When I stand before God at the end of my life,
I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say,
"I used everything You gave me."
~Erma Bombeck

February 28, 2010

Monday Musings... Dreams


“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not;
remember that what you now have
was once among the things you only hoped for.”
~Epicurus

“What is not started today is never finished tomorrow.”
~Goethe

“Dreams are like the paints of a great artist.
Your dreams are your paints, the world is your canvas.
Believing, is the brush that converts
your dreams into a masterpiece of reality.”
~Author Unknown

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”
~C.S. Lewis

“All men dream: but not equally.
Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds
wake in the day to find that it was vanity:
but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men,
for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.”
~T.E. Lawrence

What are your dreams today?

February 27, 2010

Saturday Featured Blogger... Thoughts of a Wife and Mommy

This is a new feature I would like to do on Saturdays. I would love to feature your blog or Etsy shop. If you are interested, please contact me by clicking my cute new button to the right under my profile.

Today's featured blogger is Michelle at Thoughts of a Wife and Mommy! After you read about her, be sure and visit to enter her giveaways:

Pic Pocket Books: Kids Picture Books for the IPhone and the IPod Touch. (3/12)
U Printing Giveaway (3/3)

And follow her for her upcoming giveaways:

Charm Factory
Pawparazzi
Slimperfect

Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Michelle. I am 28 years old. I am married to Sascha. We have 2 children Hailey (6) and Tyler (3). I have an associates degree in applied science (Medical Assisting). I am from Ohio!

Please give us a little insight to what your blog is about.
My blog is about my life, my favorite band (Adelitas Way) since I do promotional stuff for them, and I do reviews and giveaways.

What made you start blogging?
I started blogging because my family wanted updates while I was pregnant with my son Tyler since I was not around.

Who does your blog appeal to?
Pretty much anyone. But I do focus on mothers and kids.

What do you love about blogging?
I love the fact I get to talk to new people. Letting people read my opinion and such. Sharing with others.

What do you hope to accomplish with your blog in the future?
I want to make my blog a place where people would want to come every day and read what I have to say.

Please list 3 of your favorite posts on your blog.





Please share some of your favorite blogs with us.




Thanks Michelle for being my first featured blogger. Be sure to grab an "I was featured" button from the right side bar!

Jazzercise!


I know we all have our own ways we like to exercise. Some hit the gym and do the treadmill, eliptical, bike and weights with their favorite tunes on their iPod. Others like to run, run, run. I am a fan of neither, but I love good updated music and I love to dance. Jazzercise combines cardio, strength and stretch in one workout to the best music. I workout to the likes of everyone from Michael Buble, Mary J.Blige, Beyonce, Nelly Furtado and the list goes on and on.

The best thing about Jazzercise is that I have fun and don't feel like I am working out, but boy can I feel it the next day! It is a good pain that lets me know I worked all of my muscles.

I highly recommend Jazzercise. It is a fantastic and fun workout.

If you are in the northwest Houston area and would like to give it a try. Stop by http://www.jazzfitnesscenters.com/ or call 281-855-FITT(3488). This particular franchise was ranked #1 Jazzercise franchise out of 8000 in 2006, 2007 and 2008. I promise you will love the instructors too!

Whatever you choose for your fitness routine today, have a fantastic workout!


While many reviews are created as a result of receiving a complimentary product, the above content was provided by Lanie J. and Co. because it is a product that I believe in and purchase regularly. The item reviewed was purchased on my own and was not compensated in any way for a review. Disclaimer/Terms of use.

February 26, 2010

Friday Favorites (2/26/10)


Check out these cute projects and yummy recipes! Be sure to tell them I sent ya!












If you were featured here or any other Friday, don't forget to grab your "I was featured" button from the right sidebar!

Enjoy!

February 22, 2010

Monday Musings... Creativity


A recent email thread between myself and Gay at It's a Hodgepodge Life has had me thinking. You see, Gay posted this lovely project (featured as a Friday Favorite a couple of weeks back I might add) and it was a major hit. Gay was pleasantly surprised that something she thought was so simple would get such rave reviews. I had a little "conversation" if you will with Gay via email about why we make what we do. I have also had this conversation with my "little sister" in the past few weeks.

