Monday, August 5, 2013

Faith can move mountains

Yes, it surely can! I started this blog just over about a year ago. My first post being about the definition of success. It means so many things to so many different people. Some people think of success as winning, others think of it as overcoming a challenge, and some may think of it as getting through life day by day doing what needs to be done to survive. I believe success can be all of those things and even more.
This past year has been a rough roller coaster. Graduating from college at the ripe age of 40 with high expectations of going out into the world and finding that dream job right away. This past year was a wake up call, for me. Life isn't always easy. Life brings on challenges. 
However, I have also learned that it's a lot easier to just give up and throw it all away, rather than to keep pushing yourself to do better. While it's easier, it's not nearly as rewarding. There were times during this past year where my moral was at an all time low. Sending in resumes, going to endless interviews, and not getting an positive results. Yet, I kept pushing for more. I didn't give up. I did not want to let myself or my family down. And, well, it finally paid off. 

Finally I will be starting a job that's related to my career of choice. 
Finally, the sending out resumes and endless interviews are over, at least, for now. 
Finally, I have gotten my foot in the door and can begin a new chapter!

Next week are start my new job as an assistant preschool teacher and I couldn't be more excited. I know there will be some fun times. I know I will face challenges. I know I am ready for what life hands me!

My advice to all those out there struggling with whatever life is giving you...please, don't give up!

Gary Allen sings, "Every storm runs out of rain, just like every dark night turns into day. Every heart ache will fade away." This has been my theme song for the past year and has kept me going. That and faith that good things will happen with a little (or a lot of) patience and perseverance.

(This was taken at Whitemountain National Park in NH)

Sunday, July 28, 2013

It's been awhile!

I haven't made a blog post in forever. I've come to the conclusion that I'm not much for writing. Therefore, I'm going to take my blog into a different direction and hopefully it will peak your interest.
We all have a talent of some kind, that we're good at and we're a little afraid to share that talent with others. We are our own worst critics. Over the past few years I have enjoyed photography and have gotten many compliments on many of my photos. I don't own any fancy big DSLR camera that can do fancy tricks. But my Nikon Coolpix seems to do just fine on it's own. I've always believed that it's not the camera that takes the pics, but the person holding the camera.
In the meantime, while getting back into picture taking, I have been trying to come up with ways to promote my small business Facebook page. I see a lot of quote sharing in today's social media. So I decided, I'd love to share my photos, but don't want to make it a profession, let's add some inspirational quotes to them to help motivate people in every day life.  That is exactly what I'm going to do here, too.  I will continue to post my latest projects...both personal and shop related, however, I will mostly be sharing with you daily quotes on my photos, taken and edited by me. I love quotes and I love photography, so why not combine the two? I hope you enjoy!

Please stop over and visit me on Facebook ... CraftyCountryBumpkin'

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

From dull to vibrant!

When life gets in the way, we all get busy and sometimes our routine changes. I haven't blogged in almost a month, just because life has gotten in the way. That's not necessarily a bad thing. It just means we have to stop and remind ourselves of the things we like to do and what makes us happy. I've, not only, neglected my blog, but I've neglected my crafts, as well. I am reminding myself how good it feels to get something accomplished, the proud feeling of being able to show off a finished project.
However, even though life has gotten in the way of my hobby, I'm still enjoying it. I'm still continuing photographing life around me for Project Life. I don't know that my photography has improved, but I do know that my editing has. I'm more consciousness about the final look of my photographs.
For example, this picture of the sun shining through the trees, came out rather dull, initially. With some editing in Paint Shop Pro, I've added some vibrancy to it. I was disappointed when I first uploaded the image, but now it's one of my favorites.
Another one, here, is looking through my front door. A simple snow covered tree, turned into something so beautiful. Even those who dislike winter and snow appreciate this photo.
I love taking photos of nature and seasons. It's not a challenge for me at all to photograph scenes like these here. That's what I am enjoying about Project Life. PL is encouraging me to think outside the box and take photos of everyday things that I wouldn't normally take a picture of. 
For example, my bedtime routine. I was never much of a tea drinker, but I've come accustomed to drinking Sleepy Time Tea before bed. It's one of my favorite things. A little bit of milk & honey tops it off just right!
Let me also include that the mug in this photo was given to me for Easter by my mom back in 1983. It's 20 years old and still in one piece! That's amazing to me!

