August 25, 2013


This weekend was a "puttering" weekend.  It started out with The Hubs and I heading to Lowes Home Improvement and buying paint and other sundries needed to finish renovating the guest room ... the room that used to be The Boy's.

Before we starting painting, though,  a few other things grabbed our attention... the light fixture HAD to come down, and then the holes patched. The carpeting - nasty and gross - HAD to come up, along with the carpet padding.  Then... the tile... the crappy, barn-red tile that apparently is under every carpeted space in this house including our uncarpeted, basement floor.  As The Hubs was taking up the carpet tacks, this tile started to splinter and pop up.  So... it, too, HAD to come out.  Needless to say, painting has yet to occur.  But it feels good to be ready to go...NOW.

After a day of home improvement puttering, and freezing my own corn...

I took today to putter around in my craft area.   I so easily get frozen with "can't do it well" so I don't do it at all.  Today I decided to just putter.  Putter, putter, putter.

To warm up, I did a little decoupage with a paper napkin on a wooden "table tidy" holder.  I love using napkins!

That took a lot less time than I had figured, so I pulled out some stamps that I'd bought a few weeks back and decided to play with my relatively newly purchased Spectrum Noir pens.

I really, really, REALLY need more lessons and practice/work on blending and shading.  I sucketh.  But... it just takes time, right? And active time, not just sitting around waiting to get better while twiddling my thumbs time.  :)

After all of this coloring, I was a little tired.  So I just made one of them into a card and called it a night.

Nothing fancy, nothing super productive.  But time creating.  That's what I need to do more of, right?

Now I've gotten myself into a writing challenge, so I must go and spend some time brainstorming on two short stories.  If I think they're any good, maybe I'll share them here.  :)

Did you have a good weekend?  Any creative time for you?

August 22, 2013


25 years ago, TODAY, I was awoken by a phone call, on my first day of college, to my brother-in-law letting me know that my niece and Goddaughter had been born.

21 years ago, I was headed back to college for my final semester, having taken a semester as a leave of absence, causing me to be "behind" in graduation.  That final semester was filled with some of my favorite times.

19 years ago, I was auditioning for one of the last plays I ever had a part in: Squabbles.  It was a fantastic dinner theater piece and I loved every stinking minute of the production.  I still have the script, see?

My character becomes pregnant in the course of the play.  And goes into labor.  And has the baby. Something I have never experienced.  But acting it was fantastic.  :)  As soon as that play wrapped, I moved out of my home state of New York to Ohio.

16 years ago, I had just started dating the man who would become my husband.

13 years ago, I was a new wife and a new homeowner.

3 years ago, I was entering my 40th year and looking for a new lease on life.

1 year ago, The Hubs and I were preparing to be empty nesters.

7 months ago, I quit going to my personal trainer and my anxiety decreased dramatically.  Perhaps the two were connected.

3 months ago, I was spending a lovely weekend in my hometown with family.  I love a nice road trip.

1 month ago, I was loving several days in a row of "me" time, alone in the house with just a bunch of art supplies and my pets.

1 week ago, I was preparing for my iced tea in the park event.

1 day ago, I had a black cloud hanging over my head.

1 hour ago, I started writing this blog post.  I've obviously been interrupted several times, because this certainly is no great piece of literature.

Interesting how time passes, no?  Tell me about some of your "agos".  :)

August 20, 2013


Gimme some spray inks and a stencil or three, some markers to doodle and I am a happy girl!

Believe it or not, this is my Very First "play" in my butterfly journal that I made at the beginning of this year.  I had to "break the seal" of "messing it up" and I think I did myself good in the process. 

I need more hours in the day.  Just for play. 

Fall is right around the corner.  My favorite season.  It is a time when I feel at my "best".  Fall  looks good on me too.  :)  I love creating in the fall.  I feel such peace and inspiration at this time of year.

