October 31

Creative Time and Space…Week 3

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This week’s reading from Creative Time and Space by Ricë Freeman-Zachary was “Corralling Time: Sometimes You Need a Whip and Spurs.”  Ricë looks at how artists schedule their time (or don’t) and how they set goals (or don’t).  It was interesting to read about the different styles and methodologies used by the featured artists.  Some chafe under a schedule and some flourish.  It was clear…you have to discover what works for you.  You also have to realize that what works at one point in your life, may not work at another.

I’m feeling that tension now.  For years, the best way for me to keep track of things was with a monthly calendar.  It was simple, it kept me on track, and it gave me a good overview of how well I was balancing things.  Things are changing in my life.  I have new goals and projects that need to be broken down into smaller steps to keep me focused, to make the projects do-able, and to keep them in front of me and moving along the track.  I’m currently playing around with some new ideas and systems.

Monthly Calendar

I still love a monthly calendar to schedule events and activities.  It allows me to see if I have “breathing” room or if I’m getting too many things on my plate.

Goal/Project Sheets

I haven’t utilized these in years, but now I’m finding that they are needed.

Daily & Weekly Calendar

This has become necessary to keep me on track with the step-by-step actions of my new goals and projects.  I just bought a new calendar that has all three…daily, weekly and monthly.

Separate Calendars

Currently, I have only one calendar I keep separate…the one I use to plot out my blog posts.

Visuals

This is something I’m playing around with…things like dream boards, lists of goals, projects I need inspiration for.

To Do List

I like to keep one of these around to make notes on for errands, calls, household tasks, shopping lists, etc.

In the past, I thought that if I could find the “right” system, all would be well in my world.  The truth is, as life changes, so do my systems for keeping track of things.  I keep my eyes and ears open and give things a try.  I would love to hear how you keep track of things.  What is the best way you’ve found to keep things moving and balanced in your life?

New Things I’m Doing In November

I had a wonderful time in October participating in Blogtoberfest and the Creative Collective’s Spooktacular October challenge.  I’m adding three new challenges to my “What I’m Doing” list for November.

First up is Art Every Day Month sponsored by Leah Piken Kolidas of Creative Everyday.  The challenge is to create art every day for 30 days.  I’ll share a picture and a brief comment at the end of every post during the month of November.

I’m also participating in the Creative {Collective}’s Handmade Decoration Swap.

Next, is a challenge issued by Mayzie of Mayzie’s Dog Blog called Rescue Me Week.  In honor of Mayzie’s Grampa J (who loved animals very much), Mayzie is offering the opportunity to do two things.  First, talk about an animal that needs a forever home of their very own.  Second, get the opportunity to win $100 for the rescue group of your choice.  For every pet that is featured, November 7-11, Mayzie will give the blog one entry (up to five) for a chance to win!  I’m playing for Allies for Greyhounds of West Michigan, the rescue group where Freedom, Casper and Nikki came from!  Starting on Monday, November 7, through Friday, November 11, I’ll feature a Greyhound that is available for adoption at the end of each post.

 

The final activity is Blogville’s 2011 Christmas/Holiday Card Exchange.  My blog straddles a couple different categories and one of those is “pet blogs.”  Of all the blogs I read, the pet blogs are my favorite.  That’s where I began reading blogs, and the writers of pet blogs are the friendliest, kindest people I know.  I am blessed that they let me and my quirky little blog join in on the fun.  Head over to HoundDogMom and the HoundDogs for all the details.  The deadline for sign-up is November 19.

Posted by lori . Filed under Creating the Creator (Creativity) | 5 Comments

October 30

Terry Armstrong Watercolor Class

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Last Saturday, I spent a wonderful day with my friend, Amy, taking a watercolor class a Terry Armstrong’s Studio & Gallery.  This was the first time I ever did anything like that, and it was fantastic!

Terry’s studio/gallery is located in his historic 1870′s brick home in Warsaw, Indiana, were he lives with his wife, Mary.  When we arrived at 9 am, Mary had a lovely breakfast buffet out.  Then, midway through the day, she served us a delicious lunch.  Terry is the artist in the classroom, but there is no doubt who the artist in the kitchen is.  Yummy!

 

Amy and I took the “Abstract Wild Flowers” class.  Before class, I received a list of supplies to bring and instructions on what to have prepared before class.  Amy totally babied me and did most of my prep work, like stretching my paper and sketching the design.  Terry offers an option to beginners to use his paints and supplies for a small additional charge…totally worth it if you’re just checking things out.  Terry paints right along with the class, showing you each step and discussing the technique behind it.  Here are a few pictures of my painting in progress:

Terry is very encouraging and so were the other students.  The day flew by, and around 4 pm we were wrapping things up.  It was fun to look at everyone’s painting.  Each different and all beautiful.  I had a blast and would love to take more classes in the future.   

My picture wasn’t completely finished at the end of the day, but very close.  My plan is to make a smaller version of this picture, incorporating the techniques I learned and using my new and improved eye for color and light.  Here is a picture of my painting at the end of the day:

If you have the opportunity to take one of Terry’s classes, you’ll be thrilled with your project and the entire experience.  Thank you Terry, Mary, Amy and all my fellow watercolorists…it was a pleasure painting with you.

To view Terry’s work, visit his website and click on the Gallery links on the left-hand side.

Posted by lori . Filed under Want to Talk About (Whatever) | 4 Comments

October 29

Ghost Story

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Ghost Story is a hauntingly beautiful tale whose elegance, pacing and imagery make it (in my mind) the perfect ghost story.  The novel centers around four elderly men who gather on a regular basis to swap ghost stories; but, we soon learn that the real ghost story was written fifty years earlier and now has set in motion deadly events.  This story wraps itself around you.  The tension builds slowly and gives you that spine-tingling feeling that a great ghost story should.  It’s wonderful!

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

October 28

Rosemary’s Baby

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Rosemary’s Baby is a supernatural, psychological thriller about a young couple who move into an apartment building in New York and are embraced by their neighbors.  Then, things start to get strange.  Unbeknownst to Rosemary, her husband has made a deal with the devil that leads to the horrifying ending.  There’s no blood, guts or gore, just a great scary movie.  Made in 1968, this movie has that great 1960′s look and feel.  An interesting fact:  Much of the movie was shot in and around The Dakota, the Upper West Side co-op apartment building where John Lennon lived and was killed.

Posted by lori . Filed under A Bowl of Popcorn, a Movie and Thou (Movies) | 3 Comments

October 27

Sweater = Pumpkin

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Inspiration:

I can’t remember where I first saw these…but they’re everywhere.

 

Supplies:

Sweater

Scissors

Needle

Thread

Fiberfill

Stick

1.  Cut off a piece of the sleeve.

2.  Turn the piece inside out and sew a running stitch around one end.  Gather and knot-off.

3.  Turn the piece right-side out.  Stuff with fiberfill.

4.  Sew a running stitch around the top.  I liked the rolled hem of the sleeve, so I left it sticking out.  Gather and knot-off.

5.  Cut off a piece of the stick, and insert it in the top.  If it’s a little loose, apply some glue.

6.  Isn’t this cute!  And, there’s a lot of sweater left, so you can have pumpkins galore, in every size imaginable.

 

Posted by lori . Filed under Look What I Found! Now What Do I Do With It? (Crafts) | 8 Comments

October 26

Collar-mania

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You may have heard me mention our lovely vacation to Greyhounds Reach the Beach in Dewey Beach, Delaware, once, twice or even three times.  Greyhound owners can be a little intense with their love of the breed, and I’m finding that intensity extends to Greyhound accoutrement…namely collars.  So, a big part of my vacation shopping time was consumed with collar-mania.

I knew that all the hounds at Dewey Beach would be dressed in their best, so I made sure Freedom, Casper and Nikki had fabulous “Beach” collars.  I fell in love with these batik fabric collars from Around the Hounds.

Pinwheels, Tutti Frutti and Turquoise Dot

Before Dewey Beach, Freedom and Casper had two fancy collars each – Dress and Patriotic.  I wanted to catch Nikki up, so my first purchase was this lovely pink silk collar from Around the Hounds.  I couldn’t decide on a “patriotic” collar for Nikki, so that will come later.

Next, I found these “Just For Fun” collars at 2 Hounds DesignAlisha Navarro is the creative genius and hound fashionista behind 2 Hounds Design.  It was fun to meet her.

Tetras, Pink Pixel and Disco Dots

Then, we went to The Tree Parlor where my friend, Amy, put together this combination of “Winter” collars.  I loved how they went together but weren’t “matching.”

Finally, I picked up these “Everyday” collars at the G.E.M. Store.

Bones & Dots, Daisy Block and Illusion Bone

And the fun isn’t over.  I met several other collar designers that are sure to be featured in the future.  Let the collar-mania continue!

 

Posted by lori . Filed under Greyt Hounds (Greyhounds) | 15 Comments

October 25

4 Faves – Version 32.0

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Perfect Meatloaf Pan Set

I wanted to try this for a long time, but didn’t want to order it.  Finally, I found it in the “As Seen On TV” section at my local CVS.  I love it!  The pan is very sturdy, and it does exactly what it says it does.  Your meatloaf bakes beautifully, and it’s a breeze to remove from the pan.  A bonus…it’s good for cooking more than meatloaf.

Martha Stewart Crafts

Martha is just too cool.  I love her crafting products and tools.  They work well and the off-white color of her crafting tools just does something for me.

Stevie Nicks

I fell in love with Stevie Nicks, her songs and her voice when I bought Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours album (yes, I said album) when I was a teenager.  I continue to love her music, to this day.  Stevie released her first CD in 10 years in May of 2011, In Your Dreams.

Bookmarks

I’m a sucker for a new bookmark.  They’re fun, cute, pretty and practical.  They’re also a great way to capture a memory.  I often pick up one when I’m on a trip.  What better way to keep track of your “place” in a book than with a beautiful bookmark.

Photo source

Lilac (WW Line)

September 20, 1995-October 24, 2011

Many of you know that my favorite blog is Tales and Tails.  Yesterday, Lilac went across The Bridge.  This beautiful grande dame of Greyhounds was 16 years old.  Lilac will always have a special place in my heart.  Tales and Tails inspired me to start blogging, and Lilac inspired me to look at my “older” years with spunk and liveliness.  I’ve laughed a lot over Lilac’s spirit and antics, and I’ve shed tears now that she has passed on.  Carrie’s tribute to Lilac is so beautiful and speaks to why we share such a special bond with our pets.  Here is one of my favorite posts about how Lilac came to join the Houndstooth gang.  You will be missed, Miss Lilac, but never forgotten, and you’ll always be a favorite of mine.

The End of the Race

Quick as lightning we sped ’round the track
paws thundering heavily to stay with the pack.
To the finish we flew, exhausted and spent
straining for the mark, our heads downward bent.

We ran for the love and the thrill of the chase;
for the pride and the joy we felt when we raced.
Surrounded by friends all rooing and playing,
we knew at some point that we wouldn’t be staying.

Still fleet and quite nimble, those days long are past.
We now enjoy romps and runs through the grass,
to the arms of our loved ones waiting there crouched,
or to our favorite spot on the end of the couch.

And when our time comes, we’ll face it with pride
by the side of our loved ones, their tears trying to hide.
They gave us their love and we gave it right back.
Now we await their arrival at the end of the track.

For the race now is over.  The hard work is done.
We’ll walk ‘cross the bridge when we again see the one
whose arms we remember down low in a crouch
calling our names as we wiggle about.

Happily we’ll run and leap into those arms.
We’ll cuddle and roo as they keep us from harm.
Then we’ll both leave together and head on our way,
to spend the rest of forever enjoying a new day.

 Author Unknown (from Allies for Greyhounds of West Michigan – Memorial Page)

 

Photo source

 

Posted by lori . Filed under 4 Faves (Favorite Things) | 10 Comments

October 24

Creative Time and Space…Week 2

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My final book study in 2011 is Creative Time and Space by Ricë Freeman-Zachary.  2011 has been an incredible year for me.  I’ve taken the time to explore what I want my life to be, now that my daughter is grown and I’m on my own again.  I’ve had to re-examine who I am and what I want to accomplish in this new phase of my life.  I have some definite ideas, but now what?  Just squeeze that into the life I already have?  That’s where the tension is for me right now.

This week’s reading was, “Making Time.  Let’s Face It:  You Can’t Do Everything.”  Prioritizing and re-ordering my life is on the menu for 2012.  My problem is not identifying tasks that don’t support and enhance the things that I value and then getting rid of them.  Everything I do supports and enhances the things I value.  It’s identifying what’s most important and making sure those things get time, that’s my challenge.  The double-edged sword of modern living is that we have so much available to us that we can find ourselves “majoring in the minors.”

