Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Today's Yin is Yesterday's Yang

Yesterday we had an early day. Our morning schedules overlapped each other and everyone needed to be ready and out the door by 7:40. Sunday evening we put our heads together and figured out a shower schedule and decided who was getting in the shower and when.

Monday morning came and went perfectly. I dropped the kids off at school and as I was pulling back into the driveway my husband was pulling out and was headed to work. I thought to myself, "This morning went off without a hitch...how perfect...how peaceful. A great way to start the new week."

Today, however, was the exact opposite. GGRRRR!! I use my radio as my alarm clock. I didn't sleep well tossing and turning most of the night. I finally fell asleep and didn't wake up until 6:50. I am usually up by 5:45. I saw the clock and thought maybe I was dreaming so I jumped up and ran to the dining room to look at the clock out there. No luck...it really was 6:50. I couldn't figure out why my alarm didn't go off. After investigating I learned that the volume somehow got turned down so I never heard it. Regardless of that issue I woke the kids up and within minutes everyone was moving around. Yes, the chaos ensued.

When all was said and done everything worked out fine. Even though it was a rushed morning I dropped the kids off at school in plenty of time. But as I was driving home I had to laugh. It's so ironic how you can have such a smooth morning one day then 24 hours later you are running around and freaking out.

But isn't that life? Isn't that what happens all the time...even with things you don't even realize? As I was making the beds I contemplated the concept of yin and yang. Everyone has good days, everyone has bad days. You can't have light without the dark. You can't appreciate your health if you've never had sickness.

Over the past few years I've realized that bad days don't have to upset us or piss us off. I try to look at it this way--perhaps crappy, stressful days can be used to our advantage and can help us appreciate the good days.

As I get older and my kids reach adulthood I've learned to look at things through a balanced perspective...or at least I try to do so. I try to appreciate everyday, good or bad.

Contemplating my moments of yin and yang reminded me of a name sign I made a couple of years ago...

Yes, "Balance" (and, of course, the Holey Pokey)...that's what it's all about!

More fun to come...until then,

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Ozeri Rev Digital Bathroom Scale

Every year in January I get my life back on track and I work hard at focusing on healthy eating and exercise. After taking the last few months off from working out at the gym I am more than ready to get back into my healthy routine. This year I am taking part in a weight loss challenge with a group of friends and it's nice knowing I'll actually have an accurate weight to report. You see, last fall I took part in a similar challenge and I had to use our old rickety scale that we purchased several years ago at an estate sale. While I am into antiques and I enjoy vintage items this scale was a bit too vintage! I constantly questioned if I was reporting my accurate weight each week.

Thankfully we recently got a new bathroom scale--the Ozeri Digital Bathroom Scale--and I absolutely love it! Our new scale is sturdy, sleek, beautifully designed and very modern. Yes, I have to add that last detail--modern!

Another detail about this scale that I like is the size. My husband and my sons are all pretty tall...6' and taller...and they have big feet...shoe sizes 11, 12 and 13. The platform of this scale is large and they can stand on it without having toes or heels hanging off the edges. A good advantage for taller folks who have a large frame and a wider stance.

This scale also has a daily alarm, but I don't think I'll be using that feature. In my opinion it's not a good idea to weigh yourself every day while trying to lose weight. Doing so is too discouraging since your weight can fluctuate greatly from day to day depending on a multitude of factors such as what you eat to the amount of fluids you intake to female hormones issues and so on. But some people may very well like that feature so I'm sure it would be an advantage for some people.

Overall, I'm very happy with our new scale. Aside from being very pretty it shows both a dial reading and a digital reading. This will be helpful for my weight loss challenge...since it's a competition between friends every little ounce will help get me closer to a win. Yay!

While it might sound crazy, I am actually excited to start this challenge so I can weigh myself on this new scale! Every little bit of motivation helps when you are trying to live a healthy lifestyle, right?

More interesting things to share soon! Until then,

Friday, December 20, 2013

Ozeri 8" Textured Green Earth Pan

We recently got a small 8" fry pan manufactured by Ozeri. As we've only had it for about a month I will admit we haven't had tons of time or experience using it. But so far so good. My husband does most of the cooking in our family--lucky me--and he is very happy with it.

I've noticed my teenagers using it to cook their eggs and I've asked them their thoughts on it. They all agree that it's a very nice pan and it cooks their eggs quickly and easily with little need of spray oils.

I'm a very visual hands on person and I always pay attention to how things look and feel. This pan is very solid and heavier than most fry pans. And from an artist's point of view I also like the green color!

Even though my husband does most of the cooking, I do most of the cleaning! I will say that this pan is very easy to clean. I read a review on it where someone said they don't wash it with soap. I do simply because as a working mom I might not get to the dirty dishes as quickly as I'd like, so the pan may sit in the sink for a few hours before I can get to it. Plus I didn't realize you shouldn't use soap to clean it. Oh well, perhaps I missed something from one of the inserts in the box when I first opened it. But, on a positive note, I probably did miss some of the reading materials because I was so impressed with how nicely made the pan is.

So in my opinion this pan is top rated and I would definitely recommend it. Perhaps given a few more months I will come back and give a follow up review if anything happens to change my mind.

More fun on the way. Until then...

Monday, November 25, 2013

Snowman Door Decoration - Snowman Decoration - Snowman Home Decor

I am honored and happy to see one of my wood burnings getting so much attention on Pinterest!

My sweet snowman wood burning has a high number of repins and this number is growing daily!


In actuality this snowman was made last year and sold. But I still have it listed on my website because I am willing to remake most my home decor designs. I've seen an interest in this piece on Pinterest throughout the year. However, because this is the season for winter decorating the interest in my pin has exploded. I get notifications from Pinterest every time one of my pins gets repined. This one is shared several times a day. I am now at the point where if I see one of these notifications I know it will be my snowman!

