Friday, January 27, 2012


Diane and I are headed out for Anaheim early tomorrow morning. It's time for the semi-annual CHA (Craft & Hobby Association) trade show & convention. We'll work some, play some, walk a TON, and have lots of fun! (oh hey, I made a little poem there). Here's a photo of the lovely Anaheim Convention Center, which will be our home for the next five days. Today is filled with the last-minute preparations for the demonstrations I'll run at Impression Obsession's booth, plus laundry, packing, cleaning the house, shopping, paying bills, and all those glamorous wife-type things.

I will try to blog from the road, but we'll have to see how it goes. I plan to take lots of photos of all the Anaheim excitement, so stay tuned for that.

Until next time... Hugs!

"When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money. Then take half the clothes and twice the money!"  —Susan Heller

"Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind."  —Seneca

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Fly... Be Free

Here's some more wisdom from the Eagles, from one of my favorite rowdy 1970's dance songs:

"So oftentimes it happens that we live our lives in chains, and we never even know we have the key."

We all are so much more powerful than we sometimes believe we are. We are divine, we are incredibly precious, and we are all amazing children of God. Every single one of us. I often think back to when my children were tiny new-born babies. How I loved and protected those precious babes, and how I dreamed for their future. Well, now that they are grown it sometimes takes some remembering that they are just as precious today, and need just as much love and care (albeit in different ways), as when they were tiny. And remember, each of us is someone's baby! Even if our mothers are no longer with us, we still need to be cherished, and loved, and encouraged to blossom and grow. We can do that for one another.

So... go and fly. Find the power within you to become your very best self! Listen to that still small voice. Be good. Do good. Grow your wings. Fly.

(stamp image above is my design, available HERE (wood-mounted or cling rubber) and also part of THIS clear set).

"A ship is safe in the harbor, but that's not what ships are for."  —William Shedd

"Courage is not simply one of the virtues; but the form of every virtue at the testing point."  —C.S. Lewis

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Word of the Year?

So I've read from a few different sources about an idea called a "Word of the Year Party," where people (ok, probably just ladies) get together and state for the record their well-contemplated words of the year, that they will focus on and alter their behavior toward. I happen to think that this is a wonderful idea! And while I am not hosting such a party, I have chosen a word for myself for 2012, and that word is: NICE. I have to admit that I was not the nicest mom or wife this morning. Of course I always beat myself up when I am less than my best, so I put myself on a little time-out and will regroup and restart the day in a few minutes, trying to be nicer...No more mean mom!!

I will strive to be nice, nicer, all year long. And being nice, mind you, is not to be confused with being timid or passive or easily manipulated or weak or door matt-ish. Sometimes a person has to be heard, and sometimes being forthright and confident can also be nice. This I know to be true.

So NICE is my word for the year. The world can use more nice, and I will strive to do my part. Some days will be more successful than others, I am sure, but if the year-long trend is toward greater niceness, then that will be good.

"It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice."  —unknown

"Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It may be the only sunshine he sees all day."  —H.J. Brown

"Don't be yourself — be someone a little nicer."  —Mignon McLaughlin

"Never miss an opportunity to make others happy, even if you have to leave them alone in order to do it."  —unknown

Friday, January 20, 2012

Little Sickie.

Our girl Steph has been sick all week. She has refused several offers from me to take her to the doctor. She's gone to work every day but she's been feeling really crummy and is barely functioning. Today she's doing a little better... fingers crossed that she will be herself again by the end of the weekend. Mom does not like it when her kids are sick! Booooooooo.

If you have someone you love who is under the weather, how about a get well card? I just happen to have a set of stamps for that very purpose! It's CL330 from Impression Obsession, pictured at right. Another shameless plug, but as you know I have no shame! Check it out.

Any big plans for the weekend? Rich wants to stay home out of the rain (yes, the rain DID come!) and clean the garage. Sounds like great fun to me! Maybe we just might get a car parked in there before the one-year anniversary of our moving in comes this Sunday. We'll see...

Here's hoping you and yours are happy and healthy!

"A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor's book."  —Irish Proverb

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Word is: WISDOM

Oh, I am so tired tonight. Physically and spiritually tired, if you know what I mean. It's been an extremely long and productive day and I am getting ready to walk down the hall to my bedroom and put on my warmies. Because in addition to being tired, I am COLD! And amazingly enough they say it's actually supposed to RAIN tomorrow. No rain at all here in NorCal for the entire month of December, and so far also none in January. So will it rain tomorrow? Hope so. The clouds are up there right now, blocking the stars. We'll see what happens.

So. Have you noticed that truth can come from many different sources? I love that about truth. Like little golden nuggets in the stream of life, just waiting for us to find them, pick them up, and put them into our pockets. I found a couple of those nuggets today, and they're posted below for your enjoyment and pleasure. I like to think of myself as a collector of truth. Now, if only actual gold nuggets were as easy to come by! Ahhhh, wouldn't that be sweet?

Good night, lovelies.

"Before you act, listen. Before you react, think. Before you spend, earn. Before you criticize, wait. Before you pray, forgive. Before you quit, try."   —Ernest Hemingway

“Life is too short to be someone you are not.”   —Melaine Thompson

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Getting Ready for CHA...

My pal Diane and I are headed to Anaheim next week for the CHA Winter Conference & Trade Show. I'll be doing demonstrations and make & take projects at the Impression Obsession booth each day from 1-3pm, so if you're attending the show please come and say hello! The photo at right is a little sneak peek of one of the projects I've designed for the show. It features my new "Joy in the Journey" stamp, which will soon be available from Impression Obsession and its retailers. Lots of really fun new designs and products are coming out at the show, and I am so excited to be a part of it!

OK, gotta run. Lots to do! Go hug someone today, and remember to smile! Life is good.

"Happiness is a form of courage." —Holbrook Jackson

Every now and then,
When the world sits just right,
A gentle breath of heaven
Fills my soul with delight.
                     —Hazelmarie Elliott

Monday, January 16, 2012

Get Over It

One of my best friends sent me this link yesterday. It's awesome.

Work hard, take care of you and yours, and don't assume that the world owes you anything. Isn't that the key? We must depend on ourselves. So turn off those "reality" television shows and get to work!

Sorry if this sounds harsh. Just sayin.'

And at the same time as all of the above... be nice. Try to leave the world a little better than you found it. Don't leave messes for others to clean up. That's all for today...

"The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary."  —Donald Kendall

Friday, January 13, 2012


I've been thinking a lot lately about success, and what it means to succeed at something, and the different ways that success can be measured. This little chart is from Beki at The Rusted Chain, and I find it to be very insightful. For the past year or so I have been trying to get a business venture off the ground. I have learned a lot, worked a lot, grown some new gray hair, had lots of fun, met some great people, cried some, yelled a little, and lost a lot of sleep. All of the above continue in some fashion almost every day. Some experts say that it takes a good two years of dedicated effort (not to mention oodles of money and guts) to see if your business has wings. I've also read a lot about The Gladwell Rule (that's Malcolm Gladwell - he's a genius in my book, and also clever and funny - he's awesome!), which says that 10,000 hours is what it takes to reach the success threshold in whatever endeavor you are pursuing, be it an art, a sport, a career, a business venture, or what have you. And of course the road to success is almost never smooth. Those so-called over-night successes usually have lots of back-story that is less than glamorous and sometimes downright ugly.

So here I am, somewhere near what I think is the 13-mile mark of what I hope will become my success marathon. I pray every day for the motivation, the energy, the stamina, the strength, the courage, the good judgment, the financing, the patience, the creative juice, and the guts to keep going. Stay the course... that's what they say, and it's what I am trying to do. So if you are out there running a marathon of your own, let me hear your story. Maybe we can help each other keep going. I hear the view from the top is out of this world. I'll let you know if/when I get there. Here's hoping.

"Success is simple: do what's right, in the right way, at the right time."
  —Arnold Glasgow

"Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be."  —George Sheehan

"Success is focusing the full power of all you are on what you have a burning desire to achieve."  —Wilfred Peterson

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

On Marshmallows and Patience.

Although we have never met, one of my very favorite people is Dieter F. Uchtdorf. He is a wise man of God. In my quest for peace I have read many of his writings lately. One that speaks to me today is from April 2010, a talk entitled "Continue In Patience." Click the link for the complete address or read below for a lovely and meaningful excerpt...

In the 1960s, a professor at Stanford University began a modest experiment testing the willpower of four-year-old children. He placed before them a large marshmallow and then told them they could eat it right away or, if they waited for 15 minutes, they could have two marshmallows.

He then left the children alone and watched what happened behind a two-way mirror. Some of the children ate the marshmallow immediately; some could wait only a few minutes before giving in to temptation. Only 30 percent were able to wait.

It was a mildly interesting experiment, and the professor moved on to other areas of research, for, in his own words, “there are only so many things you can do with kids trying not to eat marshmallows.” But as time went on, he kept track of the children and began to notice an interesting correlation: the children who could not wait struggled later in life and had more behavioral problems, while those who waited tended to be more positive and better motivated, have higher grades and incomes, and have healthier relationships.

What started as a simple experiment with children and marshmallows became a landmark study suggesting that the ability to wait—to be patient—was a key character trait that might predict later success in life. 

Waiting can be hard. Children know it, and so do adults. We live in a world offering fast food, instant messaging, on-demand movies, and immediate answers to the most trivial or profound questions. We don’t like to wait. Some even feel their blood pressure rise when their line at the grocery store moves slower than those around them.

