Friday, December 31, 2010

My 2011 New Year's Toast

To Nearest
To Far
To Greatest
To the Crew
To Cahoots
To the Ones Who've Been There
To the Ones Who'll Be There
To Dropping Everything
To Saying Anything
To No Judgements
To No Doubts
To Loyalty
To Trust
To Favors
To Lifelong
To Been Too Long
To Nothing Changed
To Having History
To Having Your Back
To Never Too Far
To Growing Up
To Settling Down
To Making Celebrations
To Friends
To Your Family - near and far
(borrowed from the Grey Goose holiday toast -- I loved the toast (modified) not so much the Grey Goose)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

December's Book Reports

Worth Dying For by Lee Child
Another Jack Reacher story.  He's a drifter - no car - no suitcase - no i-Phone - just an ATM card with a big bank account. Jack is heading to Virginia and gets way laid in Nebraska. And if you know Jack you know he just can't walk away when people need him to make the wrong(s) right. I love these fast paced stories about Jack and his adventures.

Bad Blood by John Sandford
Virgil Flowers is the hero here.  Completely readable prose with a great plot/mystery and never is what it seems.  Virgil teams up with the Chief of Police, Lee Coakly investigating a double murder in SW Minnesota.  Or does it stop at two? Great story development and characters you love to hate.

The Taking of Libbie, S.D. by David Housewright
Rushmore McKenzie is kidnapped and transported to Libbie, S.D. - the town's angry for being duped and robbed of it's coffers.  Only they got the wrong Rushmore McKenzie. The impostor stole Rushmore's identity and will have to pay for taking our boy's name.  The Rushmore McKenzie series is always a good St. Paul, Mn read.

Saving CeCe Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman
A southern charmer that recounts 12 year old CeCe's recovery from a childhood with her crazy mother and absent father.  She's rescued by her great aunt Tootie when her mother dies and moves from Ohio to the deep south.  A moving story that will make you smile reading this bittersweet story.

Christmas Mourning by Margaret Maron
Another District Judge Deborah Knott book happening during the holidays. A story filled with her large bag of relatives filling out the mystery with mysteries of their own. The holiday spirit is mixed with mystery and mayhem as only Ms. Maron can do.

Coming Back by Marcia Muller
Sharon's still trying to get back to the life she had before her injury (last book: Locked In). She jumps in when a fellow physical therapy patient goes missing and pulls Sharon's P.I. team into the mix of murder, missing people and mystery.

Vermilion Drift by William Kent Krueger
Cork O'Connor is all alone in the empty house - the kids are gone for the summer and he's still getting over his wife's death. A mystery is just what he needs and lands in an old and new mystery that only he can solve. Another great Cork O'Connor story.

Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher
The only book I read every holiday and love every time I snuggle up with this great story.  A Scotland setting, family and new friends create a bond during the winter Christmas season.  A wonderful, full feeling, reminiscent, heart-felt story.  My very favorite story of all time.  If you've never read this book --- please do, you won't be disappointed.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Friday, December 17, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

It's the 12 Days Before Christmas

Head over to Bee Keeper's blog site and start the beginning of 12 days of holiday goodies!  There will be great gift ideas, a few stories, things to make & wrap, last minute presents, holiday decorating, festive wear and yummy holiday recipes. I was asked to participate and will start everyone off with
12 Days Before Christmas
with a Partridge in a Gift Tree
(a fun idea that brings back lots of great family Christmas memories)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

I'm a cleaning machine!

The holidays must be coming --- I've been a cleaning fool! The house needed a complete, thorough, down on my hands and knees, cleaning.  I love having a clean house for the holidays and we've got a couple of early arrivals soon to be upon us.  I've spent all week getting the cob webs out (living in the woods the house is a haven for cob webs - pesky cobs!), scrubbing floors, washing down walls, pulling books out of the bookcases,  polishing and putting books back. Pulling books out of the bookcases and donating them to the library. I've dusted, polished, arranged, moved, vacuumed again and again. I've cleaned beds, changed sheets - hated said sheets and bought new ones for our guest room. Made a few trips to donate to Goodwill, taken a stack of boxes to the recycling center. I've washed windows (although not all of them), cleaned light fixtures and painted a few areas that needed touch ups. Made repairs along the way, called in a plumber to fix a couple of leaky faucets, called in the furnace company to clean the furnace. Cleaned out fireplaces (plural), blew the wrap-around deck & driveway of all debris.  Next week I can tackle the bathrooms and do a last minute vacuum (again). Then I'll sit back and enjoy my clean house and get ready to decorate it for the holidays. Now that makes me happy.  What holiday preparations make you happy?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

