Friday, December 17, 2010

In The Navy Now....

This has been a crazy week and one thing has really turned me all around. My eldest daughter, Becca, joined the Navy and she left for boot camp on Tuesday. My youngest daughter was in the Marines and I completely expected it from her as she is a big time tom boy. But Becca, she is my princess. She is the one that loved to be in dresses and be all pretty. So to image her being in the dirt and mud has really pushed at me. Becca isn't a delicate flower, far from it. She is a very strong willed and very independent person so I know she will exceed at this, it's just taking me some time to swallow all of it. 

When she is done with boot camp she will go to school for Avionic. Planes? OMGoodness. My baby working on Planes? What the heck is going on? This isn't my princess anymore that is for sure. 

I know she is probably scared and tired and freezing as she is at Great Lakes, Illinois. I really want to go to her graduation, another reason this house has to sale soon because if it does I will definitely be able to go, if it doesn't I won't. I was there when Tash graduated Marine Corps boot camp and as a mother it is pulling at my heart to definitely be there for Beccas. 

My hubby, Chuck, was in the Navy for many years and as Becca said "I am following in my dad's footsteps." He would be so proud of her. We have never pushed the girls to join the military, but the pride I feel for both of them makes my heart swell. 

Have to run to get to work, but could everyone out there say a little prayer, light a candle, send some positive energy to my little princess out there as she goes through the hell of boot camp. I'm sure she could use all she could get right now. And maybe a little my way to sale this house so I know I can go to her graduation. Thank you to everyone and I'm sending you all love and light on this glorious day!!!

May your day be filled with smiles and blessings!!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

One of my ornaments

Here are the ornaments that I am working on for this holiday season. Finally got my camera working, amazing how new batteries make something work. lol. 

Click for larger image.

Quick little how to on making these...

Still a few things I have to do to them, but if you decide you want to give them a try this will at least get you to the point I am at right now. 

Things needed:

Snowflake cookie cutter
Polymer clay - pearl (I prefer Cernit, but any brand will work)
Ultra Light Polymer Clay
Pool Blue Acrylic paint (Apple Barrel Brand)
Thin paint brushes
Glitter Speciality Glaze (Making Memories, it's actually meant for                                                                                                                            scrap booking)
Flat back rhinestones or pearls (also usually meant for paper crafts)
Liquid polymer clay or white glue
Usual polymer clay tools: Pasta Machine, acrylic rod, blending tool, etc. 

I used the Ultra Light because of it's weight obviously, I wanted them to be a bit more substantial in width but not have the added weight. 

I worked the Ultra Light with my hands until it was softer and then rolled it out with the acrylic rod to flatten it so it would fit through the pasta machine. 
Then I rolled it through the pasta machine at the thickest setting. 
Using the cookie cutter to cut them out. 
I then baked it following the manufactures instructions. 

I then worked the pearl polymer clay until soft and pliable. 
Rolled that out with the acrylic rod as well to fit the machine. 
I then rolled it at the thickest setting and worked through each setting until it was down to the fifth largest setting. 
Cut out shape using same cookie cutter. 
I found the Ultra Light had shrank just a little enough to be able to use the same size cutter. 
Then I spread a little liquid polymer clay (can use the white glue for this step, it's to help the raw clay stick to the baked UL) on each side of the Ultra Light pre-bake snowflakes.
Using 2 of the pearl snowflakes, I placed one on each side of the Ultra Light snowflakes.
Using the blending tool or your finger blend the seams around the edges of the snowflakes to get the two sides of clay to blend together. Encasing the UL in the pearl clay.

I usually will take cornstarch or Armor All at this point and coat everything and start to work all the blemishes with my fingers. I can feel where any fingernail marks may be or any little bump and pits. The cornstarch or Armor All allows my fingers to slide over the surface easier and helps a little with not adding too many more fingerprints. You want some fingerprints, it's that homemade mark. :)

Then bake at the manufactures suggested temperature for about 20 minutes or so.

**Few notes on baking.... I have an oven that I use specifically for my clay so I tend to just grab the timer on the oven and spin it without looking. It's usually for me about 30 minutes, but it varies. Depends how strong my hand is that day. lol As long as your oven is calibrated properly and the temperature (always use an oven thermometer) is correct I found that it doesn't matter how long just as long it is more than the minimum the manufacture suggests. Some pieces I have done have been in and out of the oven so much that they have baked for hours before I am finished. As long as it doesn't go over your clays temperature it shouldn't burn. (I say shouldn't, but be prepared for something to burn, it happens even to the best of us.) I also put a tent of aluminum foil over everything I bake, not sure what it technically, scientifically does, but it works with even heat so I go with it. 

Turn off oven (mine goes off automatically when the timer goes off) and let cool in the oven. 

When completely cooled I used the paint to paint on the lines. This was completely freeform. Just started in the center and went out to the points. Then just basically doodle away however you want them to look. 
Once the paint has completely dried use the glitter glaze to trace over the lines to give it that little sparkle. I used a thin paint brush for this as well, and yes it will ruin the paint brush, so I made sure to sit down and do the glaze at the same time to only ruin one brush.
This glaze is sticky enough that it held the rhinestones on, but for more security you could wait for the glaze to dry to use a tacky glue to adhere them in the places that you would like them. 

I haven't drilled the holes to hang these yet as I am trying to decide how I want to hang them. Don't really want to go through the front of them and ruin their look, but going side to side might be a bit difficult and make the tips weak, so not sure yet. Also thinking about painting and glazing them on both sides in case they should happen to flip over on the tree, but again not sure so haven't decided. 

Loved how the rhinestone sparkled in this picture.

This was my first tutorial type of thing. Always wanted to do one, now I have. :) Hope it was enough information and not too much either. Enjoy!! 

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask using the comment field below. Any comments are always welcome!!!

May your day be filled with smiles and blessings!!

Still feeling blessed...

I woke up this morning still feeling extremely blessed and honored. First thought in my head was "He talked to me and the universe is an amazing thing." I won't ramble on again how Chuck getting a message to me has completely changed my life and given me such peace, because I could really write a book on it now. But, I do need to ramble on about the universe being an amazing thing and my spiritual path. 

My Christian upbringing has been a big struggle for me on this path and trying to meld it all together in my head. Since this wonderful thing happened to me yesterday, I don't know it's weird, even hard to say exactly what it is, but I do know that the Goddess is real and She knows what is best for me. 

That was something I wasn't too sure about being that a "male deity" was the only thing I have known, it was hard for me to wrap my brain around a female one. But it's like.........She sang out her song to me and I heard her loud and clear. I don't care what "name" she has or from which origin she comes from, all I care is that she is out there and that she cares about me. I want nothing more than to honor her with the blessings she has given me. 

I don't feel the struggle that I felt anymore. I am ready to take it all in and just let it flow. 

I'm not saying that the God isn't important too...maybe to put it like this. He stepped aside so the Goddess could step to me and help me to see. I don't know that this is even making sense. Thought it would be easy to explain but it isn't, really hard actually. lol. 

I'm listening to music as I type as I always do. A friend of mine had exchanged external hard drives and she had a lot of Pagan music on hers and I have really come to love this music. My daughter will come home and find it playing a lot of time and say "Mom, not the Pagan music again." She's 21 and only listens to pop music so she doesn't get it. LOL. Well the first song that came on was one that just said it all for me. The words are not a lot but it is how I feel right now. 

From The Goddess

We all come from the Goddess
and to Her we shall return
Like a drop of rain
Flowing to the ocean
Isis Astarte Diana Hecate
Demeter Kali Inanna
Goddess is alive, music is afoot.

Like a friend said to me "just let it flow into your life" (Thank you Marie, you were right!!). Well it just did. Now I'm not saying that it was completely the reading that did this for me, but it definitely was a big part of it. I think because I opened myself up to the reading, I also opened myself up to the Goddess as well. I was forcing it open in the past and it wouldn't open. Once I stopped and let it open on it's own it flowed in like Niagara Falls. 

Well I won't go on too much more on this. Still have a Christmas tree that needs to be finished and a house to be cleaned. So back to work. 

Many blessings to you all and may your day be filled with smiles. 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I won and I am blown away!

I won!! I posted a question on Intuitive Goddess'  facebook and my name was drawn from her beautiful little pot. I was so giddy I was dancing around the living room. Bear with me I am typing this through tears.

I had never had a reading before but have always wanted one so I took my chance and threw my question into the mix. I have been reading her blog and how this lovely collection of people were going to be doing "Tarot on Tuesday" and though I missed my chance last week I was determined to put my question up this week. So my  question was "Will I be moving home to Arkansas soon?" Of course that's my question, it's my main goal right now.

Well it turns out that the Universe wanted me to hear a different message and one that I wasn't sure if I wanted to hear because I didn't know if I could handle it. Guess the powers that be decided it was time for me to hear it and that I was ready. And I am so grateful for them not listening to me and giving me what I truly needed. 

I was so amazing and profound and literally made me sit here with my mouth wide open and speechless. From the minute I was waiting to hear what they had to say I felt something glowing around me. I felt a peace that can't be described. So here is her reading and then I blog my heart out to all of it.

IntuitiveGoddess Hi Julia,
I begin my reading by meditating/automatic writing & then I throw down the cards.. In fairness to my fellow readers Althea &
Robin - I need to try & keep this short n sweet!
What I heard/saw during meditation may not refer to the question but somehow I think it is important to you...
Tx,Px, Fort Worth - Have you lived in Texas?
Army Brat?, military? a name like Chef? Cef, Cefulo? Could be
a nickname. Charlie... I think it's an expression again maybe connected to military? I'm sorry to ask, but have you lost someone in the military? I need to tell you, Thank You. 
I'm hearing the song - don't laugh folks.. Wedding Bell Blues - yeah it's an oldie - does it mean something? "I love you so, I always will"...
Why am I hearing Arkansas is not "home" - it's a bit confusing. Also in regards to Arkansa - colors like a crayola box, I know...Green Woods & Cherry Lane/lake? Not yet... When the leaves turn. Does someone
have a Large dog? Like a sheepdog maybe? Open roads & fresh air
Now to the cards - I pulled 3... We got 6 of Wands,3 of Swords, Seven of Swords.
6 of Wands - Although not quite there, you are close to acheiving your goal. "Eventually"
3 of Swords - Loneliness, feeling "homesick" -Overwhelmed. You may think that reaching your goal is futile but it's not
7 of Swords - This card confirms to me the sense of being a bit
overwhelmed & tired. I'm hearing you are bound by too many things 
& something needs to be "cleared" before you return to Arkansas.
I'm seeing alot of water around you - do you live by the water now? 
Would you live near a lake, river in Arkansas? 
Bottom line - Alot seems connected to work & a financial situation - does someone owe you something? Be patient. 
No, Not "soon" but in a time when the leaves fall.

.... Texas, had I ever lived there? Yes, I have. Chuck was in the Army and stationed at Fort Hood.

Have I lost anyone in the military? Though Chuck wasn't in the military when he passed, it was just a few short years after getting out that he passed and it was one of his greatest joys. He was always considered a military man even when he wasn't actually "in". 

We also lived up by Fort Worth for a while and that is where we spent our first wedding anniversary at a beautiful hotel there. One of our "couple stories" comes from that hotel. It is one we shared with everyone so I will share it again with all of you. My sister had won these weekend stay at the Worthington Hotel in Fort Worth and she gave it to Chuck and I as a first year anniversary gift. We had a wonderful time. On that Sunday before we left they were having a big continental breakfast that was part of our package deal. It was a full spread, anything and everything you could think of was available. One of the things was caviar. Neither of us had it before so we decided to give it a try. It was ok, not all that thrilling is what I thought. Chuck on the other hand made the most horrible face the minute it hit his tongue and I kind of laughed and looked away for a split second and when I looked back he wasn't chewing and the caviar was gone. I knew he didn't swallow it so where did it go? Now mind you this is a four star hotel and very high class per say. Though I was raised with the "proper way" of doing things Chuck was raised in the Bronx. Though I am not snobbish, at least not too much and definitely not as much as I used to be, I had a good idea of where that caviar had gone and it wasn't good. They had actual linen napkins, not paper, but linen. White linen. I looked at him sideways and asked..."where did it go? please tell me that you didn't just spit that out in a white linen napkin? " "Well I wasn't going to swallow it, that was gross." I just sat there staring at him, shaking my head. Just had to think to myself...I love you but oh my gosh I can't believe you did that. We laughed about it for years and I still laugh now. LOL 

Charlie..... Well we of course called him Chuck, but I would razz him by calling him Charlie because he hated it so much. He would give me that look that I loved so much. That look of "Woman, if you don't stop" and I would just laugh. 

...."Wedding Bell Blues" and "I love you so, and always will...". I am sure this was his way of telling me he loves me and always will. Oh to know that made me just ball my eyes out. He and I were also planning to redo our vows before he passed. I had links and pictures saved on my computer of the dress I had picked out and the invitation and every other little thing we wanted this time around. The first time was in Vegas and though we had family and friends there, it was done quickly because he was going out for a deployment in a month after our wedding and would be gone for six months. So we were going to do this one with all the bells and whistles and everything we wanted. 

.... large dog, like a sheepdog. I instantly knew what this was. Chuck had always said that he didn't look forward to seeing people that had passed when he got to the hereafter as much as he looked forward to seeing our dog Mufasa. Mufasa had a terrible accident with a choke collar and passed away while we were out of town for the Fourth of July and friends were watching him. Chuck never really got over losing Mufasa and missed him terribly. To this day I have Mufasas' toys in a special box. So I know he is with Mufasa now and I am sure he is running and playing with him to his heart content. Mufasa was a wolf with a bit of chow and had a mane that was beautiful. Very fluffy bear that was great to cuddle with. 

.....Arkansas, like crayola box...Green Woods and Cherry Lane/Lake. My little town in Arkansas was Green Forest and one of the main streets there is Cherry Street. There is a little family joke about that street actually. Little embarrassing for my eldest daughter so won't share the details, but definitely a street we would pass and smile because of the joke. Only street there actually that meant something to us like that. I always liked the houses on that street too. It was the street I used often to take a short cut. 

"Open roads and fresh air" most definitely. Something I miss so much about our little town. Open dirt roads that had the most beautiful canopy of trees over them. 

Arkansas is not technically my "home" as I was born in Missouri and raised here in San Diego. We visited my sister there once and fell in love with the place. When we got the chance we moved there. We moved to Virginia for a few years for the military but when that was over we went right back to Akransas because it was home to us. 

As for the card reading it was spot on as well. I'm still in shock and probably will be all day. My grandson keeps looking at me because I keep crying and then stopping and then crying all over again. I think he thinks I lost it. And I have and I am ok with that. 

Something needs to be "cleared" before going home. Most definitely. This house needs to sale before I can go anywhere. I definitely feel overwhelmed as I have a list a mile long of things I want to do to the house so it can sale quicker. Though the list has shortened over the past few months there are still a few more things. I can't afford to go home until this house sales. So a lot of it has to do with financial. Also one of the reasons for going home is money. Lot cheaper to live there than it is here and we are slowly drowning here and my parents have to help me all the time with money and being my the age I am that is really wearing me thin. I appreciate all their help but I can't stand it, drives me nuts. 

I'm extremely tired with everything going on, but I get up and push through it because I just have to, no other choice. I am definitely going to need a vacation when I do get back home.

I'm so giddy right now. I mean yeah I knew there was a hereafter and I knew Chuck was out there watching over me and I knew that someday he would come to me and let me know he was there but I wasn't expecting it today. He always said that he had to go first because he couldn't bare one day without me and I didn't think I could without him either, but for our girls I had to keep going. I always knew he would haunt me, always said he would. I have only had two dreams of him since his passing and each time I would wake up the minute I saw him and then cry my eyes out. The last time just a month or so ago and I remember whispering to him that night to please stay away from my dreams because I couldn't handle it. I couldn't handle seeing his face. So I guess he found a new way to talk to me till I am ready to see him in my dreams again. And I have to say for right now I liked this much better. LOL Though I cried it was joy this time, not pain or heartache, just joy!! 

