Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The latest with Twinkling H2O classes....

Still working on several on-line classes I took early this summer.

I highly recommend classes with Dion Dior. Here is just the beginning sample of what we are doing with the Twinkling H2Os. This group of classes has us making charts of the "Twinks", learning which are reflective, refractive, have more than one color of mica in the mix, how they blend together.
At the end of each lesson there are projects or homework. This was my first Mandela. Lop-sided, definitely not my best work. However, the Twinks were all shiny and twinkling.
 I didn't give up. Now this is more like it. I still have a ways to go with getting the patterns lined up correctly, but, at least I can see an improvement.
 We have moved on to a Still-Life. First we drew the fruit with water-colored pencils, then we wet those pieces and then filled in with Twinks. Then we re-outlined with the pencils.
 That's one of our homegrown peaches in front of the drawing. Couldn't resist getting it in on the photo.
 Jumping back to the doodle class I am taking with Joanne Sharpe, this is Lesson 11, Whimsical Doodle. Background is acrylic paint and then flowers, etc., are added with paint markers. This seems to be my least favorite medium. Don't like the acrylics. Prefer watercolor in all its forms.
 Working on this page. Haven't made a decision on how to color it. Maybe Twinks.

I'll be back with more soon. Thanks for stopping by.

A few cards...

 Thought I'd display a few cards I've made this summer. This first one was for my brother-in-law, Tony, Easy to make with a tree die cut, some bird ribbon and a piece of corrugated cardboard I grabbed from a box a while back and just knew it would be just right for some crafting project.
 This monotone card came together so easily.The butterflies have some glitter on them.
This last one is one of 21. On the front, I used swipes of Distress Stain for the background, and then used different stamps, some bling and "thank you" to make each card unique. Inside, I stamped two inspirational sayings about how nice the person was and about memories and a personal note written by me.
These were the thank you notes to the staff at the library for the nice gifts they gave me when I retired.

I'll be posting some other cards I made when I was taking the Summer Card Classes '13 soon.

Thanks for visiting.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

More doodles...

Hi, Everyone,

I am back with more doodles. This 2 page spread goes with our little girl dresses. The first page says "I know she's in there somewhere... She's the most free spirited I ever was in my whole life. She has skills, she is playful, fearless, curious, excited and free... I am her."
This one is Garden Doodles done with Tombow markers.
In this lesson, we painted with watercolors. I had bought a small travel set of Koi watercolors and got to try it out on these shapes. Lots of fun. Of course, for me I feel like it was a waste of paper because I didn't make anything out of it. And that was the point, we were just feeling our way through the paints and shapes. Wait til u see this tomorrow, big difference.

This spread is the start of something. 3 big blooms that we will add to in the next lesson using a white gel pen to outline and write. I would also like a black pen and maybe some shading but that is not in this lesson. Be patient my dear.



Glad you stopped by, hope to see you again.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

My Lost and Found Weekend...

As some of you who followed my blog during my retirement phase know, this past week was supposed to be the beginning of a wonderful vacation for Gary, my husband, and I. We were travelling to North Carolina to visit my niece,  Bridget, tour some of South Carolina's hot spots and I was taking classes with "Joanne Sharpe at Donna Downey's studio. Be still my heart.

Months long and best laid plans often go awry.

Beginning of June, after a long day of yard work, I had only a little more mowing to do. I was hot, tired and the dumb lawn mower wasn't cooperating. We have a bumpy yard and the very heavy
self propelled mower often has plans of its own. I wrestled it over a hump, lifting up the back end while standing on uneven ground. I felt something pop in my right foot and something felt like it tore around the arthritis in my left foot. So, for the next 2 weeks I hobbled around in pain. These weeks included my nephew's wedding where I tried to wear high heels and managed to dance a few numbers with my husband and my son, Chris.

Fast forward to two weeks ago, in fact 5 days before we are leaving on our wonderful trip. Gary has been going to the foot doctor for years because of  his diabetic problems-I ask the doctor about my feet because I am still in a great deal of discomfort. Dr. Atlas x-rays and finds that I have an old break in my index toe, a bone chip and I have now torn tissue around this. He tapes it up and I have to wear a cam boot on it until I see him next. That's the right foot.
I have injured all around the arthritis in my left foot which he swaddles up in foam padding, gauze and elastic wrapping so I can't put any shoe on it. Had to get a post op boot for that foot.
So I have been clumping around for two weeks with these uneven, black (stylish) boots.

Since Gary and I were going to share the driving, we can't go on the trip. I can't go to the much anticipated classes. I am heartbroken for awhile but truth be told, I was feeling so miserable that it was just as well. When your feet hurt, everything hurts. And wearing those boots is tiring.


You may ask what all of this has to do with the photos that are on this page. DJ stayed over the Friday night that I should have been taking my first class. I made it into a class for the two of us. We painted bird houses. Now,  DJ is a very busy person, sometimes hard to settle on one thing for very long, but, we painted for about 2 hours straight without him fidgeting. I am so glad I didn't miss that.
He painted 3 houses, 2 Friday night and one Saturday am. Gave the purple one to his Mom, she loves the color purple. The one with the red roof, that's for himself. The one with the aqua front is for his dad.


The houses in the front are the ones I painted. I will always treasure these houses because of the night we had together.

And, as it turns out, Joanne Sharpe was stuck in the Detroit airport and never did teach the Friday night class down in Donna's studio. Sometimes things work out in the strangest ways.
So, one of these days, I will get to Donna's studio and I will take classes from Joanne, but, DJ is only 71/2 once and I am so glad I am here to see it.

I'll let you know how my feet are after Friday's appointment.

Thanks for stopping by.

DJ and the Outside Puddy...

The other night DJ stayed over. He and one of this year's outdoor kitties bonded.









The puddy even came in for awhile to chat with some of the stuffed wildlife.


Thanks for stopping by.












Doodler Gone Mad....

I sure skip around on this blog, one day it's writing, another drawing.

Today I am posting the first of many photos from the Doodle Art and Letters class I am taking with Joanne Sharpe. I have tons more work to do for this class and I have learned so much already.
Joanne feels we have to unlock that 2nd grade art girl from inside and draw and color with abandon. Right off the bat, she had us draw a little dress that we might have worn back then to get us in the mood. Can't draw a dress??? She showed us a very simple pattern that worked for all of us.
Mine turned out to be something Cinderella might have worn for the ball, but it was"on sale."
This was entitled "Roots and Landscape." I am lucky, my sketch book is an 5 x 8". I can't imagine the time it takes on the larger books. This took hours, intense but so much fun.
"Sparkle Doodle" was done with new pens for me- Sakura Gel Pens. Flow very smoothly.
We are creating 100 tags on a jump ring. 100 samples of doodling as a Ready Reference tool.
These are leaves and lines.
These are hearts and stars. The star shape was hard for me.

Well, enough for today. I'll post another batch tomorrow.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, June 24, 2013

My Biggest Thrill...

The Thrill of it All Blogfest

Today I've written a little piece for a blogfest that is near and dear to me. The Thrill of it All Blogfest is sponsored by my daughter, Heather M. Gardner, and another author, Tara Tyler, who have been newly published. Contestants were asked to describe their biggest thrill, real or imaginary. Read on.....

I could say that meeting Bishop Sheen, a popular religious television star and author at the time, and shaking his hand when I was a child was a big thrill.

Meeting Robert Kennedy and shaking his hand while he was campaigning for his brother at my college was a thrill, but it really wasn’t a big deal.

Getting race car driver Mario Andretti’s autograph and having coffee with Kenny Rogers before he become so famous was pretty exciting.

Having my picture in the local paper several times and my poetry and short articles published in the newsletter while I worked for the public library was pretty neat.

But, after 66 odd years of life, already having giving birth to two boys(as wonderful as they may be), knowing that for 5 generations in my husband’s family there hadn’t been a girl child born, I’d have to say, waking up from anesthesia and hearing the nurse tell me “You’ve had a little girl, Mrs. Skeels,” was, and still is, the biggest thrill of my life.  I love you, Heather.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Slogging along... and loving every minute of it....

For any of you who went through the A-Z Challenge with me, I am officially retired and waking every morning to such happiness and inner peace. I then divide my time between household and yard chores, playing with my cats and enjoying the pleasures. The pleasures, of course, are reading, writing, card making, a little zentangle, some mixed media and a little scraping. Also have started organizing and cataloging supplies. Markers, paints, dies, embossing folders, rubber/clear stamp sayings. I love organizing and I found some wonderful stuff I forgot I had. 

I am about to take a course on line with Joanne Sharpe about lettering and doodling. I am signed up to do a few writing challenges in June and July. The hubby and I are visiting Charlotte, NC so I can take classes from Joanne at Donna Downey's studio in Huntersville, NC. That's about an 11 hour+ drive. I am taking an on line Twinkling H2O class from Dion Dior.

Am I missing work... who has time.


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

1st of May....

Well, I am jumping out of the Blogging A to Z Challenge and into a Creative Writing Challenge at the Library. I needed something to keep me busy during the month of May while I am transitioning from work.

The Library is offering a class on 5 Thursday nites. Not sure what it will entail but I signed up right away for it. I'm going to open my mind and let good thoughts pour in and see where the stream goes.

I'll be posting a little of what I'm learning here so you can follow along. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge- Letter Z

WELCOME, EVERYONE:

 to my second year in the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.

Since I plan to retire shortly, I thought an alphabetical look back at my paying library career and a look ahead to my crafting and writing career would be a good use of my 26 days in this challenge, 26 wonderful words for retiring me. Hope you enjoy. I am looking forward to reading whatever you share this month on your blogs, too.

LOOKING BACK: 
Zero Hour- (a decisive or critical time.) 
As of today (preposted on April 21), I should be handing in my letter of retirement on April 25th. Any of you who have been reading this blog for the month should realize, my heart just leaped, as I typed those words, with anticipation and trepidation. Experts say that going through retirement is as stressful as a death, a birth, a major move. I certainly will agree with that. I want to thank you for hanging in here with me and helping me through the dark before the dawn.

Looking ahead: 
Zone, End- (One month and counting.)
Oh, wait, don't leave yet. We will be back to our normal broadcasting tomorrow, which sometimes involves long periods of time of no blogging from me. I apologize ahead of time.

And, as always, thank you for stopping by.

I did it, I finished the challenge 2 years in a row. Thanks to all of you who sponsored the challenge. It was fabulous again.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge- Letter Y

WELCOME, EVERYONE:

 to my second year in the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.

Since I plan to retire shortly, I thought an alphabetical look back at my paying library career and a look ahead to my crafting and writing career would be a good use of my 26 days in this challenge, 26 wonderful words for retiring me. Hope you enjoy. I am looking forward to reading whatever you share this month on your blogs, too.

LOOKING BACK: 
Young-at-Heart- (having youthful thoughts, hopes, tendencies.) 
Although I am retirement age, I project a young, positive, glass is 1/2 full image. I don't want to look back on the good, old days. I want to make some good, new days.
Looking ahead: 
Yearning- (to have an earnest or strong desire.)
I am so yearning to be free, to sleep in, to stay in pjs all day, to get paint in my hair and nails, to go braless, to work on a project all week without worrying about time for other chores before I have to go back to work. To go visit sisters any day of the week, to shop when the stores aren't busy (I hate to shop), to stay up late, to hang around with my hubby and drive him nuts. Yippee!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge- Letter X

WELCOME, EVERYONE:

 to my second year in the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.

