Friday, January 30, 2009

Jumping on the Bed.

Perhaps this is the oldest and most loved children's "sport" of all time: jumping on the bed. Admittedly, I love it too ... still.

Every time that Isaac's "future wife" Sydney sleeps over ... they endlessly perform their gymnastics skills on my bed. This time, I broke out the camera and tried to get some fun shots of it all.

For the following pics, I used a slow shutter speed, a flash, 1600 ISO and a tripod (the tripod was an after thought, so some of the pics are blurred). The results have been called "scary looking" by Sydney's Mom ... but I don't feel the same way. I love the transparency of their moving bodies against a still background ...

Ok --- so it's not photographic genuis ... but it does look like lots of fun, doesn't it? (You can see that the last pic was desperately missing a tripod :) Good times.

May you & yours enjoy some simple pleasures this weekend ...


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

It is a Small World - After All.

It is a running joke within my marriage, that I am NOT a fan of the "It's A Small World" ride at Disney World. Boring, Cutesy, Freakish ... these are the words I use to describe it ... among others. But, it is a staple ride at the Magic Kingdom - one that everyone must endure, I mean enjoy as part of the park experience. So, I did my parental duty ... and took Isaac and his Meaghan on the ride in order that they get to experience this Disney rite of passage.

Truth be told, it was kind of nice. Anytime I see something from my past - through the fresh eyes of my young son - I always find a whole new appreciation for it. (If you are not familiar with the ride, you can check it out here). Meaghan, on the other hand, as a 12-year old, fully appreciated that the ride was as boring, cutesy and freakish as I described it. And Halis, well, he had a few good laughs at my annoyance with the endless rounds of the "It's a Small World" theme song being sung by every puppet and played by every speaker ... from every corner of the ride ... from the time you enter the line until you exit the whole ordeal. (Watch this just once and you'll feel my pain).

ANYWAY, the reason I even mention this ride has very little to do with the ride at all. Rather, the ride is a preamble to my intended topic ... a lovely e-mail I received from Belle. Yes, BELLE ... THE Belle of Disney fame ... and the young woman who made such an impression on my son during our Disney World vacation. It seems that she discovered the picture I posted on Flickr of her visit with Isaac ... and it led her to my blog post regarding the brief but magical moments that she and Isaac shared ... and that led her to e-mail us the sweetest message. I was beaming when I read it. How wonderful that we live in such a "small world" where we are able to use internet technologies in order to create and/or nurture both old friendships and new encounters.

Thank you "Belle" ... for your love and kindness toward my son, for the joy you bring to so many, and for the generosity you extended in your e-mail to us. I truly hope that we will be able to see you again soon. I will e-mail you when we are ready to visit again! (How many people can say that they have a direct connection to Belle?).

So - what the whole of this post is driving at --- is that it really is a "small world after all". And though I may not be a big fan of the ride, I am a huge fan of the sentiments expressed in the lyrics of the song: "There's so much that we share - that it's time we're aware, it's a small world after all."

Thanks for sharing with us "Belle" --- the impact that we all have on one another can be so great --- we humans are so interdependent and have such a capacity to bring such joy to one another. Isn't that wonderful?



Monday, January 26, 2009

Still Working On It: Photography School Scavenger Hunt.

Yes, it is taking me quite some time, but I am still working on my Photography School Scavenger Hunt (anyone else?). I could so totally be done by now if I weren't so picky about my photo submissions in this non-competitive photography exercise. (I mean, I still haven't submitted to the "Something Blue" category --- which seems like a no brainer!).

And now, since our Orlando vacation, I have hundreds of photos to sift through, touch-up and categorize, etc. So, hopefully there will be more submissions to come soon ... to both the PS Scavenger Hunt and my Flickr collection of Disney Pics.
One day at a time :)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Artsy "Rubbish".

Hi friends!

Just wanted to let you know about a GREAT blog that my work was just featured in ... It is "a recycled products catalog for the conscious consumer." And here is the link to my feature.

This woman is doing an amazing job of sharing some wonderful upcycled, repurposed items. Enjoy!


Friday, January 23, 2009

Silhouettes : Disney Part 5.

