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!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Trendy

Are you a trend follower? Do you do something just because it's what everyone else is doing? 

There are so many trends. Trends in fashion, technology, hobbies, etc. 
I'm convinced I'm not a trend follower. I like to do my own thing. I don't do something just because it's what everyone else is doing. If there's a trend out there I don't like, then I won't do it. I'm not big on fashion, can't afford to be even if I wanted to. I don't own a pair of Ugg's or a Coach purse or anything else that may be popular out there, and I don't have any desire to.
There are trends in scrapbooking, too, of course. Technique's people try, like, and catch on to or new embellishments that are must haves. I'm not entirely a scrapbook trend follower, either. However, if something is out there that everyone's doing, if I like it, I will try it. 

Sewing on layouts seems to be the thing that everyone is doing. I like the look, it's rather neat. But you, most likely, will not see it on my layouts. I'm not a sewer. I have a sewing machine, but I can't tell you the last time I took it out to use it.

There are some other scrapbook trends that I do like. I do use them on my layouts because I like them and it's fun and will do it even if it's no longer a trend.

Here's an example of one that I really wanted to try. Misting is using spray ink on paper. You can use a little or you can use a lot. It's totally up to you. It adds a little something to the pages. Use it on solid cardstock or patterned paper, doesn't matter.

You can see here where I just used a touch of purple mist on just a part of the layout.
Another trendy scrapbook thing is Washi Tape. What is washi tape? Basically it's tape with a pattern on it. Easy enough! I wasn't going to bother with this, because I just didn't see buying a whole role of the same thing. But, then, I realized, how different is it from buying a whole role of ribbon for a page or two? Same concept and easier to use. So, I caved, and bought some Washi Tape. I picked one with different colors and different patterns that would go with so many different papers. 

The colors of this tape aren't the main colors on this layout, but it does add a little something to it. I'm happy with the results.

Here's the over-all "trendy" layout. Some trends are worth trying, even if you're not a trendy kind of person!
If you're hesitant about trying out a new trend because you aren't a trend follower, try it anyway. You might decide it works for you and if it doesn't, that's ok, too. At the same time, don't feel obligated to try a new trend if you already know it's not for you.

Does your hobby have trends? What are they? Do you use them? Why?

"Don't follow a trend. Follow your heart." ~ Krist Novoselic



Sunday, October 21, 2012

So, what's new?

I've been a little MIA and neglecting my blog this past week. We've been experiencing some major internet issues and it's been difficult to do even the simplest of things. Still having issues but they are hit or miss, so hopefully I can get a post in.
I don't have any layouts or stories to share with you all. Hope you're not too disappointed. But I'd like to take a few minutes of your time to promote some new items in my shop that I'm really excited and proud of.

I'm slowly building inventory, and I've had a couple of local sales...so we're heading in the right direction. Now, it's time to really get the word out there!
First, here is my favorite thing in my entire shop. I've considered keeping it for myself! lol. But I'll share with you all, because you so deserve it! This is my new "Country Bumpkin' Shadow Box". Created with pretty paper, fibers, flowers, and some cutesy charms. Can you see, now, why I wouldn't want to part with this??? 
Now, while I would rather wait until November to start thinking about the Holiday Season, I am learning that in the retail business, that is not allowed. I'm not rushing the season, I love everything about Fall, and Halloween may be just as much of a favorite, if not more, than Christmas, itself. However, I know the holiday shoppers are out there and they're lurking..many even shopping already! So here goes, the first of the Christmas/Holiday cards are in!


Wait, there's a little more. We have a brand new product! Who doesn't like to sit down and drown themselves into a good book? I'm not a huge reader, but when I do read, I'm usually scrounging for a bookmark. I tend to find scraps of paper and use them, or an envelope, what ever may be laying around. A person who loves pretty paper should not have this issue! So, now we have bookmarks in the shop.

