Archive for January, 2013

Just One More Chapter!

January 31, 2013

The more that you read
The more things you will know
The more that you learn
The more places you’ll go ~ Dr. Seuss

book2 003Here is one of our family’s favorite places to go… our local library.

I must be on the right track for LIFE’S simple pleasures, because yesterday in our local newspaper, one of the columnist (assistant news editor) wrote a whole piece about her being a fan of libraries.  I can’t say I like the title of her piece “Libraries come out of their shelves”… huh?

book2 001One of the first things our family did when we moved to a new town was wait for our first utility bill (who hoo) that showed our proof of residency, and then we ALL went to get our library cards.  We have been astounded meeting neighbors and friends who never graced their presence at their local library. There is so much yummy goodness at the library, and it’s all FREE!  Simple and FREE!

As you can easily tell, Week #5 ~ LIFE’S simple pleasures —> books, has been an easy topic for me to share.

There is so much to write about… book reviews, book clubs, book lists, book stores, e-books, fiction, non-fiction, self-help, mysteries, cook books, classics, fairy tales, beach reads, biographies…

Reading give us some place to go when we have to stay where we are ~ Mason Cooley

book 003I love the fact too, that I can clip my library card to my key chain… CLPL.  No more searching between the car seats to find where I dropped  my card when it fell off the pile of my new reads.

There was a small controversy about these key chain cards that I thought was quite amusing… it wasn’t directly related to a library card, but the fact that some people carry around so many store discount cards… big brother is certainly watching all our purchases made with these cards… everything can easily be checked… even which books you like.

Oh, by the way, I get the fact that some people love to buy books.  I am totally on board with that.  If you scroll down a few posts, you’ll see that I highlight two authors, who if friends and family didn’t purchase their books initially… they wouldn’t have an income.  Some people reserve their books on-line and pre-order.  Some people scour thrift shops and garage sales to stock their own personal libraries.  I, on the other hand, am a huge fan of borrowing books from my local library!

LIFE’S simple pleasures —-> books

All my profound quotes listed in my blog posts about books can be found by doing a search on Pinterest.

BOOKFESSION: <— love that word.  Bookworms will rule the WORLD as soon as we finish one more chapter!


Good Artists … Copy

January 31, 2013

Great artists… steal!

Today I’m happy to share another page from my art journal.  Although I ‘get’ shade and highlight… I don’t always get it in my mind’s eye.  But, I think I copy really well when I see it step by step.

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I used to draw more like this in college, and forgot what it was like to work on portraits.  An online class I’m taking is helping me to rediscover all kinds of art.  It’s part of LIFEbook 2013.

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Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things it will come and sit softly on your shoulder ~ Thoreau

A Gift you can open again, and again…

January 30, 2013

A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit ~ C.S. Lewis

game 006

I recently heard that actors, tv/sports personalities, authors and motivational speakers love the fact that they can connect with their fans through all the different methods of social media. (Twitter, Facebook, blogs etc…) I suppose it is true in their line of business, the more you give of yourself, the more they will buy!

I can tell you that Carol the sassy gal in the picture above has 5 grown children, she works out of Draper Utah, she loves competitive sports and she was raised in California… and there is more… but I have never met Carol in person…but I have followed her on her blog, appropriately called The Carol Blog. She is the author of this book and many other self-help books.

game 005

I don’t suppose you can see the author’s name quite clearly on the book above, but it was written by Ben Behunin.  He has authored a trilogy of books about the Wise and joyful potter of Niederbipp.

Things aren’t always as they seem.

