My first time…I’ve been TAGGED!

I know I’ve been away – a lot.  Sorry about that, but the house is coming along and we are in the home stretch toward putting it on the market!  In the meantime, something brought me back to my blog…I got tagged – FOR THE FIRST TIME!  There’s a first for everything, so here goes:  I have been tagged by ‘Bee’ of the lovely Etsy shop, BeeDazzles and the blog, Bee’s Buzzings

The rules of the game are as follows:
1. Link back to the person who tagged you
2. Post these rules on your blog.
3. Share six things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your entry.

Six things about me….

1. People are always surprised to hear of the many jobs I’ve held.  I started at a young age and always worked during college and every summer and also sometimes held more than one job at a time.  Since I started working for any kind of money, (in no particular order) I’ve been a baby sitter, a nanny, a cook’s assistant, a Pampered Chef Consultant, a Partylite Candles Consultant, a TCBY frozen yogurt employee and shift manager, a camp counselor, an entreprenurial youth programming assistant, a waitress, a bartender, a neurofeedback technician, a wedding and special event photographer, a special education teacher, a 2nd grade summer school teacher, a Math and Reading Skills teacher, a transportation assistant at Disney World, a drug and alcohol counselor, a Therapeutic Support Staff, a fundraising phone-a-thon participant, Assistant Director of Summer Therapeutic Activities Programming, Director of Therapeutic Activities Programming, Business Developer, and Independent Artist and Crafter…I might have even missed one!  hahah.  I’m a well-rounded individual!  
2. We have a LARGE family!  I am one of 36 grandchildren on my mother’s side (she was one of 11 children)
3. I’d love to be a motivational speaker.
4. I really enjoy flower gardening.
5. My ancestors once owned Baltimore’s Inner Harbor (too bad they didn’t keep it!)  🙂
6. I thank God for everything I am and have, and everything I ever will have or will become.

OK now who shall I tag?  

Jessica at http://jessicasharrah.blogspot.com/
Elisa at http://www.elisaannlindstrom.blogspot.com/
Lily at http://xue-originals.blogspot.com/
Wendren at http://thewren.wordpress.com/
PP at http://ppdesigns-ppdesigns.blogspot.com/
and lastly, I tag Sara at http://colorsnotyetinvented.blogspot.com/

Have fun!!  I look forward to all of your responses!   🙂  ~ Nicole

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Happiness Grows At Our Front Door!

I am loving the warmer weather, and nothing makes me happier or more inspired than warm weather with sunshine and the flowers that come along with it…especially fragrant flowers!  Anthony and I have not even lived in our tiny house a year, so it’s exciting for me to see what pops up in our yard!  I was told that the previous owners did a nice job planting flowers, so I can’t wait to see what we discover as it gets warmer! 

     So far, we only have one tiny flower that has arrived, but it IS beautiful!  Our neighbor, Irene, has some lovely jonquils and daffodils that have blossomed, and it just makes me happy, happy, happy to see their beauty!  Yesterday I took some pictures of the beautiful new arrivals and put together a collage of their grandeur.

 

So, where do YOU get YOUR inspiration from?

I’ve been chatting it up in the etsy forums and found the many people like to know where artists get their inspiration from.  I’m going to share my most recent inspiration with you and I’d like you to share your inspirations on my blog also, by leaving a comment on today’s blog post. 

 When you see my inspiration, you may not get it.  Other people – they will immediately understand.  It’s common for people not to understand the inspiration of others, so I’ll explain.  “THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX.”  It’s important to stand out. 

I’m slowly defining my style and how I, Nicole Catroppo, will stand out among the masses.  “What makes me ORIGINAL?  What do I do that makes people talk?”  If you’re an artist and you’re reading this, ask yourself the same questions, then follow the link that will lead you to my inspiration.  Every day I am defining who I am as an artist, but it’s coming along… a constant work in progress. 🙂

Now…MY INSPIRATION (ON APRIL FOOLS DAY, 2008)
It’s called, “Frozen In Grand Central Station”:
Click–> http://www.maniacworld.com/frozen-in-grand-central-station.html <–Click

Introducing Bella…

I’ve introduced “Bam” so now I’m going to introduce another baby of ours.  If you are new to my blog, my husband, Anthony, and I have three dogs.  Two (Bam and Bella) are Old English Bulldogges and one (Sadie) is a Border Collie Mix.  I’ve already introduced Bam, so today it’s Bella’s turn.

“Bella” – AKA “Wiggle Bum”
An Old English Bulldogge.  Fawn and white in color. 
Famous for her intimidation factor, power-wiggling happy bum, the funny way she sits, defiance, limit-testing and a persistent melancholy appearance (although sometimes she laughs – see pics!).   
Our “problem child,” a trouble-maker, but a sweetheart!
Accomplishments:  Food theft, home Demolition, Loud Snoring
….and leaves the biggest dump in the yard (yeah – gross, but true!).
bella.jpg bella2.jpg bella4.jpg bella3.jpg
img_8986.jpg img_6956.jpg img_1311.jpg img_8982.jpg
img_1313.jpg

THAT’S OUR BELLA.

Metalsmithing

I’ve been taking a soldering class and I’m SOOO excited!  I’m learning how to make my own findings and designs out of raw materials.  Right now, I’m working on a bracelet project.  This Wednesday I’ll solder the tiny jump rings, complete my bracelet clasp and start working on a pendant.  Here’s a pic of my bracelet so far – one side is textured and one side is completely smooth.

  Jewelry Project 1 - Bracelet

It’s lots of work, but so much fun and so rewarding!  I can’t wait until I have my own studio set up with everything I need to do this kind of work from home! 

Hello world!

Hi to all! I’ve never done a blog before, but I recently started an Etsy store and have been hearing a lot about blogging.  I’m looking for ways to market my shop and I also want to help other people out like other have helped me. I’ve been told about the power of blogs, so I thought I’d give it a try. I hope it generates more business for me and for others. I’m not have exactly sure what I’m going to do with it yet, with regard to theme or topics, but I’m sure that will develop in time.

A little about me: I live near Baltimore, Maryland, but am originally from a small town near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania called “Ford City.” More specifically, I grew up in the village of Brick Church, which is a charming rural community full of warm-hearted, friendly, generous people.

I moved away from Pennsylvania when I got divorced and although that divorce started a chain of difficult events, I have reached what I believe to be the light at the end of that dark tunnel. I have found love, contentment and happiness and have begun to work from home, doing what I love – being creative! Alleluia for that!