Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The sun is setting on another year

Winter sky

I'm not feeling poetic or profound on this last day of 2008. I can name the feelings running around inside me: a bit of melancholy and tiredness, but there is also an elixir of calm, hope, and anticipation. Surely a mixed bag if ever there was one.

I guess the biggest question I have for myself today is: do you dare to dream big?

The scared part of me wants to stay in its illusion of safety. (If I don't think big, I won't fall big.) But the rest of me knows the soul-sucking quality of staying in my cave.

We are all born to be more than we think we are. I remind myself that I am no exception to the rule.

Lesley Riley has written a wonderful piece about being specific about your desires. It is easier to create the life we want when we can picture it clearly in our mind. So. I will dare to be clear, and specific, as I think about what I want in 2009.

A happy new year to all!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas!

Scenes from our Christmas:

Nutcracker and star


Opening the first present


Chris and Ross with ball maze


Spore!


Chaplin with catnip mouse

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Now that everyone has opened their presents, I can show you the rest of the doll that I made for my mother-in-law.

Star doll (sunlit)

Joy

And that mysterious photo -- of fleece?

Fleece close-up

Those were 2 of the 16 scarves I made for Christmas presents! The fleece is so soft and warm that I thought of it as giving warm hugs to my family and friends this winter.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The "reveal"

I've received the paperwork from Lark Books, and there don't seem to be any publicity restrictions, so -- here is the photo that they want to publish:

Wrapping paper close-up

Do you remember this? I wrote about it in June. It's a close-up of the wrapping paper I made for my friend's wedding present. Here's a wider shot of the project:

Heart wrapping paper

The book is tentatively titled: Focus: Love. Quoting Lark's letter: "This full-color gallery book will be the first release in a new series that aims to spotlight the talents of digital snappers [photographers] of all experience levels and backgrounds while encouraging readers to look at the world in a new light, seeking the often neglected details of our everyday world. This particular book will showcase images of hearts — from simple to sublime, from obvious to surprising."

I'll get a free copy of book, a discount if I buy more, and full credit for my photo. Mostly, it's a nice way to get some exposure. If you've ever looked at Lark's publications, you know that they print some really nice books.

I think it's fabulous to have my work in a book of hearts! An affirmation of love, alive in the universe.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Snow days

Christmas lights and snowy trees

At 9:20 am yesterday, Chris brought a yardstick to our front yard and measured 21 inches of snow -- and we've had 4 or 5 inches (at least) since then. Yikes!

Red Christmas light in snow

Ross has started his winter vacation early -- no school yesterday or today. Chris decided to go down to Gonzaga today, so that he would have less distractions while he's finishing his grading. Can't say that I blame him. I'm glad that he is a Yooper (a person from Michigan's Upper Peninsula) with lots of snow-driving experience, and that we have a Jeep that is very reliable on lousy roads.

Ross has already cleared some bushes and tree branches today, and I'll get out and do some more shoveling in a while. Otherwise, it will be a very laid-back day. I have a few presents to finish and a lot of gift wrapping to do -- Christmas is coming very, very soon, isn't it?!

Here are some peeks at what I've been making. (I'll post more photos after Christmas -- I want my presents to stay a surprise!) This is a small pouch, made to hold a notebook, for a musical friend:

Music pouch

Something warm and cozy:

Fleece close-up

Another detail of my new doll, now finished and on its way to its new home:

Star doll beading (on leg)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Amazing news in my email

Oh my goodness!

I am so excited, I should be pinching myself to make sure that I am not dreaming: one of my photos may be published in a Lark Books publication!

I don't think I'll say which photo -- just in case they have restrictions about that sort of thing. But it IS a photo in my Flickr account of one of my craft projects. How cool is that?!! They're supposed to be sending me more info at the end of the month.

I am so pleased that more people may see my work and find some inspiration in it. So grateful!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thursday, December 4, 2008

New doll, in progress

I love making Christmas presents!

The trouble is, I never get started soon enough. I could make something for everyone on my list, but I usually don't come up with ideas until after Thanksgiving. (sigh)

This year, I want to make a few things. Thinking about what I truly love about this season, it's not the decorating or the cooking, although I do enjoy those, too. I love the "gifting," when it comes from my heart -- NOT out of any sense of obligation. I want to give a part of my self to people in my life, saying "thank you for being you." What better gift to give than something I created?

Here's a doll that's "in progress." She's still evolving, since I'm experimenting a little with her. Don't know where her final destination will be, but I do like her face.

Doll face

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Damp days

It's been very wet and foggy here in Spokane. The gloom of November is heavy upon us. Yet, I am managing to find beauty and light in the droplets all around me.

Wet branches

I wish my camera did better with this low light. The auto-focus gets a little freaked out, so it's hard to get a crisp photo, and the manual focus is very hard to use. Still, you can see how the moisture clings to everything.

Wet berries

Thanksgiving was quiet, just our little family. Ross decided to implement "Operation Mobile Nap." He spent most of the day crawling around in a sleeping bag, ready to nap anywhere, at any time. That seemed pretty fitting for a dark and wet Thanksgiving day. He would occasionally throw his hacky sack at me -- I think he was wearing his helmet just in case I hit him in the head when I threw it back.

Chaplin and Ross at Thanksgiving

Chaplin was in heaven: lots of bodies to provide warm laps, and turkey, turkey, turkey! I managed to capture him in mid-yawn:

Nap time

It's so amazing that Chaplin is still with us. He is definitely an old and sick cat, but he seems quite comfortable, and he has energetic days -- even chasing squirrels in the back yard this fall. We are grateful for every day we share with him.