Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Sketchbook Challenge: Everyday Objects

I've missed the last few months of The Sketchbook Challenge, so I'm diving back in, getting in on August's theme, Everyday Objects, before the month is officially over!

Now, I know peeps say that everyone can draw, but truly it's not my forte.  The martini glass for #SummerSmashed is pretty much the extent of my current drawing skills.

But, I saw so much drawing for this month's theme, what was I to do?!  I know...

Sketchbook Challenge - My Everyday Objects

Instead of drawing Everyday Objects, I used Everyday Objects!  I used saran wrap, aluminum foil, paper towel and duct tape.  Now, how everyday are those?!

Background Texture
(Yes, I know the colors are quite different here. They are the same page.  At the top, the sun was behind the journal and just above, it was in direct sunlight.  The pic at the top showed the writing better, but the pic above is a truer representation of color, though still not dead on.)

Using crumpled saran wrap, I pounced on both turquoise and teal dye inks.  I used both squished up paper towel and saran wrap to pounce on Distress Ink.  And then I used balled up tin foil, dipped in aquamarine and lagoon blue acrylic paint.

When I went for the duct tape, I came across a roll in red that I used some time ago to repair my kidlet's ripped red folding chair.  I'm glad I kept it.  I cut in a small amount and then tore it the rest of the way, leaving a stringy edge.  And a white paint pen & red Sharpie finished it up.

It's an art journal, there are no rules and I made the theme work for me.  Plus, there's nothing I like more than getting ink and paint on my hands.  It reminds me the rest of the day, that I had fun today! :>

When was the last time you played?


RemembeRED: When do you want me to come?

Sporting a white polo top, a short straight kelly green skirt, and white Keds, she hobbled up the small hill from the parking lot on crutches with the sun rising behind her.

That was twenty-four years ago that I met the little blonde who would become my best friend and one of my treasured Four Musketeers.  The memory wasn't stored intentionally, but back then I remembered just about every living photograph I saw.  Today, I'm glad the memory is so accessibly stored in my mind.

Looking in from the outside, we probably shouldn't be best friends.  She's blonde, I'm brunette.  She's sporty, I'm not.  She's a joiner, I'm not.  Even though she has two cats, she's a dog person.  Cats are my fur peeps.  They're great listeners, cute, don't stink, and a heck of lot cheaper than therapy.  She follows recipes, I always change things up.  She's fond of measuring, I'm not.  She rocks it in the math department, I party with words.  She checks in on Facebook, you'll more often hear me on Twitter.

And yet, twenty-four years later, whether via phone, Twitter, Facebook, an IM chat, or old school email, we never go long without hearing from the other.

A few years ago, I was more elated than usual to see her name in my email's inbox.

Exhaustion ran through every cell after having my second kidlet, particularly the days immediately following her dramatic entry.

And my husband's best friend was getting married in just a few short weeks, out of town.  He was the Best Man.  He had to be there.

Hesitation tried to hide in his eyes.  I still couldn't drive, I had a preschooler, newborn, was severely anemic, and exhausted.  It was his best friend, he needed to go.  I told him to go.

Attempting to not sound desperate, I sent out emails looking for help.  My inbox held my best friend's reply with only one question, "When do you want me to come?"

Friday, after work, she arrived.  Donning chocolate capris, cream top with coffee tinted trimming at her neck, she walked in my front door, promptly taking my daughter into her arms to meet her for the first time.

Sunshine filled the sky as she drove us out to Mom's the next morning, to drop my son off for an overnight there.  She again climbed behind the wheel to drive my newborn and I around to crafty destinations before we headed back home.

She easily transferred my slumbering daughter to her arms and sent me to my room to take a nap.

A nap?  The concept was foreign to me.  I took all of two twenty minute naps with my first baby in my arms, not because I was SuperMama, but simply because he woke up every other time I had tried.  A nap?  My baby girl was a few weeks old and I had yet to catch some shut eye during the sun's hours.  A nap?  Yes, I needed one.

Without a worry wandering in my head, I not only lay down, but quickly drifted into a dreamless solid sleep.  Waking in a dark room, my nap had lasted much longer than twenty minutes.  Climbing out of bed, I made my way out to check on my friend and my girl.

She was still contentedly in my best friend's arms, waiting quietly, patiently for me to feed her.

My friend's only question, "When do you want me to come?"  Seven simple words were like a choir singing out, filling a room with both joy and peace in the same breath.

This week, Write on Edge (formerly The Red Dress Club) prompted us to "write about a memory of yourself WITH someone else."

