25 June 2010

Blog Makeover Mission :: Complete ::

Hello everyone!!

What do you think of my completed blog makeover?? I now have a three-column template, new title font, new header, and a new button!!! Yea!!

Kate and Heather over at Smitten Blog Designs are to be credited with my new look! Just click on their button below to see more of their AMAZING work!!!

Please have a look around my blog and give me your feedback on the new look!! Seriously, I would really like to know what thoughts and feelings Ten Thousand Hugs evokes inside of YOU!!! Do share!

As always, extending ten thousand ((hugs)) to you,

22 June 2010

New Weekly Feature! :: Ten Thousand ((Hugs)) to YOU Tuesday :: Interview with Elizabeth from Twelve Crafts Till Christmas

Ten Thousand ((Hugs)) to YOU Tuesday


I am so thrilled to announce a new weekly feature here called "Ten Thousand ((Hugs)) to YOU Tuesday," where I showcase a fellow blogger, crafter, reader, Etsy shop owner ... or, well, just about anybody!!!

I just HAD to spotlight Elizabeth at Twelve Crafts Till Christmas, one of my fave, fave, FAVE blogs out there! Her wonderful blog inspired me to get crafting with my four little ones more often! I just know you will enjoy getting to know her as much as I did!

And, of course, don't forget to jump over and visit her blog ... just click on her darling button below!!!

Q.  What inspired you to start your blog, "Twelve Crafts Till Christmas?"

As a child, I loved to make my own doll clothes, create inventions, paint, craft, etc. I grew up and the roles of life took over - between working and being a mommy and a wife, I realized that I lost this part of myself . . . the part of myself that was able to be creative and make things.
In an attempt to find this part of myself again, I decided on a whim to buy a sewing machine and teach myself to sew. (Of course, I also decided to get my nose pierced and learn to play the drum set. Some might say this was a mild mid-life crisis. I say it was a much needed year of self-expression.)
I began learning to use my sewing machine in January 2009 with a goal of making every one of my girls' Christmas gifts for 2009. Let's just say that I did not even come close to reaching that goal.
In January of 2010 I began exploring the many amazing crafting blogs. I was in awe of the creative talents of so many people who can whip up a table top playhouse in an afternoon or fashion a whimsical dollhouse out of an old CD tower with little clothes pin dolls to match. I was inspired and challenged once again to attempt to make Christmas gifts for my girls, but I was pretty sure I would fail again as well if I didn't have someone to keep me accountable.
I was in bed one night thinking about how I would reach my goal this time around when the idea hit me that I should blog about it so my friends and family could hold me accountable. Thus twelve crafts till Christmas began - my journey in making all my kids' Christmas gifts for Christmas 2010.

Q.  What do you like most about blogging?

Blogging holds me accountable to a greater audience. I honestly believe if I had not have started this blog, I would have given up on my goal along time ago. I also love meeting new bloggy friends and finding new inspiration.

Q.  What has surprised you most about your blogging journey?

What started as a blog to invite my family and friends to hold me accountable turned into a blog that other people find interesting. And I'm pretty sure that none of my family members or closest friends actually read my blog. Funny how that works!

Q.  What is something about your "real" self that we wouldn't know just from reading your blog?

Although I don't share a lot of personal stuff on my blog on purpose, personal info does come out as a result of some of my post topics. So if you read my blog, you know that I love my kids so much. I know, I know . . . a mom loving her kids is not a news flash. This happens in trillions of homes across the world. But behind my love for them is also an appreciation that life doesn't just happen.
I've struggled with carrying my pregnancies to term, so as a result, I've said good-bye to hoped-for children. I look at the two daughters I have now that I get to hold and kiss . . . the ones who made it all the way . . . and I can't help but think how much we take for granted the gift of children.
Now, I have friends who do not want to be parents, and I totally support that they don't feel called to that role. But for those who do feel called to that role, it's not always that easy. So something "real" about me is that I love my kids, and I try very hard every day not to take their presence in my life for granted.
Well, that may have been a little bit more "real" than you were hoping for. ;)
So . . . on a way less serious note, I love to travel . . . well, let me rephrase that . . . I love to travel by myself. I've lived in China and London. I've backpacked across Europe alone, and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Q.  Anything else you'd like to share here?

I've been convinced in this first six months of my gift-making goal that making gifts for loved ones is something everyone should try . . . just once. Even if you don't think you have a creative, crafty bone in your body, try it . . . just once. A gift given to a friend or family member that has been labored over and loved on by the giver is cherished for years and years. So hop on over to Twelve Crafts Till Christmas and it is my hope that you will be inspired to make just one gift in the coming months.

Take a look at some pics of Elizabeth's four most fave projects:

Mary Elizabeth's Musings:  Wow - what an incredible person!! Be sure to head on over to Elizabeth's blog, where you are certain to find inspiration to craft, craft, craft!! She has oodles of talent, both as a crafter and a blogger! Ten thousand ((hugs)) to YOU, Elizabeth!

Tuesday Tag-Along

**This post is part of "Tuesday Tag-Along," a weekly link party at Twee Poppets Review and Giveaways!**

Are you interested in being featured here? If so, please contact me @ mclaingreen (at) yahoo (dot) com!!!

As always, extending ten thousand ((hugs)) to you,

20 June 2010

Remembering My Grandfather Today :: Father's Day 2010 ::

.: My grandfather, Popo :.

Born - October 3, 1922
Died - January 3, 2010

Today is the first Father's Day I will be celebrating without my grandfather, whom I lovingly called "Popo."

My grandfather died very unexpectedly this past January, just a mere five days before I gave birth to our fourth child, Naomi Genevieve.  He was a remarkable gentleman in every facet of his long life and a tremendously positive and active influence in my life.

I wrote the following essay below about my grandfather based on a quote from Sir Winston Churchill, and I feel that it gives an incredibly accurate snapshot of him.  Please read on...


“Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.” - Sir Winston Churchill

As I ponder the above quote, my grandfather came to mind. He exhibited the absolute epitome of this wisdom through his conduct during his life.  One particular conversation between him and me comes to mind.
I vividly remember telling him about a phone conversation I had with a person who was a mutual acquaintance of ours, and I was referring to the rudeness I felt this certain person had conveyed to me.

Instead of summarily agreeing and indulging me in my gossip-like manner, he gently said to me, "He is always busy and on his way about doing things. He can be a hard person to grasp and understand at times."

I thanked my grandfather for listening to me and thought over his noble response. What made his response so noble was the fact that this person would never have any idea about this conversation between me and my grandfather, yet my grandfather still referred to him with utmost respect and compassion. Such a simple example of Sir Winston Churchill's advice, yet so illustrative and demonstrative of my grandfather's demeanor.

Happy Father's Day, Popo! I love you!


Extending ten thousand ((hugs)) to all,