Friday, April 29, 2011

Giveaway Winner: Creativity Bootcamp

CBC: Spring Training
I'm somewhat embarrassed to admit, I've spent all of my free time today focussed on the Royal Wedding leaving no time left to write an actual blog post - but since I promised to announce the winner of the Creativity Bootcamp drawing....

The lucky winner is:
Carolyn Philips of Mess, Muddle and Fun

Congratulations Carolyn!!

Now back to my obsession of the day, I wish someone would make a video clip with highlights of the Royal Wedding set to Bruno Mars' - Marry You
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Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Seattle City View
The first photo is the view of Seattle from the area where I used to live - West Seattle.  The rest are from the famous (for a reason) Pike's Place Market.

Pike's Place Market - Main Sign
I didn't end up taking nearly as many photos as I thought I would.  I found once I got there I was in the mood to experience the city without a camera in my face.  Do you ever have days like that?

Pike Place Market Sign
It just felt that having the camera in my hand meant that I wasn't fully experiencing everything around me - and as much as I wanted the memories the photo would bring, I wanted to feel every bit of being back there more.

Pike's Place Flowers
I had a conversation with a friend last week about doing things solo - for the most part I love it.  I have no problem going to the movie, traveling or even going out to eat solo - but I haven't yet worked up the nerve to go to a concert on my own.  Which stopped me from going to one Saturday night just down the street from my hotel to listen to one of my favorites, Mindy Smith.  I wanted to go, but just couldn't work up the nerve.  What about you - would you be up for a solo concert?

Speaking of concerts - anyone out there, Utah based, and interested in a Ray LaMontagne concert in June?

Here's one of my favorites from Mindy Smith One Moment More
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Monday, April 25, 2011

Giveaway: Creativity Bootcamp

Taken several years ago at Hurricane Ridge, on the Washington Peninsula.
One of my favorite places on earth.

Thanks to the generosity of Maegan, I have a very special giveaway for you today - a slot in May's Creativity Bootcamp course.  So, if you haven't already signed up, here is your chance!

CBC: Spring Training

To win, leave a comment on this post before the end of day Wednesday.  I'll announce the lucky winner on Friday.

I spent the weekend in Seattle (my former, and much missed home.)  I went to some of my favorite spots (Lincoln Park, Alki Beach,  Discovery Park, Pike Place, the Waterfront, the Locks and Golden Gardens) and ate at some of my favorite restaurants (Etta's, Anthony's, Wild Ginger and West 5.)  I'm still in recovery mode after the rush of fitting everything in!

Saturday was glorious in Seattle and I wanted to be out on the water, so I hopped the ferry to Bremerton.  Two hours on the water to relax and marvel at the beauty all around - and as a bonus we had a clear view of the Olympic Range and Mount Rainer.  While I rode, I listened to Ingrid Michaelson (and Adele, Band of Horses and Ryan Bingham.)  Her Keep Breathing came on and I kept playing it over and over.  I think we've all had days where the most important thing we can do is keep breathing and moving forward, with faith that tomorrow will be better.

Don't forget to leave a comment so you'll be entered in the drawing for Creativity Bootcamp! Pin It

Friday, April 22, 2011

What an Honor

I've shared my experiences during last year's Creativity Bootcamp before - it was one of the best things I've ever done for my creative-self.  So you can imagine my excitement when I was asked to be a guest for this year's session.  Then last week, when I saw the post listing the guests, I got a little giddy, I can hardly believe I'm with such amazing and talented artists.  Reading the details of this year's session has convinced me it is going to be an amazing experience.

Are you planning to participate?  If you have no idea what I'm talking about - or haven't decided yet if you are in - head over to Maegan's site and check it out, I promise you won't regret it.

I'm honestly counting down the days - I know I'll push myself beyond what I think I'm capable of doing.

I'm in Seattle for the long weekend and am loving seeing my old home again.  I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

I fell a bit in love with eastmountainsouth when I unearthed one of their cds at my local library.  Have you heard of them before?
Eastmountainsouth - Still Running
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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Proof of Spring

I live on a mountain overlooking the Salt Lake Valley, more 5,000 feet above sea level.  In my mind, there are many advantages of living up here: the views are amazing, it is quiet and peaceful, we are above the pollution that often settles in over the valley and I have some amazing neighbors.  But like all things there are a couple of disadvantages: it takes about 20 minutes to get down to a store and winter seems to hang on up here just a little longer.

While we do still have patches of snow on the grass, it is rapidly melting and on Saturday I noticed the first signs of spring in my yard as green shoots are starting to make their way above ground (if you look closely in the photo you can see a patch of snow behind the green.)

We were out Saturday evening enjoying the warmer weather and dusting the scooters off after a long winter.  It felt so good to be out there without coats and boots!  My nephew seems to share my hatred for shoes because we were both outside barefoot.  He, however was the only one to run through the snow in his bare feet - I just stood there and watched him do it because I thought it would make a cute photo.

Is winter still holding on at your house or am I the last person to see spring?

There are times when I feel like I'm experiencing my own personal spring.  I can feel myself growing stronger and getting ready to break out of my winter hibernation - ready to move forward to a brighter, shinier me.  This song reminds me of those times.
David Nail - I'm About To Come Alive
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Monday, April 18, 2011

Happy Birthday T

My nephew turned 2 on Friday.  I'm not completely convinced he understands what a birthday is, despite the fact that his sister loves to play "birthday."  He does, however, understand it is fun to get presents and eat cake.  My sister planned a party at an indoor amusement park.  We were one of the first to arrive so the kids had their choice of rides with no lines and the adults had the task of keeping track of all the cousins and friends who came out to help celebrate.

It was pretty much the perfect way to spend a Saturday.  What did you do this weekend?  I hope it was equally perfect.

I've fallen in love with Peter Bradley Adams over the past few weeks, his voice is beautiful and his songs are amazing, the lyrics to this one are so perfect.
Peter Bradley Adams - Family Name (bonus: this single is a free download on amazon, just click the link.)
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Friday, April 15, 2011

Like a Kid

Photo from Apple's Website

I'm an Apple geek - I think they make amazing products and I want them all.  But I'm also a practical person, so I don't buy nearly as much or as often as I want to.  When the iPad was released I wanted one - badly.  But I forced myself to wait for the second version, knowing it is always slightly better, and waiting gave me time to save up some birthday, Christmas and credit card reward dollars.

On the day the iPad2 was released I hit 4 different stores trying to get one.  I ultimately failed because I wasn't willing to spend hours standing in line.  By the time I got around to putting my order in online there was a 4-6 week wait.  Two weeks after I placed the order I got a shipping notice from Apple, I got excited only to realize they were just shipping the case (way to play with my emotions Steve Jobs!)

I've been checking the order status twice times a week and each time I saw that it was shipping on April 21, so I prepared for a long wait.  Then on Tuesday I got a second shipping notice and started to get excited.  I watched the tracker daily to see where the iPad was.  I felt like a kid at Christmas as I watched it travel from Shenzhen China to Hong Kong to Anchorage Alaska to Memphis Tennessee and finally to Salt Lake City.

On arrival day, I worked from the kitchen table for part of the day since I can't hear the doorbell from my office and didn't want to risk missing the FedEx guy.  How geeky can a girl get?

I got exactly what I wanted a white, 32 Gig Wifi model and I'm in love with this little piece of technology.  It feels so nice in my hands and the screen is amazing. I'm just starting to research apps, do you have any favorites I need to give a try?  I'd love some advice from those of you who have iPads or iPhones.

Krystal from Village introduced me to this artist and song, isn't it amazing:
Benjamin Francis Leftwich - Atlas Hands

Here's a link to my Inspiration Studio post this week.  I shared an amazing playlist that celebrates the everyday gifts in our lives.
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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Giveaway Winner

The winner of the End of the Long Winter playlist is:

Vicky, send me an email with your address so I can get it in the mail to you.

I had so much fun last week putting the list together and then listening to it today, it is full of great songs that are new or new to me.  

Thanks to all of you for sharing some of your  favorites, I've been tracking them down and enjoying every one.  For all of those who didn't win, here's a link to a YouTube playlist of the songs I selected:
Did I pick some of your favorites?  Did I miss an awesome song?
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Monday, April 11, 2011

2011 Word: Present

Four months ago as I selected "present" as my word goal for 2011, at the time, my goals were:
  • to spend less time worried about where and when I was moving on to my next work assignment and to enjoy the time I had at home
  • to reduce the levels of procrastination in my life 
  • to enjoy the time I have with friends and family
  • to let go of the worries of work once in a while
After experiencing a month of sharing a home with my sister, BIL, niece and nephew I know my goal was an inspired one.  It sits in the back of my mind in the afternoon when I've finished work for the day and my niece and nephew want me to play hide and seek with them when, what I really want to do, is sit quietly and read for a while or catch up on blogging/email.  That little voice reminds me I want to be present this year and that I won't have them with me for long; the time I have with them now is a rare gift.

I'm so grateful for the inspiration back in January that keeps me focussed even on those days when keeping up with a 2 & 3 year old makes me feel old!

Did you pick a word for 2011?  Or maybe a goal for the year?  Looking back, how is it going?  Did you pick the right goal or is it time for a new one?

I've fallen in love with the way the day sounds at my house, full of childish voices and laughter. 
Greg Laswell - How The Day Sounds

Looking for some new music?  There is still time to enter to win some of my latest favorite songs.  Leave a comment here before the end of the day.
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Friday, April 8, 2011

Giveaway: End of the Long Winter


I've discovered some amazing music as I've searched for ways to brighten my dreary days this winter.  These songs have taken me away, kept me warm and helped me dream.  Now that Spring is starting to break through, I think it is time I share some of my favorites.

Here's how this little giveaway is going to work.  Comment and share at least one awesome song you've discovered in 2011 by the end of the day Monday, April 11 (the day I'll be doing my civic duty and serving on a jury.)  You can double your chances of winning by adding a second comment if you are a follower.  I'll use to pick a winner, which I will post on Wednesday.

I haven't narrowed down the mix completely yet, but I have a feeling it will start with this song:

Want more music?  Hop over to Inspiration Studio, where this week we are putting together a playlist that celebrates everyday gifts.
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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Dinosaur Head

I love my nephew's latest hairstyle - the faux-hawk, I think he looks adorable and oh, so handsome.  My favorite part about it may be the name my niece has given it - the dinosaur head.

After a month with the little ones in the house I'm completely in love with them and am in awe of the way their minds work.  I can't help but wonder, when do we lose that special view of the world that kids have - where we can see the animals in the clouds or a dinosaur head in a hair style.  Can you imagine how much easier our creative efforts would be if we could get back to that child-like view of the world where all things are possible?

One of my favorite songs as a kid was The Rainbow Connection when I heard the Sarah McLachlan version a couple of years ago I fell in love all-over again.
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Monday, April 4, 2011

Playing with Textures

It's been a while since I played with textures, so when I saw Kim Klassen's new Texture Tuesday challenge I knew it was time to experiment.  Her Friday Freebie, Warm Sun, was perfect to for some extra photos I had leftover from Kat Sloma's group of three challenge.  I had a great time experimenting and learned a few new things along the way.

Butterflies SOOC
Here is the SOOC photo.

Butterflies w/Kim Klassen's Warm Sun
Here is the edited photo - I added a soft light layer, adjusted the levels and applied the texture  3 times using different mixes and opacity levels.

Butterflies w/ Kim Klassen's Celebrate January and Chamomile
I had so much fun experimenting, I decided to see what I could do with different textures.  The above uses a mixture of Kim's Celebrate January and Chamomile.

Butterflies Jerry Jones' Grunge Scratched Textures
This one uses a couple of Jerry Jones' Grunge textures.

Kim's Warm Sun texture brought one of my favorite songs to mind - and it played over and over in my head while I worked.  Joseph Arthur's -  In The Sun (Album)
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