Sadly, it also is a time that seems to fly by in the blink of an eye.  Every year I tell myself I'm going to savor it; I'm not going to miss it.  And every year, it seems that it just winks past me.

Today I sat down with a calendar for the next four months (yes, I know that goes into winter).  I have decided I'm going to schedule in some time to savor it.  I need to.   The last third of this year is going to be enjoyed, dammit, if I have to find a spell to stop time to do it!  :)

Anyone have a time-stopping magic wand out there for sale?  Anyone?  Anyone? 

August 18, 2013

A Beautiful Day

Yesterday was a beautiful day for an iced tea party in the park with friends:

August 15, 2013

Pushing Through the "Meh"...


A "newer" word meaning to feel bleah, apathetic, unexcited, bored and "over it".  Meh is how I have felt the past few days, hence, no blogging from me.  Tonight I was ready to let the meh continue and move past the computer and straight into bed.  But then, inspired by a previous blog post by Effy Wild, I decided that the meh can't win tonight.

So... a little post to share with you those people around me who inspire me artistically, to help get my creative juices flowing again and push me past the meh, both in my blog world and my artsy world.

Kicking it all off for me, honest and truly, was Soul Restoration with Melody Ross and The Brave Girls Club.  I still want... no NEED... to go back to this course and revisit it.  I signed on for Soul Restoration 2 and never did complete it.  Yes, this was a big one to kick me in the pants and start peeling away the ties that bound me into do-nothing, both creatively and in life.

Shout out to Kirsty Wiseman.  She was the first person, two years ago, to successfully get me to "art" in the Me and My MoleskinE class.

I played more in that class and drew my first face with her lessons and support.  AND, I actually 99% finished that class - a very, very rare occurrence, so you know that means something!

I shared some of my completed pages here.

I then proceeded to sign up for a fantastic photography class by Kirsty, and I am so very sad to say, I never completed it.  Thankfully, I know I can go back and read the PDFs still.  You know, when I get a Round Tuit.

So, next up on my inspiration list is Cheri... you may know and love her from blogging world, at least many of you who have read my blog for so long... you know her.  She inspires me every time we interact!  And I love what she had done with her creativity, She Art canvases and especially with watching her photography skills develop!

From a recent post of Cheri's - her photos and layout!  Click her name above to visit her blog.

 I am so thankful Cheri and I are friends.

Miss Effy Wild is up next.  She was the first person I really explored art journaling through. And I must admit, I've "failed" miserably.   Not that I'm not being artsy and enjoying it, but I have been stuck in cement with trying new things up until recently.  Not a fault of Effy's at all!  Through her Book of Days course, I really did start to realize that my likes and desires for art and crafting were really far beyond (but include) simply scrapbooking and making cards.  I ashamedly admit, I never honest and truly started or completed a single layout in Book of Days.  But, what I have learned and truly LOVE, is how to hand bind canvas covered journals.  You can see my most recent ones in a blog post here.  But it was Miss Effy's book binding class that really lit that fire under me.  Thank you EFFY!  I must also say, she is the reason I am blogging again, having started her own blog-along challenge.  Thank you for that too, Effy, because I have really, really missed it.

Last, but not least... actually, only "last" because she is most recently in my world view.  Tamara Laporte and her Life Book 2013 course.  Wow.  I won a spot in this, as you may have read in an earlier post.  I cannot even begin to explain how awesome it is and how much I am enjoying it EVEN THOUGH, I'm super-dee-duper behind.  There is no behind, though... just loads of things to do and I'm not in the same week of the year as the present.  So, I guess you could say I'm time traveling through Life Book 2013.  What I have loved about this course most is that I am finding the techniques I really love, new ones I haven't tried and old ones I'm practicing at... but moreso, I'm figuring out that it's okay to not like a certain style or technique and let it go without perfecting it.  Thank you Effy (again) for the giveaway that won me this class... and thank you Tam for all the fantastic time and effort and beauty and creativity you put into this course.  It's fantