A room with a view

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I’ll know I’ve “made it” when I have a window in my office. Alas, I’m not quite there yet. So, in the spirit of making lemons into lemonade, I made myself a window a couple years ago.

I found an old window on the side of the road. It was old (I already said that), distressed, dirty, and the panes were intact: perfect.  I cleaned it up, sanded the wood lightly, slapped enough paint on to make it still distressed but in a different color, and picked out a “view”.

The photo I chose was one my dad took on a trip to Australia. He’s an amazing photographer and I love the colors in this photo; the contrasting ocean, cliff, sky; the calmness of it all.  Here’s a better view of the photo itself (taken from a tricky angle with my office lights off and just the camera flash).
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He had it printed and mounted on foam core (I’m not sure what it cost but I’m guessing it wasn’t cheap). That’s probably the key to it staying in the frame so well and staying so vibrant even a couple years later.  I used little nails to secure it into the frame.  I also put a couple ATCs I made around the edges, mostly because I couldn’t think of anywhere else to put them. (The one with the ark is an image from a Heifer Fund card which I cut up and “embellished”.)
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It’s not the same as a real window to the outdoors, but the view’s beautiful and the weather’s always perfect.

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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!

My WordPress Family Award nominations

So, I’ve checked out some other blogs who have this nomination/award, and as far as I can tell the “rules” are pretty simple for this one:

1) Thank the person who nominated you (done).

2)  Let people know who it was (here is her nomination post and wonderful blog: http://shutupandcreatesomething.wordpress.com/2013/09/03/versatile-blogger-wordpress-family-awards/)

3)  And pass the nomination along to 10 other WordPress blogs.  For folks that are nominated, feel free to grab the badge from my side-bar (or anywhere else you find it) if you want to post it or pass along the nominations to some of your favorite bloggers (that’s what it’s all about, after all, “spreading the love”).  So, here’s my list (in order of most to least recent of when I first happened upon them):

http://hippiehauswife.com/–  I love, love, love her recent post of a redo of an armoire-kind-of-think (but with drawers) for her girl.  It looks fabulous.  And I also love that she’s coming around on the whole distressing thing- recent converts always make the coolest stuff.

http://serialwoman.wordpress.com/– She hasn’t posted in a while, but I found her blog recently and have been loving it.  I hope she comes back!

http://linhaiwen.wordpress.com/– “Cardboard Robots!” (need I say more?)

http://kerrybest.com/– She does really neat stuff with beads and polymer clay and isn’t afraid to try new stuff out.

http://knotsewnormal.wordpress.com– Knitting, cute kids, and pie… what could be better?

http://margobreen.wordpress.com– I love reading this woman’s stories.  So much I can relate to and so fun to read.

http://creativelycurious.wordpress.com– She has a couple blogs that I’ve found recently and love.  This first one is frugal, creative ideas and the other one is all about adorable little polymer clay charms: http://charminglittletrinkets.wordpress.com/  (a 2 for 1 nomination!)

http://friendsandfaux.wordpress.com/– She’s restarting a faux postage stamp mail art project that sounds super cool!!

and, last but not least,  http://theinboxjaunt.com/– Her posts about quilting make it look so easy but she does amazing stuff (that is clearly not easy at all!)

So… there you have it.  I hope you enjoy checking out some of these blogs and I’ve had a wonderful time spreading the love.

Oh, and here’s another photo I took:

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(The Washington Monument, under construction, behind cherry blossoms.)

Super cool goings on

So, I don’t really have a project to share tonight (but I’ll try to find a cool photo for the end of the post).  But, I do have some super cool things to share.  First, “I made top 3” at the Shopping our Stash challenge.  I have to admit, the challenge was kind of made for me.  It was using “hardware” in a card- and I LOVE my hardware collection (they, I think, had slightly more refined crafting-specific hardware in mind but seemed to appreciate my literal interpretation).  Here’s the announcement post:  http://shoppingourstash.blogspot.ca/2013/08/saturday-shoutout_31.html.  I submitted an anniversary card I made for my wife.  (Maybe I don’t have to spend as much on a gift now that her card has won an AWARD!)  Now I just have to figure out how to put my prize badge on my sidebar (I seem to have to figure it out from scratch every time).  Isn’t it perty???

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The other super cool new news is that I was nominated for more blogger awards: The Versatile Blogger Award (which I’ve gotten before but one can never have too many nominations) and the WordPress Family Award (which is a new one for me).  Here’s her post (which puts me in some pretty awesome company, judging by her other nominees): http://shutupandcreatesomething.wordpress.com/2013/09/03/versatile-blogger-wordpress-family-awards/ The nominations came from a super cool blogger that I recently started following:  Krissy from “Shut Up and Create Something”.  She has some great art journal spreads, full of color and collage, and just a genuinely fun and unique aesthetic (case in point: http://shutupandcreatesomething.wordpress.com/2013/07/11/hamster-in-a-reptar-wagon/)  Plus, I think she has possibly the best name for a blog EVER!  So, here’s my newest badge (which I’ll also have to figure out how to put on my sidebar).

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So thanks, everyone!  What a great day!!

And here, to “borrow” a phrase from Jon Stewart on the Daily Show, is “Your Moment of Zen”.

Image(A snail trail on a Cape Cod beach.)