And just for the record, I love my husband's best friend & his wife. And yes, they both invited me to join my husband at their wedding, but it was in a very hot area, with little shade and we knew I wouldn't have lasted.  I'm glad Hubs could go, support his friend, and have a great time without worrying about me! :>

Sunday, August 28, 2011

10 Places I Love To Be

Lists! I used to be a huge list girl growing up, but in the last half a dozen years, I seem to have given them up (sort of, but that's a whole other post!).  But what a rockin' awesome way to give list making a recharge...by linking up with Stasha, from The Good Life, along with many peeps who's blogs are fun to visit!

10 Places I Love

1)  Vancouver, British Columbia
One of the locales the husband & I honeymooned at. And after gallery hopping, we selected our wedding present to each other, a piece of original art.

2)  Victoria, British Columbia
Yup, another stop on our honeymoon.  Victoria is simply magical and we both want to revisit these beautiful cities again.

3)  Home
My family, our very loud kitty, hugs, smiles, laughter, and of course, creature comforts can all be found under this roof.

4)  Pacific Ocean
I love an escape to the ocean, specifically any beaches from Northern California and up.  I love the rugged beauty of our coast and visits to it are exquisitely peaceful and relaxing.

5)  Fort Bragg & Mendocino
Same as #4, but getting even more specific.  It's here that we love to travel to for our anniversaries.

6)  Here, Time Crafted & online!
Simply put, this is where I get to connect with so many awesome peeps, like you! :>

7)  Bookstores
Have to admit, I was quite bummed when Borders began closing their doors.  There's still Barnes & Noble and a local chain of book stores to fill the need.  Yes, need.  Not only do I love getting lost in a story, but I love books themselves.  I love the paper, the binding, the dust jackets, the typeface.  All of it makes me smile.  (All of it, except figuring out where else to put them in my house...I ran out of room a Long time ago!)

8)  The countryside surrounding my town.
I love a country drive.  My kidlets love country drives.  We love riding in silence.  We love chatting along our drive.  We love cranking up a favorite CD, as the ground passes beneath our tires.  And I love, love, love hearing my kidlets remark on how lucky we are to live somewhere so beautiful.

9)  Anywhere with my Four Musketeers.
Best friends.  Sisters.  Trips to Disneyland without little ones.  'Nuff said.

10)  In a Hug.
I'm a hugger. With Hubs, with my kidlets, with my friends.  (Don't worry, if you're not a hugger, I totally get that too! :>)

Now, that felt good to be reminded of and revisit so many places my heart loves to be.  Totally smile worthy!  Where do love to be?

I love books! I don't hesitate to buy new ones, they are better than a manicure, a massage, or a couple of javas.  And while all other links in this post are to others' blogs or my own, the bookstore link is an affiliate link.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Microfiction Fun a la Red Writing Hood

Write on Edge (formerly The Red Dress Club) has us writing just a wee bit of microfiction this week.  "Write a story of your choice. The catch? Write it as a tweet. Use only 140 characters – including spaces."

Clutching his arm, he fell. Walt's wife dialed 911, but he was gone. Holding his hand, saying good-bye she found his winning lottery ticket.

(140 characters, including spaces & punctuation, on the nose!)

I haven't written microfiction in months and it was so much fun to play with a story inside of 140 characters again.  If you can tweet, you can write along with us this week.  Can't wait to see what uber short tales are told!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Summer Smashed

Hey Peeps!  Guess who's sending summer out with bang?!  Carri from Mommy's Little Monster Blake and Jessica from My Time As Mom are hosting the first ever Summer Smash"ED" ~ share a cocktail and where you go for a night out in your neck of the woods.

Let's start with the cocktail.  I have no alcohol in my house right now.  Zero.  Zip.  Nada.  But, before Carri hops in her car & speeds up this state to give me a piece of her Stoli mind, I won't bother sharing my innocent ice water beverage that I'm sippin' on.

Now, I do love a post with a picture.  But, without supplies, I was up a creek.  I could have gone the route Sarah did and simply share what sounds like an uber fab ice cold summer cocktail from her Grammy without the picture ('cause she surely painted one in my head while reading her post) or I could have gone the route my old Girl Scout friend Lizz did and magically turn her kidlet's matchbox cars into strawberries, but I grabbed my Sharpies instead.

