June 30

Tissue Paper = Pom-Poms

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All of June’s crafts will be kid-friendly, in honor of “School’s Out For Summer!”

Inspiration:

Kaboose – Tissue Paper Party Pom-Poms

Supplies:

Tissue paper (9 sheets – approximately 20″ x 25″)

Chenille stem

String

Scissors

1.  Stack pieces of tissue paper on top of each other.  I used three different colors.

2.  Starting at the 20″” wide end, accordion fold making 1-1/2″ folds.

3.  Loosely wrap the chenille stem around the center of the folded tissue paper and twist.  I wrapped it too tight in this picture.  Wrapping it loosely makes it easier to separate the layers in Step 6.

4.  Attach string to the chenille stem.

5.  Trim the ends of the tissue paper, using rounded or pointed cuts.

6.  Lay the tissue paper flat and start separating the layers, one by one, very gently so you don’t rip the paper.

7.  Now you have a festive decoration in the exact colors you want.

Posted by lori . Filed under Look What I Found! Now What Do I Do With It? (Crafts) | 1 Comment

June 29

Paloma…A Love Story

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I’ve mentioned our first Greyhound before, but never told her full story…how she came to us and how we lost her.  Here is Paloma’s story:

How I Came To Know About Greyhounds

You may not know it, but I was never a “dog” person.  I liked cats (and still do).  When my daughter left for college, I was selling PartyLite to help with college expenses.  A woman contacted me who wanted to do a fundraiser for her Greyhound rescue group (Allies for Greyhounds of West Michigan).  I set a time to meet her to explain our fundraising program and drop off materials.  I knew that she had four Greyhounds, and I was DREADING going to her home.  Four big dogs!  I arrived at her home and went to the front door.  Standing on the other side of the storm door was a Greyhound who just looked at me.  No barking, just looking.  The woman came to the door and let me in.  She said, “You’ll have to excuse Anita, she’s doesn’t have her manners yet.”  The other three hounds didn’t even get up when I came in.  Anita was curious about me, but no jumping, barking, licking…she just followed me around.  I told the lady about our fundraising program and then spent the next hour asking questions about Greyhounds.  I was VERY intrigued.  I told my husband about these unusual dogs and eventually we went to a Meet ‘n Greet so he could see them.  When we got in the car after meeting some of the hounds, he said, “I don’t know.  I think they’re too meek.”  I told him, “I’m not interested in getting a dog, I’m only interested in getting a Greyhound.”  My husband, being a smart man and knowing that a window of opportunity was closing said, “Okay, we can get a Greyhound.”

Paloma Comes Into Our Lives

My husband was interested in a brindle male.  I didn’t want a male.  So we picked a couple dogs from our group’s website and a young woman brought them out, along with Paloma who she was fostering.  There was no magical moment…nothing.  I asked the young woman who she thought we should take and she said, “I’ve always thought Paloma would be the one for you.”  It sounded like a good pick…brindle for my husband and female for me.  A fun little side note…The young woman who brought the dogs out often fosters “hard cases” otherwise know as dogs who need a little extra work.

Paloma, Our First Greyhound

Paloma was not the calm Greyhound that I anticipated.  Paloma was a big, wild girl, and my husband and I fell desperately in love with her.  Paloma was not cat-friendly.  We had to work with her A LOT on that.  Paloma was a jumper, so coming into our home was tricky.  If Paloma got to you, it was like getting hit in the chest with a sledgehammer.   Paloma would use our family room as a race track…she’d use the back of the couch as a spring board.  Other than those few eccentricities, Paloma was a sweet, loving, joyful girl.  She was a good girl too.  She really wanted to please, she just got a little excited some times.  Her absolute favorite activity was chasing a laser light.  Every evening my husband would take her into the backyard and she would run laps, chasing that crazy light.

Tragedy

One evening, after coming inside from chasing the laser light, my husband called for me to come into the family room.  He was standing beside Paloma and when he took his hand off her side her right leg folded forward.  We first thought that she had broken a leg or snapped a tendon.  We got her down and gently felt her leg.  We couldn’t feel anything wrong and she didn’t seem to be in pain.  We took her to the Animal Emergency Hospital and after doing some tests, the vet suspected it was FCE (Fibrocartilginous emboli); simply put, a blockage in the spinal cord that causes paralysis.  When we consulted with our vet in the morning, the prognosis didn’t look good.  In agony, we made the decision to end her life.  Since then, I’ve read articles about misdiagnosed FCE and full recovery FCE.  I’ve also read stories of dogs that never recovered.  For awhile, my husband blamed himself for allowing her to run and chase the laser light.  Did we make the right decision?  I’ll never know.  We did the best we could at the time, but I still feel the heavy weight of that decision.

