Some Zoey *Love*


Mini Art Journal Journey - Week Twenty-One

This week's prompt for the mini art journal challenge was to create something showcasing what you believe are your: redeeming qualities and/or the qualities you aspire to have. This is what I came up for with mine. The qualities that have definite room for improvement for me are forgiveness and to be more accepting. Sometimes it's hard, especially when we feel that we've been wronged or harmed in some way to forgive freely and to be open and accepting to the possibility of a brighter future...definitely working on those two! Used Scenic Route pp, MM ric-rack, brad and paint. I've been a bit behind with the mini journal so I'm playing catch up a bit here...will post the last two week's challenges in my gallery soon! Thanks for looking!

Acrylic Stamp Storage

I made this organizer for storing my acrylic stamps by altering an old computer software storage album that I had saved for some reason, (I am such a pack rat when it comes to things that I think I can one day alter!). Anyways, I started by painting the edges of the album as well as the spine of the album and let dry, then I adhered the patterned papers, (gotta love that Scenic Route), to the front and back of the album and painted again around the edges of the paper to make it look a little funky, (and to cover up any imperfections!). I then put rub-ons, (Creative Imaginations) on the spine and along the bottom left of front. For the lettering on the front of the album I used my foam stamps and paint, (Making Memories) and when the paint dried I outlined the letters with my pen, (added a little definition and made the letters stand out a bit more I thought. And now I have a coolio little album for storing my acrylics! :) Thanks for looking!

bailey & jackson


This picture was taken by my sister Anna, (if I am remembering correctly), and is of my little sister Bailey and my nephew Jackson, (Anna's son). The journaling reads: Bailey was so uncomfortable holding her nephew Jackson - babies in general are "not her thing" ...for right now anyways. You could never tell by looking at this picture though! Picture was taken almost five years ago, and I am happy to say that Bailey's baby phobia is getting that she has 5 nieces and nephews and another on the way, that is a very good thing! :)

Touching Lives

About two weeks ago while working at the bakery a young couple of about 16/17 came in for some scones and coffee. They had just been to a performance at the Center for the Arts building across the street and were offering their reviews to me free of charge. Extremely chatty with me, asked me lots of questions, lots of giggles, and the thing that I remember most about them is the life that was was just simply oozing out of them. The young man was tall and thin, had an edgy, hip hair cut, wore a long skinny scarf and carried himself very well, his female friend was more reserved, a bit shy and lots sweet. They ordered their scones and helped themselves to their coffees at the coffee bar making several trips back and forth to add more and more sugar and creamer to their cups, (bringing a smile to my heart). Each time, one would be sure to catch my eye and smile...the young man would say something to me that was meant for me to acknowledge his existence and all that he had to offer this world, this moment. And I did. I went home with the memory of these kids in my mind and heart. I said to Ethan that I thought that some of his students were in the bakery today scoping me out, I explained them and he knew immediately who they were. We laughed and he shared stories about the young man with he brings a briefcase to class. How the young woman with him was his girlfriend and that she is an incredible writer, especially for someone so young.

Yesterday we attended the young man's visitation as he had committed suicide earlier this week. It just breaks my heart that someone so full of life and with so much to offer the world could have such a troubled heart and feel that there was no other way out. I can only imagine how this young man's mother feels, his family, those that love him. I only saw this young man but once and he brought warmth, laughter and a general feeling of goodness to me and my day. I wish that I would have come right out and said that to them both, that I would have thanked them for their smiles, their interest in life and living on that particular day.


