Although I know this all ready, I needed to read it today: "All the situations in our lives, from the insignificant to the major, teach us exactly what we need to be learning."
Driving to pick up a truckload of wood, feeling so low that I wanted to burst out in tears ... I rounded a corner to encounter the most heart-stirring tree changing colors - glowing from within. Thought - perfection in nature, a beautiful moment, and remember that tomorrow when I am feeling discouraged.
I was very busy on my unscheduled time off from my freelance gig. Contracts ... took 3 weeks to get the t's crossed, i's dotted. But I used that time wisely. Well, "wisely" in that I learned a lot about Rick's BYOB WEBSITES, new plug-ins. I feel like I crammed a semester's worth of work into one week.
This was our first makeover. Sean is a DJ and has lots of great testimonials, and videos so it made it easy to pull a lot of interesting content together. We have been working together to get it up and running, quickly. Coordinating his Twitter, Facebook, YouTube ... everything DJ Productions is matching, up and running! Ready for Sean to start blogging and adding new photos of all his events! Oh, and go check out his fun little flash headphones. ;)
I really needed to hear this after the day I had yesterday, my horoscope today ...
Today is an 8 - Clean up after your creative bursts of expression. (this means clean up my studio from last week) Old ideas come into renewed prominence. Limitations ease. A dream is close to reality. Endings prompt new beginnings.
I think this means I am moving to something other than graphic design ... a new challenge?
I love these little houses/cabins on Just Folk found via d.Sharp. I bought D the custest little handmade vintage cabin last Christmas. We don't have a good place to display it. Someone went to some sweet effort making all the furniture, even sewing a bed cover. Chairs, beds, fireplace, pot-belly stove, day bed, back porch.
Mom is laughing right now, telling me she thinks today's Between Friends remind her of my situation right now.
Also, thank you, Andrew for that compliment! It means the world to me. I love his tagline for his blog, Something Undone- "As a single Father I'm frighteningly familiar with that sinking feeling that you must have left something undone.". So true, for all of us parents. ;)
I saw this Yellow Lantern on Bright Bazaar the other day. I like it, BUT I would suggest you find the kind that holds tea candles. I have had both types and the tea candle type is so much easier and safer. I found mine on sale at JoAnn's Fabric many years ago and bought 10 of them!
I spent the last two days working on Sean's site, learning Rick's new plug-ins. You know when you get obsessed with fixing something and can not stop? Well, that is how I have been the last two days. Yes, I know, I need to fix the header and the little audio clip ... that will have to wait until tomorrow, my brain is fried.
A FB friend asked me if I was employed or self-employed. I ask if there a category for "self-un-employed"? I feel like the busiest person not making any money. ') Not to worry, I go back to my freelance gig on Monday. Woo Hoo.
I lived in Flower Mound, Texas in my early teens. On Shiloh road, in an old farmhouse on a horse ranch. My extra-curricular activities were cleaning water troughs and horse stalls, hauling hay, unloading feed trucks, washing and exercising horses. I visited in the early 2000's and was shocked and saddened how altered the area had become. Gone were open fields and country roads, replaced with MacMansions, swimming pools and concrete.
I recently spoke with someone living in Flower Mound and was curious if the old house and property were still there. Had it been divided and conquered? The house appears to be gone, but the property is there. Nice to see land that doesn't have a track of houses on it. I can remember driving in an old blue truck, throwing hay in the fields. Riding horses down to the "tank" to fish and hang out. Drove that old truck (before I had my driver's license) on Farm to Market 1171 to Grapevine Lake to sunbath. Ride horses on that same FM1171 in the summer. Scent of weeds scorching in summer sun. The sound of insects buzzing and calling, getting bitten by horse flies. Life seemed difficult, my parents struggled to get along and make ends meet.
Looking back now, it feels quiet, slow and innocent. Full of nature and chores. Waking up before the sun to watch mares foal. Mares palpated, horses being shod, cutting themselves on barbed wire and cleaning their wounds. Sitting up all night with sick foals. Weeping over a few that didn't make it. Listening to the Jackson 5 on the truck radio, windows open, suntanned arms, braided ponytails, dirty, worn boots. A true sweetness to be remembered.