Paloma’s Legacy

As horrible as losing Paloma was, our empty, dog-less home was terrible.  Paloma had left a huge hole in our hearts and we decided it would take two Greyhounds to fill it.  Enter, Freedom and Casper.  Another interesting side note…my husband picked Freedom because her dam/mother was Paloma’s “grandmother.”  I picked Casper because he was being fostered by the couple (now dear friends of ours) who had Paloma’s sister.

I know that many of my readers have lost precious pets.  It’s never easy, and I think it’s extra hard when you have to make that final call.  Paloma changed my life and who I am…all for the better.  I hope she’s there to greet me when I pass over.  I’ll be bracing myself.

Posted by lori . Filed under Greyt Hounds (Greyhounds) | 8 Comments

June 28

4 Faves – Version 21.0

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Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock

I like the “Dry-Touch” aspect of this sunblock.  When you apply it, it feels like…nothing.  It comes in a variety of SPFs, so you can choose what’s right for your situation and activity level.

Soma Vanishing Edge Panties

If you don’t do thongs or feel like wearing Spanx, these are a great alternative for lessening panty lines.  They’re made of a lightweight microfiber and have strips of silicone at the leg openings to hold them in place on your backside.  They come in 5 different styles, so you can stick with the type of panty you prefer.

Modern Dog Magazine

My friend, Amy, introduced me to Modern Dog, a quarterly magazine that is “the lifestyle magazine for modern dogs and their companions.”  You’ll find great articles and all types of new and fun things to buy (or dream of buying) for your pampered pooch.

Ten Thousand Villages

Ten Thousand Villages is a Fair Trade retailer whose mission is “To create opportunities for artisans in developing countries to earn income by bringing their products and stories to our markets through long-term fair trading relationships.”  I love not only the unique, handcrafted items (and there is something for everyone), but also the stories of the artisans and businesses that create them…like Dominion Traders of Pakistan who made my beautiful onyx lamp.


Posted by lori . Filed under 4 Faves (Favorite Things) | 5 Comments

June 27

Creative Is a Verb…Get Present

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This week’s reading from Creative Is a Verb by Patti Digh covers the third creative commitment, Get Present: Show Up Like Magic.  The sections within the chapter are:  (1) Always take the train, (2) Swing slow big arcs, (3) Carve a Chinese chop, (4) Sit still with Slumpy, (5) Find Miss Florence Painter, and (6) Blow bubbles every day.

Patti talks about slowing down, relaxing into the rhythm of your life, and looking at opportunities for stillness.  She asks us to consider what “gifts” we need to offer others.  She encourages us to follow threads, ask questions and be curious.  And ultimately, what do we love the most and what do we need to release.

A quote in the reading stuck out to me…”We had the experience, but we missed the meaning.” – T. S. Eliot.  How often have I a done this?  Often.  In the last 10 years, I have slowed the pace of my life significantly and it has made a big difference in how I think about people and events.  But the process is ongoing.  There are so many opportunities to do things, that our calendars tend to fill up.  I’ve often been stressed because I have too many wonderful events and opportunities on my schedule.  For me, the question comes down to what I love the most and what I need to release at this point in time.  It’s not necessarily a question you answer once, but rather a question that should be asked whenever you consistently feel an uncomfortable tension in your life and your schedule.  There are things in my life that are important now that didn’t exist a year ago and of course, things pass from of our lives.

My pictures this week are of two precious things that have passed from my life…a period of life, my daughter’s childhood and a special pet, my sweet Paloma who was only with us six months.  They were special while I had them and there is more opportunity ahead.

Posted by lori . Filed under Creating the Creator (Creativity) | 8 Comments

June 26

Creative Space – After (Part 5)

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This year, I’m turning a room in our home into my “creative space.”  Here’s a review of the posts from previous months – January, February, March, April, May.  This month, I planned to paint and organize my closet.  One of those tasks is done…I painted yesterday.  It is a bright, happy shade of green called “Season’s Promise.”

Finishing the closet will give me some nice storage space, but I’m going to step back a bit and do a little planning.  One of my favorite organizing books is Organizing from the Inside Out by Julie Morgenstern.

I like Organizing from the Inside Out because of the process it takes you through.  First, you “Analyze” the problem, (1) What’s working? (2) What’s not working? (3) What items are most essential to you? (4) Why do you want to get organized? and (5) What’s causing the problems.  From there you move on to “Strategize” where you (1) Define your zones, (2) Map out the space, and (3) Rearrange furniture.  The final step is to “Attack” and that’s where the action is.  During the “Attack” phase you (1) Sort, (2) Purge, (3) Assign a home, (4) Containerize, and (5) Equalize.  This process has been helpful to me in other areas of my home because without the “thinking and planning” part up front, I tend to lose focus, and then I start to pile.  So before I install any shelves in the closet, I’m going to go through these steps.  I’ll take plenty of pictures.

My current fantasy for this space is ScrapBox furniture.  These are the two pieces I’m in love with.  I’m going to have to save lots of pennies if I want these.