Since I plan to retire shortly, I thought an alphabetical look back at my paying library career and a look ahead to my crafting and writing career would be a good use of my 26 days in this challenge, 26 wonderful words for retiring me. Hope you enjoy. I am looking forward to reading whatever you share this month on your blogs, too.

LOOKING BACK: 
Xanthochroid- (belonging to or pertaining to the light-complexioned or light-haired peoples of the white race.) 
Yeah, I know this is a stretch. I looked it up in the Library dictionary so it counts for looking back. I am very fair in coloring and even had my first basal skin cancer spots removed this year. On my lower calf, just above my ankle?? What's with that? Shoulders or back or chest, I can see. Must be from wearing capri pants and then putting my legs up while I'm sitting; never thought to use sun screen there.
Looking ahead: 
X-hausted- (worn-out.)
Who'dda thunk 26 days of blogging could be so intense.

See more of my poems and articles at  http://www.monroelibrary.org/10950/nav/etc/newsletter.php in the By The Millpond newsletter.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge- Letter W

WELCOME, EVERYONE:

 to my second year in the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.

Since I plan to retire shortly, I thought an alphabetical look back at my paying library career and a look ahead to my crafting and writing career would be a good use of my 26 days in this challenge, 26 wonderful words for retiring me. Hope you enjoy. I am looking forward to reading whatever you share this month on your blogs, too.
Hey, I handed in my retirement letter yesterday. I am so happy and relieved; I can breathe.
LOOKING BACK: 
Waiting- (remain in a state of rest or inaction, as until something expected happens.) 
The waiting is the hardest part... I can't start to finalize anything until I hand in my letter of retirement and then I suppose all heck will break lose. My job will be divided up, new people appointed, new people trained in between the days that I'll be taking off in May. Time will fly by, I'm sure.


Looking ahead: 
Waiting- (remain in a state of rest or inaction, as until something expected happens.)
All my cats and craft stuff, my books, my garden and my suitcases are waiting for me. I pat them as I pass them and say "I'll be with you guys soon." And then there is Gary, he has been waiting for 2+ years for me to be home full time to boss him around and tell him where to go. Poor man, his days of serenity are fast approaching an end.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge- Letter V

WELCOME, EVERYONE:

 to my second year in the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.

Since I plan to retire shortly, I thought an alphabetical look back at my paying library career and a look ahead to my crafting and writing career would be a good use of my 26 days in this challenge, 26 wonderful words for retiring me. Hope you enjoy. I am looking forward to reading whatever you share this month on your blogs, too.

LOOKING BACK: 
Vagary- (an unpredictable, capricious, or erratic action, occurrence, course or action.) 
This a good description of recent Board meetings. Few people stay on topic, Roberts' Rules fly out the window. Members shout at and use unprofessional language to each other. Few members check with administration or staff before meetings so when important items like annual reports and yearly budgets are presented, misinformed discussions lead to the items being put off to committees, etc., etc, ad nauseum. Oh, well!

Looking ahead: 
Violets, Daffodils and Forsythia- (spring blooms in shades of purple, cream and yellow.) 
Colored with Copic pens



Violet's Pleasure

Violet grows right near the stair
Green leaves wreath her head like hair.
She bobs and sways as Nature sings,
And spreads her seeds for future Springs.
                                                       Suz
Ddaffs right outside my craft room windows, Trouble cat saying hello.
We planted these as little slips of plants 16 or so years ago.





Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge- Letter U

WELCOME, EVERYONE:

 to my second year in the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.

Since I plan to retire shortly, I thought an alphabetical look back at my paying library career and a look ahead to my crafting and writing career would be a good use of my 26 days in this challenge, 26 wonderful words for retiring me. Hope you enjoy. I am looking forward to reading whatever you share this month on your blogs, too.

LOOKING BACK: 
Understanding- (mental process of one who comprehends.) 
Working on this blog for a month has really given me a greater understanding of what I have to let go of and get over when I leave. Sorry you all had to plod along with me. It was just nice to write it all down and have one or two people listen to my thoughts.

Looking ahead: 
Undiscovered- (not seen, found, learned, gained sight of.)
One of my favorite poets is Robert Frost, one of my favorite poems is "The Road Not Taken." I just have this overwhelming feeling that my next road to be traveled is out there waiting to be discovered and if I don't take the time while I have the mental and physical energy I'll never get to where I am supposed to go.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge- Letter T


WELCOME, EVERYONE:

 to my second year in the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.

Since I plan to retire shortly, I thought an alphabetical look back at my paying library career and a look ahead to my crafting and writing career would be a good use of my 26 days in this challenge, 26 wonderful words for retiring me. Hope you enjoy. I am looking forward to reading whatever you share this month on your blogs, too.

