Monthly Archives: February 2017

Before the Storm

Our weather people are forecasting possible severe storms this afternoon, this evening, and overnight. UGH. We really do need the rain, but I can do without the ‘severe.’

Our blooms made it through two nights of hard freezes, amazingly, but I’m not at all sure they’ll make it through high, gusty winds, blowing rains, etc.  So I’ve taken some pics to share with you, just in case we lose a bunch of the nice blooms we have right now.

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Here’s our front yard in a picture taken from the driveway. It makes me happy coming or going to see the lush daffodils almost everywhere I look, plus the tulip tree.

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Here’s a close up of the tulip tree. Most of the time it has green leaves and looks quite ordinary, but right now, its ‘tulips’ are wonderful.

 

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We have some redbud trees around the property. Right now this one is looking pretty nice.

 

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We have several groups of twice-blooming iris. They’re our favorites. We love the deep purple color.

 

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Here’s a close up of some of the daffodils. We started with one group beside the well house. Each year I dig some up and plant them elsewhere. This year I’ll try to get some going across the back yard.

Today when we went out to the shop, my husband said, “If I lived by myself, I wouldn’t have any flowers. It wouldn’t occur to me to plant them. I’m glad you did. THANK YOU.”

(Now he tends ‘his’ clematis planters, and tries to get our mandevilla to climb up the trellises to the roof of the deck.)

HAPPY SPRING!

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Filed under Gardening

Last of the Personalized Christmas Ornaments

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“Butterfly”

 

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Lamb”

 

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“Rocking Horse”

I finished the last of the 20 different hand-painted wooden personalized “Gingerbread Cookies” themed Christmas ornaments today.  I’ve had a lot of fun making them, along with the personalized Christmas Cards on the same theme.

If you’d like to see the whole collection, click HERE

I’m also working on a special group of ornaments as Christmas presents for good friends, so I’m having a blast in my art room lately. :0)

In the shop, I’ve started a new mosaic bowl. The design is free-form, meaning I’m just doing what I like. The sides of the bowl really slope, so I can only do a ‘ridge line’ each day, covering the glass only on the very top of the bowl, then turning it and adding more. Otherwise, the tiles slide down the bowl and dry wherever they end up. (Lesson on a previous sloping piece.)

I love days when I can do errands with my husband, get outside and enjoy the weather, spend time in my art room or the shop (or both), do a couple of “things-I-really-need-to-do-today” and THEN have time to start or continue a book….

I hope that YOU’RE having a fun day, too.

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Filed under Arts and Crafts - Teaching, Encouragement, Family

The Cure

The Cure by Douglas E. Richards

The Cure by Douglas E. Richards

 

“Erin Palmer had a devastating encounter with a psychopath as a child. Now a grad student and scientist, she’s devoting her life to studying these monsters. When her research catches the attention of Hugh Raborn, a brilliant neuroscientist who claims to have isolated the genes responsible for psychopathic behavior, Erin realizes it may be possible to reverse the condition, restoring souls to psychopaths. But to do so, she’ll not only have to operate outside the law, but violate her most cherished ethical principles.”

This author was new to me. My husband passed me the book, saying that he thought I might like it. I was unable to sleep night before last, so came downstairs to read awhile. I started this book, reading half of it before I absolutely could not hold my eyes open a moment longer. I stayed up late to finish it the next night.

I love stores with intelligent, strong women. I’m going to look for more by this author.

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Filed under Book - Movie - TV Reviews

Always Remember

Cool Funny Quotes

Cool Funny Quotes

When I first saw this, I laughed. Then I started thinking.

On its face, I think of trophies for everyone, everyone getting a first place ribbon, being told you’re special every day, etc.

On further thought, I think it’s healthy to feel that we’re each worth the water of which we’re made.

