Saturday, March 31, 2007

Flower ATCs

I'm really in a good mood right now. Bruce and I went to Santa Cruz tonight, just to watch the sunset over a bowl of minestrone. It was relaxing and pretty, but spoiled by the fact that I'd lost my contact in the car while we were parking! Oh dear! I'd figured it was gone forever, after a thorough search in the parking lot. However, so fortunately, once we got home I dumped my purse out on a white sheet and VOILA! There is was! The last place I could look! So I'm happy.

I've signed up for a couple more swaps! One, is an ATC swap with the theme of "Flowers". I hope someone likes what they're getting from me! Also, I got my Vintage Kitchen Swap items in the mail yesterday! I love what I got and call it a "Grandma's kitchen" theme. Who wants a picture of what I got? Who wants to see what I sent? Let me know! It was a super fun swap! I loved hunting vintage-retro-antique items. Wow, I really got carried away! Twice I went shopping while Bruce was golfing, so I really considered it my recreational shopping time!

The Last Day of March!

I can't believe March is over! That means tomorrow is April Fool's Day, and the start of April, always my favorite since it's my birthday month! I spent about 4 weeks during March, leisurely assembling this cross mosaic. I really took my time, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I knew when it was over, that'd be it! Stone by stone I placed the tiny tiles, cutting them when necessary. This was the most satisfying project! You get to ooze the cement between the spaces and it turns out so perfect, filling in any gaps. My Oregon sister Sue gave me this great kit as a gift! I just treasure it. How fitting to complete the cross so close to Easter.

March brought a surprise visit from my Oregon sister Heidi and her daughter! We were able to exchange our first ATCs in person! Heidi made me into a butterfly - I'm glad I'm finally out of my cocoon! "Touch the Light" and "L'Elegante" will be treasured trades from Heidi. My face is the butterfly on the ATC cleverly made from a corner of a Scrabble board. What a treasure!

I received a surprise "Welcome to Spring" gift this week from my N.C. sister Roberta! How exciting! I LOVE the colorful dragonfly, flower and stone sun catcher! It's just gorgeous! Dragonflies always remind me of Roberta, since she has a beautiful dragonfly pin I love to see her wear. This sun catcher just screams Spring Is Here! What sweet sisters I have!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Oh yah! ATC's

I have been give the theme of "Butterflys" from my ATC swap partner! Hope she likes a couple of these. This is really fun: These are my 2nd 3 ATCs ever. I also finished my Mosaic Tile Plaque today. I really enjoyed doing that. And I posted my kitchen picture in Jenny's Vintage Kitchen Swap Flickr site. (That took some courage!) My name is "rffygrt" for the Flickr pictures. That's for Ruffy, my doggy, is great.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

2nd Place Prizes for Spring Contest, and ATCs

Oh boy are contests fun! Here's the 2nd place prizes for my Spring Contest! The winners in my contests showed such enthusiasm and excitement! Congratulations to Roberta (1st place) and Lorraine (2nd place)!!! You made this contest so much fun!

Tomorrow is the big day, when many other Spring Contest winner's names will be announced, all over the world. Wow, that's just so cool! I sure enjoyed trekking around Blogland, and meeting so many talented and inspirational people out there! I kept seeing and reading about ATCs, so I did some research to find out what they were! Here's a cool primer and idea bank for Artist Trading Cards (ATCs). Of course, this intriqued me, as it will you when you read about this cool way to express yourself. Many of you already knew what this was, but I sure didn't! So I had to try a few for myself! Here's my first 3, and what fun!

