Sunday, December 31, 2006

Some "New" Art....

I created this artwork using some new stamps I purchased today. {Gotta love clearance prices!} Rubber credits: Anna Griffin {All Night Media, Hampton Arts, and one "passion" is unknown. All of the coloring is created using Prismacolor pencils. I used a black pen to add a touch of details to some of the images and some journaling. At the top right, the text reads, "All she ever dreamed of was living with passion." The center has text written along the leaves of the flowers to say, " her soul longed for flowers..."


Oh, before I forget! Today is my 2 yr. blogger-visary!!!! It has been an amazing process for me to have a place to share my thought, ideas, document my life's process, and artwork. Sometimes, I feel like I haven't made any progress, then I re-read some of my archives and quickly realize that I have!

As the new year quickly approaches, {raising my coffee cup} here is to many, many more advances in our Life!!!! The one goal that I'm striving for this year is to create MORE ART!!! I believe that sums it up nicely!

Back in the saddle again...

Feeling a bit better today after spending all day yesterday lounging in pj's, reading some of my older Somerset Studio magazines, watching chick flicks while resting, drinking lots of water, taking acetaminophen, cups of hot tea flavored with honey, and a good dose of Nyquil before retiring to bed. I woke up feeling more rested than I have in a month!!!

Still suffering with a bit of the sniffles and more muscles aches from a day of laying around, I'm ready to go today! I'm thinking of making a trek to Polaris --- hitting Barnes and Nobles for the latest issue of Somerset Studio, a trek into JoAnn's, and possibly hitting Dick Blick's on the opposite side of Columbus, we'll see, once I'm actually mobile, if I'm up too all of that.

I made some notations of some artwork in my older Somerset Studio's mags that I'd like to recreate in my own unique way. Not actually copies of the work but the ideas and inspirations! My goal is to begin focusing more on the artwork I'd like to create to assist in decorating my studio shelves and walls. I created some sketches of a few of my ideas, although I'll be elaborating further with them. Before I even get started, I'll need to get into the studio and finish re-organizing some of boxes of supplies I drug out on a trip out there in the beginning December. Gosh, has it really been that long ago?

One of the things that I do need to focus more of my attention on in there, is to create a central location for my alphabet stickers, rub on's, ect. I have two different containers that would work pefectly for this. One is an old world suitcase that has sort of become a catch-all when straightening up in a hurry, the other has functioned in the same fashion, only is metalled handled, lidded photo box. Either would be perfect! I just need to be certain that whatever I do decide to use, that I leave a bit of room for growth!

I'm still searching for some embossed large sheets of white paper. I've been desiring to create some covers for some of my favorite art books. Of course, I'll have to come up with a creative way to label the spines, so I'll know what book is what later when I need it. I may just have to make a trip into a wallpaper store soon, maybe I'd have a bit more luck using it!

Well, this is my game plan... organizing! Cleaning and straightening...but first things first, is get back on my feet once again. Also, I recently placed some internet orders which I'm looking forward to receiving in the new year. Some of these items will assist me in my creative endeavors. The ideas are definately flowing!

Well, I'm outta here... ready to go greet the day! {*tootles*}

Saturday, December 30, 2006


Even with the best of intentions and preparations, you cannot always prepare for everything. This is certainly the case with me as I seem to have come down with a cold; one of those nasty head colds at that! I was thinking when it began earlier today that I was simply having an allergic reaction to something I'd eaten, so I took a Bendryl. As the evening wore on, I knew I wouldn't be so lucky.

I curled up on the couch, watched a bit of TV before deciding to re-read Sally Jean's "Pretty Little Things" book once more. As I sunk into the pages of the book, I soon realized I was having to remove my right arm out from under my fleece throw to turn the book pages, LOL! I was feeling chilled. I quickly turned up the thermostat a few degrees and grabbed a warm sweater to put on over my T-shirt. A trip to the kitchen for some Advil, a large glass of cold water, and an orange {hey, Vitamin C is supposed to help right?} I settled back onto the couch and into Sally's book. A half an hour later, the sneezing and sniffles began. Yep! I've caught a cold.

I made a telephone to Don to inform him that I will run out, but only for a moment, to register for a weekly drawing at the Moose Family Center once he had gotten off of work, and that is exactly what I did. Returning home, I'd forgotten my small handbag on the seat of our truck. Realizing that as soon as I shut the passenger's side door, I went to retrieve it and heard this awful "phhssshhhh" sound. I informed Don and he investigated while I went in on into the house. He returned to inform me we have a leak in a radiator or a cooling or heating hose! When it rains, it pores! LOL! So, we sat down and discussed our options for having it looked after today. What else are you going to do??? I bundled up once more in an attempt to warm up, desiring to crawl head first under the blanket, and allow the world to slip slowly away, LOL! Shortly thereafter carrying myself off to bed --- at 10 p.m. again. I slept well, the short amount of time that I slept, another night of 5 hrs. sleep! I have a feeling that there is going to be some Tylenol or Advil PM in my future; my body cannot be getting adequate rest at this rate... it's no wonder I'm feeling under the weather.

Anyways... I don't believe we will be making it over to Sheila's later today for our pre-celebratation of the New Year. I think it may be for the best for me to stay home, get some rest, and not spread my germs, LOL! I'm certain Sheila and Dennis will understand.

Of course, I have some things to occupy my time should I feel up to doing it. My computer needs backed up once again, there are photos needing burned to cd's and taken off the computer, plenty of eye candy to view online, blogs to read, and art to think about creating!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Another productive day...

Our living room tree is down and most of the residue of Christmas are now once again in storage. I did , however, keep the kitchen tree up to savor for a few more days. I have a feeling I'm going to miss that soft, wonderful, serene glow at night. That definately provides me something to think about to replace it with.

I took my sewing machine and Ott light and placed them on the back kitchen table where the tree was located after re-locating it to the breakfast bar for a little longer. I have a wonderful view of our rear deck and yard, not to mention the entrance to my studio. Maybe sewing there will inspire me to get out there more!

Don was ever so kind today, assisting me with taking a paper rack out to UPS for determing shipping costs. I now have access to the box H, W, and D, along with the weight. I have sold one so far and that $$$ will assist me in paying off a loan early. I'm hoping anyways...

We had a wonderful dinner together before Don headed off to work and tonight will enjoy one another's company as we prepare for our New Year's bash with Sheila and Dennis.

To date, I've been staying on track with the "being more" physically active, things are being accomplished, and progress is being made.

I received some sad news via email a few days ago, one of our dear friends is closing her stamp store. I have had quite a time visiting her, always a few hours too late, or she's been closed when we've been in the area. The good news is she will be keeping her webbsite and is available for teaching, so there is the possibility that we may be able to make some arrangements to keep and stay in touch. I have to remind myself sometimes that one ending is often another beginning, even when it is sort of bittersweet. I wish you all the best the New Year has to offer, Peggy.

And speaking of New Year!!! I'm thinking about some of the art related goals that I'd like to establish for the upcoming year. I'll share those soon... {smiles}

ISO... Can you help me?

I am desiring to search and find some information on sizing my digital photographs. I'd like to pixelated them to appropriate sizes for having them printed in 4x6, 5x7, 8x10 and some 12" sizes for scrapbooking.

Would anyone have any good resources for finding this information? Just thought I'd ask for some assistance and save myself some time searching and researching. Any help is greatly appreciated and Thank you well in advance!

A Productive Day...

Yesterday turned out to be a very productive day for me. I got off on the right foot by washing up a small amount of dishes, cleaning countertops, etc. before tackling some of the holiday leftovers. Mainly the ham... See, there are advantages to going elsewhere for the holidays! There wasn't a lot of leftovers for us to have to deal with.

I did, however, get creative with the ham. Some was sliced for sandwiches and for ham and eggs for breakfast this morning, while the rest was cubed. I pre-heated the oven, and whipped up a small casserole dish of scalloped potatoes, and the remaining cubes went into a small pot of homemade potatoe soup. A dish of sliced ham covered in water also made it's way into the oven for sandwiches. So, yesterday "specialties" consisted of ham sandwiches, potatoe soup, and scalloped potatoes. Of course, I had to eat a little bit of everything but it was nice not having to cook several meals during the course of the day.

