Friday, January 30, 2009

Ice Storm - Jan 2009

Scenes around NW Ark involving the Ice Storm of 2009...

Lots of artsy shots.....
































Tuesday, January 20, 2009


We have a new president.
I'm in awe of the peaceful transition of power that our country can achieve.
I'll write more later, but it's an amazing day in American history.

Project 52 - Week 2 - the Layout

(I'm getting published!) I'll have more later...but I need to remove this image for a while...
Be back soon.....

Week 2: Project 52

A photo incorporating the number four.

Photo Stats
Amelia Johnson, Kirsten Palmer (the birthday girl), Julia Johnson and Gretchen Palmer,

Photo taken
Friday, Jan. 9, 2009 in Elm Springs, Ark.

Photo Background
As soon as I saw the theme "four" for the second week of Project 52, I immediately thought of this picture, I snapped after our small group meeting. Kiki - the "birthday girl" - wanted to ham it up with her sister, Gigi - in the blue, and long-time friends, Ameilia and Julia Johnson.

Over the past two years or so, I've got several pictures of these four - during tea parties, dress up day sand just “being girls” times. They are two of my good friends daughters, and I love taking pics of them together.

This picture means even more to me, because it’s one of the first ones I’ve taken featuring Ameilia, since her bout with pneumonia this past fall. It’s really good to see her, up and around, a happy, healthy kindergartner.
This picture reminds me to celebrate the joys of today.

Project 52:Week 2 - Four
Photo for Project 52:
Everything from 52:2009 - Week 2, Vicki Stegall,
Word art: Happy Thoughts, Sue Cummings,
Font: Pea Jay and Century Gothic

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Coming out of my funk

Life is good.

Let's face it, I've been in a funk for a few weeks.

The stress of the holiday season (as my cousin puts it, when you work in a church, Christmas is your "busy season") built up, and well, frankly, I was kinda grumpy over Christmas/New Year.

That funk carried over into the first few days of 2009. But now, things are changing for the good.

I'm a Christian, so I believe in prayer. I've been praying the same thing for a few weeks - God, give me a renewed passion for life, my job, etc., or open a new door and blow my socks off.

Basically, I'm hoping for a renewed spirit and a renewed passion for life.

One writing friend - Rick Osborne - passed on this advice - I've found that passion, purpose and direction comes from consistent time with Him. : )

When I asked how he went about this, he replied - Put up a note 2 self: What is your #1 goal in life? (Answer: 2 know God) So, what is your #1 priority 2day? (A: Time with Him).

Sounds easy, huh?

I've found a couple of Henri Nouwen books to help with this goal - to have a quiet time with God.

I found the books on a recommendation of a good friend, Kasey, who is a spiritual formation director. She's kind of a kindred spirit, so I know that our book tastes are very similar. I'm looking forward to re-discovering some of Nouwen's writings, and having a quiet time.

Another friend, Troy - a college friend I haven't talked with in quite a while - provided encouragement in another way as I told him about what I've been up to career wise in the last few years. We talked about finding your niche in life. His simple statements, by Facebook chat, helped me realize that even though I'm not where I thought I would be in life, that I'm probably right where I need to be.

A third friend, Andy, who is in the military, provided a huge kick in the booty, when I was whining on Facebook. He reminded me that no matter how bad life seems here in the states, it's nothing compared to life in Iraq.

Wow, I needed that. What a perspective. Life really is good here in the states. I don't have to spend time each evening in the chapel, praying that my colleagues make it home in one piece - he shared that that's how he got thru his last tour of duty - on his knees in prayer.

I could go on, but the jist of everything is that my friends have been helping me pull out of the funk. I'm realizing that life is good.

When he was president of Asbury Seminary, Maxie Dunnam used to say "God is Good" to which the student body would reply "All The Time." It's a lesson I need to remember.

I will admit, cleaning my apartment (ok, the bedroom is still a mess), along with eating better this week - a.k.a. healthy - is helping as well. Sometimes I have to remember that I need to take care of myself - physically, mentally and spiritually.

I'm not sure why all of these individual conversations and observations have to do with each other, but collectively, they've helped me dig out of the funk I've been in for several weeks.

Maybe, as a friend put it, it's because life is a mosaic - I really like that image.

2009 really is starting out quite well. I may not be where I thought I'd be 10-1/2 years after Seminary - family and job wise, but honestly, I'm in a good spot. I'm very thankful for all of the blessings I've been given.

Life is good. I just need to remember that.

I'm so thankful for Andy, Troy, Kasey, Denni, Cydni and other friends who have reached out to me in a variety of ways - through Facebook messages, e-mails and phone calls.

