Friday, May 25, 2007

Put My Butt in the Chair

I love how Alison Lee talks about putting your butt in the chair on her podcast CraftCast. The point is that one of the things you have GOT to do is get yourself doing SOMETHING to get your creativity flowing. Recently I listened to one of her podcasts where it was pointed out that artists do NOT always (probably hardly ever) get their finished product on their very first try. There are lots and lots of things that get thrown away before you come up with something you like. Even though I probably knew this all along, hearing it was very inspirational for me and freed me up to try new stuff. I did put my butt in the chair and I did throw away a few drafts before coming up with this final design. That is OK! I pulled out all kinds of supplies that I normally don't use and just started experimenting. The result is that I finished my cards for my first card swap and I think they are acceptable. I am my worst critic so I can't say for sure I love them but I do like them. I pushed myself enough to know I did the best I could on this one at this time. The theme for the swap was "Tag You're It!". I made a pocket card and in the pocket is a tag (= bookmark).

You can't tell from the picture but the bookmark is very sparkley. I covered the whole front with dazzling diamonds glitter (made by Stampin' Up!).
Here are the directions and supply list for the card and bookmark.

I liked this swap and will do more because the deadline forces me to get DONE and it encourages me to push my creativity level up because I want to make something that people are going to really like.

I am running in a 1/2 marathon on Sunday in Madison (WI). I think I am ready for it. I ran 10 miles this past Wednesday and as soon as I am done with this post I am off to run 13 miles.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Graduation Day

(Left to right: My sister, Sara, brother Matt, me)
My "little" brother graduated from college today. I am very proud of him. He had a lot of major life changes during his time in college like losing both of our parents a couple years apart, unexpectedly at very young ages. I am excited for him because he will be travelling to Europe for a month and I am looking forward to what is next for him when he returns.

I took a craft project to the graduation ceremony to work on while waiting for Matt to get his diploma (his last name begins with a "Z" and he was the 5th to the last person called up). I embroidered some flowers on Lydia's shorts.

We also had some friends graduate from college today and I made this frame for them this morning:
I registered today for a 1/2 marathon in the Madison Marathon next weekend (route). Will let you all know what my time ends up being. I ran 10+ miles yesterday and today was my rest day.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Rummage Saling & Kite Flying

I recently learned that Lydia is quite a kite flyer. She got her kite off the ground without much trouble at all. She let me hold onto it for awhile once she got it up in the air. I was glad she did because I wanted to see if flying a kite felt like I did. Reminded me of being a kid and it was pretty exciting actually.

I'm keeping on track with my marathon training:
Sun., 5/12: Ran 10 miles/2 hours & 3 min
Tues., 5/14: Walked 3.5 miles/1 hour
Wed., 5/15: Ran 6 miles/53 min.
Thurs., 5/17: Ran 6.6 miles, 70 min.
Friday., 5/18: Walked 3.6 miles/60 min.
Tomorrow morning is my long run day.

Rummage saling season is upon us in Wisconsin. Going to rummages is like Christmas for me. It's so exciting because you never know what goodies you are going to find. Yesterday on a run I had to circle back around to a rummage I could not pass by without stopping at. I'm so glad that I did. I ended up with a box of Legacy magazines (16 in all). Legacy magazine appears to be another cool magazine by Stampington & Company. The articles I've read so far are not surfacey blah but really meaningful and well written. The combinations of materials they use in the projects pictured throughout could be used on all sorts of altered art projects (I am pretty fired up lately about this style).

Hoping to post some pictures of my projects soon! We are going to see Shrek 3 tonight...looking forward to the popcorn!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Gardening is Great Exercise!

Yesterday I spent an hour in my garden. It was a great day for it here in Wisconsin (felt like 80-ish). I wore my Polar sports watch out of curiosity to see if gardening could get my heart pumping (this was my off day from running). Turns out gardening is a good low impact work out. I burned over 200 calories in 45 minutes. My average heart rate was 113...not too bad. In my opinion, gardening is hard work and I've avoided it in the past for that reason but I think I'm starting to enjoy it.

Lydia and I planted some cucumbers. I sure hope they take because she will be so excited to watch them grow. We tried tomatoes from seed last year and they would have been great but I got them in too late and the frost got to them before they got mature enough.

