Saturday, April 30, 2011

PhotoWalk - Bird Watch

For once I remembered, that there's a camera in my phone - wonder when the eggs in that swan net hatch so we can see the newcomers? Another great sign of spring :o)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Nature Needs Us

Maybe in more ways than we realise.

Mother Nature is a powerful lady constantly reminding us, that we can not control her. She sets the agenda, when it comes to extreme weather like hurricanes/typhoons, monsoon rain, tornadoes etc. but also from the ground: vulcanos and earth quakes. In those occations we watch it like a dumb struck audience often contemplating: What could we have done to foresee this?

There is however something, that we could do for Mother Nature: We could take good care of her. More and more countries realise, that recycling/reuse is very important - we need only to step back in time to WWII, where a lot of countries were recycling aluminium (cans etc) as this mateiral was in extremely high demand..... Our buy-and-throw-away mentality has luckily been somewhat slowed down during the financial crisis - hopefully this will continue.

World Wildlife Fund was established this date (today) 50 years ago, to created awareness about the wildlife and endangered species. They have an important pledge to all of us - to help safe nature's resources. For instance, the event EarthHour last month is one of their initiatives. I am a partner of the local chapter - a partner is one that donates a small amount of money (about 17 $) every month to one of their projects, so this is a cause very close to my heart.

I am not asking you to sign up with WWF - however if you do, that would be awesome - but to consider if you have sorted your garbage, as a lot of things could be reused/recycled... and often more items that you realise.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Why Did I Do That?

Ever had this thought? That you might have thrown something out, that you years later regretted having done?

This is NOT a picture of my old typewriter

When I was 7 or 8 years old, I got an old manual typewriter from my dad (he had a light blue one himself) in a special case, you know the one where you had to press really hard on the letters. I used that for years until I got an electric typewriter..... had that one for about 4 years and then enters my first computer.

Now I regret having thrown out this old manual type writer - my parents have moved since I discarted it, which is why it is not to be found at some attic or storage room in the basement. I is not because I want to use an old fashioned type writer, but rather as an decorative object and memories of times that once were.

So why am I suddenly mumbling about an old typewriter?? Well I just learned the other day, that the last batch of manual typewriters (some 12.000 pieces) was manufactured in 2009 in India and they are now clearing the rest of the stock. Surprised that they have even made these until recently - and sad that this era is now over.

Hopefully someday I will be able to find me one like the old one on a flea market......

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Words of Inspiration

The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling but in rising every time we fall.
Nelson Mandela

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

One of My Favourite Things

We all have those favourite things, that we like to have at any occation.....sometimes we use any occation to have it.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough icecream from Ben&Jerrys - yummi :o) Just realised that it is the 20th aniversary for that icecream this year.

First time I tasted this icecream was during a vacation in Florida, where the hot weather just called for something cold.... when my aunt and uncle discovered how much I enjoyed this icecream, they bought the biggest one, that they could find in the local supermarket, so it was handy in the freezer (we had rented an appartment for the vacation) - they always have a piece of key lime pie as dessert on holidays, which I don't like so they were happy to find something for me to eat as dessert.. Well icecream in the freezer and CocaCola + GingerAle in the refrigerator - who could ask for more? :o) Well it was a combination of those 3 things + nice weather, long walks on the nearby beach, relaxing, reading good books on the porch and.....ahh those memories.

They do have the icecream locally, and I have just discovered the 150ml portions in the nearby supermarket :o) Have a couple of them in my freezer and everytime I get my MS treatment at the hospital (every 4-6 weeks) I spoil myself with one of those in the evening - well I did have the treatment and then going to work afterwards.....and that's about the only time when I spoil myself with this icecream - besides when on vacation in Florida.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Fair Pages

A sustainable alternative to the yellow pages - not a printed book with contact details - But an online directory of companies offering sustainable products that is friendly to the environment - Doesn't it sound great?

I just hope that the entries in this directory will increase rapily and that most of the products will be affordable thus creating an even larger attention to suistainable things.

The address - well you are just a click away.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

2nd Easter PhotoWalk

Weather continues to amaze us - only April and people are sunbathing in a nearby park. Me, I use the time to go for long walks accompanied by my camera :o) Nature has really timed it this time: explosion of red and yellow colours to help celebrate Easter.

Blooming cherry trees - hard to believe that I saw some in Asia just a week ago......... The litlle chick in the window is a Danish childrens' tv-star - behind those windows, there is a kindergarten, but with all the children being on Easter holiday it has found its place in the window to greet passers-by.

Just click on the photos if you want higher resolution.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

World Wide News Clippings

Happy Easter

Source: Holland Herald, April 2011

Did you take a good look at that picture? Are you sure? Did you see, what the hen is made of? Click on the picture, and get a closer look :o)

This is the art of Kyle Bean, that KLM's infligt magazine shared with us this month - you see why I love picking up magazines like that in the beginning of a flight.

Or just maybe I gave you an idea for an Easter Decoration :o)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Photo Walk

We had about 2 weeks of spring, then summer knocked at the door...... wait this is April so this is really early.... but not complaining as we have our EasterHoliday slowing down the whole country :o)

If you want to see any of the photo in high resolution - just click on the photo.

World Wide News Clippings

A reminder once again to remember picking up that inflight magazine in front of you when flying. I have already my absolute favorite among these magazines - Holland Herald from KLM.

Looking at a picture of a creation (the artichoke has a name: Abbi) like this, your smile and awe should definately come forward.... this is created by Carl Kleiner.

Source: Holland Herald, April 2011

Today is Earth Day, which is why I opted for the piece of art that in every sense is biodegradable :o) Well perhaps not the photo, but the motif....and the magazine that would be read by the next passenger....and the next one...and the next one......

Ohhh almost forgot - just click the picture, if you want to see a bigger version :o)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Walking Or Balancing On That Thin Red Line.....

....also known as a healthy sleeping pattern. Spooked since I got this post idea two days ago, and yesterday some of the fellow bloggers with MS also wrote about fatique. Me I need my full 8 hours otherwise my body goes gaga - can not risk that as it might trick a MS attack.

Too little sleep and I risk walking like a drunk even though I have only been drinking tea, water or coca cola - and especially if the day includes a lot of activity - that type of walking is actually something that a lot of MSers struggle with (some permanently, some when they are having an attack or maby like me: had too little sleep).

Too much sleep and my body becomes insanely heavy and I have a hard time to move my body - and those days are full of my every-5-minute-yawns.

Well it is the sort of roller coaster ride I do not want a ticket to - therefore I try to get my 8 hours of sleep even though it can be hard to accomplish.

One thing weird though - flying doesn't always affect me..... maybe it is because I am sitting down and relaxing with a good book?

The girl in the photo is actually me some 20 years ago, and it is actually from my yearbook from back then. When my head started rumbling about fatique I suddenly remembered that photo and new I had to find it.

Eat Your Rubber Duck

Wait!!! Don't do that! - Unless it is a cupcake one :o) *LOL*

So I have this little thing for rubber ducks - and they also comes in the shape of a candle, keychain, miniature, bathroom radio, "plain" rubber ducks and the ones you can wind up so it paddles around in the bath tub. Last year for my birthday, I got a chocolate one from one of my best friends bought in a chocolaterie.

This picture is from Gwen's blogpost - click on the picture and you will be
directed to her blog
Look at these yummi rubber duck cupcakes made by Gwen, whose blog I started reading because of her inchie-a-day project.... I just had to share it with you and on her blogpost she shows us step-by-step how she made them.

After having read her blogpost, I think I better hide my rubber ducks so my mind mistakenly does not think, that they are cupcakes ;o)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Words of Inspiration

Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Art from Asia

I recently came home from travel to Asia, where I picked up a copy of China Daily at the airport. This newspaper introduced me to the Chinese artist, Yao Shaohua.

Portraying tigers like the above picture is one of his trademarks, as this is a returning theme to his paintings. He describes his works as being a bit unrealistic (muscles etc.) and yet he captures the essence of the animal.

When I look at this picture or some of his other paintings of tigers, it seems 3D-like - as if you could just stetch out and touch these animals - for me it does not get better than this.

Now you know why I always try to read some local news - it introduces me to unknown things that is worth getting to know :o)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Gnomes Gnomes Everywhere.....

Have you noticed: gnomes are popping up everywhere and gaining some of the same limelight as frogs have enjoyed for years, and that owls have gained during the last couple of years.

I have always thought that the travelling gnome in the movie "Amélie" was really funny - I always enjoy watching that movie as it brings back so many memories from Paris and especially the Montmartre area.

Here's my little secret: I have always found garden gnomes to be the ugliest thing ever. Yes, I dare to reveal it, because then you will realise, why I started lauging hysterically loud on an domestic airplane in the US, where the following was displayed in a SKYMALL magazine:

The flight attendants got really curious about the source of my laughter and one of them laughed so hard, that tears emerged from her eyes caught on to all the other passengers who spotted great practical joke potential :o)

But even though they are the ugliest things, it does no mean that they can not be fun/entertaining/nice to look at - guess it depends on the way the gnome is presented. Just look inside this card that Torico made (the link takes you right to the page where she posted her card: front and inside) - wow getting a card like that, would really make me feel special, as this is a stunning card:

There you have it: Ugly can be fun, entertaining and nice :o) Sometimes new angle on things helps you realise it.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Words of Inspiration

Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunities.
Oprah Winfrey

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Do I Spot....

....inspiration for a great new project?........

Who would have thought that a boring little thing like this could be transformed into something really stunning? Yes a boring hanger - the kind that your clothes are hung on when picking it up from the drycleaners:

What make me see this as something that could be transformed into something nice? I follow the OneFlewOver blog as she is a person whose creativity I admire and this picture she posted made me want to see more:

I rushed over to the blog she referred to..... WHAM!! wow can you get more inspired than this:

Inspiration flowing through me. Now I know how I might "gift wrap" a piece of cloth (blouse, dress etc.) to someone - decorating a hanger themed to fit the recipient or the cloth given, cover it with see-through plastic likethe drycleaners do, and instead of the bill on the hook, a nice birthday card :o) Just saying.....

What have I learned from this? Be carefull about what I deem to be a booring item :o)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I Wonder.....

...what stories these windows could tell?

Maybe the bird knows what happened in the abandoned warehouse ?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Because I Can

The email newsletter from PaperCreations Magazine had a request regarding a ten-year-old american, that seeks to send every military personel a ThankYou card next year. I chose to contribute to his quest.

Now you are thinking: Why does somebody with a citizenship different from a US chose to contribute to this? Well just go back to WWII - the US fought for the indenpendence of a lot of countries, including mine, where people like my parents (yes, they were born back then) got their rightfull freedom back. But the following is the real reason, why I did it.

On a flight some 7 years ago between Chicago and Amsterdam, I sat next to an engineer in military uniform, who was going to the MiddleEast for his 3rd military deployment in the area. For the first ½ hour he could not sit still in his seat holding some kind of book really tight, making me wonder if he was actually scared of flying, and it seem to become worse when we hit turbulence. "Do you mind talking with me for a litlle bit? My nerves seem to be outside my uniform right now".

He was nervous because he had just left his wife and his 2-year-old son to go to there - high unemployment in his area had made him think outside the box, and this seemed to be the only way to support his family financially. He and his family had to move into the basement of his sister's house, when the wife got fired from his job. His main concern was, if the deployment in the MiddleEast would change his personality too much as his family meant everything to him - and what I thought might have been his Bible turned out to be a photoalbum. We talked for about 5 hours: about family values, traditions in our countries, people's perceptions on our countries, school systems and the list goes on.

Now, when flying long haul flights, I can't help imagining, what might be rumbling in some of the other passengers' minds: Why are they flying to...? Did they leave loved ones at home? Do they fly out to start a new life? Sometimes you gain a little insight because you have light conversations with them - other times you are absorbed into your book, an inflight magazine/movie or simply just sleeping.

So why did I do this? Simply: Because I can :o)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Mothers Day

Mother's Day - Danish: Mors dag - calls for a card for my mum, who has been in and out of the hospital a lot the past month. Never hard to find the theme for her cards: flowers. She loves flowers and luckily my dad is very good at remembering Mother's day, her birthday and their aniversary date :o)

My dad has always been very proud of his garden and have always made sure that a lot of flowers is blooming throughout the summer - equally has he actually been good at putting together a bouquet of flowers and bringing them inside to my mother (the latter years she has not been much outside).

This weeks sketch from Watzingmouse Sketch challenge screamed "Mother's day card!" to me:
Design paper from Me&My Big Ideas, raffia ribon from Michaels, rub-ons transfers from Panduro Hobby and various flowers+brad from my stash.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Playing It Safe or......?

When I saw this weeks CPS-card sketch challenge, I must admit, that my mind wandered to a card that I did last week - looked like a banner idea again.

Used the same design paper, as I used in the banner last week: Blitzen - now you know why I chose the reindeer stamp (English Stamp Company) :o) The stamp with the greeting is from Rubber Blade Stamps, white cardstock is valentinoise.

One step close to the yearly goal: to be able to send homemade Xmas card to everybody on my list.

Spring Has Sprung

The leaves on the chestnut trees are early this year (3 weeks earlier than usual) :o) Weather forecast this weekend is between 15-20 degrees celcicus (60-70 Fahrenheit) and sun.........

Friday, April 8, 2011

Letter In A Letter

That I received today from Maria, one of my crafting friends which I met on Paper Craft Planet's Secret Pal group. An old fashioned letter with a handcrafted card. Isn't her creation awesome?

Now there is a secret to this card - and it took me an hour to figure it out. The letter on the card can be opened and inside was some stamped snowflake images :o) Can you believe it - an hour!! *LOL* Maria knows that I am a very frequent traveller and I love snowflakes, so this card is sooo me.

Just had to share it with you and hope you have some friends that once in a while send you cards.

Yesterday A Craft Store Lured Me Inside

Does that sound familiar? If yes, then you have been hit by the curse on the crafter.... always too dangerous to pass by, but I ended up buying a affordable clear stamp that screamed "MUST HAVE" at me. *LOL*

PaperCraftPlanet had two challenges, which I decided to combine - Sketch Challenge and Easter Card Challenge. Ended up giving myself an additional challenges: using inchies for the first time.

The sketch looked like this:

My result ended up like this - the photo does it a little bit unjustice here, as the card has even square sides and the background is a very very light green:

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Jane Austen Meets Challenges

I have been reading one of my favourite books "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen - Looove that book and that might explain why I have both the BBC tv-series and the 2005 remake on DVD.

Inspiration to my cards comes from a lot of places - this time is no exception. Remembered seing a feebie digi-stamp on A Day for the Daisies blog including a challenge, where we are to use stitches in our card as well as one of their stamps.

Lace and/or doily was required from the CCCE stamper's challenge and finally the sketch I chose to follow is from Just Us Girls, as it was perfect from my idea.

Just realised that the blue in the sketch may have prompted/inspired me to use blue color tones in the card - pastel red was out of the question as I can only remember seing colors tones like blue, black, white, grey and green wheen seeing Jane Austen inspired pictures, but hey maybe I am wrong in that perception. Anyway, here's my Jane Austen inspired card:

The text used is actually from the Jane Austen book "Sense and Sensibility" - I realised a while back, that I had two identical paperback copies of the book and decided that one of them was to be used in my cardmaking.