My heart is at peace and it hasn't felt that way in almost three years.  I swore I wanted to go back to my house, he passed away in that house, in Akransas and rip it to the ground and reclaim my heart and say goodbye to him. But, I don't want to anymore. I don't care about that house, it's just wood and brick and wasn't the reason he passed away. My heart is here inside me not in that house, it was just waiting to feel peace again. And I don't want to say goodbye to Chuck. I just want to say rest peacefully my love and your love will live peacefully and in the end we will be together again, till then I love you with all my heart and soul!!!

I have to thank the Intuitive Goddess for what she has done for me today! You have touched me in more ways than I can ever express. You have blessed me with your amazing gift and I am in awe of your abilities. Again I say you are a blessing to me and will always have a very special place in my heart!!! Not to sound to corny but you are a part of my family now whether you like it or not LOL. You connected me with my love and that will always be cherished. I only hope that you will be greatly blessed even more than you already are!

Ok I have written a book and should get back to work chasing a two year old around until his mommy gets home which I am hoping is really soon. 

I still have a thousand thoughts and feelings run through me right now but I think I need to process it all and just let it be inside me for a little bit. 

Thank you again for the amazing reading!!

May your day be filled with smiles and blessings!!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Today has been a very busy day, but a great day. Took most of the morning to rearrange furniture and clean to get to the point of putting up the tree. 

But it is up and has the lights on it. That is progress because there is so much I put up. LOL I can't find the beads for the tree though so I am at a stand still. So I had to take a moment to share this photo with everyone. 

I took all the lights out and plugged them in to make sure we had full strands and little man had to help and I just loved the way the glow of the lights shined up on him. Like a little angel. 

Little man glowing from the lights.

Then he found the bows and of course grandma had to put one on his head, though he thought it was more fun to flick it off right as I would get the camera ready. Thankfully I got him distracted with the lights again to catch this one. Little blurry but I had to move quick.

My present this year came early. 

Then he and I sat down at the computer and watched some Christmas lights with music on YouTube. It was so cute because he would clap after each one ended. Almost like watching fireworks, we were both ohhing and ahhing. 

Time to get back to work on finding those beads. 

May your day be filled with smiles and blessings!!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Let the season to be jolly begin....

All the tubs are in the house and tomorrow we will begin putting everything up. This is the first time in years that I haven't had everything up by now, but with trying to sale the house and everything else, I was putting it off in hopes that I would be in Arkansas by now. I realized that that wasn't a reason to put it off any longer. Even if it's only up for a couple of weeks I still want to see the look on my grandsons face when he sees the tree all lit up and looking pretty. 

This will be his first Christmas, sort of. He was born December 22nd so the technical first one he was only three days old. Last Christmas he was with his "father". He had taken off with him without my daughters consent, this happened while my daughter was in the military, to Texas so we didn't get to see him for his first birthday or Christmas. It took Tash and my mom going back to Texas in the middle of the night by surprise to get him back and that wasn't able to happen until January because of the military. It was a very rough time for all of us especially for his mom. 

But this year he his home and I want to make it as special as possible. I can't give him much in the line of gifts as money is absolutely horrible for us right now. So the only real plan for a gift I have for him is to make him a blanket. It's not much but knowing how much he loves "blankies I know he will love it all the same. And to be able to see his face come Christmas morning is all that matters to me. So I just have to make it special in different ways. Decorating the house to the tilt. Making Christmas cookies so he can help decorate them. And anything else that I might come up with between now and then. 

Tash was upset that she wouldn't be able to buy him anything for Christmas, but I explained to her that it will be fine and everything will work out. Guess I'm one of those people that knows it will all work out in the end. Is it going to be the best Christmas he could have, well in monetary ways no it won't, but we have to find other ways of making it the best for what we have. There is a special little show that a local casino puts on that is free so I am definitely going to take him to that as well. It's a little ice skating thing about a princess and I think he would enjoy that.

If anyone should have any suggestions to help make this little boys Christmas a special one that doesn't cost any money I would love to hear them. 

I am slowly getting the Christmas excitement. I was a little bummed that I packed all my card making supplies as I really enjoy making Christmas cards for everyone each year. Then I remembered that I had saw someone make postcards out of polymer clay, so that is how I am going to make my cards this year. Hey maybe it will start a new tradition. 

On a more somber note. Today would have been my hubbys 44th birthday. I have to admit I kept it out of my head most of the day. Some times I just have to keep those thoughts on the back burner to make it through a day, especially ones like today. But none the less I just have to take a moment to say Happy Birhtday baby!! I love you and miss you everyday!!

To pose a question to all those out there in the blogger world....

What is something you do for Christmas that doesn't cost a dime that you couldn't imagine not doing? What are some of your "free" traditions? 

May your day be filled with smiles and blessings!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Letting go of worry....and some ramblings.

I'm a worrier! There I admitted it. lol Actually it can be quite horrible at times. I will make a simple mistake at work and I will beat myself up and worry about it for hours. Almost always it is something that no one even notices and I will realize that I worried for nothing. Or I will forget to do something and will worry about it until I rectify the situation. Like when I forget to put the time down for when a delivery was made. (which I can easily rectify by making a time up, only realizing this after this thought popped in my head)

For the last couple of days though and I really don't know why I started doing it, it just jumped into my head the first day and I have been going with it since. When I make a mistake, forget something, or just general worry creeps up the first thing that popped into my head was "What's the worst that could happen from this?" When I think about it for just a split second I realize that the result would be so trivial that it isn't worth the worry. Really nice to think that early on and not hours into worrying. Very liberating! 

I wonder though what made this thought pop in my head? Why now and not in the years past? I truly believe that it is because of the space I am in now. The peace I am finding within myself about the spiritual path I am walking. And just maybe the powers that be are helping me on my path. They are helping me see that there is a life of peace out there for me and I just have to believe. My belief is growing everyday and becoming stronger and stronger as the days go by. Not as many questions and worries about it, they are fading with each day. Thank the powers that be for that! Thank you for the peace!!

Some of you may have noticed and maybe no one has, but it is something that has been wanting to get out of my brain for a while. 
I sign most of my posts or comments with "May your day be filled with many smiles." I'm sure most people understand what I am trying to say and why smiles are so important. But, I wanted to give a little history behind it and why that saying became so important to me. 

In 2002 I had a very bad time in my life and was extremely depressed. Something I don't share with anyone is what took place in that year. I guess to some extent there is some shame attached with it, though thinking about that now makes no sense whatsoever. My late hubby was out to sea and my girls were both teenagers and we all know what that is like. Well one day I woke up and didn't see any reason to keep going. Needless to say I was forced to take a little "vacation". About a weeks worth with someone flashing a flashlight in my face every two hours to make sure I was still there and not doing something that I shouldn't. A weeks worth of someone checking to see how much I ate of my meals. If you haven't figured it out by now... I was in a psychiatric center. It's not a time I look back at too fondly but I have come to accept that it is exactly where I needed to be at the time. And also that I will never go back again. LOL Yes I can laugh a little about it now, NOW! 

As you can very well imagine it was a very dark time for me and while I was there and then the three weeks of partial (go in for the day and allowed to go home at night) following there wasn't a lot of smiles for me. Could have heard the funniest joke ever and I wouldn't have even cracked a smile. 

Well it was about a year after all that took place that I was writing an email to someone and was going to type the typical sign off when this saying popped into my head "May your day be filled with many smiles!". Yes it seems simple to have just one smile and maybe even many of them, but I learned that for some it may not be that easy to smile, including myself. 

Do I have many smiles a day now? You betcha!! I make sure of it. It is one way that helps me to make sure I never go back there again. The food isn't that good and sleeping is almost impossible. LOL One of the ways I make sure to smile is by turning up the stereo and sing along and act as goofy as possible when possible. Yes I am that dorky lady driving down the road singing to my hearts content and dancing while driving. Not only am I enjoying it, but I know how much of a dork I look like when I am doing it that I laugh at myself when the song is over. Maybe I need to go back in for a different reason this time? LOL

Not sure why I needed to share this but I know that I did. Heck maybe it will help someone to find their smiles again even if it is just one. They are will lead to many!! 

So as with every other day I sign off saying...

May your day be filled with many smiles!!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Plans and things going on

Been away the past week or so because I blew out my back last week. It is horrible and miserable and I don't mean the pain (though that is heart stopping right now). It's horrible and miserable because I can't get up and do anything and only one chair in the house is comfortable for me right now. It has given me some time to work on brain stuff. Meaning thinking about the things I want to get done with the holidays coming and just general stuff. I have missed the last three days of work because of it as well. Tashia is also not feeling the greatest. She had a cyst that was getting worse and extremely painful. I thought it was a boil but she finally got into to see the doctor and he had to "take care" of it. Not going to say what he did because it is kind of gross. LOL! She is on the road to feeling better though, at least she can stand upright now.

As you can see by the new button on the side, made by Faerie Sage. I am pledging to go homemade for the holidays. Now this is something that I usually do anyway, but I usually by store bought gifts as well. This year I am going to make all the presents I hand out to be only homemade. I have actually already started on it. One of the gifts that people get from me is one that I mass produce. It is usually an ornament of some sort. This year will be no different. They are snowflake ornament out of polymer clay. I use a cookie cutter to cut out the shape, then bake, then paint on them by hand to add the "zing" to them. They are pearl clay and the painting is being done in a icy blue with glitter glue put over that to give them a sparkle. I will get some pictures of them put up in a few days, my camera is acting up and can't get it to work.

I found some fleece at a fabric store that has characters from the movie "Cars" on it and I'm going to make a blanket out of it for AJ as that is his favorite movie and he loves his blankies.

I will probably make some sort of jewelry for the girls and a special box for it to go into. Will also do the same for my mom. As for my dad and  Jeremy (Beccas' Fiance) I have no idea what to make for them. It's really hard to make homemade gifts for men. If anyone has any ideas what to make for them I am completely open for suggestions.

Love the idea of the pledge of putting homemade gifts on your wish list as well. Really supports other artists out there and it puts money in "peoples" pockets instead of some major corporation some where. Well except Michaels and Hobby Lobby, but they are a different story. LOL So that is something I am going to do as well. I love homemade gifts so it couldn't be more perfect in my eyes.

Making my own Christmas cards is something that I do as well. Not sure if I will this year though because I already packed up all my Scrapbooking supplies, but I do have a file cabinet full of my 8 1/2 by 11 paper still out so might dig into there and see what I can come up with. Thinking I might make those snowflakes as well to go with the ornaments.