  • We don’t have to be able to sell a gazillion albums in order to truly enjoy singing, if only in our own shower. We can sing our favorite songs, full-throatedly and joyfully, not having to worry about what others think of us.
  • We don’t have to win a Nobel Prize in order to love discovering something new, a brain-blowing new idea, a new way to create, the solution to a long-standing problem.
  • We don’t have to want to win a beauty contest in order to push ourselves to get out of the recliner and onto the yoga mat, or cook something healthy in order to be the best we can be at whatever age we are.
  • We are unique if we look at each day as another opportunity to make a difference. The difference doesn’t need to be earth-shattering. If we make one person smile by extending extra kindness, making THEM feel unique, we’ve made a difference.
  • We are unique because we each look at the world differently. Some of us remain mired in our past, unable to appreciate that we can lift ourselves up. Some of us are paralyzed with fear, real or imagined, that stop possible progress. Some of us are allowing our worlds to implode, only looking inward. Hopefully, there is a time that we realize we are each uniquely shaping each day, doing the best we can we what we have at the time.
  • We are uniquely able to create our own happiness from something deep inside ourselves.
  • We are uniquely able to reach out to others.

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Filed under Favorite Quotes

Mr. Crayola – Take 1

My friend Marsha sent me information and pictures in an email about Don Marco, The Master Crayola Artist.

Don Marco was born in Northern Minnesota in the late 1920’s. His interest in art was evident even before starting school. As a young adult in the Army Air Corp, he began his life’s career in Air Traffic Control, which continued until his retirement from Honolulu International Airport in 1973. Much of his spare time was spent as a professional artist.
Before retirement, Don started developing a technique to create fine art, using Crayola Crayons. Shortly after retiring, he published his first print. Living in Southern California, his work was in demand, including commissions from Burt Reynolds and a one-man show at his Dinner Theater in Florida.

 

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It’s hard to imagine these are done with crayons!

 

 

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Burt Reynolds by Don Marco. Medium: Crayolas!

 

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Tom Selleck by Don Marco. Medium: Crayolas!

 

 

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Seascape by Don Marco. Medium: Crayolas!

 

 

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River Elk by Don Marco. Medium: Crayolas!

 

 

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Quigley by Don Marco. Medium: Crayolas!

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Exercise and Reward

1000+ Funny Diet Quotes on Pinterest

1000+ Funny Diet Quotes on Pinterest

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Having Fun

artaroundadams - kidzone

artaroundadams – kidzone

I’ve been consciously trying to devote part of my days to art lately, and I’m much happier for it.

Upstairs in my art room I’ve been painting more “Gingerbread Cookies” wooden Christmas ornaments. Right now I’m working on a lamb, a fancy butterfly, and a rocking horse.

I also found a gift idea I think many of my friends will like, so I’m working on that.

I’m also getting the itch to start another mosaic project. I have an interestingly-shaped glass bowl in the shop and I just got some tiles I ordered, so I’m giving myself permission to ignore some of my ‘shoulds’ and go out and get the project started.

I hope that you’re giving yourself permission to do something fun today, too!

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Filed under Childlike Fun

Truism

1000+ Funny Quotes on Pinterest

ThisHappyMom.com via 1000+ Funny Quotes on Pinterest

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Filed under Favorite Quotes, Grin for the Day

Decorative Focus

I love the idea of grouping several photos of something you love as a focus of your office, your den, or your living room. You bring gorgeous photos together, don’t spend a fortune, and create a happy place you and anyone who visits you will love.

Here’s an example –

I love lighthouses. I’ve been fascinated by them since I was a child. Living in Arkansas, I don’t get to see lighthouses very often. But look at these!

 

 

 

 

 

Using a variety of layered effects filters, Joe has created a unique artistic rendition of these photographs. These are open edition prints, printed on archival card stock with satin finish. The prints are 8×10 with 11×14, acid-free, white mats that are ready for framing with a standard 11×14 frames. Of course, no watermark on actual prints. Signed on the mat by the artist.

If you love pretty windows, sailing ships, flowers – see more of Joe Parskey’s photos  – to make your own collection!

