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Monday, February 2, 2015

Sewing Machine Frustration!!!!!


So, (no pun intended) I bought a sewing machine frome IKEA. It's been like a million years since middle school Home Ec classes when I sewed anything using a machine. Being it's been sooo very long I didn't want to make a major investment into a machine and end up not liking sewing. Now I have no intentions on becoming the next Vera Wang or Michael Korrs or even Martha Stewart. My sole purpose of investing in a sewing machine is simply for making my handmade journals and journal covers, basically sewing the occasional pieces of fabric and sewing paper,tags and cardstock. Easy peasy…right??? WRONG!!!! 

This is what the IKEA machine looks like:
It comes with all the little gadgets you see pictured. They store nicely in a compartment in the front of the machine, though I don't store anything in the compartment. It has a front load bobbin, 13 different stitch choices, and 9 tension settings and it has a light so it makes seeing the needle and what you're sewing easy. It sells for $69.99. 

Surprisingly, I remembered how to put thread onto the bobbin, and I actually remembered to how to pull the thread up from the bobbin after placing the bobbin in the bobbin case. What I don't remember or understand is the whole tension thing. Now sewing paper is a bit different from sewing fabric. My stitches look fine on the top but are loosey goosey, willy nilly on the bottom. For every line I stitch, the thread comes out of the needle, or the thread just seems to bunch up in one spot on whatever I happen to be sewing, and the needle stops moving. I have tried sewing at every number on the tension dial which range from 0-9. I even put a smaller needle on my machine being I'm working with paper. As the next few pictures will demonstrate you will see what I'm talking about with how the threads don't look right on the bottom.
As you see the stitches on the bottom are sticking up

Again sticky uppy & all bunched in the corner

Bunching again
I had taken a pic of one piece I sewed that actually looked how it's supposed to look, but it got lost in the nether world. Now the pages you are seeing are for a Remains Of the Day journal. I am taking the course from by Mary Ann Moss, who I might add is funny and talented. She makes doing this journal look easy. Which I guess might be if I weren't mechanically challenged. If I can get my sh*t together, and get along with my sewing machine, I might actually be able to produce a ROD journal, but at the current rate of progression, I might get one done about the time my 5 yr old granddaughter graduate from high school. 

If anyone has this particular sewing machine and can offer up some much needed advice or guidance, I am all ears. If I should make any progress on my ROD journal and or conquer my sewing machine frustration and dilemma, I will be sure to let ya know!!!! Hoping this finds you all well…..


Saturday, December 27, 2014

Via Effy Wild "The One In Which I Say THANK YOU With Some Free Stuff & A Giveaway & A Coupon Code"

Check out Effy's blog for her free Book of Days and a chance to win a seat in the extended Book of days course. Plus all of the othe r great content and material Effy has on her blog. Join the Tribe!!! You won't be disappointed.y's blofor her free Book of Days and a chance to win a seat in the extended Book of days course. Plus all of the othe r great content and material Effy has on her blog. Join the Tribe!!! You won't be disappointed.


I released Book Of Days Boot Camp into the world as a free offering.

Prior to this release, Boot Camp was only available to students in Book Of Days. However, it is such a wonderful program (one of the best things I've ever taught, really) and what I share in that class has been such a huge part of my recovery that I want to share it. For free. For all.
Book Of Days is an art journaling and memory keep class that  includes start-to-finish video instruction every week for the duration of the class (12 weeks), full colour printable PDF walkthroughs, journal prompts, support, feedback, and face time videos in which I bring you my whole heart.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Long Overdue….


Wow hard to believe the year is almost over, and the holidays are upon yet again. (NO, I am no where ready) This has been a really crazy, difficult, roller coaster ride kind of year. It's been a struggle emotionally, if any of you read my last post, you'll know I lost my nephew to suicide. Which has been extremely difficult on everyone. Also,my husbands Aunt Suki passed away as well. My health has been a real struggle this year as well. I have been dealing with high pain levels and extreme fatigue. Alas, falling behind in way too many things. Most I am working on rectifying, catching up, bringing my life back up to speed. 

On a positive note, I became a grandma for a second time. My daughter Kady had a baby boy in August. Donald Edmund III, 9lb. 7oz. 22". He is now 4 month old and he is almost bigger than his 4-1/2 yr old sister Kaya. He is a really sweet baby.

My Son Jacob who recently turned 21 joined the military. He will be leaving for Army boot camp on Jan 6,2015. I am really proud of him, but am struggling with him leaving. As is my youngest daughter Bridget. It's going to be a very big change to our very tight knit family, and I don't do change well.

