Sunday, June 27, 2010

Hey guys, this one's for you, too

My great-aunt was this amazing woman ... She drove till the very end of her life, often 90+ mph on the freeway, much to the thrilled terror of her passengers -- and just plain terror of the drivers around her.

When the lawyers started pestering her about selling off her many acres for development, she got so fed up she starting scaring them away by waving a shotgun at them. It worked, too.

The woman didn't wear purple -- or red hats. She didn't need to in order to live her life out loud and strong. And when she was diagnosed with cancer in her early 80s, she drove it away, too. A few times, until it just became too much.

I loved her so ferociously. I miss her, all the time. She was the last pen-pal I ever had. And when Butterfly was born with only a minuscule chance of survival, it was a no-brainer to give her my aunt's name -- and thus a legacy of strength.

I knew my aunt was watching over my daughter during the first 65 days of her life, when she lived in the NICU. I firmly believe without my aunt's unseen hand, my little girl never would have come home to mine. I know she watches over her still. And my Butterfly embodies so many of her great-great-aunt's qualities -- often to my great delight, and admittedly to my sometimes chagrin.

Why am I telling you all this? Because it's the best way I know how to tell you what I really hope you'll hear. I could lecture, give statistics, blah blah blah. But I actually want you to pay attention instead.

I have a blog-world friend I admire so very much. She has this incredible talent, this ability to create beauty that just seems to radiate from her being. This stunningly beautiful woman has a husband who loves her, and two sweet little ones. She's not all perfect though ... She SO uber-organized she actually writes out complete daily menus for what she's going to feed her family!!! I know, right?? Nuts! :)

I only know her through this online world, but while I respected her before, I respect her so much more now. Because not only does my friend have all of this beauty and love surrounding her, she now also has to wait for the results of a cancer screen.

I'm not going to tell you who she is because she struggled with whether or not to share her story on her blog (she tries to keep it all about her art) and I want to respect that as much as I can while still sharing her vital message. As she and her husband sat with her doctor, the doctor told them they "now have the job of convincing 10 women to make their yearly gynecological exam (pap-smear). We talked briefly about cervical cancer statistics among young women and the importance of early detection through pap-smears."

So I'm writing this blog because in reading her story, I feel like it's now my job to help spread that message.

So please. I can't badger you, but I can beg you. If you are a woman or love a woman -- your wife, your partner, your sister ... or your great-aunt. Please take care of her. Please take care of yourself.

I'm thinking about you, my blog-world friend.

Friday, June 25, 2010

This girl

Today, unbeknownst to us, this little cheeky girl managed to unlock the regular and deadbolts on the downstairs door ... and set all of our animals free.

As she is a cheeky girl, we did not realize this had happened for at least an hour. She didn't bother to tell anyone of her deed;)

Luckily, most of the creatures are wusses and did not go anywhere. One cat sauntered across the deck and promptly was recaptured. And a neighbor called to let us know the dog had been playing in traffic, and was now locked up in the neighbor's goat pen.

Cheeky girl, this one.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Just a few shots with my G1, on the drive home from work.

Yeah, yeah, don't use your phone while driving. Arrest me.




Wednesday, June 23, 2010

1001 Journals

Check out this new project I'm joining. It's a collection of folks who are creating, contributing to and/or circulating themed journals. This one is the one I'll be contributing to.

I've always loved the idea of circle journals but didn't know how to begin. Similarly, I really, really miss having a pen pal. When I was a teen, I corresponded regularly with my cousin in Sweden, who was prepping to spend a year over here, in the Midwest someplace. Unfortunately, our letters dwindled after a time, till there were none.

I'm hopeful this new project will allow me to recapture some of the qualities of both ideas.

Monday, June 21, 2010

New stuff for sale

in my etsy shop. Please consider coming on by. Thanks!

E and B Shoppe

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Friday, June 11, 2010

Startin' somethin' (gotta be)

Unexpected late sunshine, albeit brief, sent my children outside today ... 'cause I made them go. I joined them, of course, and decided to finally get started on my book for Butterfly. It's meant to be a doodling/playful book for my little girl, for me to journal love notes to her or tell her stories ... whatever and however it strikes my fancy.

As it was an unexpected project, I left my camera inside and was too captivated by the creative process -- and fully aware that Butterfly's tiredness put me on a time limit -- to go back in for it. Thus the G1 photos. Again. Ugh. I tried to hide the flaws with some fancy photo editing and text;)

I've been collecting all kinds of old (but destroyable) books, papers, etc. So I chose a selection of mostly vintage stuff to use for the guts.

I found this book on one of my rambles. Each of the pages inside has a little story and very sweet drawings that I'm going to use as part of Butterfly's scrapbook. The cover I had eyed for this project.

I pulled the pages out and opened the binding to give myself a place to adhere my new pages. You can see some of the (irremovable) scribbling on the inside of the back cover; I'll hide that under something. The inside cover paper is pretty intact, and I intend to preserve it for the most part.

Next was ensuring the random pages were distributed nicely and the right size to fit into the little cover. I stacked and punched the holes for binding.

I made myself a little inner sheath (the white paper) to which I bound the pages, and which I'll also glue into the exposed inner spine of the book and onto the front and back inner covers, for stability. I did a final assembly to ensure nice fit, and so on.

Next, it was time to start threading the baker's twine through the pages and out of the sheath.

See how it feeds out the back? I tied it on the outside, where the strings will be hidden and glued into the cover space I exposed in Step 3. One note: I left the binding loose here, both to ensure it wouldn't pull at and tear the pages, but also to give myself room for dimensional objects when I begin to journal. The other option, of course, is that I can always remove pages if it begins to get too full.

Next, glue the new spine of the sheath into the old, inner spine of the cover, and carefully glue the sheath flaps onto the front and back inner covers. Note: Don't make them too tight! Give yourself some give to ensure the book has some "play" while also ensuring it closes nicely:)


OK, so small confession. The title of this post is "Startin' somethin'" 'cause I only got some of the way through before Butterfly, well ... let's just say it was time to go in. Unfortunately, I didn't actually get to complete Step 8, which was actually gluing the pages in. I'm not sure how it's going to go.

I've never done this kind of book-making before, so I'm kind of experimenting. I'm thinking the string really is too sharp for the kinds of pages I've used, but we'll see how it goes.

It's all part of the learning process.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Just have to share the good news ... After 15 months of discouraging unemployment, I start a new gig next week! The cool part is it'll be 4-10s, so more time with my Elephant and Butterfly. Woo-whoo!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

My little beauty

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Lost Things

No matter what, I cannot get over this video!!