Monday, June 30, 2008

today & tomorrow

my Trader Joe's Peonies
Today I...
  • walked over 2 miles with Cary after his run and made it to a gym class!
  • didn't do any art yet today.
  • sent my younger sister off to Europe...I am so jealous. She's going to Italy and Ireland with friends.
  • took a long route home from the gym tonight and took photos of this beautiful evening view...

    Conomo Point, Essex, MA

  • recovered from killing another giant evil spider yesterday. Alone. Without help from Cary. Where are they coming from! Yikes.
  • played with Cary's "pretend" dog. The one I posted about a month or so ago. It follows him on his walks and then plays catch in our yard. It was almost like having a real dog for a few hours!

  • grilled some veggies and hot dogs for dinner. An encore of the steak tips and grilled veggies we had last night. But hey, can't afford steak every night!
  • looked a little at my new magazine which I highly recommend...such inspiration just looking at these artist's spaces...

  • picture from

  • am looking forward to my cookie dough ice cream cone I'm going to make next!
  • am really tired but loving being on vacation. Trying hard to not let myself get too caught up in chores. A struggle. I have trouble relaxing with junk around. (Its the OCD, Virgo in me)

Tomorrow I....

  • hope to do some art!
  • want to go out on a schooner in the harbor...
  • want to sit outside and read.

We'll see what else tomorrow brings!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

busy days

yellow rose in the Boston Commons

This weekend has been very full!

Friday...walked with Cary and then went downtown to the St.Peter's Fiesta. An annual event that I don't usually go to except to see the greasy pole! A "contest" where guys walk out on literally a greasy pole (a telephone pole covered in grease) that is suspended over the harbor. The goal is to capture the flag on the end. Weird I know. But so funny to watch. They take it VERY seriously in this town! But...first we had a delicious dinner of grilled swordfish, scallops wrapped in bacon and a Corona...hmm. It is so good to live in a fishing town sometimes. Fresh fish. After we walked down to watch the greasy pole contest but it started to look like it was going to be a bad thunderstorm so we left...just in time. I was disappointed not to see it. And we didn't get to take the little boat out to the Navy Ship the Whidbey Island docked in the harbor this weekend. Oh well. Instead we went to the movies and so Wall-E (very good) and The Happening (sucked).

USS Whidbey Island out in the Gloucester Harbor

St. Peter's Fiesta altar with no one there! Right before the thunderstorm

Yesterday. Cary was scheduled to take the MA Civil Service -Police Officer exam so I drove him in to Boston. At 7am after getting very little sleep. While he was in the test I took the T down to the commons and walked around, took pictures, had a lemonade and read my book at a Starbucks. I also went to Paper favorite! I got this stamp I've been wanting to order and a cute little kit to make an address book. I'll take a pict of that when I make it.

Walking beside the Boston Commons

statue of Washington

The Boston Commons

After the test I took Cary out to eat at Buguboo Creek and then I was off to the New England Revs Soccer game with my brother. He has season tix with my Dad. Dad was at a wedding with my mother so I took his ticket. It was fun but freezing! The Revs won 2-1 over Toronto.

The Revs & Toronto

Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA

I crashed when I got home at 11:00am. However I must say the highlight of the day was around 6:15am. I got out of the shower. Looked to my left and there on the hamper...a GIANT spider. I'm talking HUGE. We get wolf spiders,etc here in the woods and I hate them! I yelled for Cary. My hero. The soldier. He killed it mercilessly with a broom. Yeah! He sure is handy to have around. In the past it took me 1/2 an hour (no lie) to get up the nerve to kill one!

-----no photo of the spider neccesary!----- for a somewhat busy day. Going to the grocery store, maybe Trader Joe's and Barnes & Noble. Cary's at work til 5pm. Then maybe some fireworks tonight downtown. They have them the Sunday of Fiesta. We'll's looking a little overcast again...

