Saturday, September 6, 2014

Focus on Life • Week 36

Week 36!?? This year is flying by.  The Focus on Life theme this month is "Simplicity".  While I always yearn for the routine that comes with 'back-to-school', it seems to always come with some chaos in the first few weeks so I think this month's theme is perfect.  This week's topic is "A Door",

So here is the door to my house.  I love this door.  I didn't choose it, it was here when I got here, but I love it all the same.  I love the bright contrast to the house paint.  But more than anything I love the message that it tells me - YOU'RE HOME.

Click on the links below to see what other Focus-on-Lifers are posting this week:

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Finally Something Bead-y!

I haven't received my copy yet, but apparently my entry for Beadwork's The Challenge was published!! Woot woot!!  (Thank you Christine for the heads up!!)

After spending the last hour looking through my archived photos, I'm shocked to see I didn't take any pictures of the package of beads when they were delivered back in March.   But suffice it to say, I was delighted with the beads and the colors.  The package came from A Grain of Sand Beads and had some of my favorite shades of pink, a fantastic vintage looking cab, some matte pearls, and more!!  I also realized that I didn't take many photos of the finished product either.  Here are a couple:

In other beady news, I started playing around with some new patterns for the Bead-It-Forward project!  I may have, ahem, gotten carried away playing with different color palettes, but once I got started it was hard to stop.  These are done in a two-drop peyote stitch.  I can't wait to bead a few up and see how they look!   (It should be noted that I didn't even include ALL the patterns I made!!hahah!!) I hope they inspire some of you to give it a try!  I'm planning to do a video tutorial on this in the coming weeks. 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

GraphicStock - for work and for fun!

A review of GraphicStock:

So perhaps I've mentioned this before, but I am a social media manager for a restaurant group.  For many observances and holidays - I like to create special images/graphics that are customized for each restaurant.  When these moments present themselves - I go to GraphicStock! They have hundreds of thousands of images to choose from!

For Father's Day this year, I downloaded this vector of these ties:

Then I dressed them up for our restaurants:
The Bancroft has the "qbert' pattern in menus and on our website.

This cow is in the logo for the restaurant at Gibbet, and the beets silhouette are part of our farm logo!
I don't just use them for work - I also sit on a committee for our local Habitat for Humanity chapter They had an online auction this summer so I whipped up this flyer to promote the auction.  I knew what I had in mind so I used GraphicStock's rich search feature and pulled down a computer mouse and a monitor:

And created these little icons, inserting info on items that were available for bidding:

But wait - there's more!!  I don't just use GraphicStock for work and volunteerism....I use it for FUN too!!!  For work projects, I typically work in vector art and Adobe Illustrator, but for personal use, I typically just download pngs or jpgs and use PicMonkey to edit and play around with the images for my liking!

I used this image on a recent blog post:

I wanted to feature this Dr. Seuss quote, but felt it would be more fun and pack more punch if it was on an image.  So I downloaded this fun picture from GraphicStock and then used PicMonkey's editing features to enhance the color and add text(I used the "clone" feature on PicMonkey to remove the text)!

Back in May, I made my mom a graphic and posted it to her page on FB!

Using the "clone" feature I removed the text, and then I use the "Add Text" feature to write "Happy Mother's Day Mom"

So you see, GraphicStock is great for anyone who is interested in spicing up their world of images and graphics!!   The best part is you can try it yourself for FREE! That's right, GraphicStock offers a free 7 day trial if you want to try it out. Click HERE to learn more!

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary 6mo membership to GraphicStock so I could review their services.  I was not compensated to write this post, these opinions are my own. So far I have used the heck out of this service and I think it’s awesome and I’m sorry I didn’t get to this review sooner. 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Focus on Life • Week 34

Whoa!  It just hit me when I wrote the title that I can't believe we are 34 weeks into this year already!!

This week's focus is "About the ground."  Sally wrote: "This week draw your focus about the ground you may be surprised at what you find." 

