Thursday, January 31, 2008

Alexxis -22 months old

After a bubble bath and dressed in our jammies, Alexxis and I enjoy these moments, spent cuddling, rocking in the rocking chair, while listening to and singing along with some of our favorite bedtime lullabies. Our favorite is "May All Your Dreams Come True" sung by Barbara Bailey Hutchinson
Words and Music by Terry Toler
Vocal Performances by Barbara Bailey Hutchinson
I look at you
Here in my arms
And I know that dreams can come true.
Tonight life is sweet
And my dream's complete
So I offer this prayer
Just for you
May all of your dreams come true
May life be good to you
May happiness follow you
your whole life through
May all of your dreams come true
Someday you'll dream
of a family
Children of your own
Perhaps you'll sit
in this same rocking chair
and sing your baby this song.
May all of your dreams come true
May this life be good to you
May happiness follow you
Your whole life through
May all your dreams come true
May happiness follow you
your life through
May all of your dreams come true
May all of your dreams come true
© Copyright 2006 by J. Aaron Brown & Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
For more information concerning this song and other lullabye cd's, to listen to the songs online, visit

CED 2008

I've spent my last two days being a wife, mother, and grammy to our beautiful 22 month old grand-daughter, Alexxis. Daddy recently got transferred to a 3rd shif position, while Mommy works first shift. A late night meeting that Mommy had allowed Alexxis the opportunity for a sleepover with Grammy and PaPa.

We are both amazed at Alexxis' sweet disposition. She readily passes out kisses, hugs, and rubs noses with PaPa due to his beard tickling her face. We played with her Fisher Price toys, gifted to her by her wonderful great-aunt Mary, played Peek-a-Boo and practiced our ABC's and 1-2-3's. We've made some wonderful meals and enjoyed them together, especially creating a carrot cake with cream cheese icing --- YUM! But it moments like the next on I'll post about that make all these even a bit more special!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


While I had my paints out, I decided to finish up painting on my styrofoam, celluclay, and paper mache project. I used crepe paper and glitter to form the collar, and the base is a painted paper mache box. When I showed Don what I have been working on, he stated, "You've got some issues!" LOL! But even he had to admit this is adorable!


The two panels together on the living room wall. I used my flash on the photograph and in real life the interference paint isn't so gold looking. It actually darkens and lightens as you walk by giving texture and depth to the painting.
Perhaps, I'll stumble upon one large frame that is bigger than the area the paintings are hung within and simply hang it empty to add some visual detail and interest. For now, I'm simply ecstatic that I've accomplished what I set out to do!

Second panel...

Due to the increase in palm fronds and the writing on the canvas, this piece carries a bit more visual weight when viewed by itself. It balances out when it is hung side by side with the right and first one.

Palmae - one panel

I was unable to find my light modeling paste in the studio, so I dove right in with painting using Golden's Fluid acrylics. I achieved this beautiful background by spreading around watered down burnt umber and using a piece of seran wrap to dab at it while wet. After that layer dried, I began painting my palm fronds, then the planter. I went back in after that had dried, adding some interference colors... Interference bronze to darken and Interference oxide green to highlight areas of the fronds. The vase is a combination of both. A highlighted area near the vase was created by adding a bit of burnt umber to the remaining mix and was again dabbed on with a piece of seran wrap.

The painting appears darker on top due to the way it is slanted on the gallon of gesso so I could photograph it -- it appears more even than shown, possibly due to my camera's flash as well.

CED 2008 - Primed & almost ready

Today, I primed and gesso'ed my 10"x20" canvases in preparation of painting them. They are drying as we "speak", LOL! My thoughts are to sort of stair step the canvases, so that one painting overlaps onto the two canvases. I may add some architechural detail using some light modeling paste and stamping some decorative images into the paste prior to painting, aging, etc.

I'll try to remember to post some of the events as they occur while I'm going throught the process. I'm certain this is going to be an on-going project while I wait for things to take shape, mold, and dry.

Our living room currently...

This is the most recent picture of our living room as it is now and is the space I'm looking at adding more decorative touches too.

A style I love...

Our living room couldn't handle this chandelier, but I believe it is beautiful. The finish is perfect and is what I'm currently looking for in a pendant style ceiling fixture. I love to softness of the scrolls and believe they'd mimic those beautiful curves in our furniture. I'm not partial to the white globe and would prefer something more aged as the light is more for mood lighting than for task lighting. Our 3-way lamps offer plenty of task lighting!

Home Decor inspiration

Here are a few of the photographs I've discovered that appeal to me in our home's decor with the new living room area. A few are not perfect as they are shown, but they do offer us possibilities and I believe I can mimic the look cheaper by doing some of the refinishing with paints and Modern Options products. Of course, that requires some work but I do believe I'd enjoy re-doing them.

I absolutely love that chair! Everything from the style, colors, textures, fabrics and those pillows and that throw looks so comfy to me. I can envision this in our home, perhaps a pair of them on the opposite side of the room even with a round table tucked in between. Currently, I own nothing that even resembles that style in a chair, but with yard sales and actions coming up, I just may stumble upon one.

The acanthus leaves shelf style bracket also has a lot of possibilities... from hanging a contrasting piece of fabric to match our sheer curtains to swag over or individually just over the ends of our picture window. I can see them holding a large wooden beam or perhaps used as a shelf below our wall niche, or simply as they are, only darker, more bronzed looking all by themselves and hung on a wall, holding a small plant, or clustered within or surrounding a grouping of B&W photographs and pictures.

