Posted in Making Memories Mondays

Making Memories Monday: Perception, Artistic License, and Gratuitous Extras

Pictures to Take Throughout the Year
April (week 3)

      This weekend brought the most spectacular weather thus far, in terms of sunshine (disclosure:  I’m a snow girl.  Most people shoot me dirty looks when it snows and I jump for joy.  The other strange thing about me is that I get cranky in the sunshine, which is the complete opposite of pretty much any other normal person.  But that doesn’t mean I can’t be happy for those people when stereotypically “nice” weather comes along.  It also doesn’t mean that I don’t take advantage of the beautiful outdoor pictures I can take).

      It also brought the most spectacularly fun pictures I’ve taken in April.  So let’s just jump right in, shall we?  Okay.

Rainboots

Right before the recent road trip that my husband and I took, my favorite polka-dotted rainboots got a hole in them.  So I bought a different pair of polka-dotted rainboots but ended up returning them because they leaked.  I spotted these cowgirl rainboots at Charming Charlie (If you have one in your area and haven’t gone yet, I highly recommend them.  They are AMAZING.) and immediately decided these NEED to be my next rainboots.  So once I can afford them (they’re only $25ish, but I’m pretty broke right now), they will be on my feet, making them happy and dry.  🙂

The one bad thing about a sunny weekend (except, of course, for the sun itself, which I explained above) is that it becomes difficult to find rainboots.  So I took it upon myself to find rainboots of my own, courtesy of the local JoAnn Fabrics (more about that glorious trip in my Tuesday post!).

My favorite rainboot story from this weekend (of course it had to be the only time I didn’t have my camera to be able to take a picture of it):  I tried out a new church this Sunday, and on the way to my seat, I saw a pair of pink, polka-dotted, Hello Kitty rainboots sitting on the ramp.  It had various art activities stuffed inside of each boot, like crayons, scissors, and clay.  I really wanted to know who the lucky owner of those boots were!

“Flats of flowers”

Have I mentioned yet just how much I love daffodils?  Because I really, really (REALLY) do.  Which is why this may just be my most favorite crosswalk in the whole entire world.  Daffodils are painted on the street, making “flat flowers”.  Get it?  Flats of flowers?  Also, I love the eyeballs in the “LOOK”.

**Author’s note:  I’m surprised that in the April picture-taking list, no trees were mentioned for Earth Day.  So please enjoy these tree pictures I decided to take during the over 5-mile walk I took on Earth Day with my husband and doggie:

 

I hope all of you found reasons to smile and enjoy life this weekend, too!

To Making Art and Being Delightfully Gratuitous!! 🙂

Posted in Making Memories Mondays

Making Memories Monday: A Life First

Pictures to Take Throughout the Year

April (continued)

It’s great to be posting an actual memory that was made for me.  This first picture is one I think I’ll cherish for the rest of my life.  Here’s the story behind it:

I don’t think I mentioned it before, but I’m less than a month away from turning 30.  It’s not an old age by any means, but it’s quite a good chunk of time on this Earth.  During those almost 30 years, I didn’t spend much time with my father.  I was an army brat, so many memories of my father were ones where he was off to war.  Twenty years ago when he retired, he eventually found a job where his hours were such that he left for work at 1:30PM and returned home at 11:00PM.  So if I were lucky, I’d say a quick “see you later” when I left for school and that’s all I’d really see of him during the day unless I stayed up way past my bedtime.  My father had become someone I only vaguely knew, seeing him just in passing.  Both of us aren’t really social creatures at heart, so neither of us made a move to hang out all that much.  During the summer there would be the ocassional outing and picnic to a park or lake or zoo, which were always nice but nothing horribly social.  There were never really any one-on-one moments, especially since I shared his attention with my two brothers.