After watching Wisconsin Public Television's, In Wisconsin special last night on Pepin County, both Ethan and I were very disappointed. The reporters really missed some opportunities, (to highlight and showcase), some real gems about Pepin County and it's outer lying communities. They featured a writer, (whom I'm sure is very talented and deserving but of whom I had never heard of), that apparently resides in Pepin County part of the year, (something that would have been better off being in an episode showcasing Wisconsin writers perhaps?), school board issues and education financing struggles, (good to bring awareness and is a real issue of concern...but does this represent the best of Pepin County and what it's best known for?), in my opinion, no. They covered the Harbor View Cafe, (which is a HUGE draw to the area from the Twin Cities as well as the Minneapolis area), all of two minutes, maybe, (this was the idea that I had sent in as a viewer suggestion for the reporters). Nothing on the beautiful Pepin Harbor, no views of the Mississippi from a boater's view, none of the little inlets/outlets or marshlands were featured, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum and her history was touched on briefly, but nothing was spoken of the Annual Laura Ingalls Wilder Days celebration or the much anticipated Stockholm Art Fair that is also an annual event held in Stockholm, WI that brings local artists and the community together for a weekend of art, live music, good food and good times. Every summer the local Yacht Club in Pepin hosts a sailboat race, unless I am mistaken, this is still an event that takes place as well as the annual fishing contest that takes place right in Pepin, WI and is a weekend event as well for the locals with contests, bingo, grilling out, music, and dancing. Something that celebrates the small town charm of living in a small community such as Pepin. There is something quite magical about parading your catch of the day to your next door neighbors and having your kids run about barefoot along the Mississippi River and know that up the street there are gourmet meals being served to people, (along the likes of Garrison Keeler), who will wait sometimes up to two hours to be served I might add, at the Harbor View Cafe. I grew up in Pepin so I know first hand of the beauty and what the area has to offer, after watching the show that was televised last night, had I not grown up in Pepin, I would not be planning a visit to go there any time soon. Very disappointed, as this could have been a great opportunity to bring tourism back to this very beautiful and untouched area of God's country. Really, was almost painful to watch. To learn more about Pepin and what it has to offer those living there as well as it's visitors, please check out the Pepin website here.

These Two

have been going everywhere together lately...and last night, that meant the bath!

Things going on here...

For the next two weeks I am taking part in scrapbook challenges over at Creating Pages. This weeks challenge was to use a sketch, (posted at the website), for your layout and the catch was that you couldn't use cardstock. Very hard for me because I always seem to use cardstock on my lo's and I never do lo's based on sketches. This is what I ended up with, and it's not too bad! The pic's are of Zoey and her Aunt Serena playing with her tea set last May. For those that aren't familiar with Creating Pages, come on over and join...they have a great member gallery and message board where everyone is supportive and the DT members really make things fun. Right now they are actually shooting for their member board to reach 300, (they are around 260 right now), and the 300th member will get a gift certificate to the online go tell all your friends to join up, and keep your eyes could then be the 300th member! It also would be nice if you said Jenny sent ya! :)
I recently checked out the book titled Walking My Dog, Jane by Ned Rozell from my local library...haven't gotten a chance to actually start it, but am looking forward to the time when I do. It's about a guy that backpacks the 800 mile length of the trans-Alaska pipeline with his dog. Really sounds to be my kind of book; part travel and adventure, nature and hiking, dogs, and loads of inspiration. Another book that I am really wanting to get my hands on is Khaled Hosseini's new book titled A Thousand Splendid Suns. I loved his book The Kite Runner, so I'm sure that this one will not disappoint. You can listen to an audio clip preview of A Thousand Splendid Suns by the author by clicking the book link above and scrolling to the bottom of the page and clicking on the PLAY icon.
Ethan and I are looking forward to watching WPT's show In Wisconsin tomorrow night which is a special on Pepin County, (where I grew up). It should be interesting to see what the reporters found an interest in and what they chose to highlight. The program airs at 7pm on Thursday and also airs on Sunday at noon.

Lake George



We've been having good times here lately...Friday I found out that another one of my layouts was requested and will be published, this one will be in the September, 2007 issue of Simple Scrapbooks Magazine! Really made my day, er/or I think it's safe to say my entire week! It's really cool to be getting paid for doing something that I absolutely LOVE. Just goes to show that when you listen to what's inside and follow your gut, good things are bound to follow. Saturday we spent most of the day visiting with Ethan's family at Lake George. It was nice to see Ethan's parents, even if it was for just a short visit and to have Zoey get in a little grandma and grandpa fix. And finally, Ethan got a new coffee maker...our current one died on us Friday morning and talk about drama! I went and got a new one that very day, (as coffee is a staple around here), and got a fancy sh-mancy one, (Ethan's request), after naming it and everything, (Ethan named it Darth Vader, yep...we're strange) it ended up not working so Ethan returned it that evening and we ended up getting a plain jane one, (the one that I originally would have gotten, of course!), and it works like a charm! Whew! All is well again in the little house in the big woods! Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!


Some days are good and some days are GREAT! I got a call today from Scrapbooks Etc. Magazine saying that they were interested in publishing one of my two page layouts in their upcoming October issue! Cannot tell you how excited I was to get that call...really, really psyched. Zoesie of course picked up on it and said that she was happy I scrap-bu-ba-booked. :) I'm happy I scrapbook too!

Also discovered that this place exists, (Serena-you and I will have to make a special visit!), and that they sell cheesecake by the slice at our local market...yesssss! Scrapbook pub and cheesecake. All is incredibly well!

d.reeves design house ROCKS!


