Showing posts from 2011

Cheers to 2012!


Here Comes Santa Claus!

Here is an old Air Force award of mine made into a Santa decoration!
It made a lovely and well received Christmas present!
The project started with a few sketches.  I thought perhaps I was just going to make a Santa face, but I settled on the second sketch.
Sketch 1:
Sketch 2:
I then used strips of pages from a 1955 Standard Highway Mileage Guide to wrap the piece.  The guide was being thrown away by a local library.  Always be on the lookout for unique (and FREE) items that can be used in your art.  I figured Santa was a traveler, so old maps would be perfect!
I used a papier mache technique I first used in grade school:  strips of paper soaked in Elmer's Glue and water.  Simple, yet effective!
  Once the piece was wrapped completely I let it dry for a day.
I then used an ordinary #2 pencil to draw my Santa sketch onto the piece. 
Next came the paint!  I used Liquitex acrylic paint.  Once the paint was dry I decided to give Santa an old, antiqued look with some Fragile Crackle (follow th…

Oooohhhh, Peanut Butter... and JELLY!

I don't have this t-shirt, but if I did, I would wear it!
Happy Thursday as we count down the days to 2012!
Make these last days count everyone!
YOU have the POWER!


"You were created as different nations and tribes, not that you should despise one another, but that you should know one another." - Qur'an, Chapter 49:13

Motivate and Persuade: Reason and Emotion

A wonderful insight from fellow agents, David & Lisa Goodman: Good morning all, Yesterday I had the television on and was listening to some political pundits talking about political advertisements and all of a sudden someone said something profound that I immediately related to what we do; she was talking about how the best political advertising works and she made the following statement : "we motivate with reason and we persuade with emotion" I relate that to getting someone to fill out a form or answer a telemarketer as motivating the individual with reason. When we get in the home its all about persuading with the emotion. Just thought I would pass that along. Dave & Lisa Goodman Financial Solution Specialists National Agents Alliance

A Leader's Credo

Leaders MUST:
1.  Trust in their own ability 2.  Communicate the vision daily 3.  Be able to hold people accountable 4.  Constantly input into the lives of their teammates 5.  Create and maintain loyalty 6.  Get to know their people as people

(Nuggets shared by Barry Clarkson, NAActivity Call, 12/16/2011)

Before Avatar

I found this passage intriguing, especially since I enjoyed the movie Avatar so very much.  It is a passage from The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook as quoted in Susan Scott's Fierce Conversations:  Achieving Success at Work & in Life, One Conversation at a Time:
Among the tribes of northern Natal in South Africa, the most common greeting, equivalent to "hello" in English, is the expression:  "sawu bona."  It literally means, "I see you."  If you are a member of the tribe, you might reply by saying "sikhona" or "I am here."  The order of the exchange is important:  until you see me, I do not exist.  It's as if, when you see me, you bring me into existence.

Avatar director and writer, James Cameron, had a little inspiration it seems... :)

Rolling in the Deep

Grab a cup of cocoa, snuggle up with your favorite blanket, and ponder this one... let it soak in, I mean, really soak in:
"Why is it so important to spend time conversing with ourselves?  Because all conversations are with myself, and sometimes they involve other people.  This is incredibly important to understand.  Embracing this insight changes the way we relate to and interact with everyone in our lives.  I may think I see you as you are, but in truth, I see you as I am.  The implications are staggering, and not the least of them is this:  The issues in my life are rarely about you.  They are almost always about me."  - Susan Scott


With art the possibilities are endless and Magnabilities are no different!

As their motto states:  Endless Possibilities.  Unique Personalities.

I came across this unique jewelry idea yesterday while doing some last minute shopping at Sawmill Creek Shops in Huron, Ohio.  The artistic circular magnetic pieces are interchangeable and can be put on uniquely designed necklaces, bracelets, earrings and more!

Check out:



Look Left, Look Right

I'll look both ways before I cross the street... promise... look left, look right, look left again... step... awww shucks!  A puddle! :)
Happy Tuesday!

Holiday Whimsy

ACEO, By Laura Ceville

Attitude, the Champion of Success

"Hire attitude. Train skill."  - Peter Schutz, Former President of Porsche

How to Build a Strong Sales Business

So, how do you build a strong sales business?  Well folks, leaders focus on the right things.  They help their teammates accomplish and achieve their goals, and take the focus off of themselves.  As one of the Air Force core values states, "Service Before Self."

Furthermore, leaders are incredibly good at recognizing, rewarding, and reinforcing the right behavior in their team, even when they accomplish the smallest of goals.  As my Dad always said, "How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time!"  Have faith that the small victories will lead to larger victories.  A healthy attitude will drive solid prospecting and is an important step in building a strong business.


1.  Attitude drives prospecting...
2.  Prospecting drives promotions...
3.  Promotions drive production...
4.  Production drives earning...
5.  Earning drives leadership...