In the afternoon, I began gathering up some of the remenants of Christmas. Tins, candy dishes, decorating accessories... wrapping paper, bows, bags, and some gift boxes. I did remove my large snowman, took some wall decor items off the walls, and replaced them with the day to day pictures. Don pitched in and helped out by taking what I'd gathered up so far back to the attic for storing.

While he started on our laundry, I cleaned and moved some of the gifts we recieved into our home before tackling the kitchen and bathroom floors. Later in the afternoon, I took a break. It was great to simply relax, not having to rush off anywhere and just idle-ly meander thoroughout the house doing whatever I felt inspired to do.

In the early evening, while Don worked at the store, I felt inspired to get started on a few of the "Thank You!" cards I am sending this year, along with a letter to a friend telling her just how special her friendship is to me! Of course, I had to create a simple little card to tuck the letter into. And talk about "perfect timing", I finished cleaning up from the card making just as Don arrived back home. So, we spent an enjoyable evening relaxing in front of the TV before retiring for the night. Early, I might add.

Well, early for me, at 10 p.m. and I paid for it by waking up at 1:30 a.m., spent some time browsing online until about 4:30 a.m., and heading back to bed. I did manage to get some sleep. Don cancelled my chiropractor appointment for 10:30 a.m. today, knowing I had been up and down during the night. I woke up at 9:30 a.m., grateful for not having to rush around to get ready.

Today's agenda, is to tackle a bit more of the Christmas decorations. I believe I am going to take down our living room tree. I'll still have the smaller 4' tree in the kitchen to take upstairs, but I'd like to enjoy it for a little bit longer! Thankfully, it is easy put away --- decorated! Gotta love that!

I'll be calling Sheila later this afternoon to finalize our plans for our New Year's Eve celebration on Saturday. Our actual, New Year's Eve, will be spent at home alone on Sunday. We had a recent change of plans, so Don and I will be going over to her and Dennis's home, playing cards, listening to music, having a few drinks, and spending the night as neither Don or I look forward to being on the roads. We'll wake up on Sunday and make a sausage buscuit and gravy breakfast --- gotta have pork to bring us good luck! LOL! It is more of a tradition to us than being superstitious!

Well, the day is waning away... guess I should get going and get something else accomplished. My mind will soon be turning towards organization efforts within our home and my studio, hopefully, making our lives a bit more productive this year.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

As the New Year rolls in....

and I start on the re-organization effort in my studio, I will be listing some rubber stamps on my blog. Most of these are new, never used from Toybox Art, Hero Arts, and a few odd an end companies. I'm simply desiring to clear out some of my previous stock and make room for items that I will use. Look for them to posted soon.

FOR SALE... 8 1/2 x 11 Paper Racks....

I have some brand new, still in the box, 8 1/2" x 11" Paper Racks for sale. Each unit stands 59" tall and has 24 angled shelves to hold 8 1/2" x 11" paper. These measure 59" H x 9" W x 10" D. There is lots of space between the shelves to store plenty of paper! Each shelf will hold at least 50 sheets of cardstock, and I have had over 100 sheets of thinner, printed papers and vellums in the ones that I use within my own studio. I am asking $75.00 per rack, buyer to pay shipping. I prefer to ship to the US ONLY. If you are interested, please contact me at

The top of each rack is squared, just as in the picture above. I have created a wood shelf that spans across the top of mine which provide additional storage and artwork display area to my studio.

I will be taking a rack to UPS soon to determine the shipping and will post that information at that time. I currently have a limit of 20 racks. So, if you are intested, act fast! Thank you!

I love bloggin'...

Not only having a space to write my own thoughts and feelings, the day-to-day stuff {that I'd otherwise forget about}, a place to share glimpses into my heart, life, soul, and home, but a place to share my artwork and the artwork of others.

Recently while adding to my links, I thought about so many more blogs that I'd love to one day add, but I realized just how much I love surfing from blog to blog. The instant gratification of seeing so much artwork, discovering more and more inspiration, seeing what others are doing and sharing. I love to read and this provides me with a perfect opportunity to do so! Reading what art others are creating, learning about their creative processes, and seeing so much eye-candy reminds me to get into my own studio more. And while I love seeing places that I'd otherwise never be able to visit in person, and some of those photographs make me want to grab my camera and share more and more about our home town and the places we visit. Surfing certainly brings me full-circle. It reminds me that life is about seeking balance, spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically, and creatively. As the new year approaches, I'm hopeful to strive to find that balance within my own life... little snippets of time spent doing what I love and sharing that love with others.

Organizing has been on my mind lately. We all have those areas that require it. For me, it is my studio, our closets, and the drawers and cabinets in our home that need my attention. I am happy to realize that they didn't become a mess in a short amount of time and I know that they will be re-worked in the same way. This makes that tasks a little less daunting and I don't have to become super-woman to achieve it, LOL!

Getting more physically active is another area of my life I am desiring to focus my attention. I don't think I'm quite ready to begin my Tae-Bo again... but simply being more physically active in little ways throughout my day is what I am striving for. I have to admit since this recent car accident, I've slowed down more and that isn't a good thing with all these holiday meals and plentiful snacks laying around.

Another thing I realized is that I want more and I want less. I want to actually use what I have, feeling blessed to have it, and to realize its potential to the fullest. I have a lot of art supplies that I am not utilizing to their fullest potential, so I hope to rectify that!

I want to spent more time reading my Bible and talking to God. Conversing with him certainly helps me focus on being me and not the obstacles and challenges that are put before me. It reminds me to put those who are most important to me first.

I want to focus on my studio. Not in an re-organization sense but in a decorating sense. I want to make it a sacred space that I simply cannot wait to visit. I want to change the energy there so that I will desire to create more and more. Well, that is the dream, anyways.

Well, the day has certainly began... with and without me, so I'm outta here. It's time to clean up the house before it requires an all day feat... so that I can find time for all that I desire to do. Whatever it is that you dream of doing, being, and achieving, I hope your dreams come true! {*waves}

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


I have always been a huge fan of office supplies! and loving Beta Blogger labels are no exception! I went through starting at December 2006 entries and have made through to my August 2006 archives. No small feat, I assure you, but a rewarding one!

I hope this will make it easier once completed of my blog readers... each visit for different reasons so this should be helpful to them... helping them find what's new in each labelled category.

I have always wondered if maybe I should start another blog for the personal side of my life, but it somehow felt as if maybe I shouldn't. Some of my family and friends seem to enjoy it and have emailed me to tell me so.

Kudos to Blogger! With the help of these labels, now I won't have to worry about it!!! {smiles; gosh you gotta love that!}I believe it will also assist me when I am in search of something I've posted or written or simply desire to be inspired by. Yep, there is even an "inspiration" label! ;)

I bit the bullet...and worked on one of my goals.

and added some new links this evening! More to come soon, I promise! I always hesitate to mess with my blogger template, I'm afraid I'm going to mess something up royally and lose something in the process! I know, I know, back it up before playing, so it can be rectified if needed, LOL!

As this years comes to an end, I have been doing some thinking about the past year. No, I didn't accomplish all of my hopes and dreams, but I'm happy and I have somethings to strive for in the new year! Today, my mind has been on all the things I had hoped for my blog, so I started on a few of those changes.

Another thing on my mind is organizing my studio space once again and making it a habit to visit it more frequently. I am happy with the progress that I have made this year, working on my personal art, sharing with online friends and artists in swaps, deco collaborations, and mingles. Of course, there will always be the thousands of ideas of things that I desire to create! That list seems to get longer and longer and longer...LOL! But the one that naws at me the most is to define my own style... its in here, I just need to find it and define it!

A Christmas Meme...

Several of my blogger friends have been posting their answers to this Christmas Meme, so I thought I'd jump on the same bandwagon --- after all we're friends, right?

1. Egg nog or hot chocolate?
I like Egg Nog occasionally, with rum, please! Although, hot chocolate is a winter staple for me. Don on the other hand, loves chocolate and milk; just don't mix the two together, LOL!

