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Thursday, December 31, 2009

A new year....

As I prepare for the new year,  I have high hopes for every one of my friends....hopes for an easier year financially, hopes for finding joy in simple things, excitement in challenges faced, comfort in family and friends, and hopes for laughter each day.

I have begun treatment for the pain I have experienced in my neck for so many years that seems to be getting worse.  Today I get my first shots in my neck, which I am counting on to relieve the pain enough that I can pull the wild weeds in my gardens!  This may take a while, but I have every confidence that within a month I will start feeling like a new woman (or maybe even sooner), and get my former energy back.  Hmmmm, I wonder if my brain will begin to work better......:)


Happy New Year, everyone!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Quiet holiday blessings

We are busy, busy bees here, getting ready to move my youngest into her first apartment.  It will be an extremely quiet, low-key, inexpensive Christmas this year, which is fine.  Seems to me as though it would be a good time to begin a new tradition - a Christmas day bike ride, picnic in the park, or romp on the beach with the dogs, perhaps. 

I was blessed with the gift of snowfall on my recent trip to Boston!  There is nothing like the quiet beauty of snow on a Sunday morning.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Slow traffic....


I was asked how the one-stop-shopping event went....so I will reluctantly answer. There was little traffic so there were few sales. I took home hundreds of cards. Of course, that has advantages - plenty of Christmas cards to choose from to send, many sets of note cards to use as gifts, and a choice of journals to take to my daughter and her roomies to use. For the weeks and weeks of working each night after teaching all day, I will think carefully before agreeing to do something like this again unless the organizer can tell me exactly where and when he/she will be advertising.

Live and learn!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

great sale, great look!

Wow! My daughters and I are drooling over this one - and they will have a black Friday, Cyber Monday sale!

http://www.shopruche.com

Friday, November 20, 2009

Countdown!

Tomorrow is the day! My first venture into the craft market....selling cards at a one-stop-shopping event in downtown Fort Myers! Sweet Melissa, of Lissy's Cupcakery, will be selling her yummy cupcakes there, too. I hope that everyone can come out and get a jump start on holiday shopping!
St Francis Xavier Church
Parrish Hall
4:30-7:30
with vendors such as Pampered Chef, Park Lane Jewelry, Tastefully Simple, Avon, Black Cat Embroidery, Sent-sations, Creative Memories, and MORE!

Door Prizes, too!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

New artist "friend"!

One of the most amazing things about Facebook is connecting with artists I admire. Yesterday I requested the friendship of K.C. Willis, whose art reminds me of my 18 years in Wyoming. Her work is truly interesting, informative, and inspiring. Here is a link to a new class she is offering - check her out! http://http://www.marketingmindset.ning.com

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Nothin' but blue skies.....and a manatee!





Debbie says we always have an adventure at the beach. She wasn't with me this morning, Tom was, so she missed one of the best adventures ever! We were biking in the packed sand, I with my camera over my shoulder, of course, when I spotted a dolphin. I jumped off the bike, prepped the camera, and waited. And waited. And waited. The dolphin didn't resurface, which seemed odd. By then, Tom had caught up to me and informed me that he saw the back fin of a manatee, not the dorsal fin of a dolphin! Just then it came up again! My shorts, visor, and sunglasses came off, and I was in the water to get close - hopefully close enough to feel its huge presence. Now, I have not worked out in way too long, and don't consider myself a swimmer (although I know how), so chasing something that doesn't show itself very often should have intimidated me. I tend to be impulsive when it comes to critters. I found myself in much deeper water than I have ever ventured into, and a bit of current pulling me out, but with Tom's coaching on the manatee's location, and the help of the waves, I was able to come in and get about 10 feet from it. Truly awesome. Exhausted after only about 10-15 minutes, I had to give up and swim on my back (so that I could breath because it was quite an aerobic workout) until I found bottom again. What an incredible weekend! Heavenly!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

More....





Would you buy this card?






In preparation for a "one stop shopping" evening with vendors at a local church on November 21, I have been diligently creating cards to sell. I am over 100, and feel as though I should have at least 500 in order to offer variety to shoppers. However, I wonder if the ones I have made are marketable - they are "crafty", not exactly art. So I am posting pictures of them and would appreciate your input - are they marketable?

Please comment here, or to my email, and know that I am grateful for your honest opinion.

Monday, October 12, 2009

To the critics of the world....

