Saturday, September 10, 2016

Do It Anyway: Mini Challenge Week 2

Our kids at a local craft-it-yourself studio, where they grab armfuls of art supplies, figure out a craft project to make, and just go for it.
Have you ever noticed how little kids have a sense that they can do anything? This can be applied to everything from jumping out of a tree to making up a recipe to building their own go-karts. They’re pretty much filled with confidence.

At some point as they mature, most folks start to lose this sense. We are told that we aren’t doing something the right way. Our actions are corrected, our spirits get a bit dimmed. We bounce back from most of this stuff, but being corrected doesn’t feel so great. Some of us start to wonder if we just aren’t good at whatever task. Maybe we shouldn’t try it again because we might fail, and we don’t like that feeling. As adults, many of us have years and years of these sorts of thoughts built up, so that trying something new can feel very scary. We may feel paralyzed by fear.

In the world of art and making, this sensation may be seen when one is afraid of pushing oneself further. For example, having an inner voice that says, “I’m really great at stamping, but I couldn’t draw anything more than a stick figure if my life depended on it.” This could translate to, “I’d better not even try to freehand draw, because if it doesn’t look perfect, then everyone will think I’m not as good of a stamper as they did before!” Think about that mental leap. Why would we send ourselves such messages? I’ll bet we all do it in our own ways.

What if we decided to be conscious of our inner fears of failure, and we turned them on their heads? If we took the feeling of not being great at something yet, and used it as a stepping stone to getting better? As a way to learn, to expand our abilities, and to just try for the sheer challenge of it? Replacing the inner voice that said, “Don’t try, you might fail” with “This might not turn out how I imagine, but I’m going to do it ANYWAY!”

Because why not, my friends? We are only on this planet for a little while. Why the heck not just go for it? Try that technique you’ve been curious about. Approach your creativity from a different angle than normal — instead of having everything centered like you always do, go asymmetrical and rotate! Run over the cardstock with your car to give it some texture. Draw all over it with scribbles. Tear it into tiny pieces and make a mosaic. Stamp off the edge of the paper! Close your eyes and grab the markers for your color scheme randomly. Why not? It might expand your creativity into a realm you had no idea was possible. Or it might look ridiculous. But at least you’ll be making something new, moving forward with your creativity, and broadening your artistic skill set. It could be the step you needed to take to break out of your fixed thinking, to a place of growth and learning and challenge.

I have a hard time thinking of a more encouraging, warm, uplifting group of people than those I’ve met through this crafting and cardmaking community. When we are trying something new, there are always dear folks who will chime in to say, “You’re getting better at your coloring!” or “What a nice effect that was with the matching ribbon, I’m so glad you tried it!” It is a neat thing to watch.

Here we are at Week Two of Power and Sparklette... let me remind you of my funky graphic for this month... which was actually a bit outside the box for my normal lettering style, but I let myself be inspired by some of the heavy metal album covers that my son Finn exposes me to. Here ’tis!

For the second mini challenge, I have a big question for you.

Power & Sparklette: Week 2
What is something you thought you could never do — and then you did it?

It can be in the artistic realm, or in daily life. It can be a personal triumph or a professional one. It can be BIG or it can be a tiny incremental thing that meant a lot in some way. Here’s one of mine....

I was a teenage skateboarder, but hadn’t thought about skating in about 20 years. I mean, I was a professional graphic designer working for big clients, a mother of two, and someone who worried about whether the silverware was polished for Thanksgiving dinner. After my divorce, it occurred to me that I needed a new hobby to keep myself occupied and get me out of the house. I had old friends who were taking their kids out to skateboard, and were starting to skate again themselves. Even though I felt totally awkward, I bought myself a new board and safety gear. At age 39 I got back out there. I was still able to do a bunch of tricks. Yes, it hurt when I fell, and falling was common on those first few outings. But if I hadn’t pushed myself to go out skateboarding, I would not have met Doug! That’s where we reconnected after 20+ years, on the deck of the mini ramp. :) Plus, I showed myself that I could do exciting and fun sports, no matter my age. Within a year, I then learned how to ride a motorcycle.

I will choose one entry from the Week 2 challenge to give a $25 gift certificate towards anything in the Power Poppy Shop. Entries will close Tuesday, September 20 at midnight central.