Our first set, is a set of three, Girl Scout themed bookmarks. Now, these aren't just little rectangle pieces of cut, pretty paper. These are patterns, matted on cardstock, matted on a heavy matte board (the kind used in picture frames), made to last a long time! A perfect gift for that special Girl Scout in your life...or even a leader and/or volunteer.

There will be more bookmarks with different themes added as time goes on. But, for now, here is our first set...

Stay tuned for more. Thanks for looking. I wish you all a blessed day!



" The idea is there, locked inside, and all you have to do is remove the excess stone. "~ Michelangelo

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Color Me Happy

I love colors. What would our world be like if we didn't have color? Seriously, blah! Colors reflect a lot of things and are a symbol of life.
A scrapbooker looks at colors just like an artist does. Well, heck, a scrapbooker is an artist, after all. Right? Scrapping encourages us to use color combinations that we wouldn't think to use together. 
Take the color brown, for example. Brown, by itself, you may think is not a pretty color. But add something else to it, like yellow & turquoise, and it really changes the perspective.
That's what I love about scrapbook challenges. They encourage us to experiment and try new things. Things we may not think of on our own. I would've never thought of combining those three colors, if it weren't for this month's CK Color Challenge. Turquoise & yellow, yes...even brown & turquoise, yes...but the three together? I, most likely, would not have done on my own.
So I went with it, and the results...I'm extremely happy with! I used a light brown with this layout, but just the same, it's brown! Here's the layout I came up with...
These are pictures from our annual trip to the Great New York State Fair in Syracuse, NY. We go every year. It's our mark of the official 'end of summer'. Our last big hoorah before the girls go back to school.

And, if you don't know it already, my sewing machine and I don't get a long well, so I never sew on a layout. But, I do like the looks of stitching on a page. So I compromised here, and used a Sakura pen to do the stitching around the letters. It's not cheating! ;-) There's also some stitching on the ribbon...it came that way!
 
Among this layout, I spy some Amy Tangerine, Prima, & K & Company...

I had some help in figuring out where to put the photos on this page. I love, love, love sketches. Sketches are fun, and again, encourage us to try new things. This is based on the October sketch from PageMaps.

So there you have it. My advice for you is to be creative and use your imagination. Try new things. You never know the outcome until you do it. You may decide it works for you. If it doesn't, then you know and at least your tried! Remember, you can do this with any craft or activity...not just scrapping!

Have a blessed day and happy creating!

“The purest and most thoughtful minds are those which love color the most. ” ~ John Ruskin

Friday, October 12, 2012

ONE is NOT the loneliest number!

Woot my first blog hop. I almost messed up and completely forgot about it! Just getting back on track after a rough week. Hope I don't disappoint you. If you are participating in the hop, you should have found me through Amanda's blog because she is the host of this fun hop. But, most likely you're getting to me late. If you're just starting. You should definitely stop at Amanda's first to get the scoop on how this hop works. She's got some give-away's too!

I'm usually a multi-photo scrapper. I love putting multiple photos on a layout that tell a story of an event. However, every now and then there's that one image you want to capture. A picture is worth a thousand words. There's that one photo that can tell a person's personality, or maybe describe a place you visited. 

I do both, digital and traditional scrapping and like to do a lot of one-photo layouts with my digi scrapping. For some reason I save digi scrapping for those layouts that are more personal. Those extra special layouts (even though, they're all special).

Here's one of my favorites, "Moments." It's so hard to get a photo of all three of us girls together, since I'm the one usually with the camera. This layout was done last summer. (Sorry, I do not know the designer of the kit used).
Here's one of my DD's that I did several years ago, back in 2008. This one is a traditional layout. I love this quote! Even though they were so little, I'm sure they think that about each other now! "I'm smiling because you're my sister, I'm laughing because there's nothing you can do about it."
I feel that the design of this layout really captures the photo because the photo takes up the majority of the page. There is that touch of elements, but the photo is the main focus and it's obvious.
Ok, so I didn't totally cheat with this blog hop. I did complete a fresh layout this morning. I have several one-photo layouts to go with song lyrics. I could write a whole post just on that. I love using song lyrics on a page. It helps with journaling. When you don't know the right things to say in your own words, look to a song. The whole song, part of a song, either way works.