Patience—the ability to put our desires on hold for a time—is a precious and rare virtue. We want what we want, and we want it now. Therefore, the very idea of patience may seem unpleasant and, at times, bitter. Nevertheless, without patience, we cannot please God; we cannot become perfect. Indeed, patience is a purifying process that refines understanding, deepens happiness, focuses action, and offers hope for peace.

Click HERE to

"The lessons we learn from patience will cultivate our character, lift our lives, and heighten our happiness."  —Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Happy All Year...

That is my goal. We all say "happy new year" in early January, then we kinda sometimes forget as time goes on and life happens. So I am here to say that I want to be happy all year, not just on January 1st. Maybe we can all remind each other: the goal in life is to have joy. Yes, we need to deal with our challenges and learn and grow and do hard things, but we also need to be happy. Find the joy. That's what life is about. And I'm talking true JOY here, which is different from pleasure and fun and entertainment and trips and cars and cruises and self-indulgences of all kinds. Those things are all good in their correct place and in moderation; however, true eternal joy and happiness is what we should really be striving for. Sometimes this pursuit involves self-discipline, and patience, and diligence, and sacrifice and seeing the bigger picture, and some of those other things that are sometimes not what the world would call "fun." But is the reward worth it? My soul and my heart and the answers to my prayers says it is. The God of the old testament uses the phrase "prove me now herewith..." I love those four words. I know what they mean to me, and you can find for yourself what they mean to you.

So... living a joyful life? I vote yes! Happy 2012, every single day.

"The constitution only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself."  —unknown

"Man is fond of counting his troubles, but he does not count his joys. If he counted them up as he ought to, he would see that every lot has enough happiness provided for it."  —Fyodor Dostoevsky

"What a wonderful life I've had! I only wish I'd realized it sooner."  —Colette

Monday, January 9, 2012

Classy and Fabulous.

Good morning. I had a lovely weekend - how about you? It's 9:13am on this beautiful Monday morning and it's been a rather full day already. Lots going on, and lots to be done! I have just a few minutes here but thought I'd share some inspirational quotes from Coco Chanel that I found recently. I don't really know much about Coco Chanel and I am not quite certain she is a great role model (or maybe she is - like I said, I don't really know)... but she did say some good things, and that's what I want to share today. We women can often be hard on ourselves and we need to remember to love the person we see in the mirror. We should enjoy who we are and always strive for that inner peace. And if we can't find inner peace then we need to change something. Okay... anyway, here you go. Enjoy, and go love yourself a little bit today, and be sure to say something nice to someone else! And remember: eye contact!

"A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous."

"Don't spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door."

"Fashion fades; only style remains the same."

"Hard times arouse an instinctive desire for authenticity."

"To live is a wonderful thing."

                                 —Coco Chanel

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Our Girl.

Happy 22nd birthday to our girl Steph! On January 5, 1990 at 10:08 in the morning, and after many great struggles to bring you into the world, you were finally born and you changed our lives forever. You were nine pounds and nine ounces with lots of soft brown hair, stunning blue eyes, and you were perfect in every way. When you were just a couple of hours old I held you and sang "You Are My Sunshine" and you lifted your head and looked into my eyes and I fell in love with you forever. What a choice and sweet angel you were then and have continued to be, and how you have blessed our family over these years! Stephanie, we love you beyond words. Happy birthday, our sweet girl.

"Grown don't mean nothing to a mother. A child is a child. They get bigger, older, but grown? What's that supposed to mean? In my heart it don't mean a thing."  —Toni Morrison

"A child is a gift straight from heaven."  —unknown

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


My words for today: Optimism & Gusto. These are words to live by, indeed!

Go be happy.

"Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence."  —Helen Keller

Monday, January 2, 2012


January 2, 2012. So, how is the new year going so far? Around here we're doing just fine, thank you. The Christmas decorations are all back in their boxes and headed to the attic, and Rich has patiently requested that the house be glitter-free by sundown. I'll see what I can do...

In my reading recently I came across a quote I found extremely meaningful to me, and I thought it'd share it today:

"Life can turn on a dime. The direction you head when it does makes all the difference."  —Oliver Harris

Making correct choices. Doing the right thing, even if it may seem unpopular. Taking the high road as we travel along life's journey. All of these are so important, as is listening to that still, small voice. These are my goals for the coming year.

So here's to a new year, and to making it count.

"Life is what you make of it. Always has been, always will be."  —Grandma Moses

"To achieve a goal you have to do something... nothing much was ever accomplished by just standing around wishing."  —unknown

(artwork above is my design from a new collection that will be available from Impression Obsession in early 2012. Stay tuned!)