Friday, November 28, 2008

In the Spirit of Giving ...

Happy post-Thanksgiving Everyone! I hope you all enjoyed a wonderful celebration of family, friends, love and gratitude.

I wanted to let all my local friends know ... that in the spirit of giving ... (which I have been writing about here) ... I will be at Borders Bookstore in Bangor today from 3-7pm ... wrapping gifts for my favorite charity ... Haitian Roots. Please drop by to sell "hello" if you can.

Oh ... and if you are interested in raising money for your favorite charity ... at your local Borders store ... just give them a call. They are happy to help.

Enjoy your day,

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving.

I hope you all enjoy a wonderful meal with family and friends! May we all share some love and laughter today ... and everyday.

Oh, and don't forget to watch "It's A Wonderful Life". It is a tradition in our home ... and no matter how many times I have seen it, I still cry joyful tears every time. Surely it is playing on some channel in your area :) If not, you can see it here in its entirety.

As promised in yesterday's post, and in the spirit of George Bailey (one of my all time favorite fictional characters) I wish to share some great ways to "give" ...

* Bring some used towels and blankets to your local animal shelter. They are always running out of adequate bedding materials for the shelter dogs.

* If you live near a university, invite a foreign (or foreign exchange) student to share a holiday meal with your family. Many such students do not return home for the holidays and would welcome the comfort of a family gathering.

* Sponsor a Doctors Without Borders project. This organization has done such amazing work throughout the world ... and with a very impressive ratio of funds spent directly on those in need.

* Drop off some baked goodies to your local fire or police department as a way of saying "thanks" for all they do.

* While you are out shopping, if you notice a person mulling over a particular purchase, consider secretly purchasing it for them (this is one of my faves).

* While travelling the highway, upon reaching a toll booth, pay for yourself and the car behind you. I do this almost everytime .... and it gives me such a tickle ... not a bad thrill for $1!

* When out in the world ... at work, or play ... try to sincerely compliment another person who may look stressed or unhappy. You could totally turn their day around.

* Donate blood (or a kidney :)

*Do you know someone who is desperately trying to fund an adoption? You can help to create a family by assisting them in their efforts ... offer your time and talents or your pocketbook.

* Host a holiday party asking each friend to bring a gift to donate to your local Toys for Tots program.

* Call a local nursing home to ask whether there are some residents who will not be receiving any visitors for Christmas, and consider paying them a visit.

The ways in which we can GIVE are endless. I hope to display as many of them as I possibly can on this blog throughout the next couple of weeks ... maybe longer. (Maybe another blog is in order?) I would love to hear your thoughts, ideas, and stories of your own "giving".

Love to you all ...

~ Jodi

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


"For it is in giving that we receive."
- St. Francis of Assisi

"A gift is pure when it is given from the heart to the right person at the right time and at the right place, and when we expect nothing in return."
- Bhagavad Gita

"Some people give time, some money, some their skills and connections, some literally give their life's blood. But everyone has something to give."
- Barbara Bush

"There is no happiness in having or in getting, but only in giving."
- Henry Drummond

I have been doing alot of thinking about "giving" lately. In truth, I have been obsessing over it. To give to another --- with the purest of intentions --- with no expectation of reward --- without obligation to the receiver or expectation of obligation from the receiver --- to truly give from the heart ---well, that is such an amazing gift --- to all. I aspire to be that kind of giver.

I have been doing my share of giving lately --- to organizations that I believe in --- to friends that I dearly love --- to strangers that I feel drawn to --- etc. And I am finding it so addictive. I get tingles when I can give an anonymous gift --- even if I don't see the recipient receive the gift --- just putting that gift out into the universe feels euphoric. Sometimes it is a gift of time, or money, a tangible item or a spontaneous meaningful compliment. They all feel so darn good to give. And I am fully convinced that the giver reaps the most amazing psychological and physiological rewards in the process (not to mention the receiver). Perhaps that is all the world needs to heal our ills? If we all got so addicted to that magical feeling of freely giving our time, our love, our efforts, our riches, etc. then we could not help but to have our hearts opened to every human, to our own selves, and to God. And then - how could we go wrong?