My family thinks I'm crazy for doing this project and they roll their eyes at me every time I stop to take a picture of something in our everyday lives. Like, when I took this photo of a Sunday dinner, they just shook their heads and laughed at me. One day, though, I know they'll appreciate going through this album with their own children.

So, while I haven't had much time to work on blogging and crafts. I've been taking the time to appreciate the little things. I hope that this will remind you, that no, one single moment is not important enough to be remembered and recorded.

"Every day may not be good. But, there is something good in every day." ~Author Unknown

Monday, January 21, 2013

Project Life...revamped!

It's only mid-January and already Project Life, taking pictures every day and documenting everything, every day was becoming tedious. But, I didn't want to quit. Some days I really enjoyed taking photos of the little things in life. With some advice from some great people, I decided to change things up a bit. 

Project Life 365 is now Project Life-A week in review! 
Now I can take pictures when I want, or don't have to take any pictures at all. No stress. What fun is a hobby when it becomes tedious and stressful? None at all. So I've used many of the same photos and changed the layouts to an 8 1/2 x 11 collage format. This size will be easy to print and store, as well.

The cover is the same. I just changed the size from 8x8 to 8 1/2 x 11.

Here's the intro, since I still wanted to use my 2012 Year in Review collage...
Let 2013 begin!
  Week 1:

Week 2:
  Week 3:
I hope you'll sit back, relax, and enjoy my journey through the year. If you think you want to participate, but you're not a scrapbooker? DO IT ANYWAY! Take your camera, and have fun with it. You don't have to scrapbook your photos in any fancy way. Put them in an album with a little note on the back about the photo. It's so easy, anyone can play! Share with others, like I am, or keep them to yourself. It's totally up to you. The beauty of it is, there are no rules!

“Taking pictures is savoring life intensely, every hundredth of a second.” ~ Marc Riboud

Monday, January 7, 2013


It's the time of year where we make all these New Year's Resolutions. We're going to do this, that and the other thing to make life better. We're not going to do things this way anymore, we're going to change everything. 
What are your resolutions? 
Do you believe in them?
Do you follow through?
I've never been on to make specific resolutions because I have no will-power to stick to them. There's no diet plans, exercise plans, etc. There are a lot of things I would like to be different in this upcoming year. But change can be a little intimidating and sometimes demand more than we can handle.
The best thing that I can hope for this year is to IMPROVE. It's easier to improve on something than it is to completely change the way we do it. We can improve our relationships without making changes that scare our family and friends. We can improve our attitudes without changing who we are. We can improve our healthy (or not so healthy) habits and keep some of our old. A little improving goes a long way. It's like taking baby steps instead of jumping right in.
Remember when I started this blog in the summer. I spoke of the One Little Word project that the good folks at Club CK have gotten me hooked on. 2012 my word was success, that was my first blog post. Now it's time to introduce my One Little Word 2013....Improve!
I'm so excited that I get to help out on the board and make these badges for everyone and they can show off their word for the year. It gives me a chance to see all the different words that people are choosing. This is fun! I'm glad everyone likes them and wants more! It's a good start to focusing on my word. Improving my relationships at Club CK. Everyone is great over there. I love to help where I can without over-committing myself.

So how am I doing with my improving this year? Well, it's still too early to tell. One day I do good, other days not so good. I'm keeping up with Project Life, but that is in it's early stages. Still looking for a better job, but baby steps, as I've said before. We'll see how the year goes as we complete these fun little challenges from my friends at CK. 

Here's my January 2013 One Little Word Challenge...
The layout is digi. The kit is from Red Dog Designs Summer Soft. I used CK Ali hand for the font.

