Monday, August 30, 2010

My Red Dragon

... also got into a treasury! Yippee!

Leave a comment and maybe we can make it to the front page!

My little Snakey! in a treasury! I am a little late in posting this pic, but you can still see it! Just click the link below!

Don't forget to leave a comment! The more comments, the better chance of getting on the front page! Woot!

Mosaic Monday Bunday: Lavender Bunnies

It's time for another round of Mosaic Monday Bunday! There were no guesses on last week's theme, so I will carry it over one more week! (If you want to guess, go here or here and leave your guess by Midnight EDT Sept 5th for a chance to win!)

Today's theme is in honor of the Lavender Dreams Giveaway!
A lovely collection of lavender-themed bunnies!

Click any pic to see its Etsy listing!

Don't forget you can enter the Lavender Dreams giveaway too! Just hop on over to the Domestic Witch's blog and see how!

For other Mosaic Monday posts, click here!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Lavender Dreams, dilly dilly

I remember this song... having it sung to me... so very long ago...

Wow, he's cuter than I remember too... *blush*

I was walking in the park
dreaming of a spark
When I heard the sprinklers whisper
Shimmer in the haze of summer lawns
Then I heard the children singing
They were running through the rainbows
They were singing a song for you
Well it seemed to be a song for you
The one I wanted to write for you, for you

Lavender's blue, dilly dilly, lavender's green
When I am King, dilly dilly,
you will be Queen
A penny for your thoughts my dear
A penny for your thoughts my dear
I owe you for your love, I owe you for your love

Lavender's green, dilly dilly, lavender's blue
When you love me, dilly dilly, I will love you
A penny for your thoughts my dear
A penny for your thoughts my dear
I owe you for your love, I owe you for your love

Lavender's green, dilly dilly, lavender's blue
When you miss me, dilly dilly, I did miss you
A penny for your thoughts my dear
A penny for your thoughts my dear
I owe you for your love, I owe you for your love

For your love

Don't forget to enter the Lavender Dreams giveaway over at the Domestic Witch!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Creativity Boot Camp: Day 4, Heavy Metal - DONE!

Day 1: Ivory (link)
Day 2: Picnic (link)
Day 3: Multilayered, need to finish! (WIP)
Day 4: Heavy Metal (link)
Day 5: Grow (link)
Day 6: Fluid (link)
Day 7: Fly
Day 8: Ornament
Day 9: Drizzle
Day 10: Full-Bodied
Day 11: Hush
Day 12: Smooth
Day 13: Smile

Lavender Dreams Giveaway

What a fabulous contest!  I would love love love to win this stuff!

The winner of the Lavender Dreams giveaway will enjoy a homemade lavender smudge, amethyst, lavender & sea salt bath blend and lavender & chamomile bath blend, lavender incense, lavender drawer sachet, and a charming purple and white organizational datebook. The smudge and bath blends are homemade just for you, made with herbs from my herb garden.

There are a bunch of easy ways to enter, so head on over and put your name in!

Young at Heart

A friend of mine, inspired by my rainbow cake (and another friend's), recently made her own and posted about it. This is the recipe she used, where all the layers have fruit flavors. (OMG YUM!) But what *REALLY* got to me about this post was not the cake (although it really does sound fabulous!); what got to me was the story.

Let me share here in case, you don't want the added cake distraction...

...a wild flash of black tulle and hot pink beads flew past me. I was shocked. It had been a long time since I'd seen such 80's retro style worn with such Stopping to stare out the corner of my eye, I took in the flash.
Neon pink Lace shirt layered beneath a pink concert tee.
Black tulle tutu.
Jelly bracelets from wrist to mid-ulna.
Crimped hair.
Pink tennis shoes with giant lace bows.
As I was not-staring, 80's Girl turned toward me. Her hair gave way to her profile. Then her face. I was shocked! 80's Girl wasn't a girl at all. She was an "80's WOman!" The gal toting said Cyndi Lauper gear was no high school, teeny-bopper wannabe. Nosirree. Before me stood a round, freckle faced forty-something and instantly, I loved her.
All that color.
All that style.
All that life experience.
All that tulle.
It made me think. Growing older doesn't have to mean growing gray. Everyday can be prismatic hues of light and loveliness. I just have to remember to put them on in the morning.

I want to be that reminder to others...

I don't want to blend into the background, another 40-something lady fading away to grey. I want to wear tulle and rainbow colors and rabbit ears... I want to dance in the rain... and the sun... IN PUBLIC! I want to talk to strangers in public places, find out about their lives, make them smile. I want to be bold, daring, different! I want to put aside the stupid little voices in my head that say, OMG no! Blend in! Hide! Don't stand out or you'll be teased!

I want to LIVE and be JOYFUL! And I want it to spread to EVERYONE like some viral disease...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

FAE Exhibition: Hearth and Harvest

Aquariann has done it again! She's gathered together some of the best of the FAE Team work, and created a lovely exhibition. This month's theme is Hearth and Harvest! ^-^

Click the banner above to see the full exhibition, but here's a little sample:
Buy Handmade

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Diet Soda

If someone had told me last year, that I would one day love diet soda and shun the full sugar stuff, I would have told them they were nuts. My step-father was diabetic and I grew up with sugar-free soda in the house; I never could get past the after-taste. After moving out on my own, I would occasionally enjoy some Crystal Light flavors, but would shudder when 'forced' to drink diet soda. Ew ew icky icky ew!

After being diagnosed diabetic, I really didn't change my soda-drinking habits. I didn't drink it often or much when I did; my primary drink of choice is, and has been for years, iced herbal tea. (And I still had that taste issue....) However, for the past few months, I've been controlling my blood glucose, and losing weight, by changing to a low carb diet. Full-sugar soda is *not* low carb. One 20 oz. bottle has more than half - no, more than 3/4!!! of the carbs I should be eating - and a ton of calories!

Look at these stats for 20 oz. of my faves:
Cherry Coke25070
Dr. Pepper25067.5
Wild Cherry Pepsi26070
Cherry Vanilla Pepsi25069
Mountain Dew29077

But look at these:

Diet Cherry Coke00
Diet Lime Coke00
Cherry Coke Zero00
Diet Dr. Pepper00
Diet Wild Cherry Pepsi00
Diet Cherry Vanilla Pepsi00
Diet Mountain Dew0<1

So I caved and tried again. Diet Dr. Pepper and Diet Mountain Dew were most tolerable to me at first. They were what I would have when I really craved the soda. Then I noticed others not tasting too bad. (I think I've grown used to it.) I have recently discovered that Diet Cherry Pepsi is SO GOOD! I keep forgetting it's diet! And now they have a Diet Cherry Vanilla too, and it is EVEN BETTER! ^-^

I have only one problem though: all those fabulous *different* soda flavors, the Mountain Dew DEWmocracy flavors, Code Red, Vault, cherry, strawberry... They're impossible to find in diet versions... :\

Anyway, here's the trick for switching from regular to diet. Don't drink regular sodas. Stop cold turkey. Then after a week or two of drinking only things like milk, tea, and coffee, pick out a soda flavor you really like, in diet. Polar Birch Beer & Cream Soda are good flavors, in addition to the ones I've already mentioned. Then just gradually add in the others...

Really, I am surprized that I like diet soda now - I was so adamantly against it - but I really do feel like it's a luxury for me now, to have diet soda...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

BlogCarnival: Kindergarten? gives us the topic: 1) School time! What is your favorite memory from kindergarten or taking your kids to kindergarten?

I could come up with some glib answer about the one memory I have from Kindergarten: making butter from heavy cream in a little margarine tubs that we passed around the circle and each shook a little, but truthfully I don't remember much more than that.

So how about my memories of taking my kids to kindergarten?  Um... well... the kids are unschooled, (I wrote about what that is here.), and even if they weren't, I came into the picture after Lia, our youngest, would have been first grade.

I am a substitute teacher though, and have spent many hours in Kindergarten classrooms, as an assistant and as the teacher.  My feelings are ambivalent about it though.  I love being with the little kids.  I love playing with them.  I love getting hugs from them.  I love their creativity and enthusiasm for everything!  But I do not like how they are treated in the name of Education.

One of my first experiences in a Kindergarten classroom was in an inclusion room, where several of the students were special education students, with autism or Down syndrome, and others were just average students.  The children had made leprechauns for Parent Night, that had the arms & legs glued onto the body, but some weren't glued on in the appropriate location.  But instead of leaving them as the children had made them, or working with the child while they were doing it to help them get it "right" (according to the teacher), we were pulling the arms & legs off and gluing them back on in the right places; so they'd all look nice in the hall when the parents came.

In other classrooms and schools, the teachers weren't so discrete about making the children do things RIGHT.  They made a big huge deal about getting the kids to draw people that looked right, and getting things colored in the appropriate colors.  I can understand if it's part of a lesson, knowing that pumpkins are orange and apples are red, but when they're just drawing in their daily journal?  If you can say, oh how creative!  What color are pickles really?  And get a correct response, why make them do it over if they've decided pink was the color of the day?

And why on earth do they need to have homework!?  Yes, several of the Kindergarten classrooms I am in have their students carrying a folder home with "work" they didn't complete, expecting it to come back the next day, punishing the child when it doesn't.

These are children.  They should be following their own interests, learning by curiosity and play, not being forced to sit still and do worksheets and homework.

I know, I've gone off on a tirade, and will climb down off my soapbox now.  I only hope more people will take a closer look at their children's *education* and question if there isn't a better way....

Monday, August 23, 2010

Etsy Blogger of the Month: Patch

Say hello to August's Blogger of the Month, Patch, who has three shops!

...which sells Beaded Swarovski and Custom Bridal Jewelry like this:

...which sells Unique Vintage Clothing like this:


...which sells Packaging Supplies and Other Crafting Stuffs like this:

Don't forget to check out her shops above, and her two blogs below, and see what's there that might be calling to you...

Mosaic Monday Bunday

It's time for another round of Mosaic Monday Bunday!

Guess today's theme and win a
Mosaic Monday Bunday prize!

(Remember Mosaic Monday Bunday always features rabbits!)

Click any pic to see its Etsy listing!

Leave a comment with your guess, and I will be pooling the names of those who guess correctly from both my LiveJournal and BlogSpot and drawing one winner per week. Good luck!

For other Mosaic Monday posts, click here!

Diabetes Art Day

Idea originator, Lee Ann Thill, says...
...Break out of your linguistic comfort zone, bust out some art materials, and make a piece of artwork – painting, drawing, collage, sculpture, an installation piece, a mixed media something or other, or whatever you can imagine. ... Then, once your masterpiece is complete, post it on September 1st.

More detail can be found
by clicking the image above.

Of course, I am participating. Not sure what I am going to do yet.

I did this fabulous photo art a while back and won a blood glucose monitor with it.

But I think I want to do something more traditional, less digital for this...

Friday, August 20, 2010

Photo Friday: The Street

^*This*^ was the shot I was going for, but while I was out there, waiting for traffic to die down (man we have a lot for being so out in the boonies!), I got v*this*v shot too!

Which do *you* like better?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Interesting Encounters


While picnicking at the lake, I was inspired to do some drawing, and shortly after starting, there was a large *PLOP* and this little (?) fellow dropped onto my sketch book. He must have just shed his skin because one wing was a little curled still, which probably led to his falling on my book. I picked him (or her) up and he happily crawled up my sleeve and onto my shoulder where I let him stay until he was ready to fly off.


Ssshhh... don't tell Jacqueline but this little friend is living on our front step. A few days ago I was rearranging the plants and things on the front step and went to see if the wasps were still living under the ceramic bunny. When I lifted it, this little garter snake surprized me!

It slithered away after a few moments of contemplation, and I thought that would be that! But the next day & the next he (or she) was still there! Jacqueline doesn't like *wild* snakes, but I am thinking of this one as our own personal little protector...

Monday, August 16, 2010

Etsy_Mouse Challenge: Butterflies!

If you haven't already, please head over to etsy_mouse and vote for me! ^-^

Just CLICK HERE and leave a comment saying: You have my vote!

Tell your friends! ^o^

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Kind-Hearted Blogger Pledge

First, why am I still awake? Second, why am I not blogging the good things in my head? Well, one, because I'm staying up cuz my girlfriend is, and two, I'm too tired to think coherently! But I can read... And this... this moved me...


  • create, inspire, and admire rather than compete with fellow bloggers
  • be understanding of each other-- in the blogging community, as well as in the world
  • stay away from internet/blogging bullying
  • speak my opinion freely, while still being mindful of other's feelings-- be tactful.
  • make an effort--no matter how big or small the gesture, to spread kindness or joy to others
  • acknowledge that I will make mistakes, (I am only human) but remember to learn from them
  • know that at times I will post about the negative stuff in life, and maybe even some complaining (I am only human) but I will always follow up with something happy/positive too.
  • believe that this world is a good place, filled with good people.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Faerie Garden Fancies

New sweet treats and original art in the shop!

Please stop by!
Faerie Garden Fancies

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Wishcasting Wednesday

You can be a maker of magic and a tender of wishes. It’s easy. Answer the wish prompt on your blog and then add a direct link to your post in the box [at the link] below. Support wishes by visiting other participants, leaving a comment saying “As (insert name) wishes for her/himself, so I wish for her/him also.” It’s that simple. There is great power in wishing together.
~ Jamie Ridler

What do you wish for your creativity?

I wish for it to grow and blossom and bear fruit to sustain me and my family.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Diet & Exercise

I've been thinking about exercise lately, and whether or not it would help speed up my weight loss. I've tried a lot of things to lose weight over the years: meal replacement shakes (yuck.), diet pills (whoa jitters!), weight loss groups (have I mentioned my social anxiety?), crazy diets (cabbage soup, grapefruit, counting calories, low fat...), joining a gym ($$$)... and nothing has worked. Mainly because I never stuck to anything for more than few months.

Since I've been blogging, I've not lost more than 20 pounds, and that *was* while I was working out at Curves 3x a week. It took many months and was very slow with lots of ups & downs. Most of the downs were in conjunction with me adding a diet modification to the routine. And it was all gained back when I stopped going.

In March, Jacqueline started tracking my food using DietPower, and since then I've lost over 40 pounds. Yes, it's also slow, but my ups are usually daily fluctuations of a pound or less, and my downs have been steady. I feel physically better. I have better balance. Things that used to exhaust me, no longer do. I can walk all over without saying I need a break. I can go up the 4 flights of stairs to Emma's apartment and not need to stop and catch my breath when I get there. I can squat down to get a good picture and stand back up with out using my hands or feeling like I'm going to fall over. I can go up & down the hill at FlatRock without needing to hold someone's hand and without worrying about tumbling down headfirst!

But I still have body issues. My clothes don't fit right anymore; they're all falling off me and are uncomfortable, and I am sad about how I look in them. I have strange lumps and bumps (omg those are my ribs!), and parts of me feel very deflated and wrinkly now. I also have pain and discomfort. I have osteoarthritis in my hands and feet and hips, as well as some back pain (bed?), and strange hernia-like discomfort in my belly sometimes.

Today DietPower sent this in an email:
Is Exercise Enough?
By Terry Dunkle

Like many overweight folks, your DietPower CEO likes to think he can lose pounds by getting more exercise. My favorite neighborhood walk takes 50 minutes. If I do it daily, will that make up for the pork chops?

A few summers ago, while tending a campfire built on my driveway during a power outage, I got to thinking about Soylent Green, a sci-fi movie released during the 1973 oil embargo. Set in 2022, the film depicts a resource-starved world where Charlton Heston and Edward G. Robinson share a tiny flat powered by a stationary bicycle yoked to a generator.

Could you really power your household with a bicycle? Not a chance. The average American uses 30 kilowatt-hours of electricity per day -- equivalent to 26,000 calories. That's three times the daily energy expended by Lance Armstrong in a Tour de France.

We're not trying to beat Armstrong, however -- we just want to work off, say, one pound a week. And according to DietPower, 50 minutes of walking every day at my weight and speed burns about 3500 calories a week -- equivalent to one pound of body weight.* This will solve the problem, right?

Wrong. My walking will cause a weight loss only if I eat the same number of calories as before. But walking makes me hungry. Not right away, mind you, but an hour or two later -- which often happens to be dinner time.

Overblown Truths
"Wait a minute," says a little voice on my left shoulder. "Doesn't exercise raise your metabolic rate, so your body burns more calories even when you're not walking? Maybe that will get rid of some pounds."

This argument has been repeated for decades, but according to health writer Sally Squires (among the most reliable I know), it's overblown. "Studies show that after a typical 20- to 30-minute workout, the body burns about 10 to 12 more calories -- the amount in a bite of an apple," she writes.

"OK, but what about the extra muscle you're building?" the little voice says. "Doesn't muscle burn calories faster than the rest of your body?"

Once again: true but trivial. "The average enthusiast who goes into the gym puts on only three to five pounds of muscle mass over 12 to 15 weeks," David Nieman, director of the Human Performance Laboratory at Appalachian State University, told Squires. That amount of muscle burns only 28 to 40 calories per day -- the equivalent of half a slice of bread.

The answer is clear: Walking may lower my blood pressure, cholesterol, and resting pulse. It may also make me feel good. But it won't keep my weight in check if I don't watch my calorie intake. And that's why I'll continue using my DietPower.
And that last paragraph is it really. I've lost all this weight by monitoring every morsel of food that goes in my mouth. Portion control. Did I have days of hunger? Yes, some days were really hard. Did I have days of excess? Yes, did you see that birthday cake? Did I stick with it anyway? Yes.

But what about exercise? I do think I am going to add some strength training exercises. Strengthening my stomach and back muscles will help my hips and that weird belly problem, I believe, and the movement in general will help the other pain. I've got some belly dance DVDs that I've been meaning to practice with, and I'm going to search the intrarwebz for some other exercises, like the donkey kick, etc.

Anyone have any good links?