Monday, June 30, 2014

A few new Serene CU products

I've really enjoyed the colors and theme of my (Wonderland Scraps) recent Serenity kit. there were other ideas I had for the kit but finally had to tell myself, Stop & load the kit already. That done and a set of stacked papers loaded too, I went back to play with the items in my 4 Serenity folder once I got the PC fixed. the result is a set of borders, a set of frames, and a set of clusters. Previews and links below. Working on ideas for 2 other collections but we've got vacation and our 18th anniversary coming up so it won't be right away.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

PC Woes, Unwanted Guests, & a Free Paper

Ever since Microsoft discontinued support for XP under Microsoft Security, I've had increasing problems with my PC> I bought one program that is supposed to clean the registry but it wasn't taking care of the biggest problems I was having. I investigated several other free options to no avail. Most will certainly scan for you but then to fix the problems that are found, you have to buy the program. I was fighting with this again today and looking into buying a windows 7 upgrade. No, that wouldn't cure the problem but would give me Microsoft Security that might find it. My husband saw me struggling and asked what the problem was. Then he proceeded to suggest the things I'd already tried. Next he suggested I call our BIL who usually does our computer work. I didn't want to because I knew he was involved in a project in his off time. Besides, I knew if he did have time to come over he'd probably tell me 2 things: 1) You have too much on here! & 2) The best bet is to wipe it clean and start over. Well, you know that means losing a lot of stuff. But hubby called and BIL suggested I download Bit Defender - the free version. He has 3 daughters at home all still running XP with Bit defender wiping out problems. I did download and it fixed a few more things. But a couple things kept coming back so I did more research. Turns out one adware program that was causing pop-ups often isn't detected as malware because it has a valid signature. It shows up in your add/remove programs list as fst_us_118. When you try to remove it you get weird pop-ups about uninstalling and other program names (;ike something that supposedly converts Utube files). Do all you can and when it says it has removed it, it also says some items must be removed manually. And my add/remove screen hung up. In my research I learned that you need to go into c\users\%username%\appdata\local\fst_us_118\ and remove that folder. I did and it removed the ads! I was also able to remove that annoying installer of malware that pretends to be a windows installer. Hurrah!
All happy that things were back to normal with PC, I went into the kitchen and discovered the stovetop (one of those flat cooking surfaces) crawling with sugar ants. They had already gotten into a package of cupcakes and were having a feast. My Terminex guy had said last visit that we were lucky as everyone else was battling these unwanted guests. Sugar ants are especially hard to get rid of. We used to get them in the sunmmer but some years back had a super Terminex guy who went the extra mile and tracked down the origin. Haven't had them for years until now. So I had to spray, set out traps, and remove the damage. Yuck! Hate bugs of any kind.
On the plus side. We don't need the cupcakes anyway, and the PC is fixed, laundry done today too. Got to work on some designs again. And I made a CU paper for you. Hope you like it.
Pick it up here: Hugs! and thanks to cheyOkota for the lovely dividers

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A little freebie for you

Still fighting PC woes. Bought a cheapie ($20) program called Registry Clean Pro as a stopgap while deciding what all to do. It says it's cleaning errors but what it isn't getting rid of are these darn ads that are popping up over everything. I've tried finding out what program that is so I can search it out and (hopefully) destroy it but no luck so far. Also put on free version of Spybot Search & Destroy. And I used the Windows app to see if my system is compatible for Windows 8, even though I don't want and can't afford it. It says it mostly is but a couple of my key programs won't work with it. Grrr. Anyway, I do have a small freebie for you today that coordinates with my new kit, Serenity. It's a tag and a teacup.
I hope you can find use for it. Here is the link: Back to surgeon tomorrow for follow-up then a quick Costco run (nothing heavy)and a stop at my Dad's house. I just finished balancing his checkbook for him (something he never learned to do 'cause Mom always did it) and I'm picking up some items for him at Costco. I'll visit with his companion, Miss June, who has had a terrible year so far: pneumonia, followed by a bad fall in which she broke 3 bones in her foot, plus a number of cancerous skin lesions. With one thing after another, she's exhausted and depressed so I'm trying to think of a little something to take along to cheer her. Hope you all are doing well and happily scrapping and, dare I hope? journaling. Hugs! PS _ Thanks Stacey, for letting me know link wasn't showing up. Been having trouble with blogger not showing links even though I'm doing it the same as always. Have to keep checking the published post to be sure link is there and I got distracted and thought I'd checked this one before. Seems to be working now but please continue to let me know when you have trouble.

