"A (wo)man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of (her)his life in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of beautiful God has implanted in the human soul."- Goethe

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Festival of Trees

Kirk and I go on a date at least once a week. We like to do lots of different things, but pretty much just like spending time with each other. Earlier this month, when the Festival of Trees came along, Kirk wanted to go. Sweet!

I'm never going to turn down that offer! I love going to gather inspiration for decor, color schemes, and art projects. Plus, the festival is for an excellent purpose and is spiritually inspiring to me. It is a great way to get into the holiday spirit. Christmas! Woo-hoo! So, we made it a date:


I don't know if you know that a barn owl is my favorite of all the birds. Well, it is, so now you know. And if I had a spirit animal, it would be a barn owl. So, I found I was immediately drawn to the owls that were pretty prevalent in the decor. Behold, the wreath that took my breath away:

Guys. Check out this giant cookie cutter! See the lady standing behind it? That should give you an idea of how big this beast is. That cutter would make the hugest cookie ever! I need one.

Also, my current favorite color scheme (it changes all the time) is still making an appearance this year: teals in a variety of shades, along with browns and golds. So pretty! I could eat it right up!

I used this awesome date with Kirk to test-drive the camera on my new phone. I'm not going to lie, it's so nice having a decent camera with me everywhere I go, and I like the automatic photo filters I can play around with in mere seconds.


So, everyone has their own reasons for going to the Festival of Trees. Some people go for the sweet rolls (one sniff of the air could put you in a diabetic coma), or to support people performing at the event. Some people go to support a good cause or to pay tribute to a lost loved one. (Take note, Kirk: if I happen to die before you, I would appreciate a tactful and classy tribute in my honor in the form of a Festival of Trees display. You know what I like...or at least, what I don't like.) And I go for the eye candy and because I love glitter with all my heart.

What's your reason?

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Employee Crafting

As I've mentioned before, the company I work for hosts quarterly make-and-takes to keep the employees familiar with the products we carry...plus it's dang fun, and we rarely need an excuse to get together for some delightful times:

I have a tendency to disregard the instructions and do my own thing, so I changed up a few pieces from the original art. I also made sure all my cards were thank-you cards because we use those pretty regularly.

Huzzah for adding to the card stash!

Thursday, December 19, 2013


We've been playing around with lots of family traditions this year, which has been lots of fun now that Peppity-Pepper is old enough to appreciate fun new things we try out. I've had a papercrafted advent calendar waiting in the wings for this year and knew I wanted to mix up the contents:

The boxes include candy (always a hit!), fruit snacks (losing its appeal lately despite the track record of being an all-time favorite), ornaments (not cool, apparently, although its becoming a more acceptable offering with time), and some pieces of paper that say 'book':

Surprisingly, the books by far get the best reaction! When Pepper opens a box with a piece of paper in it, she carefully opens it, spells out the word, then runs to the Christmas tree. We've wrapped a bunch of our holiday books in wrapping paper and she will carefully select a present, open it and we'll read it together.

It's been a fun way to keep things exciting around here day-to-day, and Pepper talks about opening boxes a lot, which is a good thing. What kinds of things have you done in your families as kids or with your own kids to keep Christmastime happy and exciting?

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Party Plate!

Pinterest is the best, don't you think? For one of our weeknight activities with our favorite young ladies, we decorated plates, thanks to some awesome ideas we were Pinspired by:

They were super easy! We just used oil-based sharpies on microwaveable dollar-store plates and got going on our designs. (If you make an oopsie, you can totally clean up your design with rubbing alcohol on a q-tip.) Once we were done, we put the pieces in a cold oven and turned it to 350. Once it got up to temperature, the pieces were baked for 30-ish minutes. Then, the oven was turned off and the pieces stayed in until the oven cooled off. Voila!

I'm digging triangles so much right now, and had them on my mind already when I got the metallic gold marker in my hand. It looks like a party on a plate! I love it so much that I think I'll make my own set of dishes with this pattern.

Gold always makes me think of a party!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Kirk's Coat of Arms

So, I've been on a symbolism kick lately and I also made Kirk his own coat of arms:


The symbolism for his coat of arms is:

Skull- mortality
Broom plant- humility
Hourglass- flight of time and mortality
Chameleon- adaptability
Columns- fortitude and constancy
Vines- strong and lasting friendship
Serpent- wisdom and defiance
Tree- regrowth, rebirth (uprooted- disinherited)
Ass- patience, humility, fulfilling Christian duty
Badger- bravery, perseverance, protection, fierceness, home defence
Cock- sun, courage, perseverance, resurrection
Pheasant- resourcefulness

And the colors mean:
Black- constancy
Blue- truth and loyalty
Gold- generosity and elevated mind
Green- hope, joy, loyalty in love

I love that the colors mean things too. If you had to pick your favorite color based solely on its meaning instead of the lovely hue, what color would it be? Do tell.

Thursday, December 12, 2013


Thanks for playing along, everyone! The winner of the card giveaway is:

Congratulations, Elaine! Let me know what color you'd like and I'll be sure to get it to you.

Here's to a lovely weekend, everyone. I hope your holiday preparations are peaceful or productive...whichever one you need the most.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Elaine's Coat of Arms

The ever-bubbly Elaine won the last giveaway for her own coat of arms, and I wanted to share some great things about her from her personal coat of arms:


The symbolism is:

Rainbow- peace, safety, luck
Reeds- grace
Castle- home, spiritual power, watchfulness, safety
Pears- felicity and peace
Cinquefoil- hope and joy
Crane- vigilance, justice, longevity, parental bond
Tusks- strength, wisdom, courage, longevity, happiness, luck
Stag- peace, harmony, skillful, not easily provoked
Camel- temperance, patience, royalty, and dignity
Candlestick- light, life, spirituality
Cornucopia- thankfulness for bounty of nature's gifts, abundance, plenty
Plate- generosity
Plenum gratiae- "filled with grace"

I love the symbolism she picked, and she's as beautiful as she sounds. Thanks to Elaine for letting us take a peek of the things she values most. Loves!

P.S. Don't forget to leave a comment by tonight on the cards post for a chance to win one!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Hong Kong Aviary

You may or may not know that I am crazy about birds. So, the best part of Hong Kong was the aviary I discovered in the city park. I was absolutely giddy when I came across this treasure trove of feathered goodness. Feast your eyes:

Doesn't that aviary look so snuggly inside the city park? I also glimpsed the most breathtaking golden pheasant, but decided to just watch it instead of breaking the spell by taking a photo. Because some things are just better when they are saved in my memory bank (not too much, though, because I can't hang onto everything in my head without a few reminders).

I had a dear friend once who preferred to not take photos for the same reason a lot of people do: so that he could concentrate on the sights, smells, sounds, textures and soak in all the details. He explained that it made experiences more meaningful for him and helped him be absolutely present in every moment.

I've tried to do the same throughout my life, and focus on fully appreciating my environment, wherever that may be. I've also studied several fascinating scholarly essays on the phenomenon of people's documentation habits and how instead of adding to the experience, such habits actually diminish the magnitude of the experience. (For example, if you are always seeing life through a camera lens, are you actually seeing it for yourself or is is just one more barrier between you and the experience?) And, I find it amusing (and sometimes sad) when I see people recreating a situation for the camera so that they can document it as if it were happening for the first time...you know what I'm talkin' about. Have you ever seen that happening?

That being said, I love art and photography. I think it's important to document personal journeys and art forms (which by nature are replicative) can actually help me pay attention to the small details that would have otherwise been missed if I weren't on the lookout. Time and a place. Time and a place.

So, dish. What's your opinion about documenting experiences?

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Peak

I heard that a trip to Hong Kong is not complete without visiting The Peak, so we made sure to visit and soak in the skyline and ocean views:

So, I'm not usually drawn to touristy areas, but I still think they're fun once in a while. Plus, things are touristy and popular for a reason, right? (I mean, check out those views!) 

It's all about finding a balance.

P.S. Don't forget to leave a comment on the card swap post by the 10th for a chance to win!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Hong Kong

So, as part of my trip to Asia, we stayed in Hong Kong for a couple days. In my wanderings, I stumbled across the Hong Kong Park complete with lookout tower and tai chi garden, some awesome botanical finds, as well as a lovely cathedral, where I attended an indescribably beautiful mass. I completely fell in love with the tropical climate and the mix of urban awesomeness and lush greenery:

It was quite the pleasant place, and although I prefer going new places with Kirk, I'm totally in my element wandering around and exploring sola. I loved traipsing around on my own, soaking in the atmosphere and making new discoveries.

So, how do you prefer to travel in a new place? Do you love to share your experience with someone special, see new things with a large raucous group, or take off on your own?

P.S. Don't forget to leave a comment on the last post for a chance to win.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Card Swap and Giveaway

Earlier this month, I got together with some of my favorite artists in the world for a good ole'-fashioned card swap. We each made a card then brought enough supplies for everyone else to make that card too, and I couldn't be happier with the results:

So, one of the best things about being in a card swap with professional scrapbooking artists (I kid you not, it's a real thing!) is that you're guaranteed to come away with gorgeous artwork sporting all the newest embellishments. Nicely played, ladies!

The question for you now, is: can you guess which card out of the bunch I designed?

If you said the "hip-hip-hooray" one, you're right! The design was so simple, that I wanted to make it available in multiple colors, and they all look great, although the teal is my favorite. (Don't cry, purple, one day you will also get a turn being my favorite color.) Meanwhile, check out what they look like in different colors:

It would tickle me pink to spread the card love! Leave a comment by midnight, December 10th, for your chance to win a hip-hip-hooray card of your own, in one of the three colors pictured above.

Hooray! And good luck!