Thursday, June 26, 2008

windows & doors

Windows. Kind of a random theme for a mosaic but I've always loved images of windows, doors, doorways. So much symbolism. I feel that these images fit me and where I'm at today. School is done for me. I can start working on my state licensure hours. A long process as was school. I have put this off for 6 years out of frustration and resentment of how difficult the state has made it. But now it's behind me (at least for now) and I can hopefully have more doors (and maybe windows!) open for me. Today has also been another extremely emotionally draining day at work. Clinically. Some days I just feel like I can' t do it. Such sad situations and sad stories. People struggling to live and just be at peace with themselves in this world. It is hard stuff and somedays it is too much to take in. Today was one of those days. I am grateful that overall I am happy with myself and my life. That is not a small thing to have.

I am also grateful to have these days ahead to refocus and relax and focus on my family and fun stuff. Begining tomorrow! Cary's aunt and uncle were visiting Northern Maine while he was up at guard last week and tomorrow they will be driving through Mass. on their way back home to Alabama. So...I might get to meet them which I'm excited about. He was happy to see them as he rarely gets too. So that will start off my vacation...

BTW...thanks for the book recommendations! Hopefully one of my stops in the next few days will be to Barnes & Noble. I think I might check out the Memory Keeper's Daughter as was recommended. Thanks!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


My favorite view in the world...the river.

Today has been an emotionally draining day at work. I'm tired out. A frozen enchilada from Trader Joe's is in the oven and microwaved spanish rice. Not great but I'm starving. I could fall asleep right now and probably will after I eat. It's amazing how much emotion can drain your energy. I forced myself to go to the gym after work and it felt good. Walked 2 miles on the treadmill and went to my muscle conditioning class. It is so nice to be back to somewhat of a normal gym routine.

As of tomorrow night at 9:30 I will be...

(a) done with school forever - I hope ;) and...

(b) ON VACATION! Yeah!

I'm not going away anywhere special and Cary will be working nights still but I'm looking forward to the time off to relax. But it is harder to relax when you are least for me. There is always some chore to be done or something to clean up, organize, etc. I need to make sure I do that kind of stuff (maybe) the first day of my break and then RELAX!

By the way...if you all have a minute would you mind commenting on my blog with some of your current favorite reads?? I need some beach books for my vacation and am looking for recommendations! Thanks! to eat my dinner and hopefully check out some of my favorite blogs! Have a nice night...

Monday, June 23, 2008

layouts and a card

Not much to say today except Cary is home safe! Yeah! I had to go into work at the college this a.m. and then did a few errands before Cary got home...but now he's off to work ("two ships passing in the night" I tell you) and I'm relaxing for a bit before getting back to work and class tomorrow. Today the weather has been rainy, thunderstorms, sunny, thunderstorms. Back and forth. So I didn't get my walk in today which makes me feel kind of lazy. Oh well. Tomorrow is work and then class. Only 2...more...classes...ever....WOOHOO! And only three more work days and I'm on vacation for a week and a half! Nowhere to go and Cary will be working but I will be at the beach as much as possible! are a few cards and layouts I worked on this weekend...

A card for my cousin who is getting married this weekend. I was "commissioned" by my parents to make it! Had fun with the silk flowers and their leaves. I deconstructed a bunch awhile ago and I use the peices on cards. Attached with a Making Memories round clear crystal brad and accented with stickles on the leaves and flower.

Journaling: "Sometimes we just need to be amazed by the small things." - Angela Pacheco. I accented the title/journaling with a few dots of green stickles and did an outline with a white pen...otherwise let the flowers stand alone. I loved how the print of the iris came out. Printed by

Page 1 of a 2 page layout: "Baseball" Used all different accents..some Red Sox stickers, American Crafts letters, etc.

Page 2 of the 2 page layout .

Thanks for looking! Off to check out my favorite blogs and eat a brownie (which will go right to my %$$ since I didn't exercise today...and won't have time tomorrow...bring it on!)

