Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Go Team Edward

Yes, I admit it. I am a Twilight Fan. I wouldn't call myself obsessed but oh, how easily I could be:)

Today, of course is a monumental day for us Twilight groupies...the 3rd movie in the series "Eclipse" opens...we can't wait!!!

{image from BING}

About three years ago my daughter Em and I were standing in Deseret Bookstore in Odgen, Utah searching for church history books. Em ran up to me all excited and asked if she could buy this book about vampires. I was surprised to hear that our church's bookstore would sell a book about the undead (LOL).

The book, of course, was "Twilight". 

At the time Em was just 10 and couldn't get into it. I tried as well but was bored after the first few chapters. 

Time passed and before you knew it a whole year had passed. 

July 2008. I kept hearing about this movie called "Twilight" that was coming out in the fall. The internet was buzzing with Edward and Bella. And I learned more about the author Stephanie Meyers and that she had went to BYU and was a member of my church {LDS}. All of this piqued my interest so I decided to give the book another try. 

I had no idea what I was in for!! 



I became Edward OBSESSED!!!



I couldn't get enough...I was reading while standing up...I was reading in the bathtub...

I was talking like a teenager about this vampire-Edward. My husband thought I had lost it!!

Once I finished with "Twilight" I went immediately to Wal-mart and bought "New Moon". Then a friend told me they had "Eclipse"...then my darling husband surprised me with "Breaking Dawn."

Never had I read a series of books so FAST! 

In a matter of months I had devoured 4 books and was ready for a 5th {aren't we all?!}

I bought key chains, buttons and tee shirts all adorned with my dear, sweet Edward. *sigh*

I stood in line for hours to get our "Twilight" tickets. I can still remember that first time in the movie when we all see Edward...you know what I'm talking about. I swear the entire theater gasped!!

Heck, Em and I even made the front page of our local newspaper at our library's "Twilight" party!!

That's me on the right side in the middle. Em is on the right in the red shirt and my friend Kristin is on the left.

Last night Em and I went to our Library's "Eclipse" party. Emmie won a Jacob bookmark {she is TEAM JACOB all the way so that was perfect!}

We decided not to go to opening night tonight. We still have so much to do to get ready for leaving for the weekend soooooo....

I bought tickets for the late show tomorrow night...Dave, Jacks, Em and I are all going. Can't wait!!

So what about you? Are you Twilight obessed? If not {it's okay!} what has made you so crazy that you stay up till wee hours of the morning reading {or creating or watching}? I would love to know!!

Oh, yeah...are YOU Team Jacob or Team Edward?!


Monday, June 28, 2010

Make My Monday "Collage Artist-Bev" & Handmade Tags Give Away!!

Oh Happy Monday! My heart is full of JOY as we start a fresh, new week!

"The happiest people seem to be those who have no particular cause for being happy except they are so."  -William Ralph Inge

Oodles of stuff to share today...all good, awe-inspiring stuff. So let's get to it...

Today's "Make My Monday" interview is with my Bloggy friend, Bev. She is taking the same ecourse as me with Kelly Rae. I just know it was fate that brought us together:)

Bev, I found you through Kelly's Class and I am so happy I did!! I haven't had a blog speak to me like yours in awhile. I mean as soon as I began reading I was energized!!! Tell us about your blog...what is it's main purpose?

My blog's main purpose is to glorify God and encourage others, just as is my art.  i feel God has given me several gifts, one being the creativity gift, and the other gift of that of being an encourager.   The beautiful bonus is that i am encouraged as well...




When did you start blogging and why?


I started blogging in March 2009...and no one read it!  At the time i was doing it for all the wrong reasons..wrong reasons for me anyway.  After a couple of months, it really didn't serve a purpose, so i quit posting.  When i started making art for God, and opened my Etsy shop in March of this year, I resurrected my blog as i knew that it all kind of goes hand in hand...and I am meeting some amazing women, including yourself, through my blog...it's wonderful!!




I love how fearless you are about creating...you even have your own Etsy Shop!! How long have you been creating?


 I have been creating just about 9 months now.  I laughed to myself when you said the word fearless....it has taken me some time to develop that!  When I first started making art last fall, I was so full of fear.  God is removing more and more of it each day.  Yes, the inner critic likes to visit, but I have to push it aside and push through that fear....it can be crippling!  I think all artists deal with it...but i didn't realize that when I first started making art.  God has really spoken so much to me about replacing that fear and inner critic with His love, His critiquing of what i do...



