Cuddle and Kind

on 5.12.17

Do you need to find a gift for a little person and don't want it to be just another gift from a big box store? Something special, that also gives back? Well look no further! I will be giving these to my two grand girls this year! I have already received mine, and they are adorable! A lovey of sorts, and they have them in both a girl and boy version. They are hand made, hand knit, by women in Peru who receive a fair trade wage for their work. One doll provides 10 meals for children both here and in other countries. All of this created by a mom, dad, and their three children because they saw a problem and wanted to do something about it.  Here is a video that explains their story.  Cuddle and Kind

Nancy Mulligan

on 18.10.17

Have you ever listened to a song for the first time, and you are just in love immediately?  I love when that happens, when it just grabs your attention.  I heard this song a couple of weeks ago, and it did just that.  The song is Nancy Mulligan by Ed Sheeran. He has some catchy songs, but most of them are a little too R&B/pop for me. When I heard this song, I was so hoping there was more where it came from.  I am Irish and just seem to be drawn to that Irish folksy sound. Anyways, not only is it catchy, but it is such a sweet love song about his grandparents.  I have been listening to it on repeat now for days!  In one article Ed said, " he hopes the Irish folk sound doesn't turn off his fans".  Wait, what......no Ed, I may not be part of your regular fan base, but I would be if he had more of this! There isn't an official video for the song, so I found this one that includes the lyrics. Let me know what you think. 

Autumn textures

on 15.10.17

When autumn comes around I think of textures like tree bark, leaves, wool blankets, nubby throws, pumpkins, pine cones, wood and rust. I went through my pinterest to put together a mood board of beautiful autumn textures.  They instantly make me giddy for autumn! The weird thing is I am not a fan of warm colors, not in my wardrobe, not in my garden, not in my home. I am a cool color person.  But autumn completely changes that for me.  I LOVE all the warmth, the bright oranges, the dirty yellows, the crimson reds, and even the crispy browns!  It is a beautiful site indeed, God's kaleidoscope of colors never ceases to delight!



The human soul is slow to discover the real excellence of things given to us by a bountiful Creator, and not until the shadows of death begin to gather around the object that we love, do we see its worth and beauty. Autumn is the dim shadow that clusters about the sweet, precious things that God has created in the realm of nature. While it robs them of life, it tears away the veil and reveals the golden gem of beauty and sweetness. Beauty lurks in all the dim old aisles of nature,and we discover it at last. ~Northern Advocate

   1. leaves      2. tartan blankets      3. rust
 4. brown blankets      5. fallen leaves      6. hydrangea    
7. yarn      8. lichen      9. rust

          10. cozy blankets      11. chipped rust      12. water droplets




Autumn

on 2.10.17



It's autumn, it's autumn!  I love, love, love autumn, but this year it has been a tad difficult for me to get into the groove.  I think it is because our last month of summer turned cold, and or because I think the older I get, the less I like winter.  I mean I like it in December, and I can deal with it in January, blizzards and all.  But come February, I start to get tired of it, and then the worst thing happens, it drags on and on and on.  We don't have spring here in these parts. It's winter all the way up until it isn't and then it's 90 degrees after a snow storm. It has been cold, and all I can think of is the bitter cold that will soon be here.  
So here I am trying to think of things I could do to appreciate one of my favorite seasons. I thought maybe I would blog now through November celebrating all the things I love about this time of year!  I don't think of autumn as starting until October 1st because my hope is always that September will be full of those waning summer moments.
I have lots of ideas, now I just have to do them.  My family continues to grow, and I am currently waiting for another little one to be born. So life has been very busy, but I am going to give it a good try!  I hope to get out there and take some new photos, but I also want to go through my old photos and find some that never made it off my computer. 

Here I go, walking into all that this season has to offer. 



lighting the darkness

on 16.2.17


Light is good from whatever lamp it shines.  ~Author Unknown



I love my collection of Ball jars!


Short on space, I purchased this solid wood shelf unit made from old barn wood and it weighs a  LOT.  They sent it to me in the wrong stain, but it was so heavy, I just asked for a discount, and they gave me one.

Some of my cookbooks, but sadly I think I use Pinterest for recipes more than these cookbooks. I must work on that. 

February's project

on 15.2.17

I had high hopes for this month.  I started out  "taking stock" for January, and then I was going to post my project for February.  I did get started, but I didn't finish well.  However rather than just starting again in March, I am forcing myself to follow through even at this late date.

