Disappointments and Challenges

    There is always a degree of apprehension and anxiety when faced with change . . . along with disappointment, discouragement . . . which leads to challenges and looking for the positive . . .

    For some, there may be a pay off to being unhappy, angry, disappointed . . . villagedwellingpieces

    For others, in spite of disappointments, we look for the positive . . . the challenges within ourselves that we must face to accept not getting what we want to something not being what we thought it would be.

    I was all into the concept of die cuts and how wonderful it would be to have a plain template . . . but then, having something ready-made seemed to appeal to me more . . . Allowing me to see where I was going . . .

    And changing something to my liking from a ready-made printable seemed the easier way to go.gingerbreadhousebox

    But, in truth, it all comes down to your personal comfort level.

    Initially, I was overwhelmed by the pieces, as above, that didn’t seem to have a purpose . . . because I never put it together before . . . and it didn’t look like anything . . . But there are more possibilities for creativity and individuality with the die cut pieces than the ready-to-print-out-and-assembly Gingerbread House.

    It does go together nicely and it does have all the icing and embellishments in place . . . The first one will look the same as the second . . . fifth . . . tenth . . . fiftieth . . .

    There is no surprise there . . . unless I decide to alter it in some way . . . but such alterations may be much more work than if I started with a die cut template.

    Yes, if I want, I could make the die cut elements above into a gingerbread house. I can add a wreath on the front door . . . I could make a fence of gingerbread children . . . I can cut out white window frames . . . and add some white “frosting” to the roof tiles . . . And candy canes . . .

    Now look back at the first image . . . The die cut . . . 

    You have a decision to make . . . What color card stock to do want for the body of the house . . . and for the roof of the house . . .

    With the die, I had to decide at that point the colors and cutting the card stock and place it over the appropriate places . . . and later learned how I should have taped it down so it wouldn’t slip . . .

    Yes, I was initially overwhelmed and a bit disappointed . . . But, it was all a matter of getting out of my way that I realized there was a learning curve for me . . . I didn’t like it . . . but if I wanted to create something different each time I made this Tim Holtz Sizzix Village Dwelling, I’d have some decisions to make . . . and it started with the first one . . . an experiment . . . and maybe several experiments until I got it right . . . 

    I had to learn the die . . . and the Sizzix Big Shot . . . then assemble the pieces . . . and decide what else I wanted to do with it . . . add a different roof pattern . . . add a siding pattern . . . It takes a bit of trial and error . . . and some disappointment that it didn’t turn out as initially imagined . . . but it was all about learning . . . and facing each challenge head-on.

    I was watching a movie yesterday about this mathematical genius . . . who really didn’t fit in with others . . . not understanding the dynamics of relationships . . . except those associated with numbers . . . He did learn how he missed out on things . . . and found he wasn’t “all that” . . . especially when it came to his relationship with his mother . . . And, in the end, after waiting for her son to respond to her . . . they learned how to communicate . . .

    This gets me to a YouTube video I watched of an interview with an adult who had a famous mother . . . and the relationship they had . . . which wasn’t so much love . . . as respect . . . an admiration of her mother’s talents and abilities . . . It struck me a bit strange . . . Yet, many famous people may be incapable of love or conveying it to their children . . . It is all about them . . . their career . . . their life . . .

    It’s all a matter of perspective . . . and how we deal with it . . . 

    Life isn’t easy . . . we are faced  with challenges . . .  disappointments . . . successes . . . falldisney2

    The same applies with crafts. The whole concept is to have fun  . . . to make something . . . So you get all the tools and paper . . . and find it isn’t as easy as it looks when watching someone else.

    You can always throw in the towel and give up or pout and throw the whole thing in the trash . . . or realize it is a bit of a challenge and the first effort may not work out . . . or even the second . . . third . . . oh my gosh! fourth . . . But, each time, you get a bit closer to achieving your goal. Just know that there may be another failure after a success . . .  There are no guarantees.

    There’s no guarantee that the more you work at it, that you will succeed . . . It depends upon your perspective of success . . . and respecting the tools for what they are . . . and recognizing their limitations . . . as well as your own . . . but having a determination to figure it out . . .

    There are always these wise people who have these wise sayings . . . but we can never bring them to mind when we need them . . .  So, we need to rely on ourselves . . . depend upon ourselves . . . be gentle with ourselves . . . accept that we’re not perfect and things aren’t always easy . . . and alternatively, things aren’t always difficult . . . We may have cycles of success . . . and cycles of failure . . . but it’s just a cycle . . . and we have to go through it until the tide changes . . .