November's Book Reports

Painted Ladies by Robert B. Parker
Spenser is hired as a body guard for a ransom exchange - cash for a stolen painting. Only the historian is killed during the exchange when a bomb was hidden in the package. He was under Spenser's watch and sets Spenser in motion to find the perps.  One of the best Spenser stories and sadly the last. (Mr. Parker died in January.) With 37 previous Spenser books, it's time to reread this greatly missed author again.

The Weed That Stings the Hangman's Bag by Alan Bradly
Flavia's 2nd outing into mystery, mayhem and murder. A traveling puppet show's van brakes down in Bishop's Lacy and the stage is set. An utterly beguiling mystery starring one of the most remarkable sleuths, a genius in solving not only one but two mysteries. This beloved 11 year old tugs at your heartstrings, keeps you laughing and waiting for book 3, A Red Herring Without Mustard coming the summer of 2011.  I can't wait!

The Reversal by Michael Connelly
LAPD detective Harry Bosch teams up with Mickey Haller in Connelly's latest. The murder is 24 years old and with new technology, the perp gets a new trial.  Mickey steps across the aisle and works for the prosecution on a one time deal.  He calls on Harry to investigate and asks his ex-wife to be his 2nd chair.  The book explodes from the first page to the very end.  Connolly's two best characters are great together. An up all night, can't put it down book.

Vanishing Point by Marcia Muller
Sharon McCones Detective Service is hired to find a missing person who disappeared 20 years ago.  The daughters want closure after their father passed away and hire Sharon to find out what happened to their mother. Another good McCone story.

The Every-Running Man by Marcia Muller
Sharon's husband, Hy's security company offices are being bombed all over the United States. Hy hires Sharon to find and stop the killings. McCone is alone in the field and sky while her detective company runs along without her. Or does it?

Burn Out by Marcia Muller
Sharon's taking a little R-N-R at her husband's ranch from the excitement of the agency and rethinking if she really wants to continue detecting, being shot at and sees fewer and fewer days with new hubby.  A local murder and disappearance has her back in the thick of things once more.

Locked In by Marcia Muller
The team pulls together to find the shooter who put a bullet in Sharon's head leaving her "locked in", paralyzed with only eye blinks to communicate.  All's well that ends well.  Another good McCone mystery.

Rolling Thunder by Chris Grabenstein
The 6th book in the John Cupak/Danny Boyle series. The New Jersey seaside town, Sea Haven, has it's best detectives on the case when murder happens during the opening of the huge pier roller coaster.  Nothing is what it seems and John and Danny are on the case. A great banter-funny dialogue series that's a light read and fun to read.

Sworn to Silence by Linda Castillo
In the sleepy rural town, Painters Mill, Ohio the Amish and English residents have lived side by side for two centuries. But, 16 years ago a series of brutal murders shatter the peaceful farming community. Kate Burkholder was there (being Amish) and currently the chief of police (not Amish anymore).  It looks like the Slaughterhouse killer is back to work. This 1st in a new series is very, very good. Great cast of characters, good writing and moves swiftly throughout. **Warning: the description of the crime scene and murdered victims is very gruesome (way more than I wanted to read). However, this book is very good -- very good.

Pray for Silence by Linda Castillo
Kate relives some of her own childhood nightmares when she and her team need to stop another killer in Painters Mill, Ohio.  An Amish family is totally wiped out in one evening and the killer needs to be stopped. Now.  Ms. Castillo paints a great story - wonderful developments - writing characters you want to get to know better and believable story lines.  This 2nd in the series is as good if not better than the 1st.  A fantastic writer.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Don't let a little snow stop you .....