Anyway, my obsession with "giving" has me reading up on the subject ... has me discussing it in every recent one-on-one conversation ... has me soul searching in places I hadn't yet delved into ...

Basically, I want to be a "giver" ... in every sense of the word. Ever since I saw the movie "Instinct" back in 2001, I have been obsessed with becoming a "giver" rather than a "taker". (Oh I cried for hours after seeing that film, the whole time sobbing to my husband that I didn't want to be a "taker", never a "taker".) That movie has stayed with me ...

And now I voraciously read biographies of amazing people who give back to the world ... in thankfulness for all the blessings that they have received ... and I long to be more like them ... and am ever so thankful for their examples ...

So, for the next few posts (or maybe more) I would like to explore the subject of Giving ... and I hope you will join me. I read a great article in the latest edition of Real Simple magazine. It is titled: How Do You Give Back During the Holidays? There are some wonderful suggestions for giving of your time, finances, and talents to those individuals or organizations who are currently in need. As Barbara Bush said, "... everyone has something to give." And damn it feels good :)

See you tomorrow with some ideas for giving ...
Looking forward to your ideas too ...


Monday, November 24, 2008

Forecast: Snow.

The SNOW. It has arrived. And I am trying to make peace with it. I think it will be easier this year than any other in my adult life ... as now I am not living in the country anymore ... so snow does not equal isolation, depression and fear of being trapped without neighborly assistance. Ahhhh... I may even come to *like* snow now that I am in a safe space in the world. What a thought!

The forecast for tomorrow is "SNOW" (lots of it) and I am not crying in the fetal position (you may laugh, but this has happened). Wow, this move to the city continues to offer countless blessings.

Wherever you are, I hope you enjoy tomorrow's weather.


Friday, November 21, 2008

The 100 Sales Giveaway!

Thank you all for your support of my shop over these past few months!

I am now happy to say that I have reached over 100 sales ... which seems like a nice "landmark" to celebrate. So, I am offering up one of my Upcycled Golden Book Journals AND one of my Magnet Sets for giveaway grabs to one lucky winner. Your choice from my shop. A value of $22. Shipping included.

Here are the ways in which you can enter the drawing:

1. Leave a comment on this post and receive 1 entry into the drawing.

2. Mention my giveaway on your blog and receive 2 additional entries. Include the URL to your blog in a seperate comment on this post.

3. Join "Follow This Blog" (right sidebar of blog) and receive 5 additional entires. Just leave a seperate comment that says you have joined.

4. If you are already a Follower of this blog, please mention so in a seperate comment and receive 2 additional entries.

5. Make a purchase from my shop within the giveaway period and receive 10 additional entries! Let me know what you purchased in a seperate comment on this post.

I will draw the winner on November 27th (Thanksgiving Day). Good Luck and thank you for all your support. You guys rock!



Thursday, November 20, 2008

100 Sales!

I totally slacked on posting yesterday ... and I almost did today ... but I thought I'd drop in to say that I am so thrilled to have reached 100 sales in my Etsy store. I think this calls for a giveaway!

I will be back this evening to post the details. Or I may slack off again and post them tomorrow :)


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sorting Through The Past.

Since moving to our new place, I have slowly been going through all of our old photographs in an attempt to reduce the number of photo boxes that we have been storing for so many years. I mean, do we really need to keep every single photo that we took of Disneyworld in 1991? Only maybe 10 of those hundreds of photos actually hold any meaning for us ... the rest are endless photos of the rides and architecture because I was so fascinated by this "other world" when I was 18. At 35 ... well, I am no longer fascinated by those photos ... and I don't think my son will want to inherit them. So ... perhaps they will be turned into some crazy art work or something fun. Oh, but then there are photos like these ...