He himself is a potter, pretending to be a writer.  He printed 1500 of these books hoping that at his next Pottery Showing he would sell them all, but only sold I believe 55.  In the prelude of his 3rd book he states that  he was ‘diagnosed with arthritis in my hands.  That’s bad for anybody, but for me, a potter, it was humbling and often overwhelming.  In hindsight, my trial was a blessing. It encouraged the changes that have led me to this point in my life.” He and his family live in Salt Lake City Utah. He too has a blog and a Facebook page…


I’m so excited that I was able to incorporate LIFE’S simple pleasures in my creative journal this week.  Our task was to design a board game (hopefully not a bored game) and I thought it was pefect to title my masterpiece the Game of LIFE. Along the way on this little girl’s adventure I want to stop on …today is important… see the good stuff… life is a gift…breathe in the goodness… play, dream… giggle!

So what?  you say in the scheme of LIFE’S library filled with 10s of thousands of great books. Insert here —-> dagnabbit…. I wrote something really prolific and my blog went into routine maintenance and I LOST it…. now I have to recapture my writing prose!  Why did I choose these two books?  Because my friend BE ♥ actually knows these two intriguing authors… she believed in what they do and figured out that she has friends who can benefit from their good works.  She sent me their gifts.

I have learned life is never as you expect it will be, but if we will listen, it can be infinitely better. – Ben Behunin

LIFE’S simple pleasures —-> books

A book is a gift you can open again & again ~ Garrison Kellor

Read This….post

January 29, 2013

BOOKFESSION: There is nothing better than the feeling of opening the first pages of a much-anticipated book.

muse 003

And I get an even better feeling, if that is possible being a crafter, because I have actually ‘created’ books.  I laugh now, because it’s a part of who I am, but one of my art classes in college included book binding.  It’s like the jokes about basket weaving… if you are part of the liberal arts (The liberal arts (Latin: artes liberales) are those subjects or skills that in classical antiquity were considered essential for a free person ) community you learn a whole bunch of ‘stuff’ from developing photos to print making, from sketching live forms to etching in stone and all of the other classic forms of creating art.

A book is a set of written, printed, illustrated or blank sheets made of ink, paper, parchment usually fastened together to hinge at one side.  I make mini scrap books, sketch books, and journals and mostly decorate existing note books to make them into something else… a re-purpose of sorts.

There are many ways to make books.

I make mini scrap books out of every day ordinary envelopes, folders, cereal boxes, fabric material and of course card stock.   I’ve stitched bindings with waxy floss and I’ve glued them together.  There are holes to punch individually by hand and insert binding ring clips and a little fun Bind It All machines that punches 8 perfect holes and you just insert a spiral ring binder to finish the job. You can tie up the edge with leather straps, ribbon or fiber and even heavy card stock.  Check out some of the fun edges in the picture below.

books 004

Come visit me again, and see what else I discover about Week #5 ~ LIFE’S simple pleasuresbooks.

Good Books don’t give up all their secrets at once ~ Stephen King


That’s My Story

January 28, 2013

…and I’m sticking to it!books 006

Week #5 ~ LIFE’S simple pleasures…. books.

Thank you to my friends who responded to my request and sent me a list of some of your LIFE’S simple pleasures… many of them listed reading a good book on a lazy day.

A good book can be read anywhere, in front of a fire (see Week#4), on a beach, in a doctor’s waiting room…Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them ~ Lemony Snicket

When I explore a LIFE’S simple pleasures, be assured that I am putting my creative ♥heart and soul into my post!books 005

I will incorporate my own photos (how fun it is to have a camera by my side at all times…. forget the phone part!)  Hoping to work on not only photo composition, but also the tools/apps  from instagram/photoshop to become a better photo journalist :0)

The pictures in today’s post are just a few samples of the different ‘libraries’ througout our home… I think you are able to click the picture to enlarge them… see if you can find a theme or pattern, or which family member the bookshelf belongs to!

Maybe with my research, you will find a fun factoid or bit of trivia that you will be able to amaze your friends with during a lull in the conversation!

books 007

And then at some point during the week-long exploration, I will put a twist on the simple pleasure, and make it into some sort of  creative greeting *  (* just a reminder, ***shameless plug**** I am a paper crafter whose mantra is to Brighten Someone’s Day…. I make greeting cards because I think it’s important to recognize extraORDINARY people and special events in our LIFE!)