It's started and ready for your shopping pleasure.  There are more artist booths this year and we're back in the same building as last year - Yipee!!  When you enter the front entrance - turn right, around the circle of booths to your right - and I'm located on the left end row.  Come see my new products.  Have Fun!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Welcome to Sam'Studio

Journals - note cards - mini photo albums - gift enclosures - and more!
Holiday Festival of the Arts
Allied Arts' 31st Annual Juried Show and Sale
3548 Meridian Street (just south of Bellis Fair Mall)
Bellingham, Washington
November 19th thru December 24th
Open Wednesday thru Sunday 10am to 6pm

Monday, November 15, 2010

Insane....but good!

I found this recipe at Meridian Road blog site and wanted to pass it on.
What's not to love: apples, snicker bars and caramels.....YUM!
(This recipe was adapted from Emeril Lagasse's recipe)

6 medium tart apples
3/4 C coarsely chopped snickers bar
12 caramels
1 C apple cider
1-1/2 T sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
After washing the apples, carefully cut 1/2" off the tops. Use a melon baller to scoop out the core, seeds and stem. Make sure you leave the bottom intact.

Stand the apples up in a baking dish.  Make sure the cut side is up. Put some chopped up snickers bar in each apple. Pack it in tight.

Then put a caramel in each apple, followed by more snickers, another caramel and more snickers.
Once your apples are stuffed, put dots of butter on top of each.  Mix the cider and sugar and pour on top of the apples.
Bake for 30-40 minutes.  You can serve these with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream or just plain cream on them. You could also use different kinds of candy, like Heath bars or Babe Ruth bars.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Shades of grey.....

Sorry, I can't blog right now, I'm creating another masterpiece.
(inspired by the banter on

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I know it's only November 9th....

and yes, that is an elf on the blog in November.  I think that since I work in Sam'sStudio all year long creating products, stock, gifts and focused on the Allied Arts Artist Festival starting in November, I think Christmas all year long (or the looming date on the horizon).  Once I get all that is needed to fill my booth (done and done) - I start on family and friend gifts.  I make a lot of the gifts I give or at least get creative in the packaging.

Our family decided a few years ago to try and make it easy on the gift givers by each of us stating a "theme" and a $25 ceiling for gift giving.  Some themes are simple: Paris - Birds - Kitchen. Some themes are a bit harder to fill: In Your Own Hand - Self Portrait - Peace.  Once we get all the themes it's time to get creative in interrupting the theme to fit the person and think of the perfect gift.  It's been fun, surfing the Internet shops (our little town is limited in the shopping arena), making gifts and then seeing how everyone else interrupted the theme.

This year? It's all about being in the craft room (i.e., Sam'Studio) taking each name on my list and getting creative with the themes. I love crafting and finding new ideas to make and give, getting my hands in the glue pot, and trying to create a surprise. 

With that said, I'd love to be posting some really cute, simple crafty ideas to fill those stockings, packaging ideas, etc. I've found and have been making this year.  However, "the family" are the ones visiting my blog the most and then it wouldn't be a surprise on Christmas morn, if they've already seen what I came up with this year - something new - something fun. 

So even if I'm not posting some creative ideas -- just know I'm in the Studio, creating some Christmas fun. And if you visit Sam'Studio at the Allied Arts Festival this year, you won't be disappointed -- I've got some new items and reworked some of the old ideas with a brand new booth display that is just FUN!  When you come in the front door - head right and you'll find me. Hope to see you there!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

It's that time of year, again -- or is it?
Fall back - gain a hour - deja vu - what will you do with that extra hour?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Apple Toffee French Toast with Apple Sauce -- Can you say "YUM!"

French Toast:
  • 8 cups French bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 3 tart apples, peeled, chopped
  • 1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
  • ¾ cup  brown sugar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup Apple Juice
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla, divided
  • ½ cup English toffee bits
  • 5 eggs

Apple Syrup:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 TBSP cornstarch
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 2 cups* Tree Top Apple Juice
  • 2 TBSP lemon juice
  • 5 TBSP butter
* For thicker syrup, try reducing Apple Juice to 1 cup.

