I love surprises. I love it when yet again there is proof, both visible and audible, of the wisdom in this truth: We must go beyond the surface and seek the beauty that is within. And I love it when that truth is proven in such an unexpectedly stunning way.

Hang on a sec, if you’ll just indulge me just a wee bit, I feel the need to gush some more: I especially love it when the underdog rises above a hurtful past and manages to come out so wonderful, not despite but perhaps evenΒ because. Β I love it that someone who has every reason to be proud of himself chooses instead to remain refreshingly humble. I love that in the moment of victory he remains magnanimous, and doesn’t forget the friend who has journeyed along with him.

Such deep lessons from a seemingly simple video.

And whattaguy, seriously.

Check it out:


PS. Clicking above will lead you directly to the video on Youtube since the video doesn’t permit embedding in blogs. Sorry about that. But it’s worth watching, I promise you. πŸ™‚

Stumbling and Tumbling

Oh my. I finally gave in and tried out Stumble. Man, can it really eat your time. I feel like a kid in a virtual museum, oohing and aahing at everything around me… except this time, when I get bored, I don’t even have to shuffle my feet as I walk to the next exhibit room… all I have to do is hit the Stumble button and I’m in another world! How awesome is that! πŸ˜†

Given my love for photos and words, it’s no surprise I suppose that some of the sites that amazed me most were those that combined photos and text… and not only were these visually interesting, I also thought that the messages in them were brave, raw, insightful, deep. (I know I probably would not have the courage to lay the contents of my heart out in the open the way others do, so I appreciate their courage to speak out, and I wonder if they realize that in doing so, they have given voice to the secrets that lie within the hearts of many others who may not be as brave as they are).

Here’s just some of the amazing stuff I found here at littlemiss and icanread and some other places that I can’t even recall anymore (lol!):





Funny how one word can say so much:


(and okay, maybe i’m biased because the letters make up my name, hehe)

Sometimes, the power in the words is so great that text alone is enough:



And other times, the image alone is enough to send a message:


Then again, sometimes having a bit of illustration adds to the appeal:


And then there are images, like this one, that quietly give hope to those who need it:


This one, I especially loveΒ  πŸ˜€ (plus you just gotta love the way that font works perfectly with the image):


and speaking of music, here’s a sampling of what’s on my itunes “most played” playlist this week:

Eyeszzzzzzzzz closzzzzzzzzzzzing… enjoy the music while I go meet McDreamy (right, in my dreams! πŸ˜† ) Good night! Will be back soon! πŸ˜€

Guitar Love

I have a special affection for the piano and believe that no home of mine would be complete without it (having had a childhood where the piano was often the center of impromptu sibling singing, very much Waltons-style :lol:). I think pianos are great therapists (Feeling happy? Let your fingers play on the keys! Feeling angry? Let your fingers bang on them… just not too strongly, haha!)

But guitars! Guitars, I love because they remind me of my brothers. Guitars bring back such fond memories.

My eldest brother would play the guitar most afternoons in his teenage years, and girls would swoon. I can still recall very clearly the time that he had to perform in front of a crowd, and to everyone’s surprise, he played with his back turned on the audience (I think stage fright is genetic).

My other brother, 2 years older than me, played lead guitar in a band that toured (yep, they made it to the US too, haha!) back in his teenage years as well. He used to compose songs that I loved because they were so real. I may be in the minority, but I used to think it was so cool when he’d play his electric guitar in his room (I don’t think our dad shared my point of view. And now that I’m a parent myself, I’m thinking I’m probably blessed that my sons play the piano instead of the electric guitar. πŸ˜† ).

My youngest brother played the bass in three different bands before he grew up and joined the workforce. He’s amazing with the bass too. Ahem. Maybe stage fright afflicts only the eldest boy and the youngest girl (me)?

Ah. Guitars and boys.

And swooning girls. (Count me in this latter group).

So. It was with delight that I spent the afternoon listening to these while multitasking on … schtuff. πŸ˜‰ More on that soon. But for now… ear-candy time!

Love the last lines of this song… and the guitar picking (did I just invent that word? πŸ˜† ) is awesome.

Nothing beats a great beat… and amazing fingers. This Andy dude is amazing.

Every guitar lover knows the Boss. (This song was one of my favorites to play while driving long distance. Hot!)

Newton Faulkner. Introduced to me by my 16-year-old son. Cool dude.

And of course, this post cannot end without the coolest pairing of all: Bono and the Boss.

