Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Thoughts on creativity

 Had some time to spend in my craft room yesterday.  Sometimes I feel a little selfish when I'm in there trying to be creative,  Then today I was browsing some of my favorite blogs and one just spoke to me and all those doubting thoughts I was dwelling on. Artist and owner of Power Poppy,  Marcella Hawley, stated on her blog that creativity is essential. 
 Here are her words of wisdom:  

"Do you ever feel guilty for taking time to do something creative? Do you stuff the urges back down inside while you run around doing things for other people, or working hard all day, or planning the family meals — putting creativity second or third, or most likely, about tenth or twentieth? We might feel guilty or scared or unworthy or silly using our time to be creative. Creativity is huge and important. And then again, it’s not meant to be put on a pedestal. It’s essential. Creativity adds a little beauty or light or fun or insight into this world. We deserve to allow ourselves time to create. You can still help others, work a ton, be a family taxi, all that jazz. But if you claim some time — in your planner, if you have to, or set an alarm on your phone — to sit and make something every day, imagine where this commitment could take you! It can be exhilarating, gosh-darnit. “A wonderful privilege.” Essential to happiness. Give yourself license to make. Make cards, make a cartoon. Make up a song, make a sweater. And don’t feel bad about it, because the work wants to be made through you. It really does. Let it out."   Marcella Hawley

Don't know if it was coincidence or what but I really needed those encouraging words and hope they can be an inspiration to any of you who read them as well. My friend, Louise, a wonderful poet, will appreciate the essence and I'm happy to share with her.  Now I'll share the work that came from me yesterday. Just a little Trick or Treat.

Thanks for looking.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Last weekend in August

I can hardly believe it's almost September but here we are in the last weekend of August and summer is nearly over. Noticed some trees that are beginning to don their fall color as I drove to an appointment yesterday. Yes, autumn is really going to arrive with all it's rich strong colors. On Tuesday our young son starts his second year of school (first grade). He loves school and riding the bus. How did that happen? Seems like just yesterday we were bringing him home from the hospital and praying we would be good parents to this little miracle grandchild. Despite the many challenges and obstacles he's had to face he continues to shine brightly and is the light of both our lives. Never ever a dull moment.
Since my last post, I was able to try making another batch of jam. This time I made a raspberry and nectarine jam. Just a very small batch this time; it resulted in five 8 ounce jars. I experimented with a recipe that called for peaches (I used nectarines) and reduced the sugar content to help my diabetic husband be able to enjoy more of it. The taste is great, the texture a little "softer" than I would have preferred but all in all I consider it a success. Next time I will cook the mixture a bit longer to get more of a hard set to the jam.
Of course, I have another card to show you today. Must create many many more for all the upcoming September birthdays on my calendar. This one goes to one of my granddaughters - a true "fashionista". She has a room in her home set up for her make up, clothes and shoes. Lucky girl. I used my Cricut machine to cut the delicate leaf sprig. The pink background is Distress Ink (Worn Lipstick) over the embossed printed words. Just enough bling for a girly girl!

Bye, till next time.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Jams, pickles and now, salsa.

Tried my first ever home made salsa yesterday. My yield was five and a half pints. I canned the five pints and refrigerated the half a pint to use at dinner time.  DH says it could have been "hotter" but it had enough bite for me. Maybe after it sits for a while it will be spicier. I used the tomatoes and jalapenos from our garden - about as fresh as you can get. This experiment has been so satisfying for me. I'll never become a sustenance farmer but will continue to grow some vegetables and fruits and preserve what I can. Knowing there are no chemicals added to your food is comforting in this day and age, too. I plan on making and canning tomato sauce (I have a "bumper" crop of tomatoes) and my next "jam session" is already in the works. Trying a peach and raspberry combination jam tomorrow.  Here is a photo of my five pints of salsa.

Worked really hard on this greeting card, as well. I'm in love with the peacock stamp. It was a recent freebie from Cardmaking & Papercrafting, a magazine I subscribe to. Just couldn't wait to ink the stamp up and get to coloring. I used distress inks to water color the image; my favorite technique at the moment.  The labels die cuts are from Spellbinders and the "jewels" are Dazzles from Paper Wishes in Canby, Oregon. 


Saturday, August 20, 2016

Vacation is over!

Hi, Y'all,
I took a month off to recharge my life a bit. After a year of many changes it was much needed. In fact, I did stay somewhat busy but it was with new and exciting adventures. My daughters and I learned to pickle and made an enormous amount of kosher dill pickles and relish. DH was so happy when we were done. He likes pickles but said the vinegar smell was too much. Everyone is enjoying eating the fruits of our labors, especially our little granddaughter, Jaimie, who would never turn down a pickle. She calls them "garden candy".  Jacob has not developed a taste for them yet.

This photo is just what I kept, we actually made what seemed like tons of pickles and split them up among three families.  Those tomatoes are some of the first from our garden. By Monday I should have enough ripe tomatoes to make six pints of salsa. We have jalapeno peppers coming in like crazy and cayenne and Havasu peppers, as well. It's been a learning process and lots of work, but it's fun and very satisfying. Just glad I have the ability to enjoy it as a hobby and not have to do it as in years ago.

We visited with family, our usual summer BBQs and gatherings. Granddaughter, Sierra, returned from her deployment to Afghanistan and was welcomed and celebrated with joy. She now lives in Maryland and was only here for a short time but we are grateful she is back in the states. We all hope this was her last deployment to a hostile environment.

My craft room did not see me as much over the past month but I did get a few cards made.  Water-coloring and pencil coloring have become my favorite forms of relaxation lately.  Here are a few cards from this month.