Someone that is strong financially will make sound, right decisions.  They will not operate from a point of weakness. …


A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him. - David Brinkley

Self Worth Vs. Net Worth

"He is rich or poor according to what he is, not according to what he has." - Henry Ward Beecher

Imagination Station

You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus. - Mark Twain

Moving Forward

"Don't look back unless you're planning to go that way." - Henry David Thoreau

Go Green!

All, some great gift ideas from Uncommon Goods!  Beautiful raccoon, fox, skunk, and mink "stoles" by designer Sandy Martin of green 3!

Tumford the Terrible

I recently read Tumford the Terrible by Nancy Tillman.  I really enjoyed the book and I wanted to take a moment to tell you why!  Now yes, I am a grownup and this is a children's book... or is it?  I think there are lessons for young and old in this delightful, richly illustrated book. 

First off, the story of Tumford, a plump, black and white cat with bright yellow eyes, has a sing-songy nature that captured my interest from the very beginning.  It's very "Dr. Seuss" in its presentation and there is comfort in its message: 

     No, love is a thing that just happens, you see...
     like the way I love you
     and the way you love me.

What an absolutely lovely message!  You can't help but look at the person that you're reading the book to and gush as a wave of warmth, happiness, and good will pours over you.

Tumford is a story of redemption.  Tumford, a.k.a. Tummy, does not like saying he is sorry.  Despite his misdeeds, and regardless of your own, salvat…

Happy Thanksgiving!


Add Value

Try not to become a man of success but a man of value. - Albert Einstein

Build Castles

If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put foundations under them. - Henry David Thoreau

A Hog Hunting Tale

Hog Hunting by Christina Ceville (my baby sister! - the girl on the far left... wearing the hat!)
This was my 4th time hog hunting and the most exciting excursion yet. Mostly because we actually got on some hogs this time! That's the thing about hog hunting with a bunch of young's a lot of walking, waiting, and hoping that you will even see something to try to catch. This time it was myself, my boyfriend Colt, his brother Clay, and Clay's girlfriend Lexi. We had 5 dogs with us, Della, an old pit x cur Colt got to catch cows with, Sue, a leopard cowdog, Buck, a young cur cross we got from Mrs. Krystal, Buddy, a leopard dog Colt found stuck in a hog trap and Cleo, a timid border collie puppy. Normally we would go with the intent of sticking the hog, but with people buying them now Colt decided we might as well try to keep them alive...

I'll jump to the juicy part which is when we fiiiinally got on the hogs. The last two trips we didn't catch or see a thing …

Don't Worry, Be Happy!

I smile everytime I read this.  There I go again! :)


Stranger:  Are you religious?

Me:  Yes...

Stranger:  Do you believe in God?

Me:  Yes...

Stranger:  Which God?

Me: ...?.... THE God?

Stranger:  .....

Me:  (...thinking about purple elephants for some reason...)

Stranger:  ... Are you a Christian?

Me:  Yes...

Stranger:  Do you believe in Jesus Christ?

Me:  Yes...

Stranger:  That's what I was asking...

Me:  Oh... :)

The End.

Going Beyond the Elements

I took this picture in my backyard today.  It got me thinking...
Over time, the elements weather all things.  The threads that held the metal rods on this windchime have been exposed to the elements for years.  One by one the threads could no longer bear the load.  First it was one, then two; soon it will be four.  The metal rods have, little by little, overcome the strength of the thread as the sun, wind, and rain have worn them down.  As such, the rods have fallen to the earth below.
With care and attention, we can restore what once was.  Not the same, but nonetheless renewed and able to continue on.  What is broken can be mended.
I recently read that "God keeps breaking your heart until it opens." 
Are you open? 
Are you ready for a better, stronger you?
"Don't let the world create you."
This is YOUR moment!  Make it yours!
(Quotes from The Energy Bus:  10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work, and Team with Positive Energy by Jon Gordon)

Failure Is Opportunity

"Failure is the opportunity to begin again, more intelligently." - Henry Ford
And thank God for the opportunity!



To Try, Or Not To Try...

"Try and fail, but don't fail to try." - Stephen Kaggwa

The Best of the Best

"In every act of greatness, whether in sports, business, science, or the arts, the best of the best accomplish extraordinary feats by doing ordinary things with extraordinary consistency, commitment, and focus."
- Jon Gordon

"If your team trusts you, and your optimism causes them to believe in you, then your vision will inspire them to follow you." - Jon Gordon

With Action Comes Traction

"Vision without execution is hallucination." - Thomas Edison

"The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing."
- Walt Disney

"Next in importance to having a good aim is to recognize when to pull the trigger."
- David Letterman

"The key to success is action."
- Brian Tracy

Oldies But Goodies

A few pieces I created many moons ago... :)

Life Lessons in the Everyday

Agent:  So I get Tweets from Andy but not from Gerald

Me:  Did u request to follow Gerald?

