Deck The Halls . . .

Peace. Love. Joy.

You can feel the excitement in the air, at least I seem to feel it this year.  I haven’t been much in the Christmas spirit in recent years, I’m not really sure why.  For whatever reason,  I actually feel like Christmas is a happy event this year.

With this new found excitement, decorating the house this past weekend wasn’t as stressful as it has been in years past.  Brian and I have been putting up less decorations then we have previously, but it still feels festive and like Christmas in our home.

The decorating must begin with the Christmas tree  . . .

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and McKenzie is never far from the action . . .

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After our daughter moved out we were left with very few ornaments.  I’ve been trying to buy a few each year.  She commented on how few ornaments we have on our tree, then gave a chuckle, knowing all of the ornaments were hers, and went with her when she moved out.

Collecting ornaments for her was one of my favorite traditions.  Each year from the time she was born I would purchase an ornament for her.  I began with a collection of Lenox ornaments, my favorite collection is the Night Before Christmas series.  Each ornament, depicts one section from the book.  Sometimes she comments on an ornament and asks if I remember why she chose that particular ornament, the stories associated with each ornament brings back good memories.  A tradition I know she will continue with her baby.

After an entire day of unpacking boxes, fixing our home to feel the love and peace of Christmas, the finale of course is the lit Christmas tree.

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May you and your family find the Peace, Joy and Love that Christmas brings.  Please keep in mind Christmas is so much more than buying presents.  Of course it’s fun to give and to get, but it’s the memories of Christmas that will last a lifetime, just like the ornaments, each Christmas has it’s own special meaning.

And to all a good night . . .

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Until we meet again, thank you for stopping in and catching up with me . . .

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The Canvas in my Mind . . .

“The things that make me different are the things that make me.” – Winnie the Pooh

Thoughts wonder in my head, they are endless.  Sometimes I wish they would just take a holiday and enjoy some down time.  That never seems to happen, those thoughts and ideas keep swirling around.

I believe people who have a creative side may have similar experiences.  I am always thinking about what prop would work with a particular flower.  What color scheme might be nice, given the time of year or my mood.

This past week, the holiday season began and my thoughts turned toward Christmas colors and festive scenes.  I follow so many creative people on Instagram, their work inspires me, sparking more creativity and ideas.  This week, I decided to play around with some dark and moody images.  Many I follow create beautiful dark and moody images, so I decided to have a go at it.

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I have a particular fondness for white flowers, but with Christmas soon upon us, I thought some red flowers would be a nice contrast, giving the white flowers a festive pop of color.  The Christmas balls are classic and timeless.  My mom decorated our Christmas tree with red glass balls in various sizes, nothing more.  Maybe that’s where my love for this simple ornament originated.

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Who can resist a mason jar, especially one painted red adorned with a pine cone and twine?

The real magic takes place after I upload the images and choose which I feel will become the image I had in mind as I shot the scene. Sometimes, an image can be crisp and bright and other times it could be softer and a bit smokey creating a moodier feel.

Of course, I had to play around with some light and airy designs too, I already had quite a mess going, flower stems and pieces of ribbon everywhere.  So, a light and airy design was a must.  I try and utilize the flowers whole before taking them apart for the flat lay design, pictured below.

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As you can see, white is the prominent color with that pop of red and green.  I get a sense of calmness from this image, maybe it’s the flow of the flowers or the lack of color, whichever it is, it has a soothing feel to it, which is a nice way to end today’s story.

I hope you are feeling in the holiday mood this year, I am and will bring more fun and festive images next week.

Until we meet again, thank you for stopping in and catching up with me . . .

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A New Me – Sort Of . . .

“Never underestimate the power you have to take your life in a new direction.”
― Germany Kent

What’s in a name, anyway?  If you are a parent, you know how difficult it is to choose  the perfect name for your baby.  If you own a business you may have been faced with the same difficulty.  It can take agonizing hours to find just the right name that will express exactly what you do, and more importantly, what your business is trying saying.

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I found this to be so true with the name I chose for my business, many years ago.  I tossed around many names and in the end I chose my own name, but never really felt  it said what I wanted it to say.  So after much soul searching, I decided to change my business name, along with my approach to what and how I portray me and the direction I want my business to go in.

~ my new name is based on my childhood nickname ~

Doodlebug Designz Logo Color SizedI hope you will continue to follow along.  I will still be posting my weekly blog, accompanied with beautiful photographs, stories and what adventure or event I have going on.  Along with my blog, will be a newly revamped Etsy site where I will begin to sell greeting cards, thank you notes and paper items.

 

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Life is a journey, sometimes we need to stumble before we can find our way. I look forward to meeting you all on the other side of the new me.

Thank you for following along, may you all have a very Happy Thanksgiving . . .

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A Blank Piece of Paper . . .

Today is a blank page.  What will you write in it? ~ Sonya Parker

Each of us are given a blank piece of paper each day to draft any way we wish.  While listening to The Garth Brooks Channel the other day, he was speaking about how he was given this blank piece of paper, and how he tries to fill the paper with the most each day.  This particular day, he wrote and recorded the most amazing music, filling that piece of paper with music he would share with others.  Extraordinary!

It made me think about my “blank piece of paper” and what I do with it each day or maybe just on a particular day.  Let’s face it, not every day can be monumental, right? If we are lucky, some days are extraordinary and others might just be ordinary.  Not that there is anything wrong with ordinary.   Whatever you fill your piece of paper with it will become a memory that you tuck away, to be remembered another day.

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I would categorize this past Sunday as an ordinary day, and I’m fine with that.  We all need down days, and Sunday was mine.  Cristine and I went for breakfast, had pedicures (the 10 minute extra kind, with the longer massage), then we each went home.  The weather was nasty, heavy rain, cold and not a day to be outside.  I don’t know what she did with her afternoon, but I spent mine photographing, cooking and cleaning.  Sounds, ordinary for sure!  It was sort of ordinary, except for the fact that I did some photography, which I love.  I made a pot of soup for Halloween, Cristine’s favorite kind, which will make her so happy on Tuesday.  It’s what that pot of soup represents, that possibly made this a little bit extraordinary.  You see, every year, when she was young, we would trick or treat with my sister and her children.  When we were finished, we would all sit down to a big pot of beef vegetable soup.  I guess for her, and me too, it’s that memory that is comforting and extraordinary!

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Within the last week, the leaves have really begun to change and after starting the soup, I made a cup of coffee, and relaxed in my favorite room with McKenzie nearby. Staring out the windows of the sunroom, I noticed how beautiful the colors had become.  The raindrops on the window enhanced the brilliant colors of the trees in our backyard.

We are all familiar with the saying “every day is a blank slate”, which is the same as my blank piece of paper.  I suppose it’s the memories we make or the hearts that we touch that make that piece of paper extraordinary.  Whatever you decided to do with your blank piece of paper, be it ordinary or extraordinary it will be a memory tucked away in your mind.  If you’re lucky, in the mind of someone else as well.

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Have a great week ahead, as always, thanks for stopping by and sharing in my corner of the world . . .

Until next week ~

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The Niagara of Pennsylvania . . .

The best views come after the hardest climb.

We set out for an adventure to Bushkill Falls, Pennsylvania for a day of hiking, climbing and photography.  Dubbed “The Niagara of Pennsylvania”, we wanted to see the waterfalls for ourselves.  Little did I know, on this trip, there would be a third person joining us.  Continue reading “The Niagara of Pennsylvania . . .”

Sounds for the Soul . . .

“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.”  ~ John Muir

 

Listen to the sound of the waves as they crash onto the beach.

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Listen to the sound of the seagrass as it blows in the wind.

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Listen to the sound of Mother Nature as She speaks directly to your soul.

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The beach during the colder months has a certain ethereal quality to it.  The desolate beach filled with nothing but the sound of the wind, the waves, utter and complete silence. Continue reading “Sounds for the Soul . . .”

who do I see …

when I look at me . . .

I see an older version of me staring back in the mirror, when did I become this age?

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I see a mom, to a small baby girl, who has grown to become an amazing young woman.

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I see a wife, who is married to a wonderful man, who was the absolute right choice all those years ago.

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I see a photographer, who photographs the world around her trying to find the good and pretty in a mixed up, crazy and scary world.

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I see a cancer survivor, who is missing part of her eyebrows, a daily reminder that I am a survivor, this is the person I see staring back at me  . . .

Who do you see staring back at you?

Thank you for stopping by, taking your time to share in my world, my thoughts and views.

Until we meet again  . . .

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Farewell to summer . . .

There is something deep within us that sobs at endings. Why, God, does everything have to end? Why does all nature grow old? Why do spring and summer have to go? ~ Joe Wheeler

Summer feels as though it is a fleeting moment, three months of the year gone as quickly as  a whisper in the wind.  Autumn will begin this week, summer will be a mere memory for 2017.  It was a good summer, not the best weather one could have hoped for, but it will have some happy memories for me and my family.  All one could hope for is good memories to look back on one day. Continue reading “Farewell to summer . . .”

the inevitable . . .

“Such short little lives our pets have to spend with us, and they spend most of it waiting for us to come home each day.” ~ John Grogan

If you follow me on Instagram you have seen many photographs or our Westie, McKenzie. McKenzie has been part of our family for twelve years now.  I guess it was about one year after we had to put our Akita, Teddy, to sleep that I decided it was time to have a dog again.  My husband and daughter knew they wanted another dog after we lost Teddy, but I was the hold out.  I just didn’t want the responsibility of owning a pet again.  My daughter was getting older and we weren’t home much anymore for a pet. Logical, right?  Even though the logical part of my brain knew we really shouldn’t own another dog, the emotional part of me knew the house was lonely and we needed to get a dog.   Continue reading “the inevitable . . .”

Color Me Peaceful . . .

Nostalgic reminder of life’s simple, gentle pleasures, while calming one’s “inner child.”

I’ve been writing my blog for a few months now, so when I saw a post on the website of Bella Grace Magazine in their new section called Field Guide to Everyday Magic Blog Hop, I wanted to be a part of it and I am so happy to post here!  As I started thinking of ideas to write about, I began coloring in an adult coloring book that I purchased over one year ago.  Originally I thought, what a silly idea, a grown person coloring, but the more I began to color, the more I felt a sense of comfort, peace and calmness wash over me.

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One of the simplest pleasures I can remember growing up was coloring.  Each summer, my mom would buy me and my sister a set of color by numbers and a new box of Crayola crayons.  I’m not really sure what it was about that brand new box of Crayola 64, was it the smell of the crayon wax when the box was first opened, the sharpener on the back of the box or the endless possibilities that box held?  Whatever it was, I just remember the excitement it created.  Each of us would pick out a new box of Prestige Coloring pages and that box would last almost to the end of the summer, but the crayons and pencils would be almost non-existent, we had colored so much.  I don’t know what happened to all of our “artwork” but it’s really the memory of those simpler times that means so much.  Sitting under that large tree next to our house, two young girls keeping cool and coloring until we couldn’t color anymore.

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Today adult coloring books seem to be the big rage, I guess it’s the simplicity of actually sitting down, unplugging from our everyday lives, that is so appealing.  Thinking or rather not thinking and coloring a pretty picture, brings an inner child calmness we may need to rejuvenate ourselves.  No time limits, no schedule to keep, just simple strokes and the sound of the crayon or pencil as it colors across the plain white page, creating a beautiful picture.

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There are many websites where you can download pages to color or if you are in the market for a particular type of page try purchasing one of the many adult coloring books available today.

If you need to simply unplug from the world for a little while, try downloading or purchasing a coloring book; buy a box of 64 crayons and most importantly, color until your heart is content.

If you would like to share one of your memories or what you do to find some calmness in your life, please drop me a comment and you will be entered to win a copy of the Everyday Field Guide to Magic

 

As always, thank you for reading and following along in my life journey . . .

Until next week,

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