"Something opens our wings. Something makes boredom and hurt disappear. Someone fills the cup in front of us: We taste only sacredness. " ~ Rumi

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

All is Calm

Sad to say.....Christmas usually freaks me out. All the hustle & bustle, all the DRAMA ~ people fighting over cheap merchandise in the stores, families fighting over who-will-spend-Christmas-where. Frantic people stressing out about how they are going to buy gifts for loved ones when they have so  little money and have no idea what the gift receivers need or want. I especially hate the fight about whether you should say "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays".....can't we all just share a little love & respect for each other & be inclusive of ALL the holidays/beliefs celebrated at this time of year?!? WWJD? Wouldn't he reach out with open arms to embrace & minister to all? 

My poor Darling Husband. For years I have moped around the house at Christmas time sputtering "I HATE Christmas" under my breath. Little or no decorations, no holiday baking, no parties, last minute present shopping, no Christmas Eve service. I'm not sure when it was I started hating Christmas. I think I have just been rebelling about the total commercialization of it all...and all the WORK/STRESS.

So.....this year I am trying to embrace Christmas.  I am decorating my home in lovely shades of cream, white, sepia, silver & gold ~ using handmade & "thrifted" items. Actually, I find I am enjoying the process and yes, all is calm. The more I decorate, the calmer I become. I am finding the BEAUTY of the season.  I hear stories about those helping people in need like the "Secret Santa" in Kansas City or "Operation Christmas" right here in my area...and my heart is blessed...and I am inspired to seek out my own way to help others (anonymously) before the end of the year. We have invited friends over for a Christmas Eve supper & trip to church.

One thing though.....It's more fun/meaningful if there are children around ~ their sparkling eyes and wonderment of the season is contagious. I have not had Christmas with my children or grandchildren or Dad or brother in many, many years since we all live so far away from each other. I have decided that I am going to leave my Christmas decorations up until we can all get together AT MY HOUSE for Christmas. So yes, if you come to see me in August, you will think I am crazy!

I want to thank Nellie Wortman for the GORGEOUS fabric collage that has inspired me this Christmas. "All is calm"...
Purchased from Nellie Wortman's Etsy shop

Silent night! holy night!
All is calm all is bright.
Round yon virgin mother and child.
Holy infant so tender and mild .
Sleep in heavenly peace! 

Sunday, December 12, 2010


View out of my art room window this morning
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Out of the bosom of the Air,
Out of the cloud-folds of her garments shaken,
Over the woodlands brown and bare,
Over the harvest-fields forsaken,
Silent, and soft, and slow
Descends the snow.

Even as our cloudy fancies take
Suddenly shape in some divine expression,
Even as the troubled heart doth make
  In the white countenance confession,
The troubled sky reveals
The grief it feels.

This is the poem of the air,
Slowly in silent syllables recorded;
This is the secret of despair,
Long in its cloudy bosom hoarded,
Now whispered and revealed
To wood and field. 

Photo courtesy of: CaptPiper

Friday, November 26, 2010

Mmmmmm! It's National Cake Day!

Just what we need the day after Thanksgiving.....MORE FOOD.

Happy National Cake Day!

Cake Photo courtesy of: Chotda

Since my diabetes diagnosis I have refrained from eating dessert as much as possible. I think it is CAKE that I miss the most. There is just some thing about it.....moist & rich.....the creamy decadence of the frosting...Mmmmmmm!

Oh honey! Here is a recipe for you!!!

Cake Photo courtesy of: Devine Domesticity

Better Than Sex Cake 

• 1 box - German chocolate cake mix
• 1 can - Sweetened condensed milk
• 1 bottle - Caramel ice cream topping
• 1 small tub whipped topping
• 1/2 bag - Toffee chips or
4 bars of Heath candy

* Prepare cake as directed on package.
* When cake is done remove from oven and poke holes all over the top of it

with a wooden spoon handle.
* Pour Caramel and sweetened condensed milk over top of entire cake.
* Let cake cool completely by placing in fridge (overnight is best).
* Once cake is completely cooled, (just before serving) top it with container of whipped topping and then the toffee chips.

The best way to make this cake is to let it sit overnight. That way the caramel and milk can soak into the cake. 