Silhouette crafting is everywhere. Apparently it is quite "in vogue" right now, and I must admit that I have caught the bug too. I bought this one for Dad for Christmas. And I am coveting all these ... as well as these. It is certainly a classic art form, but has gained a recent upsurge in popularity.

There are plenty of books written on the subject too. And I am likely going to purchase a few within the next year. I hope to inspire some of my own creativity by adding some silhouettes to my sewing / quilting. (You may remember when my girlfriend created this gorgeous silhouette of her daughter --- on a sweatshirt!).

Apparently, it is a tradition of sorts to have your silhouettes crafted on paper at the Magic Kingdom. Halis has several from his youth ... and I have seen many DisneyWorld framed silhouettes grace the walls of various homes throughout the years. So, during our recent Disney vacation, I was excited to have our family silhouette created by a Magic Kingdom cast member.

Here is Halis's pose for the artist ...

And here is the outcome ...

It took alot of candy to have Isaac sit still long enough.

I am really enjoying the beauty of this timeless portrait --- and am feeling as though I have just taken part in a classic American tradition that I somehow missed as a child. Looking at the new family portrait makes me smile ... and also makes me wonder if and when we will be adding more little babes to our family. I am hoping soon.

Enjoy the weekend!



P.S. Meaghan also had hers done as well. It is very sweet & I hope she will treasure it always :)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Meeting the Princesses : Part 4 of Disney World.

My sweet boy Isaac has always loved Princesses. This has caused some concern in my extended family --- but not with us. He is a tender boy who finds beauty, solace and wonder in fairies and princesses. And we are thankful for it. He is also a boy who loves smashing cars and fighting pirates. So, we are glad for his well-rounded sense of gender identity as well.

Tinkerbell has always been his favorite. He loves to dress up as her ... with wings and wand ... and fly around the house performing magic. Once, while fluttering about the living room, he asked me to call his Poppy to tell him that he (Isaac) was a beautiful Tinkerbell ... because, as he said, "Poppy will be so proud of me." Well - I made the phone call and Poppy tried to be proud.

So, when we reached the Magic Kingdom, we were hoping to get a glimpse of the "full-sized" Tinkerbell ... but the line was 45 minutes long ... and we had already had an opportunity to say a brief Hello to the pint-sized Tink at the Tinkerbell's Treasures shop (Isaac rang a bell and called out to her ... then she flew in and made an appearance that was most believable). However, the line to meet the Disney Princesses was just 15 minutes long, so we waited in it ... fully appreciating that Isaac was the only boy in either line.

Well - thank goodness we made the decision to meet these lovely ladies, because it turned out to be one of the highlights of our entire trip ...

Here he is showing Cinderella how he will protect her from all of the bad pirates in the kingdom (he had just met Hook & Smee)...

She was most delighted and said that the kingdom could always use another strong prince like him. So, he went on and on telling her about how strong he was and how he would keep the bad guys away from her because she was such a nice lady. (What a proud Mama I was --- thinking that one day he will grow up to want to protect his own lovely lady :)

Cinderella really enjoyed him and their embrace was so genuine and beautiful.

Then, Mr. Isaac (pumped from his date with Cinderella) went on to meet Belle ...

He also explained to her how he would protect her. He told her about some of the rides he went on ... complimented her on her pretty yellow dress ... and enjoyed a lengthy and substantive conversation with her. It was obvious that that they were both quite taken with one another (remember, he was pretty much the only boy they saw that day - as told to me by Cinderella).

Next, Isaac went on to meet Princess Aurora (Sleeping Beauty) and enjoyed a conversation with her regarding the beauty of her hair (initiated by Isaac)...

They talked of Prince Philip, her fairy godmothers and some other polite conversation (no discussion of rescuing her from pirates or bad guys). And again, it was a most delightful visit.

BUT then Isaac needed to say good-bye as it was time to leave the Princess room and head back outdoors to the Magic Kingdom. This was near torture for him. He - in his normal, everyday life - does not do well with goodbyes. He avoids them by just walking away, crying, or pouting. He has a hard time when his friends have to leave, etc. We know this must have so much to do with some deep-rooted abandonment issues related to adoption (issues that he doesn't even know or understand as he was just a day old when Marjorie brought him to the orphanage). So, when Mama was telling him that it was time to go ... he just fell apart sobbing ....

Until Belle came to the rescue ...

