Friday, October 28, 2016

More Coloring

We have been in Gulf Shores AL for about a week and a half now for this winter. The temperature has been in the 80s most days. Some days are a little too humid for my taste, but that's what air conditioners are for! Less humid and breezy days I enjoy outside, otherwise I am inside most of the time.

But that time does not go to waste, at least as far as I am concerned. I have been coloring more and still making ATCs (Artist Trading Cards) to trade now and then. And crocheting. And reading. And practicing piano. See how all that works out???

I have found some GREAT coloring products from a company called ColorIt!
http://www.colorit.com/  I have four of their coloring books, a set of their gel pens, and I just had the privilege of winning a set of their 72 colored pencils. Each Wednesday they have a live facebook session and they award three prizes each week. I was the third winner last Wednesday and could receive any product of theirs. I chose the pencils since I already had, and loved using, their gel pens. I have since pre-ordered their markers as well.

The prices seemed a bit steep at first, but I bought one of their "bundles" so I could save some money. I could not believe the quality of their coloring books, much more superior to a lot of other books out there. What I like about them: the pages are nice heavy paper. They are well-perforated at the top for easy removal from the book. They have a top spiral which doesn't get in the way if you color the page right in the book. And there is an extra page to put behind the page you are coloring in case of bleed through. Also the pictures are only on one side of the page. I don't get the adult coloring books who print pictures back to back. You either have to decide which of the two you are going to do, or make a copy of one side or the other so you can do both.

What I like about their gel pens: the packaging is superb, coming in a hard box with a magnetic closure with a nice butterfly logo design, then a nice zippered case with all the pens securely stored inside. Also it comes with refills. And all the colors have pretty neat names. When coloring with the pens, they go on smoothly and dry very quickly so I don't smudge the colors like I have in the past with other pens. Nothing like getting a picture almost done and you smudge something! Grrr. Then you either have to toss it, or try to cover it up. Not fun.

I just got through doing a coloring page with their pencils, which also come in the great packaging (no refills -- but a pencil sharpener!) and here's what I like about them: they color very smoothly no matter how much pressure you use (heavy and dark or light and soft), they blend easily, and they sharpen nicely. I hate when the leads break on other pencils when you sharpen them, so much waste! They also have nice color names, and are numbered as well. They are grouped nicely in color batches in the zippered pouch.

A wonderful company I am happy to have found. You can order directly from them or from amazon. I have done both. So, here's the coloring page from Bible Blessings & Promises I did using the ColorIt! pencils.

and here is the latest Food Network magazine coloring contest entry I did using gel pens:

and the latest coloring contest entry for Dover Publications "Harvest Hues" from Midnight Gardens book:

and a couple more I did recently
So much fun!!!

Friday, May 13, 2016

Coloring

Yes, I admit it, I love to color and I have gone a little crazy with the number of coloring books I have bought, not to mention all the free coloring pages I have downloaded!

But, what can I say? It's relaxing to me. I love to choose all the colors and decide whether I am going to use alcohol markers, Sharpies, colored pencils, gel pens, metallic markers or pens, glitter pens, glaze pens, etc. The possibilities are endless. Not to mention the crayons -- regular, glitter, metallic, neon. Wow. What fun.

And to make it even more interesting, I entered a coloring contest with Dover Publications and actually won first place in the 18+ division! My prize was a box of brush markers from Faber-Castell. They are very nice to work with. Here is the winning entry:



And here are the rest of the pages I have colored so far...




Saturday, February 20, 2016

Remember me?

Hello, blog... remember me? I wouldn't be surprised if you didn't! It's been almost 2 years since I made an entry. Wow.

So, highlights since 2014?

July 2014 my son, Ben Serrao, and Olive Landon, were married. I call her my daughter-in-love because she is so wonderful and simply perfect for my son as he is for her. We are truly blessed to have her (and her fabulous family) in our family!

August 2014 my oldest niece, Lisa Serrao, and Jason Pomeroy were married. It was a beautiful ceremony, and they are also perfect for one another!

Sadly my Dad, Manuel (Manny) Serrao passed away on June 1, 2015. He was not a perfect man (there was only ever one of those!) but he was my Dad and I loved him, love him still, and miss him tremendously. My Mom is doing pretty well. She is a strong woman and won't always say how she is feeling, but she will make it through. As she says, it's her new reality and she needs to just take one step at a time.

I just know the thought of me becoming a widow terrifies me, so I am in awe of how she is handling it.