Now, you try. What is something you thought you couldn’t do, and then you did it?

P.S. WE ARE ALL LOVING YOUR QUOTE CONTRIBUTIONS!!! So much so, I’m going to keep it open a few more days, and pick the quote that I will illustrate on Wednesday. Tune back in to see if it is yours! I will make the chosen quote into a downloadable image for coloring. Click here to add your favorite quote.


  1. I had dreamed of working at a zoo for over 20 years. I always said "when I grow up I want to work at a zoo". 3 years ago my husband separated from the military and he asked what I wanted to do since I had followed him everywhere for 14 years. I, of course, said Work at a zoo! We did some research to make sure there were jobs for him but we packed up and moved to Omaha, Nebraska. It took me a year to get up the courage to apply at the zoo since I hadn't worked for 13 years (I had stayed home with our kids) but once I did, things took off! I was hired and then promoted very quickly from cashier to part-time supervisor and then full-time guest services supervisor all in 8 months! I loved my job, worked at the zoo for 2 years before the long hours and every weekend and holiday got to me as I was missing too much time with family and I quit. I grew so much as a person from following my dream and now it's time to dream a new one!

    1. Danni, it is inspiring to read how you made your dreams a reality — and what I think is even more powerful is that you realized, after getting the position, being rewarded with promotions, and working really hard — that this wasn't necessarily where you wanted to be. You wanted more time for yourself and your family. That took great courage. And now you are open to new possibilities. I wonder what will be next for you? It's very exciting to think about!

  2. I thought I'd never get married. Here's my story. I was having crush after crush with gorgeous and wonderful men at two organizations I worked for during a span of about 8 years. The men and I didn't actually "date." I just had the crushes (is that word)? LOL. Some of the men figured out how I felt about them and either avoided me or allowed me to go on, but didn't make any "commitments" to me. However, one man had the wonderful courage to let me know he wasn't interested. I was heartbroken, but understood. He, one year later, married a beautiful, kind and loving woman perfect for him. I can still remember today their "fallen in love" expressions the day they announced their engagement. That was fine for me. Well, about two years later, along comes my soon-to-be husband asking me tons of questions about myself. THIS was after I vowed NOT to "fall" anymore! Anyway, as he asked me my super personal questions, I said, "God, I said I wasn't interested in marrying right now!" I also asked, "Is this the man you want me to marry?" He quietly, yet loudly, said, "Yes." That was 30 years ago this coming November and we are happily married (albeit having the "normal" arguments, disagreements, etc., etc., etc. because we are complete "opposites"!!!!) Why does this happen? Why does God match us to those who are our "iron sharpening iron"? Well, I can't really answer that except to say that this shows us His own creativity and love for us!!!!
    Thank you Marcella, for asking this! I love what you are doing and asking of us! I especially love today's blog about the children and their lack of inhibitions. It's so true! For us adults responding to this blog, I hope we hear lots and lots of stories of what "we" couldn't do, then did it!

    1. Oh, I thank you for sharing your love story with us, Bernadette! Adventures of the heart are surely some of the trickiest to maneuver. I'm sure your husband would agree that he's so glad you reconsidered your vow not to "fall". Your willingness to move beyond your previous letdowns was a big step and obviously took faith and openness. Congratulations to you, and your husband, on thirty years together and counting!

    2. Thank you so much, Marcella! Marriage is both a humbling and exciting experience! And, I'm loving these power and sparklett challenges!

  3. Hi, Marcy! Awesome post. Uplifting, encouraging, and empowering. I love how kids have that fearless, uninhibited, live forever attitude. I remember feeling that way. We do lose it somewhat as we get older. My mom instilled the feeling in me that I could do or be anything I wanted to be. She was an amazing artist, but oppressed in life, generally speaking, yet she still gave me that encouragement. Things were not always the greatest at home growing up. When we dreamed my brother always said he was going to be a millionaire as an adult, but all I wanted was a peaceful life, a comfy home, and the freedom to be myself. I broke away from the oppression and turmoil and now I have everything I ever wanted. I love the quote Christine shared on her blog, "It's OK to be happy with a calm life". I've achieved that which was once only a dream.

  4. WOW!! Marcella, this is a great question, one that I'm happy to answer.
    I've always been a swimmer, I love the water and, during my high school years in Mexico, I competed with the University team and in swim clubs.
    I swam a bit during my first years of marriage, then, my daughters were born and I kind of just stopped but, in 1986 I met some swimmers at the YMCA in South Chicago and they told me about the US Masters Swim club so, without any hesitation, I registered and competed with them for about 5 years, my hubby and daughters and some times, my sisters in law, came to see me swim, it was fun.
    In 2002, I was in bad shape so I started running on our treadmill, lost a ton of weight and then, my OBGYN (sheeesh!! can you believe this?) told me about Triathlons and the rest is history.
    Your question was "What is something you thought you couldn't do and then, you did it?" Well, when I did my very first Triathlon back in 2003 it was a short race, only 400yd. swim, 12 mile bike ride and 3 mile run, it was fun and I enjoyed it a lot. When my hubby saw I was really serious about continuing racing, we went to a bike shop in Chicago and he got me a gorgeous Triathlon bike. When the guy that was adjusting the seat and making sure I felt comfortable about the height asked me "So, do you think you will do an Iron Man Triathlon one day?" I said "No way, I don't think I could ever do that!" Then, he got up and looked me in the eye and said: "Never say Never". Those words stuck to me and I'm proud to say I DID IT!!! I completed 2 Iron Man Triathlons which consist in swimming 2.4 miles in open water, biking 112 miles and running a Marathon, which is 26.2 miles, all in one day, the race starts at 7am. and you have 17 hours to cross the finish line before midnight. I've done many other Triathlons, from Sprints to Iron Man and I've loved every single moment of those races.
    My first Iron Man Triathlon was back in 2006 in Madison, WI., at the ripe age of 55 years old, finished the swim in 1:35:26, the bike took me 7:51:19 and the Marathon took me 5:18:53, for a total time of 15:14:43. My last one was in 2011 in Wilmington, NC., at the super ripe age of 60. My swim time for this one was 1:04:00, my bike time was 7:25:07 and my Marathon time was 6:10:04 for a total time of 15:03:53 . I'm living proof that nothing is impossible if you are willing to give it a try. It might be hard, the road might be steep but, stay the course, you'll be better for it.
    I still swim, bike and run, this is something I love to do. Triathlon has taught me to try new things and that is why I venture into having a blog, which was another thing I never thought I would do. I'm still learning and I'm loving every minute of it.
    Thank you for allowing us to share our stories here Marcella, I'm so grateful for knowing you, even if it's not in person, I feel like I do through your gorgeous images, which give me hours of pleasure and peaceful creativity every time I ink them up.
    Big hugs, my dear.
    Maria Rodriguez.

  5. What an interesting question! I've always managed to do what I wanted but thinking I'd not be good at it. I tried anyway. First up...I went into the Army on my 18th birthday. I'd always wanted to be in the Army but my parents didn't want that for me. Six years later I got out and went to college! Me...the person who barely passed high school. I finished my first bachelors degree (2.6 g.p.a. and a new baby) at age 28 and went with my military husband to Europe. After he retired from the military I went back to school at age 45 to get a degree in Education. I applied to the University of Michgan not thinking I would get in but what the heck why not try. I was accepted! I graduated after two years (3.45 g.p.a.) and taught in Detroit for four years. Unfortunately, I got hired as the district was downsizing due to a reduction in students. I kept getting lay-off notices two and three times each year. So I got out and after spending 3 years working part-time at my church, I decided to get my Masters in Psychology! This time I was 55! I completed my degree (with a 3.7 mind you) but because of health issues and two surgeries plus one more this coming Friday, I'm still not working in my field yet. But I have hope that all will be resolved and I'll be working by the end of the year! Who knew that the girl who barely made it out of high school would have three degrees, lived in Europe, and accomplished what I thought I couldn't do.

