Shabby Miss Jenn

Monday, January 03, 2011

Chicke drumsticks for supper tonight!

Walked by the freezer earlier and thought I best take something out. Everything looked good so I just closed my eyes and reached in.....chicken drumsticks is what I managed to pull out.

I'm thinking Oregano chicken will be happening tonight ;)

Mmmm so good!

The Artist's Way

The Artist's Way

Another incredible book that I have been wishing to own for quite awhile now has ended up on my bookshelf. My sister and her family gave it to me this Christmas and I'm looking forward to reading it over and over.

Some of my other artist friends had mentioned it to me so I asked my local library to bring it in for me. I started reading it and quickly knew I wanted to OWN this book. It is beyond full of wonderful insight on how to restart your artistic engines. I bought a brand new journal to do the exercises. Just skimming thru it as managed to spark something in me. I can hardly wait to have that spark burning full force.

Julia Cameron also runs a web site to go along with the book.
I plan on reading all that she has there as well.
Go there and check it out and then rush to get your own copy of this amazing book.

Tracy(Cedara)Dunn of Thru The Attic Door and Thru The Attic Door2

Another book!!!!

150 Projects to Strengthen Your Photography Skills: Essential Techniques, Exercises and Projects for Aspiring Photographers

When David and Kim had asked for a few gift ideas, I had placed this book on my little "wish list", never thinking in a million years, that I would actually get BOTH books for my gift.

I was so excited and have been falling asleep each evening with my nose buried in the pages. Some of the things are a bit "over my head" still as I really am quite new to photography. I think with some time though I can see my love of taking photos expanding and (fingers crossed) becoming quite good.

I sure am loving the journey it's taking me on along the way.
Have you seen this book before? Did you do all 150 projects?
How many did you make it thru?

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The Digital Photography Book

The Digital Photography Book was a Christmas gift this year from David and Kim. When they asked me to point them in the right direction of what to get me for a gift, I knew I wanted to ask for this book. Having just splurged on my FujiFilm FinePix HS10, this would be a wonderful book to get and devour.

It is written without all the techno-photo-speak that so many books are written in that just confuse me after hardly making it to the third page. I wanted something easy to read and still aid me in capturing amazing photos.
This is PERFECT!

I have been having a blast reading and even taking some quick notes. Sample pictures have been taken as I learn new techniques and I am looking forward to sharing them soon.

Do you have this book in your collection? Did you find it to be helpful?

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A Creative Blog Catches your Attention

A clever craft blog to catch your attention needs to have what many like to call *eye candy*.

If you don't capture your readers within moments of landing on your blog, you will have a much harder time in getting them to stay around long enough to read anything that you have written. No matter how good you are at flowing words together, they'll never know because they will have moved on.

I have discovered digital scrapbooking and often use these fun digital elements to enhance my photographs when possible. There are numerous digital scrapbooking web sites that offer so many playful elements you can download right to your computer. Many offer tutorials on how to use their products as well.

Everyone is drawn to a beautiful photograph and if you take the time to offer your readers the same, they'll keep coming back to see what you are treating them to next.

Here are just a few of my favorite sites:

Shabby Princess
Shabby Blogs
Scrap Girls
The Shabby Shoppe
Digital Scrapbook Place

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Well hello Monday

When the alarm went off this morning, I couldn't even open both eyes at the same time. Beyond tired but I forced myself out from under the warm blankets and placed my feet onto the winter chilled floor. Both eyes opened then!

Anyone that knows me can pass on the knowledge of me not even coming close to being a morning person. With the computer issues(stupid #(@&&^@**^#wireless connection) that I'm having though, I really need to squeeze in as much online time as possible on this other computer in the house. So that means up and at the morning before anyone else is awake.

Had a wonderful Christmas Season with family and friends. Pretty low key compared to other years but so much more quality I think. Spent yesterday taking down the decorations and the tree. (Shoving 8 boxes) Placing a few boxes back under the stairs until next year. Sweeping and moving back furniture to get the living room; in order for 2011 to get into full swing. Dusting will ensue today as I swear some of those dust bunnies that I saw yesterday growled at me and bared their teeth. I needed till today to gather my courage

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No One Cares What You Had For Lunch

No One Cares What You Had For Lunch: 100 Ideas For Your Blog

A book that I treated myself to this holiday season. I really was laying the ground work, so to speak, on how I want to better my crafting business in 2011. Getting back into blogging on a much more regular basis is one of the biggest changes I hope to make.
Somedays you sit and just stare at the screen though and I wanted a bit of help that I could reach out for right away.