Sunday, June 22, 2008


Wingaersheek Beach - Gloucester, MA

Yesterday was a pretty ok day. I went to the beach with my mom in the a.m and it was a nice beach day. Sunny and warm and cool when the clouds covered the sun. I hate sitting at the beach sweating to death. Later...I went to the orchard a few towns over and bought some fresh strawberries that are so much better than the ones in the grocery store. I usually go there in the fall for apples but these strawberries are going to be on my list now until they are out of season! Also found some lavender that smells beautiful. That smell comforts me - reminds me of my Grammy.

It is a very long story..but my mom recieved a box of photos from my Nana's house (her mother) who passed away last year. She even got back her wedding dress which I have NEVER seen! I was so happy that she has it now. My dream was to incorporate a peice of it someday into my own wedding dress. My nana sewed it for her and it is simple and beautiful.I am so excited about some of the pictures. Many are so neat...of my mom when she was a baby and on into high school. There are also some really nice photos of her and my dad when they were first married. My favorites are a photos of me and my mom and dad when I was first born. They looks so young! I had never seen photos like this before and I just love them. I'm definately having some copies made. And I love that we still have the rocking chair my dad was sitting in and that I recognize the porch and some of the other little details in the picture. Here are just two of my favorites...

I also loved seeing photos of my parent's house when it was first built over 30 years ago. Seeing how many things are still the same was somehow comforting. There are so many memories here. I live in the garage apartment currently so I can still be present with those memories. It is nice but soon it will be time to move on - Cary and I. But...I can always come back here and just be. It is the one place in the world that I feel really centered. I hope that Cary and I can build that in a home someday for our future children.
We are now on our way to the movies (as a family) - yes...we still do that sometimes since we enjoy each other's company! And AC Moore so my mom can get some photo boxes. I'm hoping to do a few layouts later. I did one on Friday that I'll photograph later.
And tomorrow...(or maybe tonight)...Cary comes home!

Thanks for reading - Happy Sunday!

Friday, June 20, 2008


Happy First Official Day of Summer and everything that goes along with it!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

thoughts and a thank you

A few random thoughts tonight...

I just got some photos in the mail I developed and I am SO excited to scrap them...the baseball game, my month in review photos for May, my 1st beach day, spring flowers, the graduation,...I can't wait to get started. When I got home from class just now, I flipped through them all again and sorted them into the page protectors in the albums they will go in. That is how I usually organize photos I know I want to scrap. I slip them into the protector for the page they will go on...

One photo I developed was of the Iris at the top of this post. I got one copy of it in 6x6 and I am so proud of it...I love it!

I am excited for Cary to come home. I miss him when he's gone but this absence has been easier than our previous separations because I know he's coming home and home is with me. I love that. It comforts me to know that wherever we end up in this world our home will be the same.

Driving home from school I was thinking about how I've been putting my creativity and my art more at the top of my list in my life. Keeping it a priority this year. I have been so stressed this year with school, two jobs (one being high stress-one being brand new), Cary moving here (a good stress-but an adjustment for both of us) art has saved me. I talk about Art Therapy every day and help others use it to better their lives but I didn't make my art a priority in my own life and that was a mistake. It is something for me to look forward to each day. Even if I don't make art that day...I'm planning, thinking about what I'll do next. Getting my thoughts out...which brings me to my last thought of the day...

Blogging. I have really enjoyed this outlet. I try to be positive in what I put out there in my blog and its something I struggle with at the end of the day in my life. Being positive. Sometimes I feel grouchy and tired and stressed. But blogging has helped me to reframe my day into a positive and it really helps change my perspective...a lot like a gratitude journal in a way. I have also enjoyed getting to know others through this outlet that share my same interests in scrapping, cardmaking, art and life in general. Feeling connected to old friendships. Making new connections.These have been difficult things for me lately. Finding people I can relate to in regards to these very important parts of my life. I truly appreciate each and every comment and I find such enjoyment in reading about others' lives and seeing what they create. Thank you!

That's enough for today now that I've put everyone who has read this far asleep! Including myself! Good night...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

red and other things

Head Sox - Boston Red Sox fan limited edition print, 2. Uk desi bride, 3. The Red Hiney, Presenting, 4. The little red barn, 5. Red One, 6. Beyond the Red Door, 7. My red passion again - La mia passione ROSSA, 8. Mexico's wonderful color and dance rhythm, 9. Yes! Strawberry is the Princess of the spring fruits!