  6. I happy to say there have been several things but the one I want to share is current and dear to my heart. I have struggled with my weight my entire life. My weight has gone up and down like a roller coaster. Within the past 3 years I succeeded to lost between 40 and 54 pounds only to gain it back. I swore I would not do that. Health challenges came up and I resorted back to my food addict habits of coping. This year I was struggling with getting back on the horse so to speak. A friend reached out to me and encouraged me and I got back on with the "one day at a time" attitude. I focus each day on reaching my daily goals. Not looking at yesterday or tomorrows just today reaching my goals with whatever challenge the day brings. Also knowing there is no end...........only that of mortality. So I am down 24 pounds and doing other things I never thought I'd do cuz of it like shooting guns, lasting an entire day at the fair, walking three miles etc. One day at a time. My story is a current one so I am DOING something I thought I could not because every other time I failed. I still may but I am living each day to live healthy. Fun challenges Marcy! Mwah.

  7. Interesting question! Makes me think and see how far I have come. After a marriage of 26 years blew up I felt like a failure plus funds were very tight. I needed a garage but only had a carport. I had worked with wood so had lots of tools but never built anything. I jumped in both feet and framed in the carport, added a window and door, drywall inside and wood siding on the outside. That turned out so well that I tackled the bathroom. Tore out a closet to enlarge the bath, made a new entrance and put in a large window. Tore out the old plaster walls, dry walled and textured! Next was the living room. I can drywall and texture with the best of them now!! It is amazing what we can do when we just decide Yes I can and will do that!!! Also, I have remarried and my husband is worship leader at our church. He plays the guitar and sings. I have never sang in front of any one or even thought about it. Im now singing with him and its been a real blessing.

  8. I thought I couldn't watch my mother die, but I did it. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1986. The advances in medicine were not as good as they are today. Her cancer was very tiny and had not spread to the lymph nodes. She had radiation and chemotherapy. She passed the 5 year mark with flying colors. It was a slow growing cancer and resurfaced again 12 years later. It had now metastasized and the cancer was in her bones and lungs. She had a good doctor and again had radiation and chemotherapy. Early in 2006 it was becoming apparent she was losing the battle. Our family is scattered all over the country but that spring we gathered early for our annual reunion. I was planning to fly to Florida for a long visit in the fall. I got a call from my father and he said I'd better get there ASAP. I got my plane ticket changed to the next day. When I got to my mom's bedside hours later, it was clear that she had waited for me before starting to let go. A serene calm came over me and I knew it was going to be ok. I held her hand and thanked her for giving me her beautiful blue eyes. We talked and chatted very easily. Finally she drifted off to sleep. I am the oldest child and have always handled situations in a take charge way. However, this was throwing me for a loop like no other. I felt off balance and out of control. It was the hardest thing I've ever done, but I did it. I try to use the good qualities that my mom instilled in me to live my life in the best way I can. I honor her even in this story. Thank you for this inspirational platform!

  9. I learned how to ice skate and of course thought I was the I was little and skated for years right up to the birth of my firstborn (yes THAT was STUPID), but I was young and didn't know any better. However I haven't been on skates in years, afraid I would break a hip to the message above me, Vicki, I am with you on that one, my Mom turned 89 in May and has stage 4 breast cancer...why oh why!!!

  10. Terrific question Marcy....
    I have always been somewhat claustrophobic. I do not mind small rooms or closets but I do not like to be restrained or be on a crowded subway car or bus or any sort of situation where I cannot "escape" easily.
    However, I tried to stifle those feelings because I wanted to learn to SCUBA dive. The thought of being underneath all that water with no immediate way to get out terrified me but it was still something that I wanted to do.
    And I did. The classes in the pool were fine. I was only in about 8 feet of water. Doing my open water dives was something completely different. In order to pass your last dive, you must be in at least 30+ feet of water. And you need to take off your mask and then put it back on again and clear all the water from it. Let me tell you... the idea of closing my eyes and taking off that mask had me almost frozen with fear. But I did it. And somehow, after I had done all the tests that are required, a sort of calm wonder came over me. I remember letting all the air out of my PFD and just softly sinking to the bottom of the lake where I was diving and just sitting there in the sand, in about 25 feet of water, and just watching what was going on all around me. Fish swimming by so close I could reach out and touch them.
    We all got out of the water and heaved ourselves and our 100 pounds of wetsuit and equipment up onto the dock and I just sat there with an idiotic grin on my face when they handed me my certificate. I was a certified SCUBA diver. Cheers.