It was not an expensive book at all and it has ...well 100 ideas...... to gently nudge me when needed. Small enough that it can stay on the desk and not get lost in a shuffle of papers in the drawer.

Some of the ideas I already knew and use but there were quite a few pages that made me raise my eyebrows and think....oh now THAT will be fun to do and share.

Do you own this book?
Have you found it beneficial to your blog?

Tracy(Cedara)Dunn of Thru the Attic Door and Thru the Attic Door2

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Kelly Rae Roberts

Sometimes you stumble across something and it alters your life.
That really is how I feel about Kelly Rae Roberts.

Blog hopping one afternoon and not really looking for anything in particular. Typing words into search engines and seeing what comes up. I came across a painting and it just jumped right out at me off the screen. I just stared at it and knew I had to learn all about who created it.

I found her website and looked at every piece of art she has created. Clicking links on her web site, I saw she had a blog. I spend the next little while reading each of her posts.
I was inhaling everything I could from her. Something about her words and painting was striking a cord within me. It awakened something in me that I wasn't even aware had been sleeping.

The day I walked into a local shop and found her prints...oh you should have seen me freaking out with excitement. I raced to the checkout with 2 different ones and knew right away they'd be hanging in my art space.

One of the books I treated myself to over the holidays Taking Flight :Inspirations and Techniques to Give Your Creative Spirit Wings has opened my eyes to a new way of creating art. I bought paints, inks, canvas and a multitude of other supplies to play with.

Do you read her blog?
Have you bought any of her artwork because something about it just spoke to you?
Does her book sit on your bookcase in your art room?
This won't be the only post about this incredible artist and woman that you will be reading her.
I can't get enough of her.

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Blog Family

Don't let the sheer number of amazing blogs that are available to read, overwhelm you. The creative blogging community is friendly and doesn't encourage competition. Of course you'll find blogs that appear written by people who are more graceful then you think you are or who appear to lead more exciting lifes. Don't focus on that.

Write proudly and share your thoughts. By doing this, you will naturally attract the readers that are right for you. You don't even have to leave your home. Fancy clothes and shoes that pinch your feet don't need to be worn. No one will know you wrote that incredible post in your flannel jammies while sipping vodka  hot chocolate. Within moments, you are connecting with kindred spirits and exchanging ideas, dreams and encouraging magic to explode.

Everyone has a space in this blog family!

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By the way.... Family 

Liberate Your Inner Writer

When I sit down to write, I tend to imagine talking on the phone to a friend. I'm not concerned about things like grammer or sentence structure, or how my writing flows. This sort of conversational way of writing works well for me and forms a basic template to create my blog posts from.

I say hello (the introduction/topic of my blog posts); then I share some details (which acts as the body of the post);then I say goodbye for now(the conclusion of the post).

*Zero in on one topic per post instead of several when at all possible. You can ask the usual series of questions like who, what, where, why and how? Always keep in mind that with storytelling, you want to SHOW and not TELL.
If you follow this advice, even the shortest blog post can be packed with vivid and entertaining details.

*Write from your heart as you'll have a better chance of connecting with your readers and engaging them to follow your blog.
Get them to feel your excitement and other emotions, thru your words and photos.

Tracy(Cedara)Dunn of Thru The Attic Door and Thru The Attic Door2

Rediscover the Joy of Photography

What is a blog without incredible eye candy?


Blogging has helped me rediscover my love of photography. Having an eye-catching photo can be quite an asset to your blog posts. The unique way you captured an image might be what grabs a readers eye when they first land on your blog. It can pull them in long enough to get them reading and before you know it, you have faithful followers.
Look thru your favorite magazines or surf other blogs that you enjoy reading. What draws you to them? What about their photos captured your attention first? Think about lighting and how you will crop your photos before you snap your photograph. Whenever possible, shoot without using the flash. Natural lighting really adds a nice touch to your photos if possible.

Remember angles when shooting...... don't go for the angle that everyone else always shoots from. Go above. Go below. Shoot from the side. Shoot in B&W. Don't be afraid of the camera. Take it off Automatic and play around. It's digital. If you don't like the shot, you can delete it.