Tell us about your art and your Etsy Shop. 


 I started making art because I had so much emotional distress that I needed to express, and art was the tool God gave me.  I have lost my mom and oldest sis to cancer, other family members have walked away from the Lord to drugs...my art comes from such a deep place in my soul...God whispered to me that He wanted me to make art for Him...maybe because of what I have been through, what I have to say and put on canvas can inspire and encourage someone else...to bring His love and grace to others. I feel my art is one of a kind.  None other like it.   Just know that my heart and soul is on my canvases!  

 
What other things do you do in your spare time?

I love photography, reading, gardening, quilting, spending time with our kids and grandkids, camping
Oh, there is just never enough time...

I love inspirational books and movies!! Please share a few movies and books that have touched and motivated you to become the person you are today!!
Alot of the books I have read that have helped me on my journey, other than the Bible, are self-help books, spiritual journey of others, memoirs...I like reading other people's stories...their walk of life.   


Anything by Anne Lamott

Anything by Melody Beattie
"Messy Faith, Daring to live by grace" by A.J. Gregory

"Lost Boy" by Greg Laurie
"The Shack" by William Young
"Purpose Driven Life" by Rick Warren
As far as movies go, I love film that really makes you think and evaluate life and relationships, film that deals with the human emotion..the tenderness and rawness of it all...and of course, plenty of great chick flicks!!
Thanks to you Leslie, for letting me share a little about myself...


Thanks so very much, Bev:)

Be sure and drop by Bev's Etsy Shop!! Here is the link to her Blog!!

**I really enjoy my Make My Monday interviews and I hope you do to!! If you would like to be a part of these fun posts please email me at  leslieackman@yahoo.com 

Yesterday I enjoyed a much needed "art break" in my life. I hadn't done anything with my hands since Em and I painted our canvas's and I was in great need of some creative therapy. Here is what our kitchen table looked like until after midnight!! {who am i kidding? it still looks this way...i gotta get to work-LOL}

 I love it when we are getting all messy and the ideas are coming one right after another and we have ink all over our hands and paint and glue...

Here are some samples of the TAGS we created for my GIVE AWAY coming up NEXT week!! Remember we are still trying to get Words of Me Project to 80 Followers here and on FB!! We are now up to 73!! Check out these tags...they could be yours!


So what do you think? Do you want some?!!:) 


I am giving away 2 Collage gift packs and Jillian Michal's book "Master Your Metabolism". With EACH prize I will tuck several tags in along with 25 punched butterfly shapes to use on your scrappy pages, collage journals...whatever your heart desires!!!


To enter...


Become a Follower 1 entry
Like me on FB {go here} 1 entry
Leave me a comment below 1 entry

Lots of great stuff going on this week!! Have a WOnDERFUL dAy, GirLs!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday Favs {photos}

Is it really Friday?! I think I say this every single time it comes around. These summer days are faster than a speeding bullet-LOL!

Okay, so yesterday, I soooo needed one of these...it is my friend Leanne's "Get out of Crankville" card.

Yes, me, the perpetual "Happy Girl" woke up in Crankville yesterday morning.


I woke up complaining about money {the lack of}, owning a business {somedays I wish we were NOT self-employed} and the fact that so and so is going to Hawaii...and how we've never been to Hawaii and we'll probably never be boing to Hawaii and how unfair it all is and blah, blah, blah.

There was just no getting me out of Crankville.

1 ) Until these two silly girls came down the stairs.

Maddie and Emmi. These two spend as much time together as possible. This summer Maddie has practically lived here.

Aren't they pretty:)


So, these two came down the stairs, laughing and Em asked me what we're going to do today.

Me in my crankiness, grimaces and says "Nothing".

Silence.

I continue..."We could go to St. Joe and get my phone" {I have been without my phone for 3 weeks. It just died one day and they were replacing it with a free phone}

It was decided then...Dave even gave me a bit of cash so I could buy some fruit and veggies at Sam's Club. On the way down we listened to music, sang at the top of our lungs and giggled all the way down {it's a 40 minute drive}. We even managed a trip to Hobby Lobby where I bought my first set of drawing pencils {graphite and charcoal pencils). They one cost $8.99 for the entire set {and it is the girl's and I's secret!!} I am grateful for these two girls who turned my crankiness into happiness:)

 2) My office space and all the stuff in it.