Red has been inspiring me lately. It is never a color I choose first for most things. But I've been really liking it lately. Maybe it's because of the strawberries I've been eating every day for months! Or the fact that I grew up in a house where my mom had a red kitchen sink. She still has it. It's gorgeous. It makes me think I should photograph it someday because it is so unique and has always been there and a source of pride for my mom who loves to cook. Red is one of her colors.


The art therapy project was awesome! It was so much fun (a lot of work) but SO fun! I think everyone is really proud of their work so far and it involved lots of problem solving and required persistance and patience. They were determined to finish them and stayed late to do it! It felt so good and energizing to run the group brought me back to remembering why I do what I do.

Tonight I get to take a break. Supper is in the oven. I just went to the gym and I feel good. I'm looking forward to reading some of my book and maybe just watching TV which I haven't really done lately. Hope everyone has a nice night!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

an idea

Just wanted to quickly share something before I go to class (2 more weeks - Yeah!). Reading Ali's blog today I was inspired by a woman's blog she linked - Erin Zamrzla. Using recycled paper, she makes little books and things. I decided that this was something I wanted to try with my Art Therapy group tomorrow at work. I've been struggling with new topics and ideas that will help them focus on thier goals and issues in a new and interesting way. So I did a sample today so they could get the idea and gathered up some index cards, envelopes, cardboard, manila file folders, string, hole punches, get the idea. I hope that in the coming weeks the group can work on some art therapy group topics in their little books...(i.e. we've focused on coping skills, goals, successes, stressors, etc.). Usually we just work on these topics in drawings or collages but this way they'll have a place to "hold" all of these group experiences. We'll see how it's pretty plain right now but maybe I'll show mine when things get added to it.

Monday, June 16, 2008

living in the past *2006*

I don't usually like to live in the past. But today I did. In 2006 to be exact. I've been working on an album of that year every since! At the time I bought this cute metal tin lunchbox album from Basic Grey. I decided I wanted to document a little about each month that year. It was a big year for me. Lots of goal's achieved and begun. New adventures. I went outside of my comfort zone and it brought me good things. Really good things. I started exercising. I took my board certification test. I met Cary. I celebrated my Dad's 60th birthday. Maddy (my dog at the time) had a major surgury. I learned how to knit from mom. Enjoyed many simple memories with people I care about. I sold my cards at a fair. Maddy died later that summer. It was full of ups and downs but it stands out in my mind as a year of beginings and moments that changed me. Anywhow...I worked on a few pages of that *still* unfinished album!

This first page is my favorite of the three...I apologize, I'm never good at noting which products I use since I just grab whatever appeals to me from my stuff! This one has rub-ons, letter stickers and my handy date stamp.

The next two layouts were of Halloween 2006. I don't usually by holiday or themed stuff. I tend to buy all purpose papers and embellishments. That's a disadvantage when I go to make something and want cute holiday stuff. So I improvised and tried to be creative. I also tried to use stuff from my stash that hasn't seen the light of day since well before 2006! Buttons, tag, paper,...this was a fun memory to look back on. It isn't a holiday I usually celebrate a whole lot but it's Cary's favorite and since it was the first we had together it was so fun! I felt like a kid which is something he brings out and is one of the many reasons why I love him.

This was of a funny little gingerbread house we made for Halloween. It was SO much fun to make and it was fun doing the layout...

Thanks for checking out my layouts! Back to reality and the present for now...ironing clothes for work tomorrow (BOO!), heating up supper, etc. Have to remember not to eat after 7pm because I have my annual blood test in the a.m. I hate that. Normally I wouldn't want food at that time...but because I can't....

Also...7 more days til Cary comes home...YEAH!

ribbon storage video

I just found a great video on youtube about storing ribbon by spazzgirl. She has a tip for storing long scraps by making a holder out of a binder ring from the office store and safety pins! An idea I can do in 5 minutes. Love it! I actually came across this girl's vidoes because one of her videos is on the Making Memories site today with a cool tutorial on making Party Lite Cubes.

Here's the Ribbon storage video:

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day

This is one of my favorite pictures of my dad. Taking a boat ride on the river. The same one he's been taking boat rides on his entire life. Today I want to thank him for always being there. Quietly. Patiently. Always supporting me and encouraging me to do my best. Wanting nothing but happiness for me, my brother, sister and mother. He has taught me everything... how to draw perpective, how to put oil in my car, change a tire, and how to appreciate your surroundings. When I put these thoughts into words they really don't exactly explain what I want to say about my dad. He is truly one of my favorite people.

Today I have been working on my mini album "Understanding the Joy of Life" of which this photo of my dad will be one page. I have been scanning and printing photos from different parts of my life and from different years that in some way encompass this idea. It is coming along slowly and simply but I am having fun. I added more pages and transparencies yesterday to allow me to add more photos. It has grown and is now almost 2 inches thick! Here are a few pages...the first pages I worked on I posted on my blog a few months ago. Here are some new pages I finished today...thanks for looking!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

flag day

Not the best pictures but I got to plant some flowers today outside of my apartment...
...inpatients, a hosta, some pots of flowers...

My window box with sweet potato vines...

...more sweet potato vines in bright green, more inpatients, ....

I have a lot of shade. The whole yard does actually so I don't have a lot of options. These pictures really are terrible and it looks much prettier in person. I think I'll try for some more tomorrow. I love planting every year!

Today I also...
  • Mowed the GIANT yard for my dad. He has always done it...for 30 years. So I think it was a little wierd for him to watch me do it. It is quite a job...over 2 hours!
  • Took 2 showers because I was so covered with pollen after mowing I couldn't stand it! I am looking forward to the rain this week...there is a fine yellow dust on EVERYTHING inside and out!
  • Went to Trader Joe's. Got a huge, beautiful bunch of flowers they called a "Van Gogh" arrangement...sunflowers, greenery with hints of purple. Again the light wasn't good so the photos weren't coming out good. I'll try again tomorrow. They make me happy.
  • bought and planted flowers and a few perrenials.
  •! My worst chore.
  • Recovered from the Relay-for-Life last night. It was fun and our city raised a lot of money! I'll end with a photo of some of the luminarias lit on the high school bleachers to form the word HOPE. It was an emotional scene highlighted by a bagpipe player playing Amazing Grace...

Friday, June 13, 2008


My dad got through the hand surgury ok. Not feeling too great because of the anesthesia and pain meds etc. But the first part is done. He has these huge, square foam contraption to keep his right hand elevated higher than his heart. It's sucky seeing him not feel well and need help with little things. He's having trouble with that I think. But he's doing good! Thanks for the prayers.

Tonight I am going to the Relay-for-Life for a bit. Some friends from high school have a team. I didn't officially join the team but will walk for a bit in support. Today was spent doing errands for my parents, bank, groceries, etc. The weather here is beautiful. I also stopped at my LSS to buy some Hambly overlays and more chipboard pages for a book I've been working on for awhile. Tomorrow I'll try and post some pictures of another mini-book I started last week. I hope to work on both some tomorrow. I also need to get some photos developed online.

Hopefully I'll have a more interesting update to post tomorrow! Happy Friday!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


We had a lot of fun at the game last night. My brother, sister and I went. It was SO hot until the sun went down. The Red Sox lost but we didn't mind. I hadn't been to a game since 1996 when I was at college in that was for my brother's birthday. So we had fun going back. I should have taken better advantage of that neighborhood when I was in school. I only went to that one baseball game with my family. But I did like going to Cask-n-Flagon next to the park my senior year!

Tomorrow is my dad's surgury on the bones in his right hand. I'm so nervous. Mostly because of the anesthesia (he's never had it) and I think just seeing him not be able to do anything for a bit. He's the hardest working person I know (along with my mom) and has trouble just sitting. We are all a little on edge about the whole thing for many reasons. But I'm sure all will go well.