Sunday, June 22, 2014


Here are the elements to We R Family: Working on registry errors on PC

Saturday, June 21, 2014

I want to scream & a freebie

Okay, so I have Windows XP which Microsoft Security no longer supports and I can't afford to update to Windows 8 (which I understand has problems anyway and is about to be replaced by newer version). I have been having problems for days now with things my PC is picking up like Wajam and FreeSoft. I search them out, remove them and as soon as I open a tab in google they pop up again with really weird options for downloading. No matter which you choose, it starts to install! Going crazy over this. Anyone else having this problem? Thought about calling my BIL who usually does my computer work but he's hard to get lately, tied up with other stuff and when all else fails, his answer is to delete everything and start over. The thought of all I'd lose is giving me a headache. On the other hand, maybe this is the universe's way of telling me I spend too much time on PC (I do) and that I could be making better use of my time. [Sigh]
I don't think I've given out this little mini before - hope not. Here are papers: And now to get to the email I've missed. Elements tomorrow

Friday, June 20, 2014

More Pocket Journaling & A Site You Will Want To Check

It's late, we've been having bad thunderstorms with high winds and hail and I've got a bit of a headache. I'm going to try to cram lots of information in for you quickly. First, more Pocket Journaling. I have another zip for you tonight but forgot to make a preview. You can download here: Today I'm going to ask you to be brave, We all have fears; they are things we try to put out of our minds usually. Facing up to them is a big step towards defeating those fears. So, today, choose a card and write down one of your fears. That's it. Right now we're not going to do anything but acknowledge the fear. When we start doing journal jumps, this would be a good card to pull and explore, but for right now just own it and put it aside.
I've been feeling stir crazy the last couple days. It's not that I'm usually out and about so much as being told I shouldn't be. (Yeah, follow that logic lol). I'm not supposed to be driving yet so I'm looking at the same walls. I've slept plenty and I'm not supposed to be lifting anything over 10 lbs which lets out doing laundry because my husband's uniforms are so heavy. Sure, I don't like housework anyway but gee, I've been bored. So I've been doing some internet surfing, Initially, I was looking for some free meditation downloads, which I found. But I happened upon a lot of interesting stuff. One find relates to our summer challenge and I want to share this with you. Most of you are scrappers so I'll bet you know Ro Paxman of Scrap Girls? A very interesting and talented lady to be sure. I was visiting her site called Life Muses by Ro here: and discovered that she is offering a freebie I think you'd find useful. It's a free printable Life Planner. Just sign up for her mailing list and she will send you the links. With so many of us trying to make improvements in our lives, this is a great find. While reading other posts I'd missed, I learned she also has some wonderful Inspiration Cards (also free). These cards feature affirmations that will help you change self sabotoging thoughts and move you in the direction you want your life to go. Change your thoughts; change your life. Seriously, this isn't wishful thinking. In addition to being a source of inspiration and positive affirmations, I can also see how we could use those cards as prompts to journal. For instance, say you randomly draw the card that says, I am brave. Maybe you don't think you are, but I'll bet if you try you can think of instances that prove you can be. What about the day a big dog menaced your child? Bet you didn't think twice before stepping in between the dog and child. Don't discount that. We need to learn to give ourselves credit. Doing so reinforces behaviors we want to increase. If you sign up for Ro's mailing list, she will also share her personal story with you and you will understand why she is interested in passing along wisdom she's gained. Hope I haven't muddled that too much as I hurry to finish up before the storm takes over again.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Pocket Journaling Week 3