As you may remember I spent a week sorting, tossing and re-arranging my office.

I have a REALLY nice creative space in my basement...built in cupboards, a desk, etc. It is where I've created for the past 3 years. But there are no windows in my space and I'm a sunshine kind of girl. Soooo I moved a few of my supplies up here to office in hope the big window and open space would inspire me.

After cruising through dozens of blogs last week with the "Where I Create" Series...I wish for a more cozier and sweet space...but for now this will do.

This is what I call my "Faith" Wall. Everything that inspires me is here {not everything but a few of my fave things}. I love suns, my Mom gave me that cross, one of my fave words is FAITH and there is that Maya Angelou quote I showed you the other day...This is my favorite thing on the wall...
Remember my Dad I told you about? This is a photo strip I found of him and I after he died. There are hardly any photos of us together when I was a baby so I treasure this. I was like a year old here...I had it professionally framed.

Love my Twilight journals...

And look at this treasure. My Grandma Jackson made this for me before I was in Kindergarten.

Here is what it looks like opened...

That's me. It's an old cigar box she mod podged!! I sure wish I would have mod podged with her!!! 

I put my collection of old postcards in it.

Here is my favorite thing in my space. It hangs right about and to the right of my computer.

It's my Inspiration Board. I have had one of these in my bedroom since I was in grade school. I love them!! When I hung this up a few weeks ago {it had been downstairs} I was inspired to add the punched butterflies!! I just attached with glue dots:)

I love that photo of me. I was going in the 8th grade!

I have everything from stickers to tags to photos to scraps of inspirational paper to my Art Goals on this board. I will add or remove stuff as I feel inspired to. I'm confident it will be jam packed with goodies in no time!

Now I KNOW that eventually I'll end up back in my space downstairs. I LOVE it there. That's why I only brought up a few things I can use to scrap or collage or paint. I am very blessed to have several spaces I can call my own. This is my space for now.

3) Cheesy "B" type scary movies. Yes, sad I know. But they are so much fun to watch!! Me and Jackson enjoy watching them whenever they are on the Chiller Channel. This morning I came across one I'm really looking forward to and one I'm sure will be just TERRIBLE [in a fun sort of way!!} It stars two 80's pop icons...Debbie Gibson and Tiffany and is called "Mega Python versus Gatoroid". How cheesy is that??! You can read about it here.

4} My WORD of the Week.

SELF-ABSORBED

–adjective
preoccupied with one's thoughts, interests, etc.
 
These past few weeks I have been consumed with organizing, cleaning, doing my own thing...Usually I am more giving, but lately...it's all about me. {time to have a balance again}.

5)  My NEW amazingly beautiful Header and Button from Leanne!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! {please grab a buton!!}


XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Just so you know...I love all the comments from the NEW girls and thank you for becoming a Follower!! And of course you girls that have been faithful followers and readers for some time now...I love you guys!! A reminder about the give aways...

2 Collage kits and the book by Jillian Micheals "Master Your Metabolism". 

Become a follower for one entry
Like me on FB for one entry
Leave me a comment for one entry

We are up to 71 followers now!! Just need 9 more to reach my goal of 80 by July 8th!!!!


Happy Friday, girls. Thanks for all your support!!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Button Button Who Has the Button??

First of all a HUGE ThANk YoU!!

I appreciated all your kind comments regarding Em and I's artwork!! Truly they meant the world to us:)

Okay...First off did you notice anything when you stopped by today?!

HMMMMMMMM............?????????

I have my very own, customized Header!!! And if you look to the right, below my profile you will see a 

BUTTON!

Yep, Words of Me Project has its very own button!!!

And where, you ask did these amazingly beautiful pieces of art come from?! My amazing friend, Leanne!!!



I got a hold of her the other day, asking if she could come up with something and she did...right away...and I LOVE it!!!

Please stop by Leanne's Blog to read all her stories about family, her love of coffee and be inspired by her cute and crafty projects!!


Thanks again, Leanne!! You are the BEST!:)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Me Being Fearless - {just a wee bit scared!!}

Alrighty then. Me. Being. Fearless.


Aw, yeah. About that...

I am tremendously nervous about posting my first canvas.

Tremendously.