Going to start sculpting as well. That is one for fun not for gift giving, though it might turn out to be a gift if it turns out well enough. I looked all over the net for sculpted witches and though I found quite a few, most are of the Crone Witch or they had green faces and warts, which is all well in good. But I couldn't really find any that were of a "normal everyday witch". Of all the blogs that I read most have to do with being a witch and being Pagan/Wiccan. Of all of them I have yet to see one person that is green or has a big wart on their nose. So where is the sculptures of those people? Where are the "normal" witch sculptures at? So I am determined to give a hand at it and see what I can come up with. Now sculpting isn't something I have done a lot of but I have gotten better at it. I also made my own eyes recently and am dying to use them so this will be the perfect thing to use them on.

Thinking of making witches that sit on top of a small jar and label the jar with the names of spices or oils. Something that can actually be used when making food or things for casting spells, whatever it may be. Think it would be so cute to have a row of spice jars that all have a little witch sitting on top of it. What kind of jar would be good for that? Any ideas? I was thinking baby food jars, but I don't have many of them, but for now I guess I just need one. Bet there are better jars out there for it though. Thought about medicine bottles as I have a box full of those, but thinking it would be to top heavy. Guess I could weight it down some how and it would be recycling so that is a major bonus in my book. But could you put spices in something that used to hold medicine? Suppose if it was some what sterilized first it could work. Any ideas on that?

See lots of ideas going through my head.

Looking at the positive side to blowing out my back, gives me time to think and come up with some good ideas for art and crafts.

Well I am going to get off of here and go sit somewhere else. LOL.

May your day be filled with many smiles and blessings!!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Update and ramblings....

Update on the house selling is that the realtor came by the other night with another realtor. She was concerned that she didn't have enough experience to handle a mobile home and to get me home by Christmas. Now I completely accept that that is a fantasy of sort. I know very well that the market is horrible and me selling my house could take quite a bit of time. This was basically her very first house to sale and she was concerned I would be upset with her. I let her know that I was far from being upset about it. She was honest enough to step up and let me know that, besides the fact that her first concern was me selling this place. Like I explained to her that night, all I want to do is go home. So, we have a new realtor at a different company all together and the house is at a lot lower price. Little concerned about the lower price. I knew it would have to go lower to get any traffic on it, but it seemed a little lower than what I was thinking. Doesn't give us much room to play compared to the amount of money I am hoping to drive out of California with to do the things I feel I need to do when I get back to Arkansas. This realtor has a lesser percent they take so that should make up for the lower price. Hey, if it gets this place sold then all the better. 

I am a little perplexed right now. My job is annoying the heck out of me. As I said before they cut my hours and I found the positive of that and was going with it. Yesterday I spent all day at my clay table and got a few things finished. Now I just need to finish the pieces up, putting pendants on cord for necklaces, put resin on misc.  pieces for the finishing glaze, so on and so forth. So I was taking full advantage of this lesser hours and was really enjoying it. It was working to my advantage of spending more time on getting pieces done so I can open an etsy account, or something like etsy. My goal is to have my art become a major part of my life and to be a good portion of my income. Back to the job, last week a girl at work has been sick and I can understand being sick and needing to take time off. But, she doesn't even call in to tell Boss that she sent her son in with a note from a doctor saying she would be out till this last Monday. When I showed up on Monday she wasn't there and Boss didn't bother to call her to see where she was. When 2pm came around and I was clocking out to go home, Boss asked why I wasn't staying. Well he never even mentioned to me staying, just assumed that I would stay. That is one thing that people should know about me, don't assume I will do anything. I don't read minds, it costs extra!!! At first I thought about saying "Ok I will stay.", then I thought you know what I can say no and the world will not end. No isn't a word that comes out of my mouth too often, one of my downfalls. But, Monday was the first step to stopping that. I am going to try my hardest not to do something that I really don't want to do just because I just don't have the umphhhh to say no. He wasn't happy about it by the look on his face, but really I didn't have too much concern about it. Have a little respect for me by just mentioning it to me earlier in the day so I can make arrangements or at least get it in my head that I am staying longer. I don't have to give more respect that I get, do I? Why should I be more considerate than others just because they have done nothing to fix a situation? He has no idea where this other girl is or why she isn't coming into work or at least calling in, so why should I have to be the one to cover his butt because he doesn't want to be mean and call her on her crap. 

So tonight I am sitting there and the phone rings, guess who? It's my boss again and he is asking me to come in at 9am, an hour earlier, so that doesn't bother me to bad and I can hang with that. Then I am sitting here and thinking, that means that girl still isn't back at work and I can only imagine that he hasn't done anything to find out when she is coming back. So everyone else has to come in to cover her because he refuses to do anything about the situation. Just so frustrating!! I am so tired of people thinking I will clean up a mess. The only mess I am going to be cleaning up is my own. That is going to be my resolution for myself this year. Stop cleaning others messes. Stop letting my goals take second place to what others want. Treat myself with more respect and consideration. Be my own best friend. Because I realize that that is the actual problem. Not what others do or say to me, but what I allow. 

