Monday, May 31, 2010

Some bad things to say at work and in general:

There are some words and phrases people frequently utter, without realizing they’re making themselves sound noncommittal, undependable or untrustworthy. It's a really good idea to limit use of these words and find alternatives. Forbes wrote a more in depth article about the relevance of this pertaining to work, however I believe their points are well taken for all situations.

  1. “Try” – Even if you don’t mean it, when you say you’ll try to do something, others will think you’re just paying lip service and have no intention of getting it done.
  2. “I’ll get back to you” – People often use this phrase to buy some time, and never actually get back to the person they say it to. To avoid giving that impression, specify the day and time when you’ll touch base.
  3. “We’ll see” – This is most often used as a way to avoid confrontation or having to say “no.” Instead, just be honest.
  4. “I guess … ” – It’s a common phrase people often tack on to the beginning of their thoughts. But it can also give off the impression you aren’t really sure of what you’re talking about.
  5. “If” – People use this as a way to shift blame — for example, by saying something like, “If Bob finishes his part, then I can do my part.” It’s better to avoid the “if” and assume a successful outcome.
I believe all of these statements are vague and don't do the communicator justice.  

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Another Crafting Bargain Site or Two!

I have found a couple more crafting bargains!  And yes, I will share them with you!
(Link here removed - no longer applicable - updated 4/5/11)
And all the clearance fabric at is reasonable!
(Link updated 4/5/11)(and again 2/7/15)

Remember that if you want to see all of the fun daily deals that I have found:
Just click on daily deals in the topic cloud on the left side, down just a bit and it will bring up all the entries that I have made on that topic!

Monday, May 24, 2010

An Ancient Plum Tree (correction)

A plum tree has been discovered! I've lived here eight years and did not know this tree existed. This year, I've walked my ten acres more than I have in the entire eight years that I have lived here. My honey discovered this one though!
The span of the branches is massive. The entire thing was covered in blooms. It was absolutely gorgeous. The trunk is weathered and many, many roots are showing. I don't know much about these trees, but I can tell that it is quite old.
It really is beautiful and I was able to capture a number of adorable photographs of the spring blooms. In autumn, it will be exciting to see all the plums and determine what to do with them.
**Correction** August 2010 - Ok, so I was told it was a plum tree and it is not - it is a crab apple tree!  Bummer for me (jam and jelly considerations) but still adorable and interestingly old!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

I absolutely LOVE coffee....

This is the logo that I use for all my ebay auctions!  I love coffee!  Flavored coffee, iced coffee, coffee with cream, frapps, whatever....  I often drink coffee all day long.  My favorite smell is coffee beans.  I wish it wasn't so much work to roast my own, I would do it.

I do consider a great cup of coffee as my one real vise, and that's okay, I deserve it!  What do you deserve?  Make sure you treat yourself from time to time, you are worth it!

I plan on passing along some great coffee recipes, so stay tuned for that.

However, before you go to Caribou Coffee next, you may want to check this out:
Is it something or is it nothing?  What do you think?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Activities at the Bird Feeder

It was surprising to have five of these birds at the feeder at one time!  Yes, I know, you can only see four of them in this photo.  They are so pretty.  They didn't stay long though, I was lucky to capture them.

My son made the barn feeder when he was young; I'm thinking that he was only 5 or so and he made the whole kit and painted it himself!

This adventurous creature has broken the feeder house three times now!  I just don't understand how he gets up there and my man is quite upset with Mr. Squirrel.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Thrift Find - Wire Manequin

She is so pretty!  I was able to find this gem for only 12 dollars!  I'm not quite sure what to do with her though...
I thought of draping her with scarves and other accessories that are currently hidden away in the closet, but I really don't want to cover up all her beautiful details.  So, I am thinking that she will go into my studio and be used as storage for beads and ribbons and other items girly things.  What would you use her for?  Do you have any inexpensive ideas for a pole and base?  Click on the comments below and let me know what you think!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Photography captures a moment in time...

            On a crisp autumn morning the first virgin snow fell gently.  I hastily grabbed my camera and dashed wildly out the door.  I longed to capture the precious time sensitive moment.  One single precious moment in time can be captured to last forever with photography.        

