June 20

Creative Is a Verb…See More


I’m working my way through the book Creative Is a Verb by Patti Digh.  This week’s reading covers the second creative commitment, “See More: Turn Around and Look.”  The sections within the chapter are: (1) Drive an Airstream trailer, (2) Be the tiny camera, (3) Eat on a lake, (4) Listen to tiny fishies, (5) Keep on looking up, and (6) Look in the square.  I mention the titles of the sections for two reasons…one of them may intrigue you enough to check out the book if you’re thinking of igniting your creative spirit, and also because it’s just fun to let your mind imagine what these “titles” could have to do with “See More.”

Patti discusses “seeing” several different ways.  She encourages us to see things from another perspective; to see our attachment to things and what that attachment is trying to teach us; to see ourselves in the landscape or the natural world; to see what our distractions are…the things that prevent us from seeing and listening; to see our dreams; to see things beyond our definitions and our preconceived notions.

The commitment to “see more” has me examining a few areas in my life.  First up is multi-tasking.  I wonder how much I miss because I insist on the efficiency of doing several things at once.  Second is setting aside the time to see, either through quiet time, play time, meditation or prayer.  Making this a priority is a constant battle, but one I’m determined to win.  Finally, this quote hit me right between the eyes, “We are trained for dullness.”  This made me think about re-seeing.  I enlisted in the Army when I graduated from High School and spent 22 years in the military both on active and reserve duty.  My husband (who also retired from the Army) teases me because I don’t “remember” things as accurately or as vividly as he does.  How much have I forgotten or not “seen”  in almost 50 years of living.  When I started this journey in January, I went through the book The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.  One of the tools to recovering creativity is morning pages.  I want to take this opportunity to re-see some things in my life while writing my morning pages.



Posted by lori . Filed under Creating the Creator (Creativity) | 3 Comments

June 19

Tribute To My Dad


My dad is a teaser.  For anyone who wonders why the more I like you, the more I tease you…that’s why.

My dad’s a hard worker.  My dad was a sheet metal worker, and whether it was 90° or -20°, he went to work, every single day.  Once when I was little, he got pneumonia and was off work for a week.  That’s the only time I ever remember him missing work, and it was scary because it was so unusual.

My dad can fix anything.  It was odd when I first met guys that didn’t know how to fix things because I thought guys could fix everything…my dad could.

My dad loves his family.  He’s not the mushy sort, but I never, not once, ever doubted his love.

My dad is low-keyed and has a dry sense of humor.  Nature or nurture, I don’t know, but I picked this up from him either way.

My dad helps out.  If someone needs help, my dad was there.

My dad doesn’t talk bad about people.  He has a generous spirit and doesn’t put people down.

My dad is the best dad in the world, and I’m glad he’s mine.

I love you, dad.  Happy Father’s Day.

Posted by lori . Filed under Want to Talk About (Whatever) | 3 Comments

June 18

Betty Crocker’s Boys and Girls Cook Book

With the kids out of school, all my books in June are some of my favorite children’s books.

My readers who know me personally have either fainted or are looking at the URL to see if they are at the right website.  Why?  Because they never thought a cook book or the word “kitchen” would appear on my blog.  This was my first cook book.  I remember looking at this book a lot, and my mom even let me make my first “family” supper from it…Bunny Salad and Mad Hatter Meatballs.  The cooking bug just never took hold.

Posted by lori . Filed under Few and Well Chosen (Books) | 3 Comments

June 17

L.A. Confidential

L.A. Confidential is modern film noir.  It is a visually beautiful film, set in 1950’s Los Angeles.  The story begins with the investigation of a multiple homicide at the Nite Owl coffee shop.  From there it takes off on a trail full of twists and turns, corruption and vice.  You get a picture of L.A.’s past and plenty of pulp fiction with characters that are complex and damaged.  This movie does not disappoint.

Posted by lori . Filed under A Bowl of Popcorn, a Movie and Thou (Movies) | 1 Comment

June 16

Fake Flower = Fairy


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


Disney Family Fun – Flower Friends


Silk flower

Drilled round wood bead

Chenille stem

Hair (embroidery floss, yarn, anything)

Feathers or chenille stems for wings

Wire cutters


Glue (not pictured)

Markers or paint for face

1.  Separate the flower from the stem.  Select as many layers of petals as you like for the fairy’s skirt.  My fake flower’s layers were hot-glued together, so that limited what I could do.

2.  Fold the chenille stem into thirds and use the wire cutters to snip off a third.

3.  For the hair, wind the yarn around your fingers to form a mini skein.

4.  Bend the longer piece of the chenille stem in half and tuck the hair in the fold.

5.  Thread both ends of the chenille stem through the bead head.  Make sure the head is tight against the hair, then snip the hair loops.  I didn’t snip my hair loops.

6.  Wrap the shorter piece of the chenille stem around twice under the head to create the torso and arms.

7.  Thread the legs through the petal skirt.  Slide the skirt up under the arms and twist the legs to keep it in place.

8.  Fold the tips of the legs and arms to hide the sharp ends and to form hands and feet.

9.  Use markers to draw a face on the wooden bead.  I used paint.

10.  Attach two feathers for the wings with glue.

11.  You’ve just created your first fairy.  Think of all the other fairies you can make, and all the magical adventures they’ll have.

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

June 15

Don’t Touch That!


I’ve been wanting to get out and walk with Freedom and Casper.  Unfortunately, my husband does not have this same desire.  Another obstacle…whenever I touch the leashes, sweet, docile Freedom and Casper turn into Tasmanian Devils.  Leaping, mouthing, spinning, body slamming and barks.  No way could I get them both out the door and walk them by myself.  Recently, a young girl showed up at our door promoting her new dog walking business.  Wishes do come true!  We’ve walked twice a week for two weeks, and last night I took them out for our first walk together.  They still get excited for walks, but it’s getting more manageable.  At least I don’t have to scream, “Don’t touch that!” if someone gets close to the leashes.

Posted by lori . Filed under Greyt Hounds (Greyhounds) | 6 Comments

June 14

4 Faves – Version 19.0


Bonjour Poupette!

I love whimsical things.  Imagine how delighted I was when I found Bonjour Poupette! In addition to her magical creations, Sofie has a wonderful blog where you can further explore the world of this poupettiste (poupette maker).  Particularly fascinating to me, the Poupette du Jour Project.  In November 2010, Sofie challenged herself to create one poupette a day for a year!  I am the proud owner of Honey Duster. He came beautifully packaged with a sweet thank you note.  Sofie makes the whole experience of purchasing, receiving and own her creations, magical.


PBS was launched in October 1970, so I didn’t grow up with PBS.  I came to love PBS as an adult.  You can find shows, series and educational programming on PBS that you can’t find anywhere else.  I particularly like some of the local programming our PBS station offers.  If you haven’t looked at PBS recently, reacquaint yourself with this American treasure.


I know that ever since I featured my favorite toilet tissue on 4 Faves, everyone has been waiting to see what my favorite paper towel is.  The wait is over…it’s Bounty.  Imagine my surprise when I opened my current paper towel roll.  Is that a greyhound I see?  Now it’s really my favorite.

Strap Perfect

This is a nice thing to have in your undergarment arsenal.  I bought this because I purchased a tank top with racer-back styling, and I didn’t own a racer-back bra.  They are also nice to keep your bra straps from falling down or if you want to get a little more life out of an old bra that is losing its support.  I was also able to put it on by myself.

Posted by lori . Filed under 4 Faves (Favorite Things) | 7 Comments

June 13

Creative Is a Verb…Be Ordinary


Ordinary Lori, 6th Grade

I’m going through the book, Creative Is a Verb by Patti Digh.  Patti teaches six creative commitments.  The first commitment is “Be Ordinary: Put Down Your Clever.”  The sections within the chapter are:  (1) Come as you are, (2) Leave your base camp, (3) Monogram your morning pancakes, 4) Learn how to learn, (5) Wear a paper dress, and (6) Stand on your rock.  Patti talks about how our ordinary is what makes us unique.  She encourages us to find or rediscover what that ordinary is, to infuse our lives with our ordinary and to pass our special and unique brand of ordinary on to others.

I find this creative commitment is becoming easier for me as I get older.  It’s a truth that our culture doesn’t really care for “old.”  That can be depressing or completely freeing.  This week, I thought back to when I really felt like plain, ordinary, fantastic me.  It was in 6th grade.  I was at the height of my game as “Ordinary Lori.”  I didn’t feel the need to conform, to look any certain way, to act any certain way.  I was me.  I was good at it, and it felt wonderful.  In 7th grade, I entered Junior High and everything changed.  Hormones.  What did I want to “be” when I grew up?  Did the popular kids want to be my friends?  Were my parents proud of me?  Was my church proud of me?  And on and on and on.  I stayed true to myself in some regards and in others, I sold out.  Now, blessed with the cloak of invisibilty that you take on as you age, I find myself once again free to be just Ordinary Lori.  The only problem, some of the stories I sold myself on have left pretty deep impressions.  I’m working on that.