A little something that I've been having fun working on here lately is this little album documenting the little things and moments about when Ethan and I first met. Things that I don't want to forget over time, like what I was wearing, (yes, I remember!), what he was wearing, who we were with, where we were, the fact that there were 25 cent tacos and sangrias. How he shook my hand not once but three times...stuff like that. I used an acrylic album from d.reeves design house and absolutely fell in love with working with them! They currently come in three sizes and she also makes and sells acrylic pendants that you can alter and then use as jewelry or give away as a gift to a loved one. The thing that I love about her albums is that there are endless possibilities as far as creating with them is concerned. You can alter them with rub ons, stickers, paint, inks and stamps, adhere ribbons, really, the possibilities go on and on...thank you so much Diane for sending me one to play with! I used rub ons on my cover here and adhered chipboard numbers on the front to represent the year that Ethan and I met. Really had fun with this!


Mother's Day weekend was a pleasant one here, Ethan gave me the gift of time and I was able to work on some projects that I wanted to finish up and I was able to get started on some others as well. We went to the nursery here in town and picked out some plants and then spent an afternoon digging in the dirt and soaking in the warmth of the day. It felt really good to get my hands dirty and to feel that warm sun beating down and to be with those that I love the most. Really, really good.

Yesterday was the last MOP's meeting of the semester. We now break from our "meetings" until next Fall, though we have arranged for weekly play dates at the park for the summer months and a craft night once a month for just the moms. Very cool. I am so thankful that I was asked to join this group, in the beginning I was skeptical as I never was one for organized groups, (I thought), and wondered what it was they were after...but I have really made some great friends, Zoey's made some great friends and I now have an incredible support system in place that will hopefully carry into Zoey's school days. Really have been blessed, it has been an incredibly empowering experience to share stories with these women. I was a bit sad that it was the last meeting for the year, but am now knowing that I am looking forward to participate again next year as the Arts and Crafts Coordinator.

Been catching up a bit on all the routine things that the life of a family entails...and today I am hoping to get a bit of Spring cleaning started and to start going through and donating old clothes and other stuff that we've accumulated over time and just gets in the way of living.

give me more happy!


Journaling along the side reads: laughs, fun, hikes, days like these. Picture was taken late winter 2007 while on a hike on the Raven Trail. Wanted to do a page on Ethan and I with COLOR and this was it! Most of the chipboard pieces are Scenic Route, (which I sanded), the photo turn is 7 gypsies, rub ons from Creative Imaginations, (loving these lately), and some other misc. goodies, (including that cute little stamp by Hero Arts that I got from my MIL!). I am really loving my discount at the scrapbook store right now, can you tell? Thanks for looking! :)

Some Inspiration...

beyond the tutu wearing graffiti artist, these are just some things that I'm finding an interest in and/or gaining inspiration from here lately.

I stumbled upon this poem written by Billy Collins, former US Poet Laureate titled Some Days and thought I would share. Makes me question, (and want to challenge), my natural tendency to judge others, and makes me recognize how easily others can make assumptions about me and how very not cool that can be.

And this just made me cry. You can learn more about the Hug Campaign and this man's story by clicking here. It's just a reminder to me that it all starts with just one person and that it could be me or you.
Zoey and I ran some errands yesterday which included stopping at a department store where I ended up getting some new undies, pretty ones...that fit to boot. That in itself is pretty dang inspiring! ;) Along with the above pictured ballerina tutu with slippers for Zoey, and Ethan's 24 pack of Disney branded mechanical pencils, (he's having a bit of trouble with a mechanical pencil thief in the classroom - hence the Disney), we all made out pretty well. That in itself is inspiring.
Other random bits of inspiration here is the beautiful weather...really loving being able to get outside with Zoey to play, the blooming flowers and shrubs in our small but sweet yard, getting little snippets of time to create...really appreciating that, going to Walgreen's to pick up my prints and having the attendant ask if I was a photographer...that felt really cool! Ethan bringing home a box of incredible portfolio's turned in by his rewarding for him and something that fills me with pride as well. Lot's of stuff right now that I am choosing to see and be thankful for. Inspiration is all around me I guess.

