Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Handsome, isn’t he?
Absolutely one of the greatest men I knew.
I didn’t have that much time with him, my mom took us away when we were very young and we never got to see him due to various circumstances that are unclear to me, even now. At age 20, I moved to Florida to be with him while I went to college. Six years later Heaven called him home.
All through my younger years I would listen to his music on tapes he had recorded for us. It was his dream to be a musician and it was something he was great at! Nashville just missed out on him.
I can still remember hearing him sing to my brother Toby and I this classic song that I never can forget, ‘Puff the Magic Dragon.’
He had a beautiful voice. Amazing voice! He was blessed.
He was a kind man. The kindest!
I could never say enough about him for everyone to understand just how important he was to me, to my sister Michelle, my brother, his wife, everyone.
This is his guitar.
He bought this before I was even born (no, I am not telling you how long ago that was), and played it all throughout his life, right up until the time he died.
Take a gander at the photo above again, that is the same guitar with a somewhat younger version of Dad! Pretty awesome if you ask me!
He would sit in his chair at home with his guitar right next to him within his arms reach. Whenever he thought up a tune, he’d pick up the guitar and let the tunes flow through him and out of it as he sang along with his perfect voice.
They were quite a pair, my Dad and his guitar. You'd swear they were soul mates, if that is even possible. He never went anywhere without it. Seriously, ANYWHERE!!
I believe with all my heart that this beautiful instrument is imbued with his spirit. After he passed, my step-mom asked me if there was anything of Dad’s that I wanted.
This guitar was my only request.
It is honestly my most cherished possession in all the world. And it is still so beautiful. It never leaves it's case!! So I took this photo because I just want to share it with everyone.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
LMAO! Yeah, she’s 3!
Friday, April 23, 2010
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Imagine a beautiful spacious window office with a gorgeous cityscape view, a personal assistant who would take my phone calls and fetch my coffee, and legions of interns and graphic designers to whom I could bark orders and to whom I could impart all of my great wisdom! Yeah! Sounds great, doesn’t it? I thought so, too!
However, one sunny summer day, some jackass driver crossed the median on the freeway, changing my life forever! Now, thanks to my multiple levels of pain and several physical complications, performing the duties demanded by a regular desk job in an office with regular and obscene hours is no longer in the cards for me.
Instead of pursuing the career I had always dreamed about, I began to pour my energy into things that I both enjoyed and that my physical condition would still allow me to do… my hobbies!
One day, I was out scrapbooking with my dearest Mother-in-law (who just happens to be the woman who turned me onto scrapbooking in the first place, thanks Mom!) and a friend of hers. We were all discussing the amazing designs of the scrapbook paper that each of us were using and we were wondering, “How do the creators make them so gorgeous?” My Mother-in-law’s friend then asked me, “Why don’t you design your own scrapbook papers?”
So I thought… and I thought… and I thought…
(Here you can imagine Winnie the Pooh tapping his forehead.)
…and I could not come up with a single reason as to why I didn’t design my own papers.
Why hadn’t I thought of this before?
Her question sparked my creative energies and I began drawing out potential designs. I played with design after design after design. I created everything myself, either by hand or in Illustrator (a favorite program), and I produced few designs that were promising, but not quite perfect yet. Three weeks before having my son, I started designing the first line that had really set my heart afire. Through days and nights (let’s change that to weeks) of very little sleep, cause the babies really prevented any kind of rest for mommy (all you Mommies know just what I mean), I worked painstakingly on my new paper line. When I was done, I ended up with two matching lines that I was very, very happy with, Dreaming Draven and Kaidalicious, named after my little monkeys.
With complete lines designed, I began brainstorming ways that I could get my designs into scrapbook stores all over the country. The amount of money required to have them manufactured was outrageous, of course, and I just didn’t have it. It was going to be expensive as hell!! To print them at home on my awesome printer would have demanded a ridiculous amount of ink, making it another non cost-effective means of production. Alternatively, I thought maybe someone would be willing to purchase my designs.
I approached one of many large companies asking them if they would be interested in ordering a large quantity of packets to sell in their enormous online store. After months and months of impatiently waiting for a reply, I finally got a big “NO!” Their company was “moving in a different direction.” That was the only explanation that I was entitled to.
So I proposed the same idea to a few other big name companies with hopes that someone would be interested buying my designs. To my surprise, and to my utter dismay, each one of them said “No!” For various reasons, none of these companies were interested in buying my designs!
What a freaking bummer!!! And another freaking grrrrrrrrr!!!
At this point, I was feeling quite depressed and discouraged. All of my hopes were beginning to diminish. I was simply crushed.
