Thursday, May 31, 2012

Scentsy Zeppelin Review and Crafting Update

First--the crafting update.  I've finished Mister's sweater, a pair of socks, and a shawl since last giving a knitting update.  Pics to follow soon!  Promise!

I'm a home fragrance addict.  12 step program, please....

Scentsy Zeppelin Review
Recently I have tried Scentsy, which has been around since 2005, but which I've managed to ignore as I collected up Yankees and Kringle and tried out a few indie brands.  Recently, though, I've decided to whittle my candle stash down and only invest in melts/tarts/bars--you know--wickless.  For all the obvious reasons.  I can't do 100% soy candles/melts because they make me wheeze. 

Scentsy is a fabulous value, imo.  The bars have 8 cubes in them for $5/bar.  Buy a 6 pack for $25, and that becomes 4.16/bar.  I use 1-2 cubes in my warmers, depending on room size, and they last from 1-4 days!  My Yankees last 1-4 days for a single 1.99 tart (lately, more like 1-2 days), and Kringles now have 5 smaller cubes in their melts for $2.25, although I find a single cube is pretty light.  2-3 cubes per melt gives me the results I like, but they don't typically last beyond 2 days for me.

One of my current Scentsy faves is Zeppelin.  It is part of the Man Collection and is described as, "For those who dare to take to the sky: elegantly balanced citrus and sage soar over sandalwood and vetiver."  In my book, it is definitely a "mandle," and its light gray color underscores this. 

 It is an elegantly complex, balanced scent.  Warm, I get nice herbal whiffs intermingled with the vetiver, which is the yummy beachy grassy scent used in the perfume industry.  The citrus is a light topnote and the sandalwood is very subtle--not overwhelming at all.  On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being "disgusting" and 10 being "I can't live without this scent", I rate this a 10.  Love love love it!  As far as throw, I rate either light, medium, strong, or powerful.  This one is strong in my book.  I used 2 cubes in a medium Scentsy warmer in my dining room, and it wafted throughout the lower level of my home for four days!  If you like Yankee Candle's Sage and Citrus and/or Beachwood, give this one a try.

Scentsy Zeppelin
Scent Rating: 10
Scent Throw: strong

Sunday, May 27, 2012


                Someone once told me that some people are meant to soar—like balloons floating above the earth.  But, he warned, there are always those people who want to grab the strings and pull those people back to earth.  You can’t let them.

                That is why my 2012 word for the year is Soar….to remind myself  I don’t need to let anyone reach up and pull me back down to ordinary.  To normal.  To conventional.

                Are you allowing yourself to soar?  Or are you letting other people pull you back down to where you don’t want to be?

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Sometimes I Don't Wanna

I'm not a go-with-the-flow kind of person.  Ask my husband.  Or my mother.  I must have been one of those kids determined to drive their parents crazy with my complete lack of desire to assimilate.

 Of course, as a parent myself, I can see how an innate need to be oppositional isn't always convenient to tickmarking life's little list of To-Do's.  Drag screaming child through Target.  Check.  But, my so-called-self-diagnosed Oppositional Disorder (with no disrespect to formally-diagnosed sufferers) has its strong points. 

First of all, it is so very obviously heriditary--ask the respective men currently attached to my now-grown daughters who are all strong-willed and self-directed.  Second, it really comes in handy in art.   My fellow artistes know what I mean, and dear friend, Wendy, if you're reading this, you are my Queen of Artistic Oppositional Disorder.  I know all about Painting Class.  Ahem....(But that is WHY you are such a great artist--one whose little finger contains more talent than several of my bodies put together.)

But, I digress.  Oppositional Disorder is really what it takes to Practice Art successfully...taking an idea, saying, how great!  But, I don't wanna do it your way, I'm gonna do it MY WAY.  Although my life is otherwise full of practiced opposition, it is only recently that I felt free enough to start applying my OD to my own artistic voice. (insert concerted effort to turn off negative childhood conditioning here) I still do lots of emulating of great ideas, don't get me wrong.  It takes a lot for me to come up w/ an idea of my own--one that is Just Me.

This week I had such a moment.  In my second Bind-it-All class, the instructor had made a perfectly lovely 6-panel wallhanging with pictures of her family.  A wallhanging of the family!  Such a good idea.  But I didn't wanna.  I wanted to create a wallhanging based upon my 2012 Word of the Year--Soar.  I love mixed media, and I wanted to challenge myself not to give in to my usual riotous blaze of color, and do a much more muted palette.  So, with that in mind, I created this:

Quotes from top to bottom:
Who you are is enough
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it
The world can be an amazing place when you're slightly strange
Do not regret growing older; it is a privilege denied to many

And I love it!  It has so much stuff layered on to it, I couldn't even begin to name it all--from acrylic gels to Copics to rub-ons, paper, embellishments, glitter glue....and more and more and more.

Don't let anyone tell you that opposition is a bad thing.  If used as a positive force for change, it can be wonderful!  Even in an art project.

PS.  True confessions...when I was in the middle of making this, DD Sarah saw it and asked "what does Soab mean?"  Hahahaha...I had cut out a "b" instead of an "r."  These things happen.  Lucky I have a sharp artistic editor!
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Friday, May 25, 2012

For Paula

I had a request from a reader, Paula, to allow her to pin my letter to my daughters to Pinterest.  She even put it into photo format to share!

Of course I would be delighted and humbled to have you share!  Thank you for thinking of it, Paula.  You made my day!  For anyone who would like to pin this, I've place a PinIt button underneath...

Blessings to you all.

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

On the Challenge of "Failure"--a Letter to my Daughters

Failure and disappointment come to us all.  It stings.  It breaks our hearts.  If we let it, it allows us to see an opportunity that we might not have seen had we continued along our path, blinders on.

A very disappointing job experience fifteen years ago led me to pursue my REAL dream--teaching.  I found a temporary job teaching at a community college that led to another permanent job at a different community college.  When state budget cuts descended twelve years later, and my college began the process of merging with another, my job ended.  At first, what seemed to be such a tragedy,  has become a huge blessing as my life takes on a whole new shape.

One of my daughters was rejected from a much-desired college program--twice.  Despite her pain, dear daughter began to reassess her goals, and found a program that she loves, so much so that she is now the top student in class, just beginning her externships.

Another daughter recently received some "bad" news about something she was pursuing.  What do you tell your children about "failure" when your own heart is breaking for them, yet at the same time, you realize this may be the opportunity that changes their life for the best?  This is what I told her, but it could be for any one of my daughters...or for you....

Mom words of encouragement:
You've been BLESSED to have an abundance of talent in a great many areas. More than the average person. Remember that the closing of one tiny door only means you now get to consider all the incredibly many windows still open in your life. Don't beat your head against that one door. Your gifts run wide and deep--language, music, academics, writing. Enter some new windows and see what happens.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Perpetual Calendar

One of this week's Bind-it-All projects was a cute perpetual calendar. I used a retired paper packet from CTMH called Perfect Day--love the mix of juniper and sorbet--so pretty. I decided it should be a garden theme, so used the Color Ready Wooden Garden Shapes to embellish it. I colored them w/ both inks and Copics. If I make another calendar, I'll probably use a lighter embellishment, b/c the weight of all the little wooden shapes requires a weight in the bottom so the calendar doesn't tip. : D   Love those happy discoveries...

The bird is resting on a wired vine from a repurposed floral swag that has found its way into a lot of my artwork lately....

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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Footloose Four by Four

Another mini for my Bind it All class!  These are tooooo much fun.  On this one, I used papers from the Footloose paper packet.   It's such a fun set. 

For the sea-themed embellishments, I used the Seaside wooden shapes pack.  An easy way to color them is to paint them with Create-a-Shade pearl paint, let dry, and then color them w/ your markers of choice.  I used Copics.  The paint dries very quickly, so there isn't too much downtime.  They're easy to attach using Liquid Glass.

The Sentiment "A Winter Summer" was created using the masking technique.  I used stamps from the now retired "August Word Puzzle" and from the Snowflakes stamp set to selectively choose my words.  I distressed the paper it was on by wadding it up and then unfolding it, daubed it w/ Creme Brulee Ink, stamped a seashell stamp lightly using Sweet Leaf and Creme Brulee inks.  Edge distressing and a coat of pearl paint finished it off.

Natural Hemp string and Opaques Mocha Adhesive Gems finished it off.  I love the hemp.  It also comes in black and white, and I go through it like crazy...there just doesn't seem to be anything I can't put it on!

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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Bind-it-All + CTMH: And a Happy Mother's Day to All

I've had my little Bind-it-All2 for over a year and have used it a wee bit, but wanted to step up my game a little, so signed up for the Bind-it-all classes on  They're inexpensive ($25 a class), so I figured I had nothing to lose. 

So far, I'm three weeks in to the first class, BIA 101, and I can definitely attest to the fact that I've already learned quite a bit.  I've completed two projects from the class:  a BIA punching guide (super cute, with lots of "reminders" to using the BIA effectively).  I used some Close to my Heart Stash papers...this set is actually 2011's Christmas paper packet--Believe!  Love that it can be used for non-Christmasy projects:

(excuse the slight blurriness...some technical difficulties shrinking the photo down for the web)

Then, I made a darling, tiny 3 x 4 mini album using current papers---one of my faves from the current catty--Stella.  Also used the Stella Complements Canvas Shapes accessory pack--they're so much fun...

I'm really looking forward to finishing this 4 week class w/ a few more mini's, and then moving on to the more advanced BIA class.  I love little tiny treasure books, and using my stash to create them!

On the homefront...I'm almost finished knitting a shawl...and then will embark on the second sock of a great pair of socks I'm making.  I've got so many projects in the queue impatiently waiting for me to cast on, I can't believe it!  I'm in a frenzy of knitting these days.  There's nothing better than petting yarn whilst knitting....

I also spent today at a cheese-making class!  That was GREAT!  Mister and I have become more and more interested in eating "local" as well as making our own food so we know where it comes preservatives or unnecessary ingredients...Don't get me wrong.  I'm SO grateful we have the technology to make food last long enough to get to market---such a boon in our modern age...but when it is sooooo easy to make yogurt, cheese and bread at home, we figure, why not?  We're able to get stone-ground grains from Bob's Red Mill in Milwaukee, OR, raw and low-heat pasteurized milks from local farms, as well as CSA shares (community supported agriculture) from organic farmers locally, that it would be a shame to pass those resources up.  Plus, it's a wonderful hobby for us to share...creating delicious foods from quality ingredients! 

Finally--Happy Mother's Day to all you busy moms out there!  I had some bittersweet moments eating breakfast at Bob's today watching all the young moms w/ their adorable tots.  My, how the years have flown w/ our own "three ring circus"--the daughters three!  Hard to believe they're 25, 22, and 19.  They've been such a blessing to Mister and me, and I can say without reservation that EVERY day is mother's day around the Winter household thanks to my sweet daughters!  I love you, ladies.  Thanks for blessing me every day w/ wonderment and joy and laughter.
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