Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thankful on Thursday

I'm thankful today for several things, like the fact that I'm off on a little vacation jaunt to a warmer climate for a few days. I'm not packed. Big surprise there. And that's more of a challenge than you know. Looks like we're driving the Mini Cooper. Lots of fun for sure, but awfully small when you've got to fit 2 puppies and there's only room for one big crate. Then you've got to make room for a suitcase, so instead of laying out the clothes, shoes, toiletries, etc and selecting the suitcase to hold it all, you select the suitcase that will fit with the crate and then pack only what you can squeeze into it. Did I mention I love a challenge?
And if that's not enough, I'm reading another fabulous library book. And Clayton's reading the latest Dick Francis novel I bought ( in hardback of course as soon as it hit the stands), so that means 2 big, thick books. Plus I've got oodles of magazines and soft cover craft books that have arrived recently and haven't even been opened. Guess those won't make the cut.
It goes without saying that I've got to take my traveling art journal supplies which consist of watercolor pencils and a water reservoir brush, scissors & a glue stick, a black ink pad and just a few rubber stamps, my journal, and my supplies for my Thanksgiving cards.
My plan to make art last night never blossomed. Instead I had a lovely visit with each of my guests. When they left I finished the laundry and went to bed.

I don't have a technique to share today but I do have a tip. If you want to make a really simple card you'll need to get a dictionary and turn to the page with the words thank, thankful, thanksgiving, Thanksgiving Day, and thank you.

If you'll click on the photo above it will enlarge to full screen and you'll see those very words. I made 4 copies of the section of my dictionary that featured those words, did a cut & paste with 4 to a sheet and made my photocopies. Now it's a matter of trimming them down to size, adding a bit of color, a little clip art, and layering them onto colored cardstock. Then I'll mount that onto a postcard cut from white cardstock, address them, add my note to the back, and send them on their way.
If you don't want to make photocopies, simply type up the definition of any of these words and print them out to use on your cards. And if you don't want to mail them, but would rather use them as placecards on your table next week, that will also work. Print out the definitions, stamp or write boldly the person's name on each one, and sit them at each place setting. Why not take it one step further by giving everyone a pen? They can write what they're thankful for on the back of their placecard and you can save them for your journal.

I'm now on my third book by Lee Smith, and I'm so thankful to have discovered her at this point in my life. Weeks ago at the local library I found these printed sheets of suggested reading put together by staff members. Ms. Smith was on the list and so my journey began. Book #1, Fair and Tender Ladies, was written as letters authored by a young girl who ages throughout the book. I was so impressed that I bought a copy for my mother as a gift. The second book, The Last Girls, was even better and again told the stories of women through flashbacks to their college days. I laughed out loud often while reading that one and loved it so much I bought a copy for my best friend. I hope she's enjoying it as much as I did. And now this book, told as letters written in a young girl's diary, promises to be just as wonderful. So I owe a debt of gratitude to the staff of my library for steering me down this path of sheer joy.
In between these books I've read several mysteries, a saga spanning three generations of two families, and of all things, a Western. Two great joys of my life are reading and creating art and I look forward to many years of both to come.

One last suggestion would be to create a centerpiece for your table made only from things you gather in your yard. Magnolia leaves, clippings from an evergreen or two, and stems loaded with berries from your Nandinas or Holly bushes, mixed with a few colorful leaves are all you need. Don't take all the berries; the birds will need them later in the year.

With luck I'll post during my trip, maybe including a photo of that fully packed car! Stay safe, stay well, and always stay thankful.

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