Sunday, March 31, 2013

A is for Avid

So I am new at blogging, so one would think I am nuts to tackle the A through Z blogger challenge but I went for it and here I am on the first day. Believe it or not I had issues with picking an A word.  It seemed simple but no word really came to me.  There were suggestions online to go with a theme but since I live a scattered life it would be hard for me to stick to one thing.  I may regret this decision as I move forward with this challenge but I will just learn as I go.  The word that seemed to pop into my head more then any other A word was Avid.  Hmmm so how can I incorporate that word in my blog?

Well I know that I am an avid reader.  I am a regular visitor to our local library and read at least a book a week.  I am absolutely sure I am an avid TV watcher. I hate to admit it but I love my TV shows, using my DVR to record  shows because at that particular time I am probably watching another show, sad but true. I know its a time sucker but I can't seem to stop myself.  I am also an avid crafter.  I enjoy making things from nothing and creating something unique.  I am way too often an avid worrier. Worrying about things that I am sure will never happen but I still think about them anyway.  I have gotten better as I have gotten older but I still struggle with it.

I would love to be an avid runner or walker.  A facebook friend posts her running activities everyday.  She does tons of marathons and seems to really enjoy it.  I often think about running or even walking but I think deep down I am just an avid sitter.

Every spring I dream about being an avid gardener.  I can picture the garden in my head, flowers of different colors, vegetables of every kind, ripe for the picking but as spring fades so do my thoughts about my garden, and I become an avid buyer of vegetables at our local stands.  I usually find time to plant some flowers early spring and I become an avid caretaker of them but then by August, I get tired of watering them so my poor sad flowers never make it all the way through the summer.

I am trying to be and avid blogger I guess that's why I decided to take this challenge.  Only time will tell.

WHOO HOO the first one is done only 25 more to go.  YIKES what will my B word be?  Come back tomorrow and see.

Mary Ann

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Ready to Rumble

Well in a few short days I will be knee deep in writing posts for the A - Z April Blogger Challenge.  The challenge is to write a post everyday surrounding a different letter of the alphabet.  April 1 is A, April 2 is B and so on, posting everyday except on Sunday.  I feel like Rocky Balboa waiting on the ropes for the bell to ring so I can start my first round.  I am not sure whats up ahead but I am looking forward to the fun.  I have taken in all the suggestions that the A - Z mentors have given me and have a number of posts already done.

Many of my fellow bloggers that have joined the challenge have already stopped by to say hello and I have done the same.  So I am at the ropes looking across the ring at Apollo Creed, he looks daunting and I can't wait to get my gloves on him.  I am sure he will be a challenge but like life, if its not a challenge its not worth the effort. The difference in the A - Z challenge is that there is no loser. It's about sparking creativity, learning new things and meeting new people.  It sounds like a win, win to me.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Trying Something New, Collar Necklace Design

Everywhere I look on the streets, in the stores, on TV I see ladies wearing collar necklaces.  I have designed jewelry for awhile now and my necklaces  are usually more simple.  The largest that I have done is about the size of  golf ball but I felt inspired to go big and decided to put my skills to the test.

Using my favorite medium,  heavy duty scrapbook paper and my Cricut cutting machine I cut coordinating scrapbook paper into different size circles .  Not sure how many I cut because I was't sure where I was going. I just wanted to have enough.   My first thought was that I could layer the different circles on top of each other but noticed right away that I would need some kind of a back to it.   So I looked through my Cricut cartridges and found  a half moon shape that I could use for the base.  I had to tweak it a bit to get the right curve that I was looking for.

This is it from the back.  I cut the half moon shape twice and glued them together with mod podge so I had a nice strong base.

I then went to work stacking and layering the circles.  Finishing off each one with a few coats of mod podge. It took me awhile but I had my radio on and was singing along to some tunes as I glued.  I am sure it was annoying to anyone in earshot of my not so good voice but I was enjoying myself.

I started placing the circles in a pattern that was appealing to me, gluing as I went.

I decided to go with yellow because it seems to be a very popular color for the spring.  Some of the circles I sanded to give that more of a rustic look and others I shaded with black to give it some dimension.  I then mod podged the entire piece.

I had my daughter model it so I could see how it would look on.  She was surprised at how light weight and comfortable it is.  I have to say I love it.  I may be doing some bigger pieces from now on.

Thanks for stopping by.

Mary Ann

Friday, March 15, 2013

Reggie Jackson Worlds Best Cat

Growing up I did not like cats.  My sister would always gravitate toward them and I would always go the opposite way.  They kind of scared me.  I never knew what they were going to do and was uncomfortable with their unpredictable nature.

Well fast forward 25 years.  We had moved from Queens to upstate NY we were renting an apartment until we were able to buy a house in an area that we liked.  Within the first month we were visited by our first mouse.  He  came in through the wall of our living room and ran in front of us as we watched TV. This continued night after night, a new mouse or the same one would come in and run past us.  We set traps but they did nothing to prevent them from entering.  We contacted the apartment complex and they were not that interested in helping.  Fortunately  we were able to have animals at this apartment so we decided to visit a shelter to see if a cat just may do the trick and get rid of the mice.

As my husband and kids and I perused the line of cages filled with tons of homeless cats, one cat emerged through a crowd of 10 cats. He stuck his paw out of the cage as if to say pick me, pick me.  It seemed like fate and Reggie Jackson became my first cat kid.  Getting Reggie did the trick and we no longer had a mouse parade each night.  Well that was back in 1983 and Reggie is no longer with us. He past away many years ago.  Other cats have come and gone in our lives  but none could replace our special first cat Reggie Jackson.  I still miss him.

