Summertime, Inspiration and a Freebie

(Note:  This is a long one!  LOL  I have a lot to share today!)

I guess I always thought of summer beginning when the school year ended.  That was all that mattered to a school child.  Summer vacation!  Wheeee!  It was more the freedom from the school routine, at first.  Then, as the third day of sleeping in rolled around, it was time to start the vacation.  Of course, it wasn’t really vacation.  That was when the whole family went to the beach for two weeks.  But, summer days, trapsing through the neighborhood woods, riding our bikes to places we had only seen from a car window, and the hours spent, swinging over Hogtown Creek, trying to break the record – that was summer vacation for us kids!  Never did see that record everyone kept breaking.  I guess it was pretty ‘broken up’ by the time I attempted it.  LOL  Things have obviously changed since I was a child, but, my summer vacations were of the memorable nature.  Fond memories!  And, no summer school for me!

For many folks, vacations mean visiting some of nature’s gorgeous destinations.  In the US, the Grand Canyon was always a biggy.  Growing up, we stayed in motels, like when we spent two weeks every summer at Daytona Beach.  When my children were coming up, though, we camped.  There used to be some places over at the beach, but, on the inlet side of A1A, where trails led back into dunes and mangrove stands.  You could almost get lost navigating your way amongst sand and sun and trails, barely big enough for the family car.  Our favorite place was along the water’s edge.  The Matanzas Inlet, which runs parallel to the beach, was an ideal spot.  We’d find a place along the shore, secluded by mangrove shrubs, and set up.  Central to the site was the fire pit.  We dug a shallow hole and built a fire from twigs and sticks we would find along the shore, but, we always brought logs from home to burn.  Sometimes, we would have a tent to set up, but, most of the time, a blanket or sleeping bag around the fire was just fine.  We’re talking summer nights on the beach!  During the day, we’d head over to the beach, which involved a quick walk up and across A1A and down a path.  The beach along this spot had these huge rocks along the water’s edge.  From the erosion and wear from all those waves, the rocks had unusual patterns on them.
Standing on those rocks is the best way to view the sunrise.  We did that so many times!  With some of the rocks you can sit down in the eroded centers.  It’s like a personal-sized hot tub.  LOL  Truth be known, these rocks play a role in some monthly rituals for some ladies I know.  I won’t go into that here, but, suffice to say, it is an extremely spiritual experience!
Come nightfall and we were all gathered around the fire.  Being a stone’s throw from the inlet, the boys would fish.  Sometimes, someone came along with us that brought a boat.  We would venture off on little excursions, returning every so often to check in and grab a snack.  We brought most of the food with us, like a large jug of orange juice and a couple of boxes of donuts for breakfast.  Several times, lunch was a package of hot dogs, purchased from the near by minute mart, heated in their microwave oven and slathered with bought ketchup and plopped on buns.  The children loved it!  It saved us from having to pack a bunch of food and worry over spoilage.  
We had some fun times at our ‘beach place’.  Weekend after weekend, we headed to the beach every Friday afternoon and returned, burnt, sandy and tired on Sunday afternoons.  My children have fond memories of the days spent at the beach.  I do, too.  My most fond memory was the ‘phosphorescence’
Everywhere the water is ‘disturbed’, it luminesces this kind of light.  It’s an organism, or is created by some organism, that attracts mates and dinner, but, it looks so cool!  If you ‘swoosh’ your hand through the water, it leaves glowing trails.  This wasn’t there all the time, but, when it was, it was neat.  Every time a boat went past on the waterway, the waves danced with this eerie blue light.  The effect was magical!  The children were mesmerized.  So was I!  LOL
What fun!  Our wonderful camp site was eventually built over.  Some developers came in and built condominiums on the spot.  It’s flat and treeless with the exception of their ‘landscaped palms’.  It’s very sad.  Each week, when we packed up, we made certain that all we left behind was our footprints.  There’s nothing worse than pulling up to the water’s edge, only to find beer cans and rubbish.  Not only that, but, we shared that spot with a lot of wild life.  Trash is harmful to them!  This applies to anywhere you go.  Nature is beautiful as is.  When we visit a spot and take in the beauty, it is so important not to leave traces of our visits.  It isn’t just necessary, it is our responsibility to this planet.  I actually found this cool video today and it fits in with what I am writing.  Check it out – it’s short:
I thought this was cute!
So, that’s my message to you today.  Find yourself a barber!  LOL  Seriously, when I learned all about the different periods in this planet’s cycle back in school, little did I ever think we would witness such an huge a shift in things in our lifetime.  We learned about the “Ice Age” and so forth.  This warming of the planet is the end of ice and the beginning, or transition into, an entirely different era – apparently one dominated by water.  LOL  It won’t affect any of us too much in our lives, but, it will affect future generations.  Though it cannot be stopped, we can sure do all we can to ensure our children’s children’s children have a chance to enjoy all the lovelies in our world.  Each of us has to do our part.