For any of you who have followed my blog know my youngest daughter is a competitive Irish dancer, and she competed at the Irish Dance North American Nationals in MontrĂ©al this past July. It was an unbelieveable experience. She has only been dancing 3 yrs, so qualifying for Nationals was a really big deal. Dancing has taken up most of mine and her free time. We are leaving tomorrow for Orlando for the Southern Region Oireachtas(ore-ock-tus)This will be her National and World qualifier. Qualifying for either is very difficult. She will compete against approximately 150 U14 dancers throughout the Southern region. Only 10% (top 15) qualify for Worlds and the top 25%(top 35-40) will qualify for Nationals. Fingers crossed she just gets the recall. 

I have been working on my Art skills this year.My favorite thing to do is make Art Journals of all kinds. I'm getting quite the stockpile.  I have been learning to draw faces, though I'm finding my style, I find painting/coloring /shading the faces really difficult. I've taken a few online classes this year. LifeBook, which I have taken the last 2 yrs and will again next year. I may not do all the lessons, but the exposure to all the amazing artisits is worth paying for the course. If you have not heard of LifeBook, or you have been on the fence, I'm here to say jump….JOIN!!!! Well worth it. It is for the very beginner to the most experienced artist. Tam LaPorte who started the LifeBook revolution, has payment options for just about every budget. She has an amazing assistant named Gracie who is also very helpful. No I am not affiliated with LifeBook, but have no problem being a salesman for them. Here is a link if you'd like to check it out.  I also did 48 weeks with Donna Downey Though I am wayyyyy behind, I am learning tons from the class. Bit as anyone knows, Donna is BRILLIANT. I'm lucky enough to only live a few miles away from her studio. I stop by at least once a week for inspiration. Plus you can;t help leave her studio and not feel happy. She has an amazing staff that work at her studio/store. She wil be reinstating her Inspiration Wednesday's, but will have a small fee to participate. (though it doesn't effect past Inspiration Wednesday tutorials)  I also  took MotleySoulMixedMediaArt Face 2 Face workshop. Well worth the $25. Lastly, I am doing Radiant Faces with Effy Wild. I'm also behind on this class, but there are some great teachers. Plus Effy has some free classes that I take part in. She is an absolute hoot. All that and I'm stll not confident when it comes to my Art. I really want to be. It is definitely a process. I'm also really excited to be joining a Round Robin Journal Circle via Tracy Woodsford @ Sojourner. I started following Tracy's blog about a year ago. I find her inspirational, and I love her down to earth style.

Well I don't want to totally bore you and put ya'all to sleep. At least I am working on doing some catch up. I plan to be making some changes to my blog over the next month or so, hopefully. Not really great with all the technical aspects of blogging. Hopefully I will figure it out. Meanwhile I have set some goals for a new and fresh start for 2015.
I wish all of you and your the happiness and blessed holiday season.


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Effy's Blog Along


Wow I managed to fall so far behind in this daily blog-along. A few days in I got sick, like had to go to the doctor, had a temp, needed antibiotics sick. Then an intestinal bug hit my house.
All that pales in comparison to the devastating phone call at 8 am yesterday morning. My 24 yr old nephew committed suicide. I can not wrap my head around this situation at all. I was close to my nephew, he and my son who were the same age were cousins, brothers and best buds. The entire family [clan] is a mess. No one can make any sense of it. My heart breaks for my sister-in-law, his mom, and for his dad, and his siblings, really my heart just breaks. 
I'm sad, confused and mad all at the same time. Things like this aren't supposed to happen. Losing someone you love is hard, but to lose someone with no rhyme or reason, with no answers, no understanding of why, how do you move forward? This whole situation just sucks. I'm at a complete loss for all those I love. 
Sorry for such a heavy post, It's just to freaking hard to say it out loud. Thanks for listening.


An Irish Blessing
(I couldn't decide on which to share, so I am posting both)

Remembered Joy
Don’t grieve for me, for now I’m free!
I follow the plan God laid for me.
I saw His face, I heard His call,
I took His hand and left it all...
I could not stay another day,
To love, to laugh, to work or play;
Tasks left undone must stay that way.
And if my parting has left a void,
Then fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss...
Ah yes, these things I, too, shall miss.
My life’s been full, I’ve savoured much:
Good times, good friends, a loved-one’s touch.
Perhaps my time seemed all too brief—
Don’t shorten yours with undue grief.
Be not burdened with tears of sorrow,
Enjoy the sunshine of the morrow. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Day #2 Blog-Along with Effy.


