Monday, September 15, 2014

The one where Dana admits something

Finding my way... Photo courtesy of Mirna Sentic,
Happy Monday, friends.

I think it's finally time I admit something to you all—and to myself.

I'm not Superwoman.

I've always put a lot of pressure on myself to balance the many roles I play in my life: mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, blogger, writer, artist, etc. Up until just before my baby was born, I felt like I was holding on to all of these strings pretty well. I'm not anymore. I've let some of them slip—and I feel like a failure.

You might have noticed that I haven't posted in the last several weeks. I've tried so hard, but I can't seem to find a balance anymore, and my blogging (among other things) has fallen by the wayside. I can't keep up.

About a month ago, a fellow blogger asked me to help her out with a blog hop. I wanted to help, but I just couldn't. This person has been such a good friend to me, and I'm so sad that I had to let her down. That's not like me, and I feel terrible. I'm sorry for that.

I also apologize to those of you who read my blog. I'm sorry I haven't been around. I'm still searching for a groove, some way to fit all the elements of my life together, all of the roles I play. There's no reason I can't blog and be a mother—I've done that for many years—but after my third child was born, I lost my way and haven't yet found it again.

I guess I'm not Superwoman, even though I'd like to be.

I can promise this: I'll try to be around more, although I can't say when. (And I hate to admit that.)

One thing is for certain, however:

I will be back.

Wishing you all a beautiful Monday and a wonderful week. ☺

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sunday inspiration

Happy Sunday, friends. ☺

Today's inspiration comes from Jane Perkins, an artist who takes recycling to a new level by recreating masterpieces from things people would otherwise throw away. She calls herself a "remaker," and I think it's fascinating how she can see art where most of us just see trash. You can learn more about her art and her process in the videos below. Enjoy!

Wishing you all a creative and inspirational Sunday. ☺

Friday, August 22, 2014

Friday fun

Happy Friday, friends. ☺

Well, this was a busy week! On Tuesday, we celebrated my birthday and our anniversary, and yesterday was my husband's birthday. I can say with certainty that we have enough cake here to last us a month, although I know it won't be around that long!

How was your week? Do you have any plans for the weekend? I may be taking my oldest daughter to yet another birthday party on Saturday, but other than that, I'm hoping for peace and quiet and time to work on my art—fingers crossed!

I hope you enjoy today's dose of fun. Wishing you all a wonderful weekend. ☺

Monday, August 18, 2014

Monday (a)musing

Happy Monday, friends. ☺

I hope you all had a great weekend! Mine was busy—so busy, in fact, that I didn't get a chance to post yesterday's Sunday Inspiration. It's a good one, too, but I'll just keep you in suspense until this Sunday. :)

Since it's Monday (and the start of a new workweek for many), I think there's a good possibility that we all need a little smile. I think these babies deliver. Enjoy!

Wishing you all a fantastic Monday. ☺

Friday, August 15, 2014

Friday fun

Happy Friday, friends. ☺

Do you have any plans for the weekend? My birthday is next Tuesday, so tomorrow, my family has plans to take me shopping for art supplies. Yay for new paints and inks! Then on Sunday, I'll be attending a birthday party with my oldest daughter. Yay for cake! :)  I hope you have some fun plans, too. Enjoy your weekend—and these funnies.

Wishing you all a wonderful and happy weekend. ☺

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

"What will your verse be?"

My favorite scene from one of my favorite movies. Robin Williams, you will be missed.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sunday inspiration

Happy Sunday, friends. ☺

Today's inspiration comes from Mike Stilkey, an artist who paints on the covers of discarded books, then stacks them into book sculptures that have been exhibited throughout the world. You can see a timelapse of the installation of one of his sculptures in the first video below. In the second and third videos, Stilkey talks about the thought process behind the creation of his sculptures and offers encouragement to other artists as they learn to follow their art wherever it takes them. Enjoy!

Wishing you all a creative and inspirational Sunday. ☺

Friday, August 8, 2014

Friday fun

Happy Friday, all. I hope you had a good week. Summer is flying by way too fast!