This one is a digital layout and was made with the "Celebrate Life" kit, brand new from TeresaDigilDesigns.
I hope you enjoyed your visit here and got some ideas on using one-photo layouts. Now, guess what, it's... Adele's turn! Have fun hopping! Hope I didn't make you wait too long!

1 photo: Heather
1 photo: Crafty Country Bumpkin Jen
2 photos: Adele
2 photos: Heather M
3 photos: Becky
3 photos: Colleen
4 photos: Devra
4 photos: Carolyn
5 or 6 photos: Steffanie
5 or 6 photos: Dana
7 or more photos: Laura

Oops, almost forgot...
"A photograph is always about two things. It is about what is being shown, and it is about the response to what is seen."~Tom Bentkowski
 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Our Adventure Through Vermont

I'm trying to start a tradition with my girls where every year we do something Fall related. Something more than the traditional apple picking, pie making activities. Being a lover of the outdoors, I love to explore and go on adventures. My adventures usually turn into real adventures, we either get lost, or stuck taking detours etc. For example over the summer, I wanted to take the girls to Trenton Falls, but the park was close, so we ended up going a little further north to Pixley Falls. 
Anyway, we didn't get to go on any Fall adventures last year. Two years ago we made it all the way up to White Face Mt. in the Adirondack's. The original plan was to visit Santa's Workshop, stopping along some scenic points on the way. I did not realize how close Santa's Workshop was to Whiteface! Now that was an adventure! A successful adventure, and totally worth the trip! Here's a layout from two years on our Whiteface adventure...
Now, our recent trip to Vermont was a successful adventure, as well. We started out ahead of schedule Monday morning. Our first stop was The Chocolate Barn just before Arlington, VT. One of the girls' favorite part of the trip. Handmade chocolates, maple syrup, maple candy. It smelled so good. Yes, of course, we left with some goodies!

The next stop was in Arlington, VT. Here, we were hoping to find a place called The Candle Mill. I remember being there when I was a kid and making candles with my mom. Unfortunately, The Candle Mill is no longer there. We were lucky, however, to find the building it was in. So, at least we didn't get lost trying to find a place that didn't exist. We explored around this quaint little town. The beautiful creek with the Fall foliage that was behind the building. My favorite was the covered bridge that was just up the road. We got to really drive through it!



Next stop was Manchester. On our way to Manchester we stopped at a little country Christmas shop, called Christmas Days. It's a popular little store on the scenic route. I didn't take any pictures here, and actually managed to refrain from buying anything, but we enjoyed looking around. The lights, the sights, and the smells of Christmas in this place made it worth stopping at.
When we got to Manchester, we did some more exploring and a lot of window shopping! Outlets, country stores, and beautiful scenic mountains. Of all things, though, my favorite part of this stop was that moment when everything in the world was perfect. Two little girls who go through life bickering and fighting with each other, calling each other names, etc, and so on, we're getting along, naturally. Not because they were told to do so, but because they were truly happy. The better thing is, they didn't know I was taking their picture!
Oh, and let's not forget Sarah's new friend...
and some more of a "mother's favorites"

Our final stop was Bennington. We stopped and saw the Bennington Monument, which reminded is of the Washington Monument in DC, only smaller...a lot smaller!
and the girls made another friend...
and, of course, you can't go to Vermont in early October without catching a glimpse of the foliage...
It really was as close to a perfect adventure as perfect can get. I hope that my girls will remember this day when they get to be my age, just as I remember the time I've spent with my mother visiting here.