There is something that I have somewhat admitted to myself but am now ready to accept it fully. I left Arkansas when my hubby passed away because I was running away from the memories that we had built there. It's a small town and I knew that I wouldn't be able to handle driving down the same roads, shopping at the same places, and eating at the same place that he and I did. So I ran. Some would say that it was understandable and to some extent it is, but Arkansas has been my home for over 10 years total. We moved to Virginia once for job reasons and that fell apart and the first thing I thought was good now I can go home. Now I am ready to go home and I am ready to face his death. Seems strange to say that after almost three years but it's the truth. I have faced it sort of. Sure I pulled myself up and lived a life, but it wasn't my life. It was just going through the motions. Now I am ready to live again and the first step I have to take is to go home. I ran from it and the memories but the only way I am going to move forward is to face those memories and see the Arkansas that I grew to love so much. Yes the memories will always be there, but now I want to see those memories and really mourn them and then come to a point where I can smile when I see those same dirt roads, see that restaurant that we used to always eat at, see the Wally World (only store there lol) that we did our shopping at and the biggest one would be to drive past the house that he died in. 
That is something I am determined to do. See the house where we lived. To see the house that he died in on the living room floor. I want to face it. I want to stand in front of it and claim my heart back. I lost my heart that day in that house and I am ready to go there and get it back. It's still broken but I am going to go get it and hold it tight and love it and heal it. 
And I am going to go stand there in the front yard and say good bye to the man I love so much. I'm going to go home so I can let him go home. I've held on to him so hard and now I am ready to let him go fly free. 

I couldn't handle all that after his death but I am stronger now. I know I can stand on that land and start a new life. To start my life again. I'm ready, I am finally ready!!

I had this feeling today that change is coming and it felt like it was a good change. Not sure what the change is or when it will come but I was watching my daughter put away the groceries and it came over me that a change is coming. 

So I'm ready for a year of changes!! Ready to embrace them all and take them for the positive that the Universe is leading me to.

May your day be filled with many smiles and blessings!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

I heard the crunch today....

I was out on a delivery today at work and I was going back to my car I stepped on a leaf that had fallen. It made that crunch noise and though my mind wasn't on going home to Arkansas and being that it was fall, that crunch floated me away to exactly those things. It's that wonderful sound of fall. The crunching of the leaves beneath your feet. I have never given any thought to that sound before and not sure why I even noticed today, but the instant I heard it I smiled so big and then I saw another leaf a few feet in front of me and I made a point of stepping on that one too. 

While I drove back to the store all these lovely images came into my mind. Mostly of the leaves and the colors of hills in Arkansas this time of year. I remember driving down the main road between the two towns and hunting out the colors of the leaves changing. I would point them out to my hubby..."Oh look there is a tree that is getting an early start on changing their colors." or "Wow look at the red of that tree." It was the same thing every year, but until today I had forgotten the beautiful sight of the leaf colors in fall. Looking back I see that I took it for granted. I noticed them, but never really took it all in. Now that I don't have them to see I really miss it. 

There are a few hills here in San Diego and I was noticing them the other day as well. Most are almost completely dirt with rocks and to some that may be beautiful. I was comparing them the other day to the hills that we had back home. For me there is nothing more beautiful than a hill filled with green trees, so filled that you can't even see the ground. And then the leaves change their colors and the hills almost look like they are on fire with all the reds, oranges, and yellows. Though they are leaves that are dying off they look so alive. Seeing that for me was always a marker that it was time to get ready for fall and then winter shortly behind it. 

I love the different seasons. Don't know why but I do know that life is kind of boring without them. They are like a stepping stone through life. A spot through your life's timeline to show you how far you have come. Here the weather is almost always the same and the days all run into each other. Nothing to separate them. When we were back home life would be broken up into seasons and that was always a marker to show what was to come next. Fall meant kids going back to school, preparing the house for cooler temperatures, preparing the vehicles for the same, holidays are close at hand, etc.. 

Just got up to get me something to drink and it just hit me. 

Here you live by the calendar. What is the date type of thing or there are Halloween or Christmas commercials on again so must be time to get ready for that. When you have seasons you live by nature. The date and time aren't as important. You have nature telling you what to do next in your life. Less complicated I think. Don't have to keep track of things as much because nature is doing that for you. 

Nature is like a personal assistant. 

Leaves are changing...time to prepare for fall and everything that it brings with it.
Leaves are gone...winter is definitely here, prepare for much colder temperatures.
Leaves are coming back and the flowers are in bloom...spring is here, time to put away the winter clothes and clean up the yard and house from winter.
Leaves have filled the trees with green and there are flowers everywhere...time for shorts and trips to the lake. 

Maybe that's why I felt so much peace living there. Life didn't just seem to go on by, I was living it. I was living with nature there, it wasn't something I would have to go visit if I wanted to see it, it was outside my front door and all around me. I also stopped to see the nature there more. You couldn't help it because it was all around you. I would see the simplest little flower and stop to enjoy it. I would hear the creek water and would go find it just so I could watch it flow by. All nature, all the time. What could be more wonderful?

Well the realtor is coming over tonight to go over some stuff so should get ready for that soon. Bringing in the positive thoughts to selling this place quickly so I can go hear more leaves crunch!!!

On a quick note...a friend of mine said to me to not be so hard on myself and just to let it flow into my life. Well today I think I did just that. Thank you hon!! Much love and hugs!!!

May your day be filled with many smiles and blessings~~~

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween!!! 

May you have many blessings on this wonderful day!!!


Sunday, October 24, 2010

It was a no good horrible day...

It wasn't that terrible, but I had that saying stuck in my head and that isn't the whole saying either. From a story or something that Becca used to say. 

I'm sick. I'm sick. I'm sick. And I hate being sick. It has to be the most unproductive thing there is and there is nothing I can't stand more than to be unproductive. Everything I tried to do today just didn't seem to work out. Every clay piece I put in the over ended up burnt and I haven't burnt a piece since I started clay some seven years ago. So frustrating. 

My nose is what is driving me nuts. It itches so bad and nothing I do seems to help. I know it has to be allergies but even benedryl isn't helping. AHHHHHHHHHHHH. That me running around in circles screaming. 

The part that is frustrating me is that my body is in a shut down mode, not physically wanting to do anything, but my brain hasn't shut off once today. So many ideas going through my head on things to do and none of the energy to do them. 

I am also struggling with being a Pagan/Wiccan. So many of those things I grew up with seem to be haunting me of sort. It seems like my upbringing in mainstream Christianity closes my brain whenever I try to think any other way than the way I was taught. The thing of it is that I truly believe that this is the path I am supposed to be on.

It's those recordings that keep playing over and over again and I can't seem to erase them to let the new things in. Like the tape won't let me erase it. How does one go about erasing the tape? Sure many would say that it took 40+ years for those recordings to get in there and it will take some time to get them out. I just don't even know where to begin though. Where is the rewind button? Or maybe I don't rewind at all? Maybe I just start adding new recordings, one at a time and keep going till it will eventually replace an old recording. Maybe I should just begin with how I came to believe that this is the path for me. 

It actually begin with a movie, how corny and unreal does that sound? It's true though. 

It was in the movie "Stigmata" where the priest gets the translation of what she writes on the wall...

Jesus said... the Kingdom of God is inside you, and all around you, not in mansions of wood and stone. Split a piece of wood... and I am there, lift a stone... and you will find me. 

That statement hit me like a ton of bricks. That is where it all started for me. It made me see things differently. How could it be that God only visits churches? As the Bible says, he created the heavens and earths. Not that he created a nice building to the left for us to worship him at. Why would he want us sitting in some building that would obstruct us from seeing all the wonder that he created? That logically just doesn't make sense to me. 

From there the my thinking began to expand more and more. One of my sayings that I have had for a few years now is that "God only wants us to be nice and loving to each other". I don't think it was meant to be some points and balance system. I mean if you think about it, it really comes down to the bottom line. Be kind to each other, follow that and the rest of the rules don't need to be spoken. If you are being kind to someone you're not going to kill them, get my point? 

I did come to realize that I don't believe in organized religion. Man has distorted it so much and twisted it to his own wants that the original message has been lost. Through my searching if there were others that thought the same way I met a few that did think this way. Or at least came close to it.

The first was a wonderful lady I met while living in Virginia Beach. I loved the way she worded things and how she made statements that made it all so simple and not some trumped up way of thinking. It seemed so clear that it was simple. I didn't ask her what "religion" she followed, because that is an uncomfortable thing to ask. Every time I went to her house I always felt at peace. There was just something so welcoming and wonderful about her house that I never wanted to leave. I don't remember how it came up but eventually I found out she was Wiccan/Pagan. That went against everything that I was taught. "They" were supposed to be devil worshipers and a sleuth of other horrible things that I had ground into my head. How could I feel so connected and so at home in her house if that is what she was about? 

Needless to say I opened my mind a little and read here and there about her religion. I am always one to try to get as many facts about something before I place my opinion on it. Well besides the horrible recordings that go on in my head. I remember watching a show about a family that lived Pagan and how they seemed "normal" and wasn't all weird. Ok, so two examples of how this isn't as bad as everyone made it out to be. 

Then when I moved to California I met a now very dear friend and we talked about our beliefs and our raising. We both were raised in the same private schools and had many times in growing up that our paths should have crossed and didn't. I dated a guy her best friend dated in high school. I went to church with her ex-husband. The list keeps going on and on. As we talked we found that we shared a lot of the same beliefs. Then I found out she was Pagan.  Ok, what the heck? Why do I always seem to find someone I share the same beliefs with and they are Pagan? As my dear friend said to me one day "Julia, you are more Pagan than you think."  And that is when I really started to take to heart that this just might be the path I am supposed to be on. Heck I'm already on it, just have to start acting on it. 

Each of these times I would get close to taking the first step to walking this path but the horrible recordings would come in and it would be destroyed and I would run away from it. Like I would burn in hell if I even ventured down the road even a little. And on the subject of hell. Do I think there is some little devil out there that tries to get me to do the bad things in life. NO!! I think as humans we either make the choice to do the right thing or the wrong thing, we can't blame every wrong thing we do on some other entity out there. It's basically a way of not claiming it as our own mistake. Problem with society today to begin with. Well I was distressed and that's why I killed my spouse. Yeah that's it. Blame someone or something else. That always seems to work in making yourself a better person. NOT!!

I just had an epiphany. Why am I able to think this way so clearly to myself but I can't seem to get my heart to follow? Every time my heart starts down the path to believing, my head jumps in with those recordings and it holds me back. I'm holding myself back. Claim it for what it is, right? Why am I holding myself back though? Why am I stopping myself? 

I see it as this world out there that is full of peace and tranquillity. (Not that I think it will solve all my problems, far from it) It's like home is out there and the door is wide open, but I can't seem to step through the door. Is it going to take something coming up behind me and kicking me through the door? 

How do I take the first step? 
How do I step through the door?
How do I take the leap of faith? 

There is a blog entry that I would love to read from someone out there that tells how they took that first step. I feel like it is all inside of me dying to get out, if I could just know how to take the first step. At least I would then have a place to begin because right now I don't have a clue where to begin. How do I start living this life not just reading about it? 

Well I am going to get myself to bed have to start my new *lesser* hours at work tomorrow. 

May your day be filled with many smiles.