There were so many consecutive let-downs weighing on my spirit. I was on the verge of giving up, thinking it was just an absurd dream. Fortunately, a few of my dear loved ones wouldn’t let me throw in the towel so easily. These blessed souls reminded me that I possess a great talent and that my designs are gorgeous. My husband wouldn’t let me forget how original anything that I created was. He said that he had seen his mother’s papers, (let me remind you that she IS quite the scrapbooker and emphasize her ENORMOUS scrapbook supply collection) and he pointed out that my designs were so incredibly different than anything he had seen that someone was bound to notice them.
I moved forward.
I didn’t have the means to have anything manufactured yet, so until I could come up with the money, I was inspired to start on new designs.
I was at my best friend’s house visiting with her and she was showing me these gorgeous photos she had taken of some flowers. She was experimenting with various unorthodox photography techniques and most of her images were intentionally blurry. My only thought was, “Awesome!” She didn’t have any plans for these images, but I did! Instantaneously, I was struck with an idea for some new paper designs. I asked for her permission to use the images and even though she thought I was a little crazy (finger twirling around her ear kind of crazy) she said yes. My Flower Commotion line is a product of her floral images combined with my Illustrator and Photoshop expertise. I am oh-so pleased with it, and so is she!
About the time I finished her Flower Commotion line, my Halloween line, my Christmas line, and Shiver, I got a random magazine in the mail. This particular magazine did a lot of scrapbook paper sales. How exciting!! Optimistic, I approached them with my six different scrapbook paper lines. I was sure there would be at least one scrapbook line in my conglomeration that they would be interested in.
I was so sure!
But guess what?? That’s right, it was just another stinking “Thank you, but no, we are not interested in any of your designs at this time.” At least this company was more open to communicate and quicker with their response!
Another freaking bummer!!
Nonetheless, I was not about to allow that little “no” deter me from becoming a successful scrapbook paper designer!
Even though Anyone with the means refused to help me! Anyone who could have, declined to support me! Anyone who was anyone seemed to disapprove of my designs! Anyone I turned to at all for assistance was not going to help make my dream come true!
So freaking what?!?!?
That is just going to have to be their loss! It is MY dream, and I won’t wait on “Anyone” to come through. And I am not about to change my style so that these big corporations will approve of them! Everyone else I’ve showed my designs to loves them! I worked hard on them and I am quite proud of them.
Finally, with my husband’s financial contribution, I was able to get one of my paper lines manufactured. I was ecstatic but a little bummed that I had to pick just one!
So, without Anyone’s help (my husband’s financial help being the exception), I have opened up two shops online. Some of my kits are available as digital disks. Currently, one is available for order as a paper kit in my Etsy shop and in my own scrapbook shop: www.kkscapes.com/scrapbook.html.
In pursuit of my dream, I got an awful lot of NOs and naturally my feelings were hurt in the process. Even so, I persevered and am now making my own dream come true on my own terms!
Blending in with everyone else has never been an ambition of mine. Not ever! I wanted to design something unique with my own artistic style. My goal was to make paper lines that I myself would want to buy, and that I felt were missing from the existing scrapbook market. I have put countless hours of devoted thought and hard work into making something special that would stand out and hopefully turn people’s heads.
My designs are amazing. I hope that you will agree. This paper is something that I have imbued with my own scrapbooking spirit! I have poured all that is inside of me into creating this paper. My desire is that the scrapbooking world will benefit from these designs!
I will not settle for anything less than success!
Thank you for your interest in Kallio Kalleidoscapes!
Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.
Follow KKscapes on Facebook and Twitter!
Visit either of these sites to purchase my amazing and unique products!
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
My friend at the Blue Zoo always writes WTH Wednesdays hosted by
and I love reading her posts as well as other people’s. Funny Stuff! I thought I would give it a shot since I finally have one great WTH?? Bear with me.
So I am in Vegas on one of my three weekly physical therapy trips. Just finished my therapy session and am driving in my Avalanche, with my 2 kids, down I-215. It is a three lane freeway most of the way and I am in the center lane going well over the speed limit. There is quite a bit of traffic since it was mid-day. There is an SUV passing me in the left lane, going slightly faster than I. Coming up on my ass is some idiot in a white Chevy pick-up hauling ass. He quickly swerves over into the left lane, and gets right on the SUV’s tail…
What the Hell?? Where did he think he was going with all this traffic around us??
He then attempts to jet in front of me, where there really wasn’t any room for him to fit for passing. I take my foot off the gas to slow and allow this idiot to get in front of me, when the SUV switches lanes suddenly also!!
What The Hell???
Both vehicles slam on their breaks directly in front of me on the freeway at 70 plus MPH and I nearly rear-end the idiot as the car behind me nearly rear-ended me. Panicking and focusing on just breaking and not hitting anything, I look up slowly and notice a freaking car coming at all four of us, driving in the wrong direction down the freeway.
