The Celebrity Death Affect

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Princess Di and PSH

I remember August 31, 1997. I was sitting in my best friend’s living room watching television and chatting with her family. Suddenly a news flash interrupted our program to announce that Princess Diana was seriously injured in a major car accident and rushed to the hospital. I remember when the official word came that she had passed away. I remember the horrific pictures of the mangled limousine. I remember crying…a lot.

I never met Princess Diana. I never saw her anywhere except for magazine covers and on television. Yet, her death profoundly affected me. Likewise, my mother told be how clearly she remembers the day that President Kennedy was assassinated, almost as if it were yesterday. I’m sure most people you talk to who lived during that time can recall where they were when they heard the news that the President had been shot.

With the passing of Philip Seymour Hoffman this past weekend, I find myself reflecting on the way public people affect our lives when they die. I knew very little about Mr. Hoffman’s personal life, but I was enamored with his work. He was a true talent both on screen and on stage and I can’t recall a single one of his performances that I did not like. I know that he battled addiction in the past, so when he died Sunday of an apparent overdose it wasn’t really surprising. What was surprising is how much I find myself thinking about it. It really saddens me that Mr. Hoffman is no longer in this world. My heart breaks for his children and family. Yet at the same time, I’m furious with his reckless behavior that resulted in three young children losing their father (Yeah, yeah, I could go into the whole addiction is a disease, and I agree. But that is a conversation for another time. For now, these are my feelings).

I would have never thought that this man’s death would affect me in these ways. I mean, celebrities die all the time just like everyone else. In fact, there were several tragic celebrity deaths over the past year just as surprising and sad – Paul Walker’s car crash and Cory Monteith’s overdose come to mind. Yes, my heart and prayers went out to the loved ones of those people. But those deaths did not stayed with me. Many of them don’t. We all have those people who inspire us, that touch us our lives in one way or another, sometimes without even realizing it. And when those people leave us, I believe that is common when we are surprised by our own reaction. I may not remember the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman the way that I will always remember Princess Diana’s, but I will always appreciate the amazing work that he has left us.

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The Art of Fandom

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Fandom is interesting. Have you ever considered why you support the team(s) that you do? I know I am asked all the time about why I’m a Carolina Panthers fan considering I’m from the west coast. In fact, there are people in my family that are shocked when I root against the regional teams.

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Picture courtesy of SportsInterProblems.

Growing up my mom was a die hard San Francisco 49ers fan and my dad was a die hard Oakland Raiders fan (they still are today). Sundays when the two teams met were always filled with cheers and boos from my parents as they took each other on. It was a great experience.

When I was 13 my aunt and uncle moved in with us for a while. They were die hard Dallas Cowboys fans, and let me tell you, as fans my parents had nothing on them. I had never seen fans so absolutely dedicated to their team. It was the first time when I found myself disliking a sports organization. I hate the Cowboys to this day. When I stop to think about it, I don’t really know why I don’t like them. All I can come up with is that my aunt and uncle planted a little seed of resentment deep inside my soul against Dallas and watered it every time they insisted that the Cowboys were the greatest team of all time. To me, that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. I dislike the Dallas Cowboys because my aunt and uncle loved them so much? But that is a part of fandom. There is no common sense involved.

I love football and when I was 15, I made the conscience decision to choose an NFL team. I didn’t want to be associated with either of my parents teams and there was no way in hell I was going to choose the Dallas Cowboys. Lucky for me that year there were two new expansion teams – the Carolina Panthers and the Jacksonville Jaguars. I chose the Panthers. They were not close to me and I would probably only catch one game every season when they played a regional team. But, they were new and they were pretty. A lot of people think that I became a Panthers fan when I moved to Charlotte, North Carolina in 2006. The truth is that I had already been a fan for years before. My mother-in-law even asked me if we had chosen Charlotte because the Panthers were based there (of course it wasn’t, but it was a nice bonus). Now that we are back in Southern California, my North Carolina fans ask me often if I’ve abandoned the Panthers for one of the regional teams like the San Diego Chargers. Of course I haven’t! I am and I will always be a Carolina Panthers fan. Period.