I'd like to hear from you. Does starting a journal by using small cards to jot down ideas, thoughts, issues, etc making it any easier for you to start the process of keeping a journal and reaping the benefits? Why? Why not? I'm eager to start talking to you about things like goal setting, determining your priorities, and balancing your life - all topics that are often found in journals. But if you haven't begun the writing habit, is it going to do any good? I'd like to think so but I may be wrong.
As you know, last Thursday I had gallbladder surgery. I'm doing okay but still have to be careful with bending and lifting etc. Have done an awful lot of sleeping over last few days with a lot of vivid dreaming. There are numerous views on dreaming from it being a series of random nerve firings triggering bits and pieces of memories and stored information that our brain tries to make some sense out of to the notion that dreams are messages from our subconscious. Where am I going with this? Just thought a fun journal prompt might be to jot down whatever you remember of a dream this week and consider whether or not you think it's trying to tell you something. You might also choose to write about 3 things you are grateful for this week. Or something you are looking forward to.
I have a Care Card for you today:
You might want to journal about any ways in which you sometimes feel you Aren't enough.

Serenity from Wonderland Scraps

Imagine a beautiful garden spot where it is cool and comfortable, where you can read, relax, and meditate. A place lovely and serene. This personal use and scrap for hire kit includes 12 full size papers plus one full size lotus pond background. The 49 elements include comfortable seating, candles for ambience, flowers to perfume the air, crystals to enhance good vibes and more.
See also Serenity Stacked Papers.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Journal Prompts

After a very long night in which I was up about every 30 minutes, I'm about ready to head back to bed. Made my call to my father and will catch up with him during the week. Hubby is at grandson's baseball game so all quiet here. thought I'd give you a few journal prompts. 1) Think back to childhood and recall what was the first career you thought you'd like to have. Are you doing that sort of work now? * 2) Write about something you left behind. * 3) Complete this sentence: The river of dreams . . . * 4) What is your personal secret of happiness? * 5) Where would you vacation if money (& other concerns) didn't hold you back? * 6) Start a bucket list. * 7) What does empowerment mean to you? * 8) What is your biggest concern right now? * 9) what is the best gift you ever recieved? * 10) There are 4 weeks in the month so choose one goal for each of the weeks in July. Make it something you can accomplish in a week, Be specific *** If you haven't been able for some reason to print out your pocket journal cards to carry with you, carry around some indez cards if you have them or just scraps of paper and whenever you have to wait for something - like in a doctor's office or a line of some kind - jot down what you are thinking about. Try taking 5 minutes at the end of the day to jot down ideas, things you want to remember, things you want to explore, etc. Then at your earliest opportunity, write these up on your journal cards and put those completed cards in a safe place to be used next month. In July we will use completed pocket journal cards as jumps to full size journal pages where you can explore in more detail. You may want to go to the blog of True North Scraps where she is offering some lovely journal card freebies: And if you come across free journal cards appropriate to our project, or prompts, or have suggestions for prompts, Please don't hesitate to write me. I will be happy to make note of those here for everyone. Have a great weekend.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Quick update before I go back to bed.