In this time of criticism of public persona (whether it be teachers, principals, or the like), here's a quote worth thinking about, from Theodore Roosevelt, "It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Beauty in the swamp




I just HAD to visit the Six Mile Cypress Slough today. Every other time I have gone was during the dry winter season, and I have been pining to see it wet. And see it wet, I did! While it was raining, part of the time! Everything was so much different - there were no creatures to be seen - no otter, alligators, squirrels, snakes.....very few birds were visible, although we heard more than we saw (an anhinga and 2 ibis), and the cypress knees protruded amongst ferns that went on forever! Every body of water was very smooth and glassy, and some were quite full of beautiful plants and flowers. These are just a couple of my favorite pictures from today's visit. Those clouds are actually the reflection of the clouds in one of the ponds, and the grasshopper posed for me on the way to the car.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

More studio shots!






Here they are! My friends on Facebook have already seen these, but not all of you follow the FB thing, so I want to share some more. Remember, you can click on the photo to make it bigger if you want to see something closer; however, it's not THAT clean, so be careful!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Studio tour


Here it is - my studio in the sky! Clean, no less! At least, as clean as it will ever be. When we first planned this addition, I requested lots of windows for the light as well as the feeling of being surrounded by the trees and sky. Aren't they wonderful? As the building was erected, we were able to climb the stairs to the "floor" of this room, before the walls were built, and watch 4th of July fireworks. It felt like a tree house then, and still does today. As a tree climber from way back, that's one of my favorite things about it.
I'll be posting more pictures - stay tuned!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Can't stop myself....


from creating with wax! This pine desk set has been sitting in my "to be altered" drawer for over a year. I used gold and natural beeswax, two thin handmade papers I had stored, some bling and such I had stashed, and pretty heidi snapp tapes to pull it all together. As I was making it I was thinking of my daughter, Stephanie, but that doesn't mean she will receive this as a gift....in case she's reading this.....
Thanks again, Suze Weinberg, for giving me the skills to use this terrific medium!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Waxing away.....


Oooh, I love playing with this hot wax! Here is a composition notebook I altered this morning using gesso as a primer, colored waxes & beeswax, a trade ad image, and several shades of Perfect Pearls. Hmmm, I think it needs a bead or charm, maybe two, what do you think?

Friday, September 11, 2009

It's never too early....


to make Christmas cards! This year I have decided to try to use up scraps of paper and tags - renew, reuse, recycle!- and here is one version of my Christmas card. I have several completely different styles made, and need to continue until I get to about 50. Usually I make them right after Christmas for the following year, so I am WAY behind this year! :)
Here's a thought: "Stress is an ignorant state. It believes that everything is an emergency. Nothing is that important. Just lie down." Natalie Goldberg, writer.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

inner workings


Another night of difficult sleep, but at least my muse is active - since the idea is in my head, almost like a need, I will begin searching for objects and images to bring it to life. It will be a mixed media piece called "Dreams for my Daughters", and I will attempt to show what I hope they have in their lives, in their futures.

A quote from Toni Morrison, "Wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weights you down."

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A referral

Each day brings its challenges and surprises, but I am establishing a routine and able to plan several days ahead at school, so I may get my "art life" back this weekend! I follow several blogs, and this morning Jenny Doh, of Somerset magazines, had a great message, so I will share it with you. Please visit the site below for her cleverly illustrated words. Hugs to all!

http://jennydoh.typepad.com/crescendo/2009/09/step-one.html

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Take a deep breath

Four days into the school year at a new grade level in a new school. Take a deep breath. I WILL get to create art again, just not right at this moment. So...here's a quote to sum up the times......"One of the most difficult things everyone has to learn is that for your entire life you must keep fighting and adjusting if you hope to survive. No matter who you are or what your position is you must keep fighting for whatever it is you desire to achieve." George Allen, football coach.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Beautiful books

Taking a break from working on my lesson plans, I visited a wonderful blog that sent me to this link. If you like books OR art, you will love these submissions to a show in Santa Fe. http://www.santafebag.org/2009rotundasubmissions.html
Enjoy!

Today's thought: "Is it not sheer madness to live poor to die rich?" Juvenal, writer

Monday, August 3, 2009

Hot wax


CHA Craft Superstore was amazing, overwhelming, noisy, idea overload, etc, etc, etc....but I am so glad I went! I figured that before I took Suze's class on using beeswax and the Melting Pot, I'd might as well spend the day oohing and ahhhing.

Suze is everybit the fun lady she seems to be, and I was not disappointed in her class. I'm one of those people who like to have a little bit of hands on with someone who can tell me the ins and outs before I break out on my own, and that she did. I'm very pleased with my paper napkin frame and can't wait to find the perfect photo for it. If you ever get the chance to, take a class with Suze Weinberg!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Seeing the humor



A peaceful sunset photo to remind me of my lovely mini-vacation, a ghost crab, and a thought to (hopefully) get a chuckle about the current economy. (Remember to click on the photo to enlarge it if you want a closer view.)