Reggie looked like a tough guy on the exterior but one holiday my daughter had gotten a stuffed animal that was wearing a red wool hat.  On a whim we put in on Reggie.  As you can see by this picture he loved it.  He would sit for the longest time rocking his red wool hat.

Grateful for all my cat kids.  Joining A La Carte for gratitude Sunday.

Mary Ann

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Experiment Sunday

The other day I was blog hopping and I was visiting Lavender Dreams and I saw that she had taken a a picture and transformed it on  from color to black and white and added some color using the paint feature within that application.  Since its a lazy Sunday, thought I would give it try on some photo's that I had.

 Did some cropping, made it black and white on Pic Monkey

Then using the paint button I just colored the rooster and hats on the little stuffed dolls..

Here's another

Some black and white transformation and colored oranges.

One more

This picture I turned black and white.  Colored some of the fabric square on the quilt and then using the color selection saturated the colors.

I am sure I can use some practice but it was fun trying it out.

Mary Ann

Friday, March 8, 2013

Special Connection

It's that time of the week again I am going for my weekly visit to Seaside Simplicity for Flashback Friday.

I was going through some photos to find an inspiration for today's post and I came across a very tender moment in time that made me cry then and again now.  It was 10 years ago and my first grandsons christening day.  My dad had traveled from Long Island to Upstate NY to attend along with my sister and brother-in-law.  It was a big day all around because this would be the first time that my 86 year old dad would meet his first great grandchild.

After the church baptism we went back to my daughters house and I asked my dad if he wanted to hold our new baby.  He was a bit nervous, he had not held a baby for over 25 years, but he agreed.  My grandson at this point had, had it.  It was a rough day.  Getting dressed up in uncomfortable duds and getting holy water poured over his head did not make for a fun baby day.  As I placed my new boy in my Dad's arms my grandson was screaming.

Not a happy boy

A little eye to eye contact

Some man to man discussion

And a smile to steal the deal

It was so sweet to see that connection between my 86 year old dad and my 3 month old grandson.  My dad is still going strong at 96 and has been lucky enough to have had some more visits with his first grandchild.

Mary Ann

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Confessions of a Scrapbook Paper Addict

OK so I admit it.  I am obsessed with scrapbook paper.  The odd part is that I do not scrapbook nor do I make cards.  My obsession started Christmas of 2009 my son and his wife gave me a Cricut die cutting machine that year.  I had been drooling over it for months, seeing the commercials over and over luring me in.  I knew scrapbooking was not my thing and although I was sure making a card from time to time would be fun, it could not justify me paying all that money for a die cutting machine.  So on Christmas Day when I opened up this gift I could swear I heard music from heaven above and it got brighter in the room for just a second.  I was thrilled, but then reality set in.  What the heck am I going to use this for? YIKES!!!!

So off I went to Micheal's with a gift card that I also received and immediately went to the scrapbook paper aisle.  All the colored pads drew me in.  Themed paper of all kinds, from baby prints to paper that mimicked the great outdoors.  Solids and prints of every shade of the rainbow.  It was so hard to decide but I finally settled on a few books and sheets. I came home with my first paper purchase.  Since then I have been addicted to buying scrapbook paper.  I can never leave the store without at least one pad or a sheet of paper which I am sure I could probably live without, but I don't want to.

What's really sick is sometimes I love a certain pad or sheet of paper so much, I hate to use it.  I then have to remind myself that there is always more paper where that came from, a new pad or a new pattern that I am sure I will love as much or more, but as I slip that piece of my favorite scrapbook paper into my Cricut machine my heart stops for just a second and I have to remind myself to just let it go.

Overtime I have found my niche of what to create with paper.  I use my paper to create jewelry and pictures and anything else that strikes my creative fancy.

A sampling of my scrapbook paper pads.

I love going through them and pick out the paper for my next project.

So I will shout it from the rooftops I AM A SCRAPBOOK PAPER ADDICT !!!!!!! but no intervention needed just more fun creating.

Mary Ann

Friday, March 1, 2013

Looking Back On The Last 36 Wonderful Years

Today Friday is not only fun with Martha at Seaside Simplicity for Flashback Back Friday but its my son's 36th birthday.   So where did 36 years go?  

I remember like it was just yesterday holding him for the first time. It was instantaneous love at first sight. The first time I felt that surge of love was when my daughter was born 4 years before my son.  I have been lucky to feel it four more times with each of my grandchildren. Its looking into those newborn eyes and seeing all the great things in life that lay before them.  

My son was born two weeks early with Dr. Spock pointed ears and slightly jaundice skin but he was perfect to me.  He was such a happy baby, belly laughing at 3 months, laying in his playpen or crib for hours just entertaining himself.  As soon as you would look at him he would beam from ear to ear.   When he got older he would sit and hang out in his playpen, while his sister played on the floor next to him. When he dropped a toy out onto the floor he would climb out, get his toy and climb back into his playpen space.  

My ever smiling boy

His only baby flaw was that he hated to sleep.  He would be up for hours each night, just not a sleeper from day one.  Night or day.  Thankfully he was such a good happy boy otherwise, so it was hard to get mad at him.  Even in the middle of the night, I would be so tired, I would go into his room to check on him and  just one look at his smiling face would make me less tired.  His really bad sleeping habits went on for years and 36 years later I think he still is not a great sleeper.

So the last 36 years have flew by.  My son grew up to be an awesome son, student, husband and father.  He is a hard worker, providing for his family using his creative talents working as a Director of Electronic Media  and in addition has his own business where he designs websites. 

I am extremely proud of his accomplishments but what I am most proud of is that he is a really,really good person.

Not such a happy picture of him on his first birthday.

Happy Birthday Eric

Mary Ann