Friday, July 31, 2009


So I am feeling a bit imprisoned. Strangely so. It's kind of like this... I'm in a cell, but I came here willingly... at first I was able to come and go freely, but then the door slammed shut. And at times it just opens, but I can't stray far.

I have so much energy where I am right now... visions for things I want to do, so much I want to accomplish, but no ability to totally follow through. So I plan.

This is all completely metaphorical, of course, but very true for how I've been feeling. There will be a great release in the relatively-near future. And I will be that much closer to realizing my dreams.

In about 2 weeks, my summer will be over and I will have more time for planning. Planning all the projects, all the marketing. For planning my release.

I'm willing to bet that each and every one of you can relate to being inprisoned in some way... even if it's self imposed. What do you do to get out of it?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Year of Change

I looked in the mirror this morning and saw someone new. I saw someone strong, someone able, and someone who will survive. Someone who will no longer forsake her own welfare to make others happy. Someone who refuses to beg and nag if those around her refuse to do what's best for themselves. They can handle themselves.

I have always had a mother's soul, it seems. The caregiving, the nurturing, the doing whatever it takes to make those around me try to reach their potential. All of that's good. But with that came the selflessness, the self-sacrifices, blah....

After an extremely trying day yesterday I said "No More!" Other adults, I will no longer coddle or make excuses. I can only be responsible for me. And I *will* only be responsible for ME.

Of course, my disclaimer here... I am a mother, and I do have children. Of course I will continue to mother them.... I'm talking about adults in my life here.

I think women often grasp onto the 'mother' title. Self-sacrificing, woe-is-me, but aren't I such a hard worker to make you all happy??? But when that self proclaimed title spills over and you become a nagger and an enabler to adults, there comes a time when you hit a wall.

My mantra for today is "I am responsible for me".

Have any of you 'been there done that' with any of this? I could use some words of advice/encouragement/observation...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Oh the Heat

We are experiencing quite a heat wave here in the Portland area! Temps over 100 since the weekend, and they aren't supposed to let up til Friday. It's downright unbearable. The air conditioner at work can't keep up and by the time I leave at the end of the day it's 90 degrees inside!
The good news is that I've been ultra productive! I've listed 4 new journals and 4 new photo prints in the past 2 days, with more to come today!
The bad news is that the summer is almost over. I don't even want to think about that!!
I hope you all have a wonderful day. Send me cool thoughts!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Life is good

I took this photo in Newport on Sunday... oh how I love daisies. I love them in every shape, size and color. But truthfully, Shasta Daisies are my favorite.

I came home from work early yesterday. I was very pleasantly surprised that even though I hadn't left a chore list my boys had emptied the dishwasher, reloaded it, started it, and wiped down all the countertops in the kitchen. Niiiice! I took my youngest to the pool. I sat there, watching him. And I sat there melting. It was at least 100 degrees! It's supposed to be even hotter today and tomorrow. The not so great part about that is that our work air conditioner will not keep up! When I left yesterday it was already 80 degrees inside the building and it wasn't done! So I will be doing a lot of sweating.

I listed 2 new photos yesterday. And 2 new journals. Hopefully more will come today. I feel really good about most areas of my life lately. Those areas that I don't feel good about, well, baby steps, but steps forward nonetheless. Making the changes that make sense for me.

I hope we all have the wisdom to make those changes in our lives. To make life exactly what we NEED it to be!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Enjoying Life

I took this photo yesterday in Newport, Oregon. We had an amazingly fun and full day there! We went to the tidepools, we played in caves along the beach, we walked downtown and saw the crabby crabby sea lions. Then we went to a glass blowing studio.

It reignited my desire to become a glassblower, and I will be looking into local classes!

Sales over the weekend were absolutely amazing and I feel blessed by every one!

The summer is going by fast, but I'm still intent on squeezing a lot into every moment I have. Yet still trying to keep to my normal bedtime, and having some time to regroup. It's tough, yes, but days like yesterday tell me that it's all worth it!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Breathing, Breathing, Breathing

This photo was taken of our favorite park in Portland. It's right in the middle of downtown and it's so much fun. The boys can climb forever on all of the different levels. And there are at least 3 places where they can stand behind waterfalls. It makes for such an enjoyable afternoon! And it's a people-watching heaven!

I've been struggling a lot lately. Struggling with trying to be superwoman. Struggling at work, at home. I get frustrated at work (due to a LOT of different factors, but one is the frustration of boredom), then I bring the frustration home. And by the time I get home, I'm exhausted and there's so much to do! I'm trying to remember to breathe. And I am trying to not be a sponge for negativity. That is a constant struggle with me.

One day at a time... one breath at a time...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I marketed while at work yesterday... some. Then last night I was trying to market while making dinner, making cookies (ok, just supervising this), and watching The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. The only thing I did well was make dinner.

