Sunday, November 1, 2009

Victoria and I

It's funny how we go through life and think no one could possibly be feeling or thinking what we are and then we run across someone who has something in common with us and we're reminded again of how close-knit the whole human community really is. That happened to me this week while reading an article about Victoria Beckham.

Now you're probably wondering what I could possibly have in common with Victoria Beckham. Well I would have agreed with you a week ago. And other than the fact that we each have 3 boys, there doesn’t seem to be much. She's young and I'm not. She's beautiful and I'm not. She has musical and design talent and I don't. She's married to David Beckham and...well you know the rest. So imagine my surprise when I found out she likes to listen to the 40's channel on XM Radio. Frankly, I don't know anybody in my real life who listens to that station except my husband.

In the interview she goes on to explain what a complete slob she is and how the most important things in her life are her husband and her children. For some reason, we mere mortals never stop to think that the rich and famous are; underneath it all just like us. They have the same hopes and fears for themselves and their children. They love their parents and their pets. They are neat or messy. They cry and they laugh.

So the next time you're reading about that "Celebrity" who seems to have everything, remember that they have more in common with you than not. And that goes for all the people around the world. Whether they live in the lap of luxury or in a refugee camp somewhere, take a few minutes and think about the billions of people with whom we share our planet and wish them all the best of luck and happiness.

And, by the way. Victoria Beckham, if you actually read this little missive I apologize for thinking you look grim all the time...turns out you don't photograph as well as you should. Just like me.

Another week has gone by and I've another great site called Lucky Girl Blog Design. Not only does she design blogs for other people but her post are both whimsical and heart warming. Check out what she has to say this week about getting a new nephew from Ethiopia.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Like everyone else I've been very busy this year but one of the things I miss the most is the time to decorate for the holidays. Here we are a week before Halloween and the only thing I've managed to drag out of the basement is a fall wreath.

We have 2 pumpkins moldering in the garage and no one has had the inclination to move them on to the porch. It also looks like this year will be the second in a row where we haven't carved those moldering pumpkins. But since I've never been the carver in the family maybe I should stop feeling guilty for that one.

But mostly I think the reason I've failed to put out any Halloween decorations is that my children are now 12, 14 and 22. They no longer look forward to any holiday with the unadulterated joy of childhood. We are all warned that some day this will happen and in the craziness that is raising children we sometimes think this well be a welcome relief.

Well, it's not. Sure, I no longer have the pressure to find the right Halloween costume or run all over town looking for a Darth Vader mask. And I will be sitting home on All Hallows Eve waiting for all the goblins and ghouls to come to my home instead of making the rounds with my own. And reflecting on that makes me a little sad.

But as I sit here writing it occurs to me that we have a whole neighborhood full of little ones who will be coming to our house expecting my fake rats and ravens. So although I won't be decorating for my children this year I plan on pillaging the basement tomorrow morning for those illuminated bats and tombstones. After all, even though my kids won't be thrilled; someone elses' will.

I want to share another great site that I've found this week. Her blog is Karen at Winding Threads and she makes the most adorable bags that you can purchase at her store Kreated By Karen's. I urge you to visit her store and look through all her great bags. I'm sure you'll find something for yourself or a friend.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Kangaroos In October

Hard to believe we're half way through October. Looking at my calendar it can be down right frightening how quickly Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas creep up. My oldest son and his wife visited us for the day. They got married in May and bought a house in August. It seems like just yesterday he went off to college. Now he's married with a mortgage.

They drove up from Purdue University to get the last of our "old" furniture. They think it's like Christmas which just goes to prove that one man's trash is another man's treasure. We drove down there a few weeks ago to see their new home and I was very impressed with what they've done on a limited budget. It seems like everyone is on a limited budget these days which is why I've put new sale books on my site MyIdeaCenter. One of my favorite new books is called Transfers To Paint and has hundreds of great transfers you can paint or embroider on to shirts, vests, pants, totes and anything else you can imagine. For anyone who's making gifts this Christmas I think it's an invaluable resource.

If you're looking for great gift ideas but aren't sure you want to make them you should check out Annette Piper. She lives "Down-Under" and makes distinctive and unique jewelry at a great price. Her blog is always interesting and this week she talks about her family vacation where they'll be going to the beach and kangaroos play in their front yard. If you've never been to Australia and what to get a feel for life on the opposite side of the globe, make sure you read her posts.

I hope you have a safe and fun week.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Second Half

I can't believe it. I actually saw a tree today that had not only turned colors but had also dropped all its leaves. Didn't we just start 2009? This has been a big year for me in many different ways. My oldest son got married over Memorial Day, I bought my business in July and in December I'm turning 50.

I'm not the first of my friends to turn fifty and I won't be the last but I think it means something different to everyone. To some it's just another day on the calendar and another candle on the cake. To others it's a gigantic milestone that should be celebrated to the utmost. To me it falls somewhere in between.