LOOKING BACK: 
Treasure- (wealth or riches stored or accumulated.) 
People, things and times I will treasure and take with me:
  • Working with Charlotte, my first assistant.
  • The first Girl Scouts who worked with me in the Summer Reading Program (SRP) and then became my first teen volunteers.
  • All those SRP themes and the activities that went with them.
  • Listening to a 10 year old boy explain the play he had just read, Hamlet. Certainly was a different telling.
  • Holding all those new babies while the Moms got the older kids' coats on and off.
  • One summer, the theme involved detectives. I was doing a craft with kids, I left the room, came back dressed in a disguise. I walked around the room several times. I left and came back without the disguise. Then I asked them to write down what I wore- they were so busy telling me that they knew it was me, hardly any of them could remember what I was wearing. It was lots of fun.
  • Then, later as Assistant Director, I loved writing out all the checks for the monthly bills, mailing them all. Such a feeling of finishing a job well done.
  • Working with the Board as an equal and sharing in two hard fought building campaigns. We lost both, not for lack of trying on our part, though. And my opinion and work was valued.
  • New employees coming on, other employees leaving and all that was required to get everyone settled.
  • Creating holiday cards for the staff; 20or so cards, each a little different. Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween, Spring. Wish I had been able to do more of them.
  • Creating 1/2 of a scrapbook for Becky, who had taken my place in the Children's Department. She moved away. I found many pictures of all the groups of kids she had worked with and the ideas just flowed onto the pages. Hopes she still looks at that book and remembers I gave her a piece of my heart.
  • Creating a scrapbook for a Carol Ann when she turned 65. Had pictures of the staff and funny sayings. I know she has that on her coffee table.
  • And then there are the books, every glorious one of them that I will miss.
Looking ahead: 
Robin eggs in a hollow tree in our yard.
Time Capsules- (a receptacle holding documents or objects put away to be discovered at a later date.)
Talking about scrapbooks, each one I make captures a time and place for me. I have one for each of my grandchildren's first year, one of my son and then my daughter's weddings, books of my hubby's and my vacations. Did a double album, before and after renovating our home. Did six identical mini albums for my sisters, daughter and daughter in law about my Mom, and a sad one about my husband's parents when they passed away.

Been awhile since I've done an album but I am looking forward to working on 3 albums of our various cruises and one about my favorite things which I started a long while ago (see photos).
Crab Apple tree in front yard.

I like finding stamped images, poems, bit and pieces to make my pages unique. Now that I am learning a lot about creating my own backgrounds with stencils, gesso and the like, I should be coming up with some great visuals.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge- Letter S

WELCOME, EVERYONE:

 to my second year in the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.

Since I plan to retire shortly, I thought an alphabetical look back at my paying library career and a look ahead to my crafting and writing career would be a good use of my 26 days in this challenge, 26 wonderful words for retiring me. Hope you enjoy. I am looking forward to reading whatever you share this month on your blogs, too.

LOOKING BACK: 
Singing- (to utter words or sounds in succession with musical modulations of the voice.) 
I sing all the time, or hum or whistle. I do it when I am happy, sad, angry, nervous, excited, worried. Pretty much all the time. I do it in a not so great anymore voice and don't usually realize I am. In fact, when the staff got me a beautiful pin to celebrate my 65th birthday, they gave me a musical staff with a pearl in the circle flourish part.  When they thought of me, they thought of how they could tell me mood by what I was singing at the time. I was honored. Rather be remembered as a hummer than as someone who lost her temper.

Looking ahead: 
Sharing- (to use, participate in, enjoy, receive, etc. jointly.)
At work, we share problems, tasks, family stories, goals, dreams. We support each other every day. I hope to be able to keep those friendships alive after I leave.

I belong to several crafting and now writing groups on line and although nothing can duplicate the real thing, I hope I can build some new friends there, too.

Thanks for visiting and listening.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge- Letter R

WELCOME, EVERYONE:

 to my second year in the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.

Since I plan to retire shortly, I thought an alphabetical look back at my paying library career and a look ahead to my crafting and writing career would be a good use of my 26 days in this challenge, 26 wonderful words for retiring me. Hope you enjoy. I am looking forward to reading whatever you share this month on your blogs, too.

LOOKING BACK: 
Redraw- (to draw again.) 
"Sometimes you have to redraw the lines in order to stay within the lines." Quote from the tv series White Collar.
If I no longer feel I fit in the lines that have been drawn for me at work, then I am redrawing them to include a graceful exit door for me.


Looking ahead: 
Rubber Stamps and Romance Novels- (some of my loves.)
Just my Stampin' Up! sets. I know I'm addicted.
As far back as I can remember, I have crafted. I was trying to think of what my first rubber stamp might have been- maybe Winnie-the-Pooh stamps for the kids. My recent love of stamps began more than 20 years ago with flower images, probably from Stampin' Up!, to color and now I have hundreds of sets and individual stamps. Rubber, cling, clear- they all have a home with me. Some of my favorite companies are Papertrey Ink, Flourishes, Stampin' Up!, Tim Holtz, Memory Box and Hero Arts, Stamps by Judith and Penny Black; many more too numerous to name. I use them in my cards, scrap pages, collages, journal pages. I seasonally decorate my craft room with them.

My love of romance novels goes back to teenage years. Mom didn't have them in our house but I babysat a lot and found books to read after the kids went to bed. Sometimes it would take two or three sitting jobs before I finished the book.
Using stamps as decoration in my craft room.
After I was married, I always had a romance on my night table or propped on the table as I folded the wash. Some of my old favorite authors have been Nora Roberts (of course), Jude Deveraux, Amanda Quick, Joanna Lindsey; I always like a little mystery with my loving. I have recently found Stephanie Laurens and am making my way through all her books. And my mystery author list is lots longer- but that's another letter.




And now, miracles of miracles, my own daughter will be a published author next month. Although I have proof-read her book several times, it will be with great joy and expectation that I will read it in its entirety.

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge- Letter Q

WELCOME, EVERYONE:

 to my second year in the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.

Since I plan to retire shortly, I thought an alphabetical look back at my paying library career and a look ahead to my crafting and writing career would be a good use of my 26 days in this challenge, 26 wonderful words for retiring me. Hope you enjoy. I am looking forward to reading whatever you share this month on your blogs, too.