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
Dfinitely wrapped! I love shopping for gift wrap just as much as love wrapping gifts! The simplest I do is a gift surrounded within tissue paper tucked lovingly inside a gift bag.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?
We placed no lights on the house this year {remember I was going to measure our porch for winter greenery galand? LOL! That didn't happen.} Both of our trees feature white lights, although I loved colored lights as well.

4. Do you hang mistletoe?
No, however, Don and I make a game of discovering where it is hung year after year!

5. When do you put your decorations up?
I begin my Christmas decorating often the day after Thanksgiving. I may take me up until Christmas Eve to get everything I desire to use set up and in place.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?
Oh no, NOT a favorite question... I love so many things that these are the always the hardest for me. I hesitate, think of something, then think of something entirely different, LOL! However, Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without at least on dinner consisting of candied ham!

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child:
My favorite childhool memory is related to Christmas.. My brother, who is a carpenter now, attempted to build me a coveted log home playhouse by cutting down a neighbor's cherry tree. He drew sketches of what the log home would look like, right down to the gerainiums in the window boxes. Years later, I painted an old saw, purchased at a flea market, with a log home with red geraniums in the window sills. My brother cried when he opened it; surprised that I had remember that from our childhood.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?

I honestly don't remember but I do remember discussing all the possibilities of Santa with my brothers and younger sister. I don't remember feeling any disappointment with the knowledge however, I gained an entirely new level of respect for my parents!

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
I don't personally open a gift now that I'm "grown-up". However, when my daughter was little we had a tradition of allowing her to open one gift on Christmas Eve. Usually new pj's; perfect for Christmas morning pics!

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree?

Our big tree in our living room is decorated in a Victorian theme... burgandy, hunter green, navy blue, and gold finished ornaments. There are some special ornaments that we try to add a few more to every year. I use a gold beaded garland that I swap over the branches, and a burgandy with gold embossed ribbon, tied with bows completes the tree.

Our smaller tree in our kitchen is decorated in silver and blue. A white and blue garland with silver icicles complete the look!

11. Snow! Love it or dread it?
Both! I love having a White Christmas! I love watching it fall silently and softly, feeling all giddy with excitement. I love to wake up and see it laying across our backyard, untouched and glistening as the sun begins to rise. I also love seeing it in the twilight hours, as the day turns quietly to night, there's something magical in that moment when the white become a beautiful blue.

On a day to day basis, I don't like the cold, the wetness, the tracking it in on our wood floors. I don't like to drive in it and I hate the yuck it makes when dirty from car exhausts.

12. Can you ice skate?
Are you kidding? I have never tried!!! I do not believe that I am going to start at my age, LOL!

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
No. I cannot say that I have recieved a favorite Christmas gift. Gift giving is such a small part of what I love about Christmas.

14. What’s the most important thing about the holidays for you?

The "W" in Christmas Love. The "M" turned upside down, "Christ Was Love" It reminds be to forgive others, to be kind, to be grateful, caring, and giving. To meet the needs of another without waiting to be asked. It is about celebrating the birth of Christ, his life, his love, and sharing that love with family and friends.

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert?

Without a doubt, the Cookies. Not one in particular, I love them all equally!

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Visiting Medina's Candlelight Walk, the Saturday before Thanksgiving. We seldom miss it... another is driving around looking at the Christmas lights!

17. What tops your tree?
A burgandy and gold bow graces our living room tree. It is too tall for the glass topper! A small blue angel is on the kitchen tree.

18. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving?
Definately giving. I love shopping for gifts that I know others will enjoy. Although, the receiving isn't bad either, LOL!

19. What is your favorite Christmas song?
Silent Night.

20. Candy canes: Beautiful to display in glass jars and wonderful to make milkshakes with!!!! I love Smith's Peppermint Ice cream!!!!

21. Favorite Christmas movie?
The original Miracle on 34th Street with Natalie Wood. Although, I enjoy them all!

22. What do you leave for Santa? Decorated Sugar Cookies and a small glass of milk.

Christmas was wonderful!

Don and I had a wonderful Christmas holiday season! The time, money, and effort that was put in weeks before the main event, turned out to be worth all the hustle and bustle, and more than we could have ever dreamed of.

Dinner and time with my family, watching them opening the gifts we had purchased, laughing and playing with Alexxis and her toys made our day spectacular! It was wonderful not receiving anything in return except their time and company on Christmas Eve. There were no disappointments and no expectations... just sharing in the merriment of memories that we were creating together.

Later in the evening and upon returning home, we were blessed with the presence of good friends. A short visit from Jim and Rosella, but a delightful one, full of laughter, genuine caring and well wishes, and promises of getting together in the new year.

Unfortunately, Sheila and Dennis came by but didn't stop. I had sent Don out to get some soda to drink and when they came by they didn't see the truck so thought maybe we weren't at home. I was here and the lights were on... but in there tiredness of the day they'd spent with their families... a telephone call from them confirmed this and we all had a good laugh over it.

Christmas morning was spent browsing online and lounging for a bit before preparing to make the trek to Don's mom's. Having time to spend by ourselves going to and from created just the right balance for the day. At Don's mom's we visited with family and friends, had a light lunch, and enjoyed more well wishes for the new year. In the mid-afternoon, we said our "Thank you's" for the wonderful lunch, the company, and gifts we received, and set out for traveling to Dennis and Sheila's.

We arrived there safely, without any mishaps. It rained and even gift wrapped in white garbage bags, tied with red closures, and adorned with boxs appeared feasitive in the bed of the pick up truck, LOL! But, everything arrived in one piece and dry!!!
Shortly after arriving, setting up some of our contribution to the Christmas dinner, Sheila's son BJ and his family arrived. It was a blessing to see her 3 yr. old grandson, Zachary, open and delight in opening his Christmas presents. We enjoyed a wonderful meal and one another's company for hours... even while cleaning up afterwards. We talked more about our plans to spend New Year's Eve together. Don and I will be spending the night there and Sheila and I will be preparing a Sausage Gravy and Buscuit breakfast in the morning. A little after 8 we set out for home, warm, dry, and with that warm, fuzzy feeling that only time spent with family and friends can bring!

Once home again, we got things situated in the house, put on our pj's and snuggled ourselves in with a glass of wine. A perfect way to say farewell to the last several days!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Wrapping the Magic!

After a quick stop at WalMart, simply for me to run in an purchase a smoked ham bone for occupying Chaos with while entertaining Dennis and Sheila this evening, we set out for home.

Arriving home after our gift giving shopping adventure and a wonderful dinner, I set out to putting Amber, Chris, and Alexxis's stockings items in gift bags before moving on to my parents stocking. I added a few small items my sister, Mary had recently sent for Alexxis {a pink hat and socks} and set out to wrapping the two blanket sleepers she had included for Alexxis. Before I knew it, another box was filled to be taken to my parents this early afternoon!

While I was gift wrapping Sheila and Dennis's gift, Don took Alexxis's Elmo TMX out of the box and installed the batteries. Of course, we had to play with him a few times before returning him to the box, wrapping him up, and placing him with the other items going to my Mom's today.

It was a perfect opportunity for me to slow down and relax! I found myself smiling, knowing the MAGIC will be coming unwrapped today. I hope everyone enjoys opening and receiving their gifts... I certainly had a fun time choosing them. Well, I'm off once again, as I need to shower, do my hair and make up, make a telephone call, and head to my parents.

Merry Christmas everyone! I'm excited about spending the next several days with family and friends!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas..

I finished my two containers of potatoe salad in the early evening yesterday and filled up a box of food to be taken over to my parents. Another couple of boxes filled with gifts for my parents, Amber, Chris, and Alexxis were also taken over. Shortly after situating the food in the frig and the gifts around their tree, I realized I had forgotten the stockings so I made a mental note of items yet to be taken over in the a.m.