As a little girl, I remember when the movie "2001: A Space Odyssey" came out. I figured out that I'd be 41 in 2001. At the time it seemed a long way away and I had a lot of living to do before I reached it. Well 2001 came and went and I had certainly come a long way but I didn't feel any different than I had as a girl.

Now as I approach 50 I'm experiencing the same feelings again. I know I've come a long way from there, but inside I still feel the same. I still have the same hopes and dreams; although they’re tempered with age, as I had then. I still want to make a difference in the world and I still want to be important. Only now it's enough to make a difference in the lives of those around me and to be important to them too. Maybe that's what turning 50 is all about. Who knows? But I look forward to moving forward and finding out during the next decade and the one after that.

And now to completely different topic. If you haven't been to my store; MyIdeaCenter in a while then you might want to check out some of the new books I have. Some of my newest selections include Gran's Gallery by Ros Stallcup, Donna Dewberry's Essential One Stroke Painting Guide, Frivolous, Frosty Fellows by Kay Quist and Winter Beliefs by Laurie Speltz.

I found another great blog this week called Destination Handmade. Jamie loves to craft and is probably typical of most of us in that she's always doing more than one thing at a time. She blogs several times a week on subjects as diverse as her experience starting her own business to safety tips for college students. Take a few minutes to visit her blog.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The New Technology Blues

As many of you know, I'm new to this whole "Blogging" thing. As someone who started her working life on an IBM Selectric, I sometimes feel like my Grandparents must have felt when they were my age. I specifically remember asking my Grandmother about the first talking movies. I was amused when she told me that at first she didn't like them...they were too loud. She eventually learned to love movies, the radio and television but I wonder how long it took to get used to each new media?

My Grandmother died in 1993 and I wonder how she would feel about all the technological advances we've experienced in the last 2 decades. I wonder if she'd think that computers were "too loud." That's certainly how I feel sometimes when I'm zipping around from webpage to blog to ecommerce site. It seems like every other site has music and almost all of them have pop-ups that vie with everything else on the page.

I guess it's like all new technologies from electric lights to cell phones. In the beginning it's hard to get used to it. It's "Too Loud" or too confusing, but then you get used to it and even depend on it for all your information. I used to be annoyed by music on a page but I've learned to love the noise that other people make. And every once in awhile I even learn something new.

One new thing I've found this week is Sweet Little Memories, a delightful blog with many different crafts and craft ideas. She has a great post about home-made soap that will make you wish that you could smell through your computer too. Who knows that may be down the road eventually.

Fall is in the air and the days are getting shorter so now is the perfect time to get back into the painting and creating mode. I've recently added some new books to MyIdeaCenter so stop by for a visit and see what's new and exciting.

Have a safe and joyful week.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A Time To Reflect

This past Friday marked the eighth anniversary of 9/11. If you are like many people you spent at least part of your day remembering the events of that day. It is also a time to reflect on the amazing heroism and sacrifices made on that day. But for me, this day has been a reminder to be thankful for everything I have.

Many years ago I had only one child. For reasons unknown to my doctor at the time I was unable to conceive and carry a second child. This came as a complete surprise to me as my first one was so easy from beginning to end. As with many things in life; at the time I thought it was completely unfair. I was young and healthy. Why couldn't I have another child?

I ended up being angry and bitter about the whole situation until one day I saw "Forrest Gump". The scene where Lt. Dan sits on the mast and rails at God to come and get him during the hurricane was like a scene out of my own life. Only I had been silently railing at God about how unfair he was being…to me. At that moment I decided that I was lucky to have one healthy child when so many had none.

That fall I joined my church choir and decided to become a member of the Roman Catholic Church. All through the winter and early Spring I took classes to be confirmed. As I sat through that Saturday night liturgy I felt a tremendous sense of peace and community. I don’t remember the sermon that was given but I do remember I cried.

Several weeks later I found out I was pregnant again and months later I had my second son. And even more remarkably I had another son 22 months later. Who knows what caused this wonderful event to happen in my life but it taught me to be grateful for what I have. It's funny how one brief moment can change your life forever just like it did for many of us on 9/11. Lessons learned from that moment should make it easier to go through the inevitable ups and downs in life.

As the leaves start to turn in my neck of the woods and the nights get cooler it’s time to reflect on all that 9/11 has taught us; as a country and as individuals. It’s time to be thankful for what we have and look forward to the future with hope.

On a lighter note, I found this wonderful site run by a woman name Yana. She lives in Greece and has a fun blog called Handmade by Decoupage Art. Not only does she have great pieces but she writes and posts pictures from her life and just about anything else that interests her. I encourage you to check out her blog and see what delightful creations she has.

Have a safe and happy week.