So today is day 2 of the blog-along with Effy. It is a 30 day blog challenge, click here to check it out. Shout out to thank my commentor's for my first post!! You made me smile!!!! ((((HUGS))) ladies!!!!!
I'm both excited and nervous. I'm nervous because I once posed a 30 day blog challenge to myself, and it was much harder than it sounds. Also when doing such a challenge I find you are more likely to have to share more personal parts of yourself, because some days when things really suck, that's all you can give of yourself. For me sharing means being vulnerable, which means you can be judged and get your heart stepped on, and that's a scary feeling. My best friend ripped my heart into 1000's of pieces a few yrs ago, and it never quite healed the same. I'm excited because I get a chance to meet new peeps, to be inspired by talented and amazing women(or men). I can say after day 1, I had the pleasure of "meeting" some new peeps. Several of the posts I read I discovered a few fine folks with whom I have much in common. So besides meeting a challenge, I'm hoping to reach the end and have made new friends, and to maybe discover something new about myself. 
I had originally started this particular blog as a tool in my homeschool journey with my youngest daughter. All of my kids attended public school. My youngest began homeschooling in 6th grade. My oldest 3 have all graduated and I have a son in 11th grade still in public school. Somehow this blog strayed from what I had originally intended. The biggest factor… I'm technologically challenged. I find to run a multifaceted blog, having computer and HTML skills are imperative. I even thought about paying to have someone do all the work for me, but one, I don't blog enough, and two, I can't afford it. So I have a blog, but not one I'm crazy about. I have been contemplating staring a new blog that is dedicated solely to my art journey, and keep this and truly blog about our homeschool journey. I'll just add that to the list!!
So a bit about me, I am dear say it..46. I'm not aging gracefully. Quite frankly I am struggling  with it. I have been married 27 years to an Irish man who can still make me laugh, but most days I wanna duct tape his mouth. We have 5 very amazing kids, Kady is 27, she has a 4 yr old daughter Kaya,(my Polly Pissy Pants) and is expecting baby #2 in August. She is finishing up college, is learning to cook like me, (I grew up in an Italian restaurant) and looks like me. The other four look like their dad. Kyle will be 25 in exactly 4 days, he is the eternal smart-ass. He is absolutely brilliant, but sometimes think he went to one too many parties in college. He got a Lacrosse scholarship to go to college. He has big goals. Jacob is 20, (21 in Sept) he works 2 jobs and goes to college. He wants to be either FBI or a US Marshall. He is my pretty boy, but is an old soul. Michael a.k.a. "Meat" a name he acquired in pop warner football, is 17 and the one who gives me a run for my money. Though he plays Lacrosse and works and has a 3.75 GPA. Then I have Bridget 14, she homeschools, and is a competitive Champion level Irish dancer. She is a really sweet, funny and is also an old soul. I have 2 Boxers, Adella & Bruiser, who are crazy dogs. 
I love to work on my art, I'm a huge movie buff, (I'm not a chick-flick fan) My favorite TV is BONES, Dr. Who, Being Human, Supernatural, Downton Abbey, Criminal Minds, and Big Bang Theory. I'm sure I can add to that list, but those are my top go to's. I love listening to Mumford & Sons while I work on art, or sleep. (that's when I can sleep)
I have a many health issues and am on disability. Though most people look at me and think I look perfectly fine, and am using the system. I wish the nay-sayers could walk in my shoes for a day. 
So that is a little bit about me. Nothing exciting, borders on boring. But it is my life, and It's not perfect, but it's mine. Some days I will babble, some days I may put nothing but a quote, some days I might cry, but I am going to work hard to see this through and write my day how it goes. I just wanted you to know what makes up my life, my family!!! You'll hear lots about them. Hopefully you'll continue to choose to come back and check in from time to time. 
It's 3:30 am and I need to get this posted and go to bed. I'll be popping by and visiting later once I'm up and awake. So happy blogging… Thanks for stopping. Feel free to leave any comments or questions, or email me if you'd like. Ta Ta For Now….