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover".Author: Mark Twain






Tuesday, October 2, 2012

OktoberFest

October has officially begun. The season for apples, pumpkins, ghosts, and goblins is at it's peak! We love October for so many reasons. The crisp, Autumn air, the pretty colors.
What started this Oktoberfest tradition? It's a 16-day festival that starts at the end of September and runs through part of October. It takes place in Munich, Bavaria, Germany. It is a huge and important event among the Bavarians. Oktober Fest has been going on for over 200 years, starting in the year 1810.
Here's a photo I found on google images of the view of Oktober fest. Kind of reminds me of the New York State Fair, with a lot more people!

As having German descent in my family genealogy, and having a birthday in October (we'll discuss turning 40, later!), I figure we should celebrate this festival here, as well. While we may not have the carnival rides and all the wonderful German food, and beer, we can still celebrate in our own way.
During the month of October, my Etsy shop and Facebook are coming together and offering you 10% off my shop, any item. Ok, there's one small catch. All you have to do is go onto my Crafty Country Bumpkin facebook page and like the page. The coupon code is there, posted on the wall, just for facebook fans! That's, it! Easy? I'll make it even easier for you and give you the link. You don't even have to search for it! How's that for a celebration!!! 

And, of course, we also have a crafty item to share. To help celebrate the month of October, I just added these "Bootiful" notecards to my Etsy shop.
Not to fear, I have a quote for you, too! I really like this one! Enjoy. Have a blessed day!

"There is no season when such pleasant and sunny spots may be lighted on, and produce so pleasant an effect on the feelings, as now in October." -  Nathaniel Hawthorne

Friday, September 28, 2012

A Successful Endeavor

It sure is nice when we can use both of those  words in the same sentence. Yesterday I attempted to make pie filling and jar it, using our abundant supply of apples from this past weekend. Well my attempt turned into quite a success. I managed to get two jar fulls! I may have done more but that's a lot of peeling and cutting! I wanted to make sure the process was going to work. 
I have never canned anything in my life, so this was all new. Then upon my research I found that, yes, I can do this. Even with no experience, no fancy canning equipment...I can do this! Not only did I do it, but it was rather fun, too!
First, I pealed and sliced my apples. Added a bit of lemon juice to keep them from discoloring.
Then I made the yummy, cinnamon sugar mixture...which, by the way, smells amazing when it's cooking, and leaves your kitchen smelling good for hours after!
I put the apples in a large pan with a little bit of water and boiled them for about 10 min.
After sterilizing my jars and lids, I filled them, leaving room at the top of the jars, poured the syrup in the jars, making sure there are no air bubbles.
Sealed the jars, and put them in a large stock pot of boiling water. The jars boiled for about 15 minutes. Carefully, with tongs and pot holders, I took the jars out, allowed them several hours of cooling time, and voila. 
That was it! The lids sealed properly, and we're good to go!
Yes, I did the happy dance, alone, in my kitchen, no one was around. Shhh.
So, of course, yes, I scrapped about it. Are you kidding me? Did you really have to ask? 
This was perfect for my One Little Word Challenge. Using my word with Endeavor and trying a new technique on a layout. Oh yeah! 
Let's see, so my scrapbooking endeavor here, was experimenting some more with misting and masking. Never before, have I done either of the two. Cool, huh?
With my little word being success, I'd say, all and all, it was a pretty successful day!
 The journaling on my layout pretty much summarizes what I've said here about my endeavor. I added a teeny dab of mist on the journal block, as well, just for the fun of it!

Yes, of course, we have a quote, too:

“Feeling and longing are the motive forces behind all human endeavor and human creations.”~ Albert Einstein


Sunday, September 23, 2012

How 'bout them apples?

It's officially Fall. I love Fall in NY. 
  • The colors
  • The smells
  • The crisp air
  • Fresh Cider
  • Pumpkin Spice Coffee
  • Apple cider donuts
  • Fresh apple sauce
  • Apple butter
  • APPLES
The list can go on and on!

A few years ago we had an apple orchard open up that's only a few minutes away. (Where we live, not much is just a few minutes away!) Windy Hill Orchard is a small orchard but has plenty of apples to go around! You can also get all the other yummy Fall goodies such as cider, apple butter, and more!