Her words couldn't be more true!  We have this hydrangea plant that is not the most cared for plant in the world....this year only two blooms...and they are both pretty much on the ground.
So needless to say, my eyes tend to be drawn there.  Then one day recently I noticed something on the leaves near the blooms.  And to my surprise, met this darling little frog!
The first day I saw him, he was on a leaf just above one of the blooms.  Now I am totally obsessed with taking pictures of him.
My son named him George.  
And then, either there are a lot of gray tree frogs hanging around my deck, or this same little guy moved over to the basil plant which is on the deck!

I hope he stays forever!! Of course that wish is ridiculous given the weather in New England, but he's so darn cute I can't even stand it!!!!

Check out below what other folks are Focusing on this week!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Road to...... does that saying go?? The road to hell, is paved with good intentions!!??

I had some grand intentions of beading like crazy this week!  But things like the beach, the boardwalk, birdwatching, beach combing, dog walking, nature photography, family board games, grilling, geocaching and so on, just got in the way!

The extent of my beading so far this week happened on a beach combing expedition where I declared, "Jackson - that is an object with a hole in it.  It's a bead.  Save that."

It's really quite a lovely find!  Hard to see in this photograph, but it's got tons of gold flecks and is so pearly!!

It's good to be back here in south Jersey.  A couple years ago I lived here with my son for a few months while we transitioned from Maryland to Massachusetts.  The house we have (which isn't fancy - think camping with a somewhat working roof, and questionable running water) is in a complex, which on one side leads to the Delaware Bay and two other sides of the complex border wildlife preserves. It's a little piece of nature paradise, in my opinion!  And it's only a 10 minute drive to the beach!

So I had planned to work on a few beaded projects this week.  I got a shirt a few weeks ago and thought it would be great to finally create a lariat to go with it.

Brought all the supplies with me to keep plugging away at those beaded beads, but haven't even opened the bead bag I brought with me! And OH the care and time I took packing that thing to make sure I had everything I needed and then some! LOL!

Well anyway - here is a little pic sample of how I've been spending time here in NJ!

See you this Saturday for a Focus on Life post! 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Focus on Life | Week 33

This week's theme for Focus on Life is: LOOK UP! Change your photo taking perspective, look up!  Looking up is one of the simple exercises in focusing on your surroundings.  This day in age with all the wonderful modern technology we tend to miss things going on around us because we are simply not looking up.   This week take a glance up at the world around and see what you may have been missing.

The Super Moon earlier this week had me looking up like crazy!!  And trying to learn new things about how to use my dslr camera!! 

On this night I had wished I had a more natural setting to grab this photo of the moon, but when I got back to my desk an downloaded the photos I rather enjoyed the industrial look! 
Our family is on vacation this week!!!  We are visiting the Jersey shore in south New Jersey and we are so enjoying this time off together and all the area has to offer!  I plan to blog and bead as much as I can this week!!

Oh my!  I think my boy got taller than me when I wasn't looking!!!

See below what other folks are posting for this week's Focus on Life theme!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Focus on Life • Week 30

It's been a few weeks since I've participated in Focus On Life - and I'm glad to be back in the saddle!

Here is this week's prompt:
...let's slow down a moment and capture what  focus on life is all about; document a moment of life!  
The theme for July: Celebrate!
Week 30: Celebrate YOU by documenting a moment of life. 

 Whenever I need to find a moment in life, I simply start scrolling through my iPhone, where there will inevitably be moments I felt worth capturing!!  So many!!  Here are a couple stand-outs for this week's prompt.

A couple weeks ago, I spent the day at my son's boy scout camp as a chaperone.  I took the day off work, knowing I wouldn't have any cell access that day and frankly I was looking forward to the day of unplugging!  The previous year I heard about a five mile hike around Thorndike Pond, and thought that would be a perfect activity while the boys were in classes in the morning.  And while my hamstring tendons (especially my left one) are still paying for it, the hike was one of the most lovely, quiet, and beautiful two hours I've spent in ages!  Here was one of the many spectacular views I had throughout the walk!

Another little moment came when the most recent issue of Bead & Button came out, and a little blurb mentioned that I'm taking over the Bead-It-Forward project, complete with a pic of a pattern for next year's theme!

There are more patterns and information on the project if you click here!

Check out what other Focus-On-Lifers are blogging about here: