Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Dear August,

Have I told you lately that I love you?

I know I'll see you soon. Thanks for everything.
Yours truly, Kathryn Z

Monday, August 30, 2010

In Work Mode...

...and journaling about it.

This was done Sunday night, and here I am, back at home after a very productive day in my classroom.

Everything that has arrived, has been unpacked.

Most bulletin boards are done, and the rest are started.

It's cleaner.

I made changes around the room to reflect the changes in me lately.

And, I got really excited today! I think I have anticipatory anxiety.

I'm fine once I am there and doing what it is I do.

You know?

♥ Hoping that your back-to-school, back-to-writing-more-lists, and focusing again...is going well!

Sunday, August 29, 2010


It was a weekend of family and wakes and a funeral for 102 year old Aunt Mary. I was so touched by the service yesterday, that I wanted to share it with you.
One of my favorite words has always been "abundance". It may have begun with that very wonderful book "Simple Abundance" that I loved so much and that created a more grateful heart in me, but for whatever reason, I love that word.
Yesterday, in the church, the homily was about the abundance that Aunt Mary offered to all of her family: big feasts, big hugs, big cheek-squeezing kisses, big love. The priest said how Mary embraced the meaning of life was the way it should be, but that it was still nothing in comparison to the abundance that God offers us and the abundance received in heaven.
He said that the party hats and noisemakers offered by Aunt Mary still can't compare to the trumpets she hears in heaven.
This was so beautiful and comforting....and abundant with love and gratitude.
I'm sure I can never say it like it was said yesterday, but I feel the abundance of love right now.
And I am grateful for family and for friends...like you.
Thank you!
PS. Thursday's post was my 200th. So, thank you again for sticking with me and showing such support always. I appreciate you and your every comment.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thoughtful Thursday

This is the before page shot, unwritten.
I actually wrote about Aunt Mary. She passed away today at the age of 102.
She was loving and funny and kind even at the very end, and passed peacefully.
I bet heaven is celebrating her.
We love you, Aunt Mary.
Thank you for all of the kind and generous parties you threw over the years.
We all always knew that eating chocolate every day was a good, healthy thing to do.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Gearing Up

My classroom at work is packed into boxes.
My house has boxes of goodies to take to my classroom. Boxes, boxes, boxes.
I am getting myself psyched to get up early tomorrow and go to unpack.

Soon, summer will be boxed up...
and back-to-school Fall will be all opened up.
What a change from my roll-with-it July & August, huh?!
Changes are inevitable, though, and very often good.
Wishing you the best Thursday.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Sonnenberg Gardens...

...on Canandaigua Lake. It is now a State Historic Park run by 6 paid workers and 300 volunteers. The Thompson Family (Mr. and Mrs.) had this built in the late 1890's. It was fascinating.The Thompson Mansion:

This gorgeous structure, that I called the tree fort, was built in order to have a better view of the rose garden...gorgeous. It's all made from metal so unfortunately it's decaying...I want it!

This led to a garden that was once all in blue and white:

I will show you some more photos soon.
I just absolutely loved these gardens and the history behind them all.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Weekend Journaling Process

I did this two-page spread in my lori journal over the weekend. I haven't shown my process, such as it is, in a while, so by request { thank you!} I will show my steps. Here it is completed, however.First, I painted with my fingers and an old gift card, using Liquitex Light Portrait Pink and Bright Aqua Green, with some white.

Then, I decided to add some vintage lace, using Golden Soft Gel Matte as an adhesive. Oh, it stuck wonderfully... I dabbed white paint using Punchinella for the dotted pattern.I then added some more lace to the left side, and some collage pieces that made me feel inspired. When I stuck that pretty colorful piece in the very center, it seemed to stick out too much, so I then doodled to continue the paper's pattern onto the page with paint and markers. This blended the pieces into the whole nicely, I thought.I stamped interesting images with permanent black ink and then doodled some darkness with sketches made using black gellyroll markers. I sprayed black ink and added more of the Pink Paint to make this flower...
...and scrawled some more darkness and branches.
I liked the contrast of gentle pinks & greens with jet black raw scratchiness.