Apple picking is one of those things we do every year, it marks the official start of Fall, in my book. Fall wouldn't be Fall without fresh apples. It's a rule! Apple pie, apple cider, applesauce, apple bread, apple butter, apple crisp, etc, etc, etc. The possibilities are endless!

Here are some of the pictures from our favorite Fall adventure...



One of my favorite seasons to scrap is Fall. Remember, I said one of the things I love about this season is the colors. The reds, oranges, yellows, etc. They make me feel all warm inside. 
Here, I share with you a layout from last year's adventure:
My scrapbooking has grown so much. Can't wait to play with this year's photos with new techniques.



"Autumn is a second spring, when every leaf is a flower."~Henry David Thoreau

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Faceless photos

As a soccer mom, I can't even begin to tell you how many pictures I've taken of Sarah in action that have been deleted because I can't see her. How dumb am I to have deleted these? 
We don't need to see the faces in the photos to capture the event. 
Especially such a thing as sports. 
Sports photos are supposed to have action and movement. 
After all, isn't that what they do in sports?
At first, when I stumbled upon this challenge over at Club CK, I was at a loss and didn't think I had any pictures that would fit the challenge of doing a layout with "faceless photos." 
Then I found the soccer pics! 
Perfect!
So here is the layout I did of Sarah at one of her first soccer practices. She just started playing last year and really enjoys it. She has a game tonight, as a matter of fact, so the timing to work on this was just right.
There are some faces in the smaller photo, but my focal point here was Sarah, so I made it count.
I used a variety of supplies that I've had in my stash to put this layout together.
Thanks for looking, and the next time you go to delete a photo because you didn't get the person's face...think before you delete! 

Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.
- Confucius

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Big Picture

When we look at "the big picture" we're looking at everything. We're taking a whole into perspective.  Currently, over at Creating Keepsakes the "Big Idea Festival" is going on. It's exciting because it's 14 days of different tutorials and paper crafting challenges. You can do the challenges if you want to then post them when your done for chances to win some awesome goodies.
Although I haven't done all the challenges and probably won't get to them all, I was inspired by Challenge #7. This challenge talked about using big photos on layouts. Which, I love using big photos! I'm not one to put a tiny photo with a bunch of embellishments and ton of "white space" on a layout. I like my layouts to be full without being cluttered. Big photos can fill up space and not clutter it!

I chose to scrap a 5x7 photo from our wedding. Our 14th wedding anniversary was yesterday. I asked a question on the CK Club forums about scrapping wedding photos. I was quite surprised about the number of folks who have not scrapped their wedding photos. I have a layout or two of mine but will never do a whole album. There's just too many pictures. I'm talking about several hundred! They're not fancy, not even in a fancy album, but they're in an album and all in order and I love flipping through them. The photos speak for themselves. But even though I won't have an entire album scrapped, it will be nice to have those few special layouts in my Heritage book for people to enjoy. Here is the layout that I did.
Most of the products used here are items I had in my stash. The background patterned paper is by Autumn Leaves and the cardstock is DCWV (both purchased a few years ago). While watching the 24 hr craft show on HSN this morning, I got the itch to pull my border punches out. I used my Fiskars scallop punch for the scallops on the card stock.
I was going to use a piece of my dress on the layout. I looked the dress over but it's impossible to take a piece of it without destroying it. Instead I took some lace that I had around the house and used for a trim along the cardstock. For some finishing touches, I outlined the photo with a black Zig Photo Signature pen and added the flower, which of course, is a Prima.
And speaking of big pictures, I also made a 4x6 frame that can be used for a wedding photo or any formal photo. Which is now available for sale in my Etsy shop.

The big picture doesn't just come from distance; it also comes from time. ~Simon Sinek

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Grandparents Day

As I sit here pondering about grandparents, with today being Grandparent's Day, I think about how fortunate I am to have had the relationship with my grandparents that I had. As a baby and young child I spent lots of time with my paternal grandmother, as she helped my dad take care of me. As I grew up, we'd spend quality time together when we could. She loved playing board games and wouldn't let me win just because I was her granddaughter...a very valuable lesson to this day! I have a lot of respect for that woman, even today, even though she's been gone for several years now. She's gone from the world, but definitely not gone from me.

I was also close with my maternal grandparents. They only lived a few miles away, as I was growing up, so I saw them often. My maternal grandmother has always been my hero. I've scrapped a few layouts of her and my grandfather. My grandfather has moved on, but I am privileged to still have my grandmother, who just turned 88 last month. God bless her. She's an amazing woman, still always on the go, and busy with her social life more than I am at age 39! I love her and respect her and admire her drive. 
Here's a layout I completed, a few years ago. One of the last times my grandmother was in NY visiting. She's in Virginia and getting too old to travel. I treasure the moments that we had and the time we have spent together.


I am also fortunate enough to have some older photos of my grandparents, as well. During one of my visits to Virginia, I took some time to scan in some of my grandmother's old photos. She has albums that date back to the early 1900's! Here's a "then and now" layout I did with my grandparents. I did this layout back in 2007. The photo of "then" was taken in 1952! I love the vintage photos and the old-fashioned feel they have to them.
As you go through this month of September, take some time to think about your grandparents. Whether they're alive today or have passed on. I am sure they left some mark in your heart. How have they inspired you? If you did not know your grandparents, think of the stories people have told you. Or think of your children's grandparents and the relationship they have with them. Is it like the one you had with yours? September is National Grandparent's month. Use this time to think about what grandparents mean to you. Think of the lessons they've taught, the inspiration they provided, and the mark they've made in your life.

In honor of National Grandparent's Month and Grandparent's Day, I've created this Victorian, vintage style picture frame. Perfect for displaying the old-time photos that I cherish so much. The picture in this frame, may look familiar. It's the same photo that I used in the layout above from 1952. Just to show you how lovely the vintage photo looks displayed in this frame.

For all grandparents and grandchildren, this one is especially for you:
"Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do.  Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children."  ~Alex Haley
Happy Grandparent's Day!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Exersize

Hey everybody! Hope you're having a good week. All the kiddos getting settled into their back to school routine?

I don't have anything to write about today, but I came across this "funny" that I thought I'd share with my fellow crafters:


And that leads to the quote of the day:
"Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun." Mary Lou Cook

Have a great day!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

New Beginnings


Today is a bitter sweet day as I send my girls off to school. My little
baby is now an 8th grader and my other little girl is a 4th grader. Both
girls are the "big shots" in their schools. Sarah's in her last year of
elementary school and Lizzy in her last year of middle school. How sweet
it is and I'm so proud of them. They've grown up to be little ladies.
Yes, they drive me crazy, it's what they're supposed to do. Yes, they
have their attitudes and their moments when you just put your head in
your hands and say, "ugh!" But, I wouldn't trade those moments for
anything.


The house is quiet this morning and there are mixed emotions running
through me. It's not just another "1st day of school." These are
milestones. More of those successes as I mentioned in an earlier post.

Today isn't just a new beginning for my girls as they embark on their
journey, it's a new beginning for me, as well. I've contemplated what I
will do with my time while the girls are in school. I only work part-time
and though I'm on the search for a full-time job, I still have spare time
to do whatever it is I want to do.

I have decided to embark on a journey, too. A journey that I have no idea
what direction it will lead me in. But, I'm willing to put myself out
there and give it a whirl! I'm going to do what I do best...create and
make people happy!

That's right, I'm excited to announce the real deal behind 'Crafty
Country Bumpkin.' It's not just a blog name or a message board name, it
is a store name! Crafty Country Bumpkin' is going to feature paper crafts
of all kinds from notecards, altered objects, gifts, and even some
cross-stitching.

Where can you find Crafty Country Bumpkin'? On Etsy, of course. If you're
not familiar what Etsy is, then you're missing out! A community full of
hand-made creativity!