From the economist John Maynard Keynes: If you owe your bank a hundred pounds, you have a problem. But if you owe a million, it has.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Nice give-away!

Just visit this site to check it out!
http://studiomme.blogspot.com/2009/07/2nd-giveaway.html#links

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Mini-vacations

Today I'm off for a mini-vacation at my best friend's condo on the beach. I can't wait to soak up rays, take photos, relax, and share both conversation and quiet time with her. No housework, no cooking (well, just a little), no computer.....nice.

A quote to send myself off: "The day, water, sun, moon, night - I do not have to purchase these things with money." Titus Maccius Plautus, Playwright

Friday, July 17, 2009

A new day; a new quote

Every day brings something new. I'm always looking for critters, birds, flowers in bloom - little things to be fascinated by. When a friend or family member shares their discomforts with me, I feel them, too, and hope that they can find little fascinations to distract them.

Some days bring difficult decisions, changes to help us be better as human beings, changes to strengthen our souls.

For those of you who might be having one of those days, Ernest Hemingway wrote this:

"The world breaks everyone, and afterward many are stronger at the broken places."

May peace be with you.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Quote for today....

"The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it." Flannery O'Connor

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

More bags - and sales!



I'm posting photos of two more of my market bags.....and preparing 4 for shipping to my dear friend, Teri, in Wyoming! It was fun to pick the red one pictured on the right, above, just for her! I'm sneaking in a smaller bag in appreciation of her friendship and support, which I am so grateful for. I think I'll try to set up a table at the Green Market in two weeks; I'd better check into that!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

market bags


I've been working like crazy (well, I WAS obsessed) to make market bags, aka shopping bags, from a large stash of decorator samples I picked up at a garage sale over a month ago. These fabrics are gorgeous, and of such variety! I just haven't been interested in buying the grocery stores bags which are so plain Jane, not to mention I don't shop at only one store and sure didn't want to buy different ones for the different stores I shop in! These are really a lovely statement and eye catching besides! No two bags are anything alike, either.

Depending on the fabrics I was able to group together to compliment one another, I have some with handles just for your hands to hold, some with arm handles, some with shoulder straps, and some with a shoulder strap and a shorter handle. Most have several textures, which could include linen, satin, silk, upholstery weaves, tapestry, embroidered pieces, trapunto textured pieces, and soooooo many more! The pictures above don't show the texture well, but you can see that the size varies, also, and these are examples of bags in a medium size range. There are soft tans and blues, browns, yellows, reds, greens, some more summery looking, some wintery looking, ones that look tropical, ones that look sweet, ones that look bold. Something for everyone.

Every bag is lined, has a boxed bottom, and has straps which are reinforced for strength and durability. Some have pockets and more than three fabrics pieced together - these are the $15 bags. The simpler ones are $12 bags. Postage, if you would like one, is $3.

Just drop me a note by commenting on this post or contacting me via email or Facebook. Let me know what colors you are interested and how to get in touch with you. Whatever I don't sell will be gifts for many of you! :)

Garage Sale Score!


I got my camera back! While riding to and from cat-sitting this morning, I hit several garage sales, and really struck gold on two of them. Of course, I couldn't take my finds home on the bike, so I paid for them and drove back to pick them up. I got stuffed animals for my dogs to play with, a step-by-steph BH&G cookbook for my daughter going off to college, a gorgeous square table topper with coordinating napkins that match my new shabby chic dining room perfectly, yards of tulle both plain and flocked, a large old book of music, an old Aggravation game for my classroom, a weathered old post bird feeder (ear of corn type), a wire basket, and the best - an old leather briefcase and rusty antique typewriter in its case! What an awesome morning of sun and fun!

Another quote - I love this one (although it is arguable) - How do you know what you're going to do until you do it? The answer is, you don't. It's a stupid question. J.D. Salinger

Saturday, July 4, 2009

today's quote


"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and depreciate agitation....want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters....Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." Frederick Douglass

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Strength


"Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go." Hermann Hesse, writer.

I have a lot to let go of - I hope I am strong enough.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Thoughts

While in Gainesville to be inundated with information regarding the University of Florida, I came across this book....."Don't Forget to Sing in the Lifeboats." , by Kathryn and Ross Petras. Here is one that makes me chuckle, but makes me think....
If at first you don't succeed, try, try, again. Then quit. There's no use being a damn fool about it. W.C. Fields.