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Currently Browsing: Pretty Pictures

Paper Chandeliers

I was asked by the Reverend Sue Browning at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Easton, Maryland to spruce up the sanctuary with the idea of celebrating the new Fall season. After a quick perusal of Pinterest, I gathered some images together and made a design plan. Ish. I decided to create circle “chandeliers” which would hang underneath three of the existing candle chandeliers in the space. These were a few of the images I began to obsess over recreating to festoon my hanging circles.

map circle garland from Shalavee.com

Map circle garlands

tissue tassel garland on Shalavee.com

Tissue tassles

flower vertical garlands from Shalavee.com

Vertical Flowers Garlands

And this is what I ended up with.

My paper chandeliers on Shalavee.com

I used pieces of a grapevine wreath for the circle base and only spent a few dollars required to buy paint to spray them white.

The rest of the supplies like tissue paper, crêpe paper, maps from old road atlases, and the brown/kraft paper flowers, plus assorted scraps of paper (recognize Amazon wrapping paper?) were all in my possession. I just knew I’d need them someday.

My paper chandeliers on Shalavee.com

Yes, I have lots of old ribbons too. So I began to produce quantities of the garlands and the poms to use. If I never made another tissue paper pom, it would still never make up for the quantity of pom making I can’t erase from my memory for this project.

My paper chandeliers on Shalavee.com

My paper chandeliers on Shalavee.com

After mostly pre-assembling the paper chandeliers and wrapping them up in sheets to go, the installation consisted of a giant ladder called a ‘Little Giant’, and an assist from my gal Alyssa Bennett, and about three and a half hours on a Friday night.

My paper chandeliers on Shalavee.com

My paper chandeliers on Shalavee.com

They make me so very happy.

My paper chandeliers on Shalavee.com

And they made Rev Sue and a bunch of other folks happy too. Aesthetics win. Yay !!!

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Summerfestive

Every year, we are lucky enough to have the Summerfest family festival explode in our front yard. This year’s theme was Cruisin’ Back to the 50’s. Booth owners (non-prof) all try to outdo each other with their themed decorations.

 

My husband and I were asked by the lady running the show to help hang ten original concert posters in a storefront window. And he to stage manage Friday night at the main stage. We’d do anything for Sue.

There’s fire engine rides and bouncy rides and pony rides. Three different stages, a sand sculpture and play area, and plenty of food and political parties hawking their candidates. Plus cool old cars and fireworks to cap off the end of the festivities Saturday night. All of which I can hear and see from my house here on the Green.

 

The weather was so incredibly mild this year that the attendance was actually down. And on Sunday, Ms. Sue comes knocking on our door for a cup of Joe and retrieves my child. It’s his yearly job to destroy the sand sculpture before the backhoe gets there. And we got fresh free sand for the sandbox.

So on Sunday, Fiona and Eamon and I hung out on the now emptied Green and played with sidewalk chalk and climbed trees. It was a lovely weekend in the neighborhood. It was Summerfestive.

My First Ask : 50 Asks Project

I endeavored to make a list of life and blog goals this year, here and here. And consequently, I was kickin’ some creative butt in the early months of this year. There was the We Are The Contributors project and the painted Rocking Chair. I took a branding course and planned my attendance to the Blog U ’14 Conference. Plus all the lovely little Instagram challenges and relationship I was creating, I was happy and happening.

vintage cigar boxes and farmer's market flowers for My First Ask on Shalavee.com

But the one goal I wrote down privately that I’ve been very keenly aware I have not even begun to achieve is my desire to increase my blog readership by 100 people by July. Now I know that people read stuff online in a myriad of ways. And the subscription number is not an accurate reflection of how many people are actually reading. But fiddle faddle, a goal is a goal. And by golly, with the power of my 50 Asks project driving me, I am ready to ask for what I need.

My First Ask is of you dear readership,

Please help me reach my goal of 100 readers by July 1st.

Share me and encourage others to read my heartfelt well intentioned blog posts.

People can unsubsribe at any time. Just not until I’ve reached 100, OK?  I had never asked for anything here until last October when, while I was putting on a month’s straight of consecutive posts, I found out I was entered into the Circle of Mom’s top 25 Mommy bloggers that blog about family life contest. Craziness. And I asked and asked for support, unsure if anyone really cared at all about me. And I ended up in like 35th place. I was more thrilled people showed up for me daily. And at one point I said, it’s all good people, you can stop voting if you want because I am just glad to know I am loved by so many. That knowledge made the stress entirely worth it to me.

Charlie Fisher-Price floats in his boat from Shalavee.com

Now I would like to increase my numbers to create an online resume of a sort. That if I am perused by someone looking to offer me a job opportunity or a future book deal because it seems that a lot of people get what I’m about, well than good for me. And when I do decide to author a book, which seems like one of those inevitabilities, then my readership will already know it’s coming. Discounted advanced sales !!

Nostalgia and #RaggedyAnn from Shalavee.com

I have an immensely hard time asking for help. Asking you to like me and friend me and follow me is excruciating. So help me make it easier to do this and show me I’ve had nothing to worry about so I’ll wonder what took me so long. Enter your email address in the sign up box to the right to receive my tri-weekly (that’s Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of every week) posts of varying inspirational and entertainment values. And ask your friends to do the same. Pretty Please with sugar on top.