I dug up what I thought was one Asian Lily (Angie tells me that's what they are) to move it and discovered I had about 15 bulbs in one place so I separated them all and spread them throughout my garden. Here is one of them that I relocated...I was able to squeeze in 5.6 miles today before picking up Lydia from school. I then proceeded to go to my sister's candle party and eat up all the calories I burned! I guess I need to look at this as it would have been worse had I not run at all. Tomorrow morning is my long run for the week. Hoping it goes as well as it did last Saturday.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Crafts on the Brain

I potted the pet grass and the flower Lydia brought home from school in the pots she painted and I have them displayed by my kitchen sink. I love them. We picked up saucers at the craft store last night and she painted them to match (picture was taken before they were finished). The life of the flower is questionable. I thought I was doing a good thing this afternoon when I put 2 food sticks in the soil but to my surprise, when Lydia saw the flower after school her crying alerted me to the fact that it looks near death. :-(

Blogging has made me realize that I always seem to have way more than a few craft projects going at one time. I say this because I realized I forgot to mention the altered book I have on my agenda and the dividers I want to make for the binder I keep my notes in for work. My mind is always thinking about what I can craft next. I see no harm in that. Lots of things don't ever get done but even so, it's still fun to think of things I could do.

I work from home and today I was thinking about how much I appreciate being able to do my job and mount rubber stamps at the same time. I don't think I'd survive in the office if I had to go back. I am thankful that God has blessed me with this work arrangement.

I have a minor setback in my wall of art project. I painted a window frame and now have decided I don't like the color so I need to repaint it. I have the paint and hopefully can get to work on that tonight yet, otherwise tomorrow.

So, I ran intervals at the track yesterday--run one lap, walk 1/2 a lap, repeat. I got in 2.25 miles before school got out and we had to head to ballet so I walked another mile while Lydia did ballet. This evening I did 5.3 miles and it took me 54 minutes. After the first 15 minutes something happened that seems to occur once in awhile and I haven't figured out why. I got really light headed and felt like I was going to faint so I ran/walked a few laps thinking I may have to give it up for the day but I pushed myself and kept going and then my energy came back and I was able to run like usual for the rest of the time. I ate breakfast and lunch and drank water today so I don't know why I was light headed.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Flower Pots

My 5 year old daughter and craft partner, Lydia, painted these flower pots this evening. She LOVES to craft just like her mom--I have a craft partner for life and I am so thrilled about that. I bought her some pet grass the other day at the grocery store and I plan on using two of these pots as the new home for the grass. She also brought home a plant she started at school which I'll be using the third pot for.

I have several craft projects going on right now, all in different stages. I need to hang these letters that I finished in my daughter's room. I also purchased this awesome cross-stitch pattern from and now I need to get all the materials for it. I am also currently working on a "Wall of Art" for my kitchen. I am painting old picture frames and windows of various sizes and putting cork board inside them and these will be used to display my daughter's art work. The cork will be nice because I can continuously rotate the artwork easily and that's handy because I get a lot of masterpieces. I'm also doing a card swap which is due 5/25. This is my first swap and I'm very excited to be doing it. And I just won (way too many) wooden spools (with no thread) on eBay yesterday. I will have plenty for the next project I have my eye on thanks to my new friend Naomi who introduced me to SomersetLife, so if you need a vintage wooden spool...

I'll be posting some pictures of some of the other projects I've finished recently on my flickr site.

Ran 4.5 miles today.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Hello World

My first blog. I feel like I did when I wrote my first computer program in Pascal which wrote "Hello World" on the monitor. Awkward, but very excited. I have been wanting to start a blog for some time now because I have seen how it can connect you with so many amazing people but have hesitated because I really haven't known what to say. I've decided to stop worrying and to just get on with it.

So I ran 13 miles yesterday in about 2 hours and 20 minutes. This has been my longest run so far. I'm in training to run a full marathon in Portland, Oregon, in October (2007). I haven't actually registered for this marathon yet. I have registered for a walking marathon on June 2nd and my thought is that I will wait to see what I think about running a marathon after I complete walking one first. The marathon in Portland is somewhat of an expensive commitment because I live in Wisconsin and will have to come up with funds to get there, so that's my reason for wanting to be very certain I'm ready for the Portland marathon before signing my name on the dotted line.

Besides running, one of my other passions is crafting. I love to make things and get a lot of joy and energy from both running and crafting. I plan to share my projects with you as I work on them. It's awfully late now though so I will have to pick up with this another time.