During the day, I decided having dinner out would certainly save me some time and energy, not to mention yet another kitchen clean up, so after leaving my parent's home, Don and I headed down to Delaware. I thought I'd find my last minute gifts for Sheila and Dennis at Oakland Nursery and we could travel down St. Rt. 36/37 to have dinner at the Cracker Barrel restaurant. Arriving at Oakland Nursery, I became scared that they may closed as there wasn't a car in the lot! It turned out we had the place to ourselves to enjoy the fresh smell of evergreens, scented candles, fresh flowers, and Christmas ornaments and decorations galore! Anyone who knows me, knows I love shopping at Oakland! Within their gift shop, you can find just about anything in seasonal garden decor that works well inside and out, candles, candle holders, signs, potpourri, journals, furniture... you name it! and it is always good quality items.

I browsed through the gift department before finally choicing my selection, making note of a variety of items that would fit into our budget. You see, I had gifted Sheila with a Christmas Tinnie and one of the beautiful matchboxes, card, and gift tag sets that I had previously created. When she received it, she loved it so much, she went out and purchased a gift for Don and I so I desired to get her something else to go with what I had already given. Finally, I decided upon a bag of Christmas potpourri, a 5" Christmas tree green candle, and a small metal sign with a spiral rusty hanger that reads, "Unwrap the Magic". Normally, I like to choose gift items with things that I myself might like to receive, yet keeping my friends interests in mind, so I knew this would make a wonderful gift. Don and I browsed some more, and he purchased me a beautiful red fringed scarf with gold embroidery that says, "'Tis the Season to be Freezin'" and I love it! We also picked up a 3 pots of poinsettas!
Nothing says, "Christmas" more to me than poinsettas and christmas pine! I love the deep red, velvety leaves and the small golden blooms. Two will grace my small tree in the kitchen; while the other will be a hostess gift to my mom. Happy with our purchases, we headed to get us some dinner!

Arriving at the Cracker Barrel, we quickly browsed their gift shop. A lot of Christmas themed items were 50% off and some kitchen items were 40% off. I instantly feel in love with a 5" 3 pc. lighted Christmas Village and then, turned to see a beautiful oil bottle with an apple theme. I pointed them out to Don and asked if I could purchase one for Sheila. Her kitchen decor is all apples! Don loved it as well, so he turns to me and asks how I'd like to have the previously purchased items and we'd pick her up the apple decorated oil bottle and a matching cookie jar! I couldn't believe my ears!!! So, Merry Christmas to me and to Sheila! Of course, I'd love the gifts I had so heartfelt choosen previously for her and I know she is going to FLIP! when she opens these!!!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

All the hustle and bustle...

of the last several days is catching up with me. I thought I was making some major improvement with the shoulder, back, and neck injury to quickly realize late last night and this early morning that I am trying to accomplish too much; possibly a little too soon. I'll be calling my chiropractor to see if I can be worked in this morning and hopefully, finding some time this evening to slip into the jacuzzi. My muscles would greatly appreciate the warm swirling water and hopefully will relax them some.

The good news is that things will be beginning to slow down! I've only a few last minute items to purchase and wrap up. Isn't it funny how that works? You think you have all your shopping for gift-giving completed to quickly realize you desire to get something for someone else? LOL! Thankfully, I know what the items are that I will be purchasing and won't have to browse around the stores to find something! Just a quick "jog" {and I say that lightly!} in and out... the hardest part will be finding a parking space.

All that is left to be made is the potatoe salad which I will be making this afternoon while Don is working. Of course, mom and I will be baking the ham for sandwiches on Sunday... however, that will be all that we will have to do. I will be picking up fresh buns this a.m. from the bakery.

Our home is warm and all aglow --- well for the most part. I still need to hunt down and determine why the lights on my living room tree aren't working. I'm thinking I've blown a fuse in the strands of light... hopefully, it won't be too much of a problem find and fixing it. I so enjoy the lights in the evening as I sit and relax in the warmth of their glow, comfy in my pj's covered with a throw, and a fresh cup of hot cocoa warming up my hands. Pure heaven!

Yesterday, I worked more in the kitchen; rearranging some items in our top cabinets, wiping them out, cleaning countertops, appliances before sweeping and mopping the hardwood floors. While I worked on that, Don pitched in and put laundry away and washed and dried yet another load and vacuamed our home for me. I tell you, I love a man who pitches in and works right along beside me!!!

I had my hair cutting and highlighting appointment yesterday afternoon. Rita was able to just highlight my hair as my roots from the all over cover are just beginning to show, so having it done wasn't too bad. We cut it into layers once again, which added the body and fullness it was beginning to lack. What really impressed me is the colors in my hair now! We decided on a cool blonde highlight and with the previous color and highlights, and the natural reds in my hair that seem to come out whenever we color it, so I have about 4 colors in it! It isn't an extreme, in your face type of color, more soft and subtle. It ranges from a medium/light brown to a a warm, soft blonde... and not too chunky and streaky and I am so loving it!

After returning home, I set out to bake sugar cookies. Unfortunately, my sugar cookie dough didn't turn out like I desired so I'll need to add more flour to it. With the recent rain, I wonder if it isn't the humidity that affected it. Not feeling like messing with it too much last night, I opted to return it to the refrigerator and set to putting a vegetable tray together instead. A bit more healthier and better for all of us, LOL!

After Don returned home from work, we took a short drive, to look at Christmas lights. This seems to have become one of our yearly traditions, LOL! Something we both enjoy. Upon returning home, I reached for the Advil and my pj's; it wasn't long there after, I was asleep in my bed, with visions of sugar cookies in my head. LOL!

Today's agenda doesn't look to be too busy... at least I am hoping not anyways!

* A morning trip to the chiropractor,
* a stop at the bakery for buns,
* and back home to relax for a bit.

I'll make up the potatoe salad while Don works this afternoon; possibly find time for a short nap??? we may run out early this evening to purchase the two remaining gifts... just one item and a gift certificate... Who knows, I may just decide to create a money envelope and include cash instead, elimating yet another trip across town. That is sounding good...Then I can pack up the gifts and the food that will be going to my Mom and Dad's and get that over there for tomorrow. Sounds like a great plan to me.......

Whatever your plans are for the day, I hope you find some time to simply relax, too. Have a sugar cookie, a cup of cocoa, and enjoy the lights tonight! {smiles}

Thank You and Merry Christmas!

I been meaning to create a post that has weighed heavy on my heart the last several days. That is to take a moment to say, "Thank You and Merrry Christmas!" to all of the men and women who are stationed overseas during this holiday season.

Regardless of my views regarding the war in Iraq, I appreciate the sacrifices and the compromises that so many are making to keep our country safe. I personally do not know what it is like to have a son or a daughter serve in the military, but as a mother of an only child, I can relate to the pride that they must feel, the beating of their heart at each and every knock upon their door, and the anticipation of bringing each and every one of our sons and daughters home safely. I pray for each and every one of you, I pray for a peaceful resolution, and I pray for Iraq.

As Christmas and the New Year swiftly approaches, my heart weighs heavy for those who a sacrificing for our country by standing their ground although their hearts are back in in the U.S. with their families. To those with mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews, and neices, as well as all the significant others in each and every one of their lives with whom they will be giving the greatest gift of all to... Love of our country and Freedom! I say, "Thank You!" and "Thank You" to the families that support you.

As a woman, I am thankful and very grateful to have been born in the United States. To have the freedom and liberties that I know I often take for granted, mainly because I know of no different way of life. I could not imagine my life with not having the opportunities that I have available to me --- although I suppose had I been born somewhere else, I may not be so aware of them. Maybe these thoughts and ideas would sound like a dream, a hope or a prayer silently whispered, I don't really know but I do know my heart doesn't forget about the sisterhood that I share with so many around the world. To them, I say, "Thank You!"

May God be with each and every one of you this Christmas season, may you discover love, and I hope your holidays are calm and bright. May you find love, faith, and hope this Merry Christmas and into the Happy New Year!

Friday, December 22, 2006

A Gift from a wonderful friend...

