Therapy Dogs

Thursday, July 31, 2008

As we walk through our neighborhood with Lady, I notice two reactions. The first common reaction, almost always from adults, is to move to the other side of the street. Lady is a big German shepherd. I think a lot of people mistakenly associate all dogs of her breed with aggression. The second reaction, almost always from children, is a strong desire to pet and hug her. Every night we hear, "Can we pet your dog?" Kids just absolutely love her. They do not have those negative associations and are not the least bit afraid of her. I always thought it would be rewarding to take her to hospitals to visit and cheer up the kids. She makes them so happy and she loves the attention. Today, at summer school, one of the teachers brought in her therapy dog. She explained to the kids what she does and how Shelby helps out in nursing homes and hospitals. It really renewed my interest in this idea. I'll have to do some more research and work with Lady. One hurdle, interaction with other dogs. One of the requirements to be certified through Therapy Dogs International is the ability to encounter another dog with a minimal amount of interest. Lady has issues with other dogs. She loves people, but does not like most other dogs. I don't know if I could get her over that. She is a smart dog, but I might need some help with that one. I'll have to look into it more and see if it would be a possibility for Lady and me.

I Can't Live Without It

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I'm in love! My old corner rounder finally gave out last night and I am so glad it did. It was so hard to use. In order to go through two pieces of cardstock at one time (the folded corner of a card) I had to press so hard that my palm hurt. This one is so much easier to use. A light squeeze, even from my left hand, easily cuts through it. Anyone who has trouble with their hands, weakness or pain, will love these punches too.

Various Stages of Destruction

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A new bag of tennis balls doesn't last long around here. Lady loves them, she loves to destroy them. I think it must feel good on her teeth. We got Lady when she was already three years old. Since bringing her into our house, she hasn't chewed a thing she wasn't supposed to (except that roll of toilet paper). So when she wants to chew her toys to bits we say, "Go ahead and chew!" We really couldn't have asked for a better dog. We found her on After a lot of research, we decided a German Shepherd was right for us. We wanted to know what we could expect from that dog breed and make sure we could live up to the commitment of providing for her needs. It is really important to be realistic about the amount of time an animal needs devoted to it and the amount of time you have. We already took lots of walks and hikes so Lady integrated into our lifestyle very well. She gets a walk every night rain or shine (and even snow). She has a lot of energy and loves the park, but she knows how to relax too!

I made a few fall cards for my friend, Robin.

Shh, don't tell her.


A New Week

Monday, July 28, 2008

This week marks the middle of summer school. Three more weeks left. I enjoy working summer school. It is much more laid back than the regular school year. There is no pressure to do well on tests. We are able to help reinforce skills the kids will need for the following year in more creative ways and I think the kids enjoy coming. Our district also offers art and computer classes once a week. The art teacher is so awesome. She actually teaches art to high school students, but teaches the younger ones during summer school. Her attitude towards art for kids is the best I have encountered in all my years of interpreting. She gives the students some guidelines, it may be the technique, the subject, or something broad like that. She really lets them explore and experiment and nothing is wrong. I have interpreted in the past for teachers who tell the child that what they have made is not good enough and they need to change this or that before she would be willing to display it. An interpreter friend of mine put it this way. "When it comes to teachers we see it all, the good, the bad, and the ugly." That is so true and Ms. A is definitely one of "the good."

I also have an order from my Etsy shop to mail out today! So exciting.

Have a great week!


Art and Nature

Sunday, July 27, 2008

We had the perfect weather for our trip to the city yesterday. Sunny and warm, but not too hot, with a bit of a breeze, perfect! We took the train to Penn station and then hopped onto a bus to take us to the museum. I actually really enjoyed the bus ride. I've only ever gotten around the city in two ways, either on foot or on the subway. It was nice to travel without being swept up in the crowd on the streets, but still be above ground to see the sights. When we arrived at the Met, we went straight to the top. The roof had an exhibit by Jeff Koons and also offered a unique view of the city skyline and Central Park.

We ate lunch and then went to explore the rest of the museum. They had an amazing collection of musical instruments. All beautifully made and decorated from all over the world. It's a shame no one will play them.

Furniture and objects decorated with beautiful stone inlays were a special exhibit in the museum.

Console Tabletop with Allegory of Air

Galleria dei Lavori, Florence, 1766

Design by Giuseppe Zocchi

Hardstones in an alabaster ground, gilded bronze frame; 26 3/8 x 41 3/4 in. (67 x 106 cm)Musée du Louvre, Paris

There was just too much to see in one day. We plan to go back again soon. After several hours in the museum, we went to Central Park. It really is beautiful. Many different gardens are spread throughout the park, grand lawns provide a place for people to picnic or read a book. Without it, I don't know how people could stand to live in a city like that. We all decided against the balloon ride. Oh well, maybe I'll have the guts next time.

We also caught a glimpse of a bride. It was a beautiful day for a wedding.