Here is my darling Emma's creation...

Here is a close-up...

Isn't this GREAT!!?? Isn't she amazing??! Yes, she is. She inspires me like no other. Seriously. She has always been a FEARLESS artist. Always!

And here we go...here is mine.


Oh and before you see it I must apologize...one of the angel's wings is bigger and weirder looking than the other.

I know.

I know because Em and Jacks pointed it out. Thanks, kids.

Yeah, you...thanks.  A lot.

Nice outfit, Em...


Deep breath...Whew...here is a piece of it. That saying is from Kelly Rae's class I'm currently taking.


Another piece...



I love birds and butterflies. They inspire me so!! The birds are from a very old {early 1900} postcard...I Mod Podged these things on the canvas...

Here is the entire piece...

Yes, this piece was inspired by Kelly Rae. She is amazing:) I don't even pretend to be like her...LOL.

A close up...


The words on her dress say "make it possible it will breathe peace to our souls."

So yeah...what do you think? I know...it's pretty childish looking really. I mean that poor angels face {and those wings} but ya' know I least I tried, right?

Maya Angelou says it best...this hangs on my office wall as a daily reminder...

 I stretched my soul. 


Sure does feel good:)

So, I keep talking about these prizes I'm giving out right?! It's about time I showed them to you!! Here is prize number 1...Jillian Michaels book...this is a good one!!



Prize #2...

Dozens of goodies to scrap with, collage or use in some other craft!! I will also be including some hand stamped tags and shapes in here, too:)

Prize #3

This is a DARLING mini chipboard album from Jenni Bowlin Studios. She is one of my faves!! Also included are these super cute pattern papers to use in your album and some hand stamped tags from me.

Remember...to win one of these AWESOME prizes you can do the following:


1) leave me a comment (1 entry)
2) become a fan on FB here (1 entry)
3) become a follower (1 entry)

More photos tomorrow of my space!!!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Make My Monday "Courtney Walsh"

We have a GREAT Make My Monday interview with the fabulous Courtney Walsh. If you're a scrapper then you might remember her from Memory Makers Magazine. Not only did her work grace several covers but she wrote inspirational articles and had dozens of projects printed. You can find Courtney here and her amazing book here.


Hi, Courtney!! I have been a fan of yours for quite a few years! From your scrapbook pages in Memory Makers Magazine to your book "Scrapping your Faith" I love your style and your stories!! Can you tell us about your experience creating for MMM??

I loved writing for MM. I loved all the editors (both in Denver and in Cincinnati!) and had so much fun working on the books and especially the magazine. Basically, I would brainstorm a bunch of ideas, submit them and wait. If they liked them, I would get to write the articles...but sometimes I wrote on assignment. For instance, I got to interview all the new Masters a few years in a row, and I wrote an article based on those interviews. I didn't submit that as an idea, they just needed someone to write it! I always felt so fortunate to have that wonderful opportunity. I think I grew as a writer.

I had the chance to pick up your book "Scrapping your Faith" at CHA in Chicago a few years back and to meet you!! How long did it take you to create all those pages and to write the book?I had a CRAZY deadline for that book. I think I only had 3 months total to write it and create 80% of the artwork! I did it over the summer, and yes, it was insane, but so, so worth it. I really do believe that text sort of poured out of me. It's easy to write something you're passionate about!

Obviously your faith is very important to you. Does it spill into all you do creatively?
It really does. My novels have a faith-based slant, my paintings seem rooted in scripture or based on a revelation God's given me. I think it's my way to express myself, and I love it!

I can't remember now how I first found your blog...I may have just googled you {LOL!} but I am so happy I did. I love reading about your family. How long have you had your blog? Can you tell my readers what you write about? I would love it if you shared a few of your favorite posts with us!!!
I've had my blog since '05, I think! I started it as a way to get myself to write regularly. Now, I love it. I love sharing my stories and my photos--even if I only had a couple of readers (my mom and sister!) :) I have read that a blog should be focused on one thing--i.e. writing--and that no one wants to read about your life if you're not a celebrity. That may be true, but I haven't found that to be the case. I LOVE to hear about people's stories, revelations, their prayers, their hopes, their dreams, their creative journey...these are the things I write about. Everything!

I remember back in the hey day of scrapping and magazines and "getting published" that is all I thought about!! I actually did finally get a page published in the MMM Editors Choice special publication. Quite a thrill for me! How did you get started in the business? Do you have any tips for those of us who might still be trying to get noticed?

