2 Sept. 2017: HURRICANE HARVEY UPDATE
We are just home today, Sept. 2nd after evacuating to our daughter's home in the Dallas area. We are stunned to find no evidence of water damage anywhere in our home and the community. However, less than 5 minutes away, our old home of 23 years is destroyed, at least for the first floor if not more! Every home we passed had piles of trashed carpeting, dry wall, ruined furniture and appliances, etc. sitting on the curb for trash pick up some day--hopefully soon!
If we hadn't sold the house a year ago, that would be what we'd have found today! My 104 yrs old piano would have been totally ruined! We just cannot imagine how our new little home and community came through without a bit of water! We've all had complaints about the poor job of finishing our new homes and mistakes made over and over again by the builder, but at least they got the drainage for each home and the whole community done SO WELL!
I will now be seeing to all my active swaps. I think that Jackie (123poggy123) has angeled everything on my dashboard, but I'll be checking with her and with my partners to be certain that all swaps have been completed. What a blessing she has been! Dear friends here on the "Bot" are closer that many of my friends here with me geographically.
Jackie has a huge heart and shares it so quickly by helping friends just as she has done for me. Thanks so much, Jackie; you are a blessing beyond words!
MOST TIMES I DROP OFF MY SWAPS AT THE POSTAL DROP-BOX where we can send and pick up our daily mail. That means sometimes the mail is not always postmarked on the same day I mark sent, but it does mean that I officially mailed it---dropped it into an official USPS outgoing mail drop box! We are still trying to figure out when our mail is delivered and outgoing mail is picked up. It can be as early as 4 p.m. or well past 8 p.m. If the send date is urgent for the sending deadline, I check for our delivered mail; if it has been delivered, then I know the item will not be picked up until late the following day. So one of us runs it to the post office instead of dropping it here, knowing it won't be picked up until the late evening the next day. For these reasons, the postmarked date and send dates sometimes may not match. I DO NOT hit item sent until it has been dropped into an official mail drop box (around the corner) or at the actual post office.
My favorite crafts are anything with fabric, paper, thread, glue, scissors, metal, junk jewelry, OLD keys and pen nibs, old photos and old cards, postcards etc; all of these go into cards, ATCs, altered art, scrapbooking projects and many other items.. I love sewing and am learning to use my new embroidery machine--a bit of a challenge! I especially love sewing for kids (for my two "grandchildren"--see below).
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Tim Holtz's shabby chic/vintage/steam punk/Victorian style along with 7 Gypsies and Graphic 45! In April, 2012, I was able to join my daughter, Jenn, and her art friends for a week-end of four classes lead by Tim! He is amazing in his art and creativity AND his teaching abilities. (I'm a retired English professor so pay attention to teaching methods--it's just part of who I am.) He also is totally at home with anyone from "beginner" to "master" of his art style. He was extremely friendly and just participated with students implementing what he'd prepared us to do and then went around chatting at numerous tables to see how students are doing and what he might need to clarify in next class.
GRAPHIC 45 AND 7 GYPSIES: I also love these products and styles--They are so similar to Tim Holtz's in some ways, yet each is entirely unique.
James Galway's flute, groups like the Carpenters; Everly Brothers; Righteous Brothers; Peter, Paul and Mary, Beatles (showing my age!); Chopin, Mozart, Beethoven--especially piano, flute, and strings; nothing is greater for me than Galway with his flute. My daughter and I got to see him in a live concert a few years ago--with really close up seats. That was a lovely experience. In terms of a composer, I am extremely fond of Aaron Copeland's American themed work--love "Appalachian Spring." I am a child of the late 50's, 60's, and 70's. I also love Christian praise and worship (both old favorite hymns and contemporary praise choruses).
I love crime and mystery series such as Law and Order--SVU, NCIS, Criminal Minds, CIS, Mentalist, Bones, Closer, Blue Bloods, Rissoli and Isles. I also enjoy Madame Secretary and Criminal Minds-Beyond Borders, and Major Cases. We like starting a series from its beginning to its end from Netflix for series we didn't have time for while we were working. It makes a huge difference sometimes to know the characterization that develops as series progresses compared to starting to watch 3 or 4 seasons into the series.
