Thursday, October 1, 2009

Vintage Fabric Label

Vintage Fabric Label, originally uploaded by Suzee Que.

Suze Que spends a lot of time posting public domain images to the Collage Images group on Flickr. She has posted a ton of these beautiful vintage fabric labels on flickr.

light reflections

This artist does some WONDERFUL things with light!!! This is only one of a whole bunch of beautiful images she has shared on Flickr. Check it out!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Focus Friday

Well, my house is looking better this week than last week, so I think my focus is improving. It is rubbing off on my roommate also, who is trying to pick up after herself.

Steven, a friend of mine's high functioning autistic young man, has been staying with us. He is a very sweet young man, and has been helping me with Donna and he loves to organize things, which is not my strong point. He has been a HUGE help in my house looking better, and Donna's health turning around 180 degrees. We were about to call in hospice, and when he started staying here, everything changed!

So my focus this week will continue to be the living areas of my house, specifically the mountain of mail to be sorted, my bedroom floor, and laundry -- including putting away all of the clean stuff.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Focus Friday

Well, I guess I missed last Friday, and certainly this past week was NOT very focused. I live in the Greater Seattle area, actually out in the middle of nowhere, and Everett is probably the closest town you have heard of if you aren't from the area, but ANYWAY, we had a record heat wave last week, which melted me, and this week my feet swelled up as I guess a late reaction. I am finally back to normal today, so we will try for focus again.

This coming week I want to focus again on my kitchen. It's overall level of cleanliness is better than it has been, but still has a long way to go on the organization... I want to focus on the island, with it's pile of junk mail, and the computer alcove with it's pile of unrelated junk. The other thing I would like to focus on is the family room coffee table, which has a huge pile of stuff too. Plus I would like to make sure I send a few boxes of stuff OUT the door and too a charity.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Time Heals: Out of the Cave, and into the Peaceful Light....

Recently I have begun to notice a feeling of peace and calm that I cannot ever remember ever feeling before. Stress, chaos, desperation and fear are terms I would have used prior to now.

There was ALWAYS some kind of emergency or chaos going on, and I mean always. Especially the last few years, as I fought to save a dying marriage, draining myself to a husk that functioned only in reaction to whatever emergency was closest. I didn't take care of myself. My creativity was drained, and doing things for "fun" didn't even come up on my radar, and I wasn't a very good friend.

Now I feel this since of well being and peace that is just magic. I am still just taking it in. It didn't happen all at once, it's been a slow, slow, process of over 3 years, with changes happening so slowly I didn't really notice, until now, just how much had changed.

What I want to share with everyone is Time Heals, and that it takes time to do it. It's one of those cliche's we've all heard when we are hurting, and that make us want to SCREAM and hurt the person who is saying it. I guess the reason things get to be cliche's is they are true. Just keep plugging along, find time for yourself and your friends and CREATE. Give yourself permission to be happy!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Focus Friday

Thrifty and Chic Mom has a Focus Friday Challenge/Support thing going. It sounds like a GREAT idea to me. Especially after getting so behind on EVERYTHING in my life during the past 3 months Donna has been so sick, I have a bad time with procrastination and becoming exhausted and giving up just from thinking about what I have to get done. Taking things in small bite sized pieces would be much more productive.

Here's what she has to say about Focus Friday's. I also have her button over on my sidebar so you can check her site out for yourself. I want to get serious about coupons and sales to make my money go farther, and she is a great resource for this.

"New to Focus Friday here is the scoop: As we enter a new year everyone, myself included, has a list as long as their arm of things they want to accomplish. So I have decided to hold myself accountable by choosing one thing to focus on each week. It can be big or small, it doesn’t matter just as long as I specify what it is and get it done.So each week I will post my focus for the upcoming week as well as give a recap of how my week went with the previous focus. Now here is the fun part, I want you to join me on my little focus challenge. Grab my fancy button from above and post it along with your Focus Friday each week on your own blog. Then come and leave your link here in the Mr.Linky below. I promise if you participate that I will cheer you on and help you to stay focused and please do the same for me and all the participants. If you don’t blog just leave your focus in a comment below."

This next week I will be focusing on:

-getting and keeping my floors clean
-getting and keeping the kitchen counters clean
-taking care of snail mail backlog -- incoming
-sending some late packages and swaps -- outgoing
-making special time for my daughter and I
-making special time for just myself

It's all pretty basic stuff, but basic is where I need to start. What are you going to focus on?

Focus Friday


Ok, I have a concrete good and wonderful thing which has happened to me because of the Obama administration. The homeowner's assistance program. It's been difficult adjusting to being a single mother. The bills didn't magically cut in half just because Jim stopped contributing money to the household. I am only now actually making enough money to pay all of my bills. The problem is getting caught up from when I was NOT making enough money. Fortunately, my church helped me stay out of foreclosure, but I have been in default for a long time.

Prior to the Obama thing, the only thing Chase wanted to do was INCREASE my mortgage payments. Like that's going to help!! With this new bill, they immediately CUT my mortgage by 600 per month for 3 months, while I fill out paperwork and they figure out how best to help me get caught up and staying in my house. They will probably lower my interest rate and add a year or so to the end of my mortgage term to roll the behind payments into and lower my monthly payments permanently. If they keep my mortgage at 1200 per month, I will be able to get caught up, save some money and not have to take in any more roommates when Donna is gone.

I have worried about how things would work out without the income from her rent and the care I give her. Granted, I would go back to pharmacy full time, which pays double what the state pays caregivers, but I probably still would have to take in a roommate to make the 1800 payment. I have been trusting God would work things out, I just didn't know how. It is a real testimony builder that there are solutions to problems out there that we cannot even begin to imagine. Just because I can't figure out how it will work doesn't mean there isn't a way for it to work. My job is to keep my eyes and ears open and watch for opportunities. Opportunity may knock, but we have to open the door!

Back from the Brink

As many of you know, I'm the caregiver to a close friend who lives with me. She has been very, very sick since my last post in April. I have pretty much let everything go except caring for her, my daughter and work. Even then, I still managed to get pneumonia twice myself, this last time pretty badly.

Once again, Donna has beaten the odds, and is medically stable again. It isn't really possible for her to get "well" again, but we are hoping she will get well enough to go on a few day trips this summer. She is having platelet and hematacrit problems, as well as chronic infections. She's one tough cookie though, and she's not done living yet. I am really grateful, as she has been a pillar in my process of recovery from this divorce. I know I wouldn't be nearly as healthy, or happy, as I am becoming, were it not for her love and support.

I have also recovered from my illnesses, and am back at working 2 jobs, and I have hope that someday my house will be clean again. It is common knowlege thta I am NOT MARTHA. I am the messy artist type, a diehard collector, clutterbug, and I don't dust. I have way too much stuff, and am only now learning to get rid of some of it. I sold on ebay for years, but their new fee structure and rating system make it harder for a small person to be successful. Also, more importantly, I really don't have the energy to be a pharmacy technician 100 hours per month, a caregiver 180 hours a month, a mom, AND sell on ebay. Not unless I want to crash and burn again.

So, for now I am sitting on the boxes of stuff I need to sell. They'll still be there, along with the bills I will pay with the money. Thanks for everyone's support and prayers.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Mom on a Mission

Ok, so now I am on a mission to learn about this whole blogging thing. I seem to have been left behind somehow. I have faith. I am a geek, I can conquer this!!! I even found a blog whose entire mission is to show me how to do this whole blog thing, save money, tweet, whatever. That Blog is called "Mom on a Mission". I am putting her gadget up on my sidebar. She hunts down freebies and shares them, along with her knowlege with us! How cool is that?

Another day...hmmmm

I guess I am a little depressed right now. My son is constantly on my about my house, as is my ex husband, and I am tired. Just plain tired. Well, this isn't a very exciting post so far. I need to pep myself up, or get pepped up, or something. My son's cat, Teddie, is laying across the back of the chair I am sitting in, with his paws around my neck. My daughter has made a bed on the floor in front of the TV, because I finally was able to get cable back again. My Pomeranian, Poofers, is laying on the floor next to her. How can I be depressed when I have been blessed with such a beautiful daughter, wonderful animals, a good friend as a roommate, and 2 jobs that somehow manage to stretch and pay the bills. I need to look at the positive things in my life, and make them work for me.

If anyone reads this, thank you. Right now I am new to blogging, and I am not even sure what to do with it, except put other people's gadgets on my blog for extra entries in contests. I guess that is something. I will get this all figured out eventually! Any tips? I would be happy to hear them! I need all of the encouragement I can get!

I need to find the determination I had a couple of years ago, when my husband left, and I was told I would never make it, would not be able to work, or pay the bills. Well, I am working, I am paying the bills, and I still have my house. Most importantly, I have a wonderful daughter, who loves me very much, and a wonderful son, who loves me, even when he is being a pain. Teenageers tend to do that from time to time.

I have friends, who love me, even when I am being a flake, and I have a church family who also love and support me. I have faith that keeps me going. I know Heavenly Father has a plan for me, and I just need to trust and be patient.

I feel much better now than I did a few paragraphs ago. Healing is a process, and it takes time. Unfortunately, time just takes time. You can't rush it, or avoid it. It is what it is.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Monday, March 23, 2009

When a Gel Pen Stops Gellin...and other tidbits

So I find some gel pens I have had lying around, and check to see if they work. About half of them do. Then I search the web for a way to restore life to pens you KNOW have ink in them. The collected knowledge says either it's hopeless, soak in hot water, rubbing alcohol, blow in the back, and I can't remember what else.

I decide to apply heat...which does NOT make the pens work, neither do any of the other tips. One person mentioned instead of wasting the perfectly good ink, she sticks a paint brush into the end and paints with it.

Hmmm..... blowing... ink... heat... twisted imagination... I take the pens apart, blow out the ink onto paper, paint with it, do contact prints, mix it, and basically have more fun than a little kid with finger paints for the first time. Of course, I have to take it one step further... Out comes the heat gun, not the wimpy little embossing gun, but the big daddy hardware store heat gun. I NUKED those pens, and all of their little pieces into an interesting looking little ball of twisted ink. With proper ventilation of course.

In the end, I have 2 "pictures" and a creation. The pictures are title are what to do when a gel pen stops gellin' and I don't know what I am going to do with the "Creation" I may mount one of the pictures on wood, and mount the creation to that... leaving the other one in my art journal. Or I could make a necklace or a pendant.

Sorry, my digital camera is hiding right now. I just used it to take a picture of one of the cats, who wasn't happy about that. Perhaps that is whay I can't find it. I will post some pictures later, and let you know the final fate of the "creation".

Overall, I rate this an extrememly entertaining past time. Be careful about plastic fumes, I hear they can cause all sorts of problems, besides just a nasty headache. If you go do something silly with a heat gun or torch, and hurt yourself, don't blame it on me!

Dead gel pens will never be safe around me again. One more thing saved from the landfill, whilst my 18 year old son attempts to throw EVERYTHING in the trash! You would think he would at least understand the economics behind recycling is free, and trash costs money, but he doesn't seem to get it, or care. So I sort all the garbage when he is done. Drives him NUTS.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

YouTube - Illustration Techniques: Watercolor, Ink, & Colored Pencil

YouTube - Illustration Techniques: Watercolor, Ink, & Colored Pencil

On a less dry note....

I have been wanting to take an illustration class for years, and just have not found the time or money to do it. It finally occurred to me, there are youtube videos on EVERYTHING, and sure enough, this guy has about a gazillion videos on illustration! This particular series is from a "chapter book" he is illustrating, and he has many varieties, such as Manga.

He uses an unusual technique that mixes watercolor, permanent ink, and colored pencil; going back and forth between the different techniques as he builds his drawing.

Free Personal Finance Software, Online Money Management, Budget Planner and Financial Planning |

Free Personal Finance Software, Online Money Management, Budget Planner and Financial Planning |

My roommate just found this site touted in a magazine, as the way for the rest of us to budget. I don't know about you, but I really need to learn to budget! I am going to give it a try.

Big plus: IT'S FREE! How many times have you purchased some software or whatever, and then never used it. At least this one won't cost any more of that hard earned money. I'll give more details once I give it a whirl.

Friday, January 23, 2009

One World-One Heart Giveaway

Ok, It's still unreasonably early, or late, depending upon how you look at it, but I had a brainstorm. I realized the only reason I was worried about participating in the giveaway was I didn't know what I'd giveaway.

Well without even getting out of bed, actually off the couch, since I've been sleeping on the couch to keep the fire going, and be able to check on my friend, who shares my house with me, and I am also the caregiver for, I remeberded that DUH I could give away a piece of my handmade jewelry!

I am afraid I am not up to getting up and photographing something right now, so you will have to wait to see what I pick out, but I promise, it will be a nice piece! I promise I will post photos as soon as I physically can.

Anyone can enter my contest, just comment on THIS post. I will figure out how to use the random generator thing by Feb 12th to pick the winner. If you don't have a Blogger account, please make sure you leave your email so I can reach you if you win!!

Have a GREAT day!! Fran

One World-One Heart

One World-One Heart

One World-One Heart Event
Make New Friends from Around the world, and enter to win a piece of art from each of the over 400 Participants.

I don't have anything to give away yet, and it is WAY to early in the morning, on a day I have to go to work at "day" job, so I can't decide if I can actually give something away myself yet.... I can at least give a link to the event's main web site, and tell you it is TONS of fun to pop from blog to blog, discovering new friends and artists along the way!!! As a bonus, after you've made all of these new friends, you may well win one of the awesome creations of the participants!!

Heart of Mary: Some 'firsts' for 2009 ( a new bag and a giveaway!)

Heart of Mary: Some 'firsts' for 2009 ( a new bag and a giveaway!)

Another GREAT giveaway! I am having so much fun cruising around the blog world! Check out her website and enter o win a couple of great patterns!