Image Slider

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


With a long holiday weekend ahead, Jana, Callie and I decided it was the perfect time to spend some quality time together---just us girls! Early in the summer, we began planning. We wanted to find a spot where we could do "girl stuff". We all enjoy hiking and outdoors things like that, but we can do those things when their husbands are with us. For this trip, we wanted to do things that they wouldn't normally enjoy as much---museums, art galleries, etc. So, the location we settled on was Charleston, SC.. None of us have ever spent any time there and it is a beautiful southern city with lots to see and do.

Only, we didn't count on a hurricane. And there's one heading that direction now--the huge category 4 Hurricane Earl. Callie and I have tickets to fly out there on Thursday night, which is just about when it is supposed to hit the East Coast. Now, it is scheduled to hit further up the coast, closer to North Carolina. But, I'm from Louisiana---I know a little about hurricanes! They are often unpredictable. At the very least, I think that we can count on some really rainy weather and not nearly as many walking tours around Charleston. We're keeping our fingers crossed that the entire East Coast dodges the bullet and hoping that we don't end up stranded in an airport somewhere.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Mailbox Re-Vamp

I wanted to share a little project I completed this afternoon. My old mailbox was in pretty sad shape, so I purchased a new one at Lowe's. Nice and clean, but oh so boring!

Months ago I purchased the Cricut Design Studio, but have never had time to play with it to figure out how to use it, so I figured this was the perfect chance to try it out.

First I cut planned out the branches and cut them out of two different colors of brown vinyl (Oh My Crafts has vinyl packs at great prices). It was a little tricky to place these on the mailbox smoothly, so next time I would definitely use the transfer paper.

Then, after re-sizing them on my laptop, I cut a couple of different birds and leaves.

Here's the finished product---I really love it!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Round Robin--Express a Feeling!

Be sure to visit the other Round Robins to see what they've captured!!
For this challenge, I dug around in my archives. It seems that most of my photos depicting emotion were found in the albums for the mission trips I've been on. These first two were taken on a couple of trips to Juarez where I helped build houses for families. I have so many pictures of the children there, and they evoke all kinds of emotions as I look back through them.

I have been on several trips down to south Louisiana for hurricane recovery (I live in North Louisiana). These photos were taken about five weeks after Katrina hit, in the area surrounding Slidell, LA. This first one was with a couple of girls I taught in Sunday School---obviously missing another of their friends.

The next two are not great quality, but they certainly capture the emotion of devastation that surrounded the area for several years. Notice the washing machine dangling in the first picture.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Action Kivu

Alissa from Handmade by Alissa launched an amazing fundraiser this week to benefit Action Kivu, an organization that helps women who are victims of the conflict in eastern Congo by teaching them to sew. The conflict in Congo has taken the lives of over 5.4 million people since 1998. Rape is used as a weapon of war, with estimates putting the number of rapes in the hundreds of thousands.

Alissa’s twin sister Cate is working with Action Kivu to provide some of the eastern Congo’s victims of violence with the opportunity to rebuild their lives on a foundation of hope, dignity, and economic self-sustenance. Their approach is spearheaded through two programs. First, they run a sewing workshop that teaches women who are victims of the conflict to sew. This leads them to be able to support themselves and their families. Secondly, they pay for children to go to school which is not free in Congo. It costs $40 a year, per child. That’s very little money and it makes a big impact.

Alissa writes, “Our online sewing community is so blessed to be able to pursue our love of sewing as a hobby, career, or just for fun, but for these women, learning to sew will be life changing and give them hope for their futures. The Action Kivu sewing workshop of course costs money to run and they need supplies– sewing machines and more. They do not need the goods themselves, but the money to buy them.”

(be sure to silence my music at the bottom of this post before watching this video)

Action Kivu: Sewing Workshop Fundraiser from Action Kivu on Vimeo.

Sewing is something that is near and dear to my heart. Throughout my life it has continued to be a source of joy and healing for me and knowing that women throughout the world can share in that joy is awesome. Some day, I hope that I have the opportunity to participate in something like this in a "hands-on" way.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sankatay Head Lighthouse

I got a great surprise in the mail today! Don sent me this painting that he did of the Sankatay Lighthouse on Nantucket. (sorry for the blurry closeup)

My brother is a architect by trade, but an artist at heart.

I LOVE it and know that it will make me smile every time I look at it, remembering the bike ride, the sandwiches on the beach and time spent with family!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

2 + 1

Let's see . . .

plus ONE

= temperatures slightly cooler inside than outside! Another day without AC in my office! :-(

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Bird On A Wire

It's no secret how much I love birds. Each morning, I enjoying standing at the sink preparing my breakfast as I watch a hummingbird or two come to the feeder hung by my window. I love these little guys! But, by the time I am able to get my camera, they are always gone.

But, this morning, my camera happened to be sitting on the kitchen counter and I quickly grabbed it before this little hummingbird flitted off with a friend.

After church this afternoon, I went outside to gather some ivy for Vickie when I noticed a couple of busy guys in my flowerbed. Since capturing them with my camera seemed to be impossible, I paused to focus on the Turk's Cap that the hummers love so much.

