May 21

Spring Fling 2013

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Last Saturday was one of my favorite days of the year…The Spring Fling.

Spring Fling 2013

The Spring Fling is the annual gathering of our Greyhound rescue group, Allies for Greyhounds of West Michigan (AFGWM). It’s held in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Spring Fling 2013 Gathering

There are vendors and a silent auction, contests (Best/Longest “Roo,” Longest Tail, Shortest Tail, Best Eyeliner, Best Smile, Baldest Bum, Longest Nose, Longest Sit, Best Trick, Greyhound Look-Alikes, Oldest, Youngest and Traveled Farthest) and a potluck lunch.  We take an AFGWM “family” photo and best of all, visit with all the Greyhound families.

Spring Fling Vet

This year, we also had wonderful vet techs who volunteered to clip nails and clean ears, then they donated all the fees back to our group. Wasn’t that nice! Freedom, Casper and Nikki got their nails clipped; Freedom had one ear cleaned, and Nikki had both ears cleaned. Casper has naturally clean ears.

Fun Run Area

There’s also a fun run area where the dogs can run around and visit (with muzzles) without being on a lead. This is also where they can take care of “business.”

The Set-up

The pups could also be off lead if you brought an enclosure for them. Here’s Freedom, Casper and Nikki’s digs.

Host Pups

Our hosts’ pups spent time viewing the action from their porch. They were very gracious.

Freedom's Bum

I was on a mission this year…for Freedom to win the “baldest bum” contest. I thought we had it in the bag, but last year’s winner was also a contestant, and it was called a tie. A coin toss decided the winner, and we lost. DRATS!

The Handsome Winner

I must say, the winner is a handsome lad. Congratulations, Nick!

Freedom Award

My daughter and her fiancé whipped up a special certificate for Freedom, since I was devastated by the loss.

Spring Fling Family Photo 2

Another cool thing…family photos were available. This may end up being our Christmas card photo. I had to crop it though. Casper decided to sit down during the photo session.

Spring Fling Family Photo

I guess I forgot to tell him that private bits aren’t allowed in the Christmas photo, but now, at least, I have my Awkward Pet/Family Photo submission. Maybe I can win that contest.

Spring Fling 2013 Logo

We also were the first to hear the announcement that our group is changing it’s name from Allies for Greyhounds of West Michigan to Allies for Greyhounds. This name better represents all the hounds the group serves and has placed all over the country. I love the support offered by our Greyhound family. Thank you to all who made this special day possible.

Curious about previous years? Here are my posts from 2012 and 2011.

Posted by lori . Filed under Greyt Hounds (Greyhounds) | 24 Comments

May 20

In My Studio – May 20

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Here’s what’s happening in my studio…

I’m taking a break from painting and crafting for two weeks, and I’m trying to truly take a break.

Four Cards For A Cause

My only slip this week was making four cards for Cards For A Cause. Every month, the “cause” changes. May’s featured organization is St. Anne’s Homeless Shelter. If you recognize that organization, it may be because that’s where Goose’s mom serves. Goose writes the blog Gospel of Goose.

Posted by lori . Filed under In My Studio | 8 Comments

May 19

Cards For A Cause

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I’m taking a break from painting and crafting for a few weeks, so this is a wonderful opportunity to tell you about Cards For A Cause. I first heard about this challenge on Reilly and Denny’s blog, Reilly & Denny The Cowspotdogs. It is simply an invitation to create a card (or set of cards) and donate them to the “cause of the month”.

Paper Pumpkin Box May 2013

This brings me to something new…Paper Pumpkin. Paper Pumpkin is monthly subscription service from Stampin’ Up! where you receive all the stamps, ink, paper, and accessories to create a papercraft project. These monthly subscription programs are all the rage. Don’t tell the pups, but our subscription to BarkBox is done, and I’m going to give this a try for a bit.

Paper Pumpkin Kit May 2013

Even though I’m on a break, I couldn’t help but give this a try when it arrived. Everything you need (with the exception of adhesive) is included and all the pieces are pre-cut. Your first shipment includes an acrylic block that works for all future stamp sets.

Paper Pumpkin Card May 2013

The only change I made was to replace the button accent. I wanted to make them easier to send through the mail, so I replaced the regular button with a soft felt button.

Isn’t this a wonderful challenge for cardmakers? You get to indulge your love of cardmaking and then the cards are used to brighten the lives of others.

Posted by lori . Filed under Creating the Creator (Creativity) | 12 Comments

May 18

Wicked: The Musical

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Every Saturday, I share my weekly Artist Date.

The Morris Marquee

This week’s date was extra special. My husband and I went to see Wicked.

Wicked Tickets & Program

Wicked played in Chicago for 3-1/2 years, and I managed not to go even though I kept saying I wanted to go. So, when I heard that Wicked was coming to South Bend, I made sure to be early in line for tickets.

Approaching The Morris

The musical event was at The Morris Performing Arts Center. Originally called the Palace Theatre,  it was built in 1921 and at that time was the most modern theater in the country.

The Morris Front

The history of The Morris Performing Arts Center is fascinating. In May 1998, The Morris closed its doors in order to begin a complete 17 million dollar restoration & renovation.

The Morris Interior

When The Morris re-opened in March 2000, the newly restored theater had a brand-new, state-of-the-art stage house and the interiors were restored to their original 1921 splendor.

Wicked Green Fountain

The evening of the musical was super exciting. There were fans in witches hats and the fountain in front of The Morris sprayed green water.

Wicked Stage

It was a breathtaking production.

Lori By The Green Fountain

A wonderful Artist Date.

Posted by lori . Filed under Artist Date | 18 Comments

May 17

Poetry & Kindness 19.0

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Every Friday, I share a poem. Friday is also the day I post a prompt of something you can do to make the world a kinder place. I call this the Kind is Kool challenge.

I offer both the poem and the kindness challenge without any obligation, so “Comments” are turned off every Friday. Enjoy.

Poetry 19

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The Things We Dare Not Tell

The fields are fair in autumn yet, and the sun’s still shining there,
But we bow our heads and we brood and fret, because of the masks we wear;
Or we nod and smile the social while, and we say we’re doing well,
But we break our hearts, oh, we break our hearts! for the things we must not tell.

There’s the old love wronged ere the new was won, there’s the light of long ago;
There’s the cruel lie that we suffer for, and the public must not know.
So we go through life with a ghastly mask, and we’re doing fairly well,
While they break our hearts, oh, they kill our hearts! do the things we must not tell.

We see but pride in a selfish breast, while a heart is breaking there;
Oh, the world would be such a kindly world if all men’s hearts lay bare!
We live and share the living lie, we are doing very well,
While they eat our hearts as the years go by, do the things we dare not tell.

We bow us down to a dusty shrine, or a temple in the East,
Or we stand and drink to the world-old creed, with the coffins at the feast;
We fight it down, and we live it down, or we bear it bravely well,
But the best men die of a broken heart for the things they cannot tell.

Henry Lawson

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Kind is Kool Challenge

Kind Is Kool 500x200

Week 19 Challenge – Give someone a single flower, flower bouquet or flowering plant.

Posted by lori . Filed under Poetry & Kindness | No Comments

May 16

Artist Statement – Part 1

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Typically on Mondays, I post a painting “inspiration,” then on Thursdays, I post how I interpreted the inspiration, but I’m taking a two week break from painting and crafting in order to recharge my battery. I thought this might be a good time to write my Artist Statement.

Artist Statement Part 1

Sculpture by Jaume Plensa onboard Celebrity Constellation

An Artist Statement is a basic introduction of you as an artist. It generally covers such things as why you make your art, what inspires you to make it, what it signifies or represent, how you make it and what it means to you.

Artist Statements are often required when applying for art fairs or when approaching a gallery or store. They can be included on your website and on printed material. You can also use your Artist Statement to craft your “elevator speech” which is a description of your art that can be enthusiastically delivered in a sentence or two within 15 to 30 seconds.

I found a helpful guide on Molly Gordon’s website titled How to Write and Use an Artist’s Statement. It encourages you to “Think of your artist’s statement as a nourishing stew. The rich flavors and inviting aroma will feed your spirit and summon wonderful people to your table. You’ll want to make sure your stew is made from the freshest, finest ingredients and that it has been simmered and seasoned with care. Do this, and you will be proud to share your creative vision with others.”

The steps are:

Step One: Assemble the Ingredients.

Step Two: Filling the Pot.

Step Three: Assembling the Stew.

Step Four: Taste and Correct the Seasonings.

Step Five: Summon the Guests.

Step Six: File Your Recipe!

Next week, I’ll debut my Artist Statement.

How to be HAPPY!

HTBHappyBadge

Every Thursday, Jay of The Depp Effect, posts something that makes her happy, and I’m playing along. She encourages us to look around and notice the things that make us happy. I enjoy this challenge because it makes me consider the things that make me happy, but are easily overlooked. It’s a wonderful exercise in attention and gratitude. Please grab the badge and join in.

Here’s something that makes me happy…COLOR INK.

Color Ink

It’s fun, it’s pretty, and it makes you feel more creative.

Posted by lori . Filed under Creating the Creator (Creativity) | 4 Comments

May 15

Automatic Compliments

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Not that I would ever try to give anyone fashion advice, but if I were to give advice I’d say, “Get a yellow trench coat.”

Yellow Trench Outside

If you wear a yellow trench coat, you will get compliments wherever you go. I have field-tested this advice, and it works.

Posted by lori . Filed under Want to Talk About (Whatever) | 16 Comments

May 14

Let Us Introduce…Twinkie

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A couple weeks ago, we debuted our first episode of Mini-Me Theatre, and we thank you for the wonderful reception. One thing we didn’t anticipate was how many of our new readers didn’t know about Twinkie, our kitty. Granted, Twinkie doesn’t get much blog time. She is 17-years-old and content to hangout in the background and take a nap.

Twinkie With Mini-Me

It took a lot of picture-taking to get this one horrible picture.

I updated the first Mini-Me Theatre post, explaining who Twinkie is and linking to the three previous posts we did on Twinkie. If you’d like to know more about Twinkie, you can read about her here, here and here

Twinkie Intro 1

Twinkie does not like her picture taken and is very illusive.

Another question was, “Can a Greyhound live with a kitty?” It depends on the Greyhound. Some Greyhounds can’t live with kitties or small dogs. They will always think of anything small and moving as prey. Some Greyhounds are “correctable.” They can be taught that kitties and small dogs live with them and they are not allowed to chase or act aggressive towards them. Some Greyhounds could care less and live easily with kitties and small dogs. Freedom, Casper and Nikki all fall into the last category. That being said, although I trust them with Twinkie inside, I don’t allow them to be outside with kitties or small dogs, and if a small dog visits, I supervise them closely.

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

May 13

In My Studio – May 13

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Here’s what’s happening in my studio…

I’m taking a break from painting and crafting for the next two weeks, but I did have one of my cardmaking clubs on Thursday, so I have a few new cards to show.

May 2013 Card 1

This card is easy to make if you have a Sizzix machine. A Sizzix machine is used to emboss and/or die-cut paper. That’s how I made the butterflies. Imagine how many different color combinations this card could be made in.

May 2013 Card 2

This card also features an embossed background, but the butterfly shapes were made using paper punches.

Posted by lori . Filed under In My Studio | 20 Comments

May 12

Happy Mother’s Day

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Mother's Day 2013

Today is Mother’s Day in the United States. My mother is still alive and a blessing to me, and although she is and has been a primary influence in my life, I am the product of many mothers. That reminded me of a beautiful, heartfelt article I read by Vinita Hampton Wright called Mother without child: A Mother’s Day reflection that was printed in the May 2010 issue of U.S. Catholic magazine. The author does not have biological children and much of the article deals with her feelings on that subject, but it is the article’s final portion I was particularly reflecting on this Mother’s Day. The author states, “Motherhood has to do with protecting life while it’s in formation,” and it is this spirit that touches me deeply and has benefited me my whole life through so many different women.

So to all the women who have been my mothers, I say “thank you.” I wouldn’t be who I am without you, and may I too carry the spirit of motherhood to all those whose lives I touch.

Posted by lori . Filed under Want to Talk About (Whatever) | 12 Comments