LOOKING BACK: 
Quibble- (a use of ambiguous, prevaricating or irreverent language or arguments to evade a point of issue.) 
"One of the hardest decisions you'll ever face in life is choosing whether to walk away or try harder."

I won't quibble with you on this point, the Board is the major reason I am retiring. There has been no forward motion for the the Library in over three years. The staff tries harder with less and less, the Board quibbles over everything.

Looking ahead: 
Quotes- (to repeat a passage, phrase,etc. from a book, speech or the like.)
Here are a few of my current favorites:
"Just at the lacy edge of the sea." Mary Oliver
"Things that matter the most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least." Goethe
"We lose ourselves in something we love, we find ourselves there, too." Kiristen Martz
"You are about to exceed the limits of my medication.
"Arts and crafts keep me sane" Mary Engelbreit
And
"As i have grown older, I've learned that pleasing everyone is impossible, but, pissing everyone off is a piece of cake."

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge- Letter P

WELCOME, EVERYONE:

 to my second year in the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.

Since I plan to retire shortly, I thought an alphabetical look back at my paying library career and a look ahead to my crafting and writing career would be a good use of my 26 days in this challenge, 26 wonderful words for retiring me. Hope you enjoy. I am looking forward to reading whatever you share this month on your blogs, too.

LOOKING BACK: 
Published- (to issue in copies made by printing or other processes for sale or distribution to the public as a book, or the like.) 
For many years, I have been submitting poems and articles to the library's publications. Recently, I have been writing a column titled "Tails from the furry side", devoted to the animals that have wandered through my life. There was the story of the great gerbil massacre, an article about our family dog Monger, tales of our many cats, inside and out.
I am collecting all my material off my work computer and I'll be posting some of it here for publishing on my blog. Stop back in a few weeks for a view.

Looking ahead: 
Poem- (a composition in verse.)
Paint the sky blue or yellow
From now on I'll be quite mellow.

I'll paint my skies as I see fit,
I'll dance around and sing a bit.

And write my name in letters gold,
On the poems I make, if I am so bold.

I'll create all day to my heart's desire,
Now that I've chosen to retire.

Thank you for visiting.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge- Letter O

WELCOME, EVERYONE:

 to my second year in the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.

Since I plan to retire shortly, I thought an alphabetical look back at my paying library career and a look ahead to my crafting and writing career would be a good use of my 26 days in this challenge, 26 wonderful words for retiring me. Hope you enjoy. I am looking forward to reading whatever you share this month on your blogs, too.

LOOKING BACK: 
Obstacle- (something that stands in the way or obstructs forward progress.) 
I can see clearly now, the rain has gone
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It's gonna be a bright, bright sun-shining day
It's gonna be a bright, bright sun-shining day

I think I can make it now, the pain has gone
All of the bad feelings have disappeared
Here is that rainbow I've been praying for
It's gonna be a bright, bright sun-shining day

Look all around, there's nothing but blue sky
Look straight ahead, nothing but blue sky
I can see clearly now, the rain has gone,
I can see all obstacles in my way.
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It's gonna be a bright, bright sunshiny day.

Thank you Johnny Nash for the perfect description of how I felt and how I feel now.

Looking ahead: 
Observation- (an act of recognizing or noting a fact or occurrence.)
You wake with that brilliant idea, an outstanding book plot, poem title, collage idea, you roll over scribble something down on the beside pad you keep there for just such ideas and go back to sleep with a feeling of a job completed.
Then the next morning, you try to decipher what you have written.  Whatever is on the pad is obfuscated, obtuse, oblique, opaque, occluded, obscure and somewhat odd. Some of my best work begins like that.

Thanks for stopping by. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge- Letter N

WELCOME, EVERYONE:

 to my second year in the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.

Since I plan to retire shortly, I thought an alphabetical look back at my paying library career and a look ahead to my crafting and writing career would be a good use of my 26 days in this challenge, 26 wonderful words for retiring me. Hope you enjoy. I am looking forward to reading whatever you share this month on your blogs, too.

LOOKING BACK: 
Need VS Want- (Need-a requirement, necessary duty or obligation. Want- to feel a desire for, wish for.) 
Most retirement guides presume that your date is set by the business you work for, such as retirement at 65 or years of service plus age. The guides mostly tell you to get all your financials in order and then sail off into happily ever after. They can also give you a feeling that if you choose incorrectly, there will be doom and gloom in your future.
As of now, at the library, you may set your own date. I had to determine whether I had a real need or just a want to leave at this time. Found a book entitled "Yes" or "No" The Guide to Better Decisions by Spencer Johnson, M.D. It's premise is based on  making better decisions by using your head and your heart to answer some basic questions. It's a very small book and by repeatedly reading over the text, I have calmed myself down on my most troubled days or sleepless nights. The premise has helped me realize that I have thought this decision through. Conflicts with the Board take a major chunk out of my well-being; why jeopardize my health for another few months of pay.

Looking ahead: 
Necessity- (realization beforehand, foretaste.)
What will be a necessity... keeping myself on a schedule. Although sitting around reading all day sounds heavenly right now, I've seen what inactivity has done to my husband and others. My best work time has always been morning. So, no matter which hat I'm wearing- cook, cleaner, writer, creator, gardener, traveler- I want to get up in the morning and get my day going, with music in the background and happy thoughts in my head. I'll probably drive my husband nuts the first few weeks; who knows, this will probably be good for him, too.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge- Letter M

WELCOME, EVERYONE:

 to my second year in the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.

Since I plan to retire shortly, I thought an alphabetical look back at my paying library career and a look ahead to my crafting and writing career would be a good use of my 26 days in this challenge, 26 wonderful words for retiring me. Hope you enjoy. I am looking forward to reading whatever you share this month on your blogs, too.