EZ View Desk

The Sewing Box

 

 

 

Posted by lori . Filed under Want to Talk About (Whatever) | 2 Comments

June 25

The Witches

The Witches is a book by Roald Dahl who wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, Matilda and many more.  Like all Roald Dahl books it is sharp, sometimes violent and peopled with smart kids and giant adversaries.  The story revolves around a little boy who is living with his grandmother in Norway.  She tells him about witches and how to identify them.  When they move to England, the boy recognizes his first witch and discovers their plan to eliminate all the children in England and ultimately, the world.  One of the wonderful things about Roald Dahl’s books is the champion is a normal boy or girl who takes care of the situation against fantastic odds and often, nasty, mean adults.

Posted by lori . Filed under Few and Well Chosen (Books) | 2 Comments

June 24

The Town

The Town focuses on a group of career bank robbers from the Charlestown neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts.  Ben Affleck plays the leader of the group, but when he falls for a girl who was a hostage during a previous robbery, he wants out.  As Affleck wants more and more to go straight, his history pulls just as strongly, the opposite way.  This film examines family (natural and created), the desire to leave a dead end life and the difficulty involved in changing.

Posted by lori . Filed under A Bowl of Popcorn, a Movie and Thou (Movies) | 6 Comments

June 23

Candle Cup = Toothpick Holder

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All of June’s crafts will be kid-friendly, in honor of “School’s Out For Summer!”

Inspiration:

The toothpick holder I made in Nursery School.

Supplies:

Candle Cup (or small glass bottle)

Glue

Paint Brush

Glitter

Glittering Tray or Paper Plate

1.  Fill the hole in the bottom of the candle cup with glue or air-drying clay.  Paint on a layer of glue.

2.  Sprinkle on the glitter over the glittering tray or paper plate.

3.  Repeat steps 1 and 2 until the entire cup is glittered.  Allow to dry.

4.  Now your toothpicks have bling!

The inspiration for this project was a toothpick holder I made in Nursery School.  I was so excited about this project.  What little gal wouldn’t be…GLITTER!  I was very proud to give this to my mom for Christmas.  She used it for 35 years and then gave it to me about 10 years ago.  I still love this little toothpick holder because I remember how thrilled I was to make it and give it to my mom.


Posted by lori . Filed under Look What I Found! Now What Do I Do With It? (Crafts) | 5 Comments

June 22

Spot

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I read about Spot on Bully & Nelson’s blog and it touched my heart.  Spot is a young, blind greyhound.  His blindness was caused by a central brain condition and is irreversible.  You can read a more detailed post about Spot here.

As you can imagine, Spot owes a lot of money to the vet.  Spot’s foster mom came up with a greyt idea to help Spot out.  Spot is selling these cute magnets!  They are $10 of which $8 goes to the Greyhound Adoption League of Texas and $2 covers postage, supplies and PayPal fees.  I love things like this…Spot gets $8, I get a super cute magnet, and Spot’s foster mom stays out of trouble because she’s busy mailing the magnets out.

The first batch of 50 magnets sold out before I could get to them, so I’m on the waitlist for the second batch which is expect around the end of June (2011).  If you would like a magnet, email Holly at Bullyandnelson@gmail.com.  Let her know how many magnets you would like (limit 2) and she will send you a PayPal invoice when the second batch of magnets arrives.  PLUS, everyone who purchases a magnet is entered in a drawing for a SPOT mug.  I HOPE I WIN THE MUG!  Don’t worry, my using capital letters will not influence Momma Holly.  She has a full-proof method of making sure no favoritism is shown.  You can check out the “drawing” for the mug from the first set of magnets here.

Spot has his own Facebook page and you can also check out Bullyn’ Nelson’s profile on Facebook.

My reason for writing about Spot is not only for Spot, but also because I love the “community” to be found on the internet.  Through blogs, Facebook, forums and other social networking platforms, you get to meet people from all over the country and world, and you discover new ways and avenues to help and be kind to others.  When something touches my heart and I have the ability to act, that’s what I want to do, and I HOPE I WIN THE MUG!

 

 

Posted by lori . Filed under Greyt Hounds (Greyhounds) | 4 Comments

June 21

4 Faves – Version 20.0

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Booda Butter Lip Balm

Booda Butter has the smooth, creamy, not sticky feel that I love in a lip balm.  It’s also certified vegan…if you’re a vegan.

Diet Coke

Everyone has a favorite soft drink…this is mine.

Pretty Plant Supports

These pretty round plant supports are from Glamos Wire Products, their Colorful Series.  Why have plain wire when you could have red, green, yellow, orange, blue or purple?

Hangaway Collapsible Drying Rack

This is a handy item to own.  I use it to hang clothes to dry, but you can use it for guests, storage, by the pool, anytime you need a hanging rack.  When you’re not using it, it folds up.

Posted by lori . Filed under 4 Faves (Favorite Things) | 2 Comments