An ATC gift

I recently left the company I’d worked for for the past (almost) 10 years. It was bittersweet, especially since I had really liked the Program Director I had just started working with. She also had a creative streak, was incredibly thoughtful and insightful, and had been really helping me grow and refine my supervision style. 

As a thank-you, I gave her this found art/collage ATC that I made a while ago (and had hung in my office): 

  
The quote is from “A High Wind in Jamaica” by Richard Hughes. 

#ATC #collage #mixedmedia #literaryquotes #thankyou

Easter Eggs

A Pinterest win!  I like experimenting with my boy on different ways to dye eggs each year. He usually does the vinegar fizz method at church, so it’s fun to mix it up at home. This year, we tried:

How To Dye Easter Eggs – Handy And Organic Idea For Norou http://www.iamaddictedtoyou.com/2016/03/21/how-to-dye-easter-eggs-organic/79623/ideas/

  

They were an unqualified success!  We did the onion skins and cabbage suggested in the post and also tried canned beets. We went with just flowers (the bouquet my wife got me didn’t have great leaves on it but the flowers were perfect). We used a combo of white and green died flowers (the kind you get for St. Patrick’s day). Some of the green bled through, which we thought was pretty cool. 

The directions in the post are pretty perfect, so I don’t have much to add. Here are some process pics with my cute kid, though (in our friend’s beautiful kitchen):

 
     
  
We’re pretty impatient, so we took the onions and beets out after only about an hour. I think the color on the onion skins is great. The beets came out pretty light pink, but I think they would have been great if we had left them in overnight.  

   

We did leave the cabbage in over night, and the color came out a deep blue, which we loved.  

  
My son had fun decorating a couple with Sharpies. He though the ones that had the flower imprinted on the top, instead of the side, looked like hair or a hat. I think they’re adorable. 

Here are a couple other similar posts that I found interesting. I love the idea of using natural food-base dyes, and there are a bunch of options here:

http://www.oregonlive.com/hg/index.ssf/2013/03/the_pecks_easter_egg_dyes_made.html 

Both that article and this next one suggest using vinegar, which we didn’t do. It might have made the beets pop more, but I think the onion skin and cabbage colors are just great. 

I love the different plants used in this next post. The variety of colors and designs are just stunning. 

Homemade Easter Eggs Naturally Dyed with Onion Skins

Hope you try them!  

p.s. Work has been crazy for the past couple years so I stopped blogging. I’ve still been crafting, though, and taking tons of pictures, so hopefully I’ll be able to find the time to start sharing again and pick up where I left off. 

Have a glorious Easter!

 

#Easter #kidcraft #naturecraft #eggcellent #pinterestwin 

Crossroads

Italo Calvino said: The more enlightened our houses are, the more their walls ooze ghosts. Describe the ghosts that live in this house: Image credit: “love Don’t live here anymore…” – © 2009 Robb North – made available under Attribution 2.0 Generic

I’ve been overwhelmed lately and haven’t had the time or energy to create much of anything.  And I haven’t liked it one bit.  But I have a little time tonight and felt the urge to blog… but what to say, share, do?  So I pushed the “Inspire me” link on WordPress and the image and quote above came up.  Of course, they’re pretty perfect for where my life has taken me right about now.

I’ve been thinking so much about balance, lately.  As I’ve been working to build a new department at my agency, one that I think I would truly love to run, I’ve had to give up a lot of the time I’d been able to spend on my crafting.   Things had gotten pretty stagnant in my last position and I had been able to do it without a lot of thought or effort.  This was a new sensation for me, as I’d always been pretty consumed by work (working in a mental health field can easily be all-consuming).  Luckily, I was able to channel the extra time and energy I had into my crafting and I realized that I’d gotten to really love that part of myself.

The quote speaks to me of my own “enlightenment”, or my moving up in the social services world into a position I’ve  always thought I wanted.  But the “ghosts” that I’m afraid that I’m creating are the possible ghosts of my creative, family,  and spiritual lives.  I’m afraid about work consuming my life once again, as it’s done at so many points in the past.  There aren’t enough hours in the day to be able to do everything I want to do.  But I know there are things I need to do.  These are the things I’ve learned about myself in the past several months of having the creative time I’ve had:

– When I have the time to be creative, I feel alive.

– When I have the energy to participate actively in my faith community, I feel connected.

– When I feel alive and connected, I’m a great mother and wife.

So, what to do?

I’m so scared about being that little house in the picture with the sad title:  “love Don’t live here anymore”.   I’m scared about not being able to balance the pressures of work and life and still make time for the things that really feed my soul.  I’m scared that the career goal I’d always aspired to (moving up in the agency, having the chance to have a greater impact on the lives of a greater number of people) may end up being the thing that makes me into a person I don’t want to be.

How do you balance work and life and yourSELF?

Weekly Photo Challenge: An Unusual POV

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When I saw this photo challenge theme, An Unusual Point of View, I immediately thought of a photo I took atop the Yokahu Observation Tower in El Yunque National Rain Forest in Puerto Rico.  I actually took the picture with my iPhone, because I wanted to send it to my dad.  It just tickled me to see this binocular thing in the midst of one of the most breathtaking views I’ve ever seen.  I guess it’s for people who have a hard time seeing the forest for the trees.

I love the theme for this challenge as I’m really into the unique point of view.  I think it can say a lot about someone’s creativity and willingness to “think outside the box”.  There are a ton of awesome photos at the blog this week with this theme:  http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/09/06/unusual/

Here’s another photo I took that day that goes with the theme.  It’s from the ground looking up at the tower.  I just love the blue and white of the sky behind the aged, rust colored stone.

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I’m not a big photo blogger, but I love taking pictures.  Touring the rainforest was a truly amazing adventure and going through the photos brings it all back to me!