Mini Art Journal Journey - Week Eighteen


I've been a bit behind with Emily Falconbridge's Mini Art Journey Challenge, but I am now all caught up! You can see my previous two week's cards by clicking my Mini Album link on the left if you wish, otherwise this week's prompt from Emily was: Nature. I could have journaled an entire book on this one as it plays such a huge part in our lives here living in the Northwoods. Ethan and I love being outside, whether it's hiking the trails, spending time at one of the many lakes in the area, biking or just playing around in the yard with Zoey...we usually always end up doing something outside together as a family on the weekends. As a child growing up I spent tons of time outdoors playing and as a teenager there were many bonfires and camping trips taken, and just times spent outdoors reflecting on thoughts and or ideas, or just taking in the beauty of what was around me. I was lucky to have grown up along the widest point of the Mississippi River which was just a beautiful and magical place. I really want Zoey to feel the connection she has between herself, nature and the world, and the respect that should be given and is/can be mutual between humans, animals and the earth. This is something that is really important to me! So much peace can be found in nature. A great prompt and a wonderful thing to reflect on!

Scrapbook Layout


And since it was National Scrapbook Day I spent a little bit of time scrapping, (thanks to Ethan!), and this is what I ended up with. I actually used parts of my packaging from my American Crafts felt flowers for the clear circle embellishment behind the brown felt flower, (love when you can do that!). Other things used for this layout include MM brads, rhinestones, Basic Grey chipboard, MM paint, HS journaling spots and chipboard letters, 7gypsies sticker quotes and pp's by Urban Lily and Basic Grey. I also added some dimension behind some of my flowers by adhering them to the page with 3M 3-dimensional tape. The quote is by Longfellow and reads: The love of learning the sequestered nooks. And all the sweet serenity of books.

Been Busy...

here. Saturday I worked at the Scrapbook store and since it was National Scrapbook Day, (yep, there's actually a day for us!), it was crazy busy, but fun. We had several make'n'takes available, drawings and prizes given away every half hour, treats and everything in the store was on sale. It really was a fun day. I couldn't believe all the people that came, we had several groups that came in that were making a weekend trip of it. Pretty fun stuff.

Yesterday we hiked around Shannon Lake again, this time half way around we discovered that a tree was down blocking the path, so that made for an interesting ordeal with Zoey along. Basically I went over and then Ethan handed her to me and then he followed. Then, after Zoey was done throwing rocks in the water and "testing" the temperature of the lake she decided to sit in the water...let's just say it wasn't exactly the warmest of days. Zoey thought it was exciting though and didn't seem to mind in the slightest!

And, now the weekend is over again...Ethan's back to work and that means Zoey and Mama are teaming up again! :)

There is Goodness Here.


One of my new favorites! I completed this one last night after Zoey went down for the night and am really loving it! Really like the purple and orange together, that overlay by My Mind's Eye is super cool and I LOVE that family photo! It was actually taken by my MIL about a month or so ago, I love Zoey's expression! It's a rare event that we get a nice photo of the three of us together, so this one is pretty special to me. The journaling reads: Something we are learning and striving for here is to embrace our goodness, learn from our mistakes, seek truth and to spread joy. It is all good.

Growth and Goodness


Another sign that she's growing up...see that little creature there that's she's drawing? It actually looks like a little creature complete with eyes, cheeks, nose, mouth and even hair! I couldn't believe it when she called for me to look and see what she had drawn this morning. Makes me want to cry! :) I am so proud of her and all her little achievements.
I've been really taking the time to enjoy living up here the past few days, on Sunday we all went and hiked the trail around Shannon Lake. It was absolutely, positively and amazingly beautiful. The lake was crystal clear and we literally hiked around the entire lake, so quiet, as we were the only ones there and the hiking was rough and the woods thick. Made for a really fun experience and added to the feeling of definitely being in the Northwoods!
Speaking of living in the Northwoods, yesterday at MOP's our speaker was from Trees For Tomorrow (located in Eagle River, WI) and she spoke about all the wildlife that is essentially living right here along with us, (it's so easy to forget this living day to day life!). It was so interesting to hear her talk about the black bears, wolves, coyote and fox in the area. I'm not sure that it really hit home with me that those animals are right here until yesterday when some of the other mothers started talking about the "first" time they had a black bear in their yard once moving up here! I was like, "Ummm, not sure I want a first time, thanks!" Really was interesting to hear the representative of Trees For Tomorrow speak and have that reminder of what a magical and untouched place we live in here. So special that there is this respect given to the land and the animals that inhabit it. It really is so beautiful here, I can't quite believe it sometimes.
I also received in the mail the other day an acrylic album from my friend Diane Reeves to play with! I was so excited when she wrote me to ask if I would be interested in applying my artistic abilities to one of her albums! I had to reply with a big YES! I absolutely love the album and am thinking of all the different possibilities there are to create with it. I will definitely share here what I come up with. For those that would like to check out the albums and her other acrylic products, you can view them here.
Lots and lots of goodness around me here these days...I am soaking it all up.
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