It's been a pretty bad day for me today and I'm still trying to keep my over-all outlook up. While I'm a little down, I know things could be a lot worse. Sitting around moping doesn't help matters, so I decided to come on here and blog. That comes with my word again...improving my attitude. I'm working on that!
I love this quote:
“If you try anything, if you try to lose weight, or to improve yourself, or to love, or to make the world a better place, you have already achieved something wonderful, before you even begin. Forget failure. If things don't work out the way you want, hold your head up high and be proud. And try again. And again. And again!” ~Sarah Dessen;Keeping the Moon

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Project Life...The Beginning

It's a blistery, cold morning, as I sit here and type this. It was 0 degrees this morning and colder than that in our surrounding neighborhoods.  Buuuur. A good morning to sit in front of the computer with a hot cup of coffee and post the beginning pages of my first Project Life album.
I chose to do this project digitally, as it will be easier to keep up with. I'm always in front of the computer, so why not? After spending a lot of time digging through my digital collection and trying different things, I chose to use the Shabby Princess Promise Collection Kit. The background papers are subtle and won't take away from the photos, there are plenty of little elements to use and the alpha font is neutral, but stands right out. I downloaded some freebies from Becky Higgins website. It's important to be consistent with this project and document everything. Between the kit and some of Becky's freebies, it'll be easy for me to keep track of what is what.
For starters, an album needs a cover. I took this photo yesterday to use it for my cover page. Me with a camera...appropriate for this project, don't you think?
January 1, 2013...I wasn't sure how to start the album off, since this is my first time. Do I just dig right in and take an "everyday" photo or should there be some sort of introduction? I like having an introduction, so instead of choosing a photo from this day, I made a collage with a bunch of different photos from 2012 and put them together for a layout. I took some from the good, not so good, random events through out the year and put them all together. It was  fun to look through all the pictures from the past year.
January 2, 2013...A room with a view! This is where we put our Christmas tree, in front of the window. The Christmas decorations came down today, we've gotten a bunch of snow over the past few days, so therefore, here's a picture of what we see now that the tree is put away. The view never gets old. On a day as cold as today, it looks much better from the inside!

Stay tuned for more Project Life photos as the album continues to grow!

Today's quote is on the 1st page of my PL365 2013 album:
"If you want to keep your memories alive, you first have to live them" Bob Dylan

Monday, December 31, 2012

2012...A Year In Review

So, yes, I'm still here. I've neglected my blog for various reasons. One of my New Year's Resolutions is to get back at it on more of a regular basis. 
As I reflect back on this past year, 2012, I should be excited with the accomplishments that I've made.
  • I've graduated from college earning a Bachelor of Science degree at age 39
  • I've gotten back into scrapbooking, a hobby I couldn't live without
  • I've started my own paper craft business, and while it's a slow start, has had some success
  • My brother-in-law got married and I met some family I've never met before
So why do I look at 2012 as being such a bad year? Maybe it wasn't so bad, after all? It wasn't, necessarily bad, but it was rough. The beginning started out with having continued health problems. I was doing a full-time internship while working part-time. Right after graduation I had surgery and spent all of Spring and early summer recovering. Still not having a full time job after graduation certainly made for a rough ride, financially. I suffered some hard losses of very special family members this year. One due to cancer and another due to a long term illness. I guess the losses of 2012 have over-powered the successes and triumphs. 
But on a positive note, it has also turned me into who I am today. I'm embracing this new year of 2013 with open arms. A new year for new dreams, new hopes, and most importantly, new goals! It will be a good year, one way or another. I'm going to document it all, the good, the bad, the everyday life! That's the scrapbooker in me talkin'!
That's where Project Life comes in. I've heard it talked about in the scrapbooking communities. I've wondered if it's possible to keep up with it all year long. What is Project Life? If you're not familiar, it's taking pictures everyday of everyday things such as work, maybe what you had for dinner, etc and documenting them. I like to call it a photo journal of sorts. Like keeping a diary with pictures included. I'm going to do it digitally and will share my pages and photos with you here. I figure digital is easier to keep up with, less expensive, and it's a lot easier to sit here in front of the computer than try to get all the supplies together, etc.
So here's to a new year, new goals, and Project Life. No fancy quote for today, just some personal advice...never give up! You won't fail if you keep trying!