Sunday, March 30, 2014

Cards # 51 & 52: Mission Accomplished!

Yay- in 52 weeks I have created and shown here 52 cards! These last two were fun, using special decorative paper and more. I left the green card without additional embellishments because I really like the look of the gold embossed leaf (imagine a large sheet of the same…yep, another scrapbook background paper).
It took me a while to dream up something special for the red card. On both, I kept the natural ragged edge, rather than trimming it to perfection. I folded the edges under the top panel of the card. I started by figuring out how to incorporate the black paper that I had selected to photograph the card on.
Over a couple of days, I thought about using a contrasting yet neutral shade, possibly a stamp, maybe a ribbon or strip of those tone on tone swirls? Whew, I’m really pleased with how this one turned out, complete with sparkles.
Now, to send them out into the world! Stay tuned for a new challenge!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Creating a vision board

A long, long time ago, in the distant galaxy of Lynn, Massachusetts…
The first time I heard about making a vision board 15 years ago, I thought “well, it can’t hurt”. I had always been taught to work hard and set goals, but hadn’t imagined how making a poster would help in achieving my hopes and dreams. It turns out that having a home-made sign in front of my workspace focused me on what I was looking towards, and eventually, the vision board became a showpiece of what had been accomplished.
There were many personal photos on the first vision board, so I will not show it here, but I can report back: the magazine ad of a cruise ship? Check! The thermometer to be filled in as credit card debt was paid off? Check! Fitness, Mary Kay sales goals, vacations with spouse? Check, check, check!
Not quite so long ago (2011)…
After two moves, I still had the vision board, but it was dusty and slightly tattered, and not in front of my workspace with new dreams. Meanwhile, I’ve been tearing out inspirational pages from magazines in order to scrapbook/collage them, and have accumulated a lovely pile of quotes and images. Well, not all of them are lovely, but I needed the photo with lightning coming down, to reflect a difficult, soul searching time on a scrapbook collage page.
Just this week…
My new vision board wouldn’t fit on a “regular” sized poster…it takes up a large cork board that used to sit on my craft table in the basement, until some nifty shelves were installed there during the renovation. I hadn’t realized that the cork board was turning into a vision board over the past two years…I simply thought I was tacking up meaningful or interesting quotes/images. But once the cork board no longer fit into that space, I missed it.

I believe it is ok to show my photographs here of quotes and images from some of my favorite magazines, Artful Blogging, AFAR, Art Journaling, Budget Travel, Oprah, and others. Since I had torn the pages out of magazines I purchased over several years, I am not able to give credit to each individual image. I would be glad to provide credit to artists if I am able to determine who they are.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Books to recommend

I thought I was the only person who took photos of interesting book covers, and was tremendously relieved to recently note two other bloggers sharing that they also admired and photographed books! Specs and Wings likes the designs, and Denise shared some great new (to me) titles and authors.
I confess, I've always loved libraries, and spend very little purchasing new books. One of my relatives gives me a bookstore gift card every year for Christmas, and I do love a used book store!
I enjoy historical fiction, books about our pets, and novels about people going on voluntary or involuntary adventures. I highly recommend the books shown here, though some have sad parts. I don't read what I consider to be "gore", though some of the WWII realities in Villa Triste were tragic. 
I "cut my teeth" on James Herriot's rural veterinarian tales, and laughed over hilarious scenes in The Patron Saint of Lost Dogs. Most of the authors shown in this post are women, but I read every Tom Clancy, David Baldacci, and Daniel Silva book.
In fact, I gave Anne Hillerman a try as she continues Tony Hillerman's legacy with books set in the western US. I appreciate Erica Bauermeister's uplifting novels. It's a good day when I learn something new, even if the content is odd in my life, such as cooking last meals (in Nowhere but Home) or travels to lands that are exotic even to me (The Fever Tree). What is your favorite contemporary book?

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Boston & cards # 49, 50

Last year, I posted about a perfect day in Boston, but there are many other parts of town to recommend. First and foremost is Fenway Park, and I am proud to say that I’ve been a fan of the Boston Red Sox since 1988 (way before they WON). Be prepared to have dollar bills- well, fives, tens, and twenties- flying out of your wallet at  vendors in and around the park, but it’s a fun experience!
The Charles River is a great spot to bicycle, rollerblade, jog, or walk. This is a view of Boston from the Cambridge side of the river. Parking is tight, but you can take the T to Lechmere and walk where this photo was taken, or along the Esplanade on the Boston side, which can be reached from the MGH stop, Arlington, Copley, and others if you don’t mind a longer walk.
A harbor tour is fun, though the food on board may not be stellar. I’ve taken Duck tours in other cities but not Boston, and enjoy seeing the view from the water. Boston is a walkable city, though cold during winter months, filled with interesting museums, restaurants, and entertainment choices.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Best Soup, Pie, Appetizer, and more!

Happy second anniversary to this blog! Last month, many of the blogs I follow posted summaries of 2013. I tried a variety of new things here at Through the Spice Rack last year, from crafts to travel to cooking, so I decided to not create a "best of" list of posts during  2013. Here are some photos that haven't been shared yet for your enjoyment.
Now that I'm organizing my trusty three-ring-binder with print-outs of ideas and past posts (does anyone else still use binders?), I realized that I do have favorites in categories of cooking over the last two years. 
At first I thought I would "grade" each recipe, as there were a few I do not plan on preparing again...but this is a better way to highlight the most delicious, in my humble opinion! 
While I could create entire posts of sunset photos or cats being silly, I don't plan to do so soon. I also hadn't planned on a post about holiday decorations, as I'm not very good at scenic seasonal arrangements, but I do love these military stockings from the Army Medical Museum at Ft. Sam Houston (can't remember where the cat stockings are from).