Created by Nadine M. of Mt. Healthy, OH - Tree Tops winner in the sweet category


Place half the bread cubes in a greased 13 x 9 inch baking pan; top with apples. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugars, Tree Top apple juice and 1 tsp vanilla until smooth; stir in toffee bits. Spread over apples. Top with remaining bread cubes.

In another large bowl, beat the eggs, milk and vanilla until well blended; pour over bread. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.
Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 40 to 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
While baking French toast prepare syrup.
Apple Syrup:
In a medium size saucepan whisk together sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, Tree Top apple juice and lemon juice; heat to a boil; whisk constantly. Boil for 1 minute. Add butter. Serve over warm Apple Toffee French toast to 8 VERY lucky people.

Serving Suggestions:

Spoon warm syrup over French toast. For real decadence, dollop a spoonful of whipped cream on top.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

(I don't like scary things -- cause, they scare me)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

October's Book Reports

Since I was listening to more music than reading books this month, my list is small for the month.

Dead Wrong by Mariah Stewart
The 1st in the Dead Series. The serial killer is working his way down the M. Douglas' in the phone book, killing as he goes and still not getting the victim he wants. Mara Douglas is next on the list and with the help of FBI agent, Aidan, she won't be the next to be killed.
Good read - Good plot - Good story.

Red Herring by Archer Mayor
One of my favorite authors is back with another Joe Gunther story and finally getting back to the stories we had come to love. Catching a series of murders that are all staged to look like accidental deaths, Joe and his team have their work cut out for them. The surprise ending has me wanting the next book in the series now.

Dead Certain by Mariah Stewart
The 2nd in the Dead Series, continues where the 1st book left off.  We meet Amanda Crosby, an antiques dealer whose partner, neighbors and friends are dropping like flies. Once Amanda is cleared of the dastardly dead, the local detective sticks to her like glue to protect and serve. A bit of a slow read, not as well put together as book one but, I'll continue to read the rest of the series.

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
by Alan Bradly
With a recommendation from my daughter-in-law, I dove into this book never to surface until it was done. You'll fall in love with 11 year old Flavia de Luce living in England in the 1950's from page 1. Nancy Drew in Britain reading for all ages -- except with better writing, better plot and laugh-out-loud adventures that will have you turning the pages quickly.  The first in Bradly's series and I'm off to read number 2.  Very well written, great plot and wonderful sleuth.

Dead Heat by Richard Castle
Nikki Heat and the NYPD cast is up to their necks with a murdered columnist in the big apple.  Taken from Castle's experiences shadowing the real Kate Becket (really?) the story moves along with mayhem and adventures thrown in as only Castle can do. Castle's 2nd Nikki Heat book and if you want more of Castle and Becket watch them every Monday night in the TV series: Castle.  (I love this)

Monday, October 25, 2010

An Experience.......

Mumford and Sons were great but on the other hand, I guess you get what you pay for. For $20 it was a mediocre venue, a hour and a half of starting group(s) and a hour and 15 minutes of Marcus, Winston, Ben and Ted that came on at 11:00 p.m.  From where we were standing, we could see the band, feel the acoustics just not hear the singing (it blended with the acoustics).  But, hearing The Cave live and seeing this cute English group was worth the wait and the price. 

Unfortunately, my trip was cut short when I was hit with a bad head cold and was thankfully driven home (a long, stormy, just made the ferry trip) by my wonderful, understanding, step-up-and-take-charge daughter. I'm still under the weather (and it's a storming outside right now, too) but getting better.  Thank you, again, darling daughter - Santa will hear of your rescue mission.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Here We Go Again

brought to you by Pixie Lott
I'll be the last one on the dance floo-o-o-r
Off to Portland and some rocking good music in concert by
Mumford and Sons
Let's dance!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Let's Dance!