Saturday, July 26, 2008

Heading to the Metropolitan Museum of Art today. I am not a huge city fan, but I love museums and art galleries. Ryan's mom has been involved with art most of her life and it is fun to go check out art showings in Chelsea with her. We seem to make it there, together, about once a year. We went in May and saw some really interesting artwork. I haven't had a chance to visit the Met yet so I am really excited. They are offering helium balloon rides in Central Park from now until sometime at the end of August. The balloon is tethered , but they send you up 300ft. I really want to do it, but I am afraid. It could go either way. Either it will be the coolest thing I have ever done and I will come home with awesome pictures or I will regret it, ball up on the floor of the basket, and try not to freak out until they bring me back down. I don't think Ryan will do it. I am sure his feet are sweating just thinking about it. Not a fan of heights, my husband.
Have a great wekend.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

with an old friend today. Not that we were really disconnected, we just hadn't talked in quite awhile. That's one of the best things about friends like her, though, it doesn't matter how much time passes between conversations. When we talked today it was as if nothing had changed, except my accent getting stronger (so she says). I don't even have an accent, do I? :) We only talked for about a half an hour, but it certainly made me long for the days when we girls all lived close to one another. Now we are spread out over several states. I have made friends since moving, but none like them. I'll have to see if I can dig up a picture of all of us together.
Call an old friend, it'll do ya good!

Destination, America (Yosemite)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

There are so many beautiful places to see in the United States. Ryan and I have been lucky enough, in the last few years, to visit a few of them. Most recently we went to Yosemite. We went in April, during my spring break from school. We flew into San Francisco, rented a car and drove down the coast to Monterey. It was a beautiful drive. Being from Florida, I expected the west coast to be just as built up. It wasn't. I am sure in some areas it is, but not where we were. There were actually farms along the coast. All the little coves had beautiful little beaches. In the morning, we drove about three hours east to the park.

Although April was a less crowded time to visit the park, some of the roads were closed due to weather conditions and it was quite chilly. We were unable to take the road up to Mariposa Grove. There were still many wonderful things to see and trails to hike. The waterfalls were amazing.

There was abundant wildlife. We saw mule deer, birds, and a coyote. I sort of hoped to see a bear, from a good distance though. Although they were on the move at that time of year, we didn't see any.

Huge trees and delicate little flowers fill this park. We spent three days in the park and had time to see and learn a lot about the park's history and the history of the native people who made the valley their home. The Ahwahneechee Yosemite Indians lived in the Yosemite valley they called Ahwahnee, meaning "mouth."

On the second to last day of our trip, we drove back to the coast to a town called Pacifica. Our last night was spent in a hotel looking out on the ocean. It was beautiful and the sunset was incredible.


Pretty, Pretty Prints

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

So many wonderful prints available on Etsy. Whether your style is traditional, shabby, whimsical, or funky you are sure to find something that appeals to you. Here are a few I really like.



Yumi Yumi






Monday, July 21, 2008

I am just fascinated by these. I love the colors she uses and the wonderfully odd characters. She is one of my all time favorites. I want one of everything!

See more at Crankbunny's website. Check out the animation, it's really cute. Enjoy and happy Monday!


I Love These

Sunday, July 20, 2008

You can find more of Jayme McGowan's work here and here.

Today is the last day of my shop sale. Don't miss out on the free shipping!


I Had to Have It

Saturday, July 19, 2008

I kept checking to see if anyone had bought it yet. I was nervous someone else would buy it before I decided to get it. When it comes to buying things for myself, I have a hard time. I can always convince myself that I don't NEED it and that the money is better off in savings. I do believe this, but sometimes there are things that we love and WANT and should treat ourselves to. So yesterday I treated myself to this.

Beautiful huh? It is from a shop called Vintage Chick Designs. Check it out, she has so many other beautiful things. Can't wait to get it!

Greetings (Handmade, of course)

Friday, July 18, 2008

It is hard to remember a time when I didn't love paper. When I was about 11 my aunt worked in a stationary store. I thought she had the coolest job ever. Sometimes when I would visit her, she would take me to work with her. She would let me put some new cards on the shelves or shrink wrap packaging that had come open. I loved it.
I started making my own cards about 7 years ago. I moved back to NJ and was not used to being closed up indoors for months at a time. It was a great indoor outlet for those cold winter months. I got so much pleasure from the whole process. From picking the papers, moving them around until it felt right, choosing a saying or quote that really fit the occasion, completing the project, sending it off, and finally to the reaction from the recipient. Friends and family often told me they liked them so much , they still had every one. I liked the idea of creating things that people would want to keep instead of something disposable. That's when I began making memory books for myself and for others as gifts. I loved knowing that families would share these books time and again. I made a mini book of our first family reunion last summer. When I brought it with me this year everyone loved looking back on the previous year.
When you only make things for yourself and people you know, it is somewhat limiting. Our family is full of boys. I love making things for little boys, but sometimes I want to play with all the wonderful colors and products that are more commonly associated with girls. In my Etsy shop I am free to create any theme I choose. Knowing that it will be useful to many other people frees me up to create anything I am inspired to make.
This past week I have felt like making cards. I found some really cute BasicGrey Christmas paper and couldn't wait. No matter that Christmas is 5 months away. I made some really cute interactive birthday cards too! I will be adding them to my shop soon. Here is a peek.

My love returns this weekend!

Spring Lake

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

After summer school today, I met my parents for lunch in Spring Lake. It is a beautiful seaside town with a large picturesque lake. The lake has many little, shady nooks to sit and read a book, or in my mother's case, write one. She draws inspiration from the natural surroundings and the big, old, Victorian homes in the area.

There are a lot of wonderful little shops on the main street. The shops are very expensive, but it is fun to get ideas there.

This particular shop was called Whimsicality. They had beautiful linens, soft furniture, and old and new wood pieces. They don't have a web site, but this links you to all shopping in that area. Another great shop is called Kate and Company. This shop has the coolest islands for the kitchen and other great decorative items. My favorite was a clear bubbled glass pendant light. So if you are ever in the area; take a walk around the lake, get a bite to eat, and shop for inspiration.


Proudly designed by | mlekoshi playground |