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Day #1 Blog-Along With Effy


It's been absolute ages since I've actually blogged. I did post about 2 months or so ago when I did a few blog posts about my adventures with Flat Susan. (It's a grown up version of Flat Stanley) You can check out her blog at Flat Susan was created by one of my online art friends Anita "Neet" Hickson, who resides in the UK.
Prior to that I was blogging at least weekly while participating in WOYWW over at where I had the pleasure of meeting many wonderful, talented and welcoming group of artist and crafters. Then I fell into a funk, and didn't do much art work or blogging. Life also got busy with homeschooling my youngest daughter Bridget, and her Irish dancing. (which I will save for a future post).
I have started getting into a routine of trying spending at least 10 minutes a day doing some sort of Art. Even if I only sort through my piles of stuff. So Seeing Effy's April Blog-Along, I've made a commitment to myself to try and jump back into creating and posting. 
I've become somewhat overwhelmed by scattered thoughts. I have several projects I'd like to finish, I belong to a few online Art classes, Lifebook 2014, 48 Weeks with Donna Downey, The Documented Life Project, and Soul Restoration over at Brave Girls, all of which I've fallen behind in, and when I attempt to do one and or the other I find myself so overwhelmed I get anxious and stressed out at which point everyone within a 15 ft radius runs and hides. I find this is defeating the whole purpose of doing Art. So I am going back to basics. I'm going to go back to square one and try and organize my thought, and my supplies, which have taken over practically every nook and cranny of my already small house. Wish me luck with that!!!  I really only got started in my journey with Art about 2 yrs ago as a way to deal with chronic pain. I went into it with a very defined definition of what I thought an artist was. Well I have most certainly learned you can not define Artist by any one definition. I have found I do lean more toward mixed media. I love to grunge up most things I create. As with most of the stuff I create, I love using recycled or re purposed materials. One of my favorite things to make is Art Journals, I actually enjoy making the art journals more than I do filling them with art. I recently bought my first sewing machine which has been really fun incorporating into some of my handmade things. Though it's one more thing I'm adding to my chaos. Plus Donna Downey studios is 5 miles from my house, and I stop in at least once a week and buy more stuff….I really need an intervention!!! 
Well I will leave it at that for today, now that I'm super excited for this blog-along, like the energizer bunny, I could keep going and going, but alas I have 29 more days to fill y'all in on my life. I'm excited to get to know some new peeps, and check out some new blogs, and some new Pinterest boards. (another thing I could use an intervention for) Ta Ta for now….
Some of my handmade journals

Cover to a Gelli Print Journal

Binding with some of my handmade beads

Signatures with some of the prints

A tag thrown in

Fabric thrown in

A bag with a tag

Back cover

From Effy's Wildly Inspired Episode #3
(I did this on an 11x14 canvas for my son Jake)


Monday, February 3, 2014

Flat Susan Irish Dances

So in our final hoorah with our guest Flat Susan, we took her to the King O' Sullivan Winter Feis. (pronounced fesh) This was my daughter Bridget's first dance competition of the 2014 season. She has officially moved up to the U14 category. Time just flies too quickly.

Susan had a grand time meeting new people, learning all about how Irish dance and  competitions run, experiencing Ceili dancing, (team dancing) and even getting to attend the awards ceremony at the end where pinned to my daughters dress helped her accept her 3rd place award. All in all we all had a very long and full day of Dresses, Wigs, Make-Up, Shoes, Dancing, and best of all friends. 

This Feis was hosted at the Marriott Evergreen Resort at Stone Mountain by the King O' Sullivan school in the Atlanta,GA area. Several dancers from Irish dance schools all over the Southern region of the US participated. My daughter dances for 
Rince na h'Eireann School of Traditional Irish Dance. The schools name translates to Dance of Ireland. Our school host 2 Feis's a year. The Holy Angels Feis which we raise and donate all money to the Holy Angels foundation which is a Catholic Foundation which helps the disabled, and then our Feis in October.

There are several levels of dance. Bridget is a Preliminary Champion level dancer, and is working toward trying to move into Open Champion which is the highest level of dance. The levels are Beginner, Advanced Beginner, Novice, Prizewinner, Preliminary Champion, and Open Champion. You start as a beginner and move to each level by winning each of your dances in each of the levels. The dances are Single Jig, Light Jig, Slip Jig, and Reel, which are all soft shoe dances. In hardshoe there is Treble Jig and Hornpipe. Single Jig and Light Jig are not usually competed in after Novice. Once you reach Prelim and Open your dances are based on your birth year. So this year Bridget competes in Reel & Hornpipe. She has a Non-traditional set called "The Three Sea Captains" There are a total of 31 Non-Traditional set dances. Most dancers only learn a handful in their career. 

So this is what Susan has learned about Irish Dance. There is a whole lot more, but she can only visit for so long. She will be on her way to her next host on Monday or Tuesday. So I will now show you all the pics form her dance filled weekend. I hope you enjoyed reading about Flat Susan and her visit to Davidson,NC. We have enjoyed hosting her!!!! She will be missed a whole bunch!!!

Welcome to King O' Sullivan Feis

1st Place 4 hand Team
(L-R)Bridget, FS, Maggie, and Laura
Mom's Tracy & Holly
Bridget (FS is pinned R breast)
Bridget & Flat Susan
Bridget getting her 3rd place award