Happy strummin’ along, sweeties! It’s back to the salt mines for me! πŸ˜†

Free Photo-Editing Class, Fun Find & Freebie!

Oooh, I just love posts like this!

First things first: have you heard of the latest fabulous free class that’s coming to you real soon?



In the follow-up class to her hugely popular first Photo-Editing course, Jessica Sprague (and I’m proud to call her my friend! :D) brings more photo fun to you with her new and FREE Photo-Editing: Frame-Ups & Special Effects course!

The two-week instructor-led class begins on July 6th, with all the awesome stuff that come only with JessicaSprague.com courses! (Daily emails, a very friendly forum, screencast videos, a class private gallery, lots of love, and more!). Be sure you don’t forget to sign up and register (did I already say FREE?) for the course when you come around to our Spraground on the week of June 22-28. We’ll be celebrating our second Spraground birthday on this week, and let me tell ya, we’ve been working hard behind the scenes to make sure that you’ll have an awesome time celebrating with us (how does “amazing giveaways and exciting announcements” sound to you? πŸ˜‰ )

What will you need to take this course? Just Photoshop or Photoshop Elements (no experience necessary, and if you don’t happen to have Photoshop/Photoshop Elements, all you need to do is click on the image above, and you’ll zip right to our homepage where you’ll find a link to a free trial download of the program! Awesome, isn’t it? )

So mark your calendars, set your date alarms, and I hope to see you at the Registration line in about a week! YAY!

NOTE: Click on the image to learn more about the course!


So I was moseying down netland and guess what I found?


Bwahahaha. That’s about the closest I’ll ever get to finding my photo on a wall. πŸ˜†

There is an amazing variety of stuff you can put your face (or your friends’ faces) on at PhotoFunia.com, from walls to magazine covers to coins and t-shirts and museum gallery frames. You can even have some cool guy spray-paint your face on a wall filled with graffiti. πŸ˜†


(Snort!) Try it and watch time fly while you play. πŸ˜†


I have a new pack up at our shoppe at JessicaSprague.com…

T-Stickies:100% is the first in a series of textured stickers (thus, the T in T-stickies πŸ˜‰ ). This one is a set of 30 glossy, slightly-crumpled, textured stickers in five colors. The 100% labels are separate from the words so that you can mix and match them to your delight! πŸ™‚


* Click on image to go to the shoppe *

And because you know I love ya, here’s a little freebie from the pack (this one is curled, pre-shadowed, and pre-matched so that all you have to do is pull it onto your layout and voila! πŸ˜‰ )


* Click on the image to download, and thanks for the love you leave on my blog as you snag this freebie!

And that’s all the F’s we’ve got for today, folks! πŸ˜†

Have a wonderful day! I’m off to bed! ((((hugs))))

Fun Find!

Whoa. It’s been a long time, hasn’t it? Forgive me for being MIA. Summer tends to eat up Real Life time, and we’ve got some awesome stuff going on in our Spraground that has been taking up my extra hours (and I’ve been loving it!)

Last Monday we (meaning myself and my two awesome, amazing, and hugely creative Spragsistas, Janie and Linda) launched our first-ever Spragweek Challenge: 7 Days in May, which is essentially creating a layout a day for an entire week. The response has been terrific! Our Challenge Gallery has been overflowing with creative masterpieces! (If you haven’t joined us yet, come join us now! Anyone is welcome, and that means you, you, you, and you! πŸ˜‰ )

So… anyway, in keeping up with this fit of creative frenzy enveloping our Spraground, I was strolling up and down netland today when I came upon this neat thing featured on the blog of Swiss Miss, another recent discovery which is a total repository of inspirational stuff!



This is the. walls notebook and you can find it on thinkofthe.com, another fun site with some really creative stuff (the kind that I can imagine myself thinking of in the wee hours of the morning when my creative muse is being playful).

The walls notebook is filled with pages and pages of different walls, and what do you do with a notebook? You write in it, right? So when you use the walls notebook, not only do you get to write what’s on your mind, but you also get to satisfy the hidden graffiti artist within you, without risking being jailed for writing on the walls of New York City. What a fun concept! πŸ˜†

If you want to turn your monitor into your own wall, you can also draw right here on the walls notebook website (and you can email your artwork to your proud parents… or grandkids… too! :lol:)

See? (Childlike scrawl care of my inner child. ROFL)


Okay, enough playing for now… just wanted to touch base with you and let you all know that I’ve been missing you, and leave you with a promise that I’ll be back soon!