Hazy Celestial Moment

We were not in the “Totality” area but I was determined to document it nevertheless.

I didn’t have any special glasses, nor did I make a pin-hole box; I really didn’t care if I could actually look into the sun or not.  I was just basking in the excitement of the moment and I have Internet for live feeds of locations where the view was spectacular.

 

My set-up shot was the pre-eclipse of the sun brightly shining through the tree. Then a broad view of the sky.  The next two shots show a little bit of haze, that is all we got.

It was an odd realization, the slight haze, not sure if it really was from the eclipse or my tired, staring eyes, too hopeful for something to happen.  But, as time passed, it was clear again and I was convinced I had witnessed the haze left by the moon blocking some sun.  Pretty special, as minor as our area experienced, it was real!

As you can see from my backyard, we sure had the perfect weather for viewing, if only we had been directly in the path.  But, alas, I experienced an event closer than I ever will again.

Not to let a perfect day be wasted, we jumped into our swimsuits and drove to the beach.  The water was a bit choppy.  The shore was full of life.  Not many people, just a covering of tiny crabs who reacted to the waves that rushed over them.  There were birds.  Little ones who pecked in the sand and must have been feeding on whatever the tiny crabs were, but there were larger birds who were feeding on the crabs.  There is always a cycle of life going on.

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It is pleasing when the temperatures come down at least a little.  I’m tired of the mid nineties.  In fact, the heat during the day does make me tired for real.  We are planning to hit the beach a couple times a week now.  At least for a while.  We can plan a longer stay than we did for “eclipse day”.

All this large scale event experience makes me feel insignificant on the grand scheme of creation.  But, then, I, too, am a creation of God!  This makes me feel very loved.

Thanks for checking in on me today, have a light filled day basking in God’s love everyone!

Smile!

Joyce Ann

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Courtyard Photo Practice

Today has started beautifully.  Everything outside is so clean and green from the drenching rain yesterday.  It would be a gorgeous day to stroll along the beach, it will not reach 90 degrees today either.  But first, let me share my latest scrapbook layout and the card I promised I’d make after a layout.

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I was following a design from Splitcoast, a layout made by a scrapper “mrupple” here.  Selecting papers I thought worked with the photos, I cut them, matted the photos and placed everything close to what she had on her design. When it came to to adding the title and journaling I went with computer generated work.  I used the Envelope Punch Board to punch in the shape of the title, added a sticker and strip of reverse side paper to it.  It took me a while to dig through my stash to find these embellishments to use.  The left piece with the 2 children gardening is a real postage stamp from Greece.  I had recently been given a sheet of rub-ons and used a flower on the green paper, added some buttons around it.  The Picture Perfect strip was a sticker.  The doily with the green brad was sent to me by a lady, made with glitter glue she tells me.  It is so lovely and delicate, I was careful to use Glue Dots rather than applying any wet adhesive.  The flower under that is a sticker that has two layers, also from a recent gift sheet.

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This is the card made with some of the scraps from the layout.  I followed the Brick Wall tutorial from Splitcoaststampers.com.  I felt the floral background would be interesting for my brick but too dark, so I brushed on some white gesso.  When dried, I heat embossed the Fun Stampers Journey image with black powder.  The sentiment is from the same set but it is stamped in black on a square self piercing die, added a square rhinestone brad and popped it up.

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I want to show you this one as well.  I made it with all Fun Stampers Journey product, except the candy dots on the balloon.  The edges were sponged with Distress Oxide inks because I had the colors I wanted for these papers.  I made it for two challenges, actually.  One challenge was the sketch the other was the elements/subject.  (If interested in any of the Fun Stampers product, just email my daughter kldeyette@yahoo.com, she will send you a link to the new catalogue.)

Glad you stopped by.  Have a beautiful day.  Be crafty and let the Light of Christ shine through you!

Sweet Dreams Layout

Created with the Fan-tasy Lea France stencil:

After selecting this stencil because of the ovals I was able to whip it out last night rather quickly.  Following lunch I spent a happy afternoon yesterday showing a friend how to use these Lea France stencils.  It wasn’t until the evening came that I couldn’t get the urge out of my system to make myself a page so I pulled this batch of photos out and played.

My granddaughter set up this photo shoot on her bed, mainly to get a photo to share with the ladies who gave the blanket to them.  The ladies who make and give baby blankets to the military families in their area request one thing in return – a photo of baby with the blanket if possible.  So, the photo session was staged with my two great grand babies.