    We control our thought, our actions, our feelings . . . there are some things we can’t change . . . nor control . . . but we can focus our perspective . . . we can look for the positive . . . strive to find something funny or different or interesting or unusual each day . . . Surprisingly, you’ll find it . . . because you’re looking for it . . . 

    So, what we may be unable to do one day . . . we may be able to do the next . . .

    This applies to all things in life . . . I know I throw a lot of concepts at you all at once . . . You may be wondering what I’m thinking . . . But, if you’ve ever had a conversation using Two Cans On A String . . . you miss some stuff and have to fill in the blanks . . . And, drawing the string of what connects life, movies, interviews and crafts together . . . is your challenge of filling in the blanks to make sense out of it for you . . .

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Sharon

    Oh! I almost forgot!! Click the image of the Gingerbread House on the left to be taken to a PDF you can print out, cut out and assemble. It’s a great treat/gift box.

    Out And About

    Yes, I was out and about early this morning.

    Has some errands to run and wanted to get an early start.spring

    There is something nice about getting up early and getting out in the fresh air and sunshine to brighten your perspective.

    This was my trash pick up day . . . but I got my barrels out last night and found I had plenty of energy to do some sweeping up of the debris left from our recent rain. I also noticed the barrels had been emptied . . . so, it was time for me to bring them back in . . . but there were broken limbs from a tree I had to pick up and cut down a bit to fit in the barrel . . .

    I was pleased to clean things up before most of my neighbors realized their barrels were emptied.

    After all that, I left for my errands.

    It does feel good to get things accomplished before noon . . . then you have the reminder of the day to write blogs and tidy the house and do crafts and just relax.

    Many times I linger in the mornings . . . watching the power walkers . . . 

    But, I’m beginning to think they have the right idea . . . get up early and get moving . . .

    I do feel good . . . invigorated . . . happy and very pleased . . .

    It’s good from time to time to vary your schedule and get a new perspective . . . possibly an attitude adjustment . . . I don’t know any proper phrase that would describe it . . . but you may have already filled in the blanks . . . 

    I do hope you get outdoors daily . . . it does bring something wonderful . . . It’s not necessary to power walk for a mile or more, but to just get out and stroll around your yard would be enough . . . unless you want to take a long walk or bike ride . . . 

    Exercise is good, no matter how strenuous you want to make it . . . there is something about just walking around or pulling weeds or sweeping or raking . . . small tasks are excellent . . . 

    I find I spend much too much time in front of the computer . . . or sitting reading or doing crafts . . . we do need to move . . . not just to the kitchen for a snack . . .

    And do more than the household chores . . . 

    I thought it was important to exercise the mind . . . to keep it sharp . . .

    And physical exercise is essential, too . . . but I’m not into getting worn out and sweaty . . . not a pretty sight nor feeling . . .

    I don’t know if you need to get all red in the face from exercise to be meaningful or helpful . . . I don’t believe getting overheated is a good thing either . . . but I’m no expert on the subject.

    Consulting a medical doctor would be good . . . and also listening to your body . . . sometimes we have to take it easy before going on a 10K run . . . it takes baby steps . . . in my case it does, but for many of you it may not be a big deal . . .

    I take the weather conditions into consideration . . . I don’t go out in the rain for a walk . . . unless I’m dressed appropriately and have an umbrella . . . I like to keep as dry as possible and not get a chill . . . getting sick is not on my “to do” list.

    I also don’t go out when the weather is in the high 90’s or gets into the 100’s. I do keep hydrated with water . . . some people go for the special waters that give more nutrients . . . but I’m not doing strenuous labor-type tasks in the heat of the day . . .

    It’s important to follow doctor’s orders and to use some common sense . . .

    Spring seems to be turning to summer here in Southern California

    Today is forecast to be a bit warmer than previous days . . .

    I hope we get more rain . . . that cools us down and gives us more spring . . . and helps with our drought conditions.

    I know I feel better when the weather is cold, cool and fair . . . I’m not fond of hot temperatures . . .

    We may be getting our normal June Gloom . . . but we’ve had this in April and May thus far . . . and I’m enjoying it . . . it can continue throughout the summer . . . and I’ll be welcoming fall way before it is due . . . I do love fall . . .

    I’m already working on Halloween stuff . . . and maybe will get into the Christmas in July thing many crafters do . . . a head start on any holiday crafting is always a good idea . . .

    Some people work on what pleases them throughout the year . . . depending upon their favorite holiday or what they feel like doing . . . I know from looking at Pinterest, some people are still into Easter . . . others have been pinning about Halloween since last Halloween . . . and, of course, Christmas is always popular . . . and there are those who love cooking and have their favorite recipes . . . plus variations of S’Mores . . . it is a year round treat for many . . . just as hot chocolate . . .

    We don’t necessarily have to divide our attention with food and decorating and crafts to go along with the appropriate holiday season . . . we can enjoy what we enjoy throughout the year . . . People go to warmer climates during the winter and cooler climates during the summer . . .

    We may all to some degree be fair weather lovers . . . to be comfortable indoors and outdoors . . .

    Thank you for stopping by!

    Until next time,

    Sharon

     

    What’s Your Favorite Holiday?

    We all seem to have a favorite holiday or holiday season.

    The most popular are Halloween and Christmas in that order.HalloweenTrickorTreat_edited-1

    I do have a website of haunted stuff with ghost stories. I love them, as many do. I also have one of Christmas. Then, there’s this one that allows me to celebrate the holidays as they come. And, you may have noticed how I really do get into Halloween . . . it is my favorite season.

    I’m not into the real creepy stuff with the violent make-up and gross food. It’s interesting how make-up can be applied to scare the living daylights out of you . . . I admire it, but it’s not something I would do.

    If Halloween is for children, I’d go for the more mild fun stuff . . . but to each his/her own.

    Halloween2Yes, there is definitely humor in being scared . . . and children running around at night in costumes gathering sweet treats is all about the fun . . . yet, the idea of being out at night . . . the lit pumpkins with scary faces . . . the decorations of tomb stones . . . and witches, ghosts, skeletons and other scary stuff heightens the imagination.

    Also going to the doors of stranger’s houses is a scary activity.

    For me, it is about the children and their enthusiasm of getting all dressed up and going door to door collecting candy. And, if they scare each other along the way, it’s all in fun.

    I love that parents are with their children. Some dress up in costume, too. Or, they’re with older siblings. Times have, unfortunately, changed and we need to make sure children have a safe Halloween experience.

    Many people opt to have parties in their homes rather than allowing the kids to go out . . . this works out well. It is fun to gather friends together and have fun and games and maybe watch a Halloween DVD . . . and, of course, have some delicious food . . . it may look a little odd, but the taste is wonderful.

    I haven’t noticed as many Christmas Carolers.

    I’d love to hear them sing . . . going door to door.Christmas-Dona Gelsinger8

    One neighborhood church would have young and old alike singing carols throughout the neighborhood. You could join them, if you wanted to. It would turn into a rather large group.

    Then, we’d have an impromptu pot luck dinner. We’d all contribute and share the news of the families. It was a nice way of getting caught up on marriages and births, graduations and jobs . . . we seemed to keep up with the sorrow of death . . . but it was a time of letting neighbors know we do care . . .

    I enjoyed listening to the stories of different families . . . some could trace their ancestry way back . . . This was good for everyone to hear and there were history lessons involved, too. You had to understand the times, to understand the hardships and the joys . . . how how certain traditions developed and are practiced today.

    Each and every one of us has a history . . . a story to tell  . . .  maybe about our ancestry . . . and our own story . . . from humble beginnings . . . and the opportunities we were given . . . and the decisions we’ve made . . . all shaping the life we now live.

    Whatever, holiday or holiday season you enjoy . . . it’s wonderful to be with family and friends . . . and to share what you can about life and aspirations.

    We all have a life and aspirations . . . it’s interesting to see how things work out.

    Until next time,

    Sharon

    Best Thoughts

    Too Often Our Thoughts Aren’t For Our Benefit

    I’ve had days when I’d rather stay home than run errands.Bestthoughts

    I was sitting and thinking about all the things I needed to do. Then, I suddenly got up, walked out the door, into my car and drove off. It seemed as though my thoughts were leading me in the direction I needed to go in order to get the various tasks accomplished.

    I had a good morning, taking care of things I’d put off . . . just because my thoughts weren’t working with me.

    Yes, it was cloudy and wet . . . but, quite honestly, I didn’t notice it. I was on a mission.

    Sometimes we do need to let go of our imagined fears and move past them.

    I found this great site where you can make an envelope and fill it with Best Thoughts. There are some you can print out and there are some that are blank so you can write out your own Best Thoughts.

    They could be favorite quotes or Bible Verses. They could even be affirmations you find uplifting. It’s about allowing your mind to get you out of a rut . . . of deciding to not let troubles and sorrows get you down. This may allow you to think on the more positive side . . . your troubles and sorrows won’t disappear over night . . . but how you perceive them may . . . maybe not overnight, but with persistence . . . soon.

