Thursday, January 22

Creating Fearlessly - Projects from 2014

I keep thinking I'm going to use some of these things I made in the year as highlights to my personal story, but I really want to get them posted and just share them with you.  

Collage, Mixed Media, Art Of Faith North West
The starting point for most of my projects is just collaged papers. 

Collage, Mixed Media, Art of Faith North West

Collage, Mixed Media, Art of Faith North West

Collage, Mixed Media, Art of Faith North West

Collage, Mixed Media, Art of Faith North West

Collage, Mixed Media, Art of Faith North West

Collage, Mixed Media, Art of Faith North West

Collage, Mixed Media, Art of Faith North West, Bird, Fly, Free

Collage, Mixed Media, Art of Faith North West, Bird, Fly, Free

Collage, Mixed Media, Art of Faith North West, Horse, Free

Collage, Mixed Media, Art of Faith North West, Red Umbrella, Umbrella

Collage, Mixed Media, Art of Faith North West, Children, Kid's Bedroom Wall Art

Collage, Mixed Media, Art of Faith North West, Children, Kid's Bedroom Wall Art

Collage, Mixed Media, Art of Faith North West, Children, Kid's Bedroom Wall Art

Collage, Mixed Media, Art of Faith North West, Children, Kid's Bedroom Wall Art

These are some of my completed works from 2014 - I can only learn and improve from here.  Which one is your favorite? Let me know in the Comments.  I love to hear from you!

Wednesday, January 21

Life of a Temp Nanny- Working with a Nanny Service

I  don't work full time right now.  We could use the income, but then I would be gone all the time, tired all the time and the kids would be complaining all the time.  As it is I have a crazy schedule. But I'm home some of the time.

I've been a temp Nanny of and on since I first became a Nanny. I usually fit it into whatever work I'm taking.  Temping is very non-routine and puts my non-conformist self at ease (yet totally conflict with my Are-You-Going-To-Pay-The-Bills-Self, who's never happy.)

I don't mean to brag, okay, maybe I do, but I rock at being a temp-Nanny.  If they ever have an America's Next Top Nanny Show I would so smoke everyone else on the cold calls.  I'd get there on time, ask the right questions, and win the prize! I know I am good at it because parents, and more often kids, ask for me to come back.  My agency knows I'm good because they often send me out to families who have never used them before and parents who aren't sure of having a Nanny.

Sometimes I look in the mirror at my slowly aging face.  I've got great skin.  My eyes still sparkle.  But I'm not twenty anymore.  Twenty is gone forever.  I wonder if my  first impression just says, "MOM." and if that is what gets me the job. Twenty year-old me would have been horrified. Current me is all, "Yes honey.  That's right.  Who's your Nanny?"

Things you should know about being a Temp:

  • I never know what I'm walking into
  • I have no idea of established routines and parents generally tell me only half of what I really should know
  • I have no idea of the established house rules
  • I might have to use a newly invented bottle system that is like putting together puzzle pieces. 
  • I have no idea of family dynamics 
  • I have no idea of the home will be super clean or if cockroaches will crawl out of the garbage disposal
  • I won't know where anything is in the home - from extra toilet paper to extra wash clothes
  • I may only meet these people once or I might be asked back but I always need to make a good impression.
  • I won't know any hidden expectations
  • I might have to open every cupboard door in the kitchen to find the garbage only to discover later it is in the garage.
  • There will be some brand new baby technology that I haven't seen before and will take me an hour to figure out.
I arrive at the home when I'm told to arrive. The parents spend five to ten minutes telling me the routine and showing me the emergency numbers, and in that time I have not only convince them I know what I'm doing but I have to convince the child that I can be trusted and that this will be a fun experience. This can be more tricky than it sounds.  

-Go find a 2 year old.  Try to become friends in five minutes without anybody crying. 

See?  It's Tricky.  

T.V or No T.V.

I will definitely encounter some strange t.v. set up I've never seen before.  You know that joke about having to use a basket full of remotes to get the t.v. running with sound.  Yeah.  That happens a lot.  Sometimes parents hand me a list of instructions just for the t.v.  I can usually manage, Dish, T-vo, or Comcast, but throw in the surround sound and the Blue Ray- and things start to get complicated.  And the T.V connected to the computer - I don't even go near it. 

I only  watch t.v. unless the parents promised the child or if the child is in bed, anyway. 

The Carpet Bag

I carry a Nanny Bag, but it is more for me than for the children.  I try to bring along extra story books and a craft, but there is also a book to read for me, my journal and a snack. I'm allowed to eat in the home I visit, but there isn't always edible food. No economic bracket is immune to the occasional empty fridge.
I love being a Temp.  It is always a new adventure.  I work with kids of all ages and different temperaments.  I meet people from all walks of life. I work in hotels and big old homes, tiny apartments, and tall skyscrapers.  I've worked for wealthy families and not so wealthy.  It has all been  amazing.


In this day and age I can imagine some really scary scenarios about being a temp nanny.  Because basically all you have to do to hire me is call the agency and ask for a Nanny on a certain day at a certain time and I show up at your house.  Or some other equally qualified (but slightly less awesome) Nanny. But the scariest thing for me is usually just trying to see house numbers on a street that has no street lights. 

I'm in independent contractor so there are no long term benefits.  This job really is for someone who isn't supporting kids.  There are opportunities coming up for me for something more permanent and less temp - more routine and less unexpected, more pay-the-bills and less, "Where is something I can use to clean up this baby spit-up?"

I should probably take that opportunity.

And I could still Temp the Occasional Saturday night, anyway.

Have you ever hired a Nanny or a Babysitter through a service?  Have you ever worked as a Temp Nanny?  I'd love to hear your experiences.  Please leave a Comment!

Saturday, January 17

I'm a Craft Warehouse Guest Designer!

Craft Warehouse Design Team

I am so excited about this.   Craft Warehouse is a local family owned craft store,

-smaller than Hobby Lobby - and with less furniture/ decor items (although they do have a really fabulous decor section, just not isles and isles
-better stocked with paper craft supplies but with less fabric than Jo-Ann's
-and with a better mix of scrapbooking companies than Michaels.

It is a fantastic place to take crafty kids.


My daughter and I have made a tradition out of going to the Holiday open house.  

Craft Warehouse Open House, Dapoppins
Raffle to win gift card.  We didn't win but still had fun.
Fox that inspired me to create two layout's based on his sweet face.
Design Team examples that inspire me to spend money.
I want to make one of these.
When they had their call for new guest designers I decided to give it a go.  Why not?  Hundreds would apply, my chances weren't great, but - WHY NOT?  

I couldn't believe it when I got an Congratulations letter.  Really.  I Could Not.  I almost didn't believe it until I got my box of crafting goodies just after Christmas.

What is a design team?

A company sends product and I get to play with it, take pictures and blog about it.  What can be more fun that that?  Seriously.  I can't imagine anything more fun than that!

I'm not going to tell you everything that Craft Warehouse sent in my box - but i need to gush about one item right now.  I need to gush extensively.

They sent me a Large Dylusions Journal.

I did not have one.  These babies usually retail about $24.00. I thought it was too expensive.  I thought the paper was too thin for paint, I thought it wouldn't lay flat, I thought it wasn't all it is cracked up to be.

Journaler's Everywhere.  Listen to me.  It is CRACKED UP, JACKED UP!  It is AWESOME.

The papers are done in sections - I can't remember what book binders call them, but the sections help the journal lie flat.  It opens to a big, nice page - I like a 12x12 surface.  Using both pages you get about (just guesstimating here,) about that much space to work.

The paper is unique.  It is smooth like manila.  It feels a bit like manila.  I love the way the clean unused journal feels under my hands.

Untreated with gesso or anything the paper can withstand a ton of water.  I've been playing,  trying to figure out my design team layout and seriously.  A lot of water.  Using the Dylusions Ink Sprays and a water spray bottle, to stretch the ink and move it about, I have put these pages through their paces.  And they can take it.  They don't absorb the moisture.  It stays on top.

One drawback - because of the binding the middle of the book is "weaker."  This area will absorb color if you don't sop it up or stop it with tape.  However, the Dylusions Ink Sprays I have been working with are messy, imprecise, and slightly sloppy in that highly popular color-grungy way everyone is loving.  You are suppose to mess this BoOk up!  When I forget to tape, or just don't want to, this interesting, organic thing happens and just adds a streak of "character" to the page later.

Testing Dylusion sprays and stencils.  

Test page, mixing colors adding water -using stencils

Test page, blue and yellow made green, and I had some of this bead gel that I thought I'd try...

I want another one of these books.  Or five.  And guess what?  These Dylusion Journal's are on sale at the Vancouver Craft Warehouse right now!

Do you have a Dylusion Journal?  What do you think of them?  Have you thought about exploring art journaling?  GO GET ONE!

Sunday, January 11

How To Be Creative By Letting Go Of Comparisons

Creating Fearlessly:

Letting Go Of Comparisons

I'm sure you have heard that beauty is in the eye of the beholder - and sometimes we ladies behold ourselves and the stuff we do AND all we can do is self criticize.

We do it so much and so well there are ad-companies who sell products based on on letting go of that inner critic and accepting who we are.

I actually congratulate myself  when I  find the flaws.  Give me a gold star, because, look, I'm honest about my shortcomings.  If you're not sure what they are, I will voluntarily provide you with a complete list! Just ask.  Or don't ask.  I am likely to hand you the list anyway.

It's not just that I don't like what I see, what I am, or the stuff I create, it's that I am comparing it to some other ideal. Because seriously, if I never saw a commercial, never saw how big the Smith's house was, never experienced someone else's art - gee what would I be judging myself against?

If there is no yard stick - how can I measure?

It's not just that I have trouble looking in the mirror and not comparing myself to other women.  I mean, come on!  Julianna Margulies and I are about the same age.  Shouldn't I look like her? Shouldn't all middle aged women get to wake up in the morning and look like her?  That smooth dark hair.  That flawless skin and bright smile.