Not needing the full shot of the blanket, I focused here on the precious baby boy by showcasing him in the ovals.  I think the two accent pics create a nice balance showing them together.  The title was cut with the Cricut, using “Cuttin Up” cartridge.  The sub-title came from a sticker sheet.  As soon as this title had come to me I know just the embellishment that I needed.  I stamped the cute sheep with the same ink color (Huckleberry Fusion) as the darker card stock.  Some glitter paper and hand doodling and I called it done.

Outside the Professional’s Studio

While waiting for the photographer we took some shots of our own.  Here are some scrapbook pages made with those photos.

This was a quick and easy page because I followed a layout from Splitcoast Stampers.  The papers and ribbon are from Fun Stampers Journey – gotta love the quality of their CS and DSP.

A smaller format here, 6 X 8, is for the Simple Stories album. I pulled some chipboard out for the embellishments and title.  Using this small format is more challenging for two photos.  The princess anticipated the flash, she nearly closed her eyes before the lens did its job.  I do love the shot of them smiling at each other.

The center photo shows how the photographer was posing our baby boy in the studio, I just had to sneak a shot myself.  The other two were taken back home in the den with his long pants off.  He is just so cuddly looking, makes me want to pick him up and hug him!  As for the building of the page, I followed a challenge from Splitcoast stampers again, this time to create the bars on the sides and have everything at the top – raising the bar, so to speak.  I cut 2 inch red strips, scored them, ran liner tape and added glitter.  The eagle is a digi from TLC that I printed with blue ink and then used a red gel pen on the inside, mounted on a circle of red.  I looked for quotes and found this one by Perciles.  “Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it.”  Whether our little man follows his father into the Navy or not isn’t important, what is important is that he understands his choice to honor and protect freedom.

Many words have been written about the concept of what freedom means.  It isn’t just about the military who stand for the freedom of a country.  What does it take for one to be truly free?  It all starts from inside the individual.  My struggle has been to be free from the sadness in my life.  How many of us run around seeking happiness only to find we never quite achieve it or it all too swiftly vanishes?  The freedom to be happy is right here in this moment if we just stop and let it be!  All the good there is to be found is already ours, right within each of us, waiting to be accepted.  Let go of the past – it’s gone, over, done with, and can’t be changed.  That’s a hard one, for sure, and I will admit I struggle still, but when I stop fretting and just “be” I find the peace and joy I seek.  How can that be ?  Sounds too easy.  It isn’t easy to stop thinking about the past and future, it’s necessary to be free, though.  I forget, sometimes, that I have a helper within, a source of strength, the giver of freedom to just be.  The truth is within each of us because God, the Creator of everything, the Source, if you will, built it in us.  It’s helpful if you study the wise words of the Bible and learn the teachings of Jesus to understand how we already have the ultimate power to be free right here within us.  I’m going to throw this pitch for attending Church regularly out there.  Really.  It will help.  It helps me stay focused on the now.  There is something to be said for how freeing your own happiness can be when you are involved in helping someone else in need.  That’s what a good church group can do for you, give you the field in which to work for the greater good.  That’s one of our freedoms in the USA.  We should be thankful for it.  Some say they can do good for others on their own, I say “good for them”, not everyone can.  I work better when I’m focused on the Source of the power that is in me.  Sunday morning is my recharging station, my one on one with God.  So, I hope you will find your happiness and protect the freedom of others with the help of the power of our Creator in you.  It’s really okay to stop and just be, just to feel the freedom from worry, stress and fear.  You are not alone.

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77 and Sunny

I’m enjoying a beautiful day today!  While out back with the fur babies I noticed the sky was so clear I could see the moon.IMG_0284_ed4x6

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This one taken about 11:30 am.  What hint of clouds there were then are all gone now.

This is how good I have it and will be a reminder for the times to come when I forget it.  With new goals planned, I truly do see more clearly today.

It’s hard to set a goal when I really wasn’t sure how to form one.  What do I want, I asked myself.  What does anyone really want?  One desire high on the list for most people, I guess, is happiness.  That’s a broad topic so I decided to write about it and came up with this.

Goal: Find my inner strength, for there is my peace.

Steps to Take: *See the world as it is, not as it should be. *Live in the present, for there is nothing else. *Be active in health issues.