It was the most perfect fall today. Met up with former colleagues from Seattle P-I for coffee. Worked on websites all day. Didn't make it to etsyRain meeting tonight. Totally forgot. ;( Watched The Unusuals ... a series I stumbled upon on Netflix and love it. Quirky, real characters in a dark comedic drama focusing on the dysfunctional cops. I am addicted. Sadly, for only 10 episodes. As one comment said: 'Why do all the good shows get canceled and all the crap shows stay on the air?!! Sick of getting attached to a show and it getting canceled."
Now, I can't go back to sleep. The dogs are mad at me because I have disturbed their sleep. This afternoon I looked over at those dried daisies with afternoon sunlight washing over them. If I leave the little bouquets I shoot by the end of the week ... they are even more interesting.
I love sunny, cool, autumn days! I think the rain is coming back. Tomorrow?
A little snippet from the post:
I love to add decorations right from nature. A walk
around the neighborhood can inspire all kinds of spooky ideas. Large,
sugar maple leaves (or any leaves with a long, sturdy stem) make a great
lion's mane. Carrots make devilish horns (they look better as they
shrivel up). Boxwood trimmings can form crowns. You can add fallen
branches with leaves or use toothpicks for teeth. I’ve wound up clematis
vines for beehive hair-dos and attached sweetgum seedpods for warts.
With garden snips in hand, the possibilities are endless. Pre-punch
holes in the pumpkin surface for natural decorations like leaf stems,
sticks and branches and pull them through from the inside. It’s fun and
easy for the kids.
I didn't mean to be on the computer all weekend, really.
But I got a lot done. I finished up the third mock-up on Rick's BYOB Website member make-over. We are not redesigning the entire site, just suggesting some changes from the person would like us to focus on. Headers, or navigation or organization. I mocked up the ideas then Rick builds it using his nifty Plug-ins. So far, it has been really fun. This last one didn't take me very long ... I used his logo for the inspiration and it happened in less than 2 hours. I think this exercise has been good for me to remember how mock it up, cut up the graphics, etc. Since I haven't been doing much of that lately. Rick and I have some lofty ideas for the future.
While looking at these photos, I was thought they reminded me of digital flower-pressing. ;)
Before I tossedthese little Daisies in the trash, I noticed the stems had curled up into the most wonderful designs, hence interesting silhouettes. More Beautiful Afterlife.
I would love to do more of these ... local friend's links in my sidebar ... sometimes I feel like I just hang out here in Edmond's ethernet all by myself and it is nice to meet, acknowledge and know other bloggers in this area.
I met Rachell at the first etsyRain meeting I attended two weeks ago. We hit it off because we both blog, have our own ideas about photography and the pitfalls blogging. She graciously trades sponsorship advertising and now I am on her site as a sponsor. I am so thrilled and excited.
Rachell is the photographer behind No Mark At All. A Pacific Northwest photographer focusing on the bolder shades of Seattle and all of it's gems. When not photographing nature or food, she blogs about life as a beginner in the field, shares tips and tricks that she picked up around the web, her dream portrait lists, and the prints from other photographers she can't help but love. When not working, she spends as much time as possible with her daughter of 8, Eisling and her boyfriend of nearly 4 years, Dan.
Thank you, Rachell! It feels great to be a part of a larger blogging community.
I had so much fun mocking up new design ideas for Your Organic Gardening Blog ... where to place ads, new colors, new footer, background, header idea, how to sell their E-Book ... I can't wait to hear how it goes over on Thursday night during Rick's BYOB WebsiteQ&A website makeover session! Sometimes I say to myself - under my breath, 'you are having too much fun'. ;)
1: Be authentic. The most powerful asset you have is your individuality, what makes you unique. It’s time to stop listening to others on what you should do. 2: Work harder than anyone else and you will always benefit from the effort. 3: Get off the computer and connect with real people and culture. Life is visceral. 4: Constantly improve your craft. Make things with your hands. Innovation in thinking is not enough. 5: Travel as much as you can. It is a humbling and inspiring experience to learn just how much you don’t know. 6: Being original is still king, especially in this tech-driven, group-grope world. 7: Try not to work for stupid people or you’ll soon become one of them. 8: Instinct and intuition are all-powerful. Learn to trust them. 9: The Golden Rule actually works. Do good. 10: If all else fails, No. 2 is the greatest competitive advantage of any career.