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Filed under Awe-Inspiring Photography, CREATIVE ARTWORKS GOODIES!, Holiday Gift Ideas

“New Spring Shoots”

Vish Prasad

Vish Prasad

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Filed under Awe-Inspiring Photography, Mother Nature

Reality

Indulgy.com

Indulgy.com

Happiness is living so long that you no longer live for the weekends, trying to cram wonderful things into the too-swiftly-passing time that seems over almost as soon as it starts.

I feel a bit guilty now that, having lived this way most of my life, the tables have flipped!

I still enjoy weekends, but they also mean that I have to wait until Monday to be able to make calls to businesses, make appointments, and other things that require the work week.

I used to be frustrated with businesses because they opened after I went to work and closed before I finished work, and weren’t open on Saturdays or Sundays. I found the businesses that were open late, or open on the weekends, giving them all my business to make up for all the places that might as well not exist, as far as I was concerned. I also tended to resent people who DIDN’T have to cram everything into the weekend cluttering up the stores and businesses when they COULD have been there during the work week…

My husband is upset with weekends because the stock market isn’t open. Most deliveries don’t happen on the weekends. Lots of places where you need to speak to a person are closed until Monday.

I’m happy now that I’m free to schedule much of my time as I want, only having to work around scheduled appointments. I now make a point of handling my issues either before lunch or after lunch, rather than AT the lunch hour when working people are trying to dash around getting needed things done so that they can rush back to work. I try to avoid shopping on weekends – except for WalMart, which is always open and always busy.

I kind of miss planning for the weekends as I used to, living for a day off or maybe even more than one day off together! I rarely took vacations, since my work just sat there accumulating for when I got back. Now that I have my own website, I work all hours of the day and night, checking for and filling orders, answering emails, putting new things up, talking to people who would like to list their work with me, etc. I work harder now than I did before, never really being off, but loving it, nonetheless.

‘Monday is coming’ means different things to each of us, depending on our state in life.

 

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Filed under Attitude

Finishing Christmas Ornaments

Art 4 Playkids - Menina Pintando

Art 4 Playkids – Menina Pintando

I’ve been working some more on my “Gingerbread Cookies” Christmas Ornaments this afternoon.

Most of them are listed on the website now. I ordered more unfinished wood shapes so that I’m ready to take orders. While I was ordering, I found a butterfly I liked better than the one I made, and so ordered some of them. I’m painting a sample of that one, plus a cute rocking horse ornament, and a lamb.

Tomorrow I’ll finish them and post them so you can see them. I’ve had SUCH a good time on this project for the custom “Gingerbread Cookies” Christmas cards and personalized ornaments in the same theme.

My husband saw several of them on a plate while I was taking pictures. He picked one up, thinking they were cookies!

I couldn’t have a better reaction – though HE was a bit miffed they weren’t something sweet he could eat… :0)

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Filed under Arts and Crafts - Teaching, Childlike Fun, CREATIVE ARTWORKS GOODIES!

Magical

Zen to Zany via Cathy Ruggiero

Zen to Zany via Cathy Ruggiero

I think my husband’s MIND is magical. Here’s an example –

I told you we bought a used riding mower this week. The seller helped us get it into the back of the truck. My husband said, “Here, hold this,” while he got the strap with a built-in ratchet to work to tie the mower to the truck securely. (The back of the truck was open since the mower more than filled the truck bed.)

We got it home and then tried to figure out how to get the mower OUT of the truck without hurting it, or causing one or both of us grievous harm. I was really anxious about the situation. My husband should have married a combination weight lifter/football player/basketball player to be of adequate help to him on things like this. I’m simply not tall enough or burly enough to be of much help.

I had been up the night before, having bad dreams about getting the mower out of the truck. I dreamed that it was MY job to place the metal tracks so that my husband could back the mower down to the ground from the back of the truck. In my dream, I suddenly realized the tracks were misplaced. My husband tried to back the mower onto the tracks, ending up on the ground UNDER the mower, bleeding profusely, with me trying to figure out how to get the mower OFF of him and him to an emergency room. (I may be admitting to you that I’m mental, since I find myself in this type of situation often and my imagination goes wild each time.)