  11. I'm scared of heights, so was well pleased with myself when I managed to do a zip wire challenge! I did it for charity, thinking there would be no backing out, and it worked! I LOVED it and would do it again in a heartbeat :)

  12. I was an Emergency Dept. nurse for 28 years. I had seen everything, believe me, and then even more. I have handled all, from delevering a baby to holding a baby who died of SIDS. Holding the hand of an older person who had crushing heart pain and was so scared, to having to tell a parent that their child did not make it. I do not need to go on, I think you get the idea. This past year, I had a good friend who suffered from tongue cancer. She had part of her tongue removed and then the chemo and radiation followed. Because it was disfiguring, she was reluctant to go out and have visitors. I had to remember that although I wanted to see her, it was not about me, it was about her wishes. I only thing that I could do was to send her a card of encouragement every week. It brought her joy and it some way, it made me feel like I was doing something too. This went on for almost a year, as her cancer returned and she opted not to have any more surgery or treatment. When that was the path that she chose, the encouragement cards changed. Instead I wrote about of the things that I remembered from our friendship and they were many. In the end, she was so very weak and I still had not seen her, only the phone, emails and the cards were our communication. Her son read my last card just the day before she pasted and he told me that it brought a smile to her face. My heart was heavy that I could not give her a real hug, just the hugs of my words. But I was happy that I was able to give her her what she wanted, and of course, my love.

  13. Everyone's journey is different and although this may seem a bit inconceivable, one of the things I wasn't sure would happen actually did happen to me 42 years ago when I became the first person in more than five generations of my family who actually completed HIGH SCHOOL. It was such an accomplishment to have a high school diploma! Fast forward about 7 years later and I found myself starting to attend college classes, terrified the entire time that I'd mess something up and would waste all my hard earned overtime money. Working full time with an extra part-time job and carrying a full college load turned out to be possible and about five years later I graduated with a BSN nursing degree. All this from a kid who grew up in the bad side of town and thought at best she'd get married and maybe be lucky enough to get a civil service job some day! Those years were NOT easy and they didn't get easier as time passed, but they made me the person I am today. I always tell myself, it's not always the fastest who win the race, but those who persevere!
    Thanks for a chance to tell my story. I don't often share it, but there is something about being in the company of crafters that creates a very safe environment.

  14. Hmmmmmmmmm this really made me think. I think the biggest thing I've ever done is open up my heart. Growing up, I had no interest in dating, never dreamed about my wedding like most girls do, never thought I'd get married. When I met a certain man, I only saw him as a friend, nothing more. But one day, I opened up my heart and I dared to love him. We are still going strong all these years later.

  15. One thing I have learned to do is rely on other people in my life. For years I was Miss Independent and didn't need help for anything. Within the last 10 years, I have had several back surgeries and with back issues, there have been many household things I could no longer do, so I had to ask for help from my family. My teen daughter did all of our family laundry for several years and another daughter handled the dishes. I still rely on others for a lot of help around the house. I am able to do a bit more now, since the last surgery helped stabilize the back, but I am not the Miss Independent that I used to be. That is okay. Sometimes it is better to learn to get help. I don't know that this is the biggest thing I have done, but one the the best things I have learned.

  16. In Dec of 2003, I was told that I'd not be able to have children without seeing a specialist. It had been a long road of medications and testing. I was exhausted mentally and physically. I needed a break. By Sept of 2004, we had moved for my husband to be a pastor. Within a few days of moving, we received a phone call informing us of a baby soon to be born that needed an adoptive family. My husband started calling social workers telling them that we needed to get everything done quickly because the baby was due in just 3 weeks. They all said it was not possible. Some of them mocked us. He called the second to last name in the phone book, and the lady who answered the phone was so sweet. She said she understood the time frame, and she'd work quickly to get us there in time for the birth.
    The next 3 weeks were a whirlwind: finding 2 lawyers in 2 different states, FBI background checks, physicals, etc. But, we had all the paperwork done in time to be there for the birth.
    The hospital gave us a room. We kept the baby in with us. Everything went so smoothly. God had done a miracle! We had faith that He'd give us a child, and He did. Though many said it wouldn't be possible, we didn't give up.
    3 1/2 years later, God allowed me to get pregnant! He has continued to bless us, and I'm happy to say that 6 weeks ago, I gave birth to our 5th 4th pregnancy. I never could've imagined that we'd be here. But, I'm so thankful.
    I've always loved the verse Phil 1:6, Being confident of this very thing that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. However, it takes on a different meaning when you see how God leads through different valleys and victories.