Here's the extent of my only school art class: In 4th grade we had art class. The first major project we did was "sewing on burlap". I was so happy to be sewing with colorful yarn! I really focused and did the best I could. But then, tragedy struck. I startle, stood up and realized I'd sewn my burlap right to my skirt!!! I started talking louder than I was supposed to to my friend, and then Mrs. Kennedy called me up to her desk! I thought she'd understand once she saw my piece of burlap sewn to my skirt, but instead, "Sallie, take that burlap off your skirt and bring it to me. Then put your head down for the rest of the hour." Oh, I was so sad and humiliated! And that awful teacher gave me a "C" in art on my report card. I was supposed to be getting A's! From then all, I considered myself a terrible artist. I could only draw in stick figures for years after that. So you see, if I ever make or do anything it's a big deal - it really doesn't come easy. I have at least 2 very artistic sisters, and 1 artist brother, so I know it's in the gene pool, somewhere. That brings me to this, that if anyone new to ATCs wants to trade with me, just let me know! And good luck to everyone on the Spring Contest draws tomorrow!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Here's Ruffy on St. Patrick's Day at the Dog Park!

Here's the promised pictures of Ruffy at the little doggy park in Santa Clara, CA on St. Patrick's Day.
Do you know how difficult it is to photograph moving little doggies? Yes, this is the best I could do! Ruffy loves the little doggy park, and so so I. We both meet such interesting dogs and people! A couple there today had a sweet white dog they'd adopted from an organization called AHAN (Asians for Humans, Animals, and Nature). What an amazing story they told of the abuse their dog suffered in Taiwan, then her being flown to S.F., to AHAN, and their adopting her. If you love cats and dogs, please check out this site. Don't miss the "Rescue Stories" and the "Animal Issues" sections. It is a real emotionally charged rescue organization. They fly the dogs in from Taiwan to find homes here. The wife of the man I was speaking with just loved my dog Ruffy so much! She was speaking only in sign language to her husband, but I kept seeing her sign "love" one of the only words I know in sign language! It was sweet to meet them. There are many other tales from past visits there....Just last week I met a lady about my age who rescued (and kept) a little dog while he was running on a freeway! She said she didn't even think. She saw this little dog and just stopped and ran out to get him! Read my lips: Don't ever do this! It's extremely dangerous!!! She loves this little dog, whose life she saved, but realized soon after how dangerous it was. P.S. Um, does anybody know how to turn off this underline??? Thanks!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!

Top o' the day to ya! And a Happy St. Patrick's Day! Be sure to wear green, even if it's a Saturday! These cute dogs are wearing green, and seem to be quite enthusiastic about St. Paddy's day, don't ya think? I have a shamrock cut out and covered in contact paper for my dog, Ruffy! He's going to be proudly wearing the green Saturday at the new Doggy Park in town. He wouldn't want to get pinched by his doggy friends! I'll try to take pictures of him - he's not camera shy! Meanwhile, his stand-in friends are wishing me all the luck in the world for next week, when all the contest winners are announced! Yes, even though my contest is over, there are many other drawings going on this week! I signed up for 9 of them! So wish me luck, little doggies! I sure enjoyed seeing many new Blogs, and looking at the lovely, creative work out there. I have some wonderful places to go back and visit now. I got my Vintage Kitchen Swap partner on Wednesday!!!! I am so excited! I've gone shopping 4 different times now, trying to get just the perfect Vintage Kitchen items for my sweet new swap-friend from New Jersey. This is just too much fun! Who wants to see a picture of my offerings? Hum, maybe I should wait with the pictures, so as not to blow the surprise in case Melissa peeks over here!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

I Have a Winner in my Spring Contest!!!!!

I have a winner of my Spring Contest! This was so very exciting!
Here's my winner!!! Congratulations to...

You won!!!!

I was just elated to have so many of you visit my blog and sign up for my Spring Contest! Thank you, each and every one - It was such great fun! Since so many left comments, I decided to go ahead and put a few things together for a 2nd place draw! And the winner was:
***Pink 23!!!*** Congratulations!!!
(Winners: Please send me an email with your addresses to:
Thanks again to all participants! I wish you all luck in all the other drawings coming up!!!!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Happy Spring!

Look what we have here!!! I finished my shopping and projects for my Spring Give-Away!!!