In a single photograph, I transported the feelings of the delicate morning.  All was soft, quiet, and crisp.  White, pure, new snow intermingled with still green leaves define the backdrop true to the day it was captured.  These colors of bright white and patches of dark green are blurred; you could easily not know what they are.  In the forefront of the background, just peaking down from the top edge of the photo, are two more defined, yet still blurred shadowy green leaves. The stillness is strikingly present.

            From the bottom of the photograph two brown and green stems protrude two-thirds of the way towards the top.  These stems are solid, stoic, and seemingly ever present against the white backdrop.  Jabbing, daunting thorns adorn the stems and seclude themselves within the drapes of leaves, waiting to pounce upon the unexpecting admirer.  Dark green, glossy smooth, wide leaves envelope areas of the stems with dramatic importance.  These leaves stand at attention, full of life and not yet ready to release the summer.  Yet, snow drapes and clumps upon a central tangle of leaves. 

Significantly more prestigious, atop the stems are the truly divine buds of glorious roses.  The right bud is solidly closed, keeping comfort from the snow, and thus, keeping the stamen, stigma, and style secure within the confines of the petals.  The left bud is ever so gently open towards heaven with only the slightest of distance between the petals.  The powdery, white, and crisp snow takes haven atop those mighty petals as if a great weight upon the delicate, buttery soft petals.  The petals of these roses are blushed with deep red on the exteriors fading to a soft peachy glow on the interiors of the petals; the contrast is stunning.  The edges of the petals curl only slightly inward, as if in silent, unhurried, calm preparation for winter.  Tiny, chilly ice crystals sparkle, and adorn the buds like extravagant diamonds.  These buds sit perched upon the crown of five pointy, barely green sepals. 

            A snug grouping of three additional stems hug together as if to cling to the warmth of autumn and fight the contemplation of the oncoming blustery winter.  They protrude into the photo from the bottom and angle slightly to the left.  Holding loosely to these stems, dipping slightly and extending out of sight to the left are groups of leaves.  Leaves of tender medium green are dusted slightly with powdery snowflakes.  These mighty stems extend only to a third of the photo.  These strict, dark brown stems, lacking any of the green of the others, have a characteristic that I did not notice when I meticulously closed the shutter for the photo.  Concentrating so intently on the new snow laden atop the bud, I had not noticed the hacked off stems.  Recently cut stems bore fresh open wounds of tender flesh.  A triad of stems had lost their heavenly buds to a thief of the morning.  

            My coveted tool, my camera, is securely wrapped within the cushioned black bag and perched upon the seat next to me; I make my way to the warmth of my home smug with the knowledge that I have captured the transitioning seasons.  I have seized this special moment in exactly the way my mind had imagined.  As the photograph intermingles bright fresh snowflakes with the still alive summer flower buds, green leaves, and autumn hued sepals, it encompasses the sensation produced by a moment that converts the season. The evidence of one moment is portrayed for eternity.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

FREE Licensed Software Programs!!!

What could be better than free?
Trust me, this is not a fluke or a virus-filled site!  I've used it a few times and it's fabulous.
Each day, they offer a different program for free!  The goal is to get the word out about the program. 
Giveawayoftheday has a link that says "Proceed to download page" right below the description of the day's product.  Once you click on that, you get all the REAL information.  Then you can decide if it's for you!  Listed are really, really helpful reviews, key features, system requirements, etc.  It will also tell you the regular retail price and the file size.
One thing that I would caution, however, that I was not originally aware... The terms of use in the read me files require that it is downloaded, installed and registered before the deal expires!
Personally, I have downloaded a really fabulous photography add-on and an organizing program.  I don't like to download too many things that are going to bog-down my computer, so I am picky.  I can truly say that these are fabulous!! And... How can they not be worth the price?  Can you say... ZERO!!!
What a great way to go shopping without spending money...  Enjoy this link!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Definition of Mania - My blog name

I have a confession. When I named this blog, I didn’t really realize what the definition of mania was. It fits though; let me explain.

I thought that mania would be all-encompassing, like lots and lots of topics. This is still true. Because I love so very much about this world and all the things it encompasses, I want to discuss everything and anything!

[mey-nee-uh, meyn-yuh]

1. excessive excitement or enthusiasm; craze: ex. The country has a mania for soccer.
2. Psychiatry . manic disorder.
1. an ancient Roman goddess of the dead.

a combining form of mania (megalomania); extended to mean “enthusiasm, often of an extreme and transient nature,” for that specified by the initial element (bibliomania).

I am a bit crazy, so it fits! I get overly excited about many things. I get really excited and passionate about things that I really enjoy doing, like art! I get excessively enthusiastic about my career and devoting huge blocks of time to accomplishing those goals! I also give raving crazed outbursts of opinion to everyone around me! You haven’t seen this on this blog yet, but my family and friends know that I am quite opinionated and vocal! I want to share these things with you. I have been told that this is not a good idea. For the sake of my career and such… “they” feel that I should not use this blog as a soapbox. I have written blog entries and not posted them. I want to share my feelings. This is the fight that I am waging with myself. I thought that I would let you know that I think about you, my reader, and I think that I want to share. So… I will probably be writing… writing about my local school system, current congressional issues, touchy parenting issues, and things that may be considered to controversial for some of the people that care about me. I hope that you will look at these things that I share with you as a woman gone a little mad for the few minutes while I am typing and then assume that I really am normal once I vent. Whatever normal is… if there is such a thing. Maybe I should look that word up too! Stay tuned!

Oh, and the goddess part of the defination... oh yes, that's me!!  But not of the dead...  Goddess of the very excited living!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

~Decorated & Altered~ Memo Boards - Tutorial

These magnetic dry-erase memo boards are fun and easy to make!  I made all four of these in one afternoon!
Secret: Read all the way through to discover my mistake!
Here's how I made these, however feel free to use your own ideas and whatever you have on hand.  I started with 12x12 memo boards that were on sale at my local craft store.  The frames were an unusual reddish wood-tone that I didn't like.  I didn't want a stark white with the white memo board either though.  So, I taped off the inside with paper and spray painted them all a nice cream color.  Since most of my office accessories are cream and black with dashes of red, I thought this would be a perfect start.  Can you guess which one I am keeping for me?

While the paint was drying, I made the magnets. I used buttons or brads for the centers. some were layered with a couple of prima flowers. Make sure to do the brads before you glue them onto the magnets. I then glued the flowers to the magnets. I used heavy-duty magnets ( 3/4" diameter) because I wanted to make sure they were good and strong! I had a bit of a problem with the bigger brads; the magnets wanted the brads to go to the side, so I just had to hold them for a bit longer than I would have liked until they started to dry.  I used 527 multi-use glue for the magnets because I was told that worked well.  And it did.

I actually would suggest letting the magnets and the paint sit overnight, but I was anxious to continue on...

I used rub-ons in the upper left corner of each.  A different one, depending on who it was for!  I also added some little accessories here and there, like the corner embellishments and the epoxy flower stickers.  The rub-ons actually work really well with the board.  If you are like me, sometimes rub-ons don't agree with me and they did this time!

On the bottom right-hand corner I added a few more things.  I took two ribbons and made a bow out of the two of them together.  This looked especially nice with one of the ribbons being organza. I glue-dotted some more flowers with buttons and brads. I stamped some swirly rubber stamp designs and added a tag or another embellishment.... and wahla!!  Instant (or not so instant) gifts!!

Oh, yes, my mistake.  I did promise to reveal that secret, didn't I?
Well, you are going to want to pay attention when you begin.  I just worked away at these without realizing there is an up side and a down side!!  On the back, there are hanging brackets in a certain way.  Needless to say, mine are on the side or bottom ........Urggghhh

I hope you enjoy this tutorial, please leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Imaginisce To Love and Cherish Giveaway!

Samantha at "Me and the Little Rascals" Blog is giving away the entire To Love and Cherish Collection!  So visit her blog here to win!  Entries close the end of May, in addition she is giving away an item from the collection each Saturday!  I absolutely love black and white designs and these are some of the best I've seen!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Winner Announced!

The winner of my first blog giveaway is Bonnie in SC!! Congratulations! I sent you an email and as soon as I get your mailing address, your scrapbook package will be on it's way to you!