My next group of “nominations”- sharing the love

The next award *Wisher* nominated me for was the Versatile Blogger Award.  I actually found the web site where this seemed to originate and it’s a really cool blog that is kind of like a clearinghouse for all the Versatile Blogger Award winners.  Funnily enough, the blog is called “Versatile Blogger Award”.  There’s such a great variety of blogs reposted here, it’s fun to explore.  Here it is:

http://versatilebloggeraward.wordpress.com

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And here are the “rules” for the award:

“If you are nominated, you’ve been awarded the Versatile Blogger award.

  •  Thank the person who gave you this award. That’s common courtesy.
  •  Include a link to their blog. That’s also common courtesy — if you can figure out how to do it.
  •  Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly. ( I would add, pick blogs or bloggers that are excellent!)
  •  Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award — you might include a link to this site.
  •  Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.”

So… Thanks again, *Wisher*!!  Here’s the “nomination” post on her awesome blog, so you can check it out yourself:  http://prettylittlethingsinabox.wordpress.com/2013/08/09/award-time-part-3/

Here, then, are my nominations.  15 seems like a lot, but there are so many amazing blogs to choose from.  I’m going to split it up between blogs I discovered recently and those I follow regularly (in no particular order):

1) http://bluebirdslivinginthemeadow.wordpress.com/ – I recently discovered this one.  I love the photo collages she’s been making to illustrate her posts.  She has a nice combination of really organic looking paper crafts and nature photography.

2) http://joyfulploys.wordpress.com/ – This is one I follow regularly.  I love her art journals and it was fun to play along with her in the Index Card a Day Challenge.

3) http://ximenaxarau.wordpress.com – This is a new blog that I’m so glad I happened upon.  Ximena is an amazing artist and there’s a great variety to the work she’s posted so far.

4) http://cardcrazed.wordpress.com – Another one I recently discovered.  She makes really neat cards and has just ventured into the worlds of art journaling and mixed media.  A woman after my own heart (the expanding her horizons part).

5) http://girlunwinding.wordpress.com/ – Dawn is definitely a blogger I follow regularly.  She’s been so incredibly encouraging and inspirational, a lot of things I’ve tried recently have been the direct result of her (mandalas and making my own stamps, for example).

6) http://bitze.wordpress.com/ – Patty is another huge inspiration (and I think the way I found Dawn, above).  Her art journal pages are amazing and I love the stories about her adventures- crafting and otherwise.

7) http://createdbylisa.blogspot.com/ – A scrapbooker I recently discovered through the Sketch -n- Scrap Challenge page.  She’s really gotten me fired up on finally doing my wedding scrapbook (a year later).

8) http://shutupandcreatesomething.wordpress.com/ – She posts her art journaling and poetry.  She has a great, irreverent sense of humor (as her blog title suggests) and is also really talented.

9) http://tracywoodsford.blogspot.com/ – My last art journaler nominee, Tracy also makes some amazing spreads.  She has a nice combination of whimsy and beauty in her work.

10) http://spikescreativeside.wordpress.com/ – Spike is a card-maker that rocks my world.  She is hilarious and has inspired me to start working on my winter holiday cards this summer (so I don’t have to scramble to make them all in December).

11) http://pushingtherightbuttons.blogspot.co.uk/ – Jenny makes really neat cards with all kinds of cool materials (as suggested in the “buttons” part of her blog name).  I also love her moto: “A place where creativity banishes negativity.”  We could all use a reminder like that.

12) http://thesimpleupcycler.com/ – A new blog that has some great ideas for relatively simple upcycling and repurposing.

13) http://lorrinbaker.wordpress.com/ – Lorrin is my amazingly talented brother and I’m pretty sure he’s not going to pass this nomination on to anyone, but I can’t help but include him.  I actually joined WordPress years ago just so I could follow his photo blog, before I had any desire whatsoever to start my own blog.

14) http://sullimaybe.wordpress.com/ – Linda is a friend of mine (in real life) and kind of inspired me to get into blogging.  Her blog is so much fun- she posts about neat, random things that are “news to (her)” (and usually news to me).

15) http://oatmealmusing.blogspot.com/ – And, last but not least, another friend of mine from the “real world”.  Jane is an amazing poet and former English teacher (who’s probably not going to be happy that I started that previous sentence with “And”).

The last step of this award’s nomination process (which has been harder than I thought) is to tell the person who nominated me 7 things about myself.  So here they are, *Wisher* (and anyone else who has read this far):

1) I am independently licensed as a mental health counselor but I don’t do therapy.  I’m currently working with the human services company I work for on designing a centralized clinical intake and assessment team.

2) The hardest jobs I’ve had have all been as a teacher (1 1/2 years in elementary school and 2 years in middle school theater).  Summer vacations nowhere near make up for how hard (good) teachers work the rest of the year.

3) I think my boy is the funniest, cutest, most unique kid in the whole world (not that I’m biased).

4) I think my wife is the most supportive, beautiful, and loving woman in the world (again, despite any potential bias).  She’s an amazing cook who I keep encouraging to create her own blog to share her talents.

5) I was arrested for civil disobedience in college and spent a night in jail.

6) I’m a United Methodist, working hard with my church to help our congregation become “Reconciling” and fully include gays and lesbians in all aspects of church life.  Working on the denomination as a whole will be the next step.

7) I really think blogging has helped me keep my sanity when life gets a little too crazy, prod me toward the creativeness that I’ve always loved and valued in myself, and made me a better mom and wife in general.

So… that’s it.  Thanks again, *Wisher*, for the nomination.  I think I’m going to take a break from handing these out and get back to crafting for a while.  (But, I won’t give up on them… look forward to more nominations in the near future.)

And here’s a picture of a design I made in the sand on the beach, just for fun.

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(Sand art on a beach in Provincetown.)