Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Wordless Wednesday Once Again . . . . .

Featured !

I’ve been designing and creating handmade cards for quite some time, but only offering them for sale during the past six years or so.

My first selling venue was eBay. . then I discovered Etsy, and most recently I’ve expanded my sales to Art Fire as well.

Since I first started selling my handmade cards online, I’ve had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with some wonderful people . . . card buyers and cardmakers alike, as well as other artisans, craftspersons, and bloggers.

Over the past few years,
I’ve connected with folks whom I never would have met, except for the Internet. And I’ve formed friendships which I’m hopeful will last a lifetime. So, I guess you could say that my passion for cardmaking, combined with the magic of the Internet, has been a life-changing experience for me.

As a card designer and craftsperson, the process of conceptualizing and creating new card designs and paper crafts is a reward in and of itself. But, another of my special joys related to crafting comes simply from knowing that other people derive pleasure from giving or receiving one of my cards or paper creations.

One of my greatest honors is to have a fellow artisan whose talent and creativity I greatly admire, give special recognition to my work. And that is exactly what happened to me recently.

A few weeks ago, I received an e-mail from Sandi, of Sassy Glass Designs. Sandi is a talented lampwork bead and jewelry designer with whom I'd become acquainted through our respective Etsy shops and blogging activities. Her recent e-mail was an inquiry about the possibility of my creating a custom card for her nephew and his finance, who had just become engaged. I’m always excited to try my hand at creating new card designs for special occasions, and indeed, custom card orders have begun to be a large part of my cardmaking projects. So, I jumped at the chance! And I’m glad I did. . . .

Not only did the challenge of this custom project help to kindle some new inspiration for me in my cardmaking, but Sandi was pleased enough with the final card design, that she featured it on her Sassy Glass Designs Blog! Thanks SO much, Sandi, for having the confidence in me that I could create just the right card for this special occasion, AND for honoring my work by featuring it on your own Blog!

I hope you all can take a moment to read Sandi's blog post from yesterday,
to see the Congratulations on Your Engagement Card which resulted from this project. Thank you again, Sandi!

And, thank YOU all too, my friends and fellow bloggers, for visiting my blog today.

Until we meet again. . . . . .May your days warmed by friendship, both new and old.

Friday, July 24, 2009

A Touch of Small Town America Charm . . . . . .

This time last week, Lee and I were still in Kansas, on one of our trips back to my home town of Abilene, to visit family.

Born and raised in
Abilene, I spent my first eighteen years there, before I went off to school. And though I’ve now lived in Utah for many more years than I lived in Kansas, images of this small midwestern town are indelibly etched in my mind.

Lee and I have been making the trip from Salt Lake City to Abilene twice a year for over twenty years, and during this time, Abilene really hasn’t changed very much. It’s still a quiet little town with a strong sense of community.

There are summer band concerts in the park, church ice cream socials, sidewalk sales sponsored by the handful of local merchants, home tours and garden walks, and various other community events throughout the year.

All those years ago when I lived in Kansas, growing up in the country a few miles outside of Abilene, I pretty much took my surroundings for granted. But over the past years of Lee’s and my travels back to my home, I think we have both begun to appreciate how truly unique and memorable this little midwestern town is, particularly if one just takes the time to look.

And that’s one of the things that Lee and I did last week. In between visiting with friends and family, and with camera/s in hand, we tried to keep our eyes open for local scenes that typify my little home town of Abilene, Kansas. I’m happy to say that we managed to snap a few photos which I think do just that . . . . . .And I wanted to share some of those with you, my friends and fellow Bloggers.

I hope you enjoy viewing these photos as much as I enjoyed taking them. . . . . . .

(And once again, you can click on any of the photos for a full sized image.)

The scene below is of Mud Creek, which runs north and south through town. The little bridge in the distance crosses Third Street, the main east-west street. Most of the time, Mud Creek is completely dry. But this year, even in July, the creek bed was filled with water and the banks were lush and green, as a result of unusually heavy amounts of rain.