Recipe from Amber at Bakespace.com

Thursday, November 25, 2010

"Thank your Lucky Stars"

Photo courtesy of: Kookykrys

thank your lucky stars

to be very grateful for something

(Definition of thank your lucky stars from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary)

If you woke up this morning ~ be grateful for another day & the opportunity to
"make a difference in this world":

Think local. Act global. Learn more about the Peace Corps

If you have bountiful feast on your Thanksgiving table today ~ consider sharing it with those who are truly hungry:

If you have clean drinking water ~ think about those who are do not have this basic necessity:


If you are sitting in your nice, warm comfortable home ~ consider helping those who have no home:
Habitat for Humanity Web banners: Get Involved

"LIVE SIMPLY so that others


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Do the Thing You LOVE

 When I was young, I never listened to my parents or anyone else in authority for that matter. Now, whenever I have a chance to talk to young people, I always share with them how it took me 50 years to figure out the important things in life and to realize I should have listened to those who came before me! I was so busy rebelling, doing the OPPOSITE of what I was told to do, that I never took the time to figure out who I was & what I wanted. Even today, I get so busy with day-to-day activities and obligations, I do not take the time to DREAM & reflect on how I can make a PERSONAL DIFFERENCE in the lives of others while fulfilling my own destiny. 

For the longest time I was so self absorbed in the details of daily living, that I did not see the bigger picture...the universe around me.
The universe is a GLORIOUS & MYSTICAL place.
  Photo courtesy of: Mr. Physics

In all of it's vastness, I am but a tiny microscopic dot. But, I was put here for a REASON. Think about it......we were ALL put here for a reason!!! And we were all given our own assignments ~ the talents, resources & instructions for fulfilling our own destinies & making a difference in this universe. We just have to be OPEN to it......we just have to LISTEN & to RECEIVE.

If you "Do what you love/Follow Your Bliss", then you ARE LISTENING. You will find so much JOY and FULFILLMENT in what you are doing.

So I tell young people.....don't fall into the trap of training/working at a  JOB just to get a paycheck. Money is not everything. If you are miserable on that job it is NOT WORTH IT. As long as you are in that miserable job, you are NOT fulfilling your destiny and robbing other people of theirs. We are all connected. What you do (or don't do) will have lasting effects on this planet & ultimately in our universe.

Close your eyes. Imagine that money is no object. You can chose to do anything in this world. What brings you the most JOY?

Now go & do THAT.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I'm Sewing Today

I am sewing today! I have a special project.....making 1920's style dresses for my granddaughters who will be appearing in the play "The Velveteen Rabbit". 

I do love to sew! Once I get started, that is. I get sooooo distracted by other things that keep me away from my sewing table. It's a shame too, because I have a huge stash of vintage fabrics, trims, doilies, etc. I have all of these ideas in my head on just what to make.....but as always.....distracted. I am hoping that this project will jump start my desire to complete my "dreamed of" projects!

One thing I would like to make are some dresses for myself & for offer on Etsy. I hardly have any clothes because, lets face it, what is offered in the stores is UGLY. The clothes are just so BORING!!!After watching Mondo Guerra on Project Runway this past season (who should have WON by the way) I am inspired to be more daring in my fashion choices ~ more color, more flair, more FUN! And if I can't find it in the stores, I will just have to MAKE it.

Stay tuned.....

You Are Sew Beautiful ~ You deserve PRETTY clothes!!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Geeky Goth Zombie Girls from Space

Just in time for Halloween.....

Zombie Girls from Space can be found at 
"Remember Me" Paper Arts & Vintage Goods

I don't know about you, but I just LOVE making & displaying funny, geeky, wEiRd kind of art in my art studio. I have always been drawn to "outsider art" and anything that the rest of society considers "oDD".

Better find your tin foil hats!!!!! These creepy zombie girl from space dolls have special mind-control powers and will render you helpless with one gaze into their eyes! Keep yourself safe from their treacherous plans.

Photo courtesy of: happyworker

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I am so sick today.

I am so sick today. Can someone please sing "Soft Kitty" to me?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Welcome to my NEW ArtFire shop!

Oh sweetie! I've gone and done it.....I opened another online shop. ArtFire had an offer I could not refuse ~ $5.95 a month for a PRO account ~ no listing fees ~ no "final value" fees!!!!! If you are looking for an online venue RUN (DON'T WALK) right on over to ArtFire honey!!! Their "basic" account is always FREE...yes, you heard me right...FREE!!!