I found this list of Ten Rules for Happier Living:
  1. Give something away!!!!!
  2. Do a kindness.
  3. Give thanks always.
  4. Work with vim and vigor.
  5. Visit the elderly and learn from their experience.
  6. Look intently into the face of a baby and marvel.
  7. Laugh often - it's life's lubricant.
  8. Pray to know God's way.
  9. Plan as though you will live forever - you will.
  10. Live as though today is your last day on earth.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Spring Contest!

Spring Give-Away Contest!
Yes, it's here! I'm hosting my semi-annual "Spring Contest"!!!!
I will have a drawing for one lucky winner on March 15th. I will post the winner's name, and they must contact me and give me their email address. All you have to do is leave me a comment on this post! What could be in the Spring Prize Box? Think spring! The surprise box will be loaded with Spring items, and will be mailed to one lucky winner
by the first day of Spring. I don't believe you have to log in to be able to leave a comment, just click on the anonymous button, or email me and join in on the fun!

Monday, March 5, 2007

Santa Cruz Wharf Surprises

What an interesting evening Bruce and I had at the Santa Cruz wharf on Saturday. We love to drive over to Santa Cruz and enjoy our usual routine: Minestrone soup and sourdough bread at Gilda's, watching sea lions under and around the wharf, candy and coffee-tea-rootbeer. But on Saturday, after our soup, we noticed quite a crowd on one side of the pier. We were told a whale had just come up to the wharf and had been seen again just on the other side! The ocean was smooth that night, and the whale was spotted in the waters just behind us in the picture! We looked and looked, and I took several pictures hoping maybe the whale would surface as I took the shot. But we didn't see it. We bought our candy and drinks, then as we were loading up in the car I noticed the gorgeous red moon on the other side of the wharf. I took several pictures, but didn't realize I'd seen a lunar eclipse until we got home that night. (My picture is terrible, but just use your imagination and try to picture this unusual full moon, reflecting on the glass smooth ocean that night. What a site!) The usual sea breeze was still, and it was mild and warm that night, so very pleasant. Bruce wants to go back tonight!

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Roses from a Birthday Past

Ah! Roses, roses, roses...Here's a picture I'm so thankful I took. It brings back memories of my last birthday, made ever so special by the surprise of this gorgeous rose bouquet being delivered right to my door. It was sent to me by my sister Roberta, from North Carolina. (Are we supposed to use real names here?) The presence of the roses just set the mood for the day, making me smile and smile. I'd seen the ad for this very bouquet in a magazine at the gym, and remember looking and looking at it - probably for about 10 minutes, while on a piece of exercise equipment. It really helped the time go by, to daydream about these beautiful colors. All of a sudden, this vase of rose graced my house for real. Um...Roses, birthdays, smiles, sisters.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Daddy's 80th Birthday!

Well, I guess it's true. It's really March! I must say good-bye to February, and all the fun it was. The big deal about February this year, was that it was my dad's 80th birthday! And woohoo! did we kids celebrate!!! Our family loves to make a big to-do when it's someone's birthday. And he actually was the recipient of 6 different occasions to have "Happy Birthday" sung to him! And at several of those occasions, over a period of several days, he received candles on 3 different cakes plus a peach pie!!! And he was so gracious and appreciative at each singing and never tried to diminish our enthusiastic voices. How gracious, loving and distinguished he is really shows! Here he is at Bennihana Japanese Restaurant! I made him the 80 plaque, and next to him is his dear wife, my mom! Happy Birthday, Daddy!

February also brought our first snow here in the foothills, the first blooms of my calla lilies and camelias, the first season's thunder, Valentine's Day, Roberta's brief but fun visit from NC for our Dad's birthday, and many other memories of happy times.

Talking about being happy, here's a few quotes for you:

"Happiness, not in another place, but this place...not for another hour, but this hour..."

Walt Whitman
"Even if happiness forgets you a little bit, never completely forget about it." J. Prevert

March is here! Happy Birthday today, Heidi! Like I said, our family LOVES birthdays and we have 7 (*seven*) March birthdays to celebrate!