BOOKFESSIONS: People who say they don’t have time to read simply don’t want to ~ Julie Rugg.

Read any good books lately?? ~ Peggy

Come on baby Light my Fire

January 25, 2013

Week #4  ~  LIFE’S simple pleasures, a Fire Place…. but I can be more specific (or even a little general) and then put a twist on it, to include a whimsical creative greeting and then go on a tangent to other relatable simple pleasures.

Fire pits on a camp ground, relaxing grill outs with company, gas stoves simmering soup, scented candles from Bath & Body Works, candle sticks at a romantic dinner, a torch keeping the home fires burning, birthday candles that can set the place on FIRE!!

fire 004

On my walk this morning, I got to enjoy a few of LIFE’S simple pleasures….the smell of wood burning in a fire-place… sweet smell of good wood (not the crap that some people feel they can pollute the air with when then are above the law and burn leaves and other crap… sorry, had to vent there) and on top of that I was walking in more than an inch of snow…. it has been over 335 days since our area has measurable snow (it must be global warming) and I was with my fur babies who are so curious every time we go for a walk….

You always have a bit of hope inside of you during a fire drill, that your school is actually on fire…. unknown

Now, go Brighten Someone’s Day… but don’t set them on fire!!!!

Rekindle in the Inner Spirit

January 22, 2013

We are into Week #4 of LIFE’S simple pleasures!  This week I thought I’d share my thoughts on a Fire Place.

fire 001

A few friends responding to my request sent me ideas for their simple pleasures and I saw a few that listed having their feet up, a roaring fire and a good book was something that they really enjoy.

On a day when the sun is shining brightly, but the thermometer reads -1 degree, the ambience created by a relaxing fire sounds perfect, don’t you think?

Every home that my husband and I have owned, has had a fire-place.  I must admit, it was never a selling point to us, but at least once a year we try to create that warm homey feel by stoking a beautiful fire and going ‘ooh and aahh’ to the crackling and popping feelgood-ness!shop 013

I thought I would be at a loss to find something to write about for this week’s LIFE’S simple pleasure … but checking around, FIRE does give us life!

We have fire to heat our homes and to cook our food.  There is evidence that prehistoric man-made fires for their homes on all five continents.  From that, however, fire can be toxic in an enclosed home, so there was a great need to invent the chimney!fire2 002

Stay tuned to see if I can put a twist on fire to be part of my creative greetings!!

**three different fireplaces I observed in as many days, can you tell which one is in my home? ***

In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out.  It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being.  We should be thankful for people who rekindle the inner spirit ~ Albert Schweitzer

A New Passion

January 20, 2013

For LIFE’S simple pleasures 2013, I have found  that I have a true ‘passion’ for many things.  And as I discover these things why not share what I learn?


Pinterest is a good source to discover… anything!!!

Although I am a fan of Starbucks (I only go there for a treat or when I have a gift card) I am in awe of their marketing and business strategy.  I am amazed how many people will pay $4 or more for a cup of specialty coffee/tea/lemonade.  Don’t get me wrong, I do buy Starbucks ground coffee and I enjoy it immensely when I make my own Iced Coffee… but for $8 a bag, I get at least 14 cups of java… thus in my mind saving myself almost $100 a month brewing my ‘own’! (Fuzzy math!)

Stay with me here, I love the variety of drinks they offer!  But when I discovered ordinary people played around with ‘copy cat’ recipes and duplicated the drinks, I was hooked… at less than half the price!


My ingredients for Passion Tea Lemonade:

Tazo Passion Tea, Crystal Light Lemonade, Water

A few months ago on Pinterest someone added fun pictures and the recipe for a new Starbucks drink Passion Tea Lemonade.    I played along and bought the ingredients on my next shopping trip.  I found the one thing that makes Starbucks drinks ‘oh so tasty’ is the amount of sugar they add to everything.  I cut back slightly and feel my ‘copy cat’ recipes for Iced Coffee and now, Passion Tea Lemonade match these specialty iced drinks.