In actuality, we placed the tracks in the proper place. My husband got chocks (the plastic things that you put against your tires to keep them from rolling when you’re jacking up your vehicle.) We then put the mower in neutral and ‘walked’ it down out of the truck, 6 inches at a time on one wheel at a time to be held securely by the chocks, until the mower was down far enough we could let it roll the rest of the way.

The best ideas I could come up with on my own were –

  1. leave it in the truck until we could get two burly guys over here to help us, or
  2. put the truck in the middle of the yard. Place the tracks. Put the mower in neutral and start it down the tracks. Get out-of-the-way and let it go, hoping for the best.

My husband always has to – in effect – do all things like this by himself. I’m a willing helper, but you can see we’re not exactly on the same wave length on if things are possible at all, and how we should do them. I also am a regular old lady who doesn’t have a lot of strength. Each time he thinks things out, coming up with several ways we can do whatever it is we need to do. He says we also could have rigged a rope to let the mower down slowly.

Thank goodness I’m affiliated with a person who has such clear thinking and general smarts! It’s ‘magical’ to me.

 

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Attitude, Bright Ideas

A Beautiful Drawing

My friend, Madeleine Jacobs posted a drawing she did recently. I’m in awe of her talent.

Drawing by Madeleine Jacobs

Drawing by Madeleine Jacobs

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Creativity

Com”cat”ibility!

This is Abby

This is Abby

 

And this is Smoke

And this is Smoke

Abby puts up with Smoke grudgingly. And sometimes, not at all, hissing and spitting and wanting on the opposite side of the door from her. “Compatibility” is NOT their thing.

As I was typing this afternoon, I noticed an amazing thing!

 

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Smoke and Abby were in the bed at my feet under the counter NOT fighting!  I took a picture quickly because this is such a rare event.

Miracles DO occur!

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Paper Art – Take 8

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Origami – American Museum of Natural History

 

 

 

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Paper for Crafts – Etsy

 

 

 

 

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YouTube – Trick Art on Line Paper

 

 

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You Tube – Tutorial 28 -Quilling Made Easy

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These are Cookies? – Take 4

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These incredible cookie designs are so beautiful, you won’t want to eat them! Created by pastry chef and artist Judit Czinkné Poór from her cake-decorating shop in Ajka, Hungary, these complex designs are helped by Judit’s skills as a porcelain painter.

 

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photos by Me’zesmanna via Emily Davis, trendingly.com

 

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I’m in awe of the creativity and talent of Judit Czinkné Poór. These would all be a great thing for my diet. I couldn’t imagine eating ANY of them. I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing these.

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No Hard Freeze!

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I’m so happy that we didn’t have the hard freeze forecast for this morning, so all the blooming things are still alive and kicking! Every time we leave the house or come back, the daffodils all over the place this time of the year make me smile.

 

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As I walk around the yard, I find more twice-blooming deep purple iris. I just can’t get enough of them.

 

 

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Our sweet tulip tree blooms are very fragile. The wind is already blowing the petals down, but they look so pretty for a short time each spring. I love the furry little buds, too.

You CAN’T feel down when you’re surrounded by Mother Nature’s beauty. :0)

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Filed under Arkansas, Gardening, Greenwood

Quick Updates

This is the first time I’ve been at the computer all day and it’s almost dinner time!

We enjoyed our good friends at Lunch Bunch this morning, then went to a friend’s house, taking her a spare computer on which my husband had loaded Windows 10 and all the updates. (Her computer was acting wonky and she doesn’t know if she wants to buy a new one outright or have my husband tell her what to buy so he can build her a custom computer. ) We spent much of the day there, trying to get her computer to stay up long enough for my husband to transfer her personal things to the computer we brought. After fighting with it for several hours, my husband had tried all he could do. We left the spare computer set up and ready for her to use while she takes hers to Best Buy to see if they can get it running again. We’ll try the transfer again if the Best Buy people are able to resurrect her computer.

Yesterday I told you that we had our fingers crossed that we could get a riding mower for less than half price through Craig’s List. We did it! We met in the parking lot of one of the Fort Smith WalMarts and transferred the mower from the man’s trailer to the back of our truck with the use of metal loading ramps we had, plus a good tie-down strap to hold the mower in the truck bed.

mowerWe now have a used version of this one. Thanks to my husband’s smarts, we got the mower out of the truck without injuring it or us in the process. It needs a little care, but my husband doesn’t think it needs anything major. He found the model number and found a nice manual he downloaded from the net. This gives him good wiring diagrams, all the parts and ordering numbers, etc. He’s very happy with that. I’M happy that with some guidance, I should be able to mow the yard by myself, if needed, with a riding mower that’s easy to start. I’m delighted with our quality of life change for the better, even if our ‘new’ mower isn’t new or shiny. :0)

Our animals all greeted us happily when we got home. We rescued one cat (Smoke) who went into the shop last night. The animals who were out are now in and vice versa, and all are happy. Even my fish smiled at me. :0)

We’re going to have a very quiet, lazy evening in front of the TV.

I hope YOU had a happy day, too.

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Filed under Challenges, Changes

Fingers Crossed!

123RF.com

123RF.com

We have our fingers crossed that we can get a used riding lawn mower we found on Craig’s List this week.

We’re getting a little bit ‘long in the tooth’ in our family. We have plenty of opportunities for exercise with our square foot garden and flower beds without having to play ‘crack the whip’ with the self-propelled mower we have now. I usually have my husband do the edges of the yard, then do several rounds of mowing, having to plan WAAAAY ahead not to be ruthlessly whipped about before I can hand the reins back to him.  The mower is really too much for me, but I don’t want him out fighting with the yard by himself. Our quality of life would be much improved if we could ride while mowing.

The picture below gives you an idea of what we’re trying to get for about half the price we would have to pay for a new one. We’re going to meet the seller in Fort Smith this afternoon. Wish us luck!

lawnmower

 

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These are Cookies? – Take 3

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These incredible cookie designs are so beautiful, you won’t want to eat them! Created by pastry chef and artist Judit Czinkné Poór from her cake-decorating shop in Ajka, Hungary, these complex designs are helped by Judit’s skills as a porcelain painter.

 

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photos by Me’zesmanna via Emily Davis, trendingly.com

 

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Paper Art – Take 7

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Newspaper Recycle Ideas – Google Play

 

 

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John Evans – @DistinctBoxes on Twitter

 

 

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Origami-Inspired Wildlife Paper Lamps – Fubiz

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Sproing!

Spring has definitely sprung here in Greenwood, Arkansas. Accordingly, since a lot of things are blooming, we’re due for a hard freeze both Saturday and Sunday, probably killing everything. :0(

Our daffodils are abloom all over the yard, more lush than I’ve ever seen them.  Here are a few examples –

 

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Our tulip tree is abloom, as well.

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We’ve also had several purple iris blooming. Here’s one that’s gorgeous this morning –

 

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Mother Nature sometimes has a nasty sense of humor, particularly in Arkansas. I’m hoping that these sweet plants – plus my Georgia Sweet Onion sets – will survive the hard freezes this weekend. If not, we have at least gotten to enjoy them for a bit.

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Filed under Arkansas, Gardening, Greenwood, Mother Nature

These are Cookies? – Take 2

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These incredible cookie designs are so beautiful, you won’t want to eat them! Created by pastry chef and artist Judit Czinkné Poór from her cake-decorating shop in Ajka, Hungary, these complex designs are helped by Judit’s skills as a porcelain painter.

photos by Me’zesmanna via Emily Davis, trendingly.com

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“Wood Water Mill”

"Wood Water Mill" - Paul Militaru Photography

“Wood Water Mill” – Paul Militaru Photography

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Paper Art – Take 6

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DIY – HandmadeCrafts – YouTube

Each of us can start with the same pieces of paper, and each of us creates something different. It delights me how some creative people can think completely outside the box. Where I might try to draw something on the paper, this person creates a lovely, three-dimensional flower.

 

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Fubiz Media

And this person creates an amazing paper sculpture!

 

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Google Play – 3D Paper Art

And this delights the child in all of us!

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Yet Another New Regimen…

Yourellipticals.com

Yourellipticals.com

I’m STILL  trying to come up with an exercise regimen with which I can stick. Yesterday and today I started out with a session on the elliptical trainer. Yesterday I pooped out at 16 minutes. Today I did better, doing 30 minutes.

I was doing yoga 3 days a week, the elliptical twice a week, and one day each of upper and lower body strength exercises.  I discovered I was blowing it off mid week for some reason, and didn’t feel as well as I did when I did a session of yoga each day.

boredboard.com

boredboard.com

So I’m going to try doing a session of the elliptical trainer in the morning and yoga in the afternoon. I’ll also try to work in the strength exercises if I’m feeling sassy.

My weight and inches loss remains a challenge. My husband and I are using lots of excuses to eat things we shouldn’t. (Last night it was fried rice from Lin’s House. )  I told him that I was really having trouble staying on my diet and that we can’t celebrate “National Pickle Week” every night.

I had stopped using MyFitnessPal for some reason, and I started it up again yesterday. I left my motivation in one of the piles around the house, but I AM finding it, bit by bit. Once I get my act together – firmly shutting my mouth after I enjoy my orange dream bar after dinner –  I hope to again enjoy weight and inches loss. Fingers crossed!!!!!

taolife.com

taolife.com

 

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Attitude, Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise

Paper Art – Take 4

pa-colossalartdesignandvisualculture-www-thiscolossal-com

http://www.thiscolossal.com – Colossal Art Design and Visual Culture

 

 

pa-1000ideasaboutcutpaperart-pinterest

1000+ Ideas about Cut Paper Art – Pinterest

 

 

pa-1000ideasaboutquillingart-pinterest

1000+ Ideas about Quilling Art – Pinterest

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These are Cookies? – Take 1

ec1-mezesmanna

 

 

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“These incredible cookie designs are so beautiful, you won’t want to eat them! Created by pastry chef and artist Judit Czinkné Poór from her cake-decorating shop in Ajka, Hungary, these complex designs are helped by Judit’s skills as a porcelain painter.”

Photos by Me’zesmanna

Collection thanks to Emily Davis, trendingly.com

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Filed under Creativity

Do NOT

Spreadshirt

Spreadshirt

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Filed under Attitude, Grin for the Day

I Shot the Plates

shootingpractice2

My husband built a set of targets called, “Falling Plates” beside the shop, in front of a big pile of slag and our raised bed garden.

 

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Here’s a close-up of the targets. They’re metal ‘plates’ with counterweights on a long bar. When you hit a plate, it falls over. When you’ve shot them all, you stop and go set them up again.

 

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He’s been bugging me to go shoot for several weeks now. Today I said, “Okay,” mainly to shut him up. I KNOW it’s important that, if I need to shoot somebody, I can actually hit him – significantly – not just teeing him off.

I started out pretty badly. I managed to load half the magazine before somehow pinching a part of the palm of my hand. The first time I shot, I was high. I again learned that with this gun, I should aim low. I then shot about half the plates with the magazine of bullets.

The second time I hit three of the four plates. I managed to fill half of each of the two magazines. My husband took pity on me and finished filling them up.

The last time I shot, I killed all four plates with two bullets left in the first magazine. My husband pronounced me ‘healed.’ He shot the rest of the first magazine and all of the second. He aimed high at first, too, but quickly corrected.

I should practice more, but I really don’t enjoy shooting. I anticipate the loudness of the shot and feel that it takes forever for me to finally shoot once I start squeezing the trigger.

I do feel better that I was hitting the plates regularly when we stopped for the day.

If you’re a bad guy trying to get me, watch out!!!!

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Attitude, Challenges