I'm also very thankful for my family - especially my mom and cousin, who put up with my bad mood during the holidays.

God is answering my prayers. My passion for life is being renewed. It's a great way to start 2009.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Tagged by Sally

I got tagged.
I feel special. Kinda like Sally Fields did [upon accepting her 1985 Best Actress Oscar] ".... I can't deny the fact that you like me . . . right now . . . you like me. Thank you."

So here's what I have to do....
1 - Link back to the blog that tagged you
Sally, my Texas friend tagged me, from Oscraps tagged here goes my response.

2 - Make a list of 6 (un)interesting things about yourself
1) I hate to clean house
I just finished cleaning the public part of my apartment because my landlords are showing my apartment/building to potential investors tomorrow. I told them they could show the apartment except my bed room!

2) I am known as the personal paparazzi for several friends
You know it's bad, when my friends get questioned about why they aren't taking pictures at certain events - including today's birthday party, they simply respond - Kaylea's here. (LOL)

3) I've won at least one prize, at the professional level, for my photography.
I want to keep getting better. Some day, I'll get a photo into a professional show, at a gallery.

4) I like the color purple - and write with purple pens.
I've always loved purple pens. I started using them during the semester I did my internship at the Monett Times. I could use any pen in the print shop, and I started using purple, because other people in the news room/staff wouldn't use them. Growing up, Aunt Betty always used brown pens to send me notes. I thought it was so cool and different. I wanted to be "different." Somehow purple pens became my signature color. I love trying out new pens when I can find them - as long as they have purple ink.

5) I have been working on the same quilt (an applique quilt) at least since 2005 - I have kept the patterns, published in the KC Star - their first quilt to print in years - since 2001.
I had to learn how to applique before I could start the quilt. It's the Prairie Flower Quilt by Barbara Brackman. I've finished four blocks. I'm in the middle of the fifth block. (It has 12 blocks...).

6) I got pulled over last week because the lights on my license plate were burned out. Who knew you could get a warning ticket for this....fortunately I got it fixed on Friday.
Um, it said un-interesting facts. I thought this was the most uninteresting thing this week...

3 - Tag five other blogs, and let them know by leaving them a comment
Hum, who will I tag...
How about....

My Real Life Friends (from Seminary)
Heather at Not A DIY Life -
Elaine at Peace For the Journey -

My Real Life, Life-long Friend (She's known me since high school at least, maybe even middle school)
Katie at Ragamuffin Girl -

My digiscrapping and/or scrapping Friends
Gretchen at Simple, Everyday Ramblings -
Rachael at Digital Ramblings of a Scraptastic Blogger at

My Dreams Explained - Jan. 2009

I created this layout for a challenge at Oscraps, hosted by Cynthia. She wanted us to journal/scrap about our childhood dreams. I'm not sure when the dream of becoming a writer took root, but I thought I'd do some "free journaling" to try to answer the question.

It fit the contemplative mood I've been in the last few days - really, since taking some time off at Christmas. So, here it is. I posted the journaling at the bottom for easy reading. I did have a couple of typos in the original layout - I have fixed them in the original file, and hopefully have the "right" web version uploaded...oh well, just because I'm a writer, doesn't mean I can spell all the time! Anyway, click on the image to be taken to my Oscraps gallery.

Align Center

Dreams 2
Credits: Everything from Hopes & Dreams, Jan 2009 Collab,
Except: Frame: Fancy Schmancy Frames v. 1, Karah Fredricks, (recoloured using a paper from Hopes & Dreams) Font: Century Gothic

I’m not sure when the dream began to take root, and actually emerged as a career path, but by my freshman year of college I knew I wanted to become a writer/journalist.

At one point, I wanted to become the next “Woodward & Burnstein” - the journalist who broke the Watergate/Nixon scandal in the early 1970s for the Washington Post.

Somehow, even then, I knew that everyone has a story to tell. I wanted to be the writer who helped document history for the world.

Along the way, and a call to ministry helped refine my dream into a new direction; and I was given a passion for creating and developing curriculum which could then be used in children’s and youth ministry programs.

In the last few years, my goal of storytelling also branched into a love of photojournalism - knowing that a picture truly does “say” more than 1,000 words.

Even though my current writing is limited to freelance projects, and what I do at the church, I still consider myself a journalist/photo journalist.

I know it’s a non-traditional route, but I do use everything I learned in college & seminary in my present job - working as a children’s pastor and communications assistant. Especially as I modify/create lessons for the weekly discipleship program and organize/create all of the print and web communications for the church.