    Some may believe this is magical thinking. In a way, I suppose it is. We dwell on things . . . some good and others . . .

    Our thoughts help us make decisions . . . getting down to the basics of the situation, rather than all the extras that are there complicating it.

    I was watching a movie about a woman who reached a cross roads . . . she was given an opportunity to teach at a prestigious college and have her book published. When this opportunity was presented to her, she also received a proposal of marriage from her long-term boyfriend.

    She met him for dinner. She was bursting with news . . . and he was concentrating on his proposal and the life they would share together.

    Well, in the movies there is conflict, otherwise there wouldn’t be a story. And in the story, it was all figuring out what to do . . .

    There are ways of approaching such a situation . . . and there are many movies with this theme . . . either the man or the woman is given an opportunity of a lifetime . . .

    These cards may allow you to think through your priorities without hurting anyone or yourself in the process.

    There are many lessons to learn in life . . . many opportunities lost . . . many taken, leading to others . . . or to heartbreak . . .

    Life is full of those ups and downs.

    It may be worthwhile to sit quietly each day with Best Thoughts to help you either through those downs or assist you in preventing unnecessary ones.

    It’s worth a try . . . just click here and you can print out the envelop and the cards . . . and print out plenty of the blank ones to write out your own best thoughts . . .

    I find those to be more meaningful to me.

    And these may be helpful to a friend . . . it wouldn’t hurt to share this with them.

    Until next time,

    Sharon

    Beautiful Spring Day

    Life is truly precious. And beautiful days are days to celebrate.

    I love being outdoors with my precious Yorkshire Terrier Diva. There is something about being outside, enjoying the flowers, blossoming trees and my vegetable garden.spring

    It is important to dig in the dirt from time to time and to thoroughly enjoy the abundance nature has to offer. Diva enjoys being out in the sunshine and sniffing around. Also sitting with me on the patio.

    I like to work on craft projects. Gluing paper together to make 3-D houses or pop-up pages for mini albums. I never outgrew that need to make stuff. Or the fascination of opening up a page that pops up.

    I wonder if this comes from wanting things to be life-like. I find when looking at pictures, i want to go beyond the flat surface and make it third dimensional so I can actually see around it. I know many people put those dimensional dots on cutouts to make them stand out . . . and doors and windows are able to be opened . . . and there may be a scene behind it . . .

    Spring is a wonderful time of year . . . it’s not too cold and it’s not too hot . . .

    After Easter, we’ll be celebrating Mother’s Day and Father’s Day . . . then we get into summer . . . and the Fourth of July . . . then we anticipate fall . . . and all the fun that season brings . . .

    As many of you know, fall is my favorite time of year. I feel it is a new beginning, but it truth spring is that new beginning with the budding of fruits and vegetables that we’ll be enjoying through the summer and into the fall.

    I guess we’re all geared a bit differently . . . . having a preference for different seasons and holidays. I do know many people who love Halloween and come alive with their creative genius in making mini albums and related craft projects. Some go with the spooky while others go with the sweetness of youth and the wonder of it all . . . and others do a bit of both . . .

    And those who adore Christmas . . . that magical time of year . . . with the carols and the anticipation . . .

    But, spring, I’m now beginning to appreciate more . . . the beauty of all the flowing trees and plants . . . the abundance of color springing forth . . . mild temperatures . . .

    Then come the vacations of summer . . . 

    And that anticipation of fall . . . Sorry . . . that’s where the seasons seem to take me. I do enjoy the moments of each season . . . but my true love is fall and winter . . . those two popular holidays of Halloween and Christmas . . . and I do love Thanksgiving that it squeezed between . . . and I’m very fond of Easter, too.

    Those “lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer” with beach outings . . . picnics . . . camping . . . being carefree and fancy free . . .

    Yes, each season has its advantages and its special moments . . . which you’ll notice centers around family . . . and friends.

    Spring and summer seem to be the seasons of S’mores . . . but I make them the treat of all seasons . . . but there is something special about making them over an open fire . . . things “cooked” in nature seem to taste so very much better.

    Whatever season is your favorite and however you celebrate traditional holidays and seasons, I would like to leave you with some links of jigsaw puzzles you and your family may enjoy:

    Yes, I do go for the nostalgic . . . there are jigsaw puzzles available for all seasons and all things that are meaningful to you and your family. I find having a puzzle out, brings people together. It is a relaxing activity where you can visit, have a conversation and find pieces that will fit in completing the puzzle.

    I do find them relaxing throughout the year.

    Have a fun!

    Sharon