Friday, February 27

The End of A Journey, The Beginning of A Habit - ♡The Heart of Gratitude♡


This month has been remarkable in so many ways.  Mostly, because of you.  

I laughed a lot.  I teared up more than once.

Today, (finally)  I put together a little kit to put in the Gratitude box.

This month has been so amazing.  I don't even know where to go with this - I mean I'm not sure there is anything else I need to say.  Have you been over to visit Nancy yet?  You gotta read the post she put up late last night.  It's goooood. 

Go here!

I hope you will forgive my tardiness - I worked a full week and ran out of steam in the evenings, snuggling down into bed around nine (which is so unusual for me!) It was one of those weeks where I had stuff every day and none of it was THIS blogging stuff!  Or {GASP} my crafting stuff!

There was very little time to work on this...see that little trim I added?

 And- I've been so busy - it's still not finished!

I was hoping, thinking, that this could be a box filled with Gratitude notes, or a little book with quotes, or daily reminders, or even notes from people who visit, something like a guest book only filled with Gratitude! 

I was thinking, perhaps, of filling up the box with the papers to make pretty notes or a journal. And I might wish to add a $10 gift card to Joann's that someone special could use toward the purchase of something crafty (don't forget to combine it with a 40% off coupon! ) 

BUT If someone (or lots of someone's) commented - here and on Facebook and Instagram- If someone were to visit Nancy at too, ( and I counted the comments up) then maybe I could still send the box sometime in the next week when It is filled and finished? 

What do YOU think?

Tuesday, February 24

The 21 Day Heart of Gratitude Journey: A Gratitude Challgenge

searching for original source 
I was not always a grateful girl.  Ummmm. No.  There have been a few times when I couldn't see past my feet, that is, I couldn't see past myself and was only able to stew in my disappointments. 

 I was thinking about one of them last night.

Turning 30 was hard for me.  I've since talked with a few women (now that forty is also in my back pocket) and they agreed that thirty was a difficult age.  I guess, I thought that with my twenties done, I should have accomplished certain things. When I looked back at my lack of accomplishments, the disappointment completely overwhelmed me.  

I was in such a blind, bad place that more than once that year I'd be driving in my car and think, "I'm going to take my son and runaway."  

I'll run far away.  Go to some place no one knows me - be a mysterious aloof young mom who wears faded dresses from the forties, makes pies in a lonely diner, and gives sage advice to travelers.  (I must have seen that in a movie or something but I sure thought it was a rational thing to do.)

I'd leave all my responsibilities, (except my baby!) and go somewhere else.  

I'd leave my aweful husband.  Marriage was too hard.  And the man I'd chosen was horrible.  He worked two jobs.  He didn't pick up his socks after taking them off. And he always forgot to call when he was going to be late.  

That last one was the thing that set me over the edge.  Seriously.  You'd think the top of my head blew off every time he forgot to call and tell me where he was and why he wasn't home.  

Was he out with his friends? No.

Was he drinking in a tavern somewhere?  No.

Was he doing something that would break our marriage vows?  No.

Where was he?

Usually - he was running an errand or just coming home from work. 

It seems really silly now that I would get so furious.  (oh, ladies, I mean screeching, scalded-cat furious) that he didn't call when he was late, but I would.  And It was a huge problem in our marriage ( Read: for the control freak in me.)

I was going to pick up everything and leave that terrible, inconsiderate man and not tell him where I was!

You would think that a thirty-year-old woman would have enough maturity not to be acting like a five year old.  But Thirty was a Bad year for me.  All I saw was myself.  I had no gratitude -was thankful for nothing-because I was surrounded by the empty boxes of what I didn't have.  

Until last night when I was thinking what I would share today -  I hadn't made the connection that turning thirty was hard for me because I had no gratitude.

I thought it was bad because I had "given up" my dreams to become a mom - which actually had been one of my dreams.

I thought it was bad because other people hadn't seen my potential and thus held me back.  (Sounds ridiculous and arrogant now)

I thought it was bad because my husband forgot to call me when he was late.  

It was a terrible year because I had a terrible attitude, and it took some legitimately difficult times to break me out of that attitude and see the blessings I'm surrounded with daily.  

I wish I could tell you that I don't sometimes revert to a terrible attitude and want to run away and go make pie in a lonely diner.  (I can't roll out a pie crust to save my life!)  But I can tell you that I stuck with it, have four children now, I'm still married, my husband still leaves his socks everywhere, he forgets to call, works hard, and has never broken our marriage vows.  