I am also a bit of a news junkie--recording Today Show, NBC Nightly News and Meet the Press. Sometime I do the Sunday equivalent on CBS--cannot remember name. I like to see the difference views each network presents.
Also I am a huge fan of NPR on radio--got hooked on it when I was commuting to and from work, especially for one semester when it was a 2+ hour round trip. Once it took me more than 2 hours to get to work. Thankfully, that was for the short term until we could relocate.
.The best day of each week is the day our Nate and Marissa spend time with us after school. Those days are getting much fewer as they have something after school nearly all five days: piano, dance, karate, etc. Officially, they are great nephew and niece. Nate was 9 on May 1, 2017, and Rissa will be 7 on July 31, 2017. Nate has spent every Friday (or Wed.) and some extra days and evenings with me since he was 3 months old and Rissa joined about two years later--so in our hearts they are grandchildren. Nate and I have a very close bond--he cried for 30 minutes after his parents told him I'd fallen and broken my hip. He insisted on getting to see me the next day in hospital and mom and dad agreed. We have a picture of him snuggled up with me in the hospital bed. I'll cherish that photo forever--even though I look awful a day after surgery and wearing my classy hospital gown! He has such a tender, gentle heart, and I wonder where it will take him as he becomes a young man.
SEPTEMBER 2015: Everything has changed with the school year (2015-2016) as Rissa went to kindergarten, and now I have no one for all day times! It has been a hard adjustment, but a good one, since our goal is to help them grow into adults who work hard and have good values, and strong faith in God's power to guide and redeem them throughout their lives.
Nate is totally "into" computer games, especially "Mine Craft," which I am trying desperately to understand so we can play together, crossing into each other's worlds. He is totally interested in superheroes, "Star Wars," Spider Man, Super Man, and Avenger comic characters. I hope this obsession calms down just a bit, but it is apparently the norm for 8 yr old boys.
As a retired English professor, I love to read anything from great literature and poetry to popular best seller novels, especially those writers who develop characters in depth such as Wally Lamb. I also love Nora Roberts and similar chic lit--English profs are not ALL snobs about what they read! I also love some popular mysteries as long as nothing too gross or frightening is happening. It's solving the puzzle/mystery and character development I enjoy.
One of my favorite poets is Gerard Manley Hopkins--I just love his sprung rhythm, alliteration, depth of meaning--which is hard to figure out, admittedly. But the sound of his poetry, the metaphors, symbolism,and condensation are fabulous. The meaning is a word puzzle to be figured out. Wordsworth and Keats are probably my most favorite poets.
To Kill a Mockingbird, The Lovely Bones, Cider House Rules,I Know This Much is True and all others by Wally Lamb, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Slack, F. Scott Fitzgerald's books and short stories, The Kite Runner,--I'll add more as I remember them later. I read all of the time--never without a book--or 2 or 3--in process!
I also love children's literature. I grew up on a farm near a small NE Nebraska town (360 pop.) and was deprived of children's lit until I discovered it with my own children! I love the old classics: Margaret Wise Brown, Robert McCloskey, etc. and Eric Carle, and many, many others. I'm enjoying them now with our "grandchildren"--see above. I am collecting my favorite children's literature and biographies of children's lit. authors.
Three Favorite Quotations:
"Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides." -Garth Brooks.
"Some of God`s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers" - Garth Brooks.
"You do not stop playing because you grow old, you get old because you stop playing" -unknown.
I try to remember these regularly to keep myself living up to the meaning of each one. Too often I forget and flounder around miserably without the combined focus of these three quotations. When I remind myself of them, I also am usually reminded to turn to some favorite Bible passages that keep me living well by waiting on Him. I love the book of Psalms! Maybe because they are poetry and I'm an English professor (retired). Most of them were also written by David, a man after God's own heart, in spite of committing adultery and murder when he took his focus away from God; yet God still stood beside him and knew David was seeking and finding His love, forgiveness, and direction. David's faith inspires me immensely---even though I fall far short of his example. Most of all David's psalms lead me to dance and sing with joy in celebration of God's gracious gift of Life, just as David did.
I especially love all shades of blues, deep red clarets (and burgundies, greens, purples and vintage browns)' I like combining black and white with red, deep burgundy, dark blues, and dark greens. I also love blue, pink, or turquoise with browns and black.which has surprised me. Oct. 2012: I am suddenly enjoying purple and green combinations for some reason--my sewing room was recently painted a soft green, and, by accident or serendipity, most items from my campus office were green and purple because the new ergonomic desk chair came in dark lavender rather than the blue I requested. Getting it replaced would have taken about a year I figured so I started finding items that were purple and lavender.
APRIL 2013 UPDATES: Love playing with paper and mixed media,layers, collage and altered items. I love making ATCs and Altered Rolo Cards. I do still love sewing and machine embroidery, reading, and gardening--herbs, veggies, and flowers, especially antique roses.
I love Tim Holtz's style, products, and techniques--vintage shabby-mixed art, my altered media and ,--also 7 Gypsies, Button Farm, Theresa Collins, Graphic 45, Basically Bare and similar styles. All of these are a bit EXPENSIVE, so I substitute as much as possible. Feb. 2015--I think I am liking 7 Gypsies and and Graphic 45 as much as Tim Holtz. I just didn't make contact with them until long after my introduction to Tim Holtz.
I love upbeat, positive people who encourage and brighten my life and try to avoid negative people.
I am a Christian, but not radically conservative, far right at all! I have no problem with evolution fitting into the process of God's creationist. I like Biblical themed items, Bible verses, and cards, etc. with Christian content. I do enjoy traditional hymns, Bill Gaither choruses (dating myself), and similar contemporary songs and choruses. Sending me Christian items is fine--I love them---provided they are not Jehova's Witness and other conservative tracts, etc. Those will offend me although I'll just toss them into the RECYCLE bin.
I love dogs (LARGE ones mainly--(favorite is German Shepherd!) then Golden Lab, Chocolate Lab, Schnauzers, Jack Russel Terriers, Airedales, and Cocker Spaniels; Cats of all kinds, Big cats--especially female lions and tigers; flowers, butterflies, birds, squirrels, bunnies, raccoons, black bears, cougars, and other bears. I love animals---nearly all! My favorite birds are Northern and Southern cardinals, robins (now rarely seen here in Houston), bluebirds (almost never seen here), mockingbirds, meadow larks, red-winged blackbirds, loons, ducks, barn swallows, mourning doves, even that noisy, screeching blue jay! I think maybe God gave them such beautiful blue feathers to counter these arrogant, noisy, rascals, We have bird feeders in back yard and squirrel feeders in back and front yards. We DO have some healthy squirrels around here.We just learned that our new neighbors are also feeding squirrels!
In the spring and summer, Nathaniel and I sometimes have kept a snail terrarium. He is an animal lover just as I am. All this year (2014) he and I have been wanting a bunny, but the grown-ups won't let us. We'd also like a tree frog and a turtle.[2015 update: They still won't let us have these.] ;-(
New York City is my favorite city in the US--I love Manhattan, China Town, Times Square, and most other places. I'm also fond of Boston, San Francisco, and Chicago. My childhood plan to live in a large city certainly came true as I am in Houston, the 4th largest city in the nation--if only its summers weren't so hot and humid, it could be wonderful! I got here in 1977 when my now ex-husband got his job here in oil industry after finishing his doctoral degree in nuclear physics.
At the same time, I love mountains and woodlands--I need a bit of both, but could never again live in a small town anywhere. But I love retreating to the Texas Hill Country and to Arkansas,, the Smoky and Blue Ridge Mountains, the 4-corners area of Colorado, etc. I want to see the northwest states, more of Colorado, Maine--all of New England, and Idaho.