I belong to several online groups but there is one that is special to me because of the friends that I participate in online art swaps with, the caring and compassion that we have for one another, the quality of artwork that we swap, RAK, and gift one another with. I was extremely surprised when I suggested a Handmade Christmas Mingle on rather short notice and six of us decided to participate! We each made something handmade for one another and I have to tell you the gifts that I seen to date are extremely amazing!

The photograph above was my Handmade Christmas Mingle gift created by Deborah March. Deborah is one amazingly talented paper/mixed media artist who inspires me with everything she puts her lovely hands upon! Of course, this gift to me was no different!!!! Deborah's gift arrived in a cd-style holder to which she had attached a mailing label to the front side. I used scissors to slice through the tape to discover that she had created me a beautiful heart- shaped ornament with gold embossing and glitz! tucked carefully inside the cd-style interior.

Tied to the top of each arch of the heart is a beautiful gold ribbon for hanging. Dangling musical note charms, that are actually a beautiful pair of pierced earrings, are slipped over the left side of the hanger and dangle down and over the heart embellishing it further. At the bottom point of the heart and attached using a jump ring is a beautiful jewelry finding medallion with additional dangling matching beads and musical note charms. This could easily be removed and added to a necklace chain and worn as a necklace with the matching earrings! My attempt at describing this in no way reflects the beauty of this artwork!

Many, many Thank you's, Deborah for creating this for me. I will always cherish it as a token of our friendship and wear these proudly knowing these were created by such a warm and wonderful person! Merry Christmas, my friend.

Christmas Tinnies ....

I needed something to hold these candies and had originally intended to use some ziplock baggies and create a cardstock style bag topper. However, when I ventured out to the studio to grab the baggies, I literally stumbled over a box of tin vegetable cans that I had cleaned, thrown into a box, and toted out to the studio. That is when it hit me to create Christmas Tinnies! I used my xyron to adhere red cardstock and an evergreen pinking sheared banner upon which I matted some vintage Christmas Card images. To protect the recipients, I decided to tuck in some white tissue paper prior to filling them with some Christmas goodies: Hersey Kisses, Peanut Butter Bells, and a couple Candy Canes. I believe next year, I'll recreate them ahead of time so that I will be able to use my rubberstamps and do some gold and silver heat embossing to embellish them further. For now, I'm simply pleased that I stumbled upon the idea when I needed it!

A "stolen" moment...

and not just one, a few... long enough for a cup of coffee and a quick update... {smiles}. Yesterday was a hectic day with a visit to the chiropractor, a trip to the library for copies to be made, grocery shopping, a short visit with my parents to drop of mom's copies she needed, before we finally headed home. Arriving home, I hit the kitchen to begin my holiday baking. A loaf of banana nut bread, banana nut muffins, peanut butter chocolate thumbprint cookies, and a batch of sugar cookie dough to refrigerator for use today. of course, I cleaned up often between tasks, washing dishes, baking pans, whiping up countertops. After my last batch of cookie dough making, I thought about whipping up some fantasy fudge, however, room to chill it in the side by side refrigerator became an obstacle, so I opted to wait to make that today after I'm finished baking sugar cookies. {That is IF I'm still standing, LOL!} So, instead of making fudge, I chose to make some Yule Logs. Not having a double boiler to melt chocolate in, I got resourceful by using my 5 qt. pot and a 2 1/2 qt. pot to melt my chocolate into and instead of making a bigger mess, I broke my pretzel rods in half so I could dip them into the 2 1/2 qt. pot of chocolate. After dipping them, placing them on wax paper, and sliding them onto a cookie sheet, they were slipped into the freezer to assist with the hardening of the chocolate; while I cleaned the 2 qt. pot so I could melt the white chocolate to drizzle over top. A lid kept the water boiling and a pot holder kept me from getting a steam burn. Once the white chocolate was melted, I scooped it into a quart sized freezer bag, zipped it closed and cut a small corner snip with scissor to use as a decorating bag. That worked wonderfully!!! and the fact that I could just toss it after use, made clean up a breeze!

I also managed to set up a hair cutting and highlighting appointment for today at 3:30 p.m. so I'm working on housework this a.m. and currently taking a well-deserved break for a minute or two. There is still a lot to do.... sugar cookies will be baked and decorated later today when I return home, and tomorrow I'll be making potatoe salad! 2 large bowls, on for my parents and our family luncheon on Sunday; the other for taking to Dennis and Sheila's for Christmas dinner.

I don't know if anyone of you will remember that I had an extra TMX Elmo; as there were a limit of 2 when we purchased it for on of Alexxis' gifts; we purchased an additional one. We have been wondering what to do with it..... thought about ebay.. thought about donating it to an angel tree child... then, I thought I'd like to donate to our hospital's pediatrics department. Well, I heard word yesterday that they are unable to accept it due to it being a plush toy and not easily sanitized, so Sheila is purchasing it from us to gift to her grandsons. She couldn't believe that I had one and although like me a bit disappointed the hospital couldn't accept it; she is excited that their loss is her gain. Dennis and Sheila will be stopping by on Christmas Eve to visit, pick it up, and take the potatoe salad home for our dinner there on Monday. This will work out beautifully, since we have lunch at my parent's with Amber, Chris, and Alexxis scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday. On Monday, we will have a luncheon with Don's mom and family at her house; and in the mid-afternoon we will be heading over to Sheila's for Christmas dinner.

I had to laugh while talking with an internet friend, she asked, "When will you be starting a diet?" I chuckled and replied, "I'm on one now!" LOL! Thankfully, the majority of my recent cookie and candy making spree is going to be given away... neither Don or I can afford for it to hang around here too long!

Well, there is still a lot to do in preparation of Christmas which is now only 3 short days away, so I'm off of here...... it 'tis the season and time to hit the ground running, once again. I do have some items that I am desiring to capture photographs of to share.... I'll try to fit them in real soon. I hope your day is going good, your spirits are high, and you are celebrating the season in a holly jolly style!!!! {smile}

Thursday, December 21, 2006

So little time....

I completed our Christmas gift-giving shopping early this year in hopes that life wouldn't be so hectic the last several days before Christmas. However, all my good intentions are quickly falling by the wayside as I have a chiropractor appointment this a.m.; gotta tackle the crowd at the grocery store today or tomorrow so I can get started baking cookies; squeeze in a haircut and highlight appointment sometime within the next 3 days' and make a potatoe salad for a Christmas Eve get together on Sunday with my family, and wrap up a few last minute gifts.

Thankfully, my mom decided a simple lunch will work best so on the menu for Christmas Eve day is a cheese ball for an appetizer, ham sandwiches, potatoes salad, a waldorf salad, with dutch apple pies for dessert!

On Christmas day, Don and I have a lunch with his family and an out of town dinner with friends in the early evening! So, I can relate to hectic, LOL! However, I did find some time to slow down and enjoy life yesterday as I made us a homemade pizza for lunch. While the pizza was baking, I tossed up a meatloaf to put in the oven for our dinner.

Between taking frequent breaks, I managed to keep the kitchen cleaned up, and even made a trip out to the studio for some supplies for a quick little project! I don't have time to photograph them just yet, but I promise that I will and upload them later. Until then, tootles..........

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A Labor of Love....

Once I set my mind to designing my first quilt, I quickly realized a smaller scale project was probably going to be for the best. Having one store bought quilt purchased with Alexxis' nursery bedding, I measured and did some calculating. I thought since her crib will turn into a small toddler bed one day, maybe I could use the pattern; yet make it a bit bigger than the one we currently have so that it too can functional through some of the transitional stages of life. So, I played around with the Seasonal Magic Quilt pattern to adapt it for my needs. The photograph above shows the fabrics that I previously chose, quilted in the Seasonal Magic Quilt pattern with my adaptions. I'll be taking some measurement tomorrow to determine what size of a border I desire; whether it will be one or possibly even two. Although my cutting and sewing aren't perfect, this quilt is truly a labor of love.

Heck, I'm even now thinking of using some of the extra fabrics to sew a matching pillow case and even a few 18" toss pillow! I may also check the fabric store to see if there is anymore of these Calico Keepsakes fabric still available... as I may just one day desire to add another border of quilt blocks and turn it into a twin size or a larger quilt for Alexxis to snuggle within.