I just started submitting, but also, I read a LOT-- I studied design and photography. I really believe you have to be willing to learn to get better. I also had the good fortune to have some very successful, talented friends (Leah Fung, Renee Villalobos-Campa), who, just by talking to me about scrapbooking, taught me sooo much. I really think God brings me friends and mentors in the most divine ways. My advice would be to keep honing your skill, keep submitting, and keep learning! Scrapbooking is a FUN hobby, but if you want to work in the industry and get published, you have to learn good design, have great photos and be willing to keep improving! That said, I think there is something to be said for keeping your hobbies as hobbies. Once you start getting assignments, it becomes work. (Work I LOVE, but work just the same.) Be prepared to look at it all differently.

You have a new book coming out, right? Can you share a bit with us?
I am writing a 3-book series for Guideposts books, and I am really, really excited about it. Not surprisingly, it does have a bit of a scrapbooking slant. It takes place in a sleepy, lake town filled with clapboard cottages that are passed down through the generations. My main character finds an old scrapbook and begins to put together the pieces of her recently deceased mother's past...and then goes on a hunt to find her father--a man she's never met. Along the way, she finds new friends, new love and yes, a passion for scrapbooking. I am just starting book two right now! They'll be released in the Fall of 2011. :)

How do you find the time to manage it all, Courtney? I mean you are such an attentive and AWESOME wife and mom!! How do you fit all that creativity into your day?

I just finished a class for Big Picture Scrapbooking called "Permission to Live a Creative Life." This class was born out of my struggle to give place to my creativity. I believe with all my heart that when I take time to write or paint or scrapbook I am a better wife and mom because something inside me is fulfilled... a need has been met. I really think this is VITAL for creative people. I'm not going to lie, I tend to be a little busier than I want to be, but I would forego laundry before I'd let a creative impulse pass me by! :)

And finally a few just for fun questions....

Top 3 inspiring movies you can think of...

Good Will Hunting. It really made me want to write. I think because of the inspiring story of how Matt Damon and Ben Affleck got that movie made. It made me believe that dreams can come true.

Dead Poets Society. Are you kidding? O Captain My Captain! I get chills just thinking about it.

Anne of Green Gables. One of the greatest characters of all time. But more than that, Anne saw things her own way. She loved life and the beauty all around her, she lived in the world of her imagination and she wasn't afraid to be different. All things I admire.

Since you are a writer, what are your top 3 inspiring books...

The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron (Whoa. Just amazing. Amazing.)
On Writing by Stephen King
Frederick the Mouse. :) (I mean, saving up entertainment to get the other mice through the summer!? That's my kinda mouse!)
I'm also planning to read "Bird by Bird" by Anne Lamott this summer. I've heard amazing things.

What is the ONE place you'd rather be?

Hmm. This is a toughie. My husband and I always say we haven't found our perfect vacation yet. I think if I could go anywhere, I would go to Italy... but at the moment I'm sitting in Barnes and Noble--not potty training--not sorting garage sale stuff--and it's pretty darn near perfect! :)

Thanks again, Leslie!! This was so fun!

Courtney

This interview was sooooo inspiring!! Thank you so much, Courtney for taking the time out of your day to share some insight with us. Can't wait for your books to come out:)


I know you have all been waiting to see my space and mine and Em's canvas. Those will be posted either later tonight or in the morning along with the THREE prizes I'm giving out!!!

I want to get to 80 followers here and on my FB Fan page!!! I am giving away TWO different scrappy/collage prize packs chock full of STUFF you will love and be inspired to create with!! I am also giving away one of the latest books by Jillian Michal's called Master Your Metabolism. A truly inspiring and informative book on losing weight!!! Leave me a comment here for one entry, become a follower for another entry and "LIKE" me on FB HERE for another entry!!!

Winners will be drawn by July 8th 2010. Let's get Words of Me Project to 80 Followers!!!!

Have a wonderful Monday, girlies!!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

I Miss You Dad

I fondly remember Father's Day from my childhood. I was an only child and my Dad meant the world to me...we were so close. Whenever I needed to talk about anything...Dad was always there.

My Dad saved EVERYTHING. And he was quite the softie. Every year, the week before Father's Day he would say to me...

