVD collections you can check out. Many libraries also have “story time” for young children, film nights, book clubs, and many other events that you may be unaware of – completely for free. Stop in and check out what they have to offer.

3. Get involved in community sports. Many towns have community sports fields where both youth and adult sports leagues and activities are regularly going on throughout the weekend. Stop by, watch a game or two, and if something intrigues you, look into joining either as a participant or as a volunteer.

4. Get your financial papers in order. This may not sound like a fun activity up front, but the peace of mind it gives you will make your life a lot more relaxing. Spend an hour or two organizing all of your statements and other financial documents. This is a perfect time to start your own filing system. If you’re more adventurous, try initiating an electronic filing system, as it will save you significant space and make information retrieval easier (though it’s more of a time investment up front).

5. Check out some podcasts. Podcasts are wonderful things – top-notch audio programs available for you to listen to for free. Give some a sample – you can do it easily by using iTunes. Visit the Podcast section of the store and check a few out. My favorites include The Splendid Table (on food topics), Marketplace (on economics and business), Speaking of Faith (on religion), Fresh Air (interviews of general interest), This American Life (quirky general interest stuff), and This Week in Tech (technology news), among many others.

6. Play board games. We have a pile of board games, mostly received as gifts, that we often pull out and play, plus our closest friend has a few choice ones. Classic games like Monopoly and Pictionary can be great fun, but our favorites are Settlers of Catan, Cartagena, Puerto Rico, and especially Ticket to Ride. Just dig through the recesses of your closet, find an old board game you haven’t played in ages, and bust it open!

7. Bake a loaf of homemade bread. You probably have everything you need to make a loaf of bread in your kitchen right now (except for maybe the yeast). Anyone can do it, and the bread turns out deliciously. Here’s a detailed visual guide for making a simple loaf with minimal ingredients and complexity.

8. Learn how to juggle. All you really need is three balls and a video showing you how to do it. Not only is it a fun activity to learn, it’s something that’s fun to bust out as a party trick on occasion (trust me, you can always get people to smile if you juggle three fruits in the kitchen while preparing something).

Juggling Life's Illusions II - 16x20 Genuine Giclee Canvas Reproduction - Limited Edition-- mailto:ThePaintedBrush@etsy.com

9. Teach yourself how to change the oil in your car. If you’re due for an oil change, just bring the oil you need home with you and teach yourself how to do it. All you really need is an old pan to catch the wasted oil and a funnel to pour the old oil back into the canisters for later disposal. Just use your car manual as a guide for the procedure and you might just find that not only is it a lot easier than you thought, but it’s a useful skill to have and it’s cheaper than taking your car into Jiffy-Lube (or wherever you take your car for oil changes).

10. Meet your neighbors. Make an effort to introduce yourself to your neighbors if you don’t know them well. Invite any interesting ones over for a cup of coffee and a chat, just to get to know each other better. Your neighbors can not only become friends, but can also be a valuable resource – a friendly pair of eyes on your property when you’re away or a helpful set of hands when you’re trying to complete a challenging task.

Reference: http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2008/07/17/100-things-to-do-during-a-money-free-weekend/

Saturday, April 10, 2010

National Sibling's Day

April 10 is National Siblings Day! Take the time to celebrate your brothers or sisters and let them know how much you love and appreciate them. They can often be your biggest supporters-

Falling Leaves Digital Silhouette Print 8x10- lepapierstudio @etsy.com

Quality Time

This beautiful Saturday morning in the springtime I woke up to the birds chirping, cool temperatures, and some motivation!!! I started the process of cleaning out my studio of all things not related to my crafts!! I bought the new paint and today I go to buy the new ceiling fan and some storage pieces to hold everything. I am so excited about this new journey. I truly feel like I am on the right track and that this one little step could help me exponentially when it comes to finding the time, and the inspiration to create!!
Here is what my studio looks like now:

The whole room is surrounded by windows!! Great- huh? I have the perfect view of my backyard! I have a new rug to put down and the paint is really going to brighten it up a lot! I can't wait to post the after photos- but that will take some time. It is a work in progress!

Did I mention that I share this space with two of the best studio mates ever?

I love my puppies and they love to be with their mom while she is busy working away!

Friday, April 9, 2010


Each Friday- food is going to be the theme of the day. I will be sharing some of my favorite recipes with you. I am definitely a foodie and LOVE to try new things. Sweets are my weakness (I am ashamed to admit) and I am chocoholic BIG time. Don't be surprised if you see lots of dessert recipes!

Cheesecake is one of my personal favorites and when spring and summer come- it is the perfect dessert to help cool you down. Particularly this week with the 90 degree temps we have had here in Virginia. Try this one out:

Citrus Cheesecake

12-14 ServingsPrep: 30 min. + chilling Bake: 65 min. + chillingIngredients

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/3 cup sugar

1 egg yolk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon grated lemon peel


5 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened

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1-3/4 cups sugar

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1-1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

1-1/2 teaspoons grated orange peel

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

5 eggs, lightly beaten

2 egg yolks, lightly beaten

1/4 cup heavy whipping cream


1-1/2 cups (about 12 ounces) sour cream

3 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolk and vanilla. Combine flour and lemon peel; gradually add to creamed mixture. Mix until dough forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Divide dough in half; cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until easy to handle.

Remove sides of a 9-in. springform pan. Grease bottom. Between waxed paper, roll one half dough to fit bottom of pan. Peel off top paper; invert dough onto bottom of pan. Remove paper; trim dough to fit pan.

Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 6-8 minutes or until light browned. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Attach sides of the pan and grease sides. Pat remaining dough 1-1/2 in. up sides of pan, pressing dough to bottom crust to seal.

For filling, in another large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, flour, peels and vanilla until smooth. Add eggs and yolks; beat on low speed just until combined. Stir in cream just until combined. Pour into crust. Return pan to baking sheet.

Bake at 400° for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 325°; bake 55-65 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Combine topping ingredients; spread over cheesecake. Refrigerate overnight. Yield: 12-14 servings.

Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (1 slice) equals 442 calories, 25 g fat (15 g saturated fat), 196 mg cholesterol, 165 mg sodium, 45 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 7 g protei