P.s. The small green print is more of a neon-looking spring green... without the brown-ish undertones my camera picked up. And, the border I am intending to add, has the same paisley design as the aqua colored print blocks only in a a deep and light lilac purple with just the slightest hint of white appearing in the design. I think it's going to be turn out just beautifully! {smiles}

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Christmas came early!!!!

Don has known that I have desired a sewing machine for quite some time. When we saw this Euro-Pro 7132L Sewing Machine on sale, we purchased it! Here are some of the features: Shark 7312L 34-stitch sewing machine. It easily converts from flat-bed to free-arm and features double over-lock, 1-step button holes, drop feed, stitch width/length adjustments and an automatic needle threader.

Accessories Included:

* All Purpose Foot
* Zipper Foot
* Buttonhole Foot
* Blindstitch Foot
* Cording Foot
* Narrow Hem Foot
* Darning / Free Motion Foot
* Quilting Foot
* Gathering Foot
* Satin Stitch Foot
* Button Sewing Foot
* Overlock Foot
* Seam Ripper / Lint Brush
* Oiler
* Needles
* Seam Guide
* Bobbins (3)

Full Manufacturer's Warranty - 25 Years on Mechanical Defects, 2 Years on Electrical Defects, from Euro-Pro

Granted I don't know much about what features to look for in a good quality sewing machine, so I was a little hesitant to purchase it without researching it. But we took the plunge anyways. I did search online for product reviews for it {and like most products} was able to find the good, the bad, and the ugly! Since, I am not a seamstress --- I believe that I am going to take this over to my mom's, along with the instruction booklet, and see what we can {hopefully, there will be no "cannots"} do with it. One drawback that I have read about already is a lack of customer service response...... ACK! while others have seemed to have fallen in love... here's to hoping that I will too!

I am feeling a little bit better...

Enough so that I ventured out into the art studio yesterday shortly after my chiropractor appointment and a simple lunch. {Smiles.} Unfortunately, it wasn't to create anything, however, I did gather up the fabric that I had purchased earlier this year, before I found myself attempting to make a dent in some of the creative chaos that it has become. LOL! I managed to clear off the top of my bookbinding station, approximately 75%, and put somethings away, in the short half hour I was there. Organizing it once again, is on my list of things to do! If only in short amounts of time spent here and there until I'm feeling back to my old self.

I returned to the house and began pre-washing the fabric and drying it before folding it back up. It is still in need of a good pressing before I'll be able to actual use it. If anyone remembers, I purchased this material in hopes of creating a quilt, so my day was spent researching all the "how to's" online, making a list of supplies that I will need to set me up a sewing area within our home. The good news is that I will have very little that I will actually need to purchase to create a sewing station or the quilt itself. I have an extra table and chair that I can set up here in the house and my Ott light can be brought in for additional "seeing what the heck I am doing" lighting. I am thinking I'll empty one of the 3 drawer organizers to maintain all the necessary supplies in that I'll need during this process.

I am not a "sewer"... in fact, I haven't touched a "real" sewing machine since I was in the 7th grade and was forced to create an apron in Home Economics class --- and at the time, I hated it! However, I have been won over after seeing some of the creative things that other bloggers are sewing and some beautiful quilts online. As I stated, I am completely a beginner, so some of the "beginner" patterns that I was discovering online... look far to complicated for me, LOL! I was successful of discovering a website: that had some amazing, easy to read, and understand basic tutorials; from which, I printed out an article on rotary cutting. I found myself laughing at myself... me printing an article on rotary cutting, LOL! I have some experience with rotary cutting; however, I am certain that there are some major differences between cutting paper and cutting fabrics --- so this will be another learning curve for me.

Next, I set out on a search for a simple basic free quilting pattern... one easy enough for a beginner! I won't even begin to describe what an ordeal that was --- let's just say that I was on at least 100 websites, LOL! before finally coming across and a downloadable pattern called Seasonal Magic that appears "do-able" to me. I do need to measure the fabric that I purchased to be certain that I have enough before I begin. Anyways, the finished quilt top is 53"x66" and uses a 13" block size... which instantly scares me. What if I discover this isn't for me? LOL!

Thinking quickly, I remembered that when we set up Alexxis' nursery, I had purchased a baby quilt with her crib bedding, I'm now thinking maybe a smaller quilt, using this pattern is the way to go. Of course, I will need to consult my mom on this before proceeding to do anything, as we will need to adapt the pattern to the size quilt I am desiring to create. To prepare for that, I measured every square inch of the purchased quilt, created a diagram with each measurement, and made notations of those measurements for the 1/4" seam allowances. I will be visiting with my mom today to discuss all of this and probably creating a new diagram to work with in actually getting it created. Hopefully, I'll have some progress made soon to show for all my effort! Also, the baby quilt won't be a waste of time or fabric since I chose the colors to work within Alexxis' nursery and her crib is a 4 in 1 that converts to a toddlers bed. I am even thinking that if enjoy this process, I can use the remaining fabrics to create her a pillow case and some decorative pillows to toss on her bed! I'll post more once I determine how all this is going to go..........

Monday, December 18, 2006

An Update...

I am so sorry that I've been missing and not posting as often! The truth is I've been limiting my computer time only checking my emails, replying only to what needs to be replied to, and checking into a few small groups periodically.

I haven't been accomplishing much of anything... except the day to day housework that is required with little effort on my part. There are some things that "need" done, however,I'm still desiring to take it easy until the stiffness and soreness lets up a bit more. Then I'll ease my way in... hopefully. That is the "game plan" anyways.

Don has been a god-send, assisting and helping out with the day to day chores. Between the two of us, we're managing quite well, all things considered; mainly focusing our attention on eating, cleaning up afterwards, and the laundry.

Friday and Saturday, I over did it a little bit by keeping Alexxis overnight. I haven't quite figured out how to say, "No." to that, LOL! She is such a character and a delightful child, it is a pleasure to have her around. She is crawling now, although she isn't venturing too far, prefering to only go far enough that she can see someone. That certainly made it easier on me although I was lifting her, picking her up, holding her, and cuddling with her plenty. At almost 6 months old now, she also holds her independence in high regard, so there was plenty of playing on the floor and couch with her toys; and naps!!! God, I love a good nap! I can wish her naps were a little less frequent and longer in duration, LOL!

My dad and two older brothers towed our Jeep Cherokee over to my dad's garage on Saturday. Since Dad's eye is healing up nicely after his cataract and lens replacement surgery, I'm certain he'll be digging in under the hood before too much longer. In the meantime, we're trying to remain optimistic that the head gasket, heads, and cylinders are fine... time will tell, I suppose. We spent the evening last night visiting with my parents and discussing our Christmas get together.

We will getting together with Amber, Chris, and Alexxis at my parents home on Christmas Eve day. Mom and I decided having a big dinner there and one the following day is just to much, so we're having a light lunch consisting of cheeseball and crackers, ham sandwiches, potatoe salad, waldorf salad, and a dessert. Then, we will spend some time opening gifts.

In the early evening on Christmas Eve, Don and I will be going to the Pediatric Department of the local hospital to donate a TMX Elmo to the Children's Playroom. We have discussed a variety of ways to donate this toy but quickly decided we'd love this idea the best. Hopefully, it will bring a smile to the faces of more than one child.

Well, I need to get up and move, walk around a bit, and soon head off to bed. I promise to post more later... probably sometime tomorrow. Until then, *tootles*

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Thank You!

To everyone who has email me inquirying how I am doing, wishing me a speedy recovery, and those of you who sent "Thinking of you!" and "Get Well Soon" e-cards. I am doing well, when all things are considered.

I am still experiencing some soreness and muscle stiffness in my neck, shoulders, and upper back --- between the shoulder blade area. Although, I am getting more rest, taking frequent breaks, avoiding any strenghtous activities which certainly has to be helping! My chiropractor appointments have been a tremendous help and are providing me with some relief; of course, along with scheduled doses of Tylenol. My treatments will continue twice weekly for at least the next 4 weeks, possibly up to 6 weeks. It seems I took quite a hit and knocked around more than I initially thought. The good news is the seat belt welt and burn I obtained has finally healed. It seemed no article of clothing that wouldn't irritate it further wasn't weather appropriate for this time of year, LOL! So, I've been lounging in my soft, fleece pj's a lot! Gotta love that!