I DO NOT LIKE: HALLOWEEN! I just do not like anything Halloween except cute pumpkins and jack o'lanterns, cute black kitties, etc. I love the fall season SO much, but just could do without Halloween entirely. Hip Hop and Goth, extreme steam punk--skulls, ghosts, E.A. Poe, etc., Twilight series, and spooky, ghoulish Halloween--my least favorite holiday. I do not like kawaii, Hello Kitty, reward stickers, and similar items. I prefer no foods or teas, etc. unless I sign up for a tea or coffee swap.
I am Christian so do not want items that are anti-Christian or agnostic or atheist.At the same time, I don't want extreme far right, ultra conservative Christian tracts and similar items.
I will be offended by any nudity, Please do not send anything lewd and lascivious, etc. I am allergic to cigarette smoke.. Please don't send me packages that smell of cigarette smoke.
Other than that, I cannot think of things I really dislike other than violence and bullying among school children,and in the work place, cruelty to and abuse of any children, adults, and animals. School and work place bullying must stop. The old adage that "Sticks and stones may hurt me, but names can never hurt me" is WRONG! Name calling and and any other verbal abuse can hurt far more than most physical bullying. Physical wounds heal over, not forgotten but no more pain remains, but names stay hidden deep inside and are never forgotten nor healed without good therapy to teach one how to get rid of those old injuries to one's heart.
Well, I guess I have one more thing I dislike VERY much: Swappers who put no thought, effort, and time into whatever they are making and are slow to rate. Common courtesy calls for a thank you and/or acknowledgement the you received a swap.
OH--did I mention that Tim Holtz is my most favorite paper and mixed media artist? Yeah, I bet I did! My Swap-Bot photo is me with Tim at a week-end workshop in Dallas in April 2012. I love his vintage, shabby/chic, steam punk products and techniques.I love his products and anything made by Ranger. 7 Gypsies, Graphic 45, and Theresa Collins also have paper and mixed media products much like Tim Holtz's.
Tim's Ranger and Adirondack materials, media, and ephemera, and 7 Gypsies's products can be pricey, so I buy only with coupons or 50% off sales at Michael's, Hobby Lobby, and JoAnn's. I also shop Blitsy and other sites online for amazing prices. Check out Blitsy and Scrapbook.com if you haven't explored their sales! 2014--Last year I discovered Alpha Stamps--they have tons of supplies for mixed media way beyond their wonderfully designed stamps.
I also find substitute items from Goodwill, E bay, and "antique shops" and from other areas such as jewelry, beads, buttons, old keys and jump rings, etc. I imitate and improvise to create the vintage look. Old jewelry, keys, pendants, chains, crocheted items, etc. work perfectly. I also can use thick crochet threads, hemp and raffia, ribbons, old board game pieces, canvas fabric (any size), etc. Anything vintage I can probably find a use for--whether truly "old" vintage or ways to create that look. I do Tim Holtz on a budget! :-) May 2013--I am suddenly loving ribbon, textured papers, items of use on collages and to create unique paint and ink effects on collage and mixed media projects. I love anything that can be used on a collage! Summer 2014--I'm loving using stencils--especially Tim Holtz's Splatters and Speckles ones. I'm also improvising with textured fibers, mesh, etc. from odds and ends around the house for stenciling.
I like anything that is vintage, shabby/chic and SLIGHTLY steampunk. You may have noticed that I love anything Tim Holtz style--not necessarily with his name on it--I improvise whenever possible. Fibers--cloth and paper for mixed and altered media
Unusual collage items
Tim Holtz, Theresa Collins, 7 Gypsies, Graphics 45, Basic Grey, etc.--any of their supplies or less expensive brands that are in similar styles.
old photos and postcards
vintage game pieces (I already have tons of dominoes and Scrabble tiles!!!)
junk jewelry or new vintage style jewelry supplies I can use on paper and altered art.
(no buttons PLEASE!!!!!--drowning in them--but LOVE them!) Also I have so many paper scraps that I don't need ATC size papers unless you have something you think I would REALLY love!)
I love anything Victorian--especially children, cats, and dogs, bunnies, toys, books, vintage fashions (children and women).
I also love old magazine or catalogue pages from the Victorian era through the first half of the 1900s. .
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