ArtFire - Buy Handmade - Sell Handmade

I will still continue to sell on Etsy ~ I LOVE LOVE LOVE Etsy ~ but you know the old saying about having all of your eggs in one basket.....

"Easter is the only time when it is a good idea to put all of your eggs in one basket."

So.....now TWICE the FUN.....

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

September 21st ~ International Day of PEACE

Here's an idea.....why don't we celebrate/promote/live in peace EVERY DAY?!?!?!?

Friday, September 10, 2010

I Love my Mommy

I LOVE my Mommy ~ I miss her already.

Today she breathed her last breath and left this earth. She was a precious soul...caring, loving, giving. She was always kind to everyone,  always thinking of others. Her creative spirit and artistic talents blessed many. Her legacy will live on in her artwork left behind, and also in the hearts of the artists she tutored/inspired. You "raised me right" Mom. You taught me to be kind, compassionate, understanding & tolerant. You taught me to use my God-given talents to bless others.

I miss you Mommy. I wish we had lived closer together.  4500 miles apart is too far to visit often, too far to talk every day on the phone. I wish we had time to paint together, watch movies together, time to talk about the things that are important to women. I wish I had known you better. I wish you had kept a journal.....maybe I will do these things now with my daughter & her daughters.

I love you Mommy. I thank God that he entrusted my care to you (& Dad). I can only hope that you can feel my love for you radiating heavenward.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Back to Kailua Town

Darling Husband & I are headed to "Kailua Town" to be with my Mother as she spends her last few days here on this earth. She is a beautiful, caring, loving, giving ARTIST & a light will go out in the heavens when she passes. Your good thoughts & prayers are appreciated for my Mom (Barbara) and her loving husband, my Dad, (Don) as he cares for her at home with the help of Hospice.

Photo courtesy of:  B Tal

 Her time has been too short, but while she was here she touched lives & brought beauty into this world. Her paintings are so JOYOUS, life affirming & inspirational.

Her Prayer Shawl Ministry will carry on through the selfless devotion of her dear friends. Her hand-knitted donations of scarves, mittens & hats are helping to keep the children of Bhutan warm. She has taught her family what it means to be compassionate, kind, caring & giving. She has been a dear friend to many. One person CAN make a difference.....

We love you Mom. It's just so sad that we are losing you. Our hearts are breaking.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Who Says it Costs too Much to Eat Healthy & Organic ?!?!?!?

1 lb. green beans, bunch collards, 3 onions, 3 bell peppers, 4 zucchini, 4 summer squash, basket of cherry tomatoes and a quart of fresh picked blackberries ~ $12.00!!!
Our local Farmer's Market....."PRICELESS".
The alternative...
Photo courtesy of: size8jeans

2 Quarter Pounders:  $4.98
Large orders of fries: $1.60
Large Frappe: $3.29
2 Cookies: $1.60
Total $11.47
Photo courtesy of: Steve Rhodes

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Creative Color Challenge ~ Week One ~ Sunflower Yellow

THE CHALLENGE: to explore a different color to create with each week in August. 

Join me in Louise Gale's fun filled challenge!   I am doing this to push myself outside of my comfort zone. For some reason I have a FEAR of color. My art, my home & my wardrobe all reflect my love for all things NEUTRAL ~ white, cream, sepia & black. This month, I am embracing COLOR. I will be experimenting with different shades & hues of COLOR to see what emotions they invoke in me.

Week One ~ Sunflower Yellow

 Yellow...I am feeling HAPPY, HOPEFUL, JOYOUS! Yellow is such a cheerful color.

Photo courtesy of: renaissancechambara

I am reminded of the warm sun on my skin, the fragrance of yellow flowers, the hopefulness of yellow ribbons tied around tree trunks.

So..."flowers" got me thinking...here is my artistic offering for week one:

Yellow Button Bouquet available at:

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Jumping for JOY is Good Exercise

Original mixed media painting by Emily

Exercise......iCK! I'm sorry, but the people who say they LIKE to exercise...they are LYING!!!!! Exercise hurts me & makes me sweat ~ ewwwww.

I have always been a "couch potato". I would rather lie on the couch and read a good book  than to get down on the floor & do push-ups. I would rather take the elevator than climb stairs. Why walk when there is a perfectly good mode of transportion called a CAR?!?

All joking aside, exercise really does HURT me. I have a REALLY REALLY bad ankle that I broke 18 years ago and now arthritis has destroyed the cartiladge between the bones ~ OUCH. I cannot walk without the assistance of a brace and a cane. I also suffer from sciatica and we all know what a PAIN IN THE BUTT that is!!!

Recently, I have been reading about how exercise can help prolong my life and help me feel better & happier. (Bless those little endorphins.) Exercise also helps keep me mentally sharp, helps in weight control...and if that's not enough...

Exercise can put the spark back into your sex life.

 Alrighty then...

Seeing the need to start exercising, I purchased this FABULOUS DVD from my husband's niece:


Tammy is inspiring me to take better care of myself so I can have a much longer, richer, fuller life! Thank you Tammy!!!

and remember...Jumping for JOY is good exercise!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Runs with Scissors

Runs with Scissors Scrabble Saying available at:
Remember Me Paper Arts & Vintage Goods

Ok, it's true...I run with scissors. I know our mothers told us NOT to do this, but I have not always done what my mother said... I know this shocks you! Sorry Mom.

Don't you just LOVE all the "Momisms"???

* Don't sit too close to the television, it'll ruin your eyes.
  * How do you know you don't like it if you haven't tasted it?
* I didn't ask who put it there, I said "Pick it up!"
* Isn't it past your bedtime? 
* Look at me when I'm talking to you.
*  Say that again and I'll wash your mouth out with soap. 
* I don't care who started it, I said stop!
* Don't you run through this house with those scissors.

The funny thing is...as much as we hated hearing all those one-liners...we eventually turn into our mothers and say them ourselves! Yes, it's true. The first time I told my daughter to TURN DOWN HER STEREO I cringed in fear & quickly covered my mouth with my hands. "What am I saying?!?!?" I still, to this day, play my stereo REALLY LOUD.

As my children grew, I finally realized that my Mom told me all those things because she LOVED me & wanted the best for me. I even remember calling her as my children approached puberty & apologized to her for all the hurtful things I had said & done to her. (I really was a brat with a sassy mouth in my youth ~ I know, hard to imagine NOW.)

I began to understand the concern in her voice: "Call me when you get there, just so I know you're okay." I began to understand her desire for me to have a healthy body: "Eat your vegetables, they're good for you." And I began to understand her wishes for me to have a happy, joyous & beautiful life: "Go play outside! It's a beautiful day!"

Thanks Mom. I love you!!!


Saturday, July 3, 2010

Dieting is NOT a Piece of Cake

Retro Kitsch Art Assemblage Robot Doll
available at:
Remember Me Paper Arts & Vintage Goods

Since receiving my DIABETES diagnosis almost two years ago...I have been ABSOLUTELY eating healthier. For years I was addicted to sugar ~ had to have something sweet every day ~ usually candy, cookies, pie or cake. It was so yummy and I (thought that I) enjoyed every bite!  However, being addicted to sugar set me up for a life filled with disease and bad health. Sugar has contributed to my high cholesterol level, in particular raising my triglyceride level. Sugar helped contribute to my obesity which I am sure, in turn, contributed to my developing cancer. Obesity may have also triggered/aggravated my sleep apnea which can be a life threatening condition.

 Photo courtesy of: kimberlykv

I remember after each "indugence" that I would go into  a "sugar coma" ~ blissed out, happy, oblivious to the world & my problems...now tell me SUGAR is not a DRUG?!?!?!?

Photo courtesy of: mckaysavage

Now I am eating a balanced diet with lots of fresh organic fruits & veggies, whole grains, and very little meat & dairy. I feel sooooooooo much better!!! And now that I have gotten off that "eat sugar, crave fat/eat fat, crave sugar" merry-go-round I find that I am actually craving fruits & veggies instead! Our brains & bodies know how to eat for our good health, but by introducing so many fast food/sugar & fat filled goodies into our lifestyles, we have set ourselves up for disaster!

Even on my diabetic food plan, I am ALLOWED a treat now and then. However, I usually choose NOT to indulge because I know I could be easily lured back into that seductive world of sugar addiction. I know what my "trigger" foods are and I know to stay away from them! HA! Recently, my husband, who bless his heart has agreed not to bring treats into the house, brought something in one day that was starting to get me into trouble... "Take those "EVIL" things downstairs & HIDE THEM would you please?!?" I scolded him....poor guy.

For those of you who struggle with your weight every day ~ I'm with ya. Leave me a comment and maybe we can encourage each other. Although I am eating better, I am still not exercising which is KEY in weight loss....that will be the subject of another post.

I must admit that I DO miss cake (and ice cream) most of all.
And oh! pecan pie.

Monday, June 28, 2010

i carry your heart with me

I was reminded today of one of my MOST favorite poems:

Photo courtesy of: litlnemo 

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart) 

e.e. cummings

Monday, June 21, 2010

You are so Beautiful

Today I want to tell you about Averi's sister Allison.....my other granddaughter, who is also EXCEPTIONALLY smart/funny/creative/talented & compassionate! Allison is a sweetheart. Ever since she was very little she has always shown kindness to others. I remember how she used to put her little hands up to hold someone's face as if to say "I care deeply about you and just want you to know that I SEE you & UNDERSTAND you and I am here for you if you ever need me". She is a loyal & supportive friend.

Allison has always been "an artist". She draws, paints & writes stories. She plays the piano beautifully and has a real love & talent for music. She composes her own music & lyrics.....and can this girl DANCE!!!!! I attended her school's year end performance recently and was AMAZED at her skilled dance moves. She sings beautifully also ~ filling her voice with much emotion & passion.

The play/musical that she & her fellow students wrote, starred in & produced was so FABULOUS! It was the story of a girl whose dream it was to dance. Her father advised her to be more PRACTICAL and to study for a job that would earn her more MONEY and that she should abandon her DREAMS. In the end, she followed her dreams...her father picked up HIS dream (piano) again...and he was PROUD of her & HAPPY & FULFILLED for himself too.

Remember dearest girl to "Follow your Bliss"....."Do what you LOVE".....and may all your DREAMS COME TRUE!!!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Everything I Ever Needed to Know I learned in Kindergarten

Last week I went to North Carolina to visit my children & grandchildren. YAY!!!!!!! While I was there, my granddaughter Averi graduated from kindergarten. What a FABULOUS ceremony it was! Her teacher Ms. Jackson, who is ADORABLE by the way, was so sweet & loving and praised them for all of their hard work and accomplishments. Averi actually won the MATH AWARD! This girl can COUNT.....I'm pretty sure she made it to 1000 while I was there. She is also doing addition & subtraction and can read & write.

When I was in kindergarten, I don't remember doing all this so early. Seems to me we spent the day in "play centers" and donned a smock for "art time" where we could draw & paint. I remember the snacks & "naptime"......but reading & writing???.....seems like that came along in 1st or 2nd grade. I also remember one kid who brought an "offering" because he thought it was like Sunday School ~ DUFUS.

Anyway... Averi, being my grandchild, is EXCEPTIONALLY smart/funny/creative/talented and compassionate. I believe she is a wise "old soul" living in a 6 year old's body. She is PASSIONATE about saving the planet and recycling. As she puts it "Save the Earth....it is the only planet with CHOCOLATE"! While I was there we talked about the BP oil leak in the Gulf.....she took action....more about this on a future post. 

So, congratulations Averi on your graduation from kindergarten. I will always remember your class & their FABULOUS dance/chorus line
to the tune of "New York, New York"...

"Start spreading the news,
We're leaving today.
We're going to be a part of it
1st grade, 1st grade..."

and always remember.....
Be nice, play fair and
share with others!!!

Friday, June 4, 2010

HAPPY "National Donut Day"

Photo courtesy of: SanFranAnnie

Now here is a holiday I can really get into!!!!! Celebrated on the first Friday each June, "National Donut Day" was originally celebrated in a Salvation Army event held in 1938. This event was held to raise money to help the needy and to honor the the women who served donuts to soldiers during World War I.  

Mmmmmmmm! DONUTS!!!!!

Photo courtesy of: Monster Pete

When my kids were little, I used to make homemade donuts. The recipe was very simple:
2 cups Bisquick
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
2 eggs
2 tbsp. milk

I would mix them, cut them, fry them in oil, drain them on a paper towel, then shake them in a bag with sugar to coat. They were so delicious when eaten while still warm.

Photo courtesy of: bochalla

My granddaughter Averi LOVES LOVES LOVES "Sprinkle Donuts"!!! Her sister Allison's favorite is a chocolate glazed, custard filled donut. And what does Grandma like best? A cake donut with chocolate icing & nuts on top. Mmmmmmmmm!

"Will run for Doughtnuts"
Wow ~ just WOW. What some people will do for some KRISPY KREMES!!!!!

Photo courtesy of: Steve Snodgrass