Saturday, November 29, 2008


Just a quick post. Wanted to congratulate my good friends Diana O'Cobhthaigh and Lynne Larkin for being featured in the latest issue of ATC Quarterly. Take a bow, ladies.

Diana is a master with beautifully coordinated papers, images and embellishments. She pays exquisite attention to detail in the construction and composition of her unique ATCs. Don't miss her lovely blog, Live Your Dreams. And if you ever get a chance to trade with her, jump at it.

Lynne has a special gift for hand painted backgrounds. There is great depth to her creations. She favors Americana themes, vintage images and mixed media. Each of her cards has a story to tell. Her blog, Gypsy Art, is a must see. You will want to add her ATCs to your collection, too.

As a side note, I was pleasantly surprised to receive another blog award today. Kate Crane and Diana O'Cobhthaigh both granted me the "Kreativ Blogger" award. I am very appreciative of their acknowledgment and am so fortunate to have them as friends and art buddies.

Hope you all had a wonderful and restful Thanksgiving !!

Ciao for now.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008


"Take . . . picture . . . of . . . goat." That has been on my TO DO list for a couple of days now. Truly. Had to have a visual aid for certain of the snippets and, believe it or not, there is a little makeshift farm in our neck of the suburbs. With goats. And chickens and cows and firewood for sale. So the plan was to stop by and snap a quick pic of one of the goats when it was grazing near the fence. Never did catch one, so I had to come up with another idea. But I digress . . .

What about the bogus fact?? The red herring?? The bullcrap story, for Pete's sake??!!

Here we go:

There are indeed four siblings in my family. We were a playful lot and still act completely goofy and immature on the rare occasion when we are all four together. And I am a natural redhead, courtesy of my paternal grandfather. A couple of my cousins, and my second brother's three kids, inherited the trait as well. Gotta love genetics.

The water phobia is, alas, also true. The instructors apparently subscribed to the "sink or swim" theory. Works in boot camp, maybe, but not with scared little ones. And this was WAY before the days of swimmies. So there was no easing into it for me. I made up for lost time, though, once I did finally learn to swim. Spent many a summer at the swim club as a teenager diving for quarters and playing Marco Polo. Those were the days.

Cat allergy story . . . true. Very true. Sorry, Sam and Lynne. Thank God, I have somewhat outgrown the severity of the allergy. When younger, I would go into histimic overdrive with just a couple of whiffs. Now, I am good for a little while, as long as I don't hold them and pet them too much. Which is difficult not to do. They are so darn cute afterall.

As much as I love books, art, chocolate, I absolutely would perish without music. It is my life blood. Music moves me, inspires me, provokes me, soothes me. It is magical and I cannot imagine life without it. I would not want to be without books, art, or chocolate, but my soul would wither without music.

The Gerard Butler crush is alive and well. Very well. He even made it to one of my ATCs. Shame, shame. Although . . . I just returned from seeing "Australia", and I may give him up for Hugh Jackman. Lordy. Many quality characteristics in that man. :-)

As for the goat story . . . it really did happen. No, not at a petting zoo !!! One would think. Yes, Diana, I was a cheekie kid, but the goat encounter actually did not occur as a wee one. It was much later, as a teenager. A neighbor friend had a horse. The horse stall was on a large piece of property and other farm-ish animals roamed about. My friend wanted to clean the horse stall but the damn goat was in the way, slowly munching and grazing on the horse's hay. I, in my teenage stupidity, thought it would be a simple matter of shooing the goat out of the stall, much in the same way you shoo a dog or cat out of a room. My mistake. Goats are territorial. He did not appreciate my instrusion, so he stopped in mid-chew, lowered his head, and came after me. He ran half-heartedly . . . I hauled ass. Glad to say, I escaped unscathed. I now practice goat avoidance.

I really wanted to post a goat photo, but as I said, the goats didn't cooperate. Seems to be a recurring theme for me. So, I found a photo on Flickr that gives you the idea of what a goat encounter is like. Emily Chastain so generously gave me permission to use one of her fabulous photos. The blogger gremlins are at it because for the life of me, I cannot get the thing to upload. So take a little side trip to her photostream and have a look. What a hoot. GREAT shot.

By now, you have probably been doing process of elimination. Which leaves just one fact as the white lie. Yep, you got it . . . Number 5. Gotcha !! Never broke my pinky finger playing flag football with my brother. Don't know how, but for all our roughhousing as kids, I never broke a bone. **Knock wood.** There were a couple of times when I certainly SHOULD have fractured something. But I made it through childhood without a single visit to the emergency room. I was very, very lucky.

So, now what??!!! No one guessed!!! Ack!!!! Since you all were such good sports, I've decided to give away the goodies regardless. I used a very sophisticated system to choose a winner: I wrote each name down on a slip of paper, made two pools, shook each, then randomly drew one slip from each group. The winner from the tagged group: KATE !!!! Yay !!! And the winner from the non-tagged group: RENEE !!! Double yay !!! I'll mail the packages out this weekend.

Thank you all so much for taking the time to play along. And most of all, thanks for visiting with me. I truly appreciate it.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving, all !!!!

Ciao for now.


Friday, November 21, 2008


Ahhhhhhhh . . . you thought the award was all there was to it, did you??? Not so fast. This is the really fun part.

Dayna not only bestowed me with merit, she also paintballed me. Tagged me. So, as I understand it, I am to do the following:
1. Post the rules on your blog.
2. Write seven random things about yourself.
3. Tag seven people at the end of your post.
4. Pass on the tag to seven others.

Two things before I go any further:

1. I am a bit of a private person, so there will be no great reveals here. No rattlings in the skeleton closet. (Alas, I am dull . . . I have no skeletons.) Maybe just a couple of innocuous facts . . . and one picture for nostalgia sake. (Yep, that's me up there.)

2. I am not good at following rules. So I am going to take the liberty and add a twist to the game. And it goes like this:

In addition to the seven actual facts, there is one additional fact that is totally bogus. A red herring. Something I made up. Hence, you see eight facts listed. The first of you whom I have tagged to correctly guess, and post as a comment, which fact you identify as complete bullcrap, will win a nice little goodie package. And I give good goodie. If there are any other readers who wish to guess, too, please feel free to do so. First one of the non-tagged readers to correctly guess will get a little ephemera surprise, too. Promise. So read carefully and give it a go . . .

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Here are my personal snippets:

1. I am a natural redhead. Wanted blonde hair instead when I was a kid, but now would not change it for the world. Just hope my hair dresser can match the exact shade when it comes time to color it. :-)

2. Only girl amongst four siblings. My two older brothers are quite a bit older and watched over me as a little girl. My younger brother is only a year and a half younger and pummeled, wrestled, teased, slapped and ran me in the ground as a little girl. All in a good way. As adults, we are as close as two people can possibly be.

3. Allergic to cats. Nothing against cats personally, but my respiratory system does not share the same sentiment.

4. Terrified of the water when I was young. Blame the evil swim lesson instructors for throwing me into the deep end of the pool. I overcame my fear, however, and learned to swim, but not until I was thirteen years old. Today, I will swim and snorkel without hesitation. But I haven't mustered the huevos to try scuba diving.

5. Broke my left pinky finger playing flag football with my brother and his friends at age twelve. You do not realize how important your pinky finger is until it is splinted up and out of commission.

6. Have a huge celebrity crush on Gerard Butler. If I were to meet him in person, I could not be held responsible for my actions.

7. Once was chased by a goat. He did not appreciate my close proximity. Fortunately, it was a short chase and neither of us were harmed in the end.

8. Could not live without music. If I were stranded on an island, and were told I could only choose one thing - books, music, art, chocolate - without hesitation, I would choose music.

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In order to keep things simple, I tag the same great bunch of ladies whom I nominated for the award in my previous post:



Stacey, a.k.a. ArtSnark, isn't tagged because she got tagged last week. (Don't worry, Stacey, I'm still game.)

Will keep my eye out for any responses. Hope you have a bit of fun with it.

Ciao for now.



What a wonderful surprise this week !! Dayna Collins of Alley Art Studio was awarded the "I Heart Your Blog" award and has passed it on to me, also. Blush, blush. Dayna and I met in Ann Baldwin's class at Art & Soul in Portland, Oregon this year and have kept in touch through our blogs. She is a fantastic artist, very passionate about her work, and has recently posted some awesome photos of her trip to Italy. You absolutely must take a look on her blog. Makes me want to book a flight right now.

As a condition to accepting the award, there are a few house rules (think I can manage these):
1. The winner can put the logo on her blog (see above);
2. Link to the person who nominated you for the award (see above and again here for good measure);
3. The winner then nominates at least seven other blogs (see below);
4. Include the links of these blogs on your own blog (see below).

So . . . without further ado, here are my choices for the "I Heart Your Blog Award":

Each of these are very special to me and provide me immense joy and inspiration. Please visit if you have not already, and spread the art love.

Ciao for now.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008



Life is a stream
On which we strew
Petal by petal the flower of our heart;
The end lost in dream,
They float past our view,
We only watch their glad, early start.
Freighted with hope,
Crimsoned with joy,
We scatter the leaves of our opening rose;
Their widening scope,
Their distant employ,
We never shall know. And the stream as it flows
Sweeps them away,
Each one is gone
Ever beyond into infinite ways.
We alone stay
While years hurry on,
The flower fared forth, though its fragrance still stays.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Above is my chosen entry for the poetry swap hosted today by LK Ludwig. It is an ingenious idea: select a poem, quote, or addage, add a picture, video or image if you like, and post it as a comment on her blog. She will then create a link page with all the participants' entries, so that everyone can access the others' contributions. Here are her thoughts and instructions if you wish to take part:

"The idea: We have words that touch us, move into our hearts and resonate, creating a feeling, taking us some place- past, present, future- perhaps some place we have never been and may never go, but for whatever reasons, the words pulse in our blood. Meeting new words, new poets, new poems, new ways for my heart to beat, is an intruiging concept. Want to go on this adventure with me? It will be easy to travel along.Many of us already do this sharing; this idea is just to help us find each other and hear the words we have to share.

The Date: Wednesday, November 19.

The Plan: on your blog, post a poem that moves inside you, touches you, reaches you. (quotes and song lyrics also welcome). Include the author (or composer or musician) and source (book, album)- perhaps also the amazon link if there is one. no explanation required, no other revelation about the poem you are choosing is necessary.

One last thing- Perhaps add an image. a photo. a video. a painting. a collage., if you would.Come here to this post. a comment with your link. I'll create a typepad page with the links, so others can hear the rhythm of the words, see the image and share in the experience.

The Request: If you are intrigued enough, post on your blog about this Day of Sharing Words- encourage your friends to post. Who couldn't use a few new poems in their treasury or new songs in their hearts? How cool would it be if we coud get dozens of bloggers to share on the same day!? What an anthology that would make!!!

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Chosing a poem was the easy part. Finding a photo to complement the poem was more difficult. I am a tad deficient in the photo department, so I found something that I feel fits the latter part of the poem. Hope you enjoy.

Ciao for now.



From time to time I visit the blog of Nina Bagley. Her photos and postings are truly inspirational and provocative. She is one of the rare ones, atuned to the whispers of nature and the yearnings of the heart. Frequently she will post a poem, a photo, an essay and prompt you, in turn, to leave your thoughts, ideas, and musings. Today there is posted a beautiful photo of a winter bare tree, a naked tree, and you are asked "What is it saying to you . . . ?"

in my winter silence
wrap your sorrows in my limbs
and leave them to the winds
where they will pass into the lighted bliss
of a new morning borne of a thousand springs

Ciao for now.


Thursday, November 13, 2008


Hmmmmnnnnn . . . what might this be?? Me playing around with my camera for now. These are close ups of a project I started at Art & Soul this October in Portland, Oregon. Something I need to continue to work on. Since I'm in a bit of an art slump right now, I figured I should at least try to keep my blogger fingers limber. So bear with me folks . . . this is what I have to share for the time being. Stay tuned. But don't hold your breath. As some of you know, I am a sloooooowwww crafter.

Plug alert. Wanted to put in a good word for the folks at Dick Blick Art Materials. An order arrived today and there was a gesso messo in the box. (I hear the groans. Sorry. Couldn't resist.) The pros at DB are super careful with the packaging, too, but these things happen sometimes. Customer service made good lickety split. One call and they are replacing the damaged items without requiring me to return the spoiled merchandise. Good people, they are. So give them a try next time you need your art supply fix. Oh . . . and when I called, I even pronounced "gesso" correctly. Finally. :-)

Ciao for now.


Saturday, November 8, 2008


The acrylics were calling me. (I'm being a little dramatic.) They have been neglected as of late, taking a backseat to my other favs. Thought I'd give them a try on a 4x4 gessoboard so that I didn't have to deal with warping paper tonight. I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do, other than play with paint, so to get started I glued a few stray pieces of text to the board. Funny how unplanned acts develop into something bigger. So true to life.

Started with two safe colors: quinacridone nickel azo gold and transparent yellow iron oxide. I say safe because I am one of those cautious dabblers that uses the same colors over, and over, and over. Ann Baldwin had provided us with a lovely selection of deeper hues in our abstract collage class at Art& Soul, so out came jenkins green. I am not a green or blue user, but I figured I'd take a chance and slap a bit on somewhere for contrast (or is that complementary??). I did and I was pleased with the look. Then decided to use some leftover transparencies and attempted to transfer the image of the woman to the whole shebang. Transfers being what they are, only part of it came out. But although it looked somewhat ghostly, it wasn't a total disaster.

A title started to form in my mind, initially because of the faulty transfer. She looked like she was fading out. I applied more colors and a telltale king in the upper right corner. And so began the thought that these women, whose images frequently find their way into our work, often had very hard, demanding and grueling lives. They were singularly devoted to their families, their homes, and the relentless task of just trying to survive. Our grandmothers, greatgrandmothers, great aunts. How must they have felt? Did they, like we, feel overwhelmed and unappreciated at times? Surely they must have.

It has often occurred to me over the past several months that a majority of us feel we have been overshadowed by all that is our daily lives. Our work, pursuits, families . . . love them as we may, they exact a toll on our sense of self, our sense of individuality. We ignore it at first and stay busy with things that require our attention and energies. But then, at some point, we can no longer ignore it. We do not want to lose ourselves. And so we embark on a journey of self discovery. A journey that is colorful, enriching, and satifying . . . and somewhat expensive (Lordy, the cost of art supplies!!). We make messes, we make mistakes, we make art . . . and we make friends. And in the process, we find that thing within ourselves again that makes us feel worthwhile and gives us a simple sense of fulfillment. How wonderful that it is so.

Ciao for now.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008


feel the broken heart pull at the seams
as it expands with wisdom and learns
to love again

allow the broken heart to remind you that the comfort
you seek can only be found in the giving of
comfort to others

give the broken heart a new song and rejoice once more
that, although worn and scarred, it still beats
strong and true.