I recently went to a friend’s house that I hadn’t seen in a while.  My friend was introducing me to some of her other friends, and she was telling them about my blog and how much she enjoyed it.  She said, “She’s an artist.”  It surprised me when she said it, and I almost corrected her.  But then, I didn’t because that’s what I am.  I haven’t figured out exactly what that means, but that is how I think of myself, and that’s how I’m living my life.  Details are figuring themselves out.

Posted by lori . Filed under Creating the Creator (Creativity) | 6 Comments

June 12

Sprucing Up For Spring – After (Final)


Back in April, I was in a slump.  I decided to do a little “Sprucing Up For Spring.”  I posted about my progress in May and now, since the first day of summer is June 21st; I figure I’d better wrap this up.  I didn’t get everything done that I wanted, but some “sprucing up” happened.

As a guide, I used an article I clipped years ago from Family Circle magazine called, “Rules of Arrangement: 12 Decorating Strategies.”  I took on 6 of the 12 ideas.  Here are the results:

1.  Count on color to dramatize a small area.



What I did: My living room is green, but this small wall is purple.  I replaced the velvet throw with a lavender knit throw.  I replaced the pillows TWICE (see below for the ones I had in May).  I like the scale of these better.  I also added a plant to the coffee table and cleaned out the bookcases.

What I still want to do: I’d like to re-upholster the couch; and as soon as I win the lottery, I’m going to jump right on that.

2.  Set up your living room for conversation and comfort.



What I did: The “after” picture is the same one I used for May’s update.  I’m getting rid of the two mismatched chairs and replacing them with ottomans.  I purchased the ottoman above, but I think the legs are too modern for the other furniture I have in the room.  I do like the animal print.  I found two ottomans online, but didn’t get them ordered fast enough and they sold out.  I found two more, but they’re double the price.  As soon as I quit buying sofa pillows for the sofa we never use, I’ll have enough money and can order the ottomans.

What I still want to do: I think an area rug would look nice and further define the area.

3.  Hang favorite art in harmonious multiples.



What I did: The first picture is what I see when I walk out of my bedroom…plain hallway wall.  I had a Simply Said party and this is one of the designs I received for being a hostess.  I like it and my husband said he likes it…GASP!  Usually he doesn’t notice things like this.  What if he notices the multiple couch pillow changes?!  I’ll be toast!

What I still want to do: I have a narrow hallway, so I think this is lovely and all I need.

4.  Choose an anchor for a mantel and all else will fall into place.



What I did: This area suffered from 7 years of adding more and more and more.  I cleared the mantel and replaced all the miscellaneous stuff with two simple plants.  I cleaned up the hearth and added some color with the ceramic pieces.

What I still want to do: I would love to add a bamboo mat to the hearth for summer.  Replacing the fireplace glass would be nice too.

5.  Mix and match pillows galore for easy add-in warmth.



What I did: I call my “before” picture, “a study in brown.”  I made four new pillows, added a new throw and replaced the side table lamp and shade.

What I still want to do: I want to replace the floor lamp.

6.  Turn a bookcase into an attractive all-around hold-all.

Before (Living Room)

After (Living Room)

What I did: On my husband’s bookcase, we removed a lot of books and added a display case of his military awards and medals.  On my bookcase, I removed a lot of books and added a family photo and vase of flowers.

What I still want to do: I’m pretty pleased with this redo.

Before (Family Room)

After (Family Room)

What I did: You’ll notice that there is no “after” of my husband’s bookcase because it looks exactly the same as it did two months ago.  On my bookcase, I removed a lot of books and knickknacks.

What I still want to do: Get my husband to clean his bookcase…patience, patience.

Here are the other 6 ideas I didn’t tackle:

7.  Think outside the bedroom box.

8.  Show off cherished photos in a cohesive grouping.

9.  Create impact with big, bold accessories in the same mood or color.

10-12.  Three no-fail ways to make a room bloom (flower arrangement ideas).


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

June 11

The Best-Loved Doll

With the kids out of school, all my books in June are some of my favorite children’s books.

This was my favorite storybook as a little girl.  It’s the tender story of a girl named Betsy who gets invited to a doll party and decides to take her best-loved doll.  When awards are passed out for “The Oldest,” “The Best-Dressed,” and the doll that can do the most things, Betsy’s doll doesn’t stand a chance.  But Betsy’s doll does win an award.  Can you guess what it is?

Perhaps my love of this story explains why “Love is Blind” by Bessie Pease Gutmann is one of my favorite pictures.

Posted by lori . Filed under Few and Well Chosen (Books) | 1 Comment