Those classic columns certainly offer a lot of potential as well. I envision them tucked into a hard corner to soften it along with the live plant. A few aged pieces of pottery, perhaps surrounding their bases for yet another live plant to live. Love the architechural detail. Again yard sales, salvage shops, ect. may be my best bet for finding them. Another solution would be the ceramic that could be painted and refinished; although, I believe I truly desire wood!

The faux wall treatment appeals to me. I love the parchment like color and the texture. It is much too much to do the entire walls in our space but on the wall where our picture window is, I'm thinking it could add some depth to the space. Even the rough, hand-hewn look of the window frame is gorgeous to me. I love the darker stain. Perhaps because our wooden window trim is in dire need of replacing and is now painted white? To save some money replacing our existing trim, we could easily do them with wide pine boards, like we did with the baseboards and stain them to match!

The acanthus leave bracket would be perfect for adding into the kitchen doorway, again just for detail without being too over the top.

I like the ceiling medallion, only I envsion it painted in a lighter finish than whatever pendant ceiling light fixture we purchase. We're currently eyeballing a bronze one with an golden alabaster style marble glass piece. It would provide a lot of contrast to the white ceiling and assist in defining the space.

When I first saw this urn, I loved the idea of recovering our front porch with some Medittearean style terra cotta style tiles. Of course, since they would be on the porch we'd need texture to prevent anyone from falling, but I could easily see these gracing both sides of our front door. I'd desire them in a medium finish, something aged looking, and perhaps becoming homes to a few topiaries for added height and interest.

These home decor accents are in a bronze finish that I really like. I believe that finish would be amazing, but only in small touches scattered here and there to avoid making the space too dark. It's some food for thought while we shop, look, and add to our home anyways.

Monday, January 28, 2008

CED 2008 - Inspiration board & a custom flashcards

Recently I've been browsing online for a new pendant style overhead lighting fixture for our living room. I've saved a multitude of images from the internet to be used as inspiration for us as we first look locally before deciding what fixture to purchase. Little did I realize while browsing that I'd discover so many other wonderful home decor elements that I'd love to add, so I saved photographs of them as well in hopes of one day creating an inspiration board that I could photograph and print out to take along on some of our shopping trips. Since these are others photographs, I didn't want to crop them, so I've been looking for a way to add my own notes and personal touches to what I am inspired.

Well, today, I discovered this wonderful flash card generator that you can personalize! The photograph above is one that I generatored, scanned, and cropped intending to use it my artwork but it could also be labelled with home decor items names, such as lamps, curtains, fabric, rugs, etc. I so love this idea! so I thought I'd share it. I hope others can find it useful as well.
Why do I desire to create an inspiration board? Because....
"The grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for."

-- Joseph Addison

Sunday, January 27, 2008

A side view...

I used a paper mache heart box for a template for the three heart shapes that I used. Each heart is approximately 3 1/2 - 4". I cut a piece of red card stock 2 1/2" x 7" which I folded in half along the length side to make it 3 1/2" . I also scored both sides in at 1/2" and folded those in. At the 3 1/2' I cut a diagonal snip, like an upside down "V" on each side so that I could form the point of the heart shape. I added an eyelet to both ends so that I could add ribbon and various threads so that my heart could be hung. Once my front side had the lace hot glued to the underside, I glittered and decorated the top collage style using an image from a Valentine's postcard, and then hot glued a piece of tinsel to it. After that the box was ready to be assembled. Once finished it is approximately a 1 1/4" thick and items can be added to it. I choose to use tulle.

CED 2008 - My heart

Today I created my Valentine Ornament for Kristy, whose name I received in the 1-2-1 swap. A few weeks ago, I experimented creating this box style hanging ornament and since it worked, I decided to create one for her. I couldn't resist adding a box of chocolates and a piece of tulle that we used for our wedding.
Don was released from Riverside yesterday morning. Sheila and I made the >60 miles together to pick him up. Afterwards, we stopped by her mother's to share lunch with her before making our way home. As I set about putting dinner in the crock pot, Don rested. He is feeling great physically and I'm feeling great in every conceivable way since mending my fences and my relationship with God.

As I puttered about our home, picking up and cleaning, my heart overflowed with love for my family and friends. I learned that distance doesn't have to separate us for we can be as close as we choose to be in thought and heart. For that, I am grateful.

Thank you to everyone who have visited recently, who stood beside us in thought and in prayer, who've written comments and emailed me. We both "Thank you" from the bottom of our hearts.

Friday, January 25, 2008

CED 2008 - A Heartwarming Story

I'd like to share an story with you. The story you about to read is true. It is an actual true life event, and a life lesson that I have experienced over the last several days. No names have been changed to protect the innocent, for we are all guilty some times for some things. Whatever those things are may differ greatly, but no matter how big or how small, they can be forgiven. I honestly believe it is how you handle that guilt, how you pray, how you seek forgiveness, how you love anyways, and trust in something so much bigger and larger than life itself that makes all the difference in the world, and this is as such a story.

I have a very good, dear and best friend, Shiela, who I've known like a sister for the past three years. We were more than companions who enjoyed each others company, who encouraged each other's faith in God, and trusted one another with our deepest thoughts and closest confidences. In October of this past year, Sheila and I had a difference of opinion which resulted in an argument, and ended in a broken friendship.

Loving Sheila's good heart as much as I do, my own heart was broken. I missed her. As days passed into weeks, and weeks into months, we didn't talk to one another, yet I know in my heart that we were never far from one another's thoughts and hearts. As our relationship grew, we became intimidated by one another's strengths and those strengths made us more aware of each of our own shortcomings. The old saying that pride goeth before a fall, rang true. I loved and missed my best friend so much that with each and every thought of her, my heart broke a little bit more. The broken friendship with my friend lead me to a broken relationship with God, until one day, I decided to turn to God and pour out the contents of my heart to him. As I prayed daily, a miraculous event took place. Sheila telephoned my husband, Don, on behalf of a mutual friend. While I continued to pray, asking God to soften my friend's heart, I discovered it was my heart God was softening. Unable to turn my attention away from my broken friendship with Sheila, I asked God to show me what a friend and friendship is. After I prayed, I turned to my life application bible, and I read every chapter, and every verse, I could possibly find on the subject. I wrote five pages of notes as I wrote every word that spoke to me.

After that bible study, another friend IM'd me and with my heart still feeling troubled, I sought her advice and guidance. Afterwards, I continued to pray and read my bible and the notes I had made during the bible study.

I learned a true friend doesn't allow envy and jealousy to interfere with their relationship, for God blesses those who he chooses to bless and gifts those with gifts who he chooses to and inspires them to use them. I learned that true friends help, not hinder, our relationship with God. They are loyal and love at all times. They are available in times of distress and personal struggles and that I should be the type of true friend that the bible encourages. I learned that love always protects. It trusts, it hopes, and it preserves. It isn't selfish and it helps us only if God helps us to set aside our own instincts and desires, for isn't love in doing for others expecting nothing in return?

I read that there is a friend who sticks closer to us than a brother. Who listens, cares, and offers help with it is needed, who is there in good times as well as the bad times. That it is better to have one such friend, than a dozen superficial acquaintances. As I read those words, I knew in my heart that I once had that friend and friendship with Sheila. That I loved and missed her a little bit more each and every day that passed by. I was not prepared for what I read next.

Instead of seeking to find a true friend, I should seek to become a true friend. And I prayed. I asked God if there were people who needed my friendship, just as I needed my friend's Sheila's friendship, that he reveal them to me. And he did. While chatting via an IM with the friend I'd sought her godly advice from, I told her about my struggles, my prayers, and my bible study and what God had revealed to me. I told her about my hopes of reconciling that friendship and my fears as I continued to pray.

As I was reading my bible the next day, I stumbled onto Romans 5:2, I learned when I surround myself with other believers as friends, that faith, hope, and love are the life of a Christian heart. That our mutual relationships with God = faith; that hope grows as we realize and learn all that God has in mind for us, promises a future. That God's love fills our lives and gives us the ability to reach out to others.

In Matt. 5:23,24 I read about broken friendships and discovered that they can harm our relationship with God. That problems and grievances with a friend should be resolved as soon as possible. That our attitudes towards one another reflect upon our relationships with God {1 John 4:26} I learned that I should have mended our small conflict right away and made peace. I knew I had to make things right with Sheila before I stand before God. The question that plagued me, was how was I going to do that?

I returned to Romans 12:19-21 and re-read befriending those who hurt you. I read to be joyful in hope; patient in affliction; and faithful in prayer. To share and practice hospitality and to bless those who persecute you. I knew I needed to put Sheila's feelings above any fears that I felt and I prayed to God to help me recognize those fears. I knew I needed God's help so I asked him for strength and I continued to love Sheila, even if my worst fear came true I had to love her from a far.

Little did I know that yesterday, a single ring of a telephone would shatter my world. When Don telephoned and we made the trip to the ER and from the ER to Riverside. I was uncertain of what I was going to do and I prayed. The voice within me was loud and clear, and my heart whispered, "Call Sheila." So, I obeyed. At first, I reached her answering machine and quickly hung up. As instantly as it took me to make that gesture, I had to ask myself, "do I really desire to disobey God?" The answer was simple and swift. As I reached Sheila's answering machine the second time, I left a message. I told her I could use her help and all about Don and I asked to please, call me back. Within 15 minutes, my telephone rang. It was Sheila. She asked, "Where are you at?" and then said, "I'll be there in half an hour." {She lives out of town.} Those words were like sweet music to my ears. My best friend was on the way. Instantly, I learned that forgiveness is both attitude and action. We should forgive just as we've been forgiven.

Is there someone in your life who needs your forgiveness? Who needs your kindness? If it is difficult to feel forgiveness, the bible says, we should respond with kind actions. Tell the person you'd like to reconcile your relationship; lend a helping hand; send a small gift; smile; and that right actions lead to right feelings.

Sheila and I talked for the first time in months. We said, "I love you" in ways that no words were needed. We forgave one another and in doing so, God forgave both of us. Together, we reconciled our relationships --- not just with each other but with our individual relationship with Him, who matters most. We've certainly both have been blessed!

Update on Don...

I arrived at Riverside around 6 last night, after figuring out where my husband was located, Sheila and I made our way to his room. Upon entering there he was, in jeans and his tennis shoes sleeping peacefully in bed. As I bent over to kiss him, he woke up, smiled, and said, "I feel great! Can we go home now?" I couldn't believe my ears. We spent the next several hours holding him close, laughing, joking.... you'd never believe this was the same man who I was so worried about a few hours before.