I first tasted a Golden Delicious while dining at Silver's at the Wharf in Fort Bragg with the husband for an anniversary a couple years ago.  And I loved it.  So, when I actually have the ingredients, I enjoy this pretty cinnamony apple concoction at home now too! (You can enlarge pic by clicking on it & no amounts because it entirely depends on how strong you like it! :>)

If you all were up here, quite frankly, a night out in my nearby neck of the woods would be a new experience to share with you as on the occasion I am without kidlets at that hour, I'm probably a couple hours south, hanging out with one or more of my Four Musketeers.

But, there is a ton to do up here!  I'm in wine country, surrounded by vineyards, San Francisco is a fantastic playground for 'grownups', the beach is a short drive away, and we could even head up to the Sierras, which are gorgeous any time of year!

I've been having fun getting #SummerSmashed with some other great peeps.  I'm off to visit some more, won't you come join us?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

SITS Book Club: Secret Daughter

Guess who won another book from the Book Fairy?! William Morrow Publishers gave away 25 copies of the current SITS Books Club book, Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda and I was giddy to learn I won!

Andrea, our rockin' awesome (see?! I told you I was outright stealing the phrase! ;>) SITS Book Club leader listed Secret Daughter in her Top Ten Books for 2010 and now that my copy of the book has arrived, I cannot wait to start reading!

Books to ReadIn July, we read Exposure and had such a fantastic Twitter party with the author of Exposure, Therese Fowler.  I've read books with other groups of people, but I have to say, getting the chance to ask the person behind the words, the writer, questions, give and get feedback about the book truly trumps all other group reading experiences I've had.

If you're not already participating in the SITS Book Club, I highly recommend that you check it out!  Here is a list of the books we'll be reading for the rest of the year.

Come join us for the Secret Daughter Twitter party with Shilpi Somaya Gowda on September 22nd, from 8-9:00 pm CST.  Use or search the hashtag #SITSBooks to learn more, see who else is reading & join us tweeting on the 22nd.  If you want to find me, tweet me @TimeCrafted!

Let's BEE Friends

Monday, August 22, 2011

Week Two

The alarm sounded at 5:35 this morning and we began week two, Back to School.

Week 2?!  Already?!  W.O.W.

Pardon the state of the photo, I was having camera issues...more like I was the issue the camera wasn't having! And the kidlets were done with me gettin' all paparazzi on them to wait for me to have a session of deep introspective photo therapy. ;>

Back to School is full of milestones this year.  My wee girl, who's not so 'wee' anymore had her very first day of school last week.  I really need to have a talk with Mother Nature and/or Father Time, because truly, the time has gone by so fast, much faster than it should.

For over six months, she's talked about getting a 'Tangled' backpack (aka from Disney's movie, Tangled).  I kept warning her that we would have to wait & see if Target was selling a Tangled one this year.  And thank goodness, there was one pink & lavender backpack with oodles of Disney Princesses on it, including Rapunzel from that treasured movie!

So, Father Time, Mother Nature, when and why did you speed up time?!  My boy ditched the character backpack for the first time this year, opting for one with lots of pockets and a padded back.  And he was only interested in "cool" clothes for school.  Oh and they had to have patterns on them;  no preppy polo shirts for him.  We compromised.  He got to pick out some "cool" new clothes and I get to pick out the outfit for picture day.  A Mama's gotta reserve some rights to the cuteness, right?!

We had a rockin' awesome (I'm no longer 'borrowing' that phrase from my kidlet, I'm just outright stealing it now!) first week and we're into the second.  Unfortunately, I suspect Father Time and Mother Nature will continue to be up to their ol' tricks, speeding time along.


Friday, August 19, 2011


We had to leave immediately. Never letting go of the phone, Maggie raced to her jeep. Cassie, right on her heels, called out for Adrianna and Lauren.  Her friends could barely climb in before she slammed it in reverse.

"Breathe, Maggie."

She gripped the wheel harder.

"What the hell is going on?  What’s wrong?!"

All she could focus on was the road in front of her.  Maggie knew she was on the edge.  She had to get there before she fell over.


Her friends gave in for a bit, but she could feel their eyes on her, waiting for her.  She needed to focus on the road ahead.  She needed to get there.

Nearly an hour later, she pulled off the freeway and began following the familiar roads, arriving at the town’s small hospital.

Terrified, barely a whisper escaped her lips.

"Grams.  Grams’ heart.  They don’t think she’ll make it."

Adrianna was the first to jump out of the jeep, sprinting around to the driver’s side to fetch Maggie.  All four marched to the glass entrance.

A woman in scrubs approached the four, the news plainly on her face.  It wasn’t good.

Her grandmother was already gone.

* * * * * * *

It had been a year since that day.  A year.  Maggie continued to press down on her camera’s shutter, trying to move to the next frame, trying to move forward.