I can tell you that living with Gratitude makes everything easier.  

Watch for today's Heart of Gratitude post at  There are some exciting things happening over on Nancy's site...

This Gratitude Box - will be in the giveaway!

Sunday, February 22

Gratitude Journey Day 16 - KSCFEB15

Ladies and girls, females and women, we have a WINNER.


Well, y'all will have to make your own chicken dinner- but we do have a winner.  If you didn't see it announced yesterday over at you should click on over there and see.  I'll wait. 

Are you back yet?  (is this just too silly and cute for words?)  I wanted you to head over there for another reason.  Because Nancy is doing another giveaway.  ANOTHER ONE!  And we are not done yet. NOPE.  Not one bit.  NOT done being generous.  Not done being thankful.  Not done with doodles, art journaling or sharing our hearts.  This is a 21 Day journey and by-golly, we got 21 days of gratitude in us to share with every reader who comments, shares their own words, or says howdy.  

(and yes, I am aware I was being redundant and I just pretty much said the same thing three ways.  I thought I would be extra descriptive and give you more ideas on what to do to win something.)

I belong to a very wonderful g+ community called the Kraafter's Kommunity.  This months challenge to win this really cool canvas art bag is to color something..  As apart of my art journaling I've been doodling and coloring stuff.  If you are looking for a Kraafty Group of Kraafty Individuals, I totally recommend this great group.  We laugh, we share, we post our projects and get immeasurable amounts of encouragement.  If you join them make sure to say Dapoppins sent ya.  Ya'hear?

There are several really great g+ groups and I would totally steer you in the right direction if you asked me.  And no I don't get paid for that.  If you want to pay me that is fine with me.  Just send more craft supplies and gift certificates.  My contact info is on the sidebar.  

Thank you all for your sweet, positive comments.  Your response my post about my Grandma Angel and working to overcome my own fears of rejection have been so beautiful and kind.  You make me feel good about my writing, about my sharing and about the direction I am going.  If you need anyone to cheer you on or want a word of encouragement, or just someone to read your words, feel free to send me an email or fill in that contact gadget on the sidebar.  Seriously.  No one should have to feel alone in this day and age when communicating on the internet is so easy.  

We are also thinking of forming A Gratitude Girls Cheer League group on face book.  (working title.  That may be a bit over-the-top) Invite only.  So if you want an invite you will need to let myself or  +Nancy Gaines know. 

Okay.  Check the blogs on TUESDAY.  More giving away.  More of everything.  Maybe a even Glitter Bomb!

Oh and, what do you think of my doodles? 

Tuesday, February 17

4 Steps To A Happier Life

Finding A Heart of Gratitude-
4 Steps To A Happier Life
Brought to you by Nancy at Domesticraft and Dana Dapoppins 

1.Practice Gratitude Every Day 

There is actually an article on Web MD about how gratitude is good for your health, (Have we mentioned that yet?) I'm pretty certain a regular doctor would never prescribe gratitude  for dealing with stress.  Mostly when we go to the doctor, tell him about that overwhelmed feeling we have, he just hands out a pill.  At least the doctors I've visited have been ready to hand out a pill.   Although the concept of  living in thankfulness is a big part of most major religions, most of the writings I've come across note that it's not a natural or easy human condition.  We have to practice and learn gratitude.

 2. Be thankful for what you have

In my career as a nanny I have worked in many very nice homes.  Some of them were very, very nice, from kitchens big enough to live in, to home theaters, and bathrooms in every corner.  I didn't grow up in that kind of "nice," nor do I live in that kind of nice now.  My finances are a drop in the bucket compared to my employers.  I don't have a lot of "new" or "designer" or "top of the line" things in my home and sometimes (read often) it feels like my family struggles with the basics.

I watch my employers spend money on new things with no fear of the consequences, while I carefully count every dollar.

I had to learn a long time ago to control the urge to envy and feel jealously.

It would be so easy too.  They have nice things.  I want nice things.  They have house keepers.  I want a house keeper.

But going down that road would hurt me as a person more than it will ever affect them.  Seriously.  How can I care for someone else's children with love and laughter while feeling uncontrolled envy at all they posses?  I would be miserable and it would come out in everything I do.

And if I was always focused on what I don't have, I couldn't see what I Do have - and I would feel less. Not only poor in finances, but impoverished in spirit.