October 18, 1977
10:29 am
8 pounds 15-1/2 ounces -- 21" 
born someplace in northern Ohio

Monday, October 11, 2010

Sunday, October 10, 2010

I've mentioned before (and more than once, I'm sure) that I'll be selling my journals at the Bellingham Allied Arts Holiday Festival again this year, from November 20th to December 24th. And for the last 4-5 months I've been trying to come up with a different look for my booth than last year's display. The hook was to have a hanging shelf above the product boxes to display a row of my journals --- but how to do it was beyond me and my budget. I searched the web for inspiration, ideas and a DIY project. I picked the minds of family members to help with a solution. And, yet, nothing seemed to work - or work that I could do, afford and then be able to carry & set up myself.

Until I visited our local restore once more (you know the kind of place: dusty, used, recyclable products with overall wearing contractors walking around who seem to know what they're looking at and what they can do with it). I found a large, used bulletin board covered in ripped wallpaper. It was light weight - has stable backing - the right size (and would just fit in my tiny car trunk (I measured twice) - and only $12. SOLD!

The wallpaper removal only took an hour before heading to the lumber store for the rest of the pieces to put this standing backboard together with an attached shelf. Then it's paint, some fabric to cover and wal-la I'll have my new booth ready for the show. You can see the before pictures above -- the after pictures will be forth coming.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

3 days of greatness.....

Bluegrass music, folk music, rock music, marching band (but, not your mother's marching band) music, foot stomping, arms pumping, body rocking music that went on for 3 days in Golden Gate Park's 10th annual music festival. An absolutely amazing weekend filled to the brim with 6 stages of morning to night sounds that we danced to, sang along with and totally blasted our way into with the other 360,000 music lovers in the Park. Fantasticly Good Time!!!

Friday, October 1, 2010

September's Book Reports
A Bad Day For Sorry by Sophie Littlefield
I got to page 95 and shut the book. The story was all over the place with lots of references to past acts (but never told). Suppose to be a funny mystery - not so much.

Burn by Nevada Barr
I could not get into this book, either. Maybe, If I'd finished it it might have made some sense -- but, I would have had to muddle through it. 2 stories in alternating chapters, great emotional writing (maybe the author had to get that out there) but not my typical great read from Ms. Barr. Sorry.....

Cut, Paste, Kill by Marshall Karp
I have been waiting for this one to hit the stands for over a year - when Mr. Karp told me he was in the process of writing Lomax & Bigg's latest adventure dealing with scrapbooking. I begged my favorite author to put me in his book (I mean, geez, mystery-mayhem-scrapbooking). But it didn't happen (but, got a promise of it yet to come). Although, the victim's name is Eleanor Bellingham-Crump (curious and curiouser - Bellingham being my hometown). Anyway, Mrs. Bellingham-Crump is murdered and the perp left behind a scrapbook with evidence that Mrs. Bellingham-Crump's demise was not random --- or was it? Another great, banter filled read with Marshall at his best. Borrow-Check it out of the Library-Buy it- You won't be disappointed.

As Husbands Go by Susan Isaacs
Not nearly as good as Susan's previous books with about 250 pages of emotional baggage and 100 pages of mystery solving - or was it only 50 pages.

Dead Irish by John Lescroart
I was searching for a new series and picked up the 1st of the Dismiss Hardy series. I'll read another, but sure hope the writing and story improves with age.

Mercy Street by Mariah Stewart
First of the 3 book Mercy Street Foundation series (a foundation set up to pick up where the police and PI leave off and bring closure to open cases). Very well written by an author who knows how to put it all together. Great twists, turns and the start of a good series.

Cry Mercy by Mariah Stewart
Donor siblings gets a look at from the Mercy Street Foundation. Since I'd never heard of such a thing before, this was very interesting and a great premise for a mystery to evolve. Another good read with a little mystery & a little romance.

Acts of Mercy by Mariah Stewart
Another very good read in this 3rd installment of the Mercy Street Foundation and maybe the last. The FBI gets involved with a serial killer on the lose that seems to have ties to the MSF's latest hire.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Got Me A Ticket on an Airplane!