The beach house she and her grandmother built their best memories in was now hers.  It had taken her a year to be able to come back.

She’d spent the last year running…from her childhood house, her friends, this beach house, her memories.  Finally coming back now to face the people and places she’d left behind.

Her bare feet slipped through the sand as she trekked back up to the house and to her friends.

Her eyes scanned the room.  Lauren was already whipping up a gourmet meal in the tiny kitchen, Adrianna hummed out the notes to a new song while she cleaned, Cassie’s eyes were closed and her feet propped up on the well worn driftwood coffee table.

Maggie couldn’t help but breathe it in.  And she realized she was finally home.

The former Red Dress Club, now Write on Edge has a new prompt for us: write a piece that begins with “We had to leave immediately” and end it with “And then we realized we were already home.”

I changed the ending sentence a wee bit, but I was a good girl & checked in with one of our Write on Edge leaders, Cheryl of Mommy Pants! ;>

Cassie was first introduced in R.S.V.P. and then in Kick Ass Shoes.  Next, Maggie arrived in Getting There and this installment, Home, picks up right where Getting There left off.  Today, there's just a glimpse of the other two, Adrianna & Lauren, who make up this friendship of four.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Lessons Learned

Mama’s Losin’ It

Writing along with Mama Kat (or the ever hip M. Kitty ;>) today with prompt #4:  10 Lessons your child could teach you.  Except, I read it as 10 Lessons my children HAVE TAUGHT me, so I'm rolling with that!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

1)  The Himalayas, Gobi Desert, Atlantic Ocean, the woods, and Mt. Everest are all in the hallway running between the bedrooms and with the simple aide of a cool hat, an adventure can be had.

2)  Whispering children never ever means that they know it's only six in the morning or that you haven't had your cuppa java yet or that it's been a long day and your head feels like it's about to explode.  But, until the events that the whispering children pan out, you never know if they're calculating trouble or a delightful surprise.

3)  Lego bricks multiply faster than rabbits OR Tribbles!

4)  Grocery stores need not work so hard on their displays.  If a Mama comes in with a kidlet, that kidlet will do all the upselling for said grocery store.

5)  Growth spurts only occur after updating a kidlet's wardrobe or buying them a brand new shiny pair o' shoes.

6)  A body pillow makes a grand stage and a comforter can hide the puppeteers as they perform their puppet show and that a simple Kleenex will turn a stuffed animal puppet into a ghost.

7)  Thoroughly cleaning a kidlet's room will reveal a treasure trove of forgotten toys and socks.  Lots and lot of socks.  Who knew a sock could be a bookmark?  Or a car holder?  Or end up between a mattress and a boxspring?!  (I just feel bad for the poor ol' washing machine getting blamed all these years!)

8)  A big brother can protect a little sister from the scary bits in a Disney movie even better than Mom or Dad can.

9)  Cliches about how fast kidlets grow beome a staple of a parent's vocabulary.

10)  And a kidlet's smile can so entirely change how a whole day looks.

Let's BEE Friends

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

RemembeRED: Commute

Blindly flailing at the screeching alarm, I saw the red digital numbers taunting me of the early 4:00 AM hour.  I turned on my bedside lamp, yellow light pooled around me, beckoning me to get up and in the shower.  With half opened eyes, I dressed, only opening them fully once I left the apartment and locked the door.

It was a short drive to the BART station and on autopilot, I parked, grabbed my loaded backpack, bought my ticket and hopped on the train.  I travelled from one end of the line to the transfer station, switched trains, and rode the next train all the way to the other end of the line.  I hustled to make it to the shuttle bus to ride the rest of the way to campus.

Arriving on campus with time to spare, but zero energy and not prepped for morning classes was not a great start to the day. The plan to get class reading done while on the commute into the city was impossible to put into action after barely three hours of sleep each night.  I attended my two geography classes, an international relations class, and one on the history of the Bay Area as a zoned out zombie.

After the last seconds of the last class ticked by, I raced to catch the first available shuttle back to BART to repeat the morning’s trip into the city, only in reverse…shuttle bus, BART train to the transfer station, switch trains and ride to the end of the line, where my car was.  I hopped into my small Smurf blue car, the Smurfmobile, and headed straight for work.  Swing shift allowed me to attend class in the morning, but it also had me in bed around one o’clock in the morning every night.

Two weeks into this routine and what had been tugging at me every day, threatening to pull me over, finally made its last hard yank.  There was no way I could sustain this schedule.