LOOKING BACK: 
Magniloquent- (speaking or expressed in a lofty or grandiose style, pompous, bombastic, boastful.) 
I was looking for a good M word in the big Random House Dictionary of the English Language, 1966 edition, and found this interesting word. Don't think I've ever seen it in print. That will be my word for the week. Wonder how many appropriate times I can use it!!

Looking ahead: 
Markers- (realization beforehand, foretaste.)
You should see how many markers I have- wait, I'll take a photo to demonstrate. I've acquired many of these since I've started taking the on-line classes. There are alcohol inks, watercolor inks, permanent inks, india inks. Markers for coloring, lettering, calligraphy. In fact, I have the best set of markers in the world...
Oh, wait, I was being a little magniloquent, wasn't I.


Thanks for stopping by.


Saturday, April 13, 2013

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge- Letter L

WELCOME, EVERYONE:

 to my second year in the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.

Since I plan to retire shortly, I thought an alphabetical look back at my paying library career and a look ahead to my crafting and writing career would be a good use of my 26 days in this challenge, 26 wonderful words for retiring me. Hope you enjoy. I am looking forward to reading whatever you share this month on your blogs, too.

LOOKING BACK: 
Lame Duck- (someone who's employment is limited and chooses not to get involved in office politics. [My own definition.]) 
Enough said.

Looking ahead: 
Learning- (the act or process of acquiring knowledge or skill.)
Gail Carson Levine is the author of  Ella Enchanted, a Newbery Honor Winner and many other late childhood/early young adult books. She has written an excellent book entitled Writing Magic, Creating Stories That Fly, where she shares her secrets of great writing. She mentions that she will be "learning to write until she dies."
I like her writing style and will be using her tips as I rumble along with my poems and stories. If I never get anything published, I enjoy the writing process so much that that is reward in itself.
.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge- Letter K

WELCOME, EVERYONE:

 to my second year in the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.

Since I plan to retire shortly, I thought an alphabetical look back at my paying library career and a look ahead to my crafting and writing career would be a good use of my 26 days in this challenge, 26 wonderful words for retiring me. Hope you enjoy. I am looking forward to reading whatever you share this month on your blogs, too.

LOOKING BACK: 
Kindle, Nook and Print Books- (technology vs an old comfort.) 
In order to keep up with the booksellers, libraries are furnishing e-books along with paper materials for their users. According to the customers, the ease of use, portability, convenience of having several titles in one place and the price makes them very popular. I do see the advantage of having a book on an electronic device. I would read something that way, I suppose; not ruling that out if it were handed to me.
Still, call me old fashioned or a traditionalist, I am very much a print book person. Holding a book in my hand, turning back real pages to read something a second time, having a beautiful bookmark to keep my place, seeing the book on my nightstand, bookshelf or inside my book bag gives me a happy feeling that a device doesn't give.
And, when we lose electricity, I can still read my book by the light of a window or by candle glow.

Looking ahead: 
Kindred Spirits- (having the same belief, attitude or feelings.)
My sister, Alison, lives about 6 + hours away from me. Several times a year, I drive up to visit, often for the sole reason of shopping together at a craft store, Buffalo Stamps and Stuff, near her. Alison and I both love to color stamped images and make cards. We chat and share ideas over a cup of tea. Kindred spirits of the sister kind.
I also have kindred spirits of the "crafting" kind from all over the world. They are all the ladies who have bonded together through Joanne Sharpe's classes. For each class, there is a Facebook group. We submit work while taking the classes, learning from each other as well as Joanne. Then we go back later and submit more work and make encouraging comments to the newbees who have just started their journeys into Joanne's wonderful world of creativity. We alert each other to sales at Michael's and AC Moore. We commiserate about how much we spend and how much we just want to be crafting rather than doing anything else. I would love to meet these women and share that cup of tea (or a margarita). What a great bunch of like-minded ladies.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge- Letter J

WELCOME, EVERYONE:

 to my second year in the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.

Since I plan to retire shortly, I thought an alphabetical look back at my paying library career and a look ahead to my crafting and writing career would be a good use of my 26 days in this challenge, 26 wonderful words for retiring me. Hope you enjoy. I am looking forward to reading whatever you share this month on your blogs, too.

LOOKING BACK: 
Journey- (travel from one place to another, usually taking a rather long time.) 
My journey has been long and a little convoluted. I married young, had my children young, and then found in order to raise the kids, pay the bills and live some sort of comfortable life, I needed to work full time along with my husband.
I was a clerk at a small library for a few years, loved it.; not enough income. I got my degree as a registered nurse and worked with that for several years; not my cup of tea. I then moved on to work for about 16 years in a nuclear medicine products company. When the company closed, I happened across the position at this library and fell in love again for 18+ years.
Who knows where my next adventure will be.

Looking ahead: 
Journal- (a daily record, as of occurrences, experiences or observations.)
I've always saved bits and pieces: quotes that appeal to me, sayings I like, postage stamps that are unique, story ideas I'd like to write, scraps of poems I've written. They've been scattered around in folders, on corners of napkins, used as bookmarks.
Last year I heard about collecting all these bits and pieces into creative, artful journals. Along with the saved stuff, you put current thoughts, snippets of ideas and sketches of drawings or doodles that you do. Not a regular diary, I can add whenever I want. This sounds like something just right for me.
So, I started to read books about artful journals (a big benefit of the library) and taking the idea one step further, I am doing some coloring in the book and making it really mine. It is small enough to take with me and I even bought a traveling watercolor set for on the road.

Thanks for stopping by. See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge- Letter I

WELCOME, EVERYONE:

 to my second year in the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.