3.Give Stuff Away

Strangely, giving  some of what I do have makes me feel richer.  Blessing others makes me feel like I have spent more and in a good way.  Giving erases my lack, and puts me on level with the prosperous people I work for in a way that is hard to describe.  They can afford to give generously - and so can I, in my own way.

4.Reject the fear of Rejection

Giving isn't always easy.

To be honest there is this weird thing in me that worries what I have to offer will be rejected.  Even if I gift someone who is in hardship with a little gas money, a really ugly voice in my head will squeal, "That's not good enough!  You shouldn't even bother."

I don't know where that ridiculous, ugly voice comes from, but it is there every time I want to give something away.

My word for the year 2015 is fearless, and I am moving fearlessly forward.  I am ignoring that ugly, unreasonable voice.  Because once I get past the fear - the reward of blessing someone else in a tangible way drowns out that voice.

That being said.....


I am honored to host this weeks Gratitude Giveaway!

To be entered to win all you have to do is comment.  Every comment on every platform counts.  Visit This Post Here to Find a List of ALL our Social Media. (You can also find them in our sidebars) And you know what, if you comment on our Istagram profiles will give you an +2 entries!

This giveaway is brought to you by E-BAY.  I was just window shopping with I came across an auction for a bunch of 7 Gypsies items. I love how "alterable" 7 Gypsies is and so I wanted what I saw.

Of course!

There were a lot of great things in the auction.  All of which I could use, there were a couple things in the auction that  retail at over twenty five dollars. So I bid.

Okay, I bid a couple of times, until $25.00.

And I won.  Peoples.  My goodness.  I got a huge box in the mail.  I was sent multiples of almost everything.

 I'm Grateful for this unexpected bounty!

Nancy took such cute photos for her giveaway  here.  I'm still working on my staging.  How am I do'in Nancy?

So, here is some of the stuff the winner will get.  Most of the stuff.  Well, ALL of the stuff but there is a really good chance I will add more paper.  A pretty good chance I might add some other things from my craft hoard.  A really good chance I might throw in something I've made...

If I'm gonna send a box to someone I might as well send a BOX to someone. (U.S. only)

Now prove to me there is no reason to fear anyone would "reject" my giving away stuff and leave a comment!  Have you ever been afraid to give something away because of rejection?  What is your biggest obstacle to generosity?  Do you even like this kind of crafty giveaway?  Let me know!  Comment on my blog.  Nancy will be posting later this evening too, so comment at  Comment away and let us know you are enjoying this Gratitude Journey.

Saturday, February 14

Design Team Announcement - Vote Dapoppins!

 I have really been focusing on my creative side here on the blog so far in 2015 - Not to worry, I will get back to some Children's literary explorations in March- But there have been some personal (non-nanny) opportunities that are just kinda taking over.

Being apart of a creative crew for Canvas Corp Brands is one of those.

If you do any scrapbooking, memory keeping, or scrap-related mixed media you would have heard of Canvas Corp Brands/ 7 gypsies/ and Tattered Angels.

7 Gypsies did grunge and vintage BEFORE Tim Holtz came along.  Way before.  And they are still doing it very well.

Tatered Angels was doing color mists when my sixteen year old was a baby.

And Canvas Corp does - well they do so much.  Paper packs, tiny clothes pins, things made from canvas and burlap.  At least one of their products can be found in every craft store you walk into.

To be on their Creative Crew is HUGE!

It's a big stinkin' crafty deal!

And Their CREW is huge.

For a family run company, they have a huge lot of wonderful, diverse designers. The company wants to remind people about their diverse range of products, and the best way to do that is to have a lot of different craft bloggers posting about Canvas Corp products.  The company has been very generous with their product too, so that all the designers can have a chance to show it off.

 I am so incredibly grateful to be one of the team. 

Our very first challenge was to create personal, meaningful 4x4 canvas in our style. 

I think by now a child holding an umbrella is self explanatory for Dapoppins.  I used golden gel medium, golden bead gel medium, paper, a FabScraps chipboard child and LOTS of Tattered angels mists.  I layered the mists with the gel medium.

Cell phone photo shows the shine a little better...

Now I need you to do something for me.  Go to the Canvas Corp Brands Creative Studio Blog, find my canvas and VOTE for me.

I know there are about ten or twenty other canvas's you might want to vote for.  They are interesting, and diverse and so cool.  BUT find MINE and SAY "I love that Dana S. aka Dapoppins!"  