Agent:  Yes.  It said he would have 2 accept me.  Cpl weeks ago when we last discussed it.

Me:  Did u ask him to accept u?

Agent:  I didn't know I had 2 ask him.  I will.

Me:  Life gives u what u ask for... not what u think u deserve...

Me:  U don't A-S-K u don't G-E-T...

Agent:  I thought it notified him.

Me:  It probably does but he's a very busy man...

Me:  U give up too soon... if u want something don't stop until u get it...

Me:  It's not Gerald's responsiblity... It is up to YOU to fight for you...

The End.

Better Butter

I was cooking today... rare yes, uninspired... NEVER!

Linguini and shrimp cooked in olive oil sprinkled with garlic salt, paprika, crushed red pepper, a hint of pasta sauce for color and smothered in butter... lots and lots of butter...

I thought to myself after tasting this delectable dish... "Butter makes the whole world better." 

Yeah... that sums it up!

Key to Heaven

Guy (Guy #1) and girl walking down the street.... they pass a guy (Guy #2) leaning against a lamp post...

Guy #2:  Hey man, do you have the key to heaven's gates?

Guy # 1:  Yes...

Guy #2:  I was wondering how you got that angel...can I borrow the key?

God's Cap

When I was a little girl my Mom told me I was born with "God's cap."  She said it's a white film that covers a baby's head when they are born.  She said that being born with God's cap usually meant that the baby would have some sort of health challenge or mental condition but that in my case it meant I was special and that God would always watch over me.  It meant I would be protected.

It's the best bedtime story she could have ever told me.  I was blessed from Day 1 and I believed it in my heart.  The mountains move not because of who I am, but because of whose I am.

Thanks Mom... for breathing faith into a wide-eyed little girl.

Ninjas in the Shower

When I'm home alone I check for ninjas in the shower.  I pull the curtain back to make sure the shower is empty.  But I guess it's not really the shower... it's the skylight above the shower.  You know in the movies when the screen pans up and and there, hovering in a shadowy space, squeezed between a window frame or two archaic pieces of lumber, is a ninja dressed in black.  He is poised and ready and just before the epic battle of all battles begins... you see a fleck of light dance across his cold, shiny, ninja blade. 

No ninjas after midnight please!

Oh... and when I was a child I used to think that if I sneezed on people I would get rid of my cold.  I was quite the Typhoid Mary...

the end.

Mona Lisa, Take 2

OK... every great artist studies other artists. In order to develop your artistic eye you must practice and put to use the resources around you. That's actually how we learned how to walk, talk, brush our teeth, use a fork etc.

So... back to the task at hand. I thought to myself, I need a piece of Clip Art in order to capture Mona Lisa properly with the chunkiness of the paper hole punch medium. I'm going to use the following pic and try again...
And perhaps create the main body of work in paper hole punch... then use an Exacto knife to cut the facial features from a black piece of paper which I will then lay on top of the main piece.
Eureka! The process is developing!
Wish me luck!

Ms. Mona

Well, my sister said she liked the pretzel but what she really wanted to see was Mona Lisa rendered in paper hole punches. I must say it was a bit of a challenge and I didn't get the facial features quite right but all in all a good effort... :)
My favorite snack of all time... the almighty pretzel!

Soccer Anyone?

Happy Sunday!

I created this soccer ball last night for a friend's son. He enjoys soccer and his favorite color is blue...
It still needs to go through the "flattening" stage as you can see the card is a bit bowed. I usually prefer to give it a night to dry so that the glue doesn't come squirting out from beneath the hole punches.
The flattening stage is a very sophisticated process. I find the biggest, heaviest, English Lit books I have and sandwich the piece in between. :)
Kind of sounds like something Willy Wonka would do!
All for now!

Ah, Push It... Push It Real Good!

As I was reading Chris Gardner's book, Start Where You Are: Life Lessons in Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be, I was reminded of a memory.

Chris said he is often asked "how it was possible to start a business in Chicago in the competitive business environment of Wall Street with only ten grand of capital going in." Per Chris, he "didn't know it couldn't be done" and furthermore "ignorance is bliss."

I agree...

Years ago my squadron had a formation for physical fitness several times a week. On one of these occasions we gathered in a parking lot in order to stretch and do push-ups etc. They asked us to "get down" and do as many push-ups as we could do.

I pumped out 72...

People were amazed. They asked, "How did you do so many push-ups?"

My answer, "I didn't know I wasn't supposed to be able to."

Apparently most women piqued around 40 push-ups or so.

As Jim Rohn once mused, "How tall will a tree…

The Most Dangerous Place in the World

Rather than suggest it would be nice for me to spend an afternoon in a safe environment that would help me cultivate my mind, what she said was, 'The public library is the most dangerous place in the world."