More blood tests were taken and the results all came back normal! Thank you, God!!!! To be on the safe side, we with his Dr.'s decided to performed another heart cath to take a look and see if there was any problems or complications with his newest stents. The cath was performed at 7:30 a.m. this morning and the stents are perfect! Since they were in there, the decision was made to clear the two blockages in the other arteries; one 40% and one 50%. The old stents were removed and two new medicated stents were put in their place, I believe. Anyways, the blockages were taken of. Don's Dr. informed us that with our continued compliance, being aware of any signs and symptoms, our immediately response {just like those made yesterday} would lead us to a long, fulfilling life. I can only pray that he is right.

Don went through the procedure well, spent an hour in recovery, and is now in a private room. He will spent the night and I'll be bringing him home tomorrow. I cannot begin to tell you how each or your comments, thoughts, and prayers have touched my heart and I "Thank you." We would love your continued thoughts and prayers as Don heals.

Now if you will excuse me, I'm going to telephone my husband, then go spend some time in prayer, I have someone very special in my life that I need to say, "Thank you" to. May he be with you and yours, hold you close in his circle of safety and protection. Please know that we thank each and everyone of you for being there with us as we travel on through this journey of life. *until the next time, hugs, smiles, and waves*

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Prayers needed...

Today began as almost any normal day, until the telephone rang. It was Don, who earlier in the day complained to me of feeling some achiness in his left arm. He called because the pain was increasing and was now in both of his arms. I told him to get to our local hospitals ER or call 911 now! That's when the whirlwind began...

Upon arriving at the ER a few minutes later, blood work and a cardiac care unit had been established and everything in my world was whirling once again. As the test results becan pouring back in, so did the anxiety and that sinking in your gut that comes along with feeling that your legs have once again been knocked out from underneath you and you just cannot seem to stop and catch a breath. So far, Don's test results have been negative for any signs of cardiac stress, but the truth is it can take up to 8-12 before anything shows up. So, the decision was made to have him transported to Riverside Hospital in Columbus, Ohio where his cardiac surgeon is located and practices. We'd rather be safe than sorry. I'm leaving in just a few to make the trip. I won't have any access to the internet while I'm away, but if you could please find it in your heart to say a prayer for us, we'd both appreciate them greatly.

CED '08

I had prayed the night before going to sleep, asking God to soften some one's heart, and woke up feeling as it were my heart that was soften. Upon waking, I couldn't get a certain someone and an issue out of my thoughts so I turned to my bible for answers. I spent a few of my morning hours in prayer and in-depth bible reading/study. I found some answers, gained an lot of understanding, and a began to feel a renewed sense of peace with an issue that is very close to my heart. I learned a lot of things, felt God's gentle and loving guidance, and prayed for further clarity.

Afterwards, I set about to lovingly cleaning our home. I found myself enjoying the process as much as the results. There's simply nothing better than enjoying the sights, sounds, and smells as we relax in a clean and uncluttered environment. Not to mention that doing so provides me with a whole lot time to actually create something without the guilt of I-should-be-cleaning, LOL!

Yesterday's late afternoon -early evening we spent a few hours with my nearly 21 month old grand-daughter, Alexxis. We laughed, played, snuggled and so enjoyed her company. She is growing and maturing so fast. First thing in the morning yesterday, I received a telephone call from a very excited Mommy. Alexxis went pee-pee in the potty for the first time ever! So, when she arrived at our home, of course, we made a big deal out how big she is, and her little face just beamed. Alexxis loves our home, lots of room to run and play within, as well as things to get into. We try our best to make visits to Grandma's and Papa's house fun and exciting by giving her with our complete attention, encouraging safe play and learning. Of course, she's showered with a whole lot of love as well, and one cannot help to feel it as she showers it back on you.

Later in the evening, I spent some time in my pj's online chatting with my good friend, Kate, prior to finishing my day with prayer. This one filled with praise and promise. It was the perfect ending to a great day!

Today's agenda is to actually create. I have a swap obligation to fulfill for a 1-to-1 Valentine's Day ornament. My swap partner recently had some cards published in a magazine. What makes that so special is it the first time she's ever been published and her card made the cover! WTG, Kristy! So, I want to really create something special for her and include a short handwritten letter congratulating her on that success. I probably will not post it until after she's received my ornament, but I'm creating! {smiles} My blog reader's can see Kristy's artwork on her blog @ Another online friend was also featured within the same magazine. Ethel's a sweetheart and I love the artwork she creates. You can visit her here: Congratulations, ladies!

Assisting in my promise to take better care of me... I've a hair appointment scheduled for Friday morning. I cannot believe how much my hair has grown out and reflects how much I've ran myself down. I know I'll feel 100% after Rita works her magic! I'm actually looking forward to our visit, she's one of those kind, gentle souls who you just cannot help but to feel good around. I'll try to post some pics of my new style and of Alexxis soon.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

My "third eye" tag...

My "third eye"...

Creative EveryDay 2008

Don't you just love those little reassurances sent from the Universe that let you know you are right where you're meant to be? My entire day, yesterday, was like that! Now, I'm inspired to create a new link for my gratitude garland titled, "Reassurances from the Universe" and have jotted down some thoughts and ideas for it.

Anyways, {don't you just love how I ramble? LOL!} during a visit to my chiropractor for yet another adjustment {which I greatly needed} Don mentioned my desire to make a quick stop into Hobby Lobby and the receptionists there also mentioned it is one of their favorite stores. I suggested having a wonderful breakfast at Perkin's with my husband and I find myself loving him and saying that more and more! We both immensely enjoyed our meals and the time spent together.