She was so lovely. She held him and told him that she loved him ... that she would always be here for him ... and how thankful she was that he came to visit, etc. She took time away from other guests (sorry other guests) to make sure that he felt better about leaving ... as it was only temporary and she would see him again. It was pure magic. Isaac felt so special. And he was able to leave in peace. Now Belle is his favorite princess in all the world. Of course. And mine too. Thank you Miss Belle - may your kindnesses be rewarded ten-fold.

These brief but meaningful meetings with the Disney Princesses are now forever in Isaac's heart. And as far as I am concerned - those visits are worth every dime I spent on this trip.

I hope you enjoy some magic and encouragement in your day too.



Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Meeting Mickey Mouse : Part 3 of Disney World.

Isaac barely knew who Mickey Mouse was before we planned our trip to Florida. But this Mama read him some of her old Mickey books ... and talked the mouse up quite a bit before flying into the Magic Kingdom ... so that Isaac was properly prepped to meet the world's most famous icon. But I could have never guessed at just how smitten he would become with Mr. Mouse ...

(above photo by me)

(above photo by Disney Photo Pass)

(above photo by me)

(above photo by Disney Photo Pass)

He was so smitten, in fact, that when we were about to leave ... after sharing some quality time with both Mickey and Minnie ... he lay down on the floor and balled his eyes out. Mickey then came over to give him some extra hugs to make him feel better. Sadly, this was a theme throughout our visits to various characters. He never wanted to leave them ... just as he never wants anyone who visits us to leave. It must be some deeply rooted adoption abandonment issue. Poor little man. But he gets over it quick enough ... and now has nothing but wonderful things to say about meeting Mickey.

He has been asking me every day since our trip - "Mama, when we are going to go back to stay at Mickey's house again? Tomorrow?". And I just keep saying ... "Soon, Babe, soon." ... then I ask Daddy for a date that I can begin planning our next trip ... and he keeps saying, "Give me at least one week to be home ... and then I might think about planning another trip." Daddy's can be so ridiculously practical!

Enjoy your day...


Monday, January 19, 2009

Entering the Kingdom : Disney World Part 2.

Our family entered the kingdom ... smiling from ear to ear ... with instructions from Mommy that we were about to embark on a magical adventure just beyond the gate.

You can imagine Meaghan & Isaac's surprise when they entered the Magic Kingdom to find this magnificent castle awaiting them ... with even more surprises to come ...

... the thrill of a brass band boisterously welcoming us ...

... the warmth and familiarity of a barbershop quartet on good ol' Main Street ...

... ahhhh .... and the endless colorful balloons ... that seem to be magic in and of themselves ...

and oh so much more ...

(to be continued tomorrow).


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Our Disney Vacation: Part 1 of Many.

We are home now .... but what an amazing time we had in DisneyWorld! Truly amazing. I have been to Disney many times, but there is nothing like enjoying the magic of Disney with children by your side. The smiles, the enthusiasm, the wonder ... it is so beautiful to be a part of. We are already planning our next trip ... seriously.

There is so much I want to say about this trip ... so many magical moments that are worth mentioning ... so many pictures worth sharing ... but first things first ...

The Airport Wait ...

(see the nervous anticipation in Meg's face?)

I do not fly well. Well, I guess that is not entirely true. I mean, once I have ingested both Klonopin & a near overdose of Dramamine, I am an excellent flyer ... but not very good company as I am mostly snoring. So, I was a bit worried about how Isaac & Meg would do ... and how Halis would be able to handle the needs of both. Well, nothing to fear. Isaac shouted "WooHooooooo" as the plane took off ... and thoroughly enjoyed the entire ride. (I think that watching Space Chimps prior to our flight helped immensely as it seems that Isaac believed that he was flying into outer space). Meg enjoyed it too, as our JetBlue flight had a television on the back of every seat ... complete with over 100 channels of satellite television. Pre-teen paradise (I caught her watching Rock of Love). And Halis read A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier ... in its entirety.

Then we arrived in Disney World ... and the story continues tomorrow ...


Saturday, January 10, 2009

For the Birds.

(Last post before we leave for DisneyWorld :)

We used to keep the after-Christmas tradition of burning our beloved Christmas tree ... outdoors ... on New Years Day. It was our way of setting fire to the "old", and welcoming in the "new". We always had quite the fire-pit in our backyard, and would gather around the burning tree for warmth as we took in the sights, sounds and smells of the new year.

But in our new home, we have yet to build a fire pit, so we had to come up with another idea. And frankly, I like this one a whole lot better, as it totally jives with my "giving" theme. It is not a new idea - to be sure - but it is new to us ...

... we found a way to give to the birds ... furthering the functionality of our well loved Christmas tree. We dipped pinecones (collected in the fall) into a pasty mix of flour, water and corn syrup. Then we rolled the dipped pinecones in some bird seed ... let them dry overnight ... then strung them on rope. Voila ... gorgeous birdseed garland!

We then took our tree outside ... wrapping the homemade garland all around it ... and placed it right in front of our kitchen window so we can admire the feathered friends who will eventually flock to it.

Good for the birds ... and fun for us. A new tradition is born.

So, what did you do with your tree? There are so many after-Christmas traditions out there ... and I would love to learn more of them.

Well - we are off to DisneyWorld, provided the Maine weather allows for it. There may be a snow storm during our scheduled flight, so please pray that we get there safely. Thanks!

We will be staying at the Port Orleans Riverside Resort inside the Magic Kingdom. What a great place for taking photographs! I look forward to showing you some :)

Enjoy your week!

Friday, January 9, 2009

When Mamma Plays Barbies ...

... Midge gets a little "saucy" ...

... the Kens get in touch with their feminine sides ...

... Midge trys out her stripper routine ...

... and Barbie drinks more than she can handle.

Barbie & Friends Gone Wild! Hey, if you are going to be pressured into playing Barbies for the umpteenth time ... ya may as well find a way to enjoy it :)

Enjoy the weekend ...



P.S. We leave for Disney World this Sunday --- so no posts for a week. See you the following Monday!

P.P.S. Mitzi pointed out that the following Barbie was not on my blog ... after she discovered it on Flickr. It is her fave, so I thought it was worthy of posting here too. I call it Barbie Fro & Bling:

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Imitating Snow.

One recent night, Halis and I were treated to some time alone. We chose to use that time to "play" with one another ... something I always beg for ... time alone to create, laugh, and share with one another ... like children do. So, I grabbed paper, scissors, and my favorite snowflake making book: Grandma's Magic Scissors. We sat at the kitchen table ... chatting and laughing ... creating snowflake after snowflake ... totally enjoying ourselves and eachother. These are my favorite times together ... when we play.

We did our best to imitate the beauty of natural snowflakes. Okay - not really. Well, maybe some of mine could pass for authentic, naturally made snowflake designs. But Halis - well, he made the frog snowflake shown above (if that were a real snowflake, I could freeze it and sell it on Ebay for thousands).

We even got so good at cutting Grandma's Magic designs that we ventured into cutting some of our own designs ... freehand...

Halis made this tree snowflake without a pattern. It is a favorite around here.

So - moral of this post: get out the scissors and papers, grab a loved one, and start cutting. Laughter, inspiration, awe, and loving compliments will follow. Good times on the cheap. And fabulously rewarding. Play is good.

Enjoy your day.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Post- Christmas Sale in My Shop

I have SO many goodies that I am working on for my shop ... loads of plans for upcycling all sorts of goodies for 2009. Many of these goodies I have already tried out on friends and family by gifting them and watching their reactions ... and I am very pleased with the results. I hope you will be too.

So, in order to get the new goodies posted, it is time to part with some of the Holiday stock in my shop by holding a SALE!

Please check out the sale items and let me know what I can do for you.

Also - I would LOVE to hear your thoughts for my shop ... advice, critiques, items you would like to see, etc. Please comment here. Thank you.

Thank you for all your interest and encouragements.


Sunday, January 4, 2009

Mom's Christmas Quilt: 2008.

Every year I make Mom a quilt for Christmas. This year's quilt was particularly special, as it was made from a scrap quilt that my beloved Mother-in-Law started ... yet never completed. I finished the quilt and gifted it to my Mom ... who was always a huge fan of my Mother-in-Law's gorgeous quilts.

I caught her napping under it recently, and snapped a photo that may get me into some trouble later. But I love to see a quilt being used ... and not just displayed.

Happy Monday to all ...