Since I plan to retire shortly, I thought an alphabetical look back at my paying library career and a look ahead to my crafting and writing career would be a good use of my 26 days in this challenge, 26 wonderful words for retiring me. Hope you enjoy. I am looking forward to reading whatever you share this month on your blogs, too.

LOOKING BACK: 
Income- (the returns that come in periodically.) 
Yes, the scary part. Living on retirement income. We think we can do it. Our financial adviser thinks we can do it. Maybe I can't buy a million dollars a month in craft supplies (what fun is that), but our cats and we won't be eating dog food, either. Maybe next year I'll be using the A to Z challenge to give tips on how manage on my income. You know, how to get 18 meals out of 1 turkey and a head of cabbage! And my daughter suggests (bless her little heart) that I can always go out and get a part time job to make ends meet if it gets tough!

Looking ahead: 
Imagination- (the act of forming mental images or concepts of what is not actually present to the senses.)
I am a very lucky woman. In June, I am going to take classes from both Donna Downey and Joanne Sharpe, at Donna's studio in North Carolina. They are both mixed media artists and I really like their work. Actually, I can achieve similar results which is blowing my imagination. I most certainly don't have the vision they have, or probably the talent, but I do have confidence in what I do and that is important to me.

The photo I have here is not a mixed media piece per say, however, after taking a few classes with Joanne, I felt brave enough to draw this and paint it with watercolors. What an exhilarating feeling. I want to try mixed media ideas but mix them in with my dainty water coloring technique.

I hope to take lots of photos on our upcoming trip to excite my imagination in writing, poetry and my coloring. I've been postponing so many projects til I am retired that my brain feels like it is bursting with ideas. Let that imagination soar.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge- Letter H

WELCOME, EVERYONE:

 to my second year in the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.

Since I plan to retire shortly, I thought an alphabetical look back at my paying library career and a look ahead to my crafting and writing career would be a good use of my 26 days in this challenge, 26 wonderful words for retiring me. Hope you enjoy. I am looking forward to reading whatever you share this month on your blogs, too.

LOOKING BACK: 
History- (the branch of knowledge dealing with past events.) 
I am the third longest employed person at the library. Lots of history will be walking out the door in my brain.
  • Lots of human interest stories of customers and staff. I've seen little kids in story time grow up, volunteer as teens then go on to college. Some of my first little friends are coming back with their own little ones. Staff members have gotten their degrees and moved on. Loving customers have moved away or much worse passed on.
  • I am the keeper of the records. Right now I can still put my fingers on just about anything, however, I've noticed lately I have to concentrate much harder on where I put the new stuff in order to locate it later. I'll be leaving notes for a new person....
  • I remember the fund raisers, successful and non, the years when the library didn't have the money to buy supplies, the years when the book budget was flush and we had no place to put all that we ordered. The years when the public voted for our budget, the years when they said no and we made do.
  • I remember the Staff Holiday Parties at the end of the year. They evolved from lunches with grab bag gifts before we opened the library on Wednesdays to dinners on Friday evenings after the building closes. The staff plans the menu, decorates the quiet area with handmade (and therefore very special) decorations, shares gifts and enjoys desserts. We are a very close group, 18 ladies and 2 guys who survive the lady talk and keep on smiling.
  • Birthday parties, baby showers, sympathy cards- life coming and going and still we put on excellent programming and give wonderful customer service.
  • Sadly, I remember the times when our Board and the staff worked together in harmony and trust. I'm moving on.

Looking ahead: 
Home Hunting- (looking for a home.)
One of the big things my hubby and I plan to do this year is see if there is a better place for us to live when I retire. We are planning a trip to South Carolina to look around the state. According to everything we read (books and online) SC is quite kind to retirees in their taxes, property taxes, home costs, etc. We like the idea of a mild climate with 4 seasons. So, we will take a couple of weeks to roam around, see if we want the low country with its beaches, the piedmont or the up country with its mountain areas. We may also roam the Georgia coast and north west Florida. We are so looking forward to this trip. And when all is said and done, we may stay right here in lower upper New York State.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge- Letter G

WELCOME, EVERYONE:

 to my second year in the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.

Since I plan to retire shortly, I thought an alphabetical look back at my paying library career and a look ahead to my crafting and writing career would be a good use of my 26 days in this challenge, 26 wonderful words for retiring me. Hope you enjoy. I am looking forward to reading whatever you share this month on your blogs, too.

LOOKING BACK: 
Grateful- (warmly or deeply appreciative of kindness or benefits received.)
  • for all the years I've earned a salary and benefits at the library.
  • for all the enriching conferennces I've attended. I've met many children's and adult authors- Eric Carle, Nancy Tafuri, Doug Florian, Gail Carson Levine, Bruce Coville, Miriam Grace Monfredo, Lawrence Block and Carol Goodman to name a few. None of them would remember me, but, they all made an impact on me.
  • for the opportunities to learn new things, show children the beauty of books, work with a great group of ladies and men.
  • for the room to grow.

Looking ahead: 
Gesso- (a fluid acrylic prep that seals, stiffens and provides "tooth" to painting surfaces.)
Any of you who are familiar with paper crafting are probably very familiar with gesso, gel medium, modeling paste and more. I am just wandering into this area and am loving what applying these preps can do for your watercolor and media art paper. I have been taking online classes from Joanne Sharpe, www.whimspirations.com and Donna Downey, www.donnadowney.com and learning all about texture in backgrounds and what that can do for my finished project. There is much to pursue at my craft table.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge- Letter F

WELCOME, EVERYONE:

 to my second year in the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.