Afterwards, I made a quick trip into Hobby Lobby for a package of Creative Paperclay and white floral tape {for my work in progress project} while Don kept our Jeep warm. {Gotta love that! on a cold, winter day!} While there, I couldn't help but to notice some beautiful silk faux palm trees! I've been thinking I'd like some real ones in our living room and not to mention the ones I saw in the Ballard Designs catalog that I previously sketched, hoping to paint "my inspired version" for myself}.

When I returned home and Don was at an dentist's appointment, I opened my email and saw a notification of a posted comment on my blog from my dearest friend, Rebecca! I cannot even begin to describe the warmth I felt I felt in my heart of hearts. {Bec, if you're reading this... I visited and loved your new blog! Cheers to "keeping it real!" I attempted to leave a comment but I'm not certain that it went through. I received a message regarding "team members". Anyways, please email me, Y! messenger me, stay in touch!} I rushed back to my blog to re-read it again, LOL! not quite believing my eyes.

Next, I was reading an email from B'ham friend, Kate. I found comfort in so many of her words and it was great to take a moment to catch up with her. {Sorry, I waited until this a.m. to reply, but I was "in the moment"} Then, I read my Daily OM email, which can be viewed Talk about re-assuring, it echoed everything I was feeling inside!

While keeping true to my promise of "taking care of me", I re-read some of the information I discovered about menopause @, I felt reassured again that I'm not loosing my mind! It is so nice to know that there are other women who have felt and are feeling the very same way that I do. It's wonderful to know that my signs and symptoms aren't just "in my head". I realized that more research needs to be accomplished by those in the medical fields and that it isn't uncommon for women to feel frustrated with the level of health care available to us during this life cycle. I strongly feel it is important for each and everyone of us to begin to speak out, to have our voices heard! I'm finding more and more information there that I can agree with and find that so rewarding. I look forward to exploring the site more before I make a decision to act by contacting them and consulting this with my own health care provider. I've also decided that I desire to start a new journal, for this alone, to keep a record of all my signs and symptoms as I experience them. Who knows, perhaps, I'll title it "menopausal moments", LOL!

I worked more on my styrofoam, celluclay, paper mache, paper clay project and found I'm making some process. I changed a "nose" I designed to one that I liked better. It isn't so "snowman-ish" looking. I sewed a running stitch through some red and white crepe paper streamers to form a layered collar and played in some red, sparkly glitter!

For dinner, I re-heated a pot of home-made vegetable soup. It warmed both my heart and soul and I found a tag that I had created on August 25, 2007 that I could still connect with. I remembered when I purchased these two of these little K&Company scrapbook tags, thinking I'd love to create either a tag book or add them to an artistic journal --- which I've yet to begin! I'm off to scan and upload it; be back soon, I promise! {{{smiles}}}

Monday, January 21, 2008

Hello! Hello!

I'm back {from both the school of hard knocks and knocking on heaven's door}! I am feeling BETTER THAN EVER!--- Much better compared to last week. Wow! So much has happened to me since I last blogged, I'm not certain where to start, so I'm just going to jump on in!

I spent the week attempting to recover from the recent blow and the stress that accompanied it. The truth is I do not handle, do, or manage that type of life-and-death stress well. I spent a lot of time questioning the very meaning of life, dug down deep into my soul searching for answers, spent a lot of time with my bible, with God, with myself, my husband, and my family. I felt like Alice-in-Wonderland, who had fallen into a deep, dark, black hole. I buried my head under the covers and hibernated for awhile, fearing that perhaps this time, I won't be able to pull myself back out. My emotions were all over the place and I needed and received an important lesson in Life 101.