Heading to San Francisco and Golden Gate Park's Bluegrass Festival, October 1st, 2nd & 3rd. I can't wait for the music to begin! Some of the headliners are Joan Baez, Earl Scruggs, Elvis Costello and more and the best part (besides being with family for 4 days) it's all FREE.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

(Mt. Baker with the only clouds to be seen for miles)
(Gulls, Herons and Canadian Geese galore)
After a few weeks of record breaking rain (it's fall after all) yesterday we had a perfect fall day to enjoy. 71 degrees, sunshine, blue skies and a day to celebrate. If you know the farthest northern corner of the NW USA, you know about Semi-ah-moo, if not -- it's a wonderful resort-spa-w/golf course near by, sitting on a long spit in Puget Sound. You can see the US/Canadian Peace Arch just across the water, with a water tumbled rocky beach, surrounded by majestic mountains with the Canadian islands dotting the western horizon -- the perfect NW experience.
And we took it all in.

It was a perfect 39th anniversary!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

39 years ago ........

The year was 1971..........
Yearly Inflation Rate USA 4.3%
Average Cost of new house: $25,250.00
Average Income per year: $9,028.00
Average Monthly Rent: $150.00
Cost of a gallon of Gas: 36 cents
cost of a gallon of milk: $1.18
United States postage Stamp: 8 cents
Movie Ticket: $1.50
New VW Beetle cost $1,909.95

Richard Nixon - President
Spiro T. Agnew - Vice President

*The Voting Age in the United States is lowered to 18 yrs old when the
26th Amendment to the US constitution is ratified.
*Women are granted the right to vote in Switzerland
*Harris public opinion poll claims that 60% of Americans are against the war in Vietnam
*National Public Radio (NPR) broadcasts for the first time in April 1971
*The New York Times begins to publish sections of the Pentagon Papers
showing the US Government had been lying to the American People.

The oscars went to The French Connection for best movie, Gene Hackman in The French Connection, Jane Fonda in Klute, Ben Johnson supporting role in The Last Picture Show, Cloris Leachman supporting role in The Last Picture Show.

Top 11 Songs (had to do 11 to get one of our favorites on the list):
1. Joy to the World, Three Dog Night
2. Maggie May/Find a Reason to Believe, Rod Stewart
3. It's Too Late/I Feel the Earth Move, Carole King
4. One Bad Apple, Osmonds
5. How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?, Bee Gees
6. Indian Reservation, Raiders
7. Go Away Little Girl, Donny Osmond
8. Take Me Home, Country Roads, John Denver
9. Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me), Temptations
10. Knock Three Times, Dawn
11. Me and Bobby McGee, Janis Joplin

and we were married --- Happy Anniversary Honey!

Friday, September 24, 2010

It's hot cider time ......

The leaves are turning color, the nights are longer, there's a chill in the air and we're surrounded with autumn smells along with our northwest rain. There is firewood stacked in the fireplace, the afghans are out along with sweaters, socks and a pile of books ready to read. It's fall and it's time to sip some hot cider and enjoy the waffling of apple fragrances throughout the house.

2 quarts apple cider or juice
3-4 cinnamon sticks - broken into 2" pieces
*if not on hand, 2 t (more or less to taste)
of ground cinnamon is OK
1/4 Cup brown sugar
a dash of nutmeg
a dash of allspice (only if you have some on hand)
a tab of butter
a small piece of orange peel added, if on hand
Heat and serve

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I love wearing red shoes and stripe socks!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Some individuals seem to have an inexplicable abundance of good fortune. They are successful in matters of love, in their careers, in their finances, and in leading happy and meaningful lives. Yet these people don't seem to work particularly hard, nor do they posses extraordinary intelligence or other gifts. Of course there are also the natural opposites of the superfortunate; people who repeatedly fail despite their efforts and talents.
As is true with so many human problems, people tend to deal with this difficult-to-quantify inequality by giving it a name -- "luck" -- and then disclaiming any responsibility for how much of it they are apportioned. Luck is considered by many to be a force of nature, coming and going as inevitably as the tide. But Richard Wiseman, a professor at Britain's University of Hertfordshire, has conducted some experiments which indicate to him that we have a lot more influence on our own good fortune than we realize.
Professor Wiseman executed a ten-year study to determine the nature of luck, and published his findings in a book called The Luck Factor: The Scientific Study of the Lucky Mind.