One thing that I love about fandom is that you get to root against the teams you don’t like. And you don’t have to have any rationale for doing it! For example, I don’t like the San Diego Chargers, almost as much as I don’t like the Cowboys. I have no clue as to why I don’t like the Chargers. There is absolutely no reason for it. I can’t come up with players I don’t like, nothing. No reason. Though, I will admit that there is the added bonus of it being my brother-in-law’s team and I get to root against them.

Photo courtesy of FoxSports.com

Photo courtesy of FoxSports.com

Fandom is magical and stressful all at the same time. We stress when our favorite team is winning, we stress when they are loosing. We celebrate them as if we knew each player personally. I shout to my favorite player, #34 DeAngelo Williams as if he can hear me through the TV. As fans, we talk smack to each other in hopes our team will win over our friend’s and when we lose we shave our heads and grow out beards. We form groups, sit in freezing temperatures without shirts and big letters painted on across our chests spelling out “GO PACKERS” only to prove our dedication. Yes, being a fan brings out the stupidity in all of us. I love being a fan and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

New Digital Clip Art

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I think I’m ready for summer. The cold was fun in December, but now that it’s January flamingo5I’m over it. Scrolling through Pinterest a week ago I came upon a really awesome Flamingo illustration by Neil Schrubb. I love the bright colors of this piece! It makes me feel like summer is already here.

Naturally, I thought I would do something similar. I drew up a couple flamingos, digitalized them, and then colored them. I have never used neon colors before, so it was fun to experiment and play with them to find the right level of brightness.

I also wanted them to be used for Valentine’s Day. How many flamingo’s do you see on Valentine’s cards? Practically none right? Why not something different? I get tired of the same old monkeys and puppies. So, I created flamingo love birds. What I really love is how their necks make a heart shape when they are put together. So cute!

What do you think?

Flamingo clip art

A Case of the Shoulds

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With the new year upon us, we all want to better ourselves. That’s what a New Year’s resolution is right? I way to improve upon our flaws. I recently read an article about negative thinking and ways to avoid it and one of the tips talked about the shoulds. This was an interesting idea considering it was the start of a new year. Everything in January from articles to talk shows to our daily conversations are covered in shoulds. I should lose weight. I should eat healier. I should stop wasting time. I should get outside more.

The tip was to avoid the shoulds. All they do is add more stress and guilt to your life. I know for me, the shoulds start to weigh heavy as they start to make me feel inadequate when I don’t successfully incorporate them into daily life. Hell, life is already so busy that guilt comes with or without the shoulds. I read another funny article by Dan Pearce, author of the blog Single Dad Laughing, where he talks about “shoulding all over yourself” and what a negative toll it takes on us. Everyone does it. But how many of us realize it?

My biggest problem with the shoulds is that I use them against myself as a mother. I should be teaching my two-year-old letter recognition. I should be teaching my four-year-old how to read before he gets to kindergarten. I should be cooking healthy and complete dinners every night. I shouldn’t let my kids watch more than an hour of TV. I have a lot of shoulds when it comes to my boys.

As a result, it is my New Year’s resolution to avoid the shoulds. No more thinking that I should start doing this or I should stop doing that. From now on I will focus on the present. If I have a chance to fit a yoga session into my day, great! If I don’t, then no sweat. I can try again tomorrow. No more thinking, “I shouldn’t eat that entire box of hot tamales.” If I do, then oh well. Now it’s gone and I won’t eat it tomorrow.

Now that I’m thinking about getting rid of all of these shoulds, I’m starting to feel relief.  Of course it will take some practice in mind control, but if relief is already on the horizon imagine how much better getting rid of all the shoulds will feel!

To Old to Believe?

My twelve-year-old niece still, whole-heartedly, believes in Santa Claus. This year, my sister is faced with the ultimate dilemma: should she tell her the truth. Now that she is in middle school, my sister is concerned that her daughter will be ridiculed for this belief.

This bothers me. As a mother of two small children, I do everything in my power to encourage them to believe in everything – our elf on the shelf (Phil), Santa, the Easter Bunny, leprechauns, even Mickey Mouse. It will totally suck when they stop believing.

As I looked more into this subject I realized that there are parents out there who discourage their children’s belief in anything that can’t be seen or touched. The thought is that they don’t want to perpetuate the lie. There is even the idea that the world is tough and kids should face it now rather than later.