Since I plan to retire shortly, I thought an alphabetical look back at my paying library career and a look ahead to my crafting and writing career would be a good use of my 26 days in this challenge, 26 wonderful words for retiring me. Hope you enjoy. I am looking forward to reading whatever you share this month on your blogs, too.

LOOKING BACK: 
Frankly, annoying person, I don't give a damn-to misquote Rhett. 
That felt good. I am finding that writing all this down is very cathartic. Thank you for listening.

Looking ahead: 
Fussy Cutting- (using sharp, pointed scissors to cut out intricate images.)
I love to fussy cut the stamped images I use on my cards and pages.The tulips in this card are stamped on two pieces of paper. Then one set of the blooms are fussy cut and laid on top over the first image, held in place with foam tape to create a shadowed effect. I stamp and color a whole bunch of images, put them in a sandwich bag, stick them in my pocketbook and then cut to my heart's content riding in the car, waiting in the doctor's office, sitting at meetings. Looking forward to lots more time to devote to this and other things I love to do.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge- Letter E

WELCOME, EVERYONE:

 to my second year in the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.

Since I plan to retire shortly, I thought an alphabetical look back at my paying library career and a look ahead to my crafting and writing career would be a good use of my 26 days in this challenge, 26 wonderful words for retiring me. Hope you enjoy. I am looking forward to reading whatever you share this month on your blogs, too.

LOOKING BACK: 
Epiphany- (Sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something.) 
So I woke up one morning and said, "Hey, I don't have to stay here. I can get books at my home library, (or, shudder, on Amazon.").

Looking ahead: 
Exercise- (bodily or mental exertion especially for the sake of training or improvement.)
I have promised my doctor that once I have my days to myself I will start walking daily to lose weight and strengthen my muscles. I have been sitting at a desk for too long. If I want to be sitting to write and create, I have got to make time to walk. I promise.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge- Letter D

WELCOME, EVERYONE:

 to my second year in the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.

Since I plan to retire shortly, I thought an alphabetical look back at my paying library career and a look ahead to my crafting and writing career would be a good use of my 26 days in this challenge, 26 wonderful words for retiring me. Hope you enjoy. I am looking forward to reading whatever you share this month on your blogs, too.

LOOKING BACK: 
Detritus- (loose material such as rock particles, organic particles, that result directly from disintegration.) 
Started going through my files, drawers, shelves at work making an inventory of what is mine and what is theirs. I've found some old photos of really good people and times that I love. Found notes on  2 unsuccessful building campaigns to enlarge the library; I played an integral part. Taxpayers said no and life went on.
I am organizing my work. I am revising the job descriptions of our 20 employees, creating procedures on how I do my job, knowing the next person will rearrange the work and make it their own.
Loose particles floating around me every day. It's ok with me.

Looking ahead: 
One of my first attempts at Zentangle and an uncooperative camera.
Doodle- (a design made by idle scribbling.)
In the meantime I have become interested in Doodling, Zentangling. The work is anything but idle scribbling. It is an easy to learn method of creating beautiful images from repetitive patterns; fun, relaxing, increasing focus and creativity. So says Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas, the creators.
I agree, it's just what I need. As I create curls and wavy lines into patterns I can feel myself unwinding , unfurling. I do this at night during commercials or in the tense parts of the tv shows when I don't want to look at the screen. Or at 4 am when I wake up because of  worries from work.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge- Letter C

WELCOME, EVERYONE:

 to my second year in the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.

Since I plan to retire shortly, I thought an alphabetical look back at my paying library career and a look ahead to my crafting and writing career would be a good use of my 26 days in this challenge, 26 wonderful words for retiring me. Hope you enjoy. I am looking forward to reading whatever you share this month on your blogs, too.


LOOKING BACK: 
Courage- (the quality of mind or spirit that enables one to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., with firmness and without fear.) 
Wow, when I look at the definition of the word, I am humbled. It has taken courage to come to this spot. This is actually the 3rd date I have set with my husband (who is retired) in the last 18 months. For whatever reasons those other 2 retiring dates were postponed (I partly chickened out hoping work would get better), mentally and emotionally I'm tired. I feel like the boy who cried wolf. I need to move on to....
Looking ahead: 
Celebrate- (to observe or commemorate, to to make known publicly, proclaim.)
"Hey, celebration time, come on." With that tune in my head, I'll go to my great little craft room where I work on greeting cards, scrapbooks, do a little painting, take online classes, write, create poetry, stare at my garden and dream. I need to let some fresh air in my brain so I can be inventive.
After much hard work, my daughter is publishing her first book. Maybe there is a book in me, too. My poems and articles have been published in the library newsletter, who knows, they might appeal to a wider audience. All I can do is fly....

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge- Letter B



WELCOME, EVERYONE:

 to my second year in the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.

Since I plan to retire shortly, I thought an alphabetical look back at my paying library career and a look ahead to my crafting and writing career would be a good use of my 26 days in this challenge, 26 wonderful words for retiring me. Hope you enjoy. I am looking forward to reading whatever you share this month on your blogs, too.

LOOKING BACK: 
Bittersweet- (pleasure mixed with pain or regret.) 
What did I enjoy most at the Library?
  • Availability to books, books and more books. 49 local library's collections at my fingertips.
  • Good friends to discuss life's problems with on a daily basis. We have always been there for each other.
What least?
  • Communication breakdown with the Library Board.
  • The loss of purpose, appreciation and reward.
It is time for me to go.

Looking ahead: 
Blending- (to mix smoothly and inseparably together.)
Once I stop working out of the house, I'll have some work to do blending my life back together. I 'll need to put house cleaning, gardening, crafting and writing together in a way that keeps it all interesting and gives me the sense of purpose and accomplishment that I feel I've lost.

Thanks for stopping by.