I must admit however, what makes these drinks work for me, are the two official Starbucks insulated cups I have. That was a splurge 2 years ago at $14 dollars each… but at what cost to ‘trick’ the mind?

I boil 4 cups of water with only 3 tea bags (in other recipes I saw, they boiled the entire box… not the box literally, but all 20 tea bags!  I found this to be quite excessive.  And depending on how much tea flavor I want… anywhere between 3 and 6 bags works perfectly) In a 2 quart pitcher I dump 1 packet of Crystal Light Lemonade.  After I’ve steeped the tea, I squeeze the excess tea flavor out of the bags against my stirring spoon.  Poor the tea into the picture, add additional cold water to fill the picture to the top, and stir really well!

‘Their’ recipes were made with Simply Lemonade drink and simple syrup (sugar mixture). I thought it was too sweet for my taste.  And I like that Crystal Light ‘has fewer calories than the leading beverages’.

If I want to get the ‘foamy’ drink effect… I just get out my martini shaker, add ice, fill er up with the bright pink passion….. shake like crazy and then pour the drink into my Starbucks insulated cup!

Okay, so it’s like 12 degrees out and I’m sitting here with one of LIFE’S Simple Pleasures (beverages: Week#1) and drinking iced Passion Tea Lemonade… in my fuzzy socks… and I didn’t have to leave the house! Yay me!


Fuzzy + Socks

January 17, 2013

socks 002

A simple pleasure could warm your heart or warm your feet! (Sometimes we call Tucker FUZ-zy bear)

Week #3 into the new year – have you thought of any LIFE’S simple pleasures?  It could (no, it SHOULD) be things that don’t cost a lot, something that brings a smile to your face instantly, a happy memory that SHINES through or something you just happen to stumble upon.

A familiar smell when you walk into a room or a song on your iPod (I was going to say radio, but that is so old-fashioned, hee hee) could trigger a simple pleasure.  Passing a billboard on the road or channel surfing on your tv could make you think… hmmmm, I remember that I really like that!!!

My journey through 2013 is to look, I mean really look for LIFE’S simple pleasures.  They are all around you and me, they are not that hard to find.  Wont you join me?  Leave a comment if you have thought MORE about simple things that make you happy!  Or just come back and visit me again tomorrow or next week.  Tell your friends to stop in.  Just link them up to my blog!

Each new day is another chance to change your life.

Brighten Someone’s Day!! – Peggy

Monkeying Around

January 16, 2013


The state of Illinois has ties to the iconic sock monkey! Wow… well, I must admit that I only looked at one source, so my information could be wrong…. hmmmm… back in 1890 Mr. Nelson created the sock-knitting machine in Rockford, Illinois.  In 1932 someone decided to make a cute stuffed toy from old socks that had holes in them.  And then the toy was mass-produced.  The red heel of the sock was made into his funky monkey mouth and the toy became a whimsical folk art & kitsch created to comfort to children all over the world.

Kitsch is a German word meaning mass-produced art using cultural designs.  Sock monkeys are popular once again.  Sissy* (our daughter) has the cute pj’s above… footed pajamas with sock monkeys as slippers!


And look at this super cute paper (above), mass produced monkeys in a row! I used the whimsical patterned paper and made a fun 6″ x 9″ mini scrap-book with matching card.  There are tags and pull outs and lots of spots for journaling and pictures!!!!Per usual… my paper crafts are for sale… while supplies last…Mini scrap books start at $20 (add’l postage $)… if interested, contact me and I’d be happy to show you the different pages and pull-outs of this fun book. (  A unique and fun mini book for the sock monkey lover in your life!!!

Did you know that today is National Do Nothing day? (a bit of trivia to wow your friends)

LIFE’S simple pleasure –> week # 3—-> socks  —-> fuzzy socks —-> iconic sock monkeys!!! It’s all good!