For today's Friday Fun post, I want to share this video I saw on my Facebook feed the other day. It was tons of fun to watch. (The sequel is pretty good, too. You'll see the link for it at the end of the video.) Enjoy!

Would you push the button?

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend. ☺

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Art: It's everywhere!

Happy Thursday. ☺

I've posted a few times about my love for street art. The examples I have today are somewhat different in that the artists have created art that interacts with its surroundings. Some of the pieces are amusing; some are absolutely beautiful. All of them are creative. Enjoy!

Wishing you all a wonderful Thursday. ☺

Monday, August 4, 2014

Never enough time? You can find it!

Happy Monday, friends. ☺

Today, I'm honored to have my good friend Tara Tyler stop by my blog as she continues on her Broken Branch Falls Summer Blog Tour. She'll be sharing some wonderful tips for finding time to write in the midst of our busy lives. Her ideas are also great for people who want to pursue other creative endeavors but always seem to find themselves asking, "How do I make time?"

Thanks so much for being here, Tara. Take it away!

* * * * *

Writing in the Game of Life!

Dana was one of my first blog buddies. I met her way back when I was still figuring out how to improve my writing and what to do with it, on Absolute Write. (It's okay for getting advice, but it's more of a distraction with lots of word game threads...)

Dana and I are both busy moms (but that statement is redundant, isn't it?). Her three kids are much smaller and more needy while mine are bigger and self-sufficient, but still needy. No matter the ages of kids, they always take up a ton of your time—silly kids, needing stuff from their moms! And there's always work to be done, in and out of the house.

So how do busy, hard-working moms find time to write?
Well, here's a glimpse at my writing schedule...
  • Weekends and Days Off
    • I usually wake up a good two hours before the monkeys, and this is my favorite time to write.
    • Unfortunately, half of this time is used on blogging, emails, etc.
  • Work Days
    • I take every spare moment
    • lunch, coffee breaks, waiting for stuff
    • not only to write, but to read, blog, jot notes, edit printouts.
    • Waiting is a great time to get stuff done, if I remember to bring it!
      • for kids at practices
      • for water to boil
      • at a restaurant
      • at games (halftime, between innings, when we have to be early, etc)
  • Bedtime
    • My kids sometimes stay up later than me! But they are supposed to have quiet time in their rooms...
    • I'm always tired, but I try to get at least an hour of work done.
    • Then I read a few pages of the book on my night table, and... zzzzzzz
So that's my routine! Fitting it in when I can! What's yours?
When is your favorite time to write? Morning? Evening? Throughout the day?

Dana always has something special to share—from laughs, to art, to sweetness.
If you aren't following her, you should! Thanks for hosting me, girl!

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by Tara Tyler
Release Date: June 24, 2014 (NOW!)
Publisher: Curiosity Quills

Gabe is an average fifteen-year-old goblin. He’s in the marching band, breezes through calculus, and gets picked on daily by the other kids at school, especially the ogres. But Gabe wants to break out of his nerdy stereotype and try other things. He has his eye on the new ogress at school. Though it’s against all beastly rules, there’s just something about her.

Gabe starts a fad of mingling with other species, forcing the High Council to step in and ruin things by threatening to destroy the school and split up Broken Branch Falls. With help from other outcast friends, Gabe sets out on a quest to save his town. They'll show 'em what different friends can do together!

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Tara Tyler has had a hand at everything from waitressing to rocket engineering. After living up and down the Eastern US, she now writes and teaches math in Ohio with her three active boys and Coach Husband. Currently, she has two series, The Cooper Chronicles (techno-thriller detective capers) and Beast World (MG fantasy). She's an adventure writer who believes every good story should have action, a moral, and a few laughs!

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Friday, August 1, 2014

Back from vacation!

Happy Friday, friends. ☺

I hope you're all doing well. I'm feeling pretty great after my trip back home to Michigan. It's amazing how much better life is when you are able to visit with the people you love! However, I missed the blogosphere, and I'm so happy to be back. Let me know what you've been up to while I've been away. I'm eager to catch up!

Now I'm off to visit your blogs. First, though, I want to leave you with this video that's been making the rounds on the Internet all week. Sadie doesn't want her baby brother to grow up, and I totally understand how she feels. My youngest is almost four months old already. I can't believe how quickly time flies! Don't you wish you could stop it sometimes?

Wishing you all a fantastic Friday. ☺

Friday, July 18, 2014

Gone fishin'

Happy Friday, friends.

In all my excitement over going on vacation, I forgot to post that I would be gone! :) I'm in Michigan now and have been having a great time visiting my family. I'll be here until the beginning of August, so my presence around the blogosphere will be limited for a while. I'll try to check in from time to time though. I can't wait to catch up with you all!

Wishing you all a fantastic rest-of-July. :)

Friday, July 4, 2014

Friday fun

Happy Friday, and Happy Fourth of July to all my fellow Americans! Do you have big plans for the day or weekend? We're heading to a parade this morning, and then tomorrow, we're off to celebrate my mother-in-law's birthday and my brother-in-law's retirement. Fun!

Whatever your plans, I hope you have a wonderful weekend. ☺

Monday, June 30, 2014

...because who couldn't use a laugh on a Monday?

Happy Monday, friends.

With all of last weekend's (fun) chaos, I didn't get the opportunity to post my Sunday Inspiration. That series should be back next week. ☺

Today, I just can't resist this hilarious video that has made its way around the Internet quite a lot recently. I think it's the perfect way to start a Monday. Enjoy!

Wishing you all a wonderful day. ☺

Friday, June 27, 2014

Friday fun

Happy Friday, friends.

What a week it's been! I thought that things would slow down a little now that my oldest two are out of school, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Whew! All I can do is go along for the ride, right? ☺

This weekend will be busy as well because we're having a birthday party for my oldest daughter. Her actual birthday isn't until July 10, but our July is already packed full of visits and vacations and other fun ventures. This will be her first friends party, and she's so excited! Do you have any fun plans for the weekend? You're welcome to come here and help us eat birthday cake. ;)

Now on to this week's funnies. Enjoy!

Wishing you all a fun and happy weekend. ☺

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

And baby makes five!

Happy Wednesday, friends. It's been a long time! Thank you to all who have sent emails and posted comments. I appreciate them so much.

Well, a lot has happened since I last posted, the most notable being the birth of my daughter. She was born on April 3, a few days earlier than expected. Since then, I've been discovering just how difficult it is to go from caring for two kids to caring for three. I'd always heard that it's harder to go from one to two, but that definitely hasn't been my experience. ☺

I'm sorry I haven't posted before now. The baby has been sleeping through the night since she was about a month old, which is indeed a blessing, but the trade-off is that she wants to be held all day. I've gotten next to nothing done for the past ten weeks. But even though my house is a mess and I'm behind on my art and writing and blogging and emailing, I'm happy. I know how fast these months fly by, and I'm doing all I can to truly live in the moment. As the Aerosmith refrain goes, I don't wanna miss a thing. ☺

I don't want to miss anything else in the blogosphere either. My goal is to start writing here as often as I can. It might take me a while to get back to posting several times a week, but I'll make it there eventually. I've missed you all, and I'm eager to start catching up on what you've been doing. I may not be able to visit your blogs daily for a while, but I will soon. In the meantime, please let me know in the comments how you've been. I can't wait to hear!

Well, my "free" time has ended, and I'm off to get the baby now. Wishing you all a wonderful Wednesday. ☺

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sunday inspiration

Happy Sunday, friends. ☺

Today's inspiration is a fun social experiment that Duracell conducted this past winter in an effort to get strangers to interact. The company created a bus shelter with heaters powered by human connection, and for the heaters to work, strangers had to hold or touch hands in order to form a chain connecting the two sides of the shelter. In a world where people are only too ready to ignore those around them, I love the idea behind this experiment! What's your take on it?

Wishing you all a creative and inspirational Sunday. ☺

Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday fun

Happy Friday, friends. ☺

Before I get to this week's funnies, I want to thank all of you for your well-wishes and expressions of sympathy over the loss of my dog last week. It meant a lot to read your stories and realize that I'm not alone. Thank you for helping me get through a difficult time.

I have a baby update as well. No, she's not here yet, but my due date (April 11) is getting closer. My mom is here now to help me with my two older kids, and having her here has definitely taken some of my stress away. I still have a few more things I need to do to get ready for my daughter's arrival, but I'm happy to say I'm feeling a little more relaxed now.

On to the funnies. I hope you enjoy this week's signs and videos, and I wish you all a wonderful weekend. ☺

Friday, March 21, 2014

An apology

Hi, friends.

I apologize that this week I don't have a Friday Fun post ready for you. Things have been sad around my house since Wednesday, when my nearly 19-year-old dog passed away. I had her for almost 14 years and am devastated by her loss. My heart feels empty without her.

I will try very hard to post my Sunday Inspiration this weekend. Until then, though, I will probably continue to be MIA from the blogosphere. I know you'll understand that I need the time to heal. Thanks, friends.

Wishing you all a happy weekend. ☺

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Sunday inspiration

Happy Sunday, friends. ☺

In Friday's post, I included a funny sign featuring Tetris, and since so many people liked it, I thought it was only fitting that I featured the game again today. Today's inspiration comes from Chris Carlson, an artist who creates three-dimensional artwork using paint, graphite, and chalk. The stop-motion video below features his 3-D Tetris chalk art, and I found it really fun to watch. I hope you enjoy it, too.


To learn more about Carlson and his artwork, visit his Web site (found here).

Wishing you all a creative and inspirational Sunday. ☺

Friday, March 14, 2014

Friday fun

Happy Friday!

I hope you all had a great week. Mine was okay, in spite of the snow all of us here in western New York were hit with on Wednesday. The weather's looking much better for the weekend, though, and I hope yours is, too. Enjoy this week's funnies, and have a great weekend! ☺

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Sunday inspiration

Happy Sunday, friends. ☺

Today's inspiring artist is one I'm especially interested in now that I've started art journaling and have developed a desire to use found art materials. Derek Gores is a highly acclaimed collage artist who uses recycled magazines, maps, and other paraphernalia to create collage portraits of people and things. I find his work to be intricate, detailed, and very beautiful to look at. He's definitely an artist to follow!

In the video below, Gore discusses his art and his process. To see more of his work, check out his Web site, found here.

Wishing you all a creative and inspirational Sunday. ☺

Friday, March 7, 2014

Friday fun

Happy Friday, friends.

Wow! It's hard to believe it's Friday already. These weeks are just flying by, and getting ready for the baby has been keeping me pretty busy. This week I've been working on cleaning up the house so it looks a little better when my mom comes to help me with the kids. (I guess I'm nesting!) Even though I haven't posted as much as I would like to, I have been trying to visit all of your blogs. Forgive me if I start to slow down a little bit. I'm now thirty-five weeks pregnant, and while I have the will to post and visit, I don't always have the energy. ☺

I hope you enjoy this week's Friday fun. Wishing you all a wonderful and relaxing weekend. ☺
(Photo taken in Yass, New South Wales, Australia)

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Sunday inspiration

Happy Sunday, friends.

Today's inspiration is artist and illustrator Bashir Sultani. In addition to creating many other types of art, Sultani makes art with salt. I've come across several salt artists in my travels around the Internet, but Sultani is a little different from many of the ones I've seen because his use of colored salt results in works of art that look almost like watercolor paintings. The following video is just one example. Enjoy!

Wishing you all a creative and inspirational Sunday. ☺

Friday, February 28, 2014

Friday fun

Happy Friday!

I hope you all had a great week. Wishing you all a wonderful weekend. ☺

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Words to live by

Happy Thursday, friends.

Ever since writer Doris Lessing's recent death, I haven't been able to get one of her most famous quotes out of my mind:

"Whatever you're meant to do, do it now. The conditions are always impossible."

For me, these truly are words to live by. We can all come up with excuses not to follow our dreams right now: I'm too old. I'm too young. I'll wait until the kids are out on their own. I don't have time.... But as Lessing said, we're always going to face obstacles when it comes to doing whatever it is we're meant to be doing. There's never going to be a perfect time. The only time is now.

I feel like I'm finally doing what I need to do to make my own dreams come true. How about you? Are you doing what you're meant to do?

Wishing you all a wonderful Thursday. ☺

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sunday inspiration

Happy Sunday, friends.

I love all types of art, but one of my particular interests is art made from unusual objects. Today's inspiration fits that bill nicely: New York City-based artist Nina Boesch creates her art using discarded MetroCards. What a great way to recycle and at the same time create something beautiful!

You can see more of Boesch's MetroCard creations here.

Wishing you all a creative and inspirational Sunday. ☺

Friday, February 21, 2014

It was a long, long night...

but I finished my son's birthday cake!

He's seven today, and as I mentioned yesterday, I can hardly believe how fast the years have gone. He requested a Mario cake again—a year has passed, and he still needs his Mario fix!—so I made this one, which is loosely based on his favorite game right now, Super Mario Galaxy 2.

This afternoon, we're going to celebrate his birthday by taking him and his sister to see The Lego Movie. This will be their first-ever trip to a movie theater. They're so excited!☺

This day is shaping up to be a good one here, and I hope you all have a great day, too—and a happy weekend. ☺

Thursday, February 20, 2014

On my mind...

No, it's not Georgia I've been thinking about—remember that song?—but I've definitely had a lot of things on my mind this week. ☺

First, though: Happy Thursday, all!

As I mentioned, this week has been a busy one for me. It's been filled with doctor's appointments (mine and the kids'), coughs (both of the kids), and preparations for a birthday celebration. My son will be seven tomorrow. I can't believe it! The years really do pass by so quickly. He's requested another Mario cake this year, so I'll be up all night baking and decorating: fun—and tiring—but definitely worth it!

Last night, though, I worked on my latest prompt for my art journaling course. I've been taking some inspiration from an artist I featured in my Sunday Inspiration series a couple of weeks ago, Hong Yi. (Post here.) She creates her art using unusual materials like coffee stains. I've been working on a tea-stained background for one of my art journaling pages, and so far I'm pretty happy with the results. I love trying new techniques. I'm learning so much!

One other thing I've been thinking about this week is whether I should attempt to participate in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. I signed up, but with everything going on in April (namely our new baby's arrival!), I'm not sure I'll be able to keep up with the posting and commenting. Decisions, decisions!

So how has your week been? Any big plans or celebrations? Are you planning on participating in the A to Z? If so, what are your tips for juggling a busy April and the challenge?

Wishing you all a fantastic Thursday. ☺

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sunday inspiration

Happy Sunday, friends.

Are you ready for some fun? Today's inspiration is writer and artist October Jones. I recently saw some of his work on and immediately fell in love with the whimsy of his art. (See the article here.) Jones, who describes himself in his Twitter blurb as a "drawer of heads," uses Post-It Notes in a very fun and creative way. See for yourself in the video below:

You can learn more about Jones by checking out his Twitter page or Tumblr blog.

Wishing you all a creative and inspirational Sunday. ☺

Friday, February 14, 2014

Friday fun

Happy Friday—and Happy Valentine's Day!

These weeks sure pass by quickly. I wanted to post here a lot more this week than I actually did, but as usual, life had other plans. I'm thirty-two weeks pregnant today, and exhaustion has once again hit me full-force. I see a lot of naps in my future—and that's exactly what I'll be doing this weekend. Well, that and eating the box of Valentine's Day chocolates that my husband hid in the closet. ☺

What are your plans for today and the weekend? Whatever you're doing, I hope you have a wonderful time!

Happy weekend, friends! ☺