WHAT THE HELL!!
That Jackass nearly killed us all, and who knows if he actually did cause a pile up somewhere else down the freeway.
What the hell is up Crazy city drivers??
Monday, April 5, 2010
We all have them don’t we? Some may seem unobtainable. But they really aren’t when you try. And by try, I mean get off your butt and do it! No excuses!! NONE! Take me for example. I started gaining weight in my mid 20’s when I took a desk job in an office filled with people who always left candy dishes on their desks.
A few tiny candies a day won’t hurt… that is what I used to believe!
I would go jogging every evening, trying to burn off the candies I ate that day. After a few weeks I realized that I was gaining weight!
I could run 3 miles a night and I was putting on pounds?? I didn’t understand it. I was frustrated and disappointed. After some research (and research is seriously key in fitness) I discovered that I wasn’t stimulating my muscles enough by simply jogging.
We bought a bo-flex.
Yay! The workouts became more strenuous and more effective. At the time I didn’t realize this, but I still wasn’t doing everything necessary to lose the pounds.
Then came the car wreck. That’s right. I broke my 12th thoracic vertebrae and shoved my 4th and 5th lumbar vertebrae out of alignment. Any plans of fitness I had were now gone forever, it seemed. Five months of bed rest, a turtle shell brace, constant excruciating pain. There was no way I’d ever be fit and thin.
After a couple years of healing, I finally decided to try exercise again. I was very nervous, honestly. I made it through the wreck without being paralyzed but wasn’t sure if anything I did could make it happen with a broken vertebrae. Twisting, turning wrong, crunching. So I took it easy, but still did daily exercises. After about a month, I learned that I was pregnant. Ecstatic to be so, but once again, my fitness goals were pushed to the back burner. I was sick and miserably in pain with every pound I gained. Two pregnancies went by before I was able to really put my focus back to fitness.
Constant pain with my “healed” crushed vertebrae, a split pelvis from my first child birth attempt, headaches from a backwards curvature in my neck, various amounts of nerve damage all over my body, and pain from 2 c-sections were not about to deter me enough to not be in shape! I wanted to feel good about myself, feel good in general, and look good. I began exercising about a month after I had my son. I started with my husband’s great research. This is what he is best at.
He taught me that it won’t make a difference how much I want to work out and how many calories I burn, if I am still shoving junk food in my face I just won’t reach my goals.
So, absolutely set in my heart, mind, and soul, I put forth every effort I possibly could, every ounce of energy I had towards becoming a healthy mommy of 2 babies!
I drastically changed my eating habits, started drinking tons and tons of water daily, and exercised 1-2 times every day (Slim in 6). Within 4 months I had already lost 35 pounds!! OMG!! I couldn’t believe it when I looked at the scale! I nearly cried!! I think I did cry! My clothes fit better, things I hadn’t been able to wear in years fit me! It was so exciting. I became addicted to fitness! Then learned another hard fact.
Another 2 months had passed and I barely lost but maybe 5 more pounds. I didn’t understand. I was doing the same things I did when I lost the first 35, what the hell was the problem?? And that was exactly the problem. Doing the same things over and over. My body had become adjusted to my routine, so nothing was being stimulated any longer. I learned you have to change up your routine to keep your muscles active and stimulated.
So I bought some new workout DVD’s. This is when I became addicted to Turbo Jam! They are the best workouts I have ever done, fun, and quite addicting.
In total I have lost over 50 pounds. I am almost 32 and I am seriously in the best shape of my life! I can fit into clothes I wore when I was 18! I can keep up with my kids, and do anything I want and feel good doing it. I am proud of myself for not using excuses to get out of doing what made me feel good in the long run. And I really had a lot of excuses. And believe me, I tried the excuses on myself, but myself just didn’t listen! I had goals to reach and wasn’t giving up till I hit them! Stubbornness was my ally here!
So, in conclusion, take a look at your goals. Now take a look in the mirror. If you’ve been “trying” then you should be close or at least on your way to reaching your goals. I’m not one to sugar coat anything. If you’re not reaching your goals, then you are simply not trying. You’ve got no one to blame but yourself. Everything you do to your body matters, so does everything you don’t do. Find a workout buddy, a best friend (TheBlueZoo is mine) to keep reminding you of your goals, get your husband off his butt and make him do the workouts with you. Take a few weekly trips to the gym, lift some weights for serious muscle stimulation and ultimate fat loss goals. Join some of the awesome online fitness forums for more advise. Do your research; everyone’s bodies are different.
Don’t make excuses. You want to be fit, then Be. We’re all worth it.