Saturday, June 27, 2009

50th Wedding Anniversary

My parents are celebrating 50 years together today. They met at Western Michigan University, got married in my mom's hometown of Chicago, lived their entire married life in Kalamazoo, MI, worked hard at their respective jobs and in doing so raised three kids that are happy and productive with their lives. They travel when they want to, enjoy their grandchildren and "up north", are financially stable, and treat each other well. Overall, they've been lucky in life, but I believe that luck is something that you get when you work hard and earn it.

This is not a picture of my folks, but this couple seems very content with one another and I think my parents are too. In case you can't read it, the little saying says "Where there is love there is life." Congratulations Mom and Dad!


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

"Help, I'm Melting" Challenge & Giveaway

Do you have a period of time in your life, year after year, that just kicks your butt? I do, and I'm just getting to the end of it. Every May and June, my usually pretty calm and collected life, just spins out of control. Each year I know it's coming. Each year I resolve to work harder to control the calendar. Each year I fail miserably. Each year, in fact, it seems to get worse.

It's a combination of things: the overabundance of end-of-school activities and homework, the overabundance of games for three kids playing and two adults coaching/managing travel soccer, the overabundance of miscellaneous extra-circular activities, the overabundance of things on the can't-be-put-off-any-longer To Do list. And there's much more, but you get the idea. My cup runneth over with abundance. I'm not calling this rant whining because everything (for the most part) is good, but by mid-June I am fried. I am done. I am melted and it's not pretty.

Here's the challenge: tell me how you handle your overabundance and email me your best "I'm melting" picture or artwork. Anything goes and anyone can enter. Make me laugh. Make my readers laugh. I'll post all entries that I receive by July 4th and choose the one that made me laugh out loud. That particular comedienne will get a collage on a beaded wire hanger, created by me, that is kind of silly and reminds us all that "Even Fools are Right Sometimes."

Laughing is good. Laughing is therapy. Laughing can help get life back in order. So, fellow bloggers, casual readers, good friends, joke tellers, spread the word far and wide and let's share the laughter...


PS. In the midst of all this, today is my daughter's 12th birthday. I wish for her a wonderful day and an even better year!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Dream - Up Close and Personal

Dream: Here is the original photo that was used in the spread shown in the previous post called, Sit, Think, Relax, Dream. The artwork here was done in Heather's book. She hasn't seen it yet but I'm going to give away my "secrets" anyway...

Up close: Here is the photo after I worked on it. (I didn't crop in exactly on the photo because of the palm tree going off the photo.) Notice that the car in the lower left corner is completely gone after the photo is altered. The reflections/glare in the window panes are also gone. It doesn't show up very well in the scan, but there is silver pen used on the palm fronds, on the bench and also in the center of each window pane.

Personal: This photo was taken in Naples, Florida in the parking lot next to Tin City. I was down there in February 09 when my son was invited to attend the National Olympic Development Program camp for soccer. Tin City is a big touristy area with lots of activity. How I managed to shoot this bench without anyone sitting and enjoying an ice cream cone is beyond me! As you might guess, I love the color of the wall and bench.


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Altered Sister's Round Robin - Book Four

Time to turn a page on the calendar again and that means it's also time for another round of art trades in the Altered Sister's Round Robin book exchange. The theme of this book is Dream and it will eventually return to it's owner, Heather.

This time of year is always so over-the-top crazy busy with various kid-related things that sitting still for more time than it takes to read our whopping two-section newspaper is something that I'm definitely dreaming of right now. So, I didn't have a bit of trouble thinking up the subject for this book!

You may remember that in order to explore various hand altering techniques with photography I vowed that I would use one of my own photos in each book that I work in. Ironically, when hand altering a photo, it is often the bad photos that work best. That's because the altering makes the photo more interesting. In this case, the picture was already very colorful (and in fact, inspired the background colors) so I primarily played with the decking, the window and the tree.

Our family is approaching our busiest week/weekend of the year but I soon hope to be able to Sit, Think, Relax and Dream. Taking time out to do these things shouldn't be optional. It's important and will keep you strong.

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