For starters, there are only a few items listed. Of course, my products
will expand as time goes on.

Will I make a fortune? I certainly doubt it. Will I even make a profit at
all? I have no idea. I'm not looking to make millions. I'm not even
looking to use this as a substitute for a "real" job. I have an abundance
of supplies and a little bit of extra time, so I'm going to put it to
some use!

Bookmark my link, tell your friends. I will post here as I expand my shop. I look forward to doing business with you.

Crafty Country Bumpkin' on Etsy

 “My path has not been determined. I shall have more experiences and pass many more milestones.” ~ Agnetha Faltskog

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

To scrap or not to scrap? That is the question.

To scrap or not to scrap? That is the question.

How many times have you asked yourself, to scrap or not to scrap? Is now a good time? What about my family, my children? I need to take care of other things or other people, first. But, what about me?

I'm sure we've had these thoughts run through our minds every time we take some time out to indulge in our favorite hobby. Even if you're not a scrapbooker, it can be anything you enjoy doing. We feel guilty when we do something for ourself. We feel like we're neglecting our families.

Well, if that's the case, then what's the point? Why bother having a hobby if it only makes us feel guilty when we go to do it?

We do it because we need to. We need to help ourselves before we can help others. Taking care of ourselves is just as important as taking care of those who are important to us. A very important lesson that I learned in several of my college classes.

Being in a human services field can wear and tear a person down. It's significant to take care of one self or we will burn out while taking care of others. Even if you're not in a human services field, whether you work full-time, part-time or stay at home...it's necessary to take time out for you. Do you what you love. Take one day a week, or even a month, an hour a day...whatever it takes...to do that one thing that makes you smile.

I think of my hobbies as more of therapy and rewards. I had this discussion with my mom, just the other day. I told her that I wanted to scrap on a Sunday afternoon, but everyone was home and awake and lounging around. I felt like was neglecting them and being a little selfish doing what I wanted to do. My mother replied with this, "You do so much for your family and with your children, you're more than entitled to play, too."

So, that afternoon I created. Nothing fancy, but just went with it and created. Here's the layout I came up with. A few years ago when I took my Girl Scout troop to Howe Caverns. I made this layout for their troop scrapbook. Still doing for others, but doing what makes me happy, too!



As you go through life taking care of everyone else, you must remember this...

"We visit others as a matter of social obligation. How long has it been since we have visited with ourselves?" – Morris Adler

Monday, September 3, 2012

Success? What is it?

One little word....success! Yes, this is my one little word over on the CK message board. What does this word mean to you? I know what it means to me. To me, success is stepping outside your comfort zone to experience something that you want to do. It doesn't matter whether you pass or fail.
Four years ago I thought I had failed when I lost a decent office job. I wasn't thrilled with the job, but it was a decent job, paid well and treated me good. I was content. When I lost this job I felt like I had failed. A year later I decided I was going to step outside my comfort zone. I went back to school. I found my passion for working with children and went with it. I knew I didn't want to be a teacher, but I want to work with children and families. I majored in Psychology Child Life and with a huge climb, I completed in three years and earned my bachelor of science degree. To me, and to many, that is considered success.
Climbing the ladder to success is a long climb. Will I ever get to the top? One only knows. But what is the true meaning of success? Is success what you reach when you get to the top or is it all the steps along the way?
Achieving a bachelor's degree while raising a family and working part-time certainly was a huge success! The biggest success for me that could top that would be to find my dream job in my career. However, if we focus on the big successes we tend to overlook the little things. It's the little steps that get us to the top.
I have a family, a home, and a job. It may only be a part-time retail job, but it helps. We're surviving. We wake up and every day is a new day with new hopes and dreams. While I struggle to find my dream job, this may very well be the biggest success anyone can accomplish. Keeping my family together during these rough waters is success. 
Success can be defined in so many ways. I may not be living the "dream", but I'm helping to make ends meet and that, to me, is success.
Always remember this, if you're not sure you've become successful...

Don't aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally.  ~David Frost