I would be ever so grateful if you did. 

Click photo to go to Canvas Corp Brands Creative Studio 

 Thank YOu.  

♡The Heart of Gratitude♡ Day 8: The Art of Gratitude

Begin Each Day With A Grateful Heart

I have been trying to journal - or doodle, or work on a little bit of creativity every day since Nancy of and I started this 21 Day Journey of living out the Heart of Gratitude.

I want you to know that I have learned at least one very important thing in these last eight days of journaling, posting, and sharing.  

Can you guess what I learned?

That's right.  I can finally spell the word, "GRATITUDE!"

I don't have to look it up anymore!  I no longer start out , g-r-a-D-i...

I have totally got this Gratitude thing down now.  Yay me!

Gratitude is a work of the heart.

You are free to be happy.

Never let the things you want make you forget the things you already have

Forever is Composed of Nows

Dance through fields of flowers, sing like no one is watching

But Gratitude can't just be something in a book, something you draw or write about, or something I just post on face book, Gratitude is something I want to practice.  I want gratitude and thankfulness to be active in my life.  

Today is Valentine's Day, but instead of getting cards and candy and celebrating romance, I want to practice the art of gratitude by giving stuff away.

Or rather, I want to watch Nancy practices the aRt of Gratitude by giving away a fun, colorful, selection of crafty goodness.

Click on photo to go Nancy's blog! And see the winners)

(this photo is swiped off of instagram - have you seen Nancy's instagram feed?  She has a talent with setting up a cute scene that you really don't want to miss.  You should go and follow her.  You don't have to, but really, if you like cute stuff, you should go and follow her @Domesticraft)

How has your week gone?  Have you practiced having a grateful heart?  Has it changed anything? Are you having fun following along on the Journey?

Don't forget to come back on TuEsDAy.  The Journey isn't over with just one giveaway.  THERE ARE MORE! More stories, more love, more art journaling, more of me spelling a word correctly.  

Seriously.  Do you want to miss that?

Tuesday, February 10

Gratitude Giveaway

It's a gratitude giveaway!  

One of the ways to practice gratitude is to give to others.  

I've said something about this before, but I have a critical side to my nature.  - I know.  On the blog I'm all sunshine, sparkles, and a spoon full of sugar, but my real life nature has a tendency to be and to see things with a critical eye.

I've had some people in my life, very dear sweet people...okay, my grandma.  She could be just a wee bit critical.  I would walk in the door to her home and she would say -

 "Oh honey, did you brush your hair today?  If  you would just do it this way..."

"Oh honey, those pants are awful.  Don't you own anything that fits?"

"Oh honey, you look like you've gained weight.  Here, have a piece of pie."

                                                                   That last one is my favorite.

My Grandma gave me this angel a couple of years before she died.  She said, "Oh doesn't this remind you of me and the way I am with you?  I know I pick at you, but it is because I love you so much and want the best for you." 

She loved the expression on the angels face and they way her hands are just "Pick, pick picking..."

And though I loved my Grandma, and I love this very special memory of her, she gave me that angel to remind me that her picking wasn't meant to hurt me.

Sometimes it did hurt me.

Now I hear those things coming out of my own mouth.  Or worse.  I pick, pick, pick about homework, house work, money, all the pressures that can be overwhelming, all my worries spill out of my own mouth in a negative and spill out onto the family that I love most.  And if they don't spill out, they are in my head crowding out all my joy and happiness.

It takes 21 days to make a habit. I know I said that before, but hey, I'm working the repetition so I can build a good habit!  This week I am going to give some of my gratitude away.  I am going speak positively to the people in my life everyday. I'm going to pass out hugs, smiles, a few sloppy kisses, and  say, "You look great, have a Reses Peanut-butter Cup!"

That last one is my favorite.

And there is something more, something for you.  Each week Nancy of  Domesticraft and I are giving away  a special something!  This week the give away is on her blog here. You have to pop over to see her to get more info for a sneek peek!  (Next week is me) It's going to be very good.  Comment here.  Comment there. Comment on our Instagram feeds.  Comment on Facebook and don't forget the tag #theheartofgratitude.  (If you forgot the linkies they are all in this post HERE)

Gratitude is not one of those things you keep to yourself.  You have to spread it around so that it gets everywhere.  (hey, Kinda like a Glitter Bomb!) Who are you going to spread the gratitude on today?