Monday, December 29, 2014

Green December

A Winter Walk

Sunshine, so rare and delectable in Michigan at this time of year, called me out to walk. Our neighborhood situates in a circle, and the distance around is one mile. In warmer weather, I often walk that mile, sometimes twice, as daily exercise. I listen to podcasts, usually Paperclipping Roundtable, or when I'm caught up on those, a different one. Today, it was Elise Gets Crafty, and Ali Edwards talked about One Little Word.

At first, I felt good, walking and breathing fresh air, bathing in that precious sunlight. Our last snow here was in November, and temperatures since have been more like October than the usual December 20's and low 30's. The lawns are devoid of their usual white winter blanket, and the grass is mostly green.

As I took the photo, still in full sunshine, I was starting to feel the cold. By the time I was closer to home, my legs felt frozen. My ears, too. Really, it was too cold to walk that far, that long.

But oh, to be in that sunshine, to soak up that fresh air, felt so good.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Brightest Moment 2014

A few days ago, my close friend Janet and I were talking about our brightest moments of 2014. She shared hers and asked what mine was.

I didn't need time to ponder. The brightest moment of my 2014 was my husband Daniel and I swimming together at Fort DeSoto Park, Florida.

The day was hot, of course, but the breeze cooled the air. The water was mostly clear, only a few tangles of sea weed here and there. The waves, plentiful and playful. We jumped and swam and laughed and laughed, again and again. Sometimes, the waves dragged us under just a bit, but all in good fun.

I loved it, and I loved it even more because I shared it with Daniel. We went to Florida, just the two of us, in celebration of his birthday. But it was also a celebration of me and my origins, as I grew up in Florida, swam at that very beach, in fact, many years ago, frolicking in the waves, pretending I was a mermaid...

Going there was a homecoming, not just to the place I come from, but a homecoming to myself.

Being in the water, the day bright and clear, every sense engaged, brought back the girl I was, and it was so good to remember, to savor the memory of what the sea has always meant to me.

And to share that with the man I love, my best friend, my every-single-day hero, my real home.

Talk about a bright moment!

Oh, how happy I am to have that treasure in my memory.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Pick of the Week for December 10 - 2014

My pick this week is a stamp set by Stampin' Up! called Wondrous Wreath. My first exposure to this stamp set was a hostess club meeting, and I wasn't terribly impressed, even though I thought it was pretty. When purchasing stamps, I tend to be selective according to how often I will use the stamp, and since I do more scrapbooking than card-making, I usually need to be able to see a use on the scrapbook page.

Then, I started thinking about my little Mommy and how fun it would be for the two of us to make some holiday cards together. I showed her the Stampin' Up! holiday catalog, and she liked that Wondrous Wreath set, so I decided to take a chance and buy it.

We chose a really simple design with two different colors schemes, using Distress ink on blank cards I bought on sale at Joann.

To see what other creative people were doing with this set and get ideas for variations, I did a search on Pinterest and found some great projects using the Wondrous Wreath.

Here's a card by Nancy Amato that goes with an autumn theme, complete with pumpkins. Adorable!

Sharon Cheng did this holiday card, adding cute little birds as accents to the wreath.

This one by Louise Sharp uses a variation of the typical holiday color scheme to lovely result. I love the gold accents.

Here, Teneale Williams cut the stamped image in half to create a swag. Beautiful. (Be sure to scroll down for the second card.)

And finally, this one by Tina Rappe, shows the stamp used in a totally different motif, not holiday-themed at a all, and there are plenty examples of other ways to make this stamp set quite versatile.

I haven't found any ideas using these stamps on scrapbook pages, but I'll keep exploring, and maybe I'll come up with ideas of my own. I know the stamp would work really well for 3x4 cards in a holiday spread for pocket scrapbooking.

Click here to see the set on the Stampin' Up! website. There's also a die set to make cutting out the wreath and its accessory images easy-peasy, and it includes the words "noel" and "joy."

If you're looking to add this stamp set to your stash, keep in mind it's only available until the end of the month as part of the holiday catalog.