While recouping, I sought time alone, to simply take some stock of me, of who I am, what I desire in my life. I needed to listen to that still small voice, my heart, and learn to trust myself once again. While searching online {with messenger turned off} I came across the following quote,
"Always know in your heart that you are far bigger than anything that can happen to you."
and I began to find great power and strength in those words.
I tried to write here and every thing I wrote and typed, I questioned. Did I really want to share that? I erased so many posts, saved a few as drafts {for my eyes only} before coming to the conclusion today, that I feel it's important to share them because the reality is that Life isn't always roses, some times we get pricked by the thorns, sometimes we bleed, and sometimes we need time to heal from those wounds. And sometimes, we get knocked around and knocked down. I can tell you from my recent experience, sometime we even deserve it! It's really hard not to look up when you're laying flat on your back.
During this time, I attempted to create some art, believing it would help me pull myself out of that hole. It was a project that I had originally been excited about attempting, learning, and discovering somethings along the way. Anyways, during that process, I needed to wait for things to dry, to form, to mold. I began feeling even more frustrated with that and realized that sometimes life is like that. It isn't all instant and microwavable. Somethings take time and once things are all said and done, they are well worth the wait! Of course, I learned that one the hard way, too. {smile}
While attempting to rush things, I picked up my micro tip scissors to cut a wooden skewer and yep, you guessed it! my scissors slipped along the wood and not only did I manage to cut the skewer in half, I ALMOST cut my index finger to the bone! That certainly got my attention and slowed me down, so needless to say, I'm still working on that project. I'll share my process, progress, and results with you soon, I promise.
In the mean time, and after adding yet another insult to my injuries by getting injured, I did a bit more online searching. Searching for how to take care of me! I learned that I'm not going crazy! nor am I having a "mid-life crisis". {Okay, you can keep those thoughts to yourself! LOL!} What I did discovered is that I am in full blown menopause! Having weaned myself off of taking premarin a few years ago from taking it after a hysterectomy when I was 29, my hormones and body are all over the place. Instead of stopping and realizing that perhaps there's another way to go/get through this, I simply ignored all the signs and symptoms because I was simply too busy taking care of everyone else but me, and thought that perhaps they were related to something else! Well, let me tell you, I NOW know what needs to stop and that's trying to self-diagnose myself, while I get myself back on track. Needless to say, I've had two scheduled appointments with my chiropractor, getting my spine re-aligned and back where its supposed to be, and am receiving ongoing treatment for that. I've an upcoming Dr.'s appointment for a complete physical and examination with a complete blood, x-rays, thyroid, hormone work up and a mammogram! I am also researching an alternative to HRT that I desire to discuss with my doctor.
During that process, I did some blog-hopping and I discovered a mauv-a-lous blog! Leah Piken Kolidas of While reading Leah's beautiful blog, I laughed, smiled, and cried. I felt as if I could have written almost every word that she has ever written. I no longer questioned the style of my blog, whether or not I share too much of my own thoughts and feelings. I no longer care if my artwork is all over the place with no specialized niche in any one area. I read and discovered and learned a lot about myself and began to accept "this is who I am!" I cannot begin tell you how reassured I felt by all that! Would you believe that while going through the process I went through last week that I considered hitting the delete button on my blog and wiping it off the face of the internet and {gasp!} even considered never starting over? Right before hitting that delete this blog button, I wondered, "what would have happened to me had I not discovered Leah's blog and found the inspiration and the words I needed to hear at the time I needed to hear them if she too had ever felt this way?" Immediately, I decided to give it, myself, and my blog some time. Who knows? Perhaps there is someone else out there who needs to hear my words.
I, also, discovered that Leah is hosting a challenge that is perfect for me in every way! The website is It's perfect for me! There are no hard and fast rules or regulations on what or what medium to create with.and it can be anything that I've creatively accomplished and it doesn't have to be a piece of artwork! I don't even have to post what I've accomplished or created everyday if I don't want to. I love that! It's like the "Blogging without Obligation" banner that I've discovered on other's blogs. So therefore, I've decided that I really desire to add and participate in both of these as they allow me so much creative freedom and I can accomplish them while I work on being the best me I can be!
{If you read thus far, I so appreciate it. Thank you, just for being there and listening.}

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Just a "quick" check-in...

I've been spending the last several days recouping/regrouping; trying to get back into the swing of things, slowly, gratefully, and with some deep breaths, "in" and "out" LOL! Spent some time with Alexxis yesterday and looking forward to getting away for a bit tomorrow. I'll post again soon...

Also, I've been unable to contact Karen re: my giveaway. Will wait a little while to see if she re-visits and contacts me or will host a new one in a while --- not certain when... but I'll host one! Stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

An update on Don...

As I sit and type this, I find myself literally exhausted. Today has been an exhausting day - in every conceivable way. The good news is that Don is recovering after receiving two more stints and will be home here with me tomorrow.

He was 90% block in one of his coronary arteries. There are two additional blockages that we'll be watching more closely. One 40% in the first stint he received after a heart attack in '98; and another 50% in another stint inserted a few years later. Due to possible complications with the necessity of these two new stints, these will be monitored closely. Unfortunately, we cannot get away from this condition as it is hereditary; so the goal is the same as it has been --- continue with the medications, frequent check-ups, yearly stress tests, and be aware of any and all signs and symptoms, watch the diet, excercise, and increase our knowledge as new knowledge is learned and documented.

Don had no symptoms prior to the stress test, so having being aware of the risk factors and compliance with his health care team has enabled us to stay on our toes and keep this situation under control before it presents any problems and/or complications. Today, I'm simply grateful! Grateful for God's amazing grace, modern medicine, his Dr.'s and healthcare team, Don'd determination and courage to do whatever is necessary, and the strength of God because I couldn't have gotten throught the day without his shoulder to lean completely on.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Musa and Palmae {inspire by giclie prints in Ballard Designs}

This morning began similarly to yesterday, without the lack of regretfulness. Amber telephoned to early to see if I'd like to have Alexxis for awhile and of course, I said, "Yes!" We enjoyed a nice breakfast, time on Fisher Price's online games, reading a book, playing, and not too much snuggling. Those moments are becoming farther and fewer inbetween and are usually reserved now for nap and bedtime per Little Miss' instructions. She does, however, pass out or blow the occassion sweet kisses. After her daddy picked her up and wisked her off to new adventures for the day, I made a important telephone call to my dad requesting his help for tomorrow.

I haven't mentioned it before, mainly as I'm attempting to keep my chin up, think positive thoughts, but Don's stress test completed prior to Christmas came back low risk abnormal. Due to his family and own history a heart cath has been scheduled for 2 p.m. tomorrow. It will be completed here in Marion, at a new heart lab; yet the procedure itself will be complete by Dr. Yakobob {sp?} who Don had a few years ago when in Riverside. We both feel completely comfortable with that! In the event that things are alright cardiac wise, Don will come home; while if something requires fixing, he'll stay overnight. We're both maintaining a positive attitude as he feels fine and if his Dr. is concerned we feel its the right thing to do, get in there and check it out. It's one of those definitely safer than sorry moves, so we're complying! I'll have a new book to dig into while I'm waiting and I'm certain it will assist keeping me positive!

This afternoon, I felt like doing something so I decide to attempt to sketch the palms I want to try to paint. I figured being able to sketch them would be at least half the battle, LOL! Although, we'll have to wait and see how well the actually painting these pieces go. I'll upload them in a sec; in another post.

I've considered joining in several online blog-share art blog challenges recently. Although, I've not determine which one exactly yet. There's so many to choose from... my goal is to get myself creating again, in some ways, when the urge hits and even when it isn't. On top of that list is several "Thank you!" cards and a few RAK's I've been meaning to create and put together for a few good friends. Well, that's about it for now... I'll scan the sketches to show you. Until the next time...
I love the quiet, stillness of the our home in the morning as I slip out of bed, make myself a fresh cup of coffee, get on the computer, and begin to ease into my day. I like those moments of "home-humming" as I listen to hum of the refrigerator, the computer, and the furnace as it circulates it's warm air and warms my heart in the process of it all. Who would have thunk after all these years, that I'd become a morning person, but here I am!

It is normally quiet and there's a stillness in the air like that until Chaos stirs and Don wakes, then instantly our home comes alive with the hustle and bustle of preparedness for the day ahead. We are so different in that respect. Don's roaring to go, to do, and I'm still stuck in those moments "inbetween" that I cherish. I love to visit a few random blogs, daydream a little {okay, a lot!} before being wisked back to reality. Some days, I'm receptive to the Let's go and do, if I've previously prepared myself for it; but most days I find myself feeling like kicking and screaming inside as "I'm so not ready yet!" Yesterday began like that, but improved greatly as my day progress.

I was truly feeling inspired to get back to creating some more. I had all these wonderful thoughts and ideas that have been fluttering around in my pretty little head , and after some blog visits, I was truly inspired visually. My heart and mind were in all the right places and my hands were all set to get started. Sadly, in my heart I knew the truth was this wasn't likely to happen as Don had previously made plans for us to run down to the warehouse in Columbus. I found myself feeling a bit resentful although I tried very hard not to allow it to show and I felt a huge sense of relief when he informed me he had somethings to do prior to us leaving. {Thank you, Universe!} As I set about finishing up being lazy, easing into my day, I reluctantly began getting ready and as I prepared to head out the door, I couldn't help but to notice how that showed itself in my appearance, LOL! What a way to greet the world!

Once nestled in the passenger seat of the Jeep, my thoughts wandered and drifted awhile before I decided to make the most out my circumstances. I was soon enjoying the weather --- a cool 50-60 degrees, warm breezes, great conversation, and the joy of listening and singing along to some good tunes. We traveled without incident, arriving fairly quickly at the warehouse, and even more special was that with some preparation on Don's part it wasn't long after we back on our way. I decided that I wanted to stop at a few places: Dick Blick's, Border's and a quick jog into Michael's. I'd mentally prepared myself for the purchases I desired to make, although a few extra things ended up in the bags I carried from the stores.

At Dick Blick's {Art Supply store} I desired some deep canvases, however, the prices caused me to pause and consider purchasing two regular ones in a 10"x20" size. I'd seen some giclies prints in a recent Ballard Designs catalog that I was inspired by and thought perhaps, I may attempt to paint them. We'll see.. Another purchase was a pound of Celluclay. I've been desiring to play with this for far too long and decided to finally just attempt it in the upcoming days. Our next stop was into Border's -- I'd forgotten there was a Barnes & Nobles up around the corner from the area we were in, anyways, I picked the Jan/Feb Somerset Studios mag and The Secret Book and Gratitude journal. {The later has been on my wish list for some time.} After stopping for a quick lunch, we began heading towards home, where I made my last stop of the day into Michael's for some MS glitter {which I put back for some unknown reason} and some paper mache decopage cones. A sweet friend in one of my online groups suggested an upcoming swap creating with them and I wanted to be certain I could find them prior to signing up! A few odds and ends later, and we were on our way once again.

Arriving home, I was pleasantly surprised. A box from Mary containing the blog giveaway red transferware plate, silver cup, and red berries arrived! Thank you, Mary! These are beautiful; I cannot wait to hang them. Also, enclosed in the mailbox was a package from my online friend, Kate. Kate and I have been IM'ing recently, pleasantly chatting and encouraging one another and she offered to send me a SRE {Silk Ribbon embroidery} book! Enclosed was the book, a card, a beautiful hand-written note. Thank you so much, Kate! I enjoyed looking at these lovelies {from both of you} while savoring my Somerset Studios mag and cup of pomgrante tea. My evening was a peaceful one, filled with promise and dreams of whatever tomorrow may bring.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

My Secret Valentine...

I hung my creation on the Christmas tree while photographing it to show to you. Doesn't it look pretty with all that green contrast and who can resist all that red and gold? It is actually a bit darker than it appears here and is a prototype for a new vintage Valentine's Day swap I recently joined. It's kind of hard to tell but it is actually a heart shaped box --- created by "yours truly!" I'm sort of stoked now to create a few a more of them, perhaps, even cover this small tree with them and hang onto the magic of miracle season for just a little while longer...
Can you believe we still haven't taken down all of our Christmas and December wedding decor? I'm thinking that they will be coming down tomorrow, while "Mr. Muscles" is at home to help carry all the totes and boxes back up to the attic. Why, of course, that sounds like the perfect plan to me!

Lately my thoughts have been sort of scattered... here and there... back and forth from thinking about how empty our home will look as we adjust to the changes from the lack of Christmas decor. I've already been browsing online for a new ceiling light fixture for our living room and have selected a few that I believe we both can live with. I printed off a few styles I really liked to take with us while look locally, knowing that I can always order either of them online if we need to. I so dislike looking for ceiling fixtures in the stores as it so hard to consider the scale of the room its actually going into with all the retail space overhead. And you can just forget about attempting to determine just how much light is coming from the one fixture you may be interested in because every light fixture in the store is lit up and to add even more insult to the injury, the store just recently replaced their own lights so that they now blind you!
Along with thoughts and consideration to lighting, I've been desiring to brighten and lighten our home's decor. I believe I'd like some lighter curtains to hand in the Spring and Summer months, and then consider color schemes. I don't believe I want to change those, simply lighten them up. Scatter a few more lighter pillows here and there, perhaps add some texture and some architectural details in some type of home decor to our newly furnished space. Then, I realize that I'm probably rushing things a little bit, which is perfectly fine as it will provide us with an opportunity to look, discover, and find what it is we desire. Of course, there's also the option to create them myself....
I did a bit of that yesterday, thinking about creating, while at JoAnn's and at Hobby Lobby. I have "ideas" in mind, but neither had what it was I thought I was searching for. Although, I did manage to share the love just a bit by making a few purchases at both places. I couldn't resist purchasing two wood and suede covered boxes at 50% off and a new scrapbook album that I want to become a coffe table or endstand book. The boxes just might come in handy to store my crazy quilt throw and the fabric I'm using to create it within. That has sort of become an abandoned project that I really desire to get back to working on as time allows.
Creating ART is another area that I've been giving a lot of thought to lately as I've been feeling a bit guilty of having and not using any of my supplies. Don even mentioned to me that perhaps I should consider selling some of it! Oh! Horrors! Is he serious?! I "fully intend" to use that stuff!!! If you could see the state of my studio, surely you'd understand, but then, that really isn't a good excuse either as I'm once again guilty of running out, grabbing whatever it is I'm after, and bringing it into the house for a while before it gets returned to the studio in a box! LOL! The place is in shambles and I should be ashamed, but.... "No!" I just had to run out there today in search of my glue gun and glue sticks. But, in my defense, I did spend about a half and hour or so putting a few things back into their perspective places but only because they were in my way while searching. Oh well, all isn't really lost, I actually used some of my neglected stash today and created something pretty!

Winter Weather...

In Ohio, it is CRAZY, to say the least!
Just a few days ago, this is how Little Miss and I spent a few moments of our day. Can you tell by the expression on her little face that she wasn't quite so sure about all this, but took it all in stride! We really had a great time! Okay, with the exception of the extremely cold temperatures which cut our plans a lot shorter than either of us would have like. Having lunch out with daddy and grandma made up for it though, especially the bananas with strawberry glaze!

Friday, January 04, 2008

CHEERS! to "2008!"

I thank my God upon every remembrance of you. Philippians 1:3

Each and every year, at the beginning of the New Year, I like take some time to reflect and reminisce about the previous year and the years before that. I may spend some of my time re-reading a previous blog entry, a randomly selected journal entry, look through a previously created scrapbook album, dig through a box of letters, or a display of artwork that others have shared with me. And every year I'm amazed at the memories and moments that have made and filled up not only my heart, but the days, months, and years of my life.

I'm ever so gently nugged into remembering old friends and acquaintances, along with those who have helped filled my life with happiness and love. I remember a hope, or a dream, that for one reason or another never quite made it into fruitation. I'm reminded of unfinished business, works in progress, and I aim for new goals to fulfill the desires of my heart.

I suppose, like everyone, I remember some painful mistakes that I've made along the way, cherish the lessons that I've learned {or at least, HOPE that I've learned --- as you know that they'll come back around this time "knocking" at your heart and you around just a bit harder!}

Anyways, through that process, I was able to re-live and cherish some special-to-me moments, and I began gaining an entirely new perspective , something that somehow I was unable to see before. As I sat and remembered all those "should have-could have-would have" moments that somehow slipped away like the sand in an hourglass, I longed to re-live a few of them, if only to say, "I'm sorry"; "I miss you"; "I love you."; and I "Thank you!" one more time.

As I sat and pondered, I began to desire "more" in my life. More of this, that, and the other. {You can fill in any combination of things in that _____ .} And then, as suddenly as it started it stopped. I began asking myself "when", and "if" and "where" will any of those "inserted whatever word(s) here" would be enough? and I suddenly realized that is what I really truly desire.

Just Enough.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

{drumroll, please} and the WINNER is....

I took a que from Mary @ and used a random number generator to pick a winner for my blog giveaway! I, also, made a correction --- somehow I mistyped my post number as 5000; not 1500! {Thankfully, I could edit and make the necessary correction.} Without further ado, the winner is:

Karen said...
Hi Cathy. I, too, found you thru The Little Red House! Congratulations on winning. I also stamp and sew. I love it all! I hope to get a blog up and running before too much long to share my "stuff." Happy New Year!Karen
Congratulations, Karen! If you'll email me your snail mail addy, I'll get the goods right out to you. Please let me know when you begin a blog, I'd love to visit. Also, Thank you to everyone who visited and left a comment, I enjoyed reading them!
Also, I want to take a moment to say, "Thank You" to Mary for hosting her blog-giveaway, writing such a wonderful blog, and I'm so happy that I took a chance to enter, even if it was my first visit to http:/// I've bookmarked you and will visit often.