All the while, thinking I should try and go back to sleep ... but now it is too late in the morning to do that. ;0
In an effort to extricate myself from the front of my computer and be less of a hermit ... I have volunteered to help with the behind-the-scenes work for etsyRain November etsyRAIN Handmade Holiday Show.
All of the 1000's of wonderful post I have written about artist and events and such ... it is so disappointing to know that this search "large breast" is one of my biggest Google hits. I think I will just delete it, so people actually looking for something about large breast won't even be pointed to my site. ;( (after I saw two more hits this morning on that search ... I did indeed, remove that post)
I made a pattern the other day for a blog asking to submit patterns to represent where you live ... I did a couple and then forgot about it. I will be damned if I can find that blog again. But here were my patterns.
I have a couple of my favorites of late ... you can download an CS 4 AI file-pdf here (on my website where I can store pdfs). Free for personal or commercial use. I only ask that you do no distribute the file as you own. If you would rather have a repeating jpg or png ... leave me a comment and I can add those too.
I spent all day Saturday figuring out, cutting and building my displays for Brantlers at Greenlake Chocolati Café. It is a small space so I wanted them to compact and easy to hang. Not hang them individually and add many more nail holes in the walls. I used some wood that a friend had given me ages ago.
I also wanted to add a way for folks to 'take a business card' if they wanted ... and added a bent nail and cup hook to accommodate cards. I decided to add a description, etc on another page, tacked it up like a 'wanted poster'. All and all I am very happy with them.
I finally! made a large Brantlers (10.5 inches) yesterday. I have envisioned this larger version for so long that I almost cried when I finished it. This was my vision! This is what I had wanted to do (only larger). It took me making many small versions, figuring out the process, making mistakes, putting the key holes in the wrong place, etc., to finally feel like it was time to tackle the larger one.
I made 4 large skulls but only had time to finish one. It was a full day and my legs are really feeling the 'standing on them all day' vs. 'sitting at the computer'.
I kept asking my family, "do you really think people will 'get' them", "do you think people will like them"? As anything project you look at and work on too long, you start questioning the final product.
I had my business cards and small tags made ... but decided not hang the tags on each Brantler.
I really have had a blast yesterday. Now, I need to focus on real work today.
When I am NOT whining, I am working. I have a day job, a night job and of course my weekend Brantlers job ... well, okay, let's call that "fob" (fun + job).
So in my night job, Rick of Build Your Own Business Websites and I have been having a little fun. Rick teaches folks how to build websites customizing Wordpress and the Thesis theme. He has 100's of videos and develops cool Plug-ins to make members lives easier. He also has a Live Q&A where members call in with questions, he answers and even demonstrates the process live. Oh, and the great part. It is all recorded so you can go back and review what you thought you understood during the session. (I have to check and recheck all the time ... the senior moments I have).
We decided to offer a few free makeovers - suggestions to members who were feeling a little overwhelmed about designing their site, choosing colors, what to put where. Believe me, I know how frustrating that can be. Staring at a blank canvas or landing page and trying to imagine what it should all look like. Adding a little art here and there, what art? And where? What could be the background? Color combination possibilities? It is always easier for me to come up with ideas for others rather than my own. Of course, these are only ideas for them to chew on or build upon ... but I think it has been great fun.
The last make-over, Rick wrote 2 new Plug-ins to accommodate a multi-tasking flash header and landing page side-by-side widgets. Duane helped me make a really fun little Flash animation for the banner. (And then I had to relearn the little bit of Flash I know).
I have built many sites now using BYOB Website tools (including one or two of my own) and continue to learn daily. It is great to have control of your own website, comfortable to go in and make instant changes, and to have Rick there to help me through the process.
Below are the quick mockups for ideas Rick and I had for the first two. Then he builds them and makes them a reality.
This came in my email ... It's not too late to enjoy a rewarding career
From Daily Om: Frequently, in walking through our fear, we discover that the strength of our fright was out of sync with reality.
I verbalized my fears to a friend yesterday who thought I wasn't being a good friend lately ....
I know I have not shared with you and anyone else how depressed and scared I have been the last year. How many mental breakdowns I have during the week. Ugly sobbing and crazy pleas to God to help me find my way. How the last 4 years at my last job completely devastated me and my self-esteem and ego. How I feel the little bit of talent I ever possessed has been diminished and I question my ability daily.
How exhausted my mind is from constantly learning new task, new programs, new technology. How I am trying to absorb new technology so I might qualify for a job, any job. And how I am trying to figure out how I will survive if no one actually hires me again. How all of the hard work and long hours in my past careers do not seem to matter or qualify me for anything now.
How scrambled my brain is from trying to figure out how to become a viable working woman again. How I have not been unemployed since I was 20 and how frustrating it is to apply for jobs daily and not have one word of response.
How I haven't felt that I had to time (or money) to have a vacation. How I don't feel like I even have the privilege of a free day to clean my house. (I have decided this is a freelance dilemma with other friends that freelance). How I don't enjoy small things I once loved in my home.
How I don't feel free to go shopping and haven't even purchased a magazine in the last year. That even window shopping seems like a luxury that I don't have anymore. Sadly, my Pinterest feels like my window shopping alternative.
How I feel like it is a constant juggle with all the stuff that is flying around in my mind … and not to have my head explode from my shoulders. How the list in my head is so long that I am afraid it has actually taken over the space where my brain once was. How I feel I am dying inside and I can't stop the ugly process.
I know you have many of these same issues in your own vernacular. I am just trying to cope with my present situation in the only way I can. I hope this makes it a little more clear what is going on in my interior.
I do feel like this some of the time. The other 1/2 of the time I feel challenged in a the most wonderful way to find a new path for myself. I guess, in the light of so many in my situation, I should share more of these feelings people don't want to read about. The ugly truth of many of my age in their present situation during our economic meltdown.
I know we are not suppose to share the ugly side of our perfect lives in our blogs. But there you have it, I am struggling to find my way. In case you hadn't all ready guessed most of this, if you have read my blog for the last 7 years. My life is far from perfect.
That doesn't mean I don't see the beauty in a weed sprouting in my neighbors yard when I am passing by. The complete awe of flowers turning into seedpods. That I don't enjoy learning new technology while I am helping my friend build new websites. That I don't get a thrill watching hours of lynda.com ... I do and always will (want to be a lifetime student). That I don't have moments in the quiet of my garage with power tools that I break down and cry in joy to see what I have created, and laugh a little bit. I am completely thankful for what I have, my friends, my abilities, especially my family. I am thankful. I am lucky. I am blessed in so many ways.
It only means, that I am human. And I am trying hard to find joy, substance, meaning in my present situation. Does that make sense?
I am enjoying listening to Ken Burns' Prohibition on PBS. Haven't really stopped working to sit in my big chair and watch. Hoping my DVR will help me with that later. ;)
Haven't had time to work on Brantlers ... except to clean up the website. Rick (at BYOB Website) is making it an e-commerce site this week. Had some business cards and tags printed. Not many because I know I always want to change it up. Ran over to Chocolati on Greenwood to see how many sculptures and where/how I can hang them during my little display. I really am excited to see them hanging someplace besides my garage.
Have too much "real work" to do right now with Rick and BYOB Website that I work on at night. And my freelance work during the day. Brantlers on the weekend. Whew, I am feeling a little overwhelmed.
Saw these today at Rick and Laura's, Bittersweet Nightshade, pretty but dangerous. Don't these berries look "so fall". I love the color combination and the little 5-star connection on top is so sweet.