I am thrilled and happy at the popularity of my design and have remade a few for reorders. There are only a couple left in inventory so if you plan to buy one you might have to wait for me to make you another! They are going quickly!

More fun to come...until then,

Monday, October 21, 2013

Wood Burned Jewelry

A few years ago I began playing around with my wood burning tool and, through my 'playtime', I ended up designing some unique woodburned necklace pendants. While it took some time to get my style worked out, things began to come together for me last Christmas after my sister bought a few of these pendants from me to give to her co-workers as holiday gifts. I was a bit nervous to hear what everyone thought, but--THANKFULLY--they were very warmly received by her friends so I took this as a sign that I should forge ahead with more designs.

I made a few wood burned pendants and pins with a springtime theme and took them with me to a few art shows that I attended. Lots of positive feedback and compliments were shared by my customers so I was pleased by the response.

But lately I've been infatuated with the Chevron print pattern. I'm sure you've seen it in fashion, home decor and everywhere. If you aren't familiar here's a sample of the design that I found online:

My infatuation began when I had a customer order a name sign with this pattern. I blogged about designing this name sign on my Creative Name Signs Blog. In a nutshell, I was very nervous to create a design with this pattern. I never thought I'd be able to do it. But after some thought and planning it worked out. I was so happy with the outcome I began figuring out other items I could create with this pattern. Of course creating wood burned jewelry came to mind and I'm happy to report I've gotten a few pendant orders featuring this design! Yay! Here are a few photos:

So I'm happy that my infatuation with this design is paying off for me. And with the holiday shopping season just around the corner more sales are coming my way!

Okay...it's time to run...lots to do on this busy morning! More fun topics to share soon...until then,

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Zebra Print Nursery Room Decor

As I'm sure you're aware animal prints are super popular in home decor styles as well as clothing, jewelry and more. I recently painted a really fun name sign for a customer that had the zebra print pattern on it.

Before I get ahead of myself, let me back track...

Several years ago I painted a room sign that had a border with zebra print but the design ended up being very small and wasn't very prominent on the sign at all. Take a look...

See what I mean? I like the color combination, I LOVE the quote and the details are perfect for the theme. But in looking back it just doesn't get me excited. As a matter of fact, after painting that sign the thought of painting a zebra pattern made me nervous.

So when this recent order came up I got a bit on the jittery side. But I was upfront and honest with my customer. I shared the photo with her explained how tiny the pattern ended up. She understood my point and after a few emails discussing this design we figured out a way to make the zebra print stand out. Now I can't wait for someone to order this pattern! I LOVED PAINTING IT!

This sign was created for a newborn baby and the customer wanted the little zebras on there to fill in the space. But if you don't want the zebras on there I could leave them out. In the empty space I could paint some flowers, trees, stars or just about anything will work. Or we could just leave it be with the name. Then the sign would be sure to 'grow' with your little girl. Picture it...this design without the zebras. Wouldn't it still work well for a teenager? I certainly think so!

While custom artwork can be frustrating at times I do love it! I enjoy the fact that any piece of my artwork can be tweaked to suit your needs. This 'tweaking' opens up a whole new world for satisfying your room décor needs. What may be perfect for a newborn girl could also be perfect for a tween girl as long as you're in tune with your imagination and you're up for me making a few small changes.

Fun, fun, fun! My work is almost always fun! And I am blessed!

More sharing coming soon...until then,

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

"The Dragon King" - Book Review

I recently read a wonderful children's book called "The Dragon King" by Vivian Slade.

In "The Dragon King", Ethan is crowned king at a very young age after the sudden death of his father. Though Ethan is very sad over the loss of his father he still has his mother, Queen Sarah, to console him. Sarah spends time every day with her young son teaching him all the values that are needed to prepare a young king for any future battles. Over the years Queen Sarah makes sure that Ethan understands that all kings will, at some point in their lives, have to rise up and fight against great demons to protect their kingdom.

As expected one day out of the clear blue a huge and dreadful fire breathing dragon appears in the sky. This fear spreading monger terrorizes all of the people in Ethan's kingdom with his fiery breath leaving nothing but charred remains in his wake. Ethan summons his knights and they set out to conquer the beast. Sadly only a very few return with horrific stories of this cunning and frightening monster.

Finally the time arrives when Ethan realizes that he can no longer let the chaos continue. He decides that only he is the one who can take on and fight the dragon. Ethan gathers up his courage and sets out to save his kingdom from this ferocious enemy. Recalling the words of his mother, Ethan knows that all just and honorable kings are faithful, courageous and wise. Armored with these values Ethan knows that he must also use his imagination when fighting a beast. He must know in his heart and soul that he can defeat this monster.

This sweet and loving story has a bit of a twist to it as you approach it's ending and I don't want to give away any surprises. I wanted to share this story with you because I sincerely enjoyed it. While it was written for children I believe it can be read by anyone of any age. No matter the battle we all need to know that we all are kings of our own lives. We all must practice faith, courage and wisdom every day. And along with these three valuable traits we also must use our imagination. We must know that when we imagine ourselves defeating our demons--and make our imaginations come alive--we can will ourselves to win any struggle that life puts in front of us.

My review and promotion of this book is two fold. Of course I loved the story. But I also wanted to point out that the author, Vivian Slade, has promised that over the next three years she will give away 1,000,000 copies of the book to help children around the world. Vivian wants kids to truly understand that with faith, courage, wisdom and imagination they can dramatically change their lives. But to reach this goal your help is necessary! You can help the author by making a direct donation to their cause. Or you can purchase the Kindle and audio version of the book

Please consider this worthy cause!

More to come soon!

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