Before just this last week, there are only three times in my life that I ever remember having any quality one-on-one time with him.  The first was when he was driving me to the Greyhound station to go back to college and he was telling me how to behave like a proper lady (that’s a whole other story in and of itself).  The second was shortly after my grandmother passed away and my mother went off to take care of funeral arrangements, leaving my father to take care of the family.  He took me to the local hardware store and showed me how to use a hammer.  I was 24 at the time.  It was such a cute moment that I couldn’t bare to break it to him that of course I knew how to already use a hammer.  But he was trying so hard to do a fatherly thing (and he didn’t want to admit to me that he really didn’t know how to properly use anything else in the hardware store) that I just nodded in pretend wonderment the whole time.  I think that moment made him really proud.  The third time was when he took me aside before I got married to tell me that 1) no matter what happens, divorce is not an option; to always work through our problems, and 2) all that is null and void if my husband ever physically abused me.

All of those moments have stuck with me.  Looking back on those moments, I cherish them because those are the times when my father stepped forward and tried to do stereotypical father things.

So this year, he asks me if I wanted to hike with him for his birthday.  I tell him that my husband would be working the day he wanted to hike.  I assumed he’d meant he wanted to go with both of us, since my husband is the hiking enthusiast.  He quickly disproved that theory by replying, “I actually really wanted to just go with you.”  I was pleasantly surprised and a little curious.  So I agreed.

I don’t think I’ve ever spent more than an hour alone with my dad before, let alone in nature.  We took a nice short (but strenuous and steep) trail down through a forest to a beach.  We walked most of the way in silence, speaking only to comment on how beautiful the flora and fauna were.  On the way back up (literally…these were one of those rare hikes where the harder part is the return trip), while I was starting to get tired, he became my cheerleader, encouraging me gently:  “You’re almost there.  You can do it!”  It was something I’ve never heard him say out loud before, though I know deep down he’s always quietly supported me.

It became yet another benchmark in our relationship, one that I won’t soon forget.  And I’m honored to share that moment with you in this blog.  The specific wording on the Pictures to Take Checklist was “friends hiking”.  I’m happy to say that in that moment, that’s what my dad and I had become:  friends hiking.  So please enjoy this rare picture:

Friends hiking

My dad’s foot (left) and mine (right) on a piece of

driftwood at the beach–our halfway point of the hike.

We had just finished hiking down and were taking a

break before the hard climb back up. 

**But wait!  There’s more!!

Aside from this beautiful memory, I was also able to get some other pictures crossed off my list, gathering great mini memories in the process.  These flower pictures come from a short river walk I did with my dog and husband:

Flats of flowers

Spring in full bloom with daffodils, tulips, and hyacinths

As I’ve mentioned before, daffodils are my favorite flower,

so I couldn’t resist this shot!

Closeup of the daffodils.  I loved the gorgeous peach color of

the flutes on these.

And these are from a parade I went to:
Rainbows (if you recall from last Monday’s post, I was determined to provide you with more than one rainbow picture, so here’s another rainbow…hopefully more to come next week too!)

I fell in love with this little girl’s outfit!  She looked like a true fairy with her purple wings,

tutu, and, most importantly, the rainbow on her shirt with the saying, “WISH FOR RAINBOWS”.

If that’s not a great rainbow picture, I don’t know what is.

Umbrellas (I still have yet to find an awesome rainboots picture, so that will have to wait until next week)

This is from one of the floats.  Wouldn’t you just love to

attend this tea party?  Also, I am in love with that watermelon

umbrella with heart seeds.  I think I may just have to make it my

mission to find out where it’s from and buy one for myself.  🙂

What wonderful memories I made this week!  I hope all of you out there are making wonderful memories, too.  If you have, I would love to hear about them in the comments below.  Or if you happen to know where I can buy that watermelon umbrella.  You would quickly become my favorite person.  Or if you have any rainbow stories or favorite flowers you want to share.  I’m flexible as long as it’s a good story.  🙂

Wishing you all some great firsts with friends,

Posted in Ta-Da! Tuesdays

Ta-Da! Tuesday: Okay, maybe just the Da…ffodil.

Crafting Projects I Want To Do:
4) Guest room decorating

So I have to confess that the craft I wanted to get done today isn’t complete.  So it’s not a full ta-da!  It’s half a ta-da.  Just a da, if you will.  I plan to add the “ta” part of it, as well as a picture of the completed project.

Life gets in the way, as I’m sure you understand, but being that this is my first blog week, I wanted to be able to actually post something every day of the week for good measure.