  17. Something I thought that I could never do was play the harp - yes, that big, elegant instrument in the orchestra with strings, a crown, and pedals. From the time I saw my first symphony concert -- Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops -- I was entranced with harps. Harps are expensive; we were poor. I learned to play 11 other instruments but I never gave up my dream of playing the harp.

    When I was in my 30's, I rented a harp (which I eventually purchased) and found a harp teacher and learned to play the harp. For the last 25 years I have played both the harp and the contrabass (string bass) in symphonies on two coasts.

  18. I never thought that I was athletic. I tried running in high school and I cramped up and couldn't make it around the block without stopping. I gave up. MANY years later, my friend asked me to try Couch to 5K with her (in exchange I made her try yoga with me). It turned out I loved running intervals and now run pretty regularly. I call myself an adult-onset runner and I just don't mind that I am not fast. I really appreciate that there is much more instruction on the internet so people can be instructed on how to start running, or coloring, or whatever!

  19. I've been greatly overweight for 35 years. I thought that I'd never be able to hike, run, or swim with my grown children, or be a good grandma to our three grandchildren. This past 18 months, I've lost 115 pounds, and can now do anything physically that I set my mind to. It's so freeing and amazing, and I'm grateful for every moment with my grandchildren!

  20. This isn't art related in any way, but I never thought I would survive my husband's death, and then three years and one month later my own cancer battle. I survived his death because of our kids. Without them, who knows when I would have found my way out of bed. But, I really, REALLY didn't think I was going to survive chemo without my husband and his strong shoulder to lay my weak and weary head upon. That was six years ago, and I'm still cancer-free. We're now hitting all of the ten year milestones of the loss of my love. In the last few years I've started my own businesses and have rediscovered my creative heart. Thank you for the beauty and availability of your stamps that are part of my journey back into living a full life!

  21. I thought I would never go back to school. When I was 51 yrs. old, I got laid off from my job in a factory. I had worked in a factory since I was 18, never worked anywhere else except a part time job in a drug store. At the time I was laid off there was money offered by the gov't to go to school under the displaced workers act. I was terrified. I hadn't been in school since 1975! It was a little easier because there were others of my age in my classes. After I got an associate's degree in Office Systems Technology. Unfortunately, the recession was still going on and employers were not beating down my door. All my instructors said I was very creative and to try Graphic Design. I screwed up my courage and signed up. Unlike before, most of these students were young. I had to use a Mac and I had always used a PC so 2 strikes right from the start. However, I loved it. I loved to create and see others creations. I loved going to art museums and looking at art online. I graduated in 2013 with a 4.0 GPA. Unfortunately again, people were not interested in a 56 yr. old graphic designer. So I'm on my own under my own label, Pink Heels Creative. When I found stamping and card making online I found my niche. I'm not so great at drawing so the stamps were the answer to my prayers! I love making cards and I have made some mixed media projects. I feel like this is where I belong.

  22. Besides nearly flunking out of high school, I convinced my parents to allow me to go away to college (mostly my way to get away from home). I went on to have an extremely successful career in education, becoming an administrator and moving on to work on my doctorate. Now I am retired enjoying the fruits of all my hard work.

  23. Besides nearly flunking out of high school, I convinced my parents to allow me to go away to college (mostly my way to get away from home). I went on to have an extremely successful career in education, becoming an administrator and moving on to work on my doctorate. Now I am retired enjoying the fruits of all my hard work.

  24. Love your blog post. Thanks for sharing a part of your life.
    over the past ten years or so I have steadily put of weight. About five years ago I decided I wanted to become more healthy. While I really didn't think I had the will power I managed to walk off about 50 lbs Sadly I have put most of that back on so now I'd like to get walking again and try to get that back off. I did it before, hers hoping I can do it again.

