Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Word is: LIFE

I've been thinking a lot lately about life. The big questions. What is it all about? Why do we have problems? What's the point in trying to be good all the time? Why can't I eat brownies and cheesecake every day? Why do the weeds grow faster than the lawn? Why does the car break down? Why can't I fall asleep when I want/need to? How do I turn off the voices in my head? Why do we have to work so stinkin' hard every day? Ah, the questions just keep coming. And the answers? Well, they're mostly the same. We are here to learn. Those tangled Christmas lights? That guy who just cut you off in traffic? The latest financial crisis? The health setbacks? The earthquakes and hurricanes? Yep, they're all there to help us learn. What do we do with what comes along? That's what really matters. Bottom line, folks, is that crap's gonna happen. But good stuff's also gonna happen, and the goal is to find the joy and the learning in every situation. Sometimes it's easy and sometimes it's hard and sometimes it seems like it would be a good idea to just give up and stop trying, but that's what the bad guys want. So... just keep swimming! Keep that chin up! And as my best friend and hubby always tells me, "just be happy!" (artwork by moi, available as part of THIS clear stamp set from Impression Obsession - CL310)

PS - Did a little refresh on the blog background and font colors today... you like? Me like!

"A man sooner or later discovers that he is the master-gardener of his soul, the director of his life."  —James Allen 

"All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on."  —Henry Ellis 

"Any idiot can face a crisis — it's the day-to-day living that wears you out."  —Anton Chekhov 

"Every man dies. Not every man really lives."  —William Wallace

Monday, September 19, 2011

Come fall with me!

Fall is my favorite time of year. It's the best - no contest. Crisp mornings, cooler nights, garden harvests, leaves turning colors, new school supplies, layered clothing, sleeping with socks on my feet, marching bands, holiday goodies in the stores... I love it all! Here in NorCal we're just starting to get a hint of these things. It's still quite warm during the day but the evenings and mornings are now kissed with coolness. And that indescribable energy and feeling in the fall air that is just so fresh and invigorating... It's delicious. And the food of fall: Apple crisp. Cinnamon Rolls. Pumpkin bread and cookies. Butternut squash soup. Corn. Corn Bread. Sage-spiced chicken and stuffing. One-dish dinners simmering all day in the crock pot. Zucchini everything! I could go on and on, but you get the picture! Yummmmm.

"No spring or summer beauty hath such grace as I have seen in one autumnal face."  —John Donne 

"Oh how we love pumpkin season! You DID know this gourd-ish squash has its own season, right? Winter, Spring, Summer, Pumpkin... we anxiously anticipate it every year! —Trader Joes 

"There is a harmony in autumn, and a luster in its sky, which through the summer is not heard or seen, as if it could not be, as if it had not been!" —Percy Bysshe Shelley

Monday, September 12, 2011


Mouth is sore, but life goes on. Hope to be back to 100% soon. And hey, life is good and I'm not complaining! I am thankful for my family, my friends, my home, my country, and all that good stuff.

"We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey."  —Kenji Miyazawa

"Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, the pain lasts forever."  —Lance Armstrong

Friday, September 9, 2011

Some Random Thoughts...

Today's post will be just some disjointed things I've thought about recently that I wanted to share. I am headed back to the periodontist later this morning for another mouth surgery, so in a few minutes I will be taking my sedative medication and will be out of commission for the rest of today and possibly tomorrow. So I thought I'd get a few things off my chest before I go...

1. Last week I was at my local Good Will store, doing what I love best: a little Good Will Hunting. When I took my purchases to the register, in front of me in line there was a middle-aged man who purchased just one item. It was a bra. A beige, silky, used, underwire ladies' bra. I have to say it was a little weird. I'm hoping he plans to use it in some sort of Halloween costume, however I really don't want to think about it. Your ideas?

2. Have you ever thought about garbage? Garbage dumps are fascinating, and frightening. I am a little afraid of how much garbage we generate. Let's all do our part to make less garbage. Starting with junk mail. Make it stop! 

3. I get to go to my friend Fred's house next weekend and see Nienie and her husband speak. Can't wait! 

4. Barrack Obama is really getting on my nerves.

Okay - I am off! Make it a great day. Kisses! Please pray for me. I am a little nervous about this surgery. 

"Courage is resistance of fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear."  —Mark Twain.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


This is all for today. Some wishful thinking and some prayers.

"It is difficulties that show what men are."  —Epictetus

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Big Announcement...


So... the big and overwhelming project Rich and I have been working on for the past couple of months has now been born. is an online store specializing in rubber stamps, papercrafting supplies, original art prints of my own designs, and soon to be much more. We are still building, tweaking, and adding content & inventory like crazy, so the site right now is a mere shadow of what it will become. Please bear with us — we're learning as we go, but we're confident that soon this site will be everything we dreamed. Sometime in the next year will also start carrying clear and rubber stamps of my own designs, which are manufactured by and available through Impression Obsession (and their retailers world-wide). I am so excited about this new venture! And in addition to the website we're diversifying into some other aspects of the industry as well. It's a busy time here at Allred headquarters, but we could not be more thrilled. Thanks to our family and friends who have cheered us along the way! Love you! Couldn't live without you! And of course our most grateful thanks goes to God, who grants us our lives and our talents.

"God gave you a gift of 86.400 seconds today. Have you used one of them to say 'thank you?'" —William Ward

"Praise the bridge that carried you over."  —George Colman

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Word is: APPROVAL

ap·prov·al  n.
1. The act or an instance of approving.
2. An official approbation; a sanction.
3. Favorable regard; commendation.

Approval is a good thing. You work hard, you accomplish something, and then someone in authority says, "I approve." I heard those words this weekend and it made me clap my hands, take a deep breath, smile and say, "YES!" And then I immediately picked up the phone and called my sweetie. More details on all of that later this week...

So today is Labor Day in America. What does it mean beyond getting a three-day weekend and celebrating the unofficial end of summer? Labor Day, a federal US holiday since 1894, is observed on the first Monday in September and celebrates the economic and social contributions of workers. It has nothing really to do with camping, or swimming, or shopping, or backyard bar-b-ques. But all of that is fun, and spending a weekend with friends & family, and having Rich home today... I am a fan! I approve.

Happy Labor Day. Happy Approval. Let's all work hard, contribute good stuff to the world, and be happy!

"Action is the foundational key to all success."  —Pablo Picasso

Friday, September 2, 2011

Celebrate YOU!

There's a birthday card challenge going on over at Impression Obsession, and once again the amazing gals on the IO design team have made some lovely cards, a few of them featuring some of my stamp designs. Here's one from Daniela Dobson. The "Celebrate YOU" sentiment is from my "Let Them Eat Cake" clear set, and it's also available individually as a rubber stamp (either wood-mounted or cling) here. Thanks Daniela, for again showing the versatility of these designs, and for creating another bee-autiful card! You are so talented. Love it.

So it's Labor Day weekend, September is here, and I guess that means Summer is over! Rich and I were outside last night and I was commenting on how it's starting to get dark a little earlier. I have to say that I'm looking forward to Fall. It's always been my favorite time of year... the smells, the celebrations, the cooler weather, the holidays... it's a wonderful time of year!

Life is extremely busy these days. Personal and family stuff, health stuff, and busy-busy-business stuff. There have been a few delays and frustrations, but we're almost ready to unveil our new venture. Stay tuned! Exciting things are coming... and once again, Rich, my amazing hubby, thank you for being you, and for all that you do! YAMS.

"Life is either a great adventure or nothing."  —Helen Keller   

"Adventure is worthwhile."  —Aristotle