"Now, Les you know I don't want those old store bought cards. Make me one instead. They mean more."

Sometimes I would buy his card. Sometimes I would make it. He kept them either way.

My Dad was diagnosed with Leukemia in 1986 when he was 49 years old. I was a Sophomore in college. I was devastated at the news. I remember the moment he told me. I got sick to my stomach. It was like I had just been slapped in the face.

I made sure I waited to cry later...in my room.

I was devastated.


Dad was so lucky, really. He took some kind of pill for years. My parents never told me what it was. All they would say is that it was like chemo...it was helping him live with the cancer. 

By the time I got married in 1992 I had forgotten Dad was sick. He didn't look sick or act sick. {at least not that I could see}.

Now that I think about it I think he was way sicker than I was led to believe. My parents were always trying to protect their only daughter.

My son was born in December of 1994. We named him David Jackson but decided to call him Jackson in honor of my Dad {jackson is my maiden name}. My Dad was THRILLED. 

He was also very sick during this time and was unable to make the 200 mile trip to see his first grandchild. I was so sad.

In February we loaded Jacks up and made a surprise visit to Fort Madison so Mom and Dad could see him. They were tickled pink!! I will never forget the first moment Dad saw Baby Jackson. He was so proud of his grandson!! We spent the afternoon taking photos of the two of them. 


I cherish those photos today.

The week after we left Dad got really sick. He ended up with shingles on one half of his face. He was in terrible pain. He told me later that the one thing that got him through was thinking about his new grandson.


Easter 1996. Mom and Dad come for the weekend. It was a typical Spring here in Northwest Missouri. A little bit warm, A little bit cold. I hadn't seen Dad since Christmas. At Christmas he looked terrible. So thin and frail. Easter wasn't much better. The cancer had spread and he was in pain. Dad was walking with a cane now. He was just 59 but looked and moved like an 80 year old.

They left for home Easter Day. Dad wasn't feeling so good. I wasn't either.

Memorial Day Weekend 1996. We drive to Fort Madison to see Dad. I can sense the end is near. He is so fragile. In just 2 months he has lost more weight and I notice he has lumps on his back.

We go out for ice cream. Dad loves ice cream. It was our thing. Whenever we were together we'd go get ice cream.I decide not to have any this time. I'm on yet another diet and I don't want to ruin my diet.

Next time, Dad. I'll have some next time.

That was

the last time

we ever

went out

for ice cream.

Ever.


Father's Day 1996.  Little Jackson is taking a nap and Dave is relaxing. I'm sitting on my knees...stenciling grape vines around the baseboards. The thought had just popped in my mind to give Dad a ring and wish him a Happy Father's Day.

The phone rings. I freeze. Dave answers "Hello".

I feel sick to my stomach. I hear Dave say "Awwww, no."

My Dad was dead. He was dead. And I knew it.

"Honnie, that was your Mom. We gotta go. Your Dad was taken by ambulance to Iowa City. We gotta go NOW."

He wasn't dead. But he was close.


We packed a bag, grabbed Jackson and left. It was a 6 hour trip to the hospital. I prayed the whole way there that he would still be alive when we arrived.

He was.

We walked in the dark room, lit only with a small light above his bed. Dad's eyes opened wide as soon as he saw Baby Jackson. He said...

"Jackson, you're my grandson."

And that was it.

The next day he was coherent but unable to speak. I swabbed his mouth with a wet sponge and told him how much I loved him. I caressed his hands. 


I cried {out in the hall}.

That evening Dave thought I should go back to the hotel, take a shower and rest a bit then come back. I reluctantly agreed. On my way out the door I stopped, turned around and went back to Dad's bedside. I felt the Spirit whispering to me...this is the last time you'll see your Dad alive.

I leaned down and put my cheek against his warm face. I just stayed there for awhile...feeling his warm, soft skin. I knew it would be the last time I ever felt my Dad's warmth.

And it was.

Back in our motel room the phone rang.

It was Mom.

Dad was gone.


I love and miss you, Dad but I know we will see each other again one day.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Where Bloggers Create

I MUST share this with you all today!! Even though I'm not apart of this {next year I will be, so cool!!} I wanted to share what is going on in Blogland this weekend.

Have you heard about this?? I stayed up until 2 AM last night visiting all these talented women bloggers and their studios!! I am soooo inspired by each and everyone!! There are like 4oo + participants...I have so many more to visit!

