How I make my photography greeting cards

Postcards, sm

What better way to get in touch with someone than by a handmade greeting card? Many a friend of mine has appreciated these cards with their vibrant colours and beautiful flowers or nature scenes. The bright white paper, the original photographs, the hand-drawn vignettes on the back in colours complementary to the photos, and the intricate border framing the picture – all make these cards a pleasure to receive. They are perfect for sending notes, invitations, get well wishes, congratulations, or just to brighten someone’s day. If you would like to make some on your own, read on.

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Easter memories and experiments

Easter paski and eggs, sm

The coming of spring has brought to me the memories of Easter at my grandmother’s place in Russia: sunlight streaming through the lace curtains, smell of baking wafting from the kitchen, a plate with a large paska covered in snow-white icing towering over a ring of brightly-coloured eggs surrounding it, and a promise of a long lazy weekend full of family and delicious food. And this year for the first time I have decided to bring some of those memories to life.

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Inspiration hits after confinement

Fallen leaves necklace, peach, closeup, sm

After being confined for a week in a children’s hospital isolation room, I came home with a raging desire to create something – anything! It seems, I cannot sit on my hands even for a week without designing something new. The baby needed quite a bit of sleep to recover in the couple of days that followed which gave me a chance to work on the new Blessingway bead collection.

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Start multiple projects

To facilitate switching among different types of activities, prepare all the materials, equipment, and information required for several projects. That way, when you have a few minutes, you can start working on one of your projects, instead of procrastinating or attempting to gather up everything you would need, just to find yourself having run out of time.

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Puzzle: Vineyard Terrace by Sung Kim

There is a wonderful book by Gerald Durrell called “My Family and Other Animals”, in which he describes life in Corfu – a Greek island to which his mother and three siblings have moved when he was 10. As a child, he explores the island gathering various animals (he has been an enthusiastic budding zoologist at that age), against the backdrop of the slow-paced life of the adults on the island. The olive trees, the sea, the tranquility of sunny afternoons, and the overall calm of the Mediterranean is what I remember vividly from the book. And this puzzle by Sung Kim carries that same quiet feeling of a light breeze on a vine-shaded terrace, on a lazy sunny afternoon somewhere in the Mediterranean.

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17 things to do while waiting in hospital isolation with a child

cheoHearts

Those of us who have been confined to a children’s hospital isolation room with a sick child know that the time flows differently there than in the outside world. Some hours fly by in seemingly-endless exams and procedures when you have to be present every moment, help keep your child comfortable, interact with the hospital team; and you cannot sit down and focus on anything else. Other times you are counting minutes as your child sleeps, worried and full of anticipation and hope that they would feel better when they wake up, or full of frustration at setbacks or lack of progress. The atmosphere overall is not conducive to doing anything productive, yet you need to keep yourself occupied to stay sane and be available for your child when they need you. So below are a few suggestions on what you can do while confined in a room with a child who is resting and does not need you at that moment.

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Staying strong with a baby in the hospital

I thought I was challenged when I got so sick. Writing this in an isolation room at the children’s hospital, I must tell you – that was only the beginning. Being here with my 4-month old baby who is fighting pneumonia and bronchiolitis, hooked up to the oxygen, IV, and monitors, looking at me with pain in her eyes while they are jabbing her trying to find a vein that is so tiny it keeps evading them, – this is a whole other level of hell. And in this dark helpless place, a positive hopeful outlook is not just a good idea – it is an absolute must.

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Battling a cold

As my grandmother used to say: “If you treat a cold, it lasts a week. If you do not, it lasts seven days.” I have since gave into the truth of it. However, with children around, it becomes a matter of managing symptoms so that I can be coherent and awake enough to tend to their needs (especially now that the baby is sick as well). So, here is what appears to be working for me

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Challenged to focus on the bright side

Fingering Zen

I must say, this past weekend has truly been testing my ability to stay positive and look for the best in life. There I was Friday, singing to my baby as I went about my errands, and planning a bbq with a couple of friends on Saturday. Saturday morning, I woke up with an extremely sore throat, my voice gone, and a snow storm outside.

Now, normally I’m not a wimp – sore throats come and go and my voice should come back in a few days. However, this time the pain was from hell. Unable to sleep due to coughing that would leave my throat more raw, triggering more coughing, waking up the kids who they would have to be cuddled and fed back to sleep. I couldn’t swallow even tea without pain, let alone trying to have some food. I would howl, only a mere thought of using my vocal chords almost reduced me to tears.

Beautiful start to a weekend, wouldn’t you say? It would be easy to stay in bed (or at least attempt to do so with two kids around), but I am easily bored, and, equally important, stubborn. And so I went about my day in as productive and positive a way as I could.

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Puzzle: Curious Introduction


Size
: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 67.95 cm x 48.1 cm
Producer
: Mega Puzzles, Fantastic Visions series, 2013, No. 50939AAN, A 23053 PP
Artist: Aimee Stewart
Original: artwork

Puzzle: A beatiful, easy-flowing puzzle. There are so many distinct bright regions, that the pieces fall into place with little thinking. I have started with the lady and the horse, the purple flower in the bottom left corner, and the yellow-green leaves at the top. Once completed, those regions split the puzzle into left and right top … Read more

Conception of Pregnancy Tracking Necklaces

Pregnancy Tracking Necklace - Sunlit Meadow - red carnelian, labradorite, unakite, garnet, piled, md

When I was pregnant, I could never remember how many weeks along I was. Having a little browser applet helped (since I work so much at the computer), but it was rather impersonal. This is when the idea of pregnancy tracking necklaces came to me. Something I can touch and cherish, something to connect me with the changes my body was going through, and to be there after as a keepsake for the baby and a memory for me.

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Puzzle: Havasu Falls, Grand Canyon

Size: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 73 cm x 48.57 cm
Producer: Sure-Lox, The Canadian Group

Puzzle: There are several puzzles I have done of Havasu falls, and every time I find them breathtaking. This one is colourful and serene. The waterfall with the bright yellow leaves above it, the mountain ridges and their borders with other mountains and with the sky can be put together first and serve as the vertical and horizontal guides. The blue sky and a blue patch of water in the bottom left, the dark of the water under … Read more

Puzzle: Sam Park – Barcelona Flower Market

Size: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 51.12cm x 66.52cm
Producer: Big Ben, Artist Series, 11404294BX
Artist: Sam Park
Original: painting

Puzzle: A bright and colourful puzzle, a pleasure for the eye. Easiest places to start would be the striped pavement, the sky and tree leaves bordering it, the buildings, and the uniform colour of the market stall roofs. The yellow lights and the dark flower buckets/vases can be done next. The rest of the puzzle is the jumble of small coloured regions that can slowly be filled … Read more