Sunday, March 28, 2010

52CP13: Don't Quit

Hello again! Thanks for stopping by to see what our challenge will be this week! I have a poem for you this week, written by that famous author, Anonymous! I swear, that guy (girl?) writes everything! Anyway, here it is:

Don't Quit

When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,

When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,

And many a failure turns about
When he might have won if he'd stuck it out.
Don't give up, though the pace seems slow;
You might succeed with another blow.

Success is failure turned inside out ~
The silver lining in clouds of doubt ~
And you never can tell how close you are;
It might be near when it seems so far.

So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit;
It's when things seem worse that you must not quit.

That poem was part of a mural in the clinic my mother had to go to when she needed transfusions as part of her palliative care for leukemia (she opted for hospice as opposed to chemo, etc.) I thought it was a great poem and wrote it down so I could remember it.

It came to mind again a few weeks ago when the prompt for week ten of Gina's "Heart the Art" was "keep going", and then again when Cindy Motherway's Teapot Tuesday challenge incorporated making cards for Lindsay - the daughter of one of her friends who is pregnant and undergoing chemo for her just-diagnosed lymphoma. I printed the poem out for her to frame, and also made this card:

Stamps: Stampin'Up! Messages for Mom, Close to My Heart Springtime Possibilities; Ink: SU! Melon Mambo, Versafine Onyx Black; Paper: SU! Bashful Blue, Melon Mambo; Accessories/Tools: Detail clear embossing powder, Cuttlebug w/swiss dot embossing folder, sewing machine, doilies, flower, ribbon, gem, border punches

I wanted to focus on the possibilities, rather than the down side of what she's going through, so I just made a general encouragement card for her. What will you make this week to reinforce the theme? Here's Mr. Linky:

Saturday, March 27, 2010

52CP12 Featured Artists

Happy Saturday to you! We had more players this week than ever, and multiple cards from two of them! Thanks, all! See you tomorrow for a new challenge!


Sunday, March 21, 2010

52CP12: Smile

If you chance to meet a frown,
Do not let it stay.
Quickly turn it upside-down
And smile that frown away!

No one likes a frowning face -
Change it for a smile!
Make the world a better place
By smiling all the while!

That's a little song from my childhood... Smiles are very, very contagious - how often do you smile at someone and they fail to smile back? They're also memorable. When my mother passed away several years ago almost every single person that spoke with me about her mentioned her smile.

I've tried to carry on that legacy and smile at everyone I see throughout the course of my day. It's amazing how much better I feel when I make a point of making eye contact with and smiling at everyone I encounter! I've had several people comment that "you're always smiling" when they see me, so maybe that's one thing I'm actually getting right... I joke that "if I'm going to be cranky, I just keep my sorry self home", because why should I inflict myself on others?

Yes, smiling is an important behavior, in my humble opinion - it "improves your face value", as they say, and it alters your own mood, as well! With that thought in mind, I made two - almost cheater - projects. Why "almost cheating"? Well, since my shoulder is still most unhappy (although I'm smiling through the pain!), I'm trying to limit how much strain I put on it, so I used some almost-done items to create this week's card and ATC.

First up is a card made with a page from DCWV's "Green Stack" mounted onto a red card base:

All I added to it was the stamped sentiment (Heidi Grace). I love the Green Stack, but the papers don't photograph well at all. The colors are so much nicer in real life, but this was the best pic I could get - sorry! I didn't do much more than stamp a sentiment for my ATC, either:

I did mat it and I also added a punched flower with a smiley face drawn on the brad center with a Bic MarkIt pen. The card itself is from a pack of "Groovy Playing Cards" that I unearthed this past week. I think I bought it at the dollar store a couple of years ago.

So, that's my contribution to making the world a happier place this week - what will yours be? Here's Mr. Linky (there's more to this post, too, so scroll down past Mr. Linky to keep reading):

I also wanted to give a special "thank you" to Stephanie for being our sole contributor for last week's challenge. She hasn't missed a week yet - bless her! - and here's the amazingly wonderful art journal page she created:

Too cool, eh? She's always so colorful and imaginative and inspiring! Thanks, Steph!

Okay, kiddoes, that's it for this week for me! Hope your week is fantastic, and don't forget to SMILE!!!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

52CP11: Enough

As many of you also do, I'm sure, I discover new and wonderful blogs from links on the blogs that I already follow. One recent discovery is Susannah Conway's blog, which has especially impressed me, and I'm linking to one of her posts for our challenge this week: Because We ARE Worth It. While you're there, look around a bit...every post is link-worthy, I'm thinking!