Within the last few months, I treated myself to a brand new camera. I went for the FujiFilm FinePx HS10.
I've had a number of FujiFilm cameras and am thrilled with this newest one.
Lots of bells and whistles to play with and share some new "eye candy" with my readers.
As I play, I will share photography tips as I go

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Will 2011 Be The Year You Begin to Blog?

Give yourself an excuse to explore and dream

If you are on the fence about starting a blog, don't think about it too much. Just start and see what happens. It's super easy to do and many of the blogging sites are free (This one is!)

The beauty of a blog is that it is never a finished project, so you don't have to worry about "achieving perfection".
Treat your blog as an always evolving canvas. There will always be something new to try and learn. Always something to write and share with folks.

Find a few blogs within the creative blogging community to help guide you when you find yourself stumbling. Creative prompts, like Illustration Friday, are numerous and wonderful ways to play.

What is the worst that can happen?
Nothing.......but you will know you at least gave it a try.
Keep writing and gradually, you'll carve your own niche within the blogging community.

Tracy(Cedara)Dunn of Thru The Attic Door and Thru The Attic Door 2

Another Blogging Tip

When you sit down to blog and the screen just stares back at you......nothing seems to want to form a post worthy of sharing.

It can be someone famous.
A quote that makes you laugh.
A quote that makes you think.

Give credit to the author of the quote you are sharing.
You can even match a quote to a photo you are sharing or a mood you are wanting to convey.

Stacked on my writing desk are journals that I write quotes down when I find ones that strike a cord within me. Some nights I flip thru the pages and conjure the memories of when I first found the quote or why it means so much. I plan on sharing some of my favorite ones with you ,my followers.

Tracy(Cedara)Dunn of Thru the Attic Door and Thru the Attic Door 2

Saturday, January 01, 2011


I make them and I break them.
It doesn't start out that way but it always seems to happen.
This year, I'm just not making any.
I know what I HOPE to have happen in 2011 for myself and my business.

As they happen.... I promise I'll share :)

New Years Resolution 2011

Allow Yourself to be Free

Many times, I've had someone tell me how creative I was and that they didn't have an ounce of creativity themselves. I always tell them, they just haven't looked in the right direction yet. Being creative isn't just being able to paint on canvas or sew a doll. Some find their creative voice in how they bring a garden to life. Others hear that voice while in the kitchen mixing ingredients into a mouthwatering memory. For some, their creative voice comes thru in how they weave words together and tell stories.

I truly believe that everyone is creative and that if we allow ourselves the freedom to play with creativity, no matter what we are doing, it will only grow stronger. Allow yourself to be free.

Tracy(Cedara)Dunn of Thru the Attic Door and Thru the Attic Door2


Creative energy flows in cycles. It took me awhile to catch on to this rhythm of my creativity. When I experienced a down cycle, I would sort of panic. I'd feel blocked and begin to question myself and my creative process. FROZEN.

Now when it happens, I take that time to collect, gather and research. Walks along the edge of the property;day trips to the local bookstore or little farm markets.

Next thing I know, ideas are flowing again and my creative energy becomes unfrozen. Like spring flowers budding thru the last of winters snow.
A new season of creativity is upon you.....enjoy!

Tracy(Cedara)Dunn of Thru The Attic Door and Thru the Attic Door2

Ignite Your Creative Spark

REMEMBER...  An unanticipated event that pops up in the midst of your usually ordinary day can be that SPARK that ignites a story that just begs to be told in your blog.

Photography Tips to Ponder for your Blog

* Get up close and personal.
Always think about how your subject matter is being positioned in the photo you are building. Get as close to something as possible. If you stand too far away, your subject is going to get lost in the background and the photographic message you are trying to tell will be muddled.

*Look at things differently
Changing your position by using items like step ladders or bending down on your knees can capture an image in a brand new way of looking at it.

*Don't be Afraid to Delete
The delete button is your friend and you should always remember to use it. Have fun while experimenting with your camera and take lots of photos with learning all the bells and whistles of your camera. You can never take too many photos. Move around a subject to capture it from all the different angles possible.
Anything blurry can be deleted.
Anything plain can be deleted.
Doesn't cost anything to delete.

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