This past weekend we made the trek up to Park City to the “Park Silly” market they have on Sundays. It’s lots of fun, always get to see cool jewelry, clothes, and crafts. I love to look but rarely buy anything. We saw this one booth for “Twisted Spiders” – and I had to break my rule and get one. It’s not like I’m a fan of spiders, but at the same time I’m fascinated by insects in general just about as much as I’m grossed out by them. (Yes, I know, a spider isn’t an insect, it’s an arachnid – don’t get technical on me!) 😉 So, the jewelry… they make these spiders out of metal wire and beads, and I’ve never seen anything like it. (They then make the spiders into necklaces, earrings, pins) They looked too cool to pass up. Even cooler was seeing all these (FAKE) spiders all over their booth table. Take a look:

Summer is almost gone?

TMatt Mullenweg will be there. I’m really psyched about that. I feel like some things are coming full circle – A few years ago, Matt asked me to speak at a panel at SXSW and I turned it down. I feel kind of stupid having done that, but at the time, I was working for a company (not for myself, might have been more inclined to do it otherwise), as well, it meant having to travel there by plane and speak in front of people (obviously) – my two worst phobias: flying and public speaking – all rolled up into one. Anyway, I’m glad I was able to get over at least one of those fears in order to take this on.

Printable Mask Ear Hooks

Zachary has been fascinated with printable masks recently. He colors them in and then wants to wear them, of course. The problem I’ve run into though is making it so the mask will stay on his face. We’ve tried string, but it doesn’t take much to pull the string right off the mask – usually ripping the paper (and inducing much crying from Zachary). And the string is just a pain to work with in general.

Side story: A few months ago, I had taken Rachel in to get her eyes checked. (She had been complaining about vision issues) They put drops in her eyes and then gave her these “disposable sunglasses” to wear until the drops wore off. Basically it was just a flimsy shaded piece of plastic with these adjustable (and detachable) cardboard “ear hooks.” For some reason, the contraption fascinated me so I saved it. Those sunglasses were lying on my desk when yet another one of Zach’s printable masks ripped.

*Lightbulb moment* – what if I used those ear hooks as a template, and cut out new ones (so I’d be able to keep the original), and just taped the ear hooks on the paper mask so they’re in just the right place to fit over his ears. (You can cut little slits – just the size of the ear hook arm, and adjust the size then tape in place.)

It worked perfectly! I scanned the ear hooks in and recreated the outline using Illustrator. If you use them for your kid’s masks I would recommend printing them onto card stock. (Or printing them out and then using it as a template to cut out the shape from something sturdier than regular paper).

Here it is for your downloading pleasure :)

Here is Zachary proudly modeling his latest fun mask:

If you’d like to find some fun printable masks for your little one to use with the ear hooks here are a few:

Moshi Monsters – These are very cute little monsters. On that page, if you scroll down, you’ll see the color-in / printable masks. Zach is modeling Diavlo in the picture above. 😉

Activity Village – There’s a few cute animal masks on there – and the site has a bunch of other fun printable activities. Of course, this only helps feed Zach’s printing obsession. (Did I already mention He LOVES printing from the computer!!)

childcareandbeyond.com – There are a bunch of safari themed masks there. My favorite is the Tiger Mask – that one looks really cool.

Fantasy Jr. – Somewhat creepy – but right up Zach’s alley. (Also clicking around there, I found this Dragon Mask – on Animal Jr. (which had a few more cool animal masks) On that Dragon Mask page, it also showed a very cool looking Chinese New Year dragon craft! I know it’s not currently the Chinese New Year, but that dragon looks WAY COOL. We are SO making that very soon!!! – that last site is on Craft Jr., which, as you can imagine, has a bunch of fun kids crafts!)

Nick Jr. has a bunch children masks too, but they’re kind of spread out in different sections. Doing a search on their site though you can see a compiled list.

Why dreaming is important

You have to dream. If you don’t dream you can never learn what it is you want, you can never define your goals. You have to open up your mind to what may seem impossible. You have to be willing to believe that good things can come your way.

The fact of the matter is that most of the time, reality sucks. There’s bills to pay, risks threatening on your every turn. If all you do is focus on reality, you will never move forward. If all you do is focus on the problems that might come up, you will never improve your existence. If you are thrilled with the way things are, then maybe this is okay. Stagnation in itself is not a problem. But if you are not happy, then you have to make change. Life it too short to live it in fear of what might happen, or protecting what you have because you’re afraid to take a risk.

I’m not saying throw caution to the wind and jump off a bridge – but calculated risks need to be taken. I do not believe in a higher power, but that doesn’t stop me from believing that somehow things will work out. Somehow, I’ll find a way to fix the problems that might come up. The reward is worth the risk, and the problems that come up can be dealt with if/when they are a reality.

When you dream, you leave the risks out of the picture, you forget reality, and suddenly you can picture what it is that will make you happy. While you may never acheive that dream to the smallest detail, and things will never be perfect, you need that dream to help define a goal and give you the direction you need to head to.

You also need to continue to dream as you work towards acheiving your goal. By doing so, you allow yourself to adjust your course and fine tune your goal or change directions if you need to. (Sometimes the grass may just seem greener on the other side, and if so, once you start realizing that – change your course).

Because we are human, we are all too aware of the possibility of our own demise. Some completely ignore it – some live in fear of it and by doing so have trouble truly living. There is a happy medium in there somewhere. That is why dreams are so wonderful. Explore the impossible in your dream. Ignore reality just for the moment. You have to know what’s on the other side before you can plot the course to get there.

Faint heart never won fair lady.

Cheaters and Murderers

When the news broke out about Tiger Woods, honestly I really didn’t care. It was none of my business. He wants to go sleep around, the tabloids report about it. Certainly I thought a lot less of him, but I didn’t have my nose glued to every article about it because I really could care less. (And actually, I would have been fine if they taked a little less about it. Is the news really THIS slow that Tiger’s love life is the most interesting thing to report about?)

BUT I did happen to notice an article this morning about other “disgraced” athletes – Time magazine lists their “Top 10“. Tiger is of course at the top. But what I’m confused about is that O.J. Simpson is number 3. Wait a minute. So a guy that everyone pretty much suspects got away with murder is number THREE. That doesn’t even qualify for making the number one spot?? People really confuse me.