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Blog University Conference ’14

Back in January, a friend sent me a link to a blog university conference ’14 happening in Baltimore in June. There was really no way I could say no. It was in my hometown so I could drive there. And I have done a lot of talking about moving onwards, making the blog more of a career and professional endeavor and less of a personal whatever sort of blog. So this conference would be just the right choice to make towards that goal, right? Expectations will mess you up people.

Comfort Inn room for Blog U on Shalavee.com

I chose to sleep at a hotel instead of bunking in the dorms. I had expected to just enjoy the time away from my children and be alone. But the week of the conference consisted of the viewing and burial of my sweet father-in-law Terry Peach. And on Friday, I’m driving up to Baltimore with what ended up as a nasty head cold from my son. Needless to say, I was sick and not sleeping well either.

Alonso's in Baltimore on Blog U on Shalavee.com

I changed into my first dress and met a group of conference goers at Alonso’s/Loco Hombre’s on Cold Spring Lane. Ironically, I worked there in my 20’s. Looks different except maybe the package goods area in the front where we used to get our underage alcohol eons ago. Chatted with two other late coming gals for a while there and then off to what I used to know as a college but now has become the Notre Dame of Maryland University.

Notre Dame of Maryland University from Blog U on Shalavee.com

Notre Dame of Maryland University from Blog U on Shalavee.com

This all women institution is slam next to Loyola , what is probably a University by now too, on a really really beautiful patch of land. The concept of the event and the women who made the enormous effort to pull it off were just as lovely. Blog U ’14 was founded to support other women bloggers in finding their tribe and their community. And to help us garner knowledge about making our blogs better businesses, educating us on writing for money, or being better social media users. They stressed that there should be no knowledge that people hold onto and don’t share. The world of the internet is far too large and the concept is slightly silly.

Notre Dame of Maryland University from Blog U on Shalavee.com

I came to the conference telling myself the following things. I needed to move on. Don’t stay at job too long and when you’re overdue for a bail out, it’s sad for everyone. Being a stay at home baby’s Mama offers up all sorts of reasons to not risk change and just implode. The longer you’re out of circulation, the more you feel like maybe you can’t anymore. Great reasons for change. Need to progress and not regress my career.

On the "porch" of the sign-in building at the Maryland University of Notre Dame on Blog U from Shalavee.com

But there I was at the sign-in knowing no one and feeling so much like a fish out of her ocean. I couldn’t find my name tag at first. I would eventually end up leaving it at the hotel room for the conference day. Symbolic much?

While excited women chattered to each other, I grabbed a Berger cookie and killed time taking pictures.

Respite at the Notre Dame of Maryland University from Blog U on Shalavee.com

I was lucky enough to sit on a picnic table directly under a robin’s nest full of baby birdies whose mama was feeding them. I called home as this woman was doing. Her little one had been to camp and they were doing face-time together. So cute.

Instagram from the "porch" of the sign-in building at the Maryland University of Notre Dame on Blog U from Shalavee.com

So there I was, all dolled up in my very bestest clothing and shoes and my new card carrier to show everyone I meant business. Except I was ill prepared. (And apparently ill.) For many reasons, some being the funeral and some being silly me, I hadn’t really made any real people connections beforehand. And I felt wholly disconnected when I stepped into the registration building and then the gymnasium for the opening ceremony. Lucky me, I then got picked to read one of my blog posts out loud. And they posted me doing it on Twitter.

Me reading a piece to Blog U gymnasium via Twitter on Shalavee.com

I had total readers remorse that night. I’d picked the wrong reading. Mine was way too long and I was so nervous, I lost my mojo. I read Bras or Bust but I really should have read Gathering My Lessons : Lesson #153. What was done was done. The best part of the evening was getting acquainted with two women who sat down next to me. Emily and Lillian were so supportive and approachable and they would end up being my takeaway prize-winning tribal moment. Days later, Emily still insisted I read well, bless her heart.

Thanks for sticking with me. I’ll finish up my long-winded tale on Friday and do a brain purge on Monday.

Instagram happy

As I’ve written before, I love me some Instagram. What began as a just a “you look at my cool pictures and I look at your cool pictures” has become much more. It’s about storytelling for me. But it’s also about knowing other people’s stories. And it’s also about improving my ability to capture and spice up and frame an image for the storytelling.

I like the engagement more than I do the numbers. Whereas many people hashtag (make it searchable by others with a key word) the heck out of their pictures to garner more likes, I would rather have people come and like it enough to tell me they do. To engage me.

I truly like being involved in others’ challenges/projects and people’s interactions and interpretations of the picture prompts. And I was part of an ongoing pictorial collage project recently for Nothing’s Ordinary. When I saw their fabric prompt, I went back and  hashtagged my image of a fabric stack from a previously taken challenge photo and they chose it to use in this collage. I had maybe entered their challenge twice. So I was tickled to have it chosen. My picture is on the top right.

Here’s some other pictures that I have posted within the past month.

self portrait with rose from Shalavee.com

thetide is rising inside the tv and vcr repair shop from Shalavee.com

 

dairy farm from Shalavee.com

what am I doing now, watching her sleep from Shalavee.com

country road from Shalavee.com

Discovering other people’s beautiful visions while poking at my fiddle phone just seems like a simple honest pleasure. When I only have a half hour of coffee time to do what I want in the AM.

If you have an interest to keep an eye on what I’m up to, follow me on Instagram, twitter, or Facebook from these links or via the icons in the sidebar. And engage me. We’ll talk.

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