He concludes that luck is an artifact of psychology, where a person is lucky not because of cosmic accidents, but because one achieves a particular mindset which precipitates and amplifies "lucky" events. While this observation may seem obvious, there are many interesting particulars in his findings.

During his long study on the nature of luck, he has found that "lucky" individuals usually posses many intersecting qualities, including extroverted personalities, a lack of anxiety, open-mindedness, and optimism. Each of these play an important role in one's luck production.
test, the good professor asked participants to count the number of photographs in a sample newspaper, and subjects who has described themselves as "lucky" were much more likely to notice a message on page two (within seconds), disguised as a half-page advertisement with large block letters: STOP COUNTING–THERE ARE 43 PHOTOGRAPHS IN THIS NEWSPAPER. The “unlucky” participants didn’t see the notice and kept counting.
Obviously some measure of luck is based on chance, but this experiment and many others have led Wiseman to conclude that a significant portion of one's good fortune is not random, but rather due to one's state of mind and behaviors.

Principle One: Maximise Chance Opportunities

Lucky people are skilled at creating, noticing and acting upon chance opportunities. They do this in various ways, including networking, adopting a relaxed attitude to life and by being open to new experiences.
Principle Two: Listening to Lucky Hunches

Lucky people make effective decisions by listening to their intuition and gut feelings. In addition, they take steps to actively boost their intuitive abilities by, for example, meditating and clearing their mind of other thoughts.
Principle Three: Expect Good Fortune

Lucky people are certain that the future is going to be full of good fortune. These expectations become self-fulfilling prophecies by helping lucky people persist in the face of failure, and shape their interactions with others in a positive way.
Principle Four: Turn Bad Luck to Good

Lucky people employ various psychological techniques to cope with, and often even thrive upon, the ill fortune that comes their way. For example, they spontaneously imagine how things could have been worse, do not dwell on the ill fortune, and take control of the situation.

Unsurprisingly, optimism plays a key role in luckiness, since it strongly affects luck production and luck perception. Wiseman's study shows that a lucky, optimistic person is far more satisfied with all areas of their lives than an unlucky, pessimistic person. An optimist feels lucky for spotting a silver lining, however gray the cloud… yet a pessimist will curse their luck even in the face of good fortune, because they can't see past the green grass on the other side of the fence.
Fortunately, one's mindset is entirely within one's control. An unlucky person who resolves to change their luck can become more social; they can make a conscious effort to be optimistic and make the best of any situation; and they can be more open to new ideas and experiences. In short, if you go looking for luck, you'll probably find it… or so says the professor.
With any luck, he's right.
article by Alan Bellows - How to Make Your Own Luck

Monday, September 13, 2010

TNT Gets It Right -- again!

News Flash!!!
Untitled Allan Loeb Project – Executive producer/writer Allan Loeb, whose recent screenplays include The Switch and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, has crafted this drama based on The Rabbit Factory by novelist Marshall Karp. Recently widowed police Detective Mike Lomax and his newly married partner, Terry Biggs, delve into a world of mystery, intrigue and occasional hijinks. Lomax, who continues to receive humorous and heartfelt weekly letters from his wife a year after her death, tries to navigate the singles world while also maintaining his pedigree as one of L.A.’s finest. This pilot comes to TNT from Lionsgate Television. It was was originally featured on TBS’ development slate announced at the Turner networks’ upfront presentation in May.

One of my very favorite authors, Marshall Karp, has kept this secret for a whole year while he continues to write the funny stuff that Lomax and Biggs speak on the pages of his books. And TNT continues to bring us the good stuff to watch, get hooked on and look forward to shows that are well written, original and with superb casts. It's a good match! I can not wait to see Lomax and Biggs on the little screen (and can't wait to see who (or is it whom) Hollywood will cast for these two funny, funny guys).

I just finished reading Mr. Karp's latest book: Cut, Paste, Kill with Lomax and Biggs hot on the trail of a murdering scrapbooker. My kinda read (I gotta love this guy): Murder-Funny-Scrapbooking-and the name of the Victim is Bellingham --- that's all I'm going to tell you --- you have to read it for yourself and enjoy this mix of perfection. (or wait for my September book reports.)