The Bay Area history class instructor was firing off information and asking us questions, but I didn’t hear a word he said.  Thoughts ping ponged through my skull, questions filled with doubt fired rapidly.  I was supposed to go to school.  I wanted to go to school.  I had to work.  I spent more time getting to and from each location than I actually spent in those locales.  Every single cell screamed to get out.  And all the supposed to’s got louder.

I needed backup.  In a race to secure support to stand against the firing squad in my head, barking orders to not deviate from ‘The Plan’, I left class, heading straight for the payphone on the floor.

A short phone call gave me the reassurance I needed to take a different path, to do what was right for me.  After, I marched to Admissions, filled out the paperwork and withdrew from school, just in time to still get a full refund.

While my decision kept me out of school that semester, it led me to making a better choice.  And because of it, I wouldn’t graduate right smack ‘on time.’  Though, doing it my way, it was the first step on the next path that led me to moving to a new-to-me part of the Bay Area, changing schools, living and working in a location that didn’t include an insane commute or working too many hours of overtime.  And later, it had me just where I was supposed to be to create the life that I’m now living.

The Red Dress Club has had a major change, moving over to Write on Edge and in the spirit of that change, this week's RemembeRED prompt is:  to write about a time when you knew something in your life had to change drastically.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Get cookin' for a cause with 50+ Favorite Bloggers!

50+ of our favorite bloggers have come together to create a cookbook with their favorite recipes. And what's even better, it's all for a great cause, The American Red Cross!
I found out about this exciting book through one of my favorite bloggers, Holly of 504 Main.  She has donated her new recipe for Aloha Scones to the cause and the book.

Did I say donated?  I sure did.  That is the best part about all these fantastic bloggers coming together to create this cookbook:  for a $10 donation, you can get this new cookbook and 100% of the proceeds are being donated to The American Red Cross.

You can read Holly's post about the 50+ Favorite Bloggers 50+ Best Recipes Cookbook or you can get clicky and head straight here to order: http://recipestohelp.bigcartel.com/

Orders are only being taken from 8/15/11 - 8/31/11, so make sure you don't miss out.  Tweet, Facebook, blog and help spread the word about this opportunity to make a difference!

ETA: I am not associated with this cookbook in any way. It's a cool way to contribute and am happy to pass the word on. :>

Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday { Flash Mob } Fun

Thanks to that commercial with the man in the train station who mistakenly begins his flash mob dance at the wrong time, I recently learned that Hubs & I do not share a love for flash mobs.

And to clarify which side of The Great Flash Mob Divide li'l ol' me falls on....I {heart} them!!!  Nope, never done one.  But, I absolutely Love watching them.  Thank goodness for YouTube!

Join me in my YouTube Flash Mob watching addiction, won't you?! :>

Sound of Music's Do Re Mi sends me zoomin' back down memory lane, visiting all those years I've watched.  And it's even better now that I can share it with my own kidlets.

I'm such a sucker for a musical...on stage, in the theater, on the tube...it's no wonder I've watched this one a few times now.

Have you seen this one yet?

Can't think of a better way to send the splendid San Francisco off and head to Hawaii.  (Though Frisco is near, Hawaii, I've never seen.)

There are flash mobs for fun, to promote events, tv shows, musical artists, products, and...

...some great causes!  Love the ones with school kids taking a stand against bullying.

I did mention I'm a sucker for a musical, right?!

Well, I am.  Which makes it such a shocker that I came to Glee after the first season.  Though I was late to the party, I never want to leave.

So, I've caught up with Glee a la Netflix and am watching The Glee Project on Hulu.

Annnnndddd......since Glee: the 3D Concert Movie comes out today, I'm leaving you with this:

Do you Gleek out?!  Will you be at the theater?  Are you waiting on season 3?  Are your playlists filled with music from the Glee cast?

And if you love to see a flash mob get their groove or their song on, if it brings a smile, please talk to me & lend some weight to happy side of The Great Flash Mob Divide! ;>

Monday, August 8, 2011

i Heart Faces { Friendship }

August snuck up on me!  We're cramming in the last of the summer fun, as well as projects around the house before the kidlets start the school year next week.  And I ended up taking an unintentional online break, all the way around the lovely interwebs.

Breaks can be quite refreshing, but I can't stay away for long!

So, I'm jumping back in with the Friendship themed i Heart Faces photo challenge.

Two of my Four Musketeers were up for my little girl's birthday party a couple months ago (hence the Little Mermaid tiaras) and I just love this pic I snapped of them!

Stop by i Heart Faces and see what Friendship is to other peeps.  That's where I'm heading now!

Let's BEE Friends
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