My goal for this year, is to simply began to dream again, in order to see how God can use my hopes and desires, along with my skills as a writer and photographer, in a new way.

I’m not sure what will happen in 2009. I hope to expand and develop my freelance projects - and maybe even start writing that elusive novel that I’ve joked about for years.

The initial dream has changed, but the ultimate reality is same - I am a writer. I am a photographer. I am a life artist - creating pieces of art through stories and images.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

52 Inspirations - Wk 1

I'm going to try to scrap my Project 52 Photos with 52 Inspirations 2009 (an Oscraps project).
- 52 Inspirations 2009 is a joint venture by Sue Cummings, Vicki Stegall and Genevieve Sass - designers at

Week 1's Photo...

Photo for Project 52 at
Everything from 52:2009 - Week 1, Sue Cummings,
Photo Mask: Undercover again, Ashlee Wall,
Font: Century Gothic and Pea Jay

Project 52 - Week 1 and 2

Ok, I'm a bit behind, but I'm catching up in one quick post.

I'd been hearing about Project 365 - where you take a photo a day all year, and while I think this is great, there's no way I'd be able to keep up with doing this.

But tonight, I found out about Project 52, at Scrap Artist - a challenge to take one photo each week for 2009.

A great photograph is one that fully expresses what one feels, in the deepest sense, about what is being photographed. ~ by Ansel Adams

I decided I could push myself to take 1 photo per week to document this year. I'll use the photos for this challenge, and also for a project at Oscraps using Sue Cummings stuff. (More on it later).

Anyway, I found out about this just as week 1 was closing - and I immediately had week 2's photo from something tonight.

So here's my start....

Week 1 -
Something That Makes You Happy (and why)
Photo Title: "Trail Ride"

Photo Stats
My Niece - Tay, Nephew - CW & my Dad.
Photo taken: Christmas Day, 2008 (I skipped the New Year's Eve Trail Ride, so I fudged on the pic).

Photo Background
Ok, I cheated a bit. This photo was taken on Christmas Day. (I skipped the New Year's Day ride).

Going riding (even though It's uncomfortable for this "city-fied" auntie...) with my niece and nephew, and my dad, makes me happy.

I need to remember that - I get frustrated while riding, but then, when I look at the pics, it's fun.

(I almost fell off the horse on this hung up in the trees after taking this pic.)

I know it's not the most "creative" photo, but it's more of a snapshot/memory jogger of the day/event.

Week 2 -
Theme: Four
Photo Title: "The Four Amigos"

Photo Stats
Kiki - the birthday girl, (second from left), along with A, J, and Gigi.
Photo taken: Friday, Jan. 11 - her sixth birthday, Elm Springs, Ark.

Photo Background
As soon as I saw the theme "four" for this week, I thought of this picture, I snapped this evening at small group. Ki - the "birthday girl" wanted to ham it up with her sister, Gi - in the blue, and friends A & J.

I've got several pictures of these four, from the last few years. Everything from tea parties to dress up days.

They are two of my good friends daughters, and I love taking pics of the four. A (red shirt) got really sick this fall, and it's so good to see her, up and around, a happy, healthy kindergartener.

This picture reminds me to celebrate the joys of today.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

A few recent layouts....

Here's a few layouts I've made since Christmas...trying to get my scrapbook mojo back...
Click on the images to go to my Oscraps gallery....

Mosaic Taylor
Inspired by a tutorial by Amanda Taylor - Taylor Made Designs at
It's one of the first layouts I've made in recent weeks.

Webkinz Christmas
Gi and Ki with their Webkinz Clown Fish - purchased so they could have
underwater rooms in their Webkinz accounts.
Celebrating Christmas
I surprised Collin with a Cow Webkinz - his first - for Christmas.
He looked so happy, and it's one of the few pics I've taken of him this fall, that he
"let me" take without much fuss or fueding...

Christmas 2008
I was trying for a good pic, similar to one that mom has of me and Will (brother) on a Christmas morning. The center one is as close as I got! (I think it's cute).

One Little Word - Dream

For the past two years, I've picked a word - thanks to Ali Edward's idea.

This year, my word is dream.

Click on the image to be taken to my gallery...credits:
Everything from Hopes & Dreams, Collab
Fancy Schmancy Frames Vol. 1, Karah Fredricks at
Fonts: Pea Jay

The journaling reads:
I knew when I saw this figurine, it confirmed my "word" that I'll start 2009 with - Dream.
I need to learn how to dream again. I need to find something to look forward to - to break out of the monotony of life. I need to dream!

I'm hoping that using this word as my "jump start" for my year for a variety of reasons.
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