I discovered TNT's line of shows when I recently stumbled across Leverage and instantly became a fan (I've got the first 2 series DVD's to prove it) plus it's filmed in Portland, Oregon -- It's fantastic cast zips out one liners and banter while playing modern day Robin Hood's. Pure entertainment and fun!

TNT bringing us Lomax and Biggs on the little screen -- Perfect!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Thursday, September 2, 2010

This month's LO for Project12
Great month and fun to scrapbook and even more fun to be a part of the mix.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

It's been a glorious 2 weeks of Family Fun Time! We danced at a friend's wedding, we had early morning latte's on the bay, we went to the county fair, we played games and then more games, breakfast, lunch and dinner out on the town, we talked and laughed, we stayed up late and got up early, we completed the "honey do list", a didgeridoo was created, we camped and hiked, we explored, we had a glorious 2 weeks of Family Fun Time! and I can't wait to do it all over, again.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Taking a break from the usual routines and spending some quality time with the family. They're all in town and we're out playing, gaming, camping, dancing, eating, photographing and have a super, super time.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Good Luck

It's Friday the 13th --- Make it A Good Luck Day!

4 Simple Goals

My darling daughter's blog post, Bee Keeper Studio, this morning offered an idea and a challenge. Finish 2010 with 4 simple goals under your belt, a few wishes, a few dreams, a few things you've wanted to get done before the year's end. I'm always up for a challenge and then I thought about what my 4 simple goals have been for 2010.

One - New Camera
Earn the money to purchase a super, duper, big-girl camera and then learn how to use it. I earned enough for the camera with last year's journal sales - done. I took a 7 week class with Candice Stringham at Jessica called "Oh Shoot". I learned what all the buttons and knobs were and how to use them - done. I'm still on a learning curve with my new super, duper, big-girl camera, but I love it and having fun taking tons of practice photos.

Two - Journal Read Books
Grabbing an idea from my Darling-Daughter-In-Law, I've kept a monthly journal (using a cute one from Sam'sStudio) of all the books I read this year. I have wanted to do this for ages and just never got around to it. I read mystery novels and I've read hundreds - sometimes forgetting what I've read and if I liked it. I've been faithful this year and have recorded what I've been reading, it's been great to remember what books I've read, new authors I've found and what books will be read again cause they were so good.

Three - Trips
With two years of taking care of my Darling Husband and all his medical needs - I decided enough was enough, I wanted to get back to traveling this year. So, after our last bout of doctors and hospitals I told him "Stay well, we're hitting the road". I wanted to fill this summer with travel. So far: A fantastic flight to Portland and trip to Sun River in Oregon. A great camping trip to the North Cascades. A wonderful drive and ferry ride in the Olympic Peninsula to the Oregon Coast for a week of beach walks. My future travels? San Francisco in October for 3 days of bluegrass music in Golden Gate Park (ticket are in hand). 4 October days in Portland, Oregon for a concert by Mumford and Sons (really excited to see this group perform & spend more time with my daughter). And I have still have my November and December calendar yet to fill.

Four - Sam'Studio to continue
I entered and was accepted in this year's Bellingham Artist Festival. I did it last year and had a blast creating and selling. This 5 week festival of the arts is a challenge. I've had to create all the journals and extra booth items, design a new booth (still to come), and think out of the box to brand my product and continue the Sam'Studio project.

I never realized that I was setting up goals for myself all year long -- until this morning when I read my daughter's blog and just how much I've accomplished, plans I set in motion and goals that are happening. It's good to stop and pat yourself on the back - set goals that are doable and be able to look back and smile. Plus, this sounds like a scrapbook page just waiting to happen.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

July's Layout

I'm still doing the Project 12 scrapbooking challenge -- to do a layout a month about each month. Here's July's layout. Great month! We got out of the house and headed to the North Cascades for a few days of camping, celebrated DD's 26th and played on the beach on the Oregon Coast for a week of sun-n-games. AND looking forward to August!!!!!
(layout inspired by a scraplift from a member of Jessica's Sprague's site)