My thanks to everyone for their supportive comments and prayers for my gallbladder surgery. It went pretty well for most part. Doc was able to do it laproscopically but instead of just being able to do one incision, she had to make 4. I had a good talk with the anesthsilogist beforehand and he was able to keep me from having nausea and vomiting afterward and no trouble waking either. But my time in the recovery room was scary. In a flash I was in severe pain. Got some pain meds in IV and it wasn't helping. Ended up having some of 5 different kinds of pain meds including DeLaudin and morphine. My blood pressure which is normally on low side, shot up enough to unnerve the team and I had an EKG which was fine so they added a drug to lower blood pressure. Could have stayed over night but went with original plan to go home same day. I was so loopy from all the drugs that hubby had to help me walk the few steps from bedroom to bathroom and wouldn't let me out of bed. Friday I felt really sore but pain wasn't too bad. In fact, I decided I really didn't need that pain pill at bedtime. Big mistake! So I'm back on them every 5 hours. Covering bandages came off today, leaving just steri strips and only one of the incisions looks bad. I'm anxious to take a shower and wash my hair which I could do today since I'm now past the 48 hr mark but think I'm going to wait until later or in the morning. Still kind of dizzy at times and pain is still relatively high. But no nausea or reflux so far. Of course, I've been just eating jello, Lipton chicken noodle soup, protein shakes and lots of water. I am so hoping this will be the answer for a lot of problems. I owe notes to several people so please bear with me. One thing I'm going to post now before I forget it - about that prompt for a soundtrack of your life. It's really just a list of songs you've enjoyed, songs that bring up memories (good and bad). Nothing you should stress over - should be fun. You can surely come up with 8 songs? I've started my list and right off I knew the Beatles have to be on it since I was a teen when they first came over. Biggest problem there is choosing a song so I'm not going to. Their music extended so many years, in so many different styles and all of it (just about) reminds me of something in my life. I really must get back to bed as my pain med is kicking in. Thanks again for all the good wishes. Hugs!

Father's Day products now in store.

I started some products for the Father's Day CAK at Digi Style Design before I went to surgery and all but one is ready in store. Having a Zen glitch with second set of elements. Here is my take on the Father's Day theme (& my Dad doesn't fish lol).
and a free CU border you can pick up in the store:

You Are My Sunshine freebie

Friday, June 13, 2014

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Great prompt for Pocket Journal

I just finished reading Sing You Home by Jodi Picolt The main character, Zoe, is a music therapist and she has a question she likes to ask prospective dates (& others) that I think makes a great journal prompt. What songs would be on a mixed tape as sound track for the story of your life?

Update & freebie

Tomorrow, first thing, I leave for surgery. Have to be there at 8am (tha'ts early for me lol) so I'm frantically trying to get some things done that I may not be able to deal with for a week or so. Will set up a few scheduled posts to run while I'm down. Today, you can start downloading a small PU kit called Spring Comes Softly.
Here is element pack:

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Pocket Journal & Scrapping

Yes, this post should have gone up by yesterday (Monday) at the latest but life got in the way. And I have a number of things to take care of before I go for surgery first thing Thursday. So, how are you doing with the summer challenge? Seriously, how hard is it to jot down a couple thoughts,comments about life, reflections - whatever - every day? I'll give you a few more journal prompts but really you can write about anything. It need not be soul searching or deep, but it certainly can be. Let's start with something easy like My Favorite Place - where is it? what makes it special to you? What's the first thing that comes to mind when it's mentioned? Here's the beginning of a sentence: In this life . . . Continue writing with the first thing that pops into your head. How about a What If question? What if you could live anywhere in the world - no worries about restrictions of any kind, financial or otherwise. Where would you live? would you like a fiction writing prompt? How about writing a scene in a restaurant. Many of us do not like the names we were given at birth but few get a formal name change. What if you had an option to change your name today with no fuss and bother? What would your new name be? Or write about something you regret.
The other day, I said I waas going to talk to you about freewriting. This is an easy technique I taught my writing students and if you are ready to move on to doing more writing, you will find it helpful. What you need: blank paper, your favorite writing instrument (I prefer gel pens because they don't drag), a timer of some sort, a place to sit comfortably and write without interruption. How to: 1. Set a time for how long you will write. you might want to start with 10 minutes. Set a kitchen timer or other device so you won't be distracted by having to check your watch or a clock. 2. If you want to focus on a particular topic, write that at the top of the page, otherwise leave it blank. What you end up with may surprise you whether you start with a topic or not. 3. Start the timer and begin writing. Just write down whatever comes to mind, quickly. If you can't think of anything, write that or, if you had written something before you got stuck, just repeat the last few words. 4. Do NOT stop writing until the timer goes off. The way I was told is, Don't take your pen off the page. 5. Do NOT worry about spelling, punctuation, or grammer. Just keep going. 6. Don't read anything you've written until you're done and don't judge or censor. Just write whatever comes to mind. 7. After the timer goes off, only then can you read what you've written.Be prepared for it to be sloppy. Circle or underline ideas that you like or that you think might be useful in some project. 8. You might want to group the ideas you've circled or underlined and see where that takes you. 9. Know that there may be surprises. Silencing your inner critic may lead to discoveries. Benefits: Freewriting bypasses your inner censor who tells you you can't write and/or stops you from writing about things that are sensitive or that your censor thinks is inappropriate in some way. It can release inner tensions. It helps you become more comfortable with the act of writing and can indirectly improve your formal writing. It can help you discover what to write about or how you feel about a given topic. It can help you beat "writer's block." And it's fun!
Here is a preview of this week's Pocket Journal zip:
Pick it up here: I also have a scrapbook mini kit freebie for you Hugs

Friday, June 6, 2014

Sharing some pocket journal cards

Quick post. It's Friday and I'm wondering if anyone has used some of the pocket journal cards? I want to encourage you to use these as an easy way to begin keeping a journal because it has so many benefits for you. To that end, I've decided to share a couple of my cards from this week. The two cards I'm sharing today were reproduced on the computer because my handwriting isn't always easy to read and because this saved me the trouble of having to individually scan my cards.
I added some grunge to the stained paper card, which I think fits the "worst qualities" theme. Obviously, these are just a few things about myself that I know are not so good and which I'd like to improve.
I confess I had more trouble with "best qualities." I think it's because we often link our qualities to roles in our minds. For instance, being a mother is a role so you might feel one of your best qualities is being a good mother or parent. A lot of my roles have changed and I'm at a point where I'm re-evaluating where I'm at in life and where I want to go next. Exploring my options is a good thing for me to journal about. what about you? What's on your mind? If there are things that you need to think through or explore, journaling can be a big help, provided you are honest with yourself. Later today, if I can get back to PC, I will tell you about a way you can bypass your inner censor and find out what you really think.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Oops! Finishing up discussion 2 on pocket journal- mediums to journal in

I got interrupted earlier when I was writing about various mediums you could use to journal. I gave my opinion on using the computer to journal but forgot to get back to other mediums. Let's do that now. Some people, especially those who "art journal," use an artist sketchbook into which they can paste items, draw, paint, write and so on. Some make what we call altered books for this purpose, in which they re-purpose an old book using it's pages as the base for art work and journaling. Scrapbook enthusiasts do a certain amount of journal work on scrapbook pages, often noting details of a particular day captured in photos. Others love to write in bound journals. There are many beautiful bound journals on the market ranging from less expensive versions with laminated artwork on cardboard covers to the expensive leather bound versions. I've been given a number of lovely bound journals in lined and unlined varieties by well meaning people who love using them. Most are still on my bookshelves. For one thing, I find them uncomfortable to write in and for another I'm inhibited by the desire not to mess up a pretty book. I put bound composition books into this category too, mostly because of the comfort issue. [As a side note, if you know someone who likes to use bound journals, or someone you are trying to entice into trying to keep a journal, you can make a quick, inexpensive and useful gift from a simple bound composition book, scrapbook supplies and your creativity. With paper supplies or digital art that you will print out, you simply make a beautiful journal cover and affix it to the composition book. Use a sealer or other such medium to waterproof the cover and there you have it. Seneca Pond also sells wonderful collage type covers made to fit composition books if you want a shortcut.] I've tried spiral bound notebooks with some success but again, they aren't all that comfortable, they tend to fall apart after awhile, and there is always the temptation to tear out "just one page" for some other use. Next thing you know, it's a mess. What works best for me is college lined loose leaf notebook paper, the kind you put into a loose leaf 3 ring binder like we used in school. This paper is cheap (especially just before school starts), is easy to arrange for comfort, easy to store. I also use 3" x 5" index cards, keeping a few in my pocket calender at all times to capture ideas and things I want to reflect on while I'm on the go. I use them much like I'm suggesting you use the pocket journal cards I'm providing. And I love gel pens! Pencil rubs away, ball point pens snag the paper, but gel rolls smoothly. I like to keep a couple colors in my purse. Another plus to using notebook paper and a binder is that you can, if you wish, add dividers. That is useful if you want one central place to keep what could be considered separate journals or just so you can isolate creative ideas/writer's journal material from thoughts on relationships, for example. I keep one binder that is all text (except for a rare page doodle) and another that has only art journal pages. If you haven't tried keeping a journal before, you might want to experiment to see which medium suits you best. It doesn't matter what others use, or whatever is currently in style. What matters is that it feels right for you. Until next time, scrap happy and write your heart out.

Watermelon Smoothie kit freebie

Here are the papers for Watermelon Smoothie:

Pocket Journal Week 1 zip correction

For some reason google won't let me update and correct the link for the first zip in this series! If you already have the zip. no need to download again as nothing of substance is changed, just changed file names and added TOU which you will get in 2nd zip anyway. If you haven't downloaded zip 1 yet, please use this link:

More on Pocket Journaling

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” – Aristotle You may be wondering how writing a few words on these pocket sized cards is going to give you the reported benefits of journaling. I want you to think of these little cards you're working with as seed packets. The plan is to ease you into full fledged journaling (whatever you eventually make of it) by first developing a habit of taking a few minutes every day to write and reflect - about anything. Some where along the way, I expect you will find a prompt that calls to you or just have the experience of writing something in a few minutes that has meaning. A few words can be all it takes to recall thoughts you will want to explore more fully at a later time. In that way, your journal cards act as seeds that you can plant and water (think about and explore in writing) and see bloom. When you take time to reflect and explore your thoughts and feelings, a number of things may happen. You may better understand your stand on an issue, be better able to come to a decision, discover things about yourself you didn't realize and so on. Therefore, it's important to consider a few - not rules really - ways of being consistent so you will better be able to make sense of these short notes later on. Be consistent in writing once a day. Some people suggest choosing a particular time of day and sticking to it. That doesn't work for me and I think it takes some of the spontaneity out of what you produce. I suggest writing whenever you feel like it, when something is on your mind, or when you've got a few minutes to fill. Just be sure you write. Be honest with yourself. This is for you, so don't write things you think you should. If you need to express an opinion that wouldn't be popular spoken aloud, do it. Something make you angry? It's okay to express that. Do jot the date on your card for when you look back on it. Do name names so you can make better sense of what you've written instead of having to ask yourself, who was I talking about? While you can write about the same things every day, such as things you are grateful for that day, do vary your topics. Ask yourself questions and answer them.*************************************************************************************************************** Later we will look at the types of journals people keep but right now (in case you are already eager to move beyond the pocket cards), let's talk about mediums for journaling. Since I'm writing to you on my computer and publishing it on my blog, we must discuss using the computer to keep a journal. Lots of people do. Some have their journal on-line, while others save to their personal hard drive. I really don't suggest computer journaling. Definitely don't keep an on-line journal unless you are don't care about possible consequences, such as everyone being able to read your thoughts and emotions, dealing with those who might feel you are maligning them and so on. Even keeping a journal on your hard drive can be tricky if you want to be totally honest in what you write. Who has access to your computer? Do you really think password protection will prevent them from reading your journal? But mostly, my objection comes from my teaching experience. Students who take notes on laptops and computer notebooks don't learn as well as those who take notes longhand. There is something in the connection between the hand and the brain that makes what you write longhand stay with you better. Call it muscle memory. This also allows for you to use some tricks to overcome the inner critic and get to what you are really thinking and feeling. More on that later. And now some more prompts and another zip for you.
(Divider courtesy of a kit by Ricku) In today's zip
are 6 cards and a few elements. I forgot to mention that if you are printing the cards from the collage sheet, you will want to use the print borderless option on your printer. Also, I'd started out just noting the journal cards as ws for Wonderland Scraps but that didn't seem right so have switched over to using D'Ambrosio Arts which I use for all other creative endeavors. Not a big thing but in case you wondered. *** Every thing's coming up roses - write about something good happening in your life.*** There's a blue card I think of as Bubbling Up - good for noting thoughts that keep bubbling up in your mind. You know, ideas that seem to come from no where but are persistent? *** Sunshine thoughts - what makes you happy? *** Wouldn't the abstract card be good for things you wonder about? It also makes me think of a landscape so you might want to use it for reflections on nature *** In this life . . . go on with this thought. *** My favorite place - where is it? why? Pick up zip here:

There's a new CAK in town

This month, Digi Style Designs CAK is Father's Day with a nice cool palette. You can find the first few enteries here: All I've completed for this so far is a package of papers:
and I have some borders in the works.

Surgery Set, Summer Freebie

Finally got a surgery date - June 12th. Found out the concern is less about gallstones and more about an "abnormality in gallbladder wall." We don't really know what that means. Plan is for a laproscopic procedure and if all goes well, I'll get to come home same day with recovery time expected at 5-10 days. There is a possibility this could turn into an "open" procedure and might involve some additonal corrections by gastroenterologist. An open procedure would mean being admitted and staying 3 or 4 days with recovery time around 6 weeks. That's unlikely though as this is a very common surgery.**************************************************************************** ******************************************************************************************************************** I didn't get finished the next zip for pocket journaling but hope to get that up tomorrow with more info. Thanks, Stacy, for your enthusiasm. Hope others join us. Meanwhile, I have a number of retired kits - most minis - that I'll be sharing with you. Tonight I'm loading the elements to Watermelon Smoothie shown here:
This little mini even includes a recipe for a cool watermelon smoothie. Hope you enjoy it.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Summer Challenge - Part One: Pocket Journaling

Today I'm issuing a summer challenge; I'm challenging you to start journaling and, if you are already journaling - whether just text or art journaling, then I'm challenging you to share tips and prompts with those who are just beginning. I'm sure you have heard about the benefits of journaling. If you haven't, please visit these links to learn what it can do for you in terms of mental and spiritual, as well as physical well being.
Maybe like many people I've suggested journaling to, you have a number of excuses for why you don't do so. Just a few I've heard frequently include: It takes too much time. I just end up with a list of what I've done that day. I don't know where to begin or what to say. I don't write well. I look at the blank page and freeze. Let me refute these for you. You can journal for only a few minutes and still benefit. You talk, don't you? Then you can write. Remember, this is for you so no worries about spelling and punctuation and so on. If a blank page intimidates you, then start with one that has something on it.
I'm going to make this challenge really easy so you can get started journaling and you can easily expand on it later. Here is the plan. We're going to incorporate a little art journaling into traditional journaling, but this doesn't mean you have to be able to draw or be particularly artistic so no worries there.. We're going to start small, using some journal cards I'll provide for you to print out and carry with you. That way, whenever you've got a few minutes or the mood strikes, you can journal a little.
You've probably seen any number of "journal cards" provided for sale or free by various digital artists. Sometimes these are just small blank or decorated tags where you can add titles for photos on scrapbook pages or other notations. Sometimes the journal cards are . . . well, more journal oriented with prompts or phrases with blanks for you to fill in. For this challenge you will get (free) a combination of blank backgrounds, some elements to decorate them with, some decorated cards with prompts. And sometimes a couple of separate prompts (independent of cards) that you might wish to use and sometimes what I call a Care Card – an ATC with a quote or thought or words of encouragement
The one thing I will keep constant is the size. I've decided we will use the standard artist trading card (ATC) size of 2.5" x 3.5". That's the size of a standard sport trading card. My reasons for this choice are several: how intimidating can something that small be? It's a good size to tuck into your datebook, pocket calendar or purse to carry along. And you can cheaply buy thin plastic sleeves meant to keep sport cards fresh to store your journal cards in if you choose. You might also want to buy a pack of pocket pages which hold a number of sports cards and fit into a looseleaf binder. That way you can keep completed pocket cards together to do some journal jumps (I’ll explain more later.) I would recommend you printing the pocket cards out on cardstock (Walmart has it for low price.) as plain paper tears too easily