These are the keepers. These are the photos that bring you back to the time and space where they were taken. These are the ones that fill you with the emotions that you felt at that time. Upon seeing this photo, I remember that youthful *lust* I had for the boy that would become my husband. I remember how playful we were. How we were always touching ... how much time we spent talking about the day when we would get married ... about what our children would be like. Could this photo really have been taken nearly 20 years ago???

So, I will continue to paw through these old photos, and when I find the keepers ... I may just post them here. Perhaps you may wish to do the same.

Enjoy the day ...



Monday, November 17, 2008

Photographing November: Part 2.

I am learning to fully appreciate November ... and am finding the "life" and beauty within it ... thanks to my previous post on the subject.

What does your November look like?


Friday, November 14, 2008

Some Bargains to Share.

Hi all. I just wanted to "pop in" to share some bargains with you that I recently found on I purchased them all myself, so can attest for their quality. If you are interested, better get 'em while you can, as quanities are limited:

The Night Before Christmas: Hardcover. $6.99. Absolutely gorgeous papercut artwork. And I personally love that the characters are all shown as silhouettes, so that my son can decide what color skin Santa has.

Pirate Pete: Hardcover. $5.99. Not your "average" pirate. This one is sweet ... yet still very "piratey". Perfect for younger kids. Would make a great gift. (Isaac is getting his copy for Christmas).

The Hero and the Crown: Paperback. $4.99. Robin McKinley has quite a following among both teens and adults. Her work is wonderfully crafted. Just read the reviews. This book would make a great gift for a reading teen... or an adult like me who can't get enough fantasy fiction.

An Ordinary Man: Hardcover. $6.99. This book is the autobiography of the incredible man who saved many lives during the Rwanda genocide by secretly opening his hotel up for refugees. The movie "Hotel Rwanda" is based on this book.

I hope you find my occassional bargain tips useful. You can find all these bargain books and more in my shop. I have just added a "bargains" section. You may want to occasionally check back there to see what other goodies I find.

Have a great weekend.


P.S. I am still working on my Digital Photography School Scavenger Hunt ... see HERE for my latest entries. Are any of you giving it a go?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Adoption Fundraising / Holiday Shopping.

I cannot bear to imagine what my life would be today had I not been able to fundraise for the adoption of my son. Let's face it, like it or not, adoption is expensive ... and many would-be-parents need to get very creative in order to fund their adoption journeys.

Halis and I held some fundraisers, borrowed from our 401k, took out a home equity loan, sold most of our "stuff" on Ebay, and did MUCH tightening of our household expenses in order to bring our son home to us. Believe me, you do whatever it takes to get your babies home ... and so do the following Mommies that I wish to share with you.

The following Mommies-to-Be are doing some of their own creative fundraising in order to bring their children home to them. Please consider making a purchase from them this holiday season, as you will not only support local economies and handmade goodies ... but you will also be helping to bring a child home to their forever family. So, so good.

Baby Shriver Adoption ... this Mommy-to-be sells all sorts of gorgeous handmade goodies in order to fundraise for a domestic adoption. Please have a look around her site. She makes purses, jewelry, blankets, etc. All well made & for a wonderful cause.

Charm Addiction ... this Mommy-to-be has a lovely etsy shop where she sells the most beautiful handmade necklace charms. She and her husband are fundraising to adopt from China. Their journey can be followed here: The Shania Project.

Little Bird Creations ... Oh the sweetness of the goodies found in this shop are hard to resist. These folks have just started the adoption process and are selling some limited edition goodies to fundraise their journey.

Magnolya Designs ... This family is hoping to adopt twins. How exciting. And their shop is full of sweet things ... from booties to magnets to purses, etc. Check out the 4 piece baby gift set. To die for!

Little Brother Jewelry ... this sweet family has already adopted once, and is now looking forward to bringing home a 4 year old brother from China. Mommy makes some gorgeous jewelry to raise the funds for their adoption.

I hope you enjoy taking a peek at these shops. I will add them to the holiday shopping "list" that I am working on ... to be posted here in the future.

Do you know of any adoption fundraising shops that can be added? Please let me know. Thanks :) And happy shopping!

Love, Jodi

P.S. If you would like to learn some adoption fundraising tips for your own adoption, you may want to join this Yahoo Group: Adoption Fundraising.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Photographing November.

November has always been a hard month for me. The colorful fall foliage has all fallen from the trees and scattered in the wind. The days are oh so short. The sun is scarce. And my seasonal affect disorder kicks into high gear --- making me want to either sleep, cry or go mad (and eat lots of unnecessary chocolate).

BUT there is also beauty in November. The crisp, cool air can be invigorating. The shorter days have me waking earlier to seize the daylight hours. The barren trees allow me to more easily spot the gorgeous Maine birds that choose to spend their winters here. I begin to finally spend some time indoors ... organizing, crafting, cleaning ... preparing for the holidays ahead. And I seek out the company and comfort of friends and family. All good stuff.

Oh, and the photography ... well, it seems to suffer a bit in November. I mean, Summer and Fall are so much fun to photograph. Spring too (after the "mud season"). And I am not opposed to photographing Winter either. Kids in snowsuits make for wonderful photography. But it is that space between the richness of Fall and the beauty of Winter snow ... that space where the earth is slowly falling into a deep sleep, but is not quite there yet ... the space where everything looks a little too dormant (i.e. dead) ... that is the space that is November. That is the space that I struggle to photograph. Perhaps it is a visceral reaction to anything that appears death-like. I love and long for vibrancy ... rich coloring, expressive action, etc.

But perhaps herein lies the lesson (as there is always a lesson) ... perhaps I am meant to seek out the beauty of this dormant phase ... to make peace with it ... and to find (and photograph) the "life" within it. Photography - for me - is a soul search ... a journey into capturing moments in time that can never be repeated ... finding their beauty, appreciating them, savoring them, giving them the attention they deserve ... and learning more about myself in the process.

So, I will journey out into November ... exploring the seemingly dormant landscape for the life I have yet to appreciate ... allowing myself to accept that the earth is winding down ... remembering that just as the sun rises every morning so too will spring return ... making peace with the time and space that I am now walking in ... seizing the day ... and capturing it on film.



Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy 12th Birthday, Meaghan.

Celebrated at Bugaboo Creek in Bangor, ME. Lots of love, fun, food, laughter and desserts! Good times.

We love you Meg. We are proud of the person you are and the young lady you are becoming.


Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Gocco Swap.

Many posts ago, I shared that I was creating some Gocco prints for my very first Gocco swap (actually, they were also my very first Gocco prints). This swap was hosted (and well organized) by Lisa over at the The Bunny Log Blog. Lisa's Gocco swap was the impetus I needed to finally get over my fear of new equipment, dust off the brand new Gocco --- and finally put it to use. I am so glad I did. I mean REALLY glad I did. You should see the bounty of Gocco goodness that arrived in my mailbox in return for the humble 58 handmade gocco postcards I sent in to Lisa.

I can show you some of the wonderful contributions here, but am thinking that you really can't know just how great these cards are until you hold them in your hands. So much talent and diversity. Each card created by hand on a table top screenprinting machine. So personal.

For example, here is Lisa showing sharing the process of the two prints that she created for the swap. Great stuff! And here is a link to the Flickr group of swap participants. More great stuff!

Anyway, not everyone has a Gocco in order to participate in such an exchange ... and in all truth, they are becoming much harder to come by given that the company (in Japan) is apparently (word keeps changing) no longer making them. BUT one can find some incredible Gocco prints for sale on Etsy. Here are a few great shops that I have found:

Remember, all these shops are selling handmade, local, environmentally friendly, low-cost, and lovely goodies for your Holiday gifting. So, feel good about that :)

I may offer some Gocco prints in my shop soon as well --- so please check there sometime soon as well. (Or offer me some suggestions on what gocco related goodies you'd like to see).

Do you own a Gocco? If so, please share your goodies or links in the comment section. Do you love Gocco? Well, share that as well! Confused about what a Gooco is? See here.



P.S. LAURIE - you won the Stephen King giveaway. Please contact me with your address asap. Thanks :)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Upcoming Craft Fairs.

Hi friends. Here is such a small sampling of the magnet sets I have been working on for my upcoming craft fairs. I am so happy with them ... especially the Cowboy sets made from this very sweet vintage cowboy book that I found at Goodwill. I sell each set for just $5 at local fairs. I nearly sold out of them at my last fair and am hoping to do the same this weekend.

If you are looking to catch me at a local craft fair, here is my schedule thus far:

Nov 8, 2008
Carmel : Golden Harvest Grange
9am - 2pm
928 Main Street, Carmel

Nov 22, 2008

Hampden: VFW Auxiliary Holiday Fair
8am - 2pm
Canoe Club Road, Hampden

Nov 29, 2008

Orland Fire House
8:30am - 2pm
91 School House Road, Orland

Dec 6, 2008
Bangor: John Bapst High School
(Not Yet Confirmed)

I am hoping to fit in a couple more shows before Christmas, so will update if I do. Thank you to those who have expressed interest in knowing where I will be these next couple months. I am so thankful that you appreciate my goodies.

For those who may wish to purchase some of my crafts ... but are not local to this area ... you can always check out my shop or make a special request.

Thank you all!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

As of today ...

As of today, I can now honestly tell my son that he can truly be whatever he wants to be in America.

And that feels good.



Tuesday, November 4, 2008

7 Things I Am Lovin' Right Now:

1. The right to VOTE!

2. These two prints by Berkley Illustration:

3. Craft Fairs. Selling crafts to those who are willing to pay for them because they fully appreciate the work and beauty of a lovingly handmade item ... well, that is just downright addictive. I am booked at various fairs from now till mid December.

4. Making magnets from vintage magazine ads. Also very addictive. (Terrible pics though - sorry).

5. Silly Songs With Larry. Seriously. Isaac and I cannot possibly get enough of this CD. This song is my absolute fave. This is Isaac's fave. (Cd available in our store - highly recommended). Daddy doesn't have a fave. He just thinks we're weird. Whatever.

6. Going through old Catholic school photos in order to post them on my Facebook page. Hilarious.

7. This post by Perla. (I love you with all my heart).

All good stuff. What are you loving today?



Monday, November 3, 2008

Halloween 2008. (Oh, and another giveaway!)

The Jack-O-Lantern:

The Costume:

The Trick-or-Treating:

The "After-Party":

Wondering about the "After-Party"? Well, my Dad won us a couple of tickets to Stephen King's annual Halloween Screening at the local cinema. Every year at Halloween, Stephen and his radio station put on a bit of a party at the Bangor Mall Cinemas. They give out bags of Stephen King treats ... some signed copies of his books (if you are lucky) ... and some signed memorabilia (if you are very lucky). We were not so lucky ... but we did get a couple of fun goody bags ... and we'd like to share them with some other Stephen King fans. So, if you would like to win the above pictured goodies, please leave a comment on this post.

Winner will receive the hardcover copy of Four Past Midnight, our ticket to the event, and 3 WKIT pins from Stephen King's local radio station.

The lucky winner will be randomly chosen at midnight on Sunday, Nov. 9th.

We hope you all had a happy and slightly spooky Halloween!



P.S. The movie that was shown at the Stephen King party was The Mist. Let me just say, I do not recommend this movie to Mommies. I cried at the end and left with a terrible feeling in my gut. Before I was a Mommy, I might have thought the movie was gripping and interesting. But as Isaac's Mommy, I found it heartbreaking. Just an FYI to my Mommy friends.