I have some links to add today.  I have found two that I want to share.  Both are primarily for ‘inspiration’ for me, but, you may find them useful in other ways.  The first is Polyvore.  Polyvore is about style.  Your style.  Other folks’ styles.  You really must see this.  People make up vignettes of different objects/things they find online.  Not only are some of the layouts gorgeous, they list every source for each and every thing in the vignette.  Here is one:

For 2 Junkyard Diva’s by tattered*rose featuring a crop tank

As you ‘roll over’ the different parts of the layout, you can see what the item is and from where it comes, with links.  You build your own layouts and comment on each other’s.  There are groups that hold challenges.  It seems like quite the community!  I like to search the “Art and Expression” gallery.  As most of the layouts are for clothing and accessories’ style, art layouts have a lot more in them, as a rule.  I’ve found some awesome websites this way.  I’ll see some pretty adornment, follow the link and enjoy some great sites.  The folks who make these layouts are quite talented!  I peruse these pages for a spell and soon I am off to Photoshop to create.  This Polyvore place is neat!  Go visit them and you won’t be disappointed.  I promise!

The other site is Pinterest.  Pinterest is a social website by definition.  Here, people find things that they love, or like, online, and post them in ‘boards’, which is a collage, of sorts, that you create, of sets of images of your ‘likes’.  (My English teacher just turned over in her grave. lol)  In a way, Pinterest is like Polyvore.  On Pinterest, though, you could ‘pin'(what you do when you collect a link or an image – pin it to one of your ‘boards’) anything you like.  Find a recipe that sounds good?  Pin it!  Like the new scrapbooking designs from your favorite designer?  Pin it!  You may see where this is quite inspiring.  I have gained some marvelous ideas from this site, so far.  To sign up, it says you have to be invited.  You place your name on a list.  I heard back in less than an hour!  If you don’t hear soon enough, though, leave me a comment and I’ll invite you!  Here is a screenshot of what to expect:
Maybe we’ll see each other over there!  LOL
 At Digital Whispers, I am the new admin for the new “Secrets” group.  LOL  It’s a group where we share our Photoshop ‘secrets’ and tips.  The type of things that have made it in here are things that aren’t necessarily posted anywhere online, but, have been passed along and are used frequently in what we do.  From ‘keystrokes’ to ‘techniques’, the folks there are revealing them!  It’s cool to see how another artist does one of their techniques, then, shares a ‘how to’ with the rest of us!
I’ve shared about ‘actions’.  I love these things!  It isn’t just that you can whip up a bow or some element and slap it in a kit.  An action is a chance for me to click through the steps to make it, one by one, thus learning new things.  What I have is a ‘box’, a shadow box.  I made up a box in greyscale, and placed the individual parts on for you.  Click on the preview to go download.  Use the arrows on either side of the image to collect four(4) parts to the box, the back, sides, frame and corner pieces.  They are all .PNG files in ‘full-size’, based on 12″ by 12″ at 300 dpi.  I decorated my corners to look like they are old, etched gold. 
Mom and Dad’s Wedding Day – beads-jtsdesigns,
You can decorate it anyway you like.  For our challenge, we are creating a “Mystory Box”.  Mystory is anything about YOU.  If you love cats, Nani, you could create a shadow box of kitty images, some pretty ribbons and patterns.  You could make copies and design a neat layout of boxes, building them up like the shadow boxes in your mom’s hallway at home.  
Layout suggestion
You decide and have fun with it.  But, that is the point – it should be about you and for you.  But, don’t hesitate to share with us if you make something.
To post a link in a comment, this page has some easy, quick instructions – in pictures, even.  LOL  But, basically, type what is in blue:
Make certain you include the quotation marks (“) both directly before and directly after the URL.  Obviously you would plug-in your information, the URL and the title, but, this is how it is done.  I should say that this is how it is done on Blogger.  LOL  I am not sure about other blog formats.
That’s a gonna do it for today.  You know what I want?  I want you to 

SU CheshireCat

4 thoughts on “Summertime, Inspiration and a Freebie

  1. Wow what an amazing post. Your summertime stories are so cool. That phosphorescence sounds sooo soo cool. The picture is gorgeous as well.I LOL'ed for real when I watched the vid! So awesome. You know, it's so funny I just landed on your blog in an odd sort of way — happened to be logged into yahoo site explorer and saw a backlink. It's so funny, I just did a post about links in comments today. One of those synchronistic events I guess. Every now and then I see you in comments on the regular (not scrapbook) design related sites – do a comment – and wonder omg, I hope she doesn't think I'm stalking her! I had to post a comment about it though, lol. Especially after reading your beautiful post.I'm definitely with ya on the concern and desire to protect the environment. My partner grew up in an area where it was complete forest all around him. After a while the subdivisions were put in. Everything was clear cut, the forests gone. They even pulled the top soil out. He told me that it takes a very long time for that top soil to develop, I forget the amount of time but it's a LONG time. At any rate, I'm fortunate to live in a pretty rural area where there are woods around and stuff. I saw this link on facebook the other day and got super excited about it: Farming in the hood I grew up in Detroit proper, so it's definitely cool to see that people have a desire to make cool things happen in the inner city. A friend of mine was involved with a program in Detroit where they were doing urban farming. She would take her son there and he would milk goats, tend a garden and such. I'm glad that there is a strong growing interest in sustainability – even in the cities.Namaste' ॐSü


  2. Btw, thanks so much for putting my blinkie on your site. I had to move mine to a page, and have not been maintaining them for some time now. I moved them and shortened the amount of posts on pages because my blog was taking forever to load. I have to wait a very long time for the digiscrap bloggers blogs to load as well. It's probably because they are using super high res images in their posts, so used to doing 300 dpi. 😦 I guess it's one of the drawbacks of living in the sticks. My DSL connection is about 10% of the typical speed others have. It makes me feel like I'm on modern day dialup sometimes. I guess it's better than having to pay a premium for satellite like hughesnet or wild blue. Anyways, I'm starting to ramble, lol! I guess It's a virtual teacup. I just subscribed to your feed via email, so cheers! ::raises her cup of midnight coffee::


  3. That was a great post. Looks like you really took the time to enjoy your summer vacations. I especially like that second picture. The night sky and color on the water are simply amazing. Now, if only us adults can also have the same summer vacation time we used to have as kids, that would be really nice.


    • So true! I read a comment on some 80's music over on YouTube yesterday where the person was claiming how much better things were 'back then'. I thought how I could 'plug in' the very same comment to the music I loved from the 60's. So, I am thinking, it isn't so much the music, but, the time in our lives and how the music 'played' into it. We all have fond memories of a younger us. It is too bad we can't grasp that!Thank you for your comment!Su


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