Thursday, December 31, 2009

Reflection, Anticipation, Dreams - Saying Goodbuy to 2009 & Hello to 2010

It's been another wonderful holiday season, full of celebrations, wonderful food and family. I feel so blessed to be able to be here and be able to take part in another season. New Year's Eve really holds a special place in my heart ~ almost akin to birthdays now. I find myself reflecting on the past year and not taking it for granted that I was able to participate.

When you or a loved one is faced with a life threatening illness, the little things take on a new meaning. For me, traditions have really come to the forefront of my holiday celebrations. My love of antique and vintage items play a big part in celebrating traditions that have been passed down. My Christmas tree is full of antique and vintage decorations from my family as well as those that I have 'rescued' and given a new home. It really is a sentimental journey when we decorate the tree. Preserving past traditions, creating new memories for my children and passing down new traditions. Thus the beginnings of reflection.

Reflecting on this past year, I continue to view myself as a work in progress. I may regret things that have happened, but I would never opt to change my history as believe that all events, good or bad, create a persons footprint.

I anticipate 2010 and what I will bring to it. Anticipation is one of the best zones to be in. I often find that I enjoy the anticipating more than the actual event, therefor I choose to celebrate it.

Whilst anticipating, dreams are founded. My biggest wish for 2010 is to revel in my dreams and follow them. Creativity has found its way out of my soul and has opened up a certain level of freedom for me.

May all of you take the time to slow down to Reflect, Anticipate & Dream.

Farewell to 2009 and looking forward to 2010.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Another Simple Solution: How to Create a Clickable Custom Store Link on Windows Live Email

Here I am fooling around for two days trying only to create a clickable Etsy store link in my outgoing emails. I knew that I could just put my store address into the signature page, but I also wanted to be able to customize my font, color, etc and not just have a standard blah, blue, boring link.

I followed all of the directions that I could Google and finally realized today that I was making it harder than it needed to be! I was creating a jpg and changing it into an html file, then changing the file path, etc, etc. To make matters worse, it didn't work -- I must have missed a step. I do need to cut myself a little slack as I did need to know a few important steps that I learned along the way. So, my personal OCD mission to make this work will hopefully be your gain. Another reminder to Keep it Simple!

1. Sign into your email account. Go to New Mail Message. Create your signature and/or store link. Highlight your text and choose your own font, size, color. If your link defaults to blue, just change it back to your desired color. I used size 18 Fiolex Girls font (because of the hearts) but in an orange font color.

Position your signature about halfway or so down the page.

When satisfied, save as an html file to your desktop. Make sure that you manually add html after your file name as well as choosing the html file from the dropbox, otherwise windows live will automatically add htm.

2. In your email account go to Tools - Options - Signatures. In the signature settings area, decide how often you want your signature to appear. You can even leave both boxes unchecked and manually add the signature that you are about to create in selected emails by going to insert - signature when you are creating each new email. In signatures click on new. In edit signature, choose file and browse to your desktop where your signature file is located ~ you will need to change the box on the right from txt files to html files. Choose your file and click ok.

3. Then, choose new mail message and your signature should be there now and forever......or until you decide to change it!


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

How Much Is Too Much? Or, A Glimpse Into The Life Of A Hoarder....

Last November, I helped coordinate and serve a Pre Thanksgiving meal at my sons' school. While the other volunteer's all sported gorgeous vintage aprons, I was immediately green with envy. I was almost taken aback that I, the self proclaimed vintage diva, didn't even "think" about looking for and showing off a fabulous vintage find.

Almost immediately, my quest for a vintage apron began. I was going to be prepared for next years Harvest Feast! Aprons seemed to appear at every turn, each "new" find more fabulous than the next. It is now 6 months and approximately twelve aprons later and my question is, "how many vintage aprons does a person really need"? I keep on telling myself that I need to part with some, but it is obvious that I am just not ready. Stay tuned, this blog may be just what I need to start listing my aprons in my Etsy Shop, Caroline's Curio. When I stop calling them "my" aprons, I'm assuming they will be listed.

Today, I went to one of my favorite haunts, St. Vincent De Paul Thrift Store and of course one of the first things that caught my eye was a beautiful pink apron with dainty with red flowers...... and today, this one is my absolute favorite!


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

How to Create a Custom Signature for Your Blog Posts

I'm just having too much fun with my blog! My husband's translation would be *obsessed*. Due to my past experience as an educator, I feel like I am almost mandated to share my learning curve with you!

Just go to TheCutestBlogOnTheBlock and they will walk you through the process of creating your own custom signature.

I used Photoshop. For those who do not have Photoshop, try MyLiveSignature. If you are somewhat familiar with Photoshop, this should be very easy. I personally needed to do some extra research to figure out how to use brushes, how to get free brush presets online and how to upload those brushes to Photoshop to create my flourish. You might need to up download some script fonts as well. Try Refont for some interesting fonts. My version of Photoshop is older (7.0), so if you have an older version, make sure that it is compatible with the brushes, etc that you want to download.

After uploading your image to an image hosting website (I used Photobucket), copy the html code of your image. Back to your blog to *customize*, *settings*, *formatting* and scroll to the bottom of the page to *post template* which is where you paste in your html code. This enables your signature graphic to be automatically included on each blog post from then on! Have fun!

P.S. To remove the image border, go to *customize*. *edit html* click on the html, hit ctrl f and a find box will pop up on the bottom left of the page. Enter .post img and you will be taken to the following:

.post img {
border:1px solid $bordercolor;

Then change the 1px to 0 px and viola! No border! Don't forget to save your template, etc for insurance.


Monday, May 4, 2009

The Purple Cow!


I just bought this beautiful bib from The Purple Cow on Etsy! What I love the most about this adorable bib is that it is lined in soft chenille, which appeals to my vintage roots.....and the baby is super cute too!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Top 10 Signs That You Are Addicted To Collecting

I don't know about you, but I can honestly say that I am addicted to collecting! Let's see if you can relate to my personal top 10!

10. You have stacks or bags of newly acquired "stuff" squirreled all around your house and you can't remember what is in those bags or stacks.

9. You have created a "work shop" for your stuff.

8. The back of your car is full of garage sale or thrift store finds which are now neglected, because you have moved onto the next "collection".

7. You try to create a semblance of organization by placing your "stack" into a curio cabinet.

6. You greet your favorite thrift store workers by their first name and they do the same.

5. You try to make use of your collections, such as displaying your spoons in a rack, so it appears to the world like you are not out of control with your most recent obsession.

4. You move onto the next collectible, when you become overwhelmed with the clutter.

3. You find your collectibles become smaller and smaller, such as buttons or scarves, so you can acquire more without too much clutter.

2. You rationalize that your addiction could be worse, at least it's not gambling....

1. You open up an Etsy store to sustain your addiction to collecting and find yourself buying from other Etsy collectors!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Happy Etsy Day!

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(¸.•´ (¸.•´♥

This great offer is almost over, so hurry and take advantage of it!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Etsy Find ~ Vintage Bakelite Dice Earrings from Daisytoad

Aren't these earrings fun? I just had to share this find from Talk about going out on the town in style! One of a kind accessory to give you that extra bit of luck, you will be the talk of the casino! Great find Daisytoad!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Komen Southern AZ Race for the Cure

On Sunday, I participated in my third Komen 5K walk as a survivor! If you have ever attended a Komen race, you know how awesome and overwhelming this event is. As a survivor, I can tell you that I am awestruck each year when I see the vast amount of people who, in one way or another, are touched by breast cancer and drawn to participate in this larger than life event. 14,000 people attended the race on Sunday and over $1,000,000 was raised to eradicate breast cancer. That is simply awe inspiring.

Each year, I find myself overwhelmed to the point of tears as I drive towards the survivors parking lot. Tears of joy at seeing the volunteers setting up the water stations, tears of sadness for those who lost their lives to breast cancer, tears of sorrow for my personal friends who were taken too early and tears of joyful acknowledgement that I am still here and living a full and rewarding life. This year, my son John accompanied me, which added to my tears of joy.

In the midst of all of my emotions and crowd, I find that the Komen race offers me a time for peaceful refection of my personal growth. My first Komen Race happened to be on the 1 year anniversary of my diagnosis. I had just quit my job of 11 years and was in the beginnings of re defining my life after cancer. I was not involved in a support group and walked with my sons' school. It was an extremely emotional day for me. I came to the realization that day, that I had shut people out of my life. The friends that I had were work related and were not there. I was alone and I didn't like it.

That day was a turning point for me. I joined a support group shortly thereafter and began the process of redefinition. Two years later, the social recluse that I used to be has blossomed into a social butterfly. I was not alone at the Komen race, I was surrounded by my support group sisters and my darling son.

I now find myself taking chances and getting involved in activities that tap into my creative side, which I did not allow myself to do in my other life. I find myself craving social interaction, whereas before I craved isolation. My silversmith class has opened up many doors to places that I didn't realize. Hence, the creation of my Etsy shop, Caroline's Curio.

I used to get mad when people said that cancer was a gift. Now, although I still feel that I wouldn't ask for this gift, I am content in knowing that I am living a better and more fulfilling life after cancer.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Back to Basics

I just had to make this cake, in spring colors for Easter! When I was a girl, my mother would make checkerboard cakes for us. She also made money cakes. She wrapped quarters, dimes and nickles with aluminum foil and baked them in a cake!

My mom is a hoot. There's always some fun memory of something! Like the time that she hid peanuts all over the backyard for my brothers birthday party and happened to glance outside later and saw all the squirrels taking off with their loot. Too funny!

When I found a "gadget" to make checkerboard cakes, I called my mom and she shared with me how she made the checkerboard 30 some years ago. She baked the layers and then froze them. Then she cut out a small circle, a medium circle and a large circle from each layer and swapped them. Viola! Checkerboard Cake. It probably was cleaner, easier, more fun (and creative) to make this cake the back to basics way then the newfangled way.

Well, at least I served it on my "new" vintage chrome cake holder complete with screw on handled lid, I might add. I don't know about you, but the farther I walk into the vintage era, the more intolerance I have for anything that is not simple and basic. Although it was fun to recreate a good memory from my childhood, regardless of simplicity.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Etsy - Your Online Marketplace For All Things Handmade

Anyone who spends enough time on the internet knows how frustrating it can be to find a safe reliable online marketplace. Then, I stumbled into Etsy.

I have to admit, that I am a past eBay seller, who wanted to find a new place to peddle my wares. My main focus was support, a positive climate and something different. I can't even remember how I stumbled upon Etsy, but it has been a great experience and it's getting better and better! Forums are positive and members go out of their way to help us "newbies". There really is a small town feel about etsy, even though it is growing and growing in popularity.

I currently have 12 of my favs from other Etsy Shops on display towards the top of my blog. Let's just call it a pay it forward to my fellow Etsy members! Enjoy and go forth with the pay it forward mindset -- in the end, you end up getting more in the way of warm fuzzies when you give and that's really what it's all about, isn't it? Happy Thursday All!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

An Aha Moment

Most people who know me, know that I have a 9 year old deaf son named John. John and I usually communicate fairly well. I am finally taking a formalized ASL class at the community college and am amazed that after almost 10 years of signing, how much I am learning in regards to ASL grammar! I'm actually learning more about English grammar as well....that's another story...

This morning, John and I had the opportunity to have a nice breakfast, just the two of us, at Chaffin's Diner in Tucson. For one hour we conversed in ASL and I had the opportunity to use a lot of the new information that I have been learning in my class. The look on my son's face was priceless. He was enjoying himself so much that he didn't want to go to school early to play with his friends, he wanted to stay and communicate with me.

My aha moment was when we in the car and I turned around to sign how much I enjoyed our conversation and his face literally lit up with such enthusiasm as he signed back "me too". Wow.....

A Glimpse into My Journey

I decided to redirect my walk this morning to the Richard & Annette Bloch Cancer Survivors Plaza at the edge of Reid Park in Tucson, Arizona. Something was telling me to go there, as I'd never physically gone there before. I've driven by more times than I can remember and glanced over at the plaza and the gorgeous statues always feeling a sense of calm.

This morning, I took the time to read the messages on the 22 inspiration pedestals and was amazed at the inspiration that they invoked in me. I am a three year breast cancer survivor, looking forward to participating in my third Komen race this coming Sunday.

The message that touched me the most was, "Make up your mind that when your cancer is gone, you are through with your cancer". Amen. Cancer will always be a part of me, but I don't need to be a part of cancer. I'm finding that although my life after cancer journey is constantly evolving, I also need some back to basics tweaking every now and then. That was what this message did for me.