Monday, March 31, 2008

What a WONDERFUL Weekend!

I took this WHOLE weekend to myself to just be creative and have fun! I even started my weekend early - on Friday with a shopping trip and an evening of quilting with my friend Rooster. I really miss hanging out with her, she used to be my neighbor. So, we ordered in pizza from my favorite place (Streets of New York) quilted and gabbed until after midnight. The pizza and the gabbing kept us from finishing the quilt but we got a great start on it!

Saturday I made another trip to Joann’s for thread I forgot to get on Friday, and while I was there I got even more fun fabric. When I am in the sewing mode fabric is like paper to me. I just can’t get enough! I just love mixing and matching colors and textures. When I got home I sat down at my sewing machine and my cutting table and just played. It was so fun! I made myself a couple of shopping bags, and I think they are really pretty. As usual I started altering the pattern and adding new things to it and making it my own. No more ugly and ecologically unfriendly shopping bags for me!

Sunday was another fun and creatively rewarding day for me. It started off with yet another shopping trip to Joann’s. I met Bryanna and the baby up there (both of us armed with our new and fashionable shopping bags) to get fabric for an apron she wants me to make for her Mother-in-law. While we were there we got more fabric for a couple more bags for Bryanna (we do a lot of shopping). We got several comments from the clerks on our bags. Afterward us girls went out for lunch. Vittoria is so cute - she can sit up alone in the highchair and even ate a little mashed taters and tried some chicken off of our plates. They sure do grow up fast! Did I mention that she has 2 teeth now?
Once I got home I cleaned up - okay not cleaned up, but shoved to the side my sewing stuff and got started on my “I Saw God” book. I even got it finished! It is very simple but I am very pleased with it. It is now sitting on my bookcase in my studio where I can see it. The way I put it together I can actually open it to a single page and stand it up so that I can be reminded of the way I saw God on that particular day. If you would like to see the whole book and all of it’s pages click here.

Well, like I said I had a wonderful weekend and totally enjoyed getting to just play and create. I hope you all had a wonderful weekend as well!

Quote of the Day:
The creative mind plays with the objects it loves........C.G. Jung

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Opps. . .

I forgot to post my last "I saw God" photo. Thank you Penny for reminding me of that tonight! So here it is. . .

Sunday's I saw God Photo . . .

Obviously I did not take this photo myself, but it is still my "I saw God" photo. Sunday my cousin Todd was looking at my camera, he had never seen a digital SLR before. I told him to go ahead and shoot some pictures. Then I thought - this is the perfect time to get a picture of Vittoria and I together! When I saw the photo I couldn't help but think back to last Easter - before she was born and the little pink Bible I gave Bryanna for her. Inside the front cover I wrote this scripture " For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made" Psalm 139: 13 & 14. Now, one year later I have the privilege to hold in my arms one of Gods masterpieces. How can anyone NOT see God when you look at Vittoria?

Where did the time go???

Can you believe it is already Thursday? I haven’t been here since Saturday - shame on me! But like they say. . . Life Happens!

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter Sunday. It was a beautiful day here - lots of sun, family, kids and food! It was such a fun day that I almost didn’t pick up my camera. But I finally remembered and got some pictures. Not very good ones, but I got them. We had about 13 kids here - thank God for a big backyard, we needed the space for the Easter Egg Hunt, egg toss and relay races. Bryanna went all out for the egg hunt - she must have filled 100+ eggs! As usual the grown-ups all sat around visiting and eating while the kids played. I didn’t sit much but I did manage to eat and visit. It was the first day I really ate since being sick. It felt good to have a full tummy.

Monday was a catch-up day for me. You know, getting things straightened up and errands ran (I missed a lot of this last week being sick). It was so sunny and wonderful out all day I just loved running around.

Tuesday was also a fun day for me. I made my first quilt top Tuesday. I am just thrilled with it too! A few months ago I found some monkey fabric and I bought some thinking I could make something for the baby (for those of you that don’t know it, I call the baby Monkey and I collect monkey’s for her). So, Monday while I was out I bought some more fabric so I could turn the monkey fabric into a quilt and I got out the graph paper and designed what I wanted it to look like. I put Vittoria in her little play chair on Tuesday and had her “help” while I cut out all of the pieces and started sewing the blocks, really all she did was laugh and play with the scrap pieces. But I wanted her to be a part of the whole thing. I am going to my friend Rooster’s house tomorrow and she is going to teach me how to actually quilt it. I hope Monkey will enjoy her quilt for many years.

Today I spent with my sewing machine (and Monkey) again. Bryanna is trying to go “green” as much as possible and wanted some shopping bags. I got just one done for her today but maybe this weekend I will get another one done. It has been a long time since I have sewn, I used to do it all the time. But lately it seems I have been sewing a lot. I have been making lots of cute little retro aprons, now the quilt and the bag and I have several sun hats sitting here waiting to be made for the baby.

Well that just about catches you up on what’s going on in my world. I hope life is treating you all well and that you are doing something that brings you joy and creates some memories!
Talk to you soon,

Quote of the Day:
Creativity comes from trust. Trust your instincts. And never hope more than you work. --Rita Mae Brown

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Saturday!

Hello friends - it is late and I am sure it will no longer be Saturday when you all see this, but I wanted to be sure to pop in and post my daily "I saw God Photo". Our week long challenge is coming to close tomorrow - were any of you able to participate all week?
This has been one of the few days in recent times that my camera has not been in my hands once all day. Instead I was actually in front of the camera today - this is almost unheard of! So my photo today will be the work of another photographer.

My Mother-in-law wanted a group photo of the WHOLE family this year for her birthday and asked me a couple of months ago if I would take it. She also wanted individual family photos. I would have been happy to do this for her but I hate running into a photo with the timer going. Instead I told her I would arrange to get the whole family together at a studio to get this done. So after lots of planning and getting 26 schedules in sync I got us an appointment for today. This is no small feat I might add!

Saturday’s I Saw God Photo

So here is the whole lot of us. . . Where is God you ask? His fingerprints are everywhere in this photo. They are on the hearts and personalities of each person here. They are on the face of my Mother-in-law when you see the joy she has in having all of us together. The sheer fact that everyone showed up on time, smiled and cooperated is proof that God was here today!

This is my family’s portrait - This is the second professional photo I have gotten of us in the past 3 months. It is funny because I have been begging for a family portrait to hang on our wall for years. Until 3 months ago there has never been a family portrait with Lizzy in it - the last family portrait was taken when Bryanna was 2 years old!

Well, like I said, it’s late and tomorrow is another big day around here. I hope you all get to spend a beautiful sunny Easter Day with your family and loved ones.

Quote of the Day:
Creativity is a celebration of one’s grandeur, one’s sense of making anything possible.

--Joseph Zinker

Friday, March 21, 2008

Happy Good Friday!!!

Can you believe Easter is almost here? It seems like just yesterday it was Christmas! Do you all have BIG plans for the weekend? We will be celebrating here at our new home with all of the family. There should be about 30+ of us here on Sunday. I am taking the easy way out this year and having everyone bring a dish. I am cooking a ham and Gary is smoking a turkey and we are providing drinks. Oh and how could I forget, Lizzy is making her famous cupcakes! Bryanna is heading up the Easter Egg Hunt for the kids AND the adults! It is always fun to watch the kids run around hunting the eggs. It should be fun to see how well the adults do after the kids have hidden the eggs for us! Bryanna has a few of the adult eggs filled with lotto tickets! It should be a fun and relaxing day.

After being sick this week I decided to give myself a treat. I had a 50% off coupon for Michael’s and I went up there and bought myself a tote. I am really not a tote type of gal but since I have been teaching classes again I struggle to get all of my kits and supplies to the store. I usually end up making a couple of trips to the car do get all of my generic tubs. This tote that I bought for myself is so “Me” too. You know it has my favorite colors and pattern, so how could I pass it up? That’s right. . .I couldn’t! So now I will show up in style to my next class and I can keep it packed up with all of my doubles that I take to class too. I just love a good organizational tool and to have it be pretty too is such a nice bonus!

The past couple of days while I was sick I had plenty of time to think of stuff I’d like to do since I really couldn’t do anything. One of the things I decided I wanted to do was to reinvent my calla lily bed that I had and loved for 17 years at my old house.

It is the one thing I truly miss about our old home. There is a planting area in our new back yard that faces the same direction as my old calla bed faced and it has some small bushes that will someday become a hedge. I am not wow’d by these bushes, but I don’t hate them either. But as I laid in my bed this week I thought how wonderful it would be to have it full of calla lilies. What joy that would bring me!

Friday’s I Saw God Photo

I called our landscaper Gary, (who is just a doll) and I asked him if this was possible to do and how much it would cost? He said it was possible and that he would just “do it” for me! I could not believe it!!! It was like a gift from heaven for me. Although I cannot accept such a gift, and will pay him, I am just thrilled knowing it will happen. So next Friday his crew will be showing up to dig up the landscaping he just did not even a year ago and giving me back my calla bed - a place to reflect on old memories and to make new ones. So Gary and my calla lilies, standing in front of what will soon be my new calla lily bed is my “I saw God” moment for today. I am certain that there will be lots more photos of this as it comes into reality for me.

I hope you all have a blessed weekend and enjoy your time with family and friends and get to see God at this special time.

Quote of the Day:
Creativity is essentially a lonely art. An even lonelier struggle. To some a blessing. To others a curse. It is in reality the ability to reach inside yourself and drag forth from your very soul an idea. --Lou Dorfsman

Thursday, March 20, 2008

I'm back again. . .

Still tired and not myself but feeling better! I wish I had something interesting to say tonight but I have been in bed for 2 days and have watched TV and the inside of my eyelids so I haven't anything interesting to impart. . . Sorry.

Thursday's I saw God Photo

I managed a nice bubble bath tonight. Just feeling up to doing that made me feel God's pressence. It was the perfect bath - not too hot or too cool - just right. As I laid here I got to watch the sunset through the window at my tub. I got to lather myself up with my favorite vanilla body scrub. and just relax. It was a wonderful feeling.

I hope everyone else is having a great night!

Quote of the Day

The more curious we are, the more creative we become. --William Arthur Ward

I saw a differnt type of God on Wednesday. . .

For those of you that are following along with my photo challenge for this week, you are probably wondering where my Wednesday photo of God was? Well it's a day late but here it is. . .

Wednesday's I saw God Photo

Have you ever heard that expression "Praying to the porceline god"? Well, unfortunately I have been sick Since Tuesday night. Yesterday as I lay on the bathroom floor, this saying kept coming to my mind. At one point when Gary was asking me if I wanted anything I almost told him to bring me my camera so I could take this picture and have him make my post last night. But I was too sick to hold my camera in my hands. Today I am feeling better - just that weak yucky feeling you get after being so sick. I have lost almost 7 pounds since Tuesday night! Well, I am heading back to my bed for now and hopefully before the night is over I will really see God and have the energy to post a real photo.
Take care friends!!!!
Sorry about the "tongue & cheek " here - I hope I didn't offend anyone.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Outta Sorts Today. . .

Ever have those days - you’re not sick, not really tired you just feel . . . Yuck. That is how I was today. I woke up with lots of energy and plans to get things done. By mid afternoon all of my “get-up-and-go” had got up and went! That is a really bad thing to happen when you are all alone with a very active 7 month old! But we managed to do just fine. Thank God for naps!!!! She didn’t take a long one but it was a welcomed break for this tired Grammie.

Tuesday’s I Saw God Photo

After Bryanna picked up Vittoria I realized I had not “seen God” yet for the day. I wondered how I could have missed Him? I stepped out onto the patio to check on my new calla lilies and it dawned on me that I had not taken their picture yet. This is so unlike me! So I grabbed my camera and shot just a few images. Like I said before, I was feeling “yuck” and not at all creative, but at least I got a couple of pictures of them. With nothing on TV I decided to load my calla pix onto my computer. When I did I saw God! As I looked at the images I had just captured I was filled with emotion and awe. The calla is MY flower, always has been, and when I look at them I see grace, beauty, simplicity, elegance and I see my Doodle (my Dad - another story for another day). I wonder what God was feeling the day He created the calla lily? I wonder if He realized how I would feel each time I saw them? I am sure He did, and I prefer to think He created them just for me!

Have a great “hump-day” tomorrow

Quote of the Day:
You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have. --Maya Angelou

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St Patrick's Day!

So. . . did you all have corned beef and cabbage today? Drink a green beer? Did you wear green today? Remember being a kid at school and getting pinched if you didn’t wear green on St Patrick’s Day?
St Patty’s Day was a BIG day in our house when I was growing up. My parents always threw a party on that day. It was the only day of the year my Mother allowed alcohol in our house, and she would serve ONE glass of green beer to her guests. She made lots of food and it was all green too, and if possible, cut out with her shamrock cookie cutter! Having said all of that I was very surprised today when she wasn’t wearing any green! I had to take the opportunity to pinch her. . . hard!

I Saw God Today
I was lucky and I saw God twice today! Sadly I was only able to catch an image of one of them. So I fudged a little and took another picture to represent the one I missed.

I Saw God Today. . . Monday - Photo #1

Today was supposed to be another rainy, cold day according to the weatherman (what does he know?). So you can imagine my surprise and excitement this morning when I went outside and saw this! The sky was the prettiest blue, the clouds so white and fluffy, and the yard just looked like a park to me. The sun was shinning and it was warm and breezy and I thought to myself “what a lucky woman I am”! I knew that I had seen God!

I Saw God Today. . . Monday - Photo #2

Later this afternoon Vittoria was playing in my arms. She was just laughing and “talking” and having a great time. Then all of a sudden she got real still, and quiet and snuggled up to me. Within minutes she was sound asleep in my arms (something she never does). As I looked down at her peaceful little face and those dark eyelashes I realized that this was true joy. Perfection in human form. How could life get any better than this? Once again I thought to myself “what a lucky woman I am”! In this moment on my couch, with my granddaughter in my arms I knew that I had once again seen God! The only thing wrong with this moment is that I could not capture the image. It will have to live forever in my memory. When she woke from her nap and was peeking at me through the rails of her crib I captured this image as a substitute for the one I missed.

How many of you are taking my challenge? Did you see God today? Did you look? Did you get your camera out or a pen? I have had a couple gals email and tell me they are taking the challenge. I would love to hear from more of you.
Have a great day tomorrow - keep your eyes open!

Quote of the Day:
Passion is the freedom of creativity without the burden of logic. --Debbie Gisonni

Sunday, March 16, 2008

I saw God Today!

Yesterday while I was driving home I was listening to the radio and I heard a song I had never heard before. Right away the lyrics caught my attention, and I was immediately inspired. The song was “I Saw God Today” by George Strait. As he sang the lyrics “Saw a flower growin' in the middle of the sidewalk Pushin' up through the concrete Like it was planted right there for me to see” I thought of how often I pass by gems like this and don’t acknowledge that I had just seen God, or at least His fingerprints.

This week is what they call Passion Week, and I decided I would spend this week “watching for God”. I will make it a priority to see “the flowers growing in the sidewalks” and acknowledging who planted them there. I am going to document them with my camera and a little journaling. At the end of the week I am going to turn my week of photos into a small book of inspiration and celebration.

I challenge all of you to do the same! It is a challenge that everyone can commit to. You don’t need to use your camera, or write about what you see. You don’t need to make a book about it either. Simply be aware and take time to acknowledge the fingerprints you see in your life - they’re there if you look! Although if you choose to, this challenge will not only open your heart and eyes to God’s presence in your life, it will give you an opportunity to play with your camera, do some writing and create a very personal and fun paper project. I just can’t see a down side to this challenge?

Each day I will upload my photo of God here for you to see. And when I finish my book I will post it here as well. Leave comments and let me know if you are taking my challenge and how you are doing on it. I would love to hear how you guys are doing with it as well!

Sunday's "I Saw God Photo"
Today was a cold, windy and rainy day. I am not particularly fond of these kinds of days. But late in the afternoon the sun tried it’s hardest to shine through for a little bit. I saw in the sky, amongst all of the dark clouds this circle of sun rays shining through. It reminded me of those images you see of God parting the clouds to speak to people. I knew I had “seen God” at that moment and grabbed my camera and headed out of the neighborhood so that I could get an unobstructed view of the clouds parting.

Quote of the Day
Creativity is piercing the mundane to find the marvelous.

--Bill Moyers

Saturday, March 15, 2008

In The Beginning. . .

Hello friends - this is the very first night of Spillin' the Beenz! I hope you will all enjoy the things I include on this blog. My hope is that some of the posts will be informative, while others will just be entertaining. As with most things I start, there is a "plan" but somehow they always seem to take a direction all their own as time goes by. I am sure the same will be true with this blog. The "plan" is to include photography, bookbinding and scrapbooking tips and tutorials, as well as links to some of my favorite sites on the web. I will be keeping an updated list of classes I will be teaching and the supplies you will want to bring with you if you are attending those classes. I will be sharing the projects I am currently working on in my studio, and of course I will be sharing what’s going on in my own life as a new Grammie. I hope you will check back often and leave comments as to how I can make the blog better and more informative for you. Thanks for popping in -


Today I taught a class at The Creative Quest in Old Town Glendale, And as usual I had a BLAST! I just love the gals that own and work at the shop, and the ladies that attend the classes are always fun to spend an afternoon or evening with (Thanks to you all girls!).

Today we made a very simple, yet functional 2009 planner book with the Bind-it-All Machine. (if you don't already own one of these you need to put it on your list of "must haves") You might think it odd that I would be teaching a 2009 planner this early, and I would agree. But a few weeks ago I came to a class with my own personal 2008 planner and everyone wanted to make it. I felt it was too late in the year to do a 2008 planner, but soon enough they had talked me into reformatting it to a 2009 planner. Now the gals can be prepared early for the new year. Several of the ladies even bought extra kits so they could make more at home for Christmas gifts. (Way to go girls for planning ahead!) This is

one of the ladies with her finished planners. Without realizing it she even picked papers that match her blouse!

I hope you all did something fun and enjoyable on this beautiful Spring Saturday. Enjoy the rest of your weekend and come back soon!

Quote of the Day:
One of the great joys of life is creativity. Information goes in, gets shuffled about, and comes out in new and interesting ways --Peter McWilliams