I had hoped to make this more coherent than it's going to be this first time, but my father became ill and I had to go take care of him. I want to go ahead and get you started even if the "goodies" aren't quite right. The first packet will include collage sheets of cards you can print out and also pngs versions in case you want to use these another way. To start, I made 3 decorated cards and 4 blank cards, plus one care card. At this point in the year, most women (at least in the USA zone) are thinking about summer attire, especially beach wear and perhaps having some concerns about their weight. You first care card addresses this, reminding you that your weight is Not your worth. If you happen to be overweight, or thinner than you'd like to be (Today this might not be the issue it was for me when I was young), don't be hard on yourself. You do not have to be model perfect to be beautiful. True beauty comes from within. Now, if you want to lose weight (or gain), you can make that a goal and we can talk about goal setting and journal about it. A bit later in the week I will post some embellishments and probably more cards. Meanwhile, if you use one of the blank cards, add whatever embellishments you'd like from your stash, draw on them, whatever.
Some topic ideas for this week (use back of your card too if you like): 1) Pansies are for thoughts - a good card to jot down things that keep running through your head so you can explore them later 2) Cameo card - think of that lovely silhouette as you. List your 5 best qualities. 3) Daisy card or any other - Every one has some qualities they would like to improve. List your 5 worst qualities. 4) Goals - choose one goal for the month of June. What is it? Why is it important to you? Set a deadline to accomplish it. 5) Gratitude - try to list one thing each day of the week that you are grateful for. This is a good repeat exercise to help you see how even the smallest things can be important and add joy to our lives. 6)What is your favorite pasttime? What is special about it? Just jot down notes to yourself. 7) When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? What's the first thing about this you remember? 8) What topics would you like to explore? These are just ideas in case you think you don't know what to write. Remember too, these cards are for you. I will probably share some examples with you, but you are not obligated to share any of your cards. However, if you would like to do so, you may send me a copy at with Journal Challenge in subject line and I will post for you.
I welcome your comments and suggestions. Pick up zip here:

Sunday, June 1, 2014

June 1: Sad News, Update, Challenge Info, & Freebie

It's been forever it seems since I last made an entry. Still feeling rough and had really bad day last Wednesday when I called to see if I could get earlier appointment with my gastroentelogist. There's an ugly expression often heard from military personnel about something called a "Cluster F---." It sure was appropriate for this but by Friday afternoon it was all sorted out. There was misinformation all around but now I have an appointment this coming Wednesday to see a surgeon I've met before and see when she can operate.
While I was having a conniption fit over all the medical snafus, I learned that Dr. Maya Angelou had died and was so saddened by the news. I had met Maya, as she invited me to call her, some years ago (gee 20 or so!) at William and Mary College. She was the sort of person who didn't met a stranger. She positively radiated warmth and love and she will surely be missed. I left word for her family on her facebook page and went in search of tributes. There are a good number, but I really enjoyed this page at Oprah with all the links to interviews and recitations of her poetry etc:
This lovely woman had some very rough times in her life but she refused to be reduced by them. There are so many wise quotes, it's hard to choose just one but perhaps this one will reach someone who needs to hear it.
As for the summer challenge I had mentioned, it's not quite ready but will be up this week as soon as possible. I will tell you this: it is part one of a challenge about journaling. I'm calling part 1 Pocket Journaling because we are going to start small, real small, to make it easy.
And now for your freebie. Can you use a CU4Cu pearl frame? Hope so.
Pick it up here: Hugs!