My hair is dark.  Hey, we practically look like sisters.  If she had a shorter, triangle shaped sister with frizzy hair and a smile badly in need of a Cadillac dental plan....It's not just this famous woman (who has a team of people to make her look beautiful and whose job requires being well put together) I have this horrible tendency to compare myself to the women all around me, it's like a filter I wear over my brain!  Look at me I am wearing a giant coffee filter on my head!   I have to consciously take that thing off to even see a little bit clearly.

Creating Fearlessly

To create fearlessly, to explore crafts, art and even scrapbooking, I have to make myself stop comparing and just Do.  I have to quiet my inner editor, just move forward, letting every project become a learning experience.  I write a story, bake a cake, and or even invite people over into my home, I have to take off that ugly filter and just rest in who I am.

For me, it's a Faith thing.  I have help removing that filter, and I have help resting - sometimes I can't do it on my own. Okay, Usually I can't do it on my own.

In the last year I have been very aware of this critical side of me.  Not just because I wear my own ridiculous, useless filter, but  because I see other's through it. And I don't want to do that.  I don't want to be a critical-comparing person.  I really don't.  In 2015 I plan  work harder on being more encouraging and empowering to everyone. I choose to encourage my husband, my children, my friends.  Even myself.

I honestly believe, the only way I am going to be able to create anything fearlessly in 2015 is by Letting Go of Comparisons, and just accepting that - This is Me.  I was created to be Me, not Julianna Margulies, not anyone else.  And me is not only okay, Me is uniquely gifted, specially different, and wonderfully made.

My word for 2015 is fearless.  

I used Tattered Angels Glimmer Mists & paints to for the colors on this large tag. On the girl I used High Impact Paints and did a tiny bit of detailing with metallic Pitt pens. I used a little bit of glitter glue, but didn't like it and scrapped most of it off.  The flowers all started out white, as did those little strands of burlap.  The little frame is an old K & Company epoxy and metal frame I have had for ages and ages.  I painted it with gesso and  used a Tattered Angels Naturally Aged Paint System to change it completely.  I love how it turned out.  The little metal findings are from 7 Gypsies.  The background papers are from the 7 Gypsies, Gypsy Moments line.  The tissue paper is French Scrip from Canvas Corp brands that I painted with Tattered Angels Paints.  

Tuesday, January 6

One Little Word 2015

2011-2012: All
2013: Go
2014: Focus

What is one little word? What is one word for the year?

It's a word that I can explore.  One who's definition I seek to understand, live by, and influence my day, week, month and year.  It's the focus of my journaling (although I haven't been a daily journaler) and creative thought life.  

It took me most of 2014 to really understand what FOCUS meant for me.  I struggled finding that word, wrestled with what it could mean and how to apply it - until at the end of November I finally understood.  

In this year of going forward, I had no trouble choosing my new word.  It hovered over me and settled into me at the end of December even as I felt overwhelmed with challenges.  Since finding my O.L.W. is apart of my spiritual journey, I prayed about it - or tried to pray, but the certainty of this word being right for this season was just too big.  I didn't need to pray about it because I know.  

Less doubt - more confidence.  Moving forward, not living in the past. Taking risks.  Trusting.  More Faith.  No excuses.  

What is your Word for 2015?  Where do you see yourself going?  

Thursday, January 1

Quotes for 2015

I've been feeling like I need to shake off some old things and put on some new things...
If you are a parent, you know that there are actually two chances for a fresh start in the year.  September brings a new school cycle.  It always feels like a new beginning for the whole family.  And  then there is January...where really the focus is more about the individual - about me.  

And I feel like I need to shake off some old perspectives, some wrong thinking, some heavy worries.  

I found some inspiration on Pinterest.  Oh, you know you love pinterest!  I love to find illustrated quotes there, but lately, all the ones in my feed are French or Spanish.  Not that they don't look even more interesting and impacting in a different language.  But if I can't read them, that sorta defeats the purpose, doesn't  it. But I was feeling determined and despite the language barrier managed to find a few illustrated quotes that fit some of the thing's I wanted to "put on." 

Click photos to source. 

I choose to live positively.

I choose to look ahead. 

Click for source

I choose to dream and plan.

I choose live a lifestyle of forgiveness. 

Click to source

I choose to be responsible for my own happiness.

I choose to be a seeker not a beggar.

Click to source

I Choose. 

Monday, December 22

Merry Christmas

I can't believe it's Christmas week.

Wow.  That went fast.

I hope you all all have much laughter, joy, family, food, and peaceful moments this week and on Christmas Day.  I will be busy with my own family and won't post again until the new year.

I have lots of Fearless Creativity planned for January, including Party Tuesdays and a few other projects.  Don't forget to come back and check on me.

I can be found on Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus  and Face Book as Dapoppins.  You can follow me, stalk me, and convo me anytime. I'd love to hear from you.

God Bless and have a Fantastic Christmas!