The insurance adjuster was out earlier this week and completely totalled out our pick-up truck. Don had managed to get it in to a collision repair shop and obtained a $1700.00 estimate on the repairs.The good news is that the guy was understanding that this is the only transportation we have available to us, and was able to work with us on not requiring a salvage title in order to keep it. Within a few hours of being here, we received a telephone call with what we believed to be a "fair" offer and have accepted. We are considering having the motor in the Jeep repaired/replaced with it and any extra will become the start of a savings account for a new-to-us vehicle in the future.

I am so thankful that neither of us were seriously hurt; nor the fellow who hit us! Vehicles can be repaired/replaced; lives take so much longer!! More good news, is that I've spent a lot less time online recently as I cannot sit for hours on end; so I'm keeping up with the bare necessities and checking in here and there. I did manage to finish working in the last two of the Art Idea Journal RR and recently learned that my own journal is on its way home to me! Having something to do while resting has been a god-send!

I also found it quite amusing today as I sat watching yet another movie, but not really watching it... my mind was sort of wandering. I got to thinking about looking for a job recently, the repairs needed on our Jeep, how I was feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all, and praying about it. That is when it finally struck me that "No!" is an answer, LOL! Maybe I haven't gotten a call for an employment opportunity because it isn't meant to be right now. One of my main motivation for seeking employment was to gain the money needed to repair the Jeep and save for a another vehicle. What a way to achieve all that, but who I am to question or second guess God??? So, maybe all of this is actually a blessing in disguise and I am too crazed at the moment to fully realize it, LOL!

Sunday, December 10, 2006


A platter of sugar cookies... I've baked several platters of these so far this year and will be making yet another batch for a friend. I'll be making the dough today, and cutting, baking, and decorating them tomorrow so they will be fresh!!!!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

An "Anniversary"... {of sorts}

Yesterday, December 8th, marks the 7th year of Don and I's "being together". Can you beleive that we've lived together that long? {Without one of us strangling the other? LOL! Just kidding!} We have an AMAZING relationship!

I found it funny though, that last month, Don has once again "proposed" to me, several times. I know, many of our family and friends, are probably wondering, "What's so funny about that?" Well, this happens every year since we've been together... Seven years later, and I still am calling him "my fiance!"

We've strategized many times about how we'll get married. Run off somewhere romantic, get hitched, come back and throw a big party! Well, it hasn't happened yet; although there's been "quite" some speculation about us having done that in the past. Our trip to Niagra Falls; our trip to North Carolina and the Smokey Mountains.

Anyways, here we are, and "No. We're NOT married. YET..." Do you think it just may be time that we "Set A Date?" {Perhaps, I'll make him wait until December 8th, 2007, ROFLOL!}

Brrrr and Bluurrrrr....

What a title for this post, LOL! However that is exactly how my week has been. Baby, it's cold outside!!! {Not so much today, but earlier this week --- it's been freezing!} A lot has happened in the last several days, since I last posted, so I will try to post an update....

On Wednesday morning, Don and I headed over to my parents as my Dad required a ride for his last eye doctor's surgery. He has been having cataract removal and lens replacements with one repair on an older eye injury. As Don and Dad set out to get him to his appointment, my Mom and I had coffee and a good time catching up with one another. We set about to putting up her small 4 foot Christmas tree, to discover most of her lights no longer worked. Thankfully, I had purchased a few strands this year thinking I'd decorate our front porch with garlands and lights --- which BTW, isn't gonna happen! Anyways, I made a telephone call to Don asking if he'd run to the house, pick up the light strands I'd purchase and bring them over for us. Shortly thereafter, he arrived with them and Mom and I set up and decorated their Christmas tree.

Normally, my Dad, sets up a strand of gold bell garland across their entertainment unit. Knowing he probably wouldn't be feeling up to much of anything, other than resting after the surgery, I set out to cleaning the entertainment center. Dusting, washing knick-knacks, ect. until it was done and decorated.

Don and I had quite a "To-Do" list, ourselves; however, I was hesitant to tackle going to WalMart to get out a layaway. I cringed thinking about it being the last day to do so and imagine what a mess that area of the store was going to be. Another reason to put it off, is there is a dead zone for cellular telephone service in that area... sometimes calls go out and come in... at other times, nothing. I worried about being in that area in case the hospital called with Dad's release time. So, I telephoned the hospital; checked in on him and his release time. {He wouldn't hear of us sitting there waiting; so we were at Mom's} Anyways, shortly after 3 o'clock, Don gets antsy! He can longer sit and wait; so he suggests that we run home and let Chaos out. So, we're heading to our home, when a pick-up truck backs out of a driveway and hits us!!! The driver of the pick-up couldn't see us due to a tree but I still was so angry! Although, I said very little...

Anyways, we are both alright! I got thrown forward, until the seatbelt caught, and threw me back against my seat; leaving a beautiful seat belt burn across my right shoulder and neck which I didn't notice for hours later. Having very little time after filing a police report, we headed back to my Mom's, so Don could drop me off to go pick up my Dad. After visiting with him for a few, we left to get Chaos outside for a minute, and ran to pick Amber up from work.

When all you have to drive is a '91 Ford Ranger, doing all of this is a major hassle; but you do it! Don had to drive me over to Chris's parents, leave from there to pick up Amber and return. While I was waiting at Chris's mom's; I was hoping to get to spend a few minutes with Alexxis, but unfortunately, she has been sick and was sleeping. As I talked to Nancy, {Chris's mom}, I noticed I was getting some muscle spasms in my back, and stiff and sore from the accident earlier. When Amber arrived, I mentioned needing to go to WalMart to get the layaway out and she also needed to go, so back into the truck we all went. {Had I known this earlier, I could have saved us some time and gasoline, but, oh well!} By this time, I can hardly move. Every step I took became painful! Nothing serious, just more of an aggrevation than anything else.

By Thursday, I am feeling a bit better; yet still stiff and sore, sporting a large seatbelt welt across my neck. I decide to get checked out by my chiropractor --- just to be safe rather than sorry. So, Friday morning, I got checked out. My neck and back are going to be fine! I just got a bit twisted when the seatbelt caught so a neck and back adjustment made me feel a whole lot better. I have one follow up appointment on Monday morning.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Do Dreams Have Meaning?

Apparently, in my life, they do!

I remember a few months ago, when I had the dream regarding creating "And the day came..." collage. I dreamt about it before it was created! I reached out into my dream to touch it before I awoke. I felt this over-powering desire and urge to create it; that nagged at me until I did exactly that! I remember Jacque posting a reply to my collage after I shared it on 2P's stamping gallery, and her reply, "It must feel good to bring your dream to life! It's like something wanting to be born..." and my friends, that is exactly what it is like! A desire, a need, a ... whatever... waiting to be born!

Remembering that dream, right now, and thinking about it, I cannot help but to think about the Anais Nin quote that I submitted to Suzanne of Quietfire Designs to be created in calligraphy and made into a rubber stamp. "And the day came when the pain of remaining tight in the bud became greater than the risk it took to open." Is it possible that these are some long ago, forgotten memories, that are somehow painful or so personal and heartful to me, that in some way,they have no other way to surface or manifest themselves in my life?

Ever since I began discovering the enjoyment that creating in paper arts brings to me and my life, I have dreamt about creating. It is a part of my creative process, somehow. Whether it is a design idea, an embellishment, or the concept behind a piece of artwork, I can no longer deny that it is there. As an mixed media artist, I have struggled to find my own personal style and my own niche within its circle. I am honestly believing this is a part of the creative process, just as imitation of other artists has assisted me to grow through learning along the way. I don't think I am all that different from other artist who desire to grow in their artwork. I long to tap into my own sub-conscious mind and bring those thoughts, feelings, and ideas into my own reality. Heck, I've even wondered what artwork I am capable of creating if only I could somehow tap into that state of mind and history is filled with a variety of artists who used mind-altering drugs to achieve that state of being. Now, mind you, I am not that desparate, LOL! although an occassional glass of wine or other alcohol beverage doesn't seem to interfere with the process. I have long admire other artists who seem to be able to reach deep down inside themselves and bring those thoughts, ideas, and concepts back out into the light of reality. I admire their willingness to share such vulnerabilities, with such a sense of honesty and integrity, and the boldness it has to take to simply put it out there!