  25. Imagination is more important than knowledge . Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world...Einstein. Imagination not only contributes itself to art but in our every day dealings with life. My husband had pancreatic cancer at a young age and believe me when I say that after he was released from the hospitaI I had to use my imagination to make him comfortable. Creating cards has been a favorite craft of mine. I was under so much stress that at night I would pour my heart and soul into each card. My designs seemed to take on a different look. The colorings were so much more vivid and detailed. I showed each one to him and every day he looked forward to what I made. He actually had fun looking at the creations slowly and telling me what he liked best. In a way it became therapeutic for both of us. He remains cancer free and every year on the anniversary of his surgery, I mail out cards that have purple coloring (represents pancreatic cancer) and a theme of hope, love and "imagination." During that time of recovery I think that my life's situation somehow brought out the ability to reach deep within and bring forth creativity I never knew existed. I let my imagination run free and I really enjoyed the results. Thank you for PowerPoppy. I love your products. Lisa

  26. I have seen many challenges posted online but each one would expect a completed piece of art work, I don't share my art work online!! Your challenges, Marcella (my mother's name btw), strikes my fancy so MUCH!! Thank you for the encouragement and uplifting message that comes first. When I was in elementary school our art teacher discouraged us from watercolor painting. As I remember, she said that it was too difficult!! But she did teach us color wheel basics. Now nearly 50 yrs later, I am watercolor painting and loving every minute of it. I have never been any good at sketching but amazingly a few too many youtube videos later, I can get the basic design and go from there. Never let anyone put a hole in your bubble!!

  27. Around 2008 I saw crafters on line using the Distress Inks to color stamp images. I was hooked on the beautiful colors of the Distress Inks and wanted to learn so bad. At the time I couldn't find any videos or help to learn. (This was even before the markers came out. I was using the ink pads.) So I taught myself. It took me two years of constant practice and I came up with a technique all my own. I can now sit down and color images and more with them and feel so comfortable and grateful that I kept up with the practice. Since then I have learned to color with the markers too. I know that the Lord gave me the talent and gifts I have and through His help I was able to learn. I am so grateful.

    I loved the story you shared Marcella and you look so good on that bike. Safe riding to you!

  28. A good part of my growing up life was spent living with my paternal grandparents or my grandmother's oldest sister and her husband. I loved them both dearly.

    Scene 1: 1954 - I was living with my great aunt and uncle while my grandmother was convalescing in hospital. My aunt and uncle had a beautiful garden that they tended every day. I desperately wanted a play house in the garden. One with a table covered by a dainty lace cloth, and a tea set. But... I was terrified of bugs. Especially spiders. One day my sweet aunt lead me down the back steps and told me she had a surprise. A little playhouse. I was so excited. Did it have a table with lace cloth and tea set I asked. She lead me around the house to the small wooden gnome door that lead to the root cellar. I stood quietly, feet firmly planted. She opened the door and there as promised was my little playhouse with small table and chairs plus tea set. I was paralyzed with fear. I am not going in there I said. There are spiders and webs in there. Nope it wasn't going to happen. I allowed my fear to keep me from something I had longed for and something my aunt had labored over. I heard my grandmother's words - You're just a little fraidy cat Susie.

    Scene 2: October 1957 I sat on the school bus behind all the boys. It was a rainy day. Dressed in my yellow galoshes and woolen scarf tied like a Russian babushka I listened to the boys excitedly talk about a metal ball streaking across the skies of America. I sat quietly, listening intently. What was this thing? Did it have anything to do with why we got down under our desks at school? Did this mean war? Oh Susie, don't worry, you're just being a little fraidy cat.

    Scene 3: 2000 I raised my right hand to take the oath of office in the Central Intelligence Agency. To defend and protect...

    Scene 4: 2001 I arrived early to my office and walked down to the conference room. I watched like millions across America did. I went back to my office and called my husband. I am evacuating the building.

    Scene 5: I knelt at the grave site of my paternal grandmother and wept. I placed my hand tenderly on her grave. She, who I loved more than anything in the world. I'm not a fraidy cat anymore grandma.

    I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippines 4:13

  29. Whenever I see people sharing their coloring, which looks so realistic, I always thought, I would never do so good! But I'm glad to say I'm almost there! Not perfect yet, but getting there!!


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