After sipping some nectar, the little bird flew away and rested for a moment on the telephone line before flying off.

Shortly after, a large mockingbird arrived and watched as I continued to take photos.

Then, just for an instant, the hummer returned.

Not just one, but two birds on a wire!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

It's Raining Men!

One of my very best friends from childhood came into town with her family this past week. They live in Virginia now, but still have family here, so I'm lucky enough to still get to see her from time to time. We ate dinner together mid-week and then at the end of the week, I got a call from her saying that their accommodations (a cabin on the lake which belonged to another friend) had to be vacated and they needed a place to stay for a couple of nights. My house is not very large, but we figured we could make it work, so they joined me for the weekend, along with a friend of theirs.

(She's going to kill me for posting this picture, I'm sure)

With a bit more time, I'm sure I would have gotten the dust wiped up and the piles of "stuff" picked up (or maybe not), but they didn't seem to mind too much. It was a challenge to find a place for everyone to sleep---they are a TALL family and my daybeds with trundles simply don't fit them very well--but we got it figured out. In the bedrooms,

in the office, on the couch (very low light pic)

---there were boys everywhere!

I even managed to pull a breakfast together out of the meager provisions in my frig! (fortunately, they were meeting friends for brunch this morning---there was only enough stuff for one meal!)

I am so glad that I got to spend more time with Kathy though, and especially her boys!

They are great kids and I don't get to see them nearly enough!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Round Robin - About The Weather

A photograph which represents the temperature. Hot, cold or in between. Hard shadows to show the bright sun for example. The soft shadows of a cool cloudy day. Ice and snow if you got it!

For the past couple of weeks, I have awakened to the chirping sound of the WeatherBug weather alert on my desktop. Down here in the south, it has been such a hot summer! I live in the yellow---that means heat, heat and more heat!

The sun was blistering, even at 8:30 this morning.

Emmi was ready to go for a walk, regardless of the heat. It was so hot that my lens kept fogging up, hence the blur in this picture.

P.S. Happy 3rd Birthday, Emmi!! :-)

On our walk, we saw some really beautiful flowers at my neighbor's house---flowers that seem to be thriving despite the conditions.

This little locust must have been all too happy to shed his clothes in this heat.

Don't forget to check out the other weather pictures by the Round Robins here.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Passing The Torch

While I'm still a few years from retiring, it seems clear that I won't be going back to a self-contained classroom again. Over the years, I've accumulated quite a collection of teaching supplies---puppets, craft projects, teaching units, worksheets and homemade games. Once I became an itinerant teacher, I brought most of my supplies home. Since I travel from school to school, my car has become my classroom and I have gathered favorite games and activities that are portable and effective with my kids.

The boxes containing my teaching units have since been stored in my bedroom closet and are rarely used. I've known it was time to get rid of them, but I just couldn't bare to pass them to just "anyone" or worse--just thrown them away. So, when my friend Gwenn's daughter recently graduated with a early education degree, I decided to ask her if she was interested in any of it. She seemed to be tickled with the opportunity, so, this week, I helped Caitlin load 9 boxes of goodies into her car and sent her on her way to her first teaching job. Next week, we'll tackle the boxes in storage.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

In My Own Hand

Just for fun, I decided to make my own font. After checking out several different sites and the forms included, etc., I decided to go with I printed out two templates and did one with cursive and the other with print. You can preview your font before you purchase which allowed me to see that the cursive one looked completely ridiculous! I also used the "normalizing" feature that they offer and really liked the results. Here is a sample---does it look like my own??

Of course it would be really nice if I would proofread what I write before I print it! :-)
Saturday, August 7, 2010

Louisiana Heat

The temperatures here in Louisiana have been soaring the last week or so. With actual temps over 100 each day and the heat index upwards of 110 and 115, everyone has been feeling it---even Emmi! The other night, she was so interested in the birds that were chirping outside that she would run out of her doggie door for a minute or two, run back inside to get a drink of water and then collapse on the floor for a couple of minutes.

Moments later, the entire routine would be repeated---over and over! The showers we received yesterday afternoon brought the temperatures today back down into the 90's---RELIEF!!

Baby Block

After two visits to the dentist this week and several more scheduled (ugh!), I left with a couple of prescriptions and the feeling that I was helping to finance their new office building. Thank goodness for my summer job---while not nearly as much fun as a vacation or remodeling project, at least I won't have to dive too deep into my savings.

With frugality fresh on my mind--at least for a few days--I started looking for some creative inspiration. This weekend, I'm invited to a baptism and have been trying to come up with a great gift---one that is special, but preferably doesn't involve too much $$. Searching through my favorite blogs, I found lots of neat ideas and finally settled on one. Inspired by this Anna Maria Horner creation and input from Jana, I gathered a few fun, but not too girly fabric scraps,

Appliqued some letters onto 6 inch squares,

Added a couple of special panels,

Inserted some jingle bells,

and came up with this---

---a sweet remembrance for a special baby boy. Remember your baptism, little Will.

Custom Post Signature

Custom Post  Signature