This week, I’ve been writing down what’s important to me.  Here are three things that I’ve identified as being the most important things in my life, and where I stand in relation to those things:

1.  My relationship with God

I love to read and study the Bible and all things “spiritual.”  I also belong to a local church (Granger Community Church) and particpate in it’s work; but in my opinion, my relationship with God sucks.  Why?  Because I’m missing the most important part of that relationship…the spending time part.  I need to spend time with God in quiet, meditating, waiting, listening.  I don’t do this and the most important relationship in my life suffers for it.

2.  My relationships with people.

I think I’ve done better with this.  My husband has helped me a lot in this area…he’s Mr. Hospitality.  I want to keep doing better with this and keep it in balance.

3.  Time for creating.

I want more of this!  2011 has been a creatively explosive year for me, and I love it!  My challenge in 2012 is to focus myself and make sure I identify and make time for what matters most to me.

This is the short list; three things that I want to make sure get the time and attention they deserve.  These are the things I’m thinking of as I prepare to end 2011 and begin 2012.

 

Posted by lori . Filed under Creating the Creator (Creativity) | 2 Comments

October 23

Wolf Park

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Last Sunday, I went down to visit my daughter at Purdue University, and we had a wonderful day visiting  Wolf Park in Battle Ground, Indiana.  Wolf Park “is dedicated to improving the lives of wolves in captivity and in the wild through behavioral research and education.”  Wolf Park had its start in 1972 when Dr. Erich Klinghammer brought two wolves to his property for ethology research.  In 1976, Dr. Klinghammer’s facility officially adopted the name “Wolf Park.”

We started by listening to a presentation about wolves and Wolf Park.  Wolf Park covers approximately 75 acres and the main wolf enclosure is 7 acres.  Currently, there are 14 wolves, 9 bison, 2 coyotes and 2 foxes living in Wolf Park.  The wolves are socialized to humans and serve as ambassadors for their wild cousins, helping people to learn about and understand wolves so that we will take better care of their relatives in the wild.  The last wild wolf in Indiana was shot and killed in 1901.

Next, we moved to another field for the Wolf/Bison Demonstration.  There we were able to observe a couple of wolves interacting with the bison herd.  The bison herd is very healthy, so they have nothing to fear from the wolves during their short time together; but the demonstration was fascinating because we were able to see how the wolves sized up the herd and tested it, looking for weakness and opportunity. 

It must have been reassuring for some of the dog owners because the first thing one of the wolves did was roll in bison poop.  Called scent-rolling, it’s not known exactly why canids do it, but rest assured, it’s not just your dog…it’s hardwired behavior.

Finally, we moved on to the Wolf Feeding Demonstration, where we were able to see how a wolf dissects its meal.  The wolves in Wolf Park eat road-killed whitetail deer, donated freezer meat or stillborn calves from local farms.

What a treasure, right here in Indiana!  Wolf Park offers programs for the casual visitor and for the hardcore wolf and wildlife enthusiast, such as educational and photography seminars.  Wolf Park also offers the Adopt A Wolf Program, where one of the benefits is the opportunity to meet your adopted wolf up close and in person.  If you’re ever close to Battle Ground, Indiana, take time to visit Wolf Park.  It was fascinating.

Posted by lori . Filed under Want to Talk About (Whatever) | 4 Comments

October 22

The Shining

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I’ve read and loved Stephen King’s stories my entire adult life, so it is very difficult to pick a favorite; but I’m going to do it anyway.  The Shining was the first King book I read.  When Jack Torrance signs on to be the winter custodian at the Overlook Hotel in Colorado, his family moves into the hotel and prepares to be snowed in and isolated for the winter.  The Overlook has a complicated and tragic past.  Unfortunate things happen at the Overlook, and the hotel seems to have a presence and personality all its own.  As the winter sets in, the hotel starts to work it way on Jack .  Cut-off from any help, Jack’s wife and son must face the horror of the Overlook and what it’s doing to Jack, all alone.  If you love the “haunted house” genre, The Shining made the Overlook one of the best known in literature.  Fun Fact:  The Overlook was inspired by the Kings’ stay at The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado.  The hotel exterior shots for Stanley Kubrick’s film, The Shining, were of the Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood in Oregon.

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