I have a deep desire to take my creativity to a higher level, I want to bring joy to others when they look at what I do. I'm guessing the joy is in the creating and the rest just falls into place. Either people feel that same joy when they see my creations, or they don't. What one person absolutely loves, someone else might not. And... that's okay, we all have a personal preference right? So what is holding me back.... FEAR! More than anything I want to overcome this and show my daughters the joy is in creating, not what others think of your creations.

My mother for many years lacked confidence in her artistic ability and worried constantly what others thought. Was it good enough? Was it good enough to sell in a gallery? Would someone want to buy it? I have followed in her footsteps in lacking that confidence to step out and let my creativity just flow, not comparing it to others or wondering if it will be welcomed and accepted. I want to break out of this shell and move forward. Mom did, but I think she realized it a little late. Thank goodness she fought it enough that she left many lovely paintings for us to remember her artistic spirit by.

Yes, I have rambled on. But this is "Monday Musings" right? These quotes come from the margins of the book The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. I've just begun reading and am looking forward to doing some soul searching with the exercises she suggests.

We must accept that this creative pulse within us
is God's creative pulse itself. ~Joseph Chilton Pearce

It is the creative potential itself in human beings
 that is the image of God.~Mary Daly

Creativity is harnessing universality and making
it flow through your eyes. ~Peter Koestenbaum

Why should we all use our creative power?
Because there is nothing that makes people so
generous, joyful, lively, bold and compassionate,
so indifferent to fighting
and the accumulation of objects and money.
~Brenda Ueland

I think the last quote says it all. Please share in the comments why you create.

February 21, 2010

More personalized fun!


I guess I am on a personalization kick lately. N had a birthday party to go to so we went to Hobby Lobby and picked up one of these trays with our 40% off coupon, bought a few inexpensive art type items to fill it with and went home to make it all Sarah's.

These as well as the clipboards are always a big hit. They aren't expensive and they are so much fun! Sarah LOVED it!

Be sure to check out my previous post if you would love to meet some great new bloggers!

Tribe Talk at It's a Hodgepodge Life...

 
I am participating in Tribe Talk at It's a Hodgepodge Life.
 
Gay is one of my favorite new blog finds and imagine my surprise when Lanie J. and Co. was listed as one of her 5 picks for the week! Thanks Gay!
 
Here are mine:
 
Marie at Permission to Unwind
 
Gabrielle at iCraft
 
Jamie at Pure Joy
 
Tara at New Day New Seasons
 
 
If you are interested in participating, this is yet another great way to find other fantastic blogs as well as have others see yours. Click on the Tribe Talk button above to head on over and see Gay. Post your 5 picks and link up! Check out other's tribes while you are there!


February 19, 2010

Friday Favorites (2/19/10)


I am thinking of doing a Saturday Featured Blogger or Etsy Shop of the Week. Let me know if you are interested in being featured on Lanie J. and Co. I am interested in featuring all crafts, knitting, paper arts, upcycling, jewelry, you name it!


I'm definitely thinking spring with this beautiful butterfly wreath


Check out what Transforming Home
did with her huge bathroom mirror!




The Lemon Drop Tree have me thinking spring too!


are adorable at Mommy Blessings!


Staying with the butterfly theme... check out this
If you were featured above, or on any other Friday, please feel free to grab an "I was featured" button from the right sidebar.

Have a fantastic weekend!

February 14, 2010

My thoughts on LOVE


I haven't got a mushy, romantic husband. It is difficult, because I am a romantic person. But, I know he loves me because...

He cried at our wedding and I told the deacon to wait while I dried his tear with a tissue (causing other people in the chapel to cry too). With my recent jaw surgery he was by my side wiping tears that fell on my swollen cheeks while I slept in ICU. He has sat next to me numerous times while I sobbed about losing Mom just resting his hand on my back because he knew there were no words that would comfort me. He is out of town for the day. So, I am pondering what true love is for me. It isn't the flowers or the candy or jewelry (though the surprise and thought are nice), it is the everyday deep love we show for one another.

My daughters and I will go to church, have a fun valentine breakfast and just hang out today. Love is about that isn't it? Spending time together, hugs and kisses, a sweet smile...

I wanted to share a post from my other blog, Misc. and Etc. Misc. and Etc. is sort of my sounding board. My spiritual walk is there too. The below post was written right after my Mom passed away.

One friend calls them kisses, one calls them blue flowers (great story to go along with this one). Doesn't matter what you call them they are the little signs from God that He is watching over us.



Earlier this week, my mother's best friend of 33 years called me. She visited my Mom just 3 weeks before she passed. Her name is Susan. Susan told me that my Mom told her she only had 2 wishes before she died. One was to see my father one last time. (They have been divorced for about 5 years.) The other was to see her 3 kids together one last time, which she also added that she was sure she would not see this wish come true.


The day after Susan left, my Daddy arrived (wish #1 come true). He spent about 5 days with my Mom. They talked and were able to resolve a lot. In the end there was only sweet, sweet love between them. While Daddy was there, my brother in law gave my sister 3 dozen red roses for their anniversary. My Dad cut one and took it in a small vase with some water in to my Mom. Two weeks later I was visiting and the rose was still there in perfect condition. My sister's bouquets had long since wilted as well as an arrangement I had sent my Mom earlier in the week. The day my Mom passed, the rose was still in almost pristine condition - a true testiment to love. When the mortuary took my Mom, my sister laid the rose on her chest. A kiss, a blue flower, a blessing from God.


I arrived at my Mom's bedside 5 days before she passed. The day after I arrived wish #2 came true. My brother was at a funeral service in Vegas. Something in the service struck a chord with him and he told his wife he thought he needed to see Mom. They were already half way to Phoenix and without an overnight bag they showed up at my sister's. I told him we had been waiting for our missing link to arrive, but didn't want to pressure him. Words cannot express how wonderful it was to see my Mama's beautiful smile as her 3 grown children stood at the foot of her bed. A kiss, a blue flower, a blessing from God.


In the midst of all the heartache. These blessings are what I cling to. God has been here all along watching over us. I take great comfort in that! :)

And so, if you don't have a husband or significant other that showers you with romance. Remember what true love is. It's not just romantic love, it is the everyday deep love that we all share with one another.

Have a Happy Valentine's Day with all of your loved ones. Time is precious and sweet.

February 12, 2010

Friday Favorites (2/12/10)



New this week... Adding pics to the Friday Favorites I am linking to. Why? Because everyone loves a little eye candy! :)














A fantastic jar made over into a utensil holder at Keeping it Simple



Check out the tutorial for these cute jute monograms at Red Heads Craft More Fun.



Check out Gabrielle's Oval Mirror with Paper Flowers (with a link to a tutorial for the flowers) at i.craft.
If you were featured here today, or any other Friday, feel free to grab an "I was featured" button from the left sidebar.

Happy crafting!

February 11, 2010

Try something new?


The above picture is just something pretty to look at while you ponder my questions. :) If you live in the Houston area, you need this pretty view today...

Okay, so, I have big dreams for this blog and my creative life and in never hurts to put them out there and share right?

By now, you may have started seeing a kind of schedule developing here. Monday Musings, a recipe on Tuesday, a tutorial or craft on Wednesday, Friday Favorites. Well, Thursday is missing something, and so am I and I am going to invite you to help me. I'm thinking of turning Thursday into Try Something New Thursday. I may not always actually call it that, but my goal is to present something new creatively that I haven't tried yet. I am really into paper crafts and love Mod Podge. My creative flow is dammed up right now and I think if I challenge myself, I may come out of it. So, do you have any ideas for new techniques I might try? I am interested in painting, drawing, background techniques, as much as I love rubber stamps, I don't want to use someone elses artwork to make my creations. I want to be the creator. Does that make sense? I also love beads and jewelry techniques. So can you all help me with ideas? What would you like to learn along with me?

I am open... please share!

February 10, 2010

Lollipop Lilly Valentines with help from Skip To My Lou


I wish I could take credit for these little cuties, but it all goes to Skip To My Lou.

For these cute and easy little flowers, I  used the following:
  • PDF file for Lollypop Lilly and Leaf Form here.
  • Card stock in misc. Valentine colors with green for the leaf.
  • Scissors
  • Tootsie Pops


1.Simply print the pdf file onto your paper and cutout all the flowers and leaves.



2. Stick the Tootsie Pop stick through the center (I made a little hole with my scissors first.)

3. Put a little glue on the stem of the leaf and wrap it around the stick of the lollipop.



There you have it! Quick, easy, cute and virtually painless!

Special thanks to Skip To My Lou. Last year we made Valentine Butterflies using this file here. There are many, many free printables and tons of crafting ideas at Skip To My Lou, so be sure to visit!