Tonight I'm waiting for someone in my research group email me the rest of her work on our paper that's do tomorrow. I volunteered to collect all the sections of the paper and format them into the final paper. Bad idea. Now I'm going to have to try and fit it in tomorrow after I'm with my dad before class. Grrrr. I hate when people procastinate and it impacts your work. But in the grand scheme it isn't a big deal. I did more than my share of the work.

Off to read a few blogs, wait for the email from my classmate and try and relax for a bit! Also just got done enjoying some delicious ice cream cake I got for my mom's birthday (which is today)! It was only a little bit selfish in the gift department ;)
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Monday, June 9, 2008

love layout

Here's a layout I worked on today. I lifted a layout done by Jamie Waters in the March 07 - CK. I used a photo I developed through with one of thier frames. I used ribbon, strips of paper, brads, an index card divider that I drew lines on for journaling. Now I just need to journal. I know what I want to say but it's just too darn hot today! I'm melting here in Massachusetts and it isn't even summer yet! I really can't complain though, I love this weather. And...tomorrow I am going to the Red Sox game with my brother and sister courtesy of my uncle in Delaware who had three tix. I haven't been to a game since I was in college around '96. Yeah!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

summer day in spring

Some more photos of my beach day yesterday. Today I worked on a few projects, read outside on a blanket in the shade, organized, clipped ideas for my inspiration binder, learned how to use the gas grill and grilled a peice of honey dijon chicken, ate a lime popscicle, welcomed my parents and brother home from a short was a good day. Tomorrow I'll post some of my projects...

Saturday, June 7, 2008

beach day

Early morning at the beach. I had a wonderful "first day at the beach" for the summer. The tide was low in this picture and it was coming in so the beach was very full well I left. Lots of tourists enjoying "my" beach. I've been going there since I was a kid. In the boat and by car. I'm so lucky to have this beautiful place only 10 minutes from the house where I grew up. I'll post some more pictures of the beach tomorrow. As long as I've been going there, this was really the first time I took photos of it. I'm loving getting in this habit of focusing on places, people and things I see and love and documenting them.

Tonight, after picking up my sister at work we got an ice cream and walked on the Boulevard. It was a perfect temperature down there. And now, as I sit and type on my computer with all my windows open I wish I could describe the sweet, clean scent of summer and the slight breeze I feel. That is something I wish I could bottle up and save!
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Friday, June 6, 2008


My scrap stash. I've been really trying to use pieces from this and be creative in cards lately...instead of cutting up new sheets of paper. Just looking into the box...colors, patterns, shapes inspires me some days. I needed a little extra creative boost because I wasn't really feeling it earlier. But I did manage to make the two cards I set out to...

For my supervisor's birthday...and...

For my mom...its funny...thier birthdays are the same day. June 11th!

I've managed to get a lot done today...
  • Muscle conditioning class at the gym at 9am. I am still aching from the class on wednesday. Now I hurt even more! I really need to get back on track. I am kicking my own #%@!
  • Grocery shopping. Managed to get a few things I needed...not a major shopping trip. I stocked up on some fruit (strawberries, blueberries and grapes) and veggies...along with a few treats. Newman's lemonade, Tostitos chips w/lime..hmmm...with Newman's hot salsa. My favorite! I really have liked every Paul Newman's product I've tried. I highly recommend them all...especially the steak sauce. I'm having that later with my dinner.
  • Cleaned the apartment...floors, shower, dishes, etc.
  • Washing the chair slipcover, 2 throw rugs and seeing if I can wash one of my larger rugs. If not I'll toss it. I've had it for years and it is a little worn out. I've been meaning to do these chores for months.
  • Made the 2 cards
  • Sat at the coffee place after the gym and worked on the research proposal, etc for class. to drive my sister to meet her friends. Then cooking my supper and watching a movie. I rented P.S. I Love You. A true chic flick while Cary is away. Also rented a disc of Arrested Development Season 3. I LOVE that show! It makes me laugh out loud which I have heard I might need after watching P.S. I Love You. Why am I watching something that will make me cry when I'm home alone?




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