Frustrating, frustrating. Oh, I was trying to make journals too. Or at least prep a couple for my middle son to sew them (his summer job-- he's saving up). I feel so frazzled. I need to go back to my original decision. Evenings are for the boys.

Tonight, I'll be cutting paper for a special order journal I'm making. But dinner can be made by hubby, and no marketing. Oh... the pool too... I told the youngest we could go to the pool. Honestly, I'm tired already.

But the work week is almost over. Perhaps I'll be able to come home early today. Or perhaps tomorrow. Sometime...

Today I'll be trying to remember to breathe.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Look What I got!!!

This is me with my new camera! I finally got a DSLR!!! I'm currently looking for extra lenses for it, so I can do my beloved macros, but I absolutely love it! I am now carrying both cameras with me everywhere. That's a lot to lug around! But perhaps the full transition will happen once I get comfy with it.

This Sunday will come with a trip to the coast. Lots of pictures of the boys in the tide pools. And you never know, Saturday may come with photo opportunities of it's own!

I woke up this morning to a sale. I had resigned myself to not selling much during the summer, as I've decreased my marketing time. But I sold one of the first journals I had ever listed, and to a complete stranger. The chorus of 'Walking on Sunshine' actually went through my head!

It's so funny how something so small can lift my spirits. I have been down. DOWN... the past couple of days. And waking up to a sale certainly brightened my outlook!

I wish each of you that sunshine. Something that will pick you up when you are down. Something that reminds you that life is good.

Monday, July 20, 2009

A new Week

Once again, I'm in awe of how summer flies by. I think it's mostly because of all the stuff we cram into most every moment. This weekend we went to see the new Harry Potter movie, went and walked around the rhododendron garden (mostly feeding ducks and squirrels), and went once again to the Saturday Market. My oldest son is now the proud owner of a digeridoo.

Marketing is still on my mind, but it's taking a back seat to my children. I am fortunate enough to have a full-time job as my main income. Eventually, however, I'd love for my craft to be my sole support.

I've been playing a lot with a new camera I got. Just learning the basics on it for now, but hopefully will be moving into some advanced stuff too. Soon. I am not very patient.

Goals for the week: get 3-4 new journals posted. List at least 2 new photos. Market while I'm at work. Enjoy time with my children.

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I still have so many photos to edit. Photos from camping, and from the rose garden. Tonight I'm off to watch my boys race their dirtbikes. Summer always seems to speed by.

Through the rest of the week, I'm offering an additional 50% off my clearance section in my etsy shop. I can either change a price prior to purchase, or refund the 50% through paypal afterwards.

At work today I'll be writing in my friendship journal. The one that two of my bestest online friends and I are passing around across the country. There are 3 actually. We're all on our 2nd group of pages in our 2nd book... This one started out in Long Beach, California, now it's in Oregon, then it will go to Connecticutt and end up back home in California! What an amazing journey these journals are going on, and we're adding bits of our lives to them as we go.

All in all, life is good. Must still remember to put the force fields on high when around certain people, but I'm getting there. Thinking about coating myself with teflon so none of the negativity can stick! Getting to the point where I'm strong and impermeable... one step at a time.

I hope life is wonderful for each of you... and if you're like me, you're already looking forward to the weekend!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Reclaiming my Life

So. I mainly marketed yesterday while I was at work. I marketed like a mad woman, but it's time that I would have been sitting there bored. I also edited a lovely rainbow photo and listed it. Today I hope to do the same... along with some journaling and reading the manual for my new camera.

Sometimes, I find, that I have to remind myself that life is good. Do you know what I mean? It's not just blatantly, in your face amazing. But life is good. Life is exactly what I make of it, and sometimes it's difficult to see through the muck of being exhausted from too many hours, or frustrated due to housework, or whatever is trying to rain on my parade at the time.

I often forget that *I* am the one in the driver's seat here. And I am the one, the only one, who chooses my reaction to those things around me. Yes, sometimes others do have the power to influence my feelings, but when it comes down to it, I am the one in control. Must. remember.

So... several t0-do's are stacking up. Simplify my life... reclaim my life... ultimately, they all go together, eh? I just need to remember what a magical ride this thing called life is.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The need to Simplify

This is one of the photos from my "From Days Gone By" series available on Etsy. I know it wasn't really a simpler time, with all the making food from scratch and such, but doesn't it just *seem* like a simpler time? No internet... no commuting... no rushing here and there. And no cell phones.

When I first got my blackberry, I used it constantly. Constantly checking my blog, my etsy shop, googling things, getting directions, and playing. It took about a month til I felt like a slave to it. Now, I have it on me constantly (who doesn't always have their cell phone?), but I have pulled back. I don't stay on it constantly. I check what I need to periodically (probably still too much, honestly), but am no longer looking at it every 30 seconds.

I went on a media fast years ago, and now only hear the news (and yes, always the bad news) from my husband or at work. I don't think I will ever return to watching/reading the news altogether.