The winter of 2014 I took voice lessons in Gulf Shores AL from Kayla Dowling who it the most talented pianist I have ever known personally. And she is a GREAT teacher. I learned more about singing in the first hour lesson than I ever knew in my life prior to that. And I can now hit high notes I never had a prayer of reaching before, simply because she taught me how.

After my first lesson she asked if I would like to sing with the choir at the Gulf Shores Presbyterian church, and of course, I said yes! So I sing with them each winter now and I am thoroughly loving it! I sang with a women's barbershop group the previous year, but that is not my style of singing ... but worship songs and hymns sure are. I love making a joyful noise unto the Lord. 

This year during the winter I have been taking piano lessons! Yes, you heard me right, piano lessons! At my age! Again, from Kayla. I am so enjoying it, even the practicing of it. I just love learning more about music. I am finally beginning to read it well and each lesson I learn more and more about rhythm and counting and all that good stuff. It sure is like a foreign language, though. It has helped me in my singing as well. And I am hoping it will help me with learning the violin. I am so excited about doing this. I can hardly wait to show people back home what I have learned!

I am sure there are other highlights that will come to me after I post this and I will wonder why I didn't think of them before that. 

That's it for now, and I promise I won't go so long without checking in again! I guess since I am posting things on facebook a lot, that I forget about my blog... sigh. Poor neglected thing... 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Protein Shakes

This is what I have been "eating" this week:

as well as the vanilla. Sometimes mixed with banana and peanut butter and made with 2% milk. I am trying to clean out my body so I can get to the point where I can "start over" with sensible eating choices: fresh fish, more fruits and veggies and a whole lot less processed carbs. So far, it has been much easier than I expected and I am already feeling so much better. Less bloating, fewer aches and pains, and moving more easily. I am also studying the best foods I need to be eating to become healthier as I reintroduce solid foods.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

2 Corinthians 12:9

2 Corinthians 12:9

New International Version (NIV)
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

This is Paul writing to the people of Corinth. He had asked God three times to "remove the thorn in his flesh," which we are never told what it is specifically. God did not do his bidding. So Paul concluded that he was supposed to learn from his affliction.

This thorn must have been something chronic and debilitating at times because it sometimes kept Paul from his ministry work. 

In questioning why God did not answer his prayer for healing Paul is told that God's grace is sufficient for him and that God's power is made perfect in Paul's weakness. In not receiving healing from God, Paul received things which are much greater -- a stronger character, humility, and a greater capacity for empathizing with others who are suffering. 

If God had healed Paul, Paul may not have learned to grow beyond his pain and may not have been such an inspiration to others. Even though Paul was not cured as he had asked, he still continued to believe in God and to preach his word wherever he went. What a greater testimony to God's greatness could he give?

Paul was living proof that courageous faith and holy living do not ensure instant healing of physical ailments. 

It also reminds us that our spiritual condition is more important than our physical condition, and that we do not need to be physically healthy in order to be spiritually healthy. 

Therefore, Paul boasted in his weakness because he knew that in his weakness he had to rely more on God and that made him all the stronger through God's strength. We must learn to rely on God's strength rather than our own talents, energy, or efforts. Our weakness not only helps develop our Christian faith, it also deepens our worship because we admit that we need to rely on God instead of ourselves.

We should take courage from the fact that God's power can be displayed through weak people. Trying to rely on our own power can lead to pride, whereas relying on God's power can only make us better than we could ever be on our own.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

1 Peter 5:7-8

Proverbs 31 Ministries Online Bible Study - Week 2


1 Peter 5:7-8

New International Version (NIV)
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

When you cast in fishing, you throw the bait out as far as possible, there is definite effort in the action. So to CAST my anxiety means to get it as far away from me as I can.

And the best place to rid myself of my anxiety? Give it to God. Why? Because he LOVES me. And when I give it to Him, leave it with Him -- don't try to take it back. He can handle it, I can't... When I try to carry my worries, anxieties, troubles, etc. on my own, I am basically saying I don't trust God to help me. I need to humble myself and realize that God cares about me and He wants to help me. Even if my anxiety is brought about by my own sin, if I repent, and turn it over to God, He will forgive me and carry my burdens for me.

Be alert means to live purposefully. Be aware of my actions and how they are affecting me...and others. Of sober mind means to pay attention. When I am feeling weak or am too focused on my own troubles, that is when I am most vulnerable to the enemy's attacks. Lions prey on the weak, the sick, the stragglers... so to stay safe from the enemy who prowls around like a roaring lion, I need to be strong, healthy and surround myself with fellow believers.

I need support of fellow believers to help keep me safe from attacks. Let the lion roar, I am staying vigilant.

James 4:7

New International Version (NIV)
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.


AMEN!!!