I guess I never really gave myself credit for being able to do that. Honestly, I never thought that I would be one who would be capable of doing it. Creating this blog, two years ago, was a challenge for me, LOL! It is that vulnerability, that sense of opening up and saying this is who I am that is so scary. I believe I am so fearful of what someone else may think, or say, or do, that I am not so comfortable with sharing. And can definately understand that... about myself and others. I believe everyone's spirit has somewhat or somehow been murdered, in some way or another, from our dealings with the relationships within our lives. As I grow as an artist, I cannot count the number of times that I have heard, read, or felt the concept that "Art Heals" or "Art Saves Lives". And I truly, believe it does!

As many of my blog readers know, I have recently been struggling with employment issues. I don't just want a "job", I want something meaningful; something that I am so happy doing that the payment I receive is second to the love and enjoyment that I derive from doing it! I have been praying recently about this, seeking some clarity, and I don't have the answer yet... but I am certain that somehow "creating art" has something to do with it!!!! Afterall, that is my dream!!!

Where have I been? and a Collage idea....

The last five days have been a blur... and frankly, I'm really not certain where they have disappear to, LOL! After finishing up the kitchen, I baked and decorated some Christmas sugar cookies for Don and I to enjoy. Of course, they are gone now; but there is a freshly made batch of sugar cookie dough waiting in the refrigerator for me to bake and decorate today. {smiles}

Last Saturday, I seem to have sort of just fallen out. I have not had much energy to do anything with and began wondering if I am on the edge of obtaining a cold. I sat at the kitchen table and put a 500 pc. puzzle together, took an afternoon nap, made dinner for Don and I, cleaned up afterwards, and re-discovered the couch!

Sunday, Sheila telephoned to invite us over for a lasagna dinner; so we ventured over to Galion to enjoy the afternoon just visiting and chatting with friends. In the evening we headed into Target to pick up a few household necessities; made a quick stop into Barnes & Nobles, where I acquired the newest issue of Somerset Gallery.

On a whim, I ventured back to the Craft book section and was delighted to find Sally Jean Alexander's Pretty Little Things book! I'd recently informed Don that I would love to have it for a Christmas present, so I picked it upfor myself, deciding to save him the hassle, LOL! I even had good intentions of waiting and saving it until Christmas, wrapping it up, but somehow after reading Somerset Gallery, I found myself deep within the pages of Sally's book! The book itself is a work of art!!!! I love the soft aqua, beige, and white backgrounds, the graphics used in the design, all the eye candy, and techniques to one day try and experiment with! I dove back into its pages on Monday as well, since I'm still not feeling up to par yet.

Monday and Tuesday went on by... yet, somehow I had managed to cook everyday, clean up afterwards, wash/dry the laundry as it accumulates, and even did a little bit of housework here and there --- just enough to get by! For some strange, unknown reason, I'm not sleeping very good. Either I'm tired and go to bed earlier than usual and sleep for about 4 hours and wake up wide awake; or I seem to toss and turn through the night, waking up frequently, attempting to get back to sleep before giving in and just getting up. The bad part is, I am waking up around 3:30 a.m.!!! Urgh! That certainly makes for a long day, especially when you have no energy to accomplish much of anything, then fight the desire to go to bed early in the evening.

Today was one of those days. I somehow managed to make it through the day; having cooked us a wonderful dinner {roast, beef and noodles, mashed potatoes, and corn} and doing the bare minimum of housework {dishes, dusting, sweeping, vacuaming}, playing with Chaos. Yet, tonight was one of those nights. I retired around 20 after 11, fell right to sleep, to awake at 3:30 a.m.!!!!

I do know that I was dreaming... something about assisting to solve a little girl's disappearance; seeing her collage-style encased in glass, and wrapped with wire. I remember despirately thinking, I hope that she is alright and no one finds her murdered before dozing back into a deeper state of sleep. {Too much Sally Jean reading; LOL! Maybe...}

After a while, my dream continued... I was a little girl again, only instead of dreaming --- although I was! it was like a recording of a memory was playing within my mind. Something, I haven't remembered or thought about in a very long time. I may have been 5, 6, or 7 years old at the time this took place, but I'm thinking I was in first grade for some reason. Anyways, my Dad was out on the road {he was a semi-truck driver} and mom had already left for work for the day. Several of my older brothers and an older sister had left me behind as they left for school because we were unable to find my shoes that morning. So, I was home alone, searching for my shoes and unable to find them, I sat down in a chair in the living room and began to cry.

Right about then, a lady appeared at the open front door asking me why I wasn't in school. When I replied, that I was unable to find my shoes, she asked to come in and help me look for them. Of course you can! I'm elated at this point for someone's here to help --- well, so I thought! I opened the door for her and we began searching for my shoes. I remember feeling disgust coming from her as she found a pair of shoes belonging to my younger sister; tossing them to me, and telling me to put these on. As I started to protest, she became angry with me, shouting at me to just put them on. So, as I struggled to put my younger sister's shoes on my feet, the tears began to fall. She had yelled at me and was now attempting to assist me getting these shoes on my feet. Once done, she walked me to my school that was a block away. I remember crying, saying how they hurt my feet, to which she told me to shut up and keep moving. I remember arriving at my classroom, feeling relived to finally be able to sit down, and wishing desparately that I could remove them. Somehow, I made it through the day in school with these shoes on my feet, to feeling relief at taking them off at the end of day right outside of the school and walking home barefoot with a smile on my face!

As I lay there in the throws of dreaming, I remember thinking it was my childhood spirit that was murdered! Tears began streaming down my face and I awoke to warm, wet, salty tears thinking "2 shoes; 2 small" Now that I am actually awake, I got up out of bed, attempting to regain my composure before I wake up Don and Chaos.

I'm not certain why I had this dream; why I would recall such a painful memory from my childhood? Anyways, I do know that I really feel a strong need to document it. I believe that I want to create this into a glass encased charm, wire wrapped, of course! for a bracelet, perhaps? I will definately be adding the title, "2 shoes, 2 small" a maybe a broken heart charm for my childhood spirit that was murdered! On the back side, I'll definately have to use a stamp or an image of a pair of Mary Jane's! Although, I don't rememer the style or type of shoes exactly, Mary Jane is my younger sister's name!!!! Hopefully, my gesture of creating this collage-style charm will somehow heal that awful childhood memory and repair a little girl's broken childhood spirit.

Friday, December 01, 2006

December 1st....

What a year this has been! I believe I am still in shock that December is here already. Where the hell did November go? It seems like yesterday we were celebrating Halloween, LOL!

I woke up way too early this morning. 3:38 a.m., to be exact! I went to bed early again last night; well, earlier than usual. I woke up several times during the night to the sound of pouring rains hitting the windows and howling winds. I'm a bit uncertain regarding how much of the winter storm that hit the midwest this week we will actually get as the air is still warm here. Although, it is Ohio, and subject to change at any given moment.

Today's agenda... to get out and do some grocery shopping, possibly get a layaway out. I know that I don't want to fight the crowds so I may put that off for a bit. I also need to make a run to the P.O. to send out a Christmas Mingle package; again uncertain if I'll get that accomplished today or not; mainly depending upon the amount of traffic once we are out and about.

I am thinking I'll bake supper so that while is cooking I can be free to tidy up the living room. I'm desiring to do some creating this evening while Don is working. One thing on my agenda to create is something for our living room mirror... I believe it is time to take down the Boo! Banner, LOL! It has been driving me nuts every time I have walked by it this week. Wish me luck that I'll something new to share soon!