I think I could survive in those olden days. I absolutely love making bread from scratch, would certainly never miss the tv, enjoy doing cross-stitch and stuff with my hands, am not afraid of hard work... yeah, I think I could do it. I may need medical treatment from blackberry withdrawals... but I could do it.

I'm feeling a need to simplify. Probably because I worked 55 hours last week. But I feel a need to slow down and re-discover. Re-discover my children, my home....

What are your needs today? I think so often we are concerned with the needs of others that we forget US... and I know for a fact that if we don't recharge, we have nothing to give others. So, I need to simplify. What do YOU need?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Wonderful Weekend

This week should be way less stressful. My boss will be back, so much of the weight of work should be moved back to his shoulders. I may even be able to take a day off this week, or at least a partial day!

The weekend was wonderful! Filled with water balloon fights, The Portland Saturday Market, visiting with good friends, playing with fused glass, and wonderful food. Life is good.

In the coming weeks, hopefully more of the same. Next weekend, I believe we are going to the hot springs. Ahhhh... the glory of the woods, hiking, and natural hot springs. I hope to continue to rejuvenate.

Friday, July 10, 2009


I feel like I'm at a crossroads in so many areas of my life. Job, relationships, business, creating... I'm approaching some forks in the road and need to decide which path to take.
I've written before about my wandering spirit... I'm feeling it again. I will see where it takes me...

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Long Week

So I already find myself yearning for the weekend. Work this week is kicking my butt. Bosses on vacation... amazingly busy. My brain hurts. But it will be over soon. Today is the halfway mark.

This weekend will be one of play, pampering, sleeping in... ahhhh the glory of it!

I hope you are all having a wonderful week, and that you meet all of it's challenges head on.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Creating Plans to Learn and Grow

So. I'm thinking this morning about so many things that I'd like to learn. I'd like to learn more about Photoshop. I'd like to know how to budget time and money more effectively. I'd like to learn smarter marketing.

I would also like to learn to teach. I'd like to teach an e-course on bookbinding. I'd love to do an "Artist's Way" group. I'd love to have an e-course on creative journaling utilizing my friendship journals.

So many dreams I have. I need to make a list. I do well with lists. Putting things down, checking them off. It gives me a sense of accomplishment. I think I will begin by editing some photos today, and by going through an online marketing course I have online (this will take a few days).

I have to begin somewhere, eh? The photo above was taken during my long road trip. I saw a sign that said 'Viewpoint 1/4 mile' and took the opportunity! I'm glad I did, it was quite a view!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Physically Exhausted, Mentally Refreshed

Camping was wonderful. The children had such a good time. On Saturday, we went into Astoria, Oregon and acted like tourists. We found the house that the kids lived in, in the movie "Goonies", and we climbed the Astoria Column. The view from the top of the column was amazing. I took many photos, from wooded areas, oceans, mountain views, ships, fireworks... tons of photos. I will be sharing some with you soon!

The Goonie house was a bit anti-climactic. The house is currently occupied, and they welcome you to look at it, but ask that you not disturb the residents.

I did a bit of thinking while on this trip. This will be a year of change, in so many ways. I will share the changes as I become comfortable with all that's going on.
The photo above, I took specifically for my dad. We shot off our fireworks in Long Beach, Washington. That was the sunset over the ocean.
I hope for a wonderful week for you all!

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Tomorrow I go camping. I'll be armed with my journal and my camera. Plus, if we go to the same spot as last year, I know some nice rocks to sit and meditate on. I absolutely cannot wait to get away.

It's a Thursday at work before a holiday, so in reality, anything could happen. We could have no business, or we could be hopping all day. We shall see.

My boss and his wife (the only other 2 in the office with me) are going on vacation next week. So, me and a fill-in. Yay.
The spot where we are going is a lush, green, mossy wilderness. With a stream. I hope to get a ton of photos, so be watching out for new ones in my shop next week! Also, still working on some new items for etsy. Those are about a month off though.
I am having a really difficult time getting motivated this morning. It's like I'm awake but my brain is not... *sigh*

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Sometimes in life, things just pay off. All those hours of non-stop marketing. I have gotten several sales in the last couple of days, two to people that I've never directly talked to before. What a good feeling that is!

I'll be trying to find a balance this summer. Trying to market some, but still fully enjoy summertime! I'm also teaching my middle son how to sew journals. I am pretty excited about that! Perhaps after this summer, he will never sew a journal again.... or maybe it'll start him on a journey that I never imagined. One never knows.

This weekend, if all goes well, we will be camping near the Nehalem river. No cell service or internet for the whole weekend. We camped there last summer, and it was amazing! I'll be sure to have my camera handy, there is no end to the amazing sights in that area!
I have the application to the art gallery. It's daunting. I've done no more than stare at it since I picked it up. I just need to decide if now is the right time to take a leap.

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