I fully respect that every parent is welcome to their own belief and parenting system. However I disagree with this “perpetuating the Santa lie.” These people are right in that the world is difficult for our kids. But I think that providing them with a little bit of magic and wonder is all too important in their lives. The belief in Santa Claus creates the ability to use these amazing things that we all have (and too often forget we have): imagination. My kids have tons of imagination and they are brilliant about how they use it. They can be put in the most boring situation and create a game together and completely lose themselves in their own world. It’s amazing to watch.

Plus, there is nothing like the feeling I get when my four-year-old puts his arms around my neck and tells me how excited he is for Phil to visit. Or when my two-year-old runs into my room every morning exclaiming, “Mama do you know where Phil is hiding today?!” Maybe it’s greedy on my part to get to soak up the innocent joy that exudes from them, but I also know how much they love it and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

What do I take away from this topic? My kids won’t believe in Santa forever. I know that. It is just part of life. But, what I can teach them is to respect the beliefs of others, especially if they don’t share those same beliefs. My niece still believes and it isn’t fair to her for other kids to ruin the magic. I can only hope that my own kids won’t ruin the magic for anyone else when the time comes.

Digital Designers FREEBIE Holiday Facebook Hop

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Digital Freebies available starting today December 3, 2013!

DD_Christmas_2013_FB_Hop_Logo

Join the Digital Designers in another FREEBIE Facebook Hop! You’ll have the oppportunity to download FOR FREE freebies of all kinds from wonderful designers centered around the holiday theme.

{HOW}

Start by clicking this Facebook Hop button

FB tab

That will take you to the first Facebook Page. Click LIKE then the same Facebook Hop button on the facebook page to download your freebies. Then click “NEXT” to go to each page. If you get lost come back here and use the Facebook list below.

My contribution {Holiday Surprises}

Christmas FB Hop Preview

{Designer Facebook Pages}

01. Etsy Shop: Lovelytocu  –  Visit Facebook Page
02. Etsy Shop: Sher Hastings Designs  –  Visit Facebook Page
03. Etsy Shop: Simply Brenna  –  Visit Facebook Page
04. Etsy Shop: MakntheRoundsVisit Facebook Page
05. Etsy Shop: Arigigi PixelVisit Facebook Page
06. Etsy Shop: La Bella CartaVisit Facebook Page
07. Etsy Shop: Robyn GoughVisit Facebook Page
08. Etsy Shop: Picky ChickenVisit Facebook Page
09. Etsy Shop: Poppy Hill CreationsVisit Facebook Page
10. Etsy Shop: Subway PartyVisit Facebook Page
11. Etsy Shop: PininkieVisit Facebook Page
12. Etsy Shop: Vintage Paper PegasusVisit Facebook Page
13. Etsy Shop: Anchor Me DesignsVisit Facebook Page
14. Etsy Shop: Artinspire FactoryVisit Facebook Page
15. Etsy Shop: Cherie’s Arts ‘n CraftsVisit Facebook Page
16. Etsy Shop: Raccoon Girl DesignVisit Facebook Page
17. Etsy Shop: Hedgehog StudioVisit Facebook Page
18. Etsy Shop: With Envy PartiesVisit Facebook Page
19. Etsy Shop: Chocolate Rabbit GraphicsVisit Facebook Page
20. Etsy Shop: Jessica SawyerVisit Facebook Page
21. Etsy Shop: Inkbite DesignsVisit Facebook Page
22. Etsy Shop: Tout AimeeVisit Facebook Page
23. Etsy Shop: Digi Scrap DelightsVisit Facebook Page
24. Etsy Shop: Cherry Hill LivingVisit Facebook Page
25. Etsy Shop: Digi BonBonsVisit Facebook Page
26. Etsy Shop: Kelly DesignsVisit Facebook Page
27. Etsy Shop: Chapulines CollectionVisit Facebook Page
28. Etsy Shop: Amistyle Digital ArtVisit Facebook Page

Have fun and Enjoy your freebies!

Coming Soon…

So, it’s been a really looooong time since I’ve posted a freebie or two up here. Starting Monday, December 3, I will be participating in another fabulous Freebie Facebook Hop with the Etsy Digital Designers. I will be posting two new freebies – one on Monday and another about a week later. If I’m really on top of things, I will get another one up before the Facebook Hop ends on the 31st, so keep your fingers crossed.

I’m really excited to be getting back into the swing of things and getting both my blog and shops up caught up. It should be an exciting holiday season!

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