Monday, April 17, 2017

A Very Special Easter Gift

I hurt my back a few days ago and could barely walk.

I'm not sure if I pulled a tendon, sciatic nerve, or muscle, but I'm relatively sure it wasn't anything to do with bone.  Either way, it's taken several days to really be able to move around much, and even though I'm still very stiff and it's hard to bend, I had the need to run to the store yesterday.  When I got to the parking lot entrance, I stopped.  Fortunately there weren't too many vehicles behind me, and traffic on the other side was slower to react and stop until a lady in a white SUV stopped.

Why? Well, God in his infinite wisdom decided that we needed or deserved a VERY special Easter gift.  I'm not sure how long I was stopped, perhaps 10 minutes or so, but I patiently waited for a momma and a large group of baby ducks to hop off the curb and cross.  The littlest duckling was very slow and unsteady and possible exhausted from the energy to burst out of his/her egg, and kept laying down and then running to catch up and lay down again.

It was instinctual for me to be concerned for the family but as I couldnt move well, I had little I could do to try and help the little family along or check on the littlest one.  After they'd crossed, I continued on to find a parking place, and was happy to see that the lady in the SUV had pulled off and gotten out to see if anything further could be done to help the family to whereever they were going.  Driving to the store was all I could do, so I waited in the car and could only see the SUV where it'd chosen a good place to stop with flashers on on the other side of the road.  I knew that the little duck family was somewhere on the other side of a new building that had gone up, but I couldn't see if they were all ok.  So there I sat waiting.

Once I was able to go again, I saw that the lady in the SUV was following at a little distance from the duck family, I think to ensure if they were to try and cross the larger and busier road, to help with traffic.  I was happy to see that someone cared and was able to intervene on their behalf.  I did, however, get pictures of the lovely little family and I'll share my very special Easter Gift with you all!  Hopefully you enjoy it and had very special Easter gifts of your own.

Feel free to share your special Easter Gifts, I'd love to see them too!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Spring has Sprung

I love flowers....well all kinds of plants, so this time of year is nice.

Unfortunately, I can't have plants of my own because I tend to kill them........  So I guess I can live vicariously through the coloring books featuring plants.  I wish I had my mom's talent with growing things, but I don't so I choose to not torture any plants trying LOL.  My big brother has a reasonably good hand at growing things.  I guess I'll just let nature do its thing and enjoy it that way.

I have two books to share with you today.  One is Johanna Basford's Secret Garden and had lots of lovely plants, gardens etc. shared in different ways.  Some are even styled in the mandala type of format.  The pages are lovely and thick so using markers and pens might fare well also.  I did notice a little ink bleed in some areas, so I'd use page breaks to prevent bleed onto future pictures you'd wish to color in.  Her Christmas book was technically one sided though the back of pages were light greyscale designs between the main pictures, but the Secret Garden book is two sided.  Both books have lovely thick pages that any medium would work well on.  I'm not the greatist with markers, I do notice when I color I have some fiber break down, so there may well be a technique of using them that avoids this effect, but I don't know of any.  If your chosen medium is markers, this would be a good book to use them with.

I did get away with not having to color all the lead in items because the cover is a removeable dust cover, and I'll likely color it at some point, but it didn't fall into my "rules" of things to color first.  The book cover is a cardboard one, and also didn't fall into the rules, because I'm not sure that coloring the brown cover would be viable....though I may try that as well at some point LOL.  I'll share the first actual picture first as it's a garden picture, and in keeping with spring it'll be a lovely one to help bring in the time of growing.

The second book is another from Sherri Baldy.  Again it features double copies of single sided pictures to do with a friend or family member.  I still wish they were perforated edges, but as long as you're careful you can tear out the pictures if you wish to use them that way.  This book is the My Besties Steampunk book.  The pictures are very cute in her usual style of big eyed lovelies that are quick and easy to color with most pages having larger accents that are easy to see.  I enjoyed coloring the one I'll share here, and used tissue to blur the edges and blend colors a bit.

Hopefully you will enjoy today's entries, and get a giggle from our way round the "rules", I look forward to hearing all about your adventures in coloring too!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Back on Track and Updates

As you know, I went outside of my comfort zone to bring you some Christmas book information.

I've gone back and corrected my need to color everything up to the main entry in the books I shared, and am pleased to be back on track with my norm once again.  I'll be bringing you the rest of the lead in pages from Ms. Basford's book, and then on I go to other books and entries.

Some of you may know that recently, I had some vehicle issues that were rather dangerous.  My vehicle (Lulu), was slipping randomly into neutral on regular roads and highways and I did not feel confident or comfortable, let alone safe, to drive her and so did so infrequently at best.  I've since found and financed a new vehicle with the aid of my wonderful sister and her husband.  My new vehicle, a new Chevrolet Trax is just wonderful and it's so nice to feel safe once again, when I have need of going out and about.  It's been so nice to not have vehicle payments for years now, but it was, obviously, time to move on.  While I have a payment now, there are benefits to having made this move that can have no price attached.

My new car's been named by my mother and my niece as Lucy, and I greet her each time I need to venture out.  I know some may think this odd, but it makes me feel warm inside.  I hope at some point soon I can either rent or buy a place with a garage, because when it storms or the weather is odd I worry about my new lil gal.  So far I've been relieved to go and find her just fine after.  We've had some horrifying winds, rain, lightening and even some hail since I brought her home.  I'm sure a lot of people worry about their vehicles in such weather.  It's not really anthropomorphism, because I don't think I've assigned my lil Lucy any other "human" traits other than a name, and I do think it's normal to worry, when it's understood the cost of a vehicle, and the cost of repairs should anything go wrong, due to weather or man's error.

As a result, I've tried to be careful, even regarding finances, and have taken some steps in regards to food to compensate for household funds needing to go to a new expense.  I have a rather large pot, and at times in the past have made large pots of food to freeze or share.  I've been playing with my usual chicken and dumpling recipe too to add in vegetables, and see if they change or add to the flavor.  My freezer is full of containers at the moment since I thought making large pots of food would be beneficial in a time and money saver until I get used to the additional finance.

As a result I made a giant pot of spaghetti, potato soup, chicken and dumplings and what I refer to as cabbage soup, but it's really more of a vegetable beef since there are other veggies in it too.  I have two of each of them frozen and plan to change them out so one thing doesn't get tiresome.  I'll add photos of that too, just because it tickles my funny bone, but I do wish I had a larger freezer, it'd be nice, I think to be able to freeze more things, but I'm just not sure of too many things you can make in a giant pot LOL.  I guess Chili would be another.  Last month, I used carrots, pearl onions and celery, this month I tried, carrots, green beans, onions and black eyed peas in the chicken and dumplings and both ways it was still very good and still tasted like chcken and dumplings.

I've also taken time to other things/hobbies, since I think doing one thing all the time could be potentially problematic, including making you lose interest in your hobby, so I do think it's a good thing to have more than one hobby.  I'd encourage anyone to try several things and change up every now and again.  It is nice that some authors creations provide you with more coloring opportunities, even if it takes longer if you're as anal as me, to get to the heart of the book.  Either way, I'm caught up and will display the results of catching up, and the giant pot cooking mania, for you here.


So now you have it, all the pictures of everything that I've caught up on and the cooking mania that's taken place recently.....I guess the last thing should be my lovely Lucy!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

One Down

Now I'm caught up on the card/envelopes so I can share them with you.

I think I already said there are scores that show you where to fold them, and if not....they do.  This makes life a little easy so you know you're doing it as it was meant to be done.

I've been a bit busy running, so hopefully things will settle a bit and I can be more mindful of making entries for people to read.  At any rate, I think my brain is broken, so I'll be keeping things brief today and perhaps do a bit more at a later time.  I think I caught pictures of all sides of the cards and envelopes for you to see, so it will be helpful.

Hopefully you enjoy today's entry!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Catching up on the rules

Since I let you know I was breaking the rules, I of course, had to go back and fix them.

I'm not quite done fixing the rules yet, but I'm working on it.  My sister and mother shared some of their work with me when I went over, but I didn't snap photos.  They do good work as you may remember from previous posts, and it made me happy to see their pictures.  I took books over with me to house/pet sit at my sister's so there's a few to add from then.  Also, a new book/company to introduce.

The new books are from a company called Creatively Calm studios.  In this set there were three books and since I purchased from them, they also let you sign up if you wish for a weekly picture.  You can also use a monthly service from them if you like and get 7 pictures a week I think for a small fee, I think it was $7.  I think that's a nice perk if you decide to use it.  They have different sets of three books, and each set covers different things.  I got the one that had butterflies, henna designs and landmarks.  All in all, they offer some great items and perks so is worth a look.

I also did a picture from the Brother's Grimm coloring book.  I had fun doing this one, of the ugly step sisters, and tried my best to make them as garish and ugly as possible.  It's always fun to revisit one's childhood and relive tales you remember, so it's just a fun book to have.

I finished up one of the cards and envelopes from a couple entries ago, and am still working on the other one, which I'll share for you when they're complete.  Then I will also have to catch up on the Johanna's Christmas pages as well.  So there are lots of things coming, as well as other new books to review that have been put aside and are waiting my attention.  For now, enjoy today's entries.

Hopefully you'll love the entries from today and share your favorite things with us too!

Monday, December 26, 2016

Dear God

I prayed, and I will continue to do so, but I thought maybe writing this all down might help to amplify my voice and the voices of others who desperately need your help and love right now.

Yesterday was Christmas, and I hoped for a Christmas miracle.  It didn't happen.  We all got together, as a family, but there was someone missing.  Someone who says, "I'm fine." but we all know that's not so.  We all laughed and enjoyed one another's company, but we all felt that hole in our family circle.  Someone who needs You right now, someone who needs to know how integral a part of us all he is.  We know he's facing some really hard crises right now, and we do our best to understand though we might not always have the right words to set him back on the right path.  We can't possibly understand the weight of what he's feeling at this moment, but we DO understand he's missing right now, and he's alone because he won't let us in.  We all felt the weight of that yesterday.  I know right now we all know he's fought difficulties for years in the past and won.  God he won, please remind him he did, and so he can again.  I know he can.

Bring the light of understanding to him that he needs to fight.  He HAS to, for himself most of all, but for his little girl who loves and needs him so much.  He has to, for us all, because we need him.  I need my little brother, mom and dad need their son, my other brothers need their brother, and my sister needs him too.  His nephews need him so that one day he can be that uncle that they know was so strong he overcame so many obstacles.  He's run this obstacle course before, maybe in a different way, with a different obstacle but he won that race and he can win again.  God, let him know I know it's SO hard to keep going sometimes.  Believe me, I feel that way too, and there's a lot wrong in my life also, but I keep going because I must, because I have people that need me too, so I know what it is to fight, even if it's not the same battle, it's a battle none the less.

If he needs me, open his heart and let him know I am here.  I'm here and I'm not going anywhere.  I will come and be there for him as a sister and a friend because I love him.  Even if my car breaks down I will walk there if I must, because if he needs me, I will be there and that's that.  He is a huge part of my life, and I want to keep him in it.  I claim him, and I always will as my brother.  I don't have a lot, but I have love, I have an ear, and a shoulder.  They're his for as long as he needs them.  Please let him understand that alone isn't the way.  Alone only makes things worse and harder to bear.  When there is a burden, it's easier with a family to share the weight of it.

God, touch him, and all those who, like him who are going through these times, Your hand is big enough to touch the whole world.  Make him and them all understand there is no alone, because You are there.  Force their hearts open so that the love of those around them can flood inside and help the healing begin, and give them the strength to fight back.  He needs to fight that darkness and step away from that bottomless pit, pull them all back from the brink.  My brother is hurting, but though he might be the one I mostly feel, it wakes in me the knowledge that there are so many hurting in much the same way and they all need our love.  We all know at least one, and maybe together we can hold hands and send all our love to them all with Your help.

God, help us all claim our missing family members back this year, and help us all to heal, because I don't want another Christmas to be missing a vital part of our family.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Breaking All the Rules

Merry Christmas Eve!!!

A special present for my bazillions of readers....I've broken all the rules to bring the last two Christmas book reviews before Christmas, with only hours to go!  Ignoring my tendencies to color every page leading into a post and every page before posting them wasn't easy, but I did it all the same.  I have some lovely gems to share today.  Two books, both with lovely super thick pages that would take any medium well, from markers, to water colors to pencils and crayons.

The first is Johanna Basford's book Johanna's Christmas.  This was where my first compulsions had to be set aside so I could bring this to you quickly.  There are lots of lovely things to color even before you get to the first picture.  And as I love to see, there are coloring tips from an actual honest to God artist, so you will be able to take tips from someone other than me!  I love seeing artists include this in their books because it's as if they are saying I want your experience to be the best ever you can have, and they're encouraging you to try new things.  I do need to note this in my blog as requested by the author in her book, so that should she wish to look up who's posting what, she can easily find it, and so I will honor that for her, #JohannasChristmas is a fun book with lots of pages that are technically single sided on very thick paper, but you know me, I'll likely color the back sides that are just designs also......sometimes it's not the best to have these compulsive tendencies.  This makes using any medium really nice and though you probably don't need page buffers, I would for myself just because I'm accustomed to doing it to preserve the integrity of the art on other pages.

I'll also break up my post, by placing pictures and then text, not my usual format, but I felt posting the picture in this case before talking about it would be helpful.

I thought showing you the lead in pages would give you a little chuckle in your funny bones, because you've seen me coloring all the lead in pages in previous posts and know not only did I have to skip a lot to get to the first picture, but you also know I'm going back to color them, soooo yes, it is a bit funny.  Also, the first picture was a nice one but as I was coloring it, I kept thinking, what if Grandpa had reindeer head mounted on his wall?  I could just see one saying "I remember the Christmas of 58, good ol' Betsy here (pats his shotgun) and I ran out after hearing a noise on the roof.  I shot into the darkness and down came this old girl (pats the reindeer on the wall).  Well, I knew then what'd happened and best I could figure this must be good ol' Dancer.....not sure how Santa flies with 7 reindeer now........."  I could just see someone's grandfather somewhere telling that story or a similar one as I giggled my way through coloring that picture.

The second book is also a super fun one, with super thick lovely paper and would be great also with any medium.  You can leave the pages in the book or take them out to color, cut, fold, glue etc.  there are scored lines in the paper to help you know where and how to fold them.  I didn't get far with coloring this as you'll see before I decided I needed to get the post done before Christmas Eve was over.  It's the Coloring book of Cards and Envelopes Christmas by Rebecca Jones.  I take it she has other books of cards for other seasons or holidays, but to confirm that I'd have to google her, which I will at some point to confirm, but the title leads me to think that.  Either that or she will be releasing some.......

Again I'll post the photos and then speak a little about them.

Ms. Jones thought of everything when she did this book.  I tried to photograph and share in a way where you get to see that each page has two cards, each card has it's own envelope designed just for that specific card.  You could mix and match them, but I love that they match.  The envelopes can be colored inside and out as there are internal designs which I think make them that much nicer.  She includes information on how to fold them, and they are scored as I previously stated, to help with this.  The last lovely touch she includes is a sticker to close the envelope that matches the design of the card inside.  As I said, she thought of everything!  This would be a wonderful book for yourself or as a gift for someone that likes this hobby to use throughout the year in preparation for the upcoming Christmas.  I think that's lovely just because it would help you keep the spirit of Christmas in your heart all year round, and could warm you any time you needed that little touch of Christmas to help you keep it.

At any rate, I'm sorry I didn't color all the pictures before sharing, but I likely will share them finished later......maybe.  I hope you and yours have a wonderful Christmas and a beautiful new year, all year long.  Happy coloring, and be sure to share your finds with us also!!!