Here we go!

I have books.  Many, many books.  I am a self-proclaimed bookworm.  I have so many books that I started to lack places with which to place those books.  So I ventured out to the local thrift shop to find a hanging shelf.   I found one pretty quickly, a plain white one with scratches.  I snatched it up with the intention of doing some sort of decoupage on it.

For my guest room, I planned on doing a daffodil motif on one wall.  It’s my favorite flower and it goes really well with the colors of the bedsheets.  So I started collecting daffodil pictures from the spring grocery store ads.  And then I remembered I had a paperstack of cardstock with daffodil pictures on it from when I bought it for my wedding scrapbook. (Daffodils were my wedding flowers.  Also, yes, finishing my wedding scrapbook is on my to-do list.)  An idea had sprouted!  🙂

2 daffodil papers and green & yellow papers: TC Cottage Garden Designer Paper, Tim Coffey for K&Company.  Bronze & cream papers:  Premium Stacks Latte Stack, DCWV.  (All papers purchased at JoAnn Fabrics)

At first, I thought I wanted to do a vintagey-looking paper collage background with different textures and ripped paper.  I looked for tutorials online but couldn’t find one that quite had the look I was going for.  So I went to the library to see if I could find something.  I ran across Magenta Style Paper Magic by Nathalie Metivier & Leslie Conron Carola and was immediately inspired by the beautiful paper crafts on the cover.  Right then and there I completely changed what I wanted the shelf to look like and decided I wanted to do a paper quilt pattern instead of the collage.  I saw the Bargello variation pieced paper frame and was immediately hooked.  Since I already loved the way my papers looked, I skipped the steps where you dip it in ink and stamp it and went straight to the cutting and piecing.  (Also, I’ve fallen deeply in love with this book.  I think I want to do every single paper project in it.)

I’m a sucker for doing “test runs” of projects with stuff I don’t care too much about so that when I used the real stuff, I would’ve already had practice.  Also, I didn’t know if I wanted to do a random piecey design or a carefully-measured out, equal-sized look that formed a “V” pattern, so I played around with both:

Different-sized, more random and piecey look (Author’s note:  the book actually shows a more random and piecey look even than this, and it actually looks really cool, but I think in the back of my mind I wanted some sort of structure for this particular project.  I think I want to do the super-random version on another project in the future.)

All papers:  Premium Stacks Latte Stack, DCWV.

More equal-sized pieces forming a “V” pattern.  (I didn’t feel like doing the whole gluing down and cutting and piecing process; I just wanted a general idea of what it would look like. Thus the gaps in between the pieces of paper.)

For good measure (and to soothe my slightly OCD-like tendencies), I wanted to do a third try and lay it out on the computer before continuing because I wanted to see what it would look like with the paper colors I actually wanted to do:

quilt pattern

When I liked what I saw, I got to work on covering the shelf:

Shelf:  thrifted!  🙂  Glue (to adhere papers to shelf):  Elmer’s Rubber Cement.  I also used Zots for extra reinforcement.  When I was done, I used a thin coating of Gloss Mod Podge to give it a nice top finish.

I’m loving the way it’s turning out so far, but I really want to cover the entire shelf.  This is also great practice for when I want to make a real sewn quilt with fabric blocks.

So…no checkmark yet.  I want to legitimately finish it, even though I guess I could technically check it off because it is contributing to my guest room decorating.  Stay tuned!  🙂  I would love your opinions and comments on what I have so far.  Do you like the color choices?  Do you have any suggestions on how to improve the project if I decide to do another one?  Do you think I made a mistake choosing the more structured design and think it would’ve looked better with the random piecey one?  Please let me know in the comments section below.

By the way, if you love how this looks and want the steps on how to make it, I will include those steps (and corresponding more detailed pictures of those steps) when I finally finish the project.  Something to look forward to, and a reason to light a fire under my butt to finish it! 😀

Random tidbit:  Daffodils are the flowers that symbolize regard, and when there are a bunch of daffodils, it symbolizes joy and happiness.  So I’ll sign out by saying this…

Wishing you the warmest regards, joy, and happiness,