Also, please excuse me for not making anything (yet) this week. I have a shoulder injury that has been aggravated by the goings-on of the past week, and my poor arm is in a sling and I'm typing one-handed, and left-handed (which I'm not) at that! I will make something later in the week when the pain subsides and my mojo (hopefully) returns. Right now all of my attention is consumed with "ow...ow...ow...ow..."

Here's Mr. Linky for you:

Saturday, March 13, 2010

52CP10 Featured Artists

We had a couple of new players this week - welcome! Here are their creations for your viewing pleasure:


That's all of the lovelies for this week! A new challenge tomorrow! (Don't forget to set your clocks ahead for Daylight Savings Time...)

Friday, March 5, 2010

52CP10: Spring Cleaning

Wow! We're in double-digits now! Still not too many players, but this thinking and planning and trying to be more disciplined is good for me, so I intend to carry on! Maybe others will join us, eventually...

As the seasons start to change from dreary winter over to sunshine-y spring, it seems that we all get a yen to freshen up our space. I know I've been rarin' to get into the unfinished side of my attic and dig through the boxes that have been there since we moved in back in September so I can see what's what and what needs to go where - ditto with the stuff in the basement! I'm also constantly looking at the rooms that we've "semi-completed" to see what I can do to finish them and make them prettier, instead of just functional. And don't even get me started on the windows! Yes, spring cleaning time is upon us...

Oprah's magazine this month focuses on de-cluttering, which is a major part of most spring cleaning projects, and she has some interesting thoughts on applying that theory beyond our living quarters. She acknowledges that she has too many shoes (and skirts and tank tops and tee shirts and...) , and suggests that we look at our relationship with our "things": "Do they promote joy, beauty and usefulness, or are they burdensome?" She also states that she and her friends have opted for "lifestyle changes" - as opposed to diets - and are choosing "foods that give you real energy and love you back". She goes on to say:

This principle alone eliminates a lot of clutter. And once you get that far, you want other areas of your life decluttered as well. In case you're looking for inspiration, here's my list:
  • Relationship to self - good riddance to decisions that don't support self-care, self-value, and self-worth.

  • Relationship to others - do the people in your life give you energy and encourage your personal growth, or do they block that growth with dysfunctional dynamics and outdated scripts? If they don't support you as a loving, open, free and spontaneous being: Goodbye!

  • Relationship to emotional life - out with stagnant patterns that no longer serve you.

  • Relationship to work - not only reducing the "clutter" of paperwork, inefficiency, and overcommunication, but also striving to create a balanced workload and make your work invigorating, inspiring, collaborative, and empowering to others.

  • Relationship to nature and play - seeing these as expressions of love and opportunities to fill your life with truth and joy.

To me, all of this is the real deal of de-cluttering, a process that's ever-evolving as you move closer to the self you were meant to be.

And saying goodbye to too many shoes is a darn good start.

Ah yes, many places to declutter - all of them very worthwhile! I mentioned last week that time gets away from me and I end up feeling scattered and ineffective, so my relationships to work and play get totally out of whack. I decided that it would be in my best interest to make myself a schedule. That way, when it's time to work I can put my attention and focus there, and when it's time to play, I can do it guilt-free.

Because my life is what it is and includes factors that throw a wrench in the works and throw my intended schedule off on a fairly regular basis, I realize that this schedule is subject to change. I am allowing myself to not be so attached to it that my psyche suffers when this happens - I'm looking at it as a time-management tool and a place to start the decluttering process. Since that's not very interesting (or inspiring) to look at, I also made this:

Stamps: Inkadinkado/Brenda Walton Flourishes, Hampton Art Friendship, Close to My Heart Hugs and Kisses; Ink: Close to My Heart Blush, Hollyhock, Olive and Sweet Leaf, Versafine Onyx Black; Other: Wood blocks, butterfly charm

I decided that I wanted to put a little more emphasis on the relationship to others, so I made a couple of blocks to put in my space. This was a really fast, easy, fun project, and free, to boot! Since I don't mount my rubber stamps, I have many, many, many of them ready and waiting to be altered, and - of course - the ink and stamps were already there, as well. The charm is one of those "had to have" purchases that I've dragged around with me on move after move and never used ('til now...).

What will you create this week? Here's Mr. Linky so you can show me: