Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Only a few days left!

Don't forget!

I'm running a Breast Cancer Awareness special in October. There are only 5 days left in the promotion! Buy anything from my design shop and receive a free pair of Breast Cancer Awareness earrings. Also, I donate 10% of the sale to my Breast Cancer Charity.

Check it out! Maybe you will find something that you can save for Christmas giving!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Weekend Fun!

We went with the family to a local farm to visit their pumpkin patch! After a hayride out to the patch, the young ones picked out their own pumpkin, tramping all over the field to find just the right size for the intended jack-O-lantern. We had German sausages, roasted corn on the cob, apple pie and spiced hot cider and enjoyed a huge bonfire! Enjoy the pictures!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

The Etsyblogger's blog carnival for this cycle was to tell a personal story or how you promote awareness about one of the causes for this month. This was an easy topic for me since I promote awareness of women's Breast Cancer issues and carry a line of BC items all year. My signature item is a Breast Cancer Quilt that I make. I use a picture of it as my banner for my Handcrafts shop. I have had several quilt buyers give them, to comfort a friend who is struggling with the disease. I gave one away as a prize to the American Cancer Society's "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer" walk for the cure. I hope and pray that the quilts provide hope and comfort! Because . . . .

I am a survivor--four years now---with a good prognosis, one of the lucky ones, if you can call it that! Some women have not been as fortunate as I have, since there are different forms and stages of the disease. My journey started in October 2005 with a diagnosis in Texas. Most of my family lived in Oregon, so I did not want to undertake treatments without them. We immediately moved to be near them and have a support system. Although the emotional roller coaster has mostly subsided today, it is still present at times. One's own mortality is a mountain that we would all rather not climb. Support and hope are ingredients that are essential for the fight!

After surgeries and treatment I was able to return to work and life. I have several years of continuing treatment to go, making sure that cancer cells are prohibited from growing again!

One little hint. New research suggests Vitamin D is essential to women's health especially those of you who are younger.

So, I encourage every woman to become informed. I will not go into details--details are available elsewhere on the web. If diagnosed, or if you know someone who has been diagnosed, it is important that you are informed of your options. Fear does not facilitate good decisions. Make sure that you ask lots of questions. Call a reputable cancer agency that you trust and get their recommendations as to hospitals, doctors, or clinics that are up on the latest treatments and research. I called and found out that only one hospital in all of Oregon is recommended for the treatment of BC. So, you know where I went to find a doctor! Some hospitals and doctors say that they can do what you need, but get a second opinion.
Do your research, BE . AWARE and may you be blessed with good health!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Destination? On an Afternoon Stroll?

[Fourth and final installment]

Destination? On an afternoon stroll? We weren't heading for any destination, just passing the time on a blustery day. I guess the end of the path is a destination. What was at the end of the path, you say?

Well, the path ended at another parking area. A circle area to turn your car around adjacent to a concrete pumping station and an abandoned steel bridge above the river. Exploring the bridge, we found it to be, mostly probably, an old rail crossing. The railroad ties were no longer in place, but it wasn't wide enough for cars to pass. If we made an 180 degree turn from the bridge, we looked back down the main street of Gladstone, a sleepy little Portland suburb. This street, called Portland Avenue, if I'm not mistaken, has a rail car track of a bygone era down the middle of it.

Back at the bridge, high above the Clackamas River, the painted green steel was an interesting but cold and stark deviation from the lovely Autumn scene we had been experiencing. We decided not to scramble down a well trodden rut to the river. We really didn't have the energy to try to get back up the hill. Besides, this was a leisurely stroll, not a strenuous hike! So, we spent a little time picking up seed pods from the trees; throwing them up in the air and watching them flutter down like helicopters. I felt like a kid again! As we tired of the pitching and fluttering, we turned around and headed back to the car, retracing our steps and taking one last look at the little park, the river and the autumn color. The end to a perfect stroll!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Beads . . . Beads . . . Beads

I have boxes and boxes of various beads.

It all started as something to do, while my husband studied. We worked long hours together, then in the evenings he studied for his degree. I got tired of staring at the back of his head, so I started beading! The result: boxes and boxes of beads, boxes and boxes of earrings (started doing simple earrings) and two Etsy shops.

The first shop, Pruitt Handcrafts, opened nearly one year ago and is nearing it's first anniversary in November. Also, I've sewn for years, so at first the little shop had my Breast Cancer quilts and my jewelry together. But I love to be creative and it is the way I pass the time now, so eventually, I had so many fabric items along with my jewelry, that I decided to split my shop into two.

I love beads, I love looking thru the racks of beads in the local bead shop. As a result, I have made many necklaces, bracelets, anklets, and beaded items. The natural progression was to open a second shop. It opened in late June 2009 and is exclusively jewelry and beaded items. I call it my Design shop. Sales in the design shop are not what I had hoped, with a plethora of jewelry sellers out there, but I still create with beads, since I have boxes and boxes of beads! Maybe I should open a third shop and sell all my beads!

P.S. Coming soon--the last installment of the Afternoon Stroll Series--Watch for it!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Thrice Upon an Afternoon Stroll

I'm an asphalt path edged by a sliver of a grassy park on one side and a bark covered barrier on the river side. I provide a nice, wide walkway for several friends to walk together, arm and arm if they like! Plenty of room for that family with their large dog. They are having such a good time. Better than that last boy that allowed his dog to leave it's deposit on my tufted edge!
Here comes a cute couple, hand in hand. She's clutching her jacket tight around her neck; her hair is flowing around her head. I wonder what causes that action? Hmmm . . . Leaves fly upward as the man kicks them from my surface. Is he the landscaper to take care of me? They slow their pace and stand next to the barrier, don't they know that a path is for walking?
Now they are sitting on a bench. Have they abandoned their destination? Don't they know that a path is for getting to ones goal? Well, maybe a change of heart. They are moving again. They sure aren't intentional, walking from the grassy side and pausing, then to the barrier side. They will never get to the end of the path with their casual style! Oh well, they're enjoying the stroll.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Twice Upon an Afternoon Stroll

After driving to the riverside park, we parked in a space strewn with dry leaves. The wind on our faces was a little chilly so we pulled on our light jackets and began to walk the asphalt path above the river. A trendy lady and her long trench coated companion catapulted past us with their Airedale Terrier, like we were standing still. I wondered if we had cooties! But, no bother, it was a crisp day and the river view was awesome. We found a river facing bench to settle upon. NO sooner had we sat down than the wind gusts picked up, stinging our faces again. I pulled my jacket tight around my neck and suggested to my husband that we continue walking to stay warm. Three chatty ladies in jogging suits and walking shoes came toward us. Although they all gave us a little smile, the lingering eye contact from one face with a blond page boy do and a wide intentional smile was refreshing. As we passed, I was tempted to glance back at her, she seemed nice. As gusts died down, we paused by the railing to take another look at a stretch of rapids. The soothing whisper of the winds in the trees and the roar of the rapids created a superb end to our afternoon.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Creative Writing

After reading a creative writing magazine article about storytelling, an idea popped into my head! [To give due credit, the idea also came from a foundation of a blogger friends recent series of continuing posts about what to do with a six pound zucchini by homemadeoriginals!] The article author asked a series of questions that one goes through when thinking about writing a story. I asked myself some of the questions and came up with this idea: How many ways can I tell the same story? What are some of the different perspectives, or viewpoints that the story can be told through? What good can come from telling the story over again? And what new information can we glean or enjoy from the retelling? So in the interest of working on my craft--in this case--my writing skills, I will proceed tomorrow with "Twice Upon an Afternoon Stroll." I don't know how many times I will revisit this idea, but I should be fun to stroll together and I hope you will join me!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Seasonal Color!

Orange, pumpkin, tangerine--all colors of the season! I picked a few Etsy items that I love. I hope you like them too!

First--a quilt with tangerine, perfect comfort for the imminent cold weather!

See QuiltLover Etsy shop for more!

Beautiful little tangerine booties for a newborn

by 99Lollipop

This hand dyed and hand painted scarf makes you is ready for the season:

by luv2silkpaint

And this lovely little brooch for a touch of seasonal color!

by PaperFish

I'm sure that each of these Etsy sellers would love to have you visit their shop!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Once Upon an Afternoon Stroll

This afternoon, after my near meltdown, my husband took me on a walk by the river. The path was on the bluff above the river. And believe me, He didn't want to give me a push and I didn't want to jump! (a little humor :) Anyway, it was a crisp blustery autumn day. We watched the river from a path-side bench, spying out the deeper channel courses and the sandy bars. We made an imaginary route of how we would cross the river, if we had to, like the pioneers of old. We noticed the rock formations, some water smoothed granite boulders and oddly enough, a side bar of what looked like sandstone! From my geology class days, these two seemed an unlikely duo for a river bed.

We enjoyed all the foliage in various stages of fall decay and color. We had a good time identifying trees, i.e. maples, oaks, evergreens, dogwood, sycamore and a few we couldn't identify. Suffice it to say, it was a wonderful afternoon, and it averted what would have been a lousy afternoon. My husband is really pretty savvy about how to deal with his out of sorts wife! It was a great date!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Unique Costume

Although Halloween has never been my favorite holiday, I want to tell you about a unique costume that I made for my children! But first, a little background. I never could get into all the spooky stuff, even as a kid. I hated scary stories and did not like "practical" jokes! When I was about nine or ten, I had been trick 'r treating for the evening. We were on our way home, actually just down the street from my home, when we walked past some bigger boys just standing there. I didn't think anything of it, because parents and older siblings often stood at the curb waiting for the little ones to come back from a front door. All of the sudden, one of the boys ripped my sack of goodies from my hands and ran! I was horrified and scared to death. I ran home crying. My sister and mom tried to smooth it over by dividing up all of my sister's loot, but it didn't do much to soothe my little heart! To this day, I preferred that my children and grandchildren attend a closed party than to go out on the streets; that is basically what my grandchildren do now too. [In a former post, I mentioned the slime time party we will be having at our church on Halloween.]

What I do like about Halloween is the costumes. I used to love making the costumes for my own children. I remember one year when we lived in the mountains, and there was nowhere to go treating, my children went to a local party at the armory, that the school put on! I had six children, and making costumes was sort of out of the question by reason of finances and time. So I decided to make a costume that fit all of my kids at once!

We gathered one cardboard box for each child, took them out on the porch and began to paint them. We painted with brown and orange, sort of a scaly pattern. We put a fringe on the box bottom, which was actually the top of the costume. We fashioned a tail on the last box that was jointed and that moved freely. Then we fashioned a scary head on the first box and tied all the boxes together with rope. Yep, you guessed it, we made a dragon! Each kid put the box over himself, crouched down and played follow the leader! We were a hit at the party's parade of costumes!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Seasonal Paper Bag Art

Back in the spring, I did a tutorial on my original paper bag art. Or sometimes I call it "cubicle art" or "Bottom Drawer Decorations." I have had so much fun using my scraps and paint and anything else that I have to make these little creations. So I want to show you a few of them! (Several styles available in my shop [click on the pictures] or make your own with the tutorial.)

Great for the OFFICE CUBICLE
or your home!
Simple! Fun! Original!

If you are like me, you spend a lot of time at work in your cubicle! When it comes to Christmas or other holidays, some of us can decorate at work and some aren't allowed. One job that I worked, wouldn't let us have elaborate decorations, and I miss the decorations, so I created my simple paper bag art to hang on my cubical backboard; simple and unobtrusive, but fun! These store well, lying flat in the bottom of your office drawer for use when the season is right! Get one for every season, for what I call, your "bottom drawer" collection! Wonderful SIMPLE decorations for all the time you spend at work and for the 'kid' in you!

This one says: "Pumpkin Daze" and is hand decorated with a fabric Scarecrow in a patchwork pumpkin patch. There are cute crows in the scene on a green gingham background. Hand painted with acrylic paint. A natural raffia bow adorns the top of the bag and creates the hanger. Each piece measures 5" X 9" (plus the hanger length.)

P.S. Kids (and teachers) will also love these!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

OMSI Museum trip

The other day, my daughter invited me to go with her and my two grandsons to OMSI. That's Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. It's geared for children of all ages, even ADULT kids! It was so much fun! It's an educational, hands on learning place! There are exhibits about all kinds of science, from mechanical to life science. There is a planetarium, an IMAX theater, a submarine in the adjacent Willamette River and a wonderful cafe that serves extremely health choices. :)

If you are planning a visit to Oregon, you can visit the Omsi site or the IMAX site for more information. Admission fees are much the same as any museum or aquarium.

My grandsons and I were fascinated with the huge globe of the world that was lighted by an [apparently] inside projector that changed all the time! [Not really sure how it worked?] My photo didn't come out that well, but you can see the size of the globe. It played the cloud weather patterns, as you see here; the ocean heat waves in colors, including El Nino patterns; the revolving light and darkness of a day, you could see the lights of the cities in the darkness with the lighted airplanes crossing the oceans; one set of sequences tracked the population growth from pre-AD time to the present by adding little lights that represented people--fascinating! We wanted to just sit and take in this one exhibit for hours--but we didn't have that kind of time!! Don't miss it if you are ever in Portland!