My project for this month was to capture here and there bits of my home.  I wanted to use photography to appreciate the details, as well as document them. I also do not have the best light, so that will bring a challenge.  The good news is that I started taking photos right away, so I am not behind on that.  It's unfortunate, in the winter we get beautiful afternoon sun filtering through the windows, but in the summer the sun is directly overhead so we get nothing for setting light.  I did a film project for light this past summer, and I was never able to capture the beautiful light inside my place.  So now is the time for me to enjoy doing that!




There are two kinds of light - the glow that illumines, and the glare that obscures.  ~James Thurber

This is a glimpse of my art room.  I am trying to get it organized and finding the challenge quite daunting.  I love the galvanized boards on the wall, you can write on them or use magnets. 

Taking Stock




I got this started at the end of January, and now here I am posting it on February 15th.......which is why it isn't very long.  I need to just do it for doing it sake. 

Taking Stock


Making : my first quilt

Organized : I got all of last years bills and paper organized and stored, threw out a bunch of catalogs and magazines


Sketching : nothing :( 


Cooking : made salisbury steak for the first, it was ehh..... 


Drinking : Izzy, I have not purchased a can/bottle of Mt. Dew since March 2016


Reading: Small Great Things by Jody Piccoult 


Wanting: to cut my hair 


Looking: forward to starting one of my hiking goals, to hike the Centennial trail this year which is 111 miles long!


Health : been doing the fitness challenge for 4 weeks, and have not lost a thing, need to jump back into taking my supplements.

  
Playing: my record player 
 


Waiting: for the newest member of our family to arrive


Buying:  Baby stuff 


Memorizing :  Psalm 27


Superfan

on 19.1.17

Have you ever heard of Rend Collective?  This is a band that I just love! Below is an intro to who they are, and then a video of their newest song Live Alive.  I thought I had mentioned it here before, but perhaps it was just on Instagram. We drove to Denver this past October to see them. They are a folk band from Ireland, and I love all the awesome instruments they play.  On stage, they even played a suitcase turned Cello (I think), storage boxes, and trash can lids.  I love their heart, their lyrics, their accents, their music, oh and their green Volkswagen bus......Did I mention their accent?  I am Irish, named my son an Irish name, so it seems only fitting that I should learn how to talk in an Irish accent.
#superfan

Enjoy.








And this is their latest video, Live Alive.



A Few of My Favorite Things

on 16.1.17



I decided to do a post like this because recently I have come across some items I really, really liked for one reason or another. I also love it when people share products that have really worked for them.  One thing you may not know about me is I am an all natural girl! I hate that the products we use and eat are full of chemicals, and so destructive to our health.  I am also my own worst enemy because I by nature am a purist about things.  I find compromise difficult when it comes to compromising the things I value or find important. But come on, I'm not going to die just because I ate a nitrate cycle, am I?  So a couple of the items I am sharing are a compromise of sorts. Rebel me. 

1. Mrs. Meyers products are not completely good for you, or all natural but they are better than most regular products.  I found this particular hand soap, not my regular brand, on clearance.  It is orange clove (naturally scented), and it was perfect during the holiday season. 

2. Perfume is an area that is difficult for me.  It is hard to find great scents that are all natural, and when you do, they can cost a fortune.  This is another area of compromise.  I have been wearing Pacifica for several years now, and love it. They avoid the worst ingredients, and use what they consider the safest of the synthetics.  For that reason, I try to stay with the scents that I know exist as essential oil.  For example, there is not apple, strawberry, or watermelon essential oil, but there is vanilla, lemon, orange, and lime. One of my favorites is this blood orange, which citrus does come in essential oils, so it's a win, or at least that is what I tell myself.

3. I normally use Seventh Generation or Ecover, but I have been unable to purchase the big bottles I normally do. So I decided to try this one by Earth Products (they must have changed their name to ECOS now). As you may know, natural products do not always work as well as their chemical counterparts, a sacrifice I am willing to make. This dishwasher gel claims to have a built-in rinse aid. I used it, and I was amazed! My glasses did not have spots, and they all seemed very clean, with no film.  I kept saying I can't believe how well works.  I will say this also depends greatly on the type of water you have. 