Here is the link. Click on it...you will be on the Desert Cottage Home page. It will explain more about the weekend. On the right you will find all the links to the blogs. Click on each link and there you will find their studio pics. I encourage you to check this out today. It is time well spent!!


Have a CREATIVE and HAPPY weekend!! I am spending the day taking photos of my work space, my creation {and Em's} and the prizes I am giving away!!!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday Favs

Hey, Chickies...how is it going today? I have a skip in my step as we approach the weekend. It has been a very good week for me. Life is good right now:)

So, ya' know how my Blog is called Words of Me Project? Have I shared last week's word yet...um, NO.

Try as I might Mondays just don't do it for me. I think because I do "Make My Monday" interviews. So I have decided to start sharing my word during my Friday Favs post. Makes sense...afterall words are my very favorite thing of all.

Last week was Girl's Camp. I was one of the cooks remember? also And while it was long hours and work it was also Fun! I met wonderful women from the area, amazing girls and I got to see my daughter giggling and making new friends, too. And I  was able to spend hours and hours with two of my best girlfriends!!

I'd have to say my Word from last week is....

INSPIRATIONAL

–adjective
1.
imparting inspiration.
2.
under the influence of inspiration; inspired.
3.
of or pertaining to inspiration.
Last week I was most certainly under the influence of inspiration!! 
{to be clear...since today I begin posting my Word on Fridays...I will be going from Friday to Friday} 
My Word from this past week has to be
FEARLESS 
–adjective
without fear; bold or brave; intrepid.
Love that "bold or brave". While I wasn't fearless against anything major like some bad person trying to do wrong or standing up for myself in some unpleasant situation...what I have done this week is stepped out of my comfort zone. I created a space so I could do my art. Just saying "do my art" sounds foreign and a bit silly coming out of my mouth.
I mean...I don't "do art". I'm no artist. I'm just a Mom, a housewife, a woman who has this deep down need {secret} to play with paper and glue and paint and words and ideas and inspirations.  
And yesterday I began. I used gesso. I painted. I used techniques. I collaged. I used a pencil to sketch something on my collage. I mod podged. 
I can't wait to do it again. 
 XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
On with my Friday Favs for the week. 
1. Spending time being inspired by my darling daughter Emma. Love her fearlessness when it comes to ART! 
 That is Em on the left

2. Collage Blogs. Holy Moly there are DOZENS and DOZENS of amazing collage blogs out there!!! Check out these...you won't be sorry!!!



Frosted Petunias {thanks, Leanne!!}

My Awakened Heart {Bev, you are amazing!!}
Like I said...be sure and check these talented and inspiring ladies out!! 
3. Date Nights. Yep!! My husband and I {and Em} are all going out tonight...dinner and a movie and I can't wait!
Have a magical weekend, girlies!!
Don't forget you can WIN a collage kit that I'm putting together of all sorts of goodies and you can win the book by Jillinan Michal's called "Master Your Metabolism".
Be sure and leave a comment below...become a follower and click HERE to "Like" me on FB! You will get an entry for each thing you do!!!  
Happy Weekend GIRLS!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

What am I so Afraid of??

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do."  -Mark Twain

I love that quote. Why? Because it is full of truth. Looking back on my life and thinking about what I've done...I also think about what I wish I would have done. It is those things that make me the saddest. I always think What if I would have tried that or went there. How would my life be different today? Would I have already been published? Would I be acting on the stage, behind a camera or sitting behind a microphone. Would I be rich, successful?

But then I also think...really none of those things matter to me. What I wish for the most is the knowledge and the courage I would have gained by at least trying. After all I love my life. My family. Perhaps if I would have taken certain risks, taken the road less traveled I wouldn't have met my husband, had my children and be living the life I have now.

So now is the time for me to become fearless. For me to try new things, learn and grow. To not be afraid to try.

Then why is it?

For the past few YEARS I have wanted to paint a canvass.

Yes, I said YEARS!

Oh, I did try my hand at it about 8 years ago but, in my opinion, failed. It looked just awful. 

So I bought more books, read more blogs and studied techniques in hopes of gaining knowledge and courage to try again.


Each day I tell myself today is the day.


Well, I am here to tell you that TODAY really is the DAY! I am gonna do it. I have my canvass. my paints and I have a vision for my work!! I have been so inspired by Kelly Rae's ecourse and a new book by Shona Cole called "The Artistic Mother".

Today...I'm gonna get my feet wet. 

Today I'm gonna be fearless.

"Do one thing every day that frightens you."  -Eleanor Roosevelt

So, what frightens you? What is the ONE thing you have wanted to try but are scared to?? Let me know!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What to do with all those PAPERS!! {and WIN!}

So as you know I've been sorting, sifting, moving, re-arranging and creating my new space. I was unable to give my undivided attention to it last week due to camp...but this week has been different. For the past two days I've spent nearly every waking moment getting it just right.

And I LOVE it!

I do.

It is so "Me".

I look around and see my favorite idea books all in a row.


I see pretty shoe boxes stacked high with stamps, stickers and other ephemera inside.

I hung my inspiration board up...just above my computer and filled it with images, words and photos that give me that "I want to create" feeling in my tummy.

There are bins filled with patterned paper and cardstock. Baskets with glue, Mod Podge and colorful pens. 


It is PERFECT for me.


Now as awesomely terrific as it is now I know myself...I'm a clutterbug. I have so many papers I want to keep but don't know what to do with. These papers always, always, always end up in piles on my desk, a bookshelf or by my bed. 

But not anymore.

Nope.

Because I have a system.

And I want to share it with you.

Sarah Ban Breathnach, author of "Simple Abundance" dedicated June 11th to "Creating a Plan for Personal Papers". Here is a bit of what she says...

"If you don't have a plan for keeping track of your personal papers, take two hours this week to establish one that will. Think of all the time you waste when you don't know where something is when you need it."

I took Sarah's word to heart and along with creating my very own "sacred" place to write, create and find peace I went through my papers and filled my very own filing cabinet with all my piles. I have enjoyed it and am not sure why I hadn't tried this before.

Maybe I wasn't ready??

Here are my folder categories... These are in the top drawer...

addresses and e-mails
bloggyland inspiration
computer/digital photo how-to's
Em's awards and honors
instruction manuals and warranties
J's awards and honors
journaling class handouts
journaling prompts
keepsakes
Kelly Rae's class
Oprah inspiration
poems/quotes/phrases
recipes
Seminary/church
voter cards/tax stuff
words
Words of Me ideas


These are in the bottom drawer...

Ali inspiration
all about me inspiration
church inspiration {any talks we give I put here}
dental/medical
fitness challenges {any workouts I want to try}
fitness/food ideas {healthy food ideas, diets, etc}
Flylady organizing
HCG ideas
My kid's quotes/stuff they do {anything my kids say that I want to remember and use on a scrappy page}
receipts/theater tickets I want to keep
scrappy ideas
writing inspiration

Sarah ends the chapter with this...

"Now reflect on all the time that you'll be able to ransom simply because you do." {have the time}

I can't tell you how relaxed I feel knowing that all those paper piles I have had taking over my kitchen table...the kitchen island, my night stand, my desk...they can all be filed away.

Genius.

{no photos of my space yet. i will have them soon}

Have you tamed the "paper monster" or are you like I used to be...a "piler"? I would love to know!! Be sure and leave a comment below.

Oh and speaking of comments be sure and read this!!

We leave for vacation July 10th...about 4 weeks from now. Currently my Blog has 64 followers here and 65 on Facebook. I would LOVE to raise both those numbers to 80 before I leave!! So here's how it's gonna work!! I have TWO fabulous prizes to give away!!

The first one is Jillian Micheal's book "Master Your Metabolism". It is brand new!! If you are a Jillian fan you will love this book and gain new knowledge about what you should be eating.

The second prize is a bag of collage and scrappy goodies!! Chipboard shapes, stickers, random ephemera {including old postcards}, papers and MORE. I will be posting a photo of both prizes later in the week!!

Here's what you need to do to be eligible to win...

*leave a comment here {one entry}
*leave me a comment on my Words of Me fan page {one entry}
*Become a follower here AND on FB {2 entries}
*If you are already a follower here and/or FB you get 1 entry {be sure and leave me a comment, too!!}

So to be clear...for every comment you leave me on every post I write from today through July 7th, 2010 you will get an entry!!! Yep, you have LOTS of opportunities to WIN!! And I would appreciate the help to grow my blog!!!

Thanks girlies!!!!
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