In some of our more recent trips back to Abilene, Lee and I have actually seen a Blue Heron perched atop an old log near the lower banks of Mud Creek.

And this is Third Street . . . tree lined with hundred year-old deciduous trees of varying types.

One of my personal favorites about Abilene, is the wide array of wonderfully unique Victorian style homes. . . most are nicely restored. And many are scattered along Third Street.

The sign out in front of this lovely multi-story home is for the local Garden Tour, of which its grounds are part.

And here is another Victorian style home on Third Street that has been converted into a Bed and Breakfast, the Abilene Victorian Inn. Lee and I have never stayed there, but one day we may (IF they have wi-fi!).

I love how these tall Echinacea leaned over the sidewalk. These were planted on the outside of the fence alongside one of the old homes on Third Street.

And this lovely cottage garden was also something we happened upon, just beside the sidewalk leading to the Abilene city park.
Here is the Lebold Mansion, located in West First Street in Abilene, and it has the distinction of being the oldest house in Abilene. The current owners of this restored historic home offer daily guided tours for a nominal fee. Lee and I have been through it twice, and it's well worth the time!

This is another historic building in the older part of town. . .It's up for sale now, but its history includes being a grocery store, and later I think an apartment building.

Thursday evenings in Abilene during the summer are Band Concert nights. And my mother has always loved going to the band concerts. So we took her last Thursday, which happened to be the last band concert of the season.

The concerts are performed by the Abilene Municipal Band, pulling its members from several of the small surrounding towns. And the members can range in age from high school students to retirees!

The band concerts are held in the Abilene city park, and it's quite the community event. Some folks park their cars around the band shell and just roll down their windows to listen to the music, honking their horns at the end of each piece, for applause. Others grab a seat on one of the metal benches in front, for a better view. And yet others (like Lee and me) stroll around the beautiful park gardens and admire the flowers (taking pictures all the way) while we enjoy the music.

Thanks once again for visiting my blog!

And until we meet again . . . . May you always keep your sense of new discovery and wonder.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Deep in the Heart of Kansas

Growing up in the country, and in the middle of Kansas, I’ve always had a deep love of nature and all its faces.

But it wasn’t until I moved away from Kansas, and experienced it from a visitor’s perspective that I began to more fully appreciate the natural beauty of my heartland home.

Lee and I just got back this weekend from one of our twice-a-year trips to visit my family in Kansas. And while we were there, we made it a point to take a drive into the Kansas “outback” searching for interesting landscape photo opportunities. We were not disappointed.

Like other parts of the country, Kansas has had more than its usual rainfall this season, and as a result, much of the natural prairie land, pastures, and countryside were particularly lush and green.

I never cease to be amazed by the beauty of natural landscapes, and the timing of our trip this year worked out well for us to get some nice photos of the Kansas countryside.

So, of course, I wanted to share a few of these images with you . . . . .I hope you enjoy them.

(You can click on any of these images to see them full size.)

I'll be posting more photos from our trip back home to Kansas later this week, so I hope you'll check back.

Thanks once again for visiting my blog.

Until we meet again . . . . . I wish you lush green pastures and peaceful moments.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wishful Wednesday . . . . .

I wish I may,
I wish I might . . . .

fall asleep to the sound of the ocean tonight.

These are photos of Cannon Beach, Oregon, where Lee and I took our honeymoon over twenty years ago, and have had the pleasure of visiting twice since then.

No, we're not there right now, but I kind of wish we were . . . .There's something so powerful, yet calming about the ocean.

Thanks once again for visiting my blog, and I hope you'll take a minute to share one of your own wishes too, on this Wishful Wednesday!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy Fourth of July !

Here's Wishing All My Fellow Americans a Happy Independence Day!

May you all have an enjoyable and safe holiday weekend.

Let Freedom Ring!