Here's a completed close-up of the left hand page:

And here is the completed close-up of the right hand page:

I hope you have enjoyed this. I loved creating it. I kept walking away from it and returning later. It didn't happen quickly like some pages do. It took the weekend... with life in between!
Hope your weekend was flavorful and blessed. Thank you for enriching mine!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Journal Page

The word Release not only came to me early this morning. It hit me. I like it.

You know I've been concerned about my summer vacation ending on August 30th. Well, I woke up this morning,went into my very messy art space (paperpumpkin room), looked at this collage I started last night, and well...release hit me. So I journaled about it a bit.

Don't get me wrong, I love teaching young children. It is a huge part of who I am. And there's the key. A huge part. It used to be what defined me. It isn't anymore. I am much more than just a teacher. The difficulty with a work issue last year not only was very hard on me and on my health, but it was perhaps what defined for me, that taught me, that I am not just a teacher.

I think this is healthy.

So this summer I explored me. (And I got healthier again...) But I still have issues. I must keep moving along this learning curve and remember not to let sick, hurtful people saturate my heart and soul. I can't be that sponge. If I want to keep moving forward and onward on my life journey, I can't sit still and soak up the needless pain.

My journey this new school year will involve utilizing my new 'self skills'. (I made that up). I won't let my work this summer get lost. I am taking it, no ME, with me to the classroom. Again. Like I used to when I was young and had all the energy in the world. I do have a renewed energy. It comes from expressing myself. It is my creative energy perhaps. I've rediscovered my creative side.

I want to bring art journaling, visual journaling, into my classroom. A center for reluctant writers and a place for creativity and self expression and learning. In a new way. I'm excited. I needed to problem-solve. It's what I do. And, I need to teach.

More later. Thank you for listening and visiting me...especially today. ♥ Kathy


Thursday, August 19, 2010

It Was Wonderful!

Thank you so much for your happy words and wishes yesterday!
Our Day•cation was everything I dreamed and more.

I hardly know where to begin or what to show you, so I'll give little bits and pieces so I don't bore you or overwhelm you! First, we went to visitor information, and I fell in love with this old building. Can you imagine having to go to work in here?!

Then we had a very decadent breakfast at The Brown Hound Bistro. I had German Apple Pancakes and Michael had French Toast stuffed with cream cheese and rolled in toasted almonds. Both with natural maple syrup. I was full for 7 hours.

Then, on to the neighboring winery and gift shop...

...and still down on the southern end of Canandaigua Lake, the Artizanns Shop. I was in heaven here. The artwork was overflowing on all the walls, the porch, the doors, tables, floors, stairs...paintings, photography, dyed fabrics, paper, jewelry, ...
..metalwork mobiles...
We'd heard a lot about this very natural and earthy winery and shop, Imagine Moore. It's new and is run by a young family: The orchards were breathtakingly beautiful, we sipped wine, and in the gift shop were Papaya Paper Products, even. I was smitten. I tried really hard to not come away with too much...
We drove around the lake and went to the Sonnenberg Gardens, but those photos will have to wait 'til another day (!). We had dinner on the north end of the lake, and here is the view from our outdoor table on the balcony:And here is my view across the table!

Isn't it beautiful? The drive home went quickly. We listened to The Beatles and Van Morrison. ♥ Ellie missed us. It was a very good day.

Wouldn't it be great to go away for the day, once a month?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Water Play

You may already know that I love to go on day•cations. I do. I love to take drives to a special vacation destination not too far away, but that feels far away.

Lately, I have an unquenchable desire to be by the water.

I am even reading Anne Morrow Lindbergh's Gift From the Sea...

Tomorrow, the plan is to go to the Finger Lakes in NY and spend the whole day at Canandaigua Lake...relaxing, visiting an antique shop, sitting by the water, tasting a sip of wine even.

I will play with my camera and journal.

I am beyond excited, like a little kid.

I even made a new set of fabric push pins, inspired by water and its plants, so that I could share a gift from the sea.
You can find them here in my shop.
What about you? Do you have stay•cation plans?
Or, any water stories to share? ♥

Monday, August 16, 2010

Carefree August Days

Today's journaling...

{Photo of blue hydrangea garden- credit: Victoria Magazine}