The most dangerous place in the world? Why was that? "Because," she explained to me, "you can go in there and learn how to do anything."

- Chris Gardner quoting his mother, Bettye Jean Triplett, from Start Where You Are: Life Lessons in Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be

You Gotta Have Heart

A few weeks ago I watched the movie Secretariat and as is my habit after being inspired, enlightened, or utterly confused by a movie I "Googled" it to learn more about this Thoroughbred's amazing story.
To be honest, as soon as my husband said he was going to rent the movie I told him, "We've already seen that movie... it was called Seabiscuit!" I thought all horse movies were the same... not so! Secretariat was the 9th US Triple Crown Champion in 1973. He won the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes. To this day he still holds the Kentucky Derby track record of 1:59 2/5. During this race he was actually accelerating during each quarter mile of this one and a quarter mile race!
Secretariat also finished The Belmont Stakes way ahead of the pack. He won by 31 lengths and to this day holds the record for the fastest 1.5 miles on dirt finishing in 2:24 flat.
But of all the accolades he received none is more astonishing than the gift God gave…

Thoughts to Ponder

Dear Potential Recruit,
Something you said yesterday and something you did recently have been weighing on my mind. I just wanted to share my thoughts with you.
First off, yesterday you had mentioned that if you were not successful or perhaps if you did not see the outcome you had anticipated you would be “disappointed.” To that I must let you know that part of being successful is learning to discipline your disappointment and beyond that is realizing that “Failure is your teacher. Regret is your enemy.”
Most people think that failure is on one side of the equation, success on the other, and that they are in the middle. But it doesn’t work that way. You must blast through failure in order to achieve success… failure is an integral part of the process. Furthermore, “There’s a big difference between what’s lost by not trying and what’s lost by not succeeding.”
Secondly, when you filled out the recruiting sheet you annotated the following in the income categories:
Income last year: $2…


Laura to New Agent: Here's the thing... more times than I can count things that people said could not be done come to pass... you just have to talk to the person that can make it happen... better yet, BE the person that can make it happen... ANYTHING is possible... I believe that with every fiber of my being... Miracles happen every day... You just have to believe... join me in the world of possiblity Mr. New Agent! The water is perfect over here! :)

New Agent: I believe :)

Momma Knows Best

"Boy, I've done so much, with so little for so long, that I can do anything with nothing."
- Chris Gardner quoting his mother, Bettye Jean Triplett from Start Where You Are: Life Lessons in Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be

My Mentor Abe Lincoln

"Whatever you are - Be a good one."
- A. Lincoln

A River Flowing

"God did not create us to be a reservoir that only collects. He created us to be a river that's constantly flowing."
- Joel Osteen

Our Sunday Adventure at the Columbus Museum of Art

We were greeted with "free ticket Sundays" when we walked into the Columbus Museum of Art (CMA) this past weekend. My favorite part of strolling the museum and soaking in the artistic expressions is getting close enough to a piece to see the brush strokes, or lack thereof. The flow and energy, passion and commitment... the artist's voice is exposed on canvas for all to see.

I remember being asked after painting a mural on the wall in my squadron at the United States Air Force Academy--a mural that depicted people and events at the Academy--where I was in the painting. I told the person, "I am everywhere." I was in every brushstroke of that painting... perhaps you did not see my exact likeness but I was there.

Habits are Like Cobwebs, Then Cables

"But the good news is that courage is a habit. Like a muscle, the more you practice courage, the stronger you become. Eventually, you reach the point at which you are virtually unafraid. After that, your career takes off like a rocket."
- Brian Tracy, The Psychology of Selling: Increase Your Sales Faster and Easier Than You Ever Thought Possible

The Time is Now, The Place is Here

"I discovered that one of life's greatest challenges, if not life's greatest challenge, was how to quit acting and start being." - Charlie "Tremendous" Jones

"A time comes when you need to stop waiting for the man you want to become and start being the man you want to be." - Bruce Springsteen

Paper Tigers

There will be many times in your life that adversity stares you in the face, takes a step toward you, and pushes you to your knees.

Will you let it keep you down?

Will you suffer from the "quitter's disease" as Charlie "Tremendous" Jones calls it?

Bill Hybels, in his book Who You Are When No One's Looking: Choosing Consistency, Resisting Compromise, encourages us to break through those quitting points by enlightening us to the fact that those quitting points are "made of tissue, not brick." Per Hybels, "Every time you break through a quitting point, you prove to yourself that quitting points are not as solid as some people think they are."

Amelia Earhart put it yet another way. For her the quitting points, or the fears and difficulties of life that put our world at a standstill, are merely "paper tigers." According to Ms. Earhart: "The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are …

Impossible Defined

Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.

- Adidas Ad, ESPN: The Magazine, 16 Feb 04