4. Last spring I found these chips at Sam's Club and they are DELICIOUS! They are Wildroots Wild Chips and contain Red Quinoa, Chia, whole grain and more.  They are gluten free and Non-GMO.  I love chips and salsa, but can't say I really crave tortilla chips on their own. However, with these, I craved them and they are healthy. After that first bag, Sam's didn't have them again until a couple of months ago, so I bought three bags immediately. They are delicious on their own or with salsa.

5.  This is another perfume, but this one is ALL natural! I found this a year ago, and have used and loved the Vanilla Passion Fruit scent.  It is very long lasting, and potent.  It isn't however overly potent, but I can smell it on me. Keep in mind these are natural scents, not perfumy smelling. My husband has commented on it hours after I applied it.  He really likes it. I can not usually smell the Pacifica when I apply it using the rollerball. I bought a pack of purse size scents and gave them as gifts.  I loved them all.  They start with a base of warm vanilla, and then build from there.  I LOVE these!

6. This holiday season I was looking for a natural version of my favorite color of lipstick.  I am not a lover of true red, but I do love cranberry. Burt Bee's now has a full line of lipsticks that work great and are a 100% natural. They all come with the same shine, so no matte, finish but I still loved them. I bought three different colors, and have had fun mixing them to create my own color. 

7.  This shoe is a mix of a hiking shoe and a running shoe called a trail running shoe. I use them for my hiking, and love them. Hiking shoes are very stiff and heavy, something I don't like.  If you are backpacking and carrying a 60+ pound pack, you may want a better hiking shoe, maybe. But for day hiking, or shorter extended trips these shoes are great, especially in the winter. They come with great traction, and they mold around your foot, not too loose, or too tight. They are very comfortable, and I appreciate that they don't tie.  I have had Salomon's before, and was quite happy. They come in a variety of fun color combinations.

What are some of your favorite things? 

















Photography project 2017

on 10.1.17

My photography project is going to be something I focus on for a month at a time.  I have several items that are written down, as well as books to work from.  One month might be working through a book, the next using only one lens, or shooting film, capturing color, feet, or still life's. It all just depends on what I decide, I am not tied down to one thing. For January because it is so bitter cold, I decided to use this month to catch up on my 2016 projects (on my bucket list), including posting photos that I didn't get around to posting.





"Sometimes I need only to stand wherever I am to be blessed."
 ~ Mary Oliver
 Christmas tree hunt funnery 


  
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2017 Bucket List

on 4.1.17

        

In 2017 I want to: 

Figure out what I am doing with this blog
Update my blog
Make more art
Start using my DSLR again
Do more intentional photography
Shoot with at least two of my vintage camera's
Do a polaroid project
Make money doing something I love
Be a more consistent blogger
Be fluent in spanish
Complete some of the art classes I have purchased
Climb a 14'er with my husband in Colorado
Go somewhere I haven't been (Redwoods)
Visit the ocean
Be able to do a hand stand (I haven't given up Tracie)
Be able to do a lot of push ups
Consistently take my supplements
Make my first quilt
Organize my art room
Waste less food (now that I only cook for two)
Memorize Psalm 27
Memorize the Matthew 5 (only like my 5th attempt)
Read books of the Bible multiple times before moving on
Grow in prayer and boldness
Send scripture on Sundays to family
Keep making films
Visit friends from afar
Finish 2016 projects
Pay off 50% of debt
Call my grandmother more and pray with her
Read a lot of freakin' books ( I am waaaaaay behind)
Find out why I wake up so tired
Log 1017 K or 639 miles walking/hiking

And my word for the year is..................
C    O    M    M    I    T    M    E    N    T





                             

day 11 :: love

on 21.12.16

Today,
focus on 
love.
Feel it. 
Be it.
Capture it. 
Share it.

I love that Tanya captured the love between her kiddo's, and Victoria shared an ornament of some Christmas owls commemorating her first Christmas with her now husband, I on the other hand went for a more symbolic love, the cliche heart. I had a hard time deciding which one to post, because frankly I wasn't pleased with either. I finally decided on the candy cane shot that I took in the snow. 
I am not a big heart collector, but I know someone who is.......and her collection is extensive. Be sure and check out Tracie West who has jumped back in!






Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8




                                                           

                                                  Tanya  


Of course one of my favorite loves to watch is between my son and daughter. It doesn’t always look obvious when the wrestling and laughter goes a step too far and turns to crying and hitting, but once the pain or hurt feelings subside, the love becomes evident once again. Christmas season? It’s hard to keep your heart from growing three sizes those days. 

day 10 :: reframing

on 19.12.16


    I need to quit writing this so late at night, because by then I just want to get it posted.  Naughty, naughty.  These captures represent a reframing whether literal, or not.  A symbol of sorts that represents looking at things differently. It is frigid cold in my neck of the woods, we had a few days of temps that never went above 0, and our high was actually -7, that is actual temps. So I choose to reframe the cold tundra with the beautiful setting of the sun.  An attempt to see the outside differently on such a frigid day. 

Be sure and check out what Victoria  and Tracie captured!  You probably noticed we are all a little off track.  Tracie took some time off for family, and Victoria has been under the weather.  And me, well I got side tracked on the attitude challenge, and still trying to recover.  


“Happiness depends more on the inward disposition of mind than on outward circumstances.”
 ~Benjamin Franklin






Tanya












































































day 9 :: signs

on 17.12.16


Signs can warn us, lead us, remind us or even state the obvious. Whatever the case, it's our job to interpret the signs as they pertain to our own lives. What the signs really say is up to us. 
~ Tracy Clark




  Dean


Tanya
At first I bypassed this obvious sign as being my ‘sign’ for the day. But after blowing up at my kids, realizing I was irritated by the very presence of any breathing thing within 10 ft, and remembering that I didn’t go to sleep until almost 1 am I thought, ‘Nope, that is most definitely my ‘sign’ for today. I think I’ll go enjoy a cup right now actually, after all, in a couple of hours i’m hosting two of the most dreaded words in an introvert’s vocabulary…PLAY DATE.









day 8 :: reflection

on 15.12.16


 Shoot something in a reflective surface and see what you find, this is our task. 



Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.
 ~Norman Vincent Peale



                           Dean

          These 2 things make me reflect on family.



                                    Tanya



day 7 :: express yourself

on 14.12.16

I have fallen behind, which is rather sad I think. Instead of getting down on myself, I am just going to forge ahead.  Our prompt for day seven was to express yourself, to tune into your emotional gauge and capture where you are at.  My initial photo I captured was a rather moody shot, but then I decided to go with this one. I met with some ladies to talk about life at the Pure Bean.  I HATE coffee, so I had my usual, hot chocolate. Yummy........anyways I have not fully been feeling the man made Christmas spirit manifesting as of yet. So I am just trying to be mindful of the moments, and appreciate what is.

Be sure and check out Victoria and Tracie's posts. 

Every day may not be good, but there's something good in every day.
 ~Author Unknown



                                                   Dean

   After a poor nights sleep this is what the world looked like today. I could not focus.

day 6 :: tiny wonders

on 8.12.16

Today's prompt had to do with celebrating the tiny wonders in the ordinary moments, or mundane tasks.  I was working on unpacking Christmas stuff to get ready to decorate.  I have these real branches that are covered in little sparkling balls to look like frost. They have always just kind of fascinated me.  I love when they catch the light, they turn into little bokeh balls.  When I saw them poking out of the box, I grabbed them.  Unfortunately, I had a hard time taking a picture that was interesting with out being completely abstract.  I took many photos, until I finally just said, "well it is what it is."  

Don't forget to check out Tracie and Victoria's interpretations!





Carry the spirit of a child. Just keep getting really excited about things and see the world as massive and unending in inspiration, color and dreams and spread those sparks around so everyone is on fire too because wonder is a contagious burning thing that fuels adulthood like the slingshot of an arrow.  The rush it brings. 
 ~ V. Erickson 






DEAN

I've been battling a sore throat for a week now, so the simplest of things like an individually wrapped mint candy means help to me.





Tanya

This morning it was, to quote a very young Victoria from many years ago, "freakin’ cold”. Minus 9 as I was hefting a ladder around to capture icicle pictures, my nose hairs stiff and prickly (and sadly, there are so very many of them. I mean seriously, like my old shop teacher in junior high. We marveled at how packed with hair his ears and nose were. But I digress.) So up to the roof I climb and, what to my wondering eyes should appear but what looked like a vast forest of tiny ice crystals reaching up to heaven from their snowy field. 


day 5 :: divinity

on 7.12.16


Some how I have become a day behind.  On this day we had to capture the divinity in our life through either a symbol, or a feeling.  The symbol that represents my faith as a born again follower of Christ is the cross. Jesus died on the cross for my sins, and gave the greatest gift ever given, eternal life.  It is was defines me, and my life. This cross in particular was made by my grandfather who has since passed,with the same kind of nails that were used on Jesus.  
I love what the others captured as well!  Don't forget to check out Victoria and Tracie West!     

            



                              Tanya

Today’s idea of translating the divinity in our lives was an easy one to come up with after glancing over at this craft that my ‘best friend back home’ and I did together. (Though the execution wasn’t so easy for me, I had trouble getting the focus on the deer instead of just the glass in front of the deer). Anyways, for a long time my husband and I have felt like this deer-trapped within invisible boundaries while watching those around us flourish. Recently, in a rare time of joint-prayer, my husband got the clear message from the Lord that ‘[we’re] so close (to our happiness), just hang on’. So here we’ll stay, patiently waiting for God to bring us to the point where we, too, can be set free to live out our giftings and find our ‘happiness/fulfillment/whatever you want to call it’. This is the divinity in our lives, the actions of God in our lives, right now.






                         Dean
                       I love the sun's light. 
                      It always reminds me 
                of the power of Gods creation.
             Here it almost looks like someone
       is walking or being created out of the sun.










day 4 :: smile

on 6.12.16


Day 4's prompt was to capture a smiling face. My niece had a birthday the other day so there was plenty of smiling faces.  I knitted her a pink scarf, and her parents got her a grey coat, neither of us knew but it worked out great.  In this picture she has both on and she was having fun spinning!  Her brother has also discovered the fun of a selfie.  When he saw me take out my iPod, he wanted us to take a selfie.  You can't see me in this picture but you can see his super cute snarling smile!  Don't forget to check out Victoria and Tracie West's contributions!







Tanya

I know the quality of this picture is terrible- it was just a quick snapshot with my phone, but the smiles just make me too happy to pass up. Getting the Christmas tree is always fun for me, but it was clearly a good time for everyone else, too. Maybe it had to do with the fact that this was the first time the kids got to help with cutting it down, but it's probably more just the fact that it's one step closer to all those presents!!







                                    Dean

                            A day of hunting 
                            Christmas tree's 
                        always ends in smiles
                               with family 
                           and hot chocolate, 
                     extra special hot chocolate.


day 3 :: shape of things

on 4.12.16

Our prompt today encouraged us to look at the shape of things and see if what you find reminds you of anything.  It just so happened that was the day we got our Christmas tree.  Normally when we go there has always been snow, but this time we were not anticipating any.  We have had a very mild winter thus far, and it really has only snowed in the northern hills.  This was close to that but not quite.  So we were a little unprepared for the snow we encountered, as it was knee deep. While we were looking for our tree, I noticed the top of some wild grass peeking out of the snow.  There was my picture, a Christmas tree of sorts.  As I was writing this I remembered what I had photographed the first time around.  It was dill left over in my garden from summer, and the dried heads left on it looked like snowflakes. This wasn't an easy prompt. I didn't get pictures from my other co-hort's but don't forget to check out Tracie West and Victoria's interpretation. 




                            The simplicity of winter has a deep moral.
                                           The return of Nature, 
                                            after such a career of 
                                        splendor and prodigality,
                                  to habits so simple and austere, 
                        is not lost either upon the head or the heart. 
                                   It is the philosopher coming back
                                                from the banquet 
                                                          and
                                        the wine to a cup of water 
                                                          and
                                               a crust of bread. 
                                             ~John Burroughs, 


                             


                                                Tanya

I picked these icicles because they reminded me of the beams of star light so often depicted as shining down on the Christ child, and leading the wise men to him. The thing that really struck me was how icicles are constantly trying to reach down to Earth, like how God is always reaching down to humanity. In the case of the icicles it’s simply a matter of gravity. In God’s case however, it is His love for us that keeps Him in a forever pursuit. For those He has reached, He keeps reaching and settling down into our lives, that we may know Him better, realize more each day His love for us. For the rest, He also keeps on reaching; never resting, never diverting His eyes from the goal of lost humanity. So that one day He will reach all of us, and then we too, like the cycle of water itself, will begin to rise back up to him, in praise and wonder and deeply in love.