Once these goals and steps are down on paper, how do I go about making it work in real life?  Here are some of the things I knew I needed to start with.  *Stop over analyzing and just do.  *Do what is right whether I like it or not.  *Develop a bedtime routine that includes reading instead of TV.

I have also put together an eating plan.  For the last few days I have cut back on sugar.  My biggest intake of sugar was with my coffee.  I love those powdered coffees, and yes, I actually put spoonfuls in my brewed cup.  Choosing the right foods is important so I can prepare decent meals all the time.  I will have breakfast and lunch at the standard times.  Normally when I think I’m hungry I wander into the kitchen for something.  No more.  I will get a glass of water instead.  I had read a while back that sometimes when we think we are hungry we are really just thirsty.  So far that theory is playing true for me.  It’s easier to not snack when my stomach is full, even when it is only water.  I truly believe that taking in sugar multiplies the desire for more sugar.  If I were English I would say I’m having “tea” around 4 or so in the afternoon.  But these past two days I’ve had a cup of black decaf coffee and a little something to eat.  Notice I used the word “little” and that is the key.  Supper will be around 7pm because when I was cooking supper between 5 and 6 pm, we were then eating stuff we shouldn’t have later in the evening.  I’m trying this out, good so far.

I am off to bed at 10 pm with any book I choose.  Last night I passed over a couple and settled on Deepak Chopra’s “The Way of the Wizard”.  Wonderful food for thought.  It is to be re-read and pondered, I suggest.  I have often wanted to get back to writing morning pages and so I did.  First thing this morning I wrote an essay of over 500 words.  Then a few pages in my journal after that.  I recommend anyone should write to clear and form your thoughts in the morning if at all possible.  Writing a 500 word essay isn’t required! This practice isn’t just for writers or journalists, it’s good for your soul.

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Here is a shot of the divider I made and the goal sheet I cut down from a large size page for my planner.  I love my Fun Stampers Journey planner, so cute to keep my thoughts as well as appointments in.  I can make short notes that can be expounded upon in larger journaling format – or Morning Pages. {smile}  It’s nice to have one place to keep track of everything in life as I live it.  I got the original “Goal” sheet from StudioSukiOnline.com if you need a place to start like I did.  This quote comes with it, “Dreams may be imaginable but goals are actionable.” ~Michael Hyatt.

Sunshine and Rain

There is splendor in both types of weather.  Here in Florida we are no stranger to these mercurial changes.

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These was taken with my telephoto lens through my bedroom window glass.  I love this shot.  Our yard was overtaken by all these beautiful birds.  Here is another shot where he is all fluffed out.  Capturing these shots under the branch in the rain is a treasure.

January 4th

DSC_1305One could not have asked for a more perfect day in Florida!  The clear skies and our Grand Ole Flag waving it’s message in the gentle breeze.  While walking around outside I spotted this additional sign and had to walk over and snap it too.DSC_1304

  • Yes, I’m in Florida!  And it’s winter, right?  Well, it’s January, and “winter” some place else.

A Good Day in June

It’s been a good day.

Fortunately it dawned on me that I had a meeting, this being Thursday.  I really wanted to go to the beach when I woke up this morning.  My phone said no chance of rain.

I was called on at my Toastmaster’s meeting to respond to a “Table Topics” prompt.  By default.  The fourth and final person was to be the woman sitting to my left but she declined so I was on the spot.  Since the theme for today’s meeting was Chicken and Eggs my topic was to give a one to two minute speech on why one should not vandalize with eggs.  No planning of course, I was just to respond.  I wish I had not been so nervous and remembered to just breathe, but I got through it, unfortunately I missed my goal of at least 1 minute.  The amazing thing is, I was voted as the best speech of the four table topics speeches and won a ribbon. Can I get a “Yeah”?

First thing this morning, with the beautiful day ahead of me, I wanted to go to the beach.  So I packed my swimsuit and headed over to the ocean after my TM meeting.  Now it was lunch and I spotted my new favorite lunch place on the way – Dunkin Donut!  I have been loving the grilled cheese with bacon.  No donut though, another “yeah” for me!

Everyone had the same idea of making this a beach day, but it was still great.  I took a walk, much needed after all the calories, rather than sit in the sand.  Down the shore, away from the crowd, a fisherman had a bird ( I think it is a crane) keeping him company.WP_20150604_007_edited-1

(Fisherman not shown)  As I approached, he told me what a nuisance they are.  They pester him for his bait or try to steal his catch.  Later, I spotted an adorable crab at water’s edge.  My photos just didn’t turn out, he was shy and chose to bury himself when I got too close.  Still not wanting to sit in the sand, I went back up, found a table and read for awhile.  It was a bit windy for that and I really wanted to get back home to my latest scrapbook layout.WP_20150604_019

This is the view from my table.  Such a gorgeous day!  Once home, I’m not sure if my legs feel tight when I stretch them from the sun or the walk.  Either way, the sun and the exercise was wonderful.

Here is my finished scrapbook page.  The challenge was to use “2 different size pictures, at least 2 different size shapes and at least 2 different colors”.

This background paper has been in my drawer forever and since I was going with a “flower” theme it was time to pull it out and make the most of it.

I’d had the idea of using the Spellbinders die for the small photo.  Then I added two more cut from patterned paper, backed with the solid shape and all anchored with the ric-rac stems.  I put embroidery floss around the flowers for embellishment.  The two ribbons are from Fun Stampers Journey as are the stamped images.  The new Kit of the Month came in yesterday and last night I HAD to use then on this page.  To make them stand out I used black embossing powder on the FSJ Banana Cream card stock.  Speaking of that choice, it is part of the color scheme I chose – yellow, pink, and green.  So, not only do I have die cuts as a shape, but I punched some flowers in two different sizes as well.

I wish now I had printed the words I wrote and pasted them on instead of the handwriting.

Hope your day is as marvelous as mine!  Thanks for stopping by!

Reveal to My Subjects

The Pike Co. crew who put in the poles in my area came back around to transfer the power to the my new pole.  I delivered on my promise to show the finished scrapbook page to the crew chief the other day.DSCN9969_ed4x6-1

While he looked through my album, others started to gather on my door step.  Kristy came through the house, saw all the men looking intently at the book and grabbed the camera. Of course!

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One even had his buddy take a photo with his phone.

It was a good morning!

Be watching for a scrapbook layout these photos.

Reflection at Ft. Lauderdale Beach

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Another scrapbook page with the Lea France Harmony stencil and some pics from the intersection of Las Olas and A1A.

It was the central point back in my High School days for going to the beach.  My friends and I spent many days there.  Today it is a lot different, more hotels – bigger ones, the street parking is gone and there is a lovely sidewalk now, the main street is one way only.  I parked across the street in the city lot for $1.75 an hour.  Lots of parking though, unlike the days of driving up and down till someone pulled out or parking a few blocks away and walking.  The walk across the street from the huge lot makes it lots easier.

Anyway, I did lots of stamping on the paper (Pink Paislee) with my Stampin’ Up stamps.  I first spray over a couple of stencils the used the stamps.

I hope you like my arrangement and photo choice for this stencil.

I am trying to break out of my usual scrapbook pages and do more in depth journaling.  If interested here is what I journaled. “Passing of time reveals what man has changed and what God has kept the same.  Like looking in a mirror t the high school girl who walked here so long ago changes in my own life are reflected back at me today.”

First Layout with Card Trick

This page is the first I’ve made with a Lea France stencil.  I used Card Trick stencil and lots of photos from our walk through the outskirts of historic downtown Melbourne last May.  I laid it out on a white page, cut it down when finished, and mounted on black Stampin’ Up card stock.

I printed some free vintage images and used Cricut cartridge Art Deco for the title font.  I haven’t been able to find any information on the Internet about this old train bridge so I can’t say what era it was really, but this font worked for the page anyway.  It turned out to be a really cool way to do something with these photos of scenery and rusted metal.

I am so addicted to working with these stencils (I have 4 now), it’s like creating a puzzle and keeping track of what to do with the pieces.  This is what I have always like doing, that why I sew and quilt, that’s why I enjoyed my job as a trouble shooter on the equipment way back when.  So this is perfect, combine my love of taking photos (now I will purposely take multiple shots) with these stencils and I am a very happy camper!

DSCN7692EnjoyHere is a page I did with a similar shot like the center photo last year, as a comparison to style and impact.  Not that I will give up my old style of course.  Variety is good. And some photos do not wish to play well with a crowd!

Knowing I was getting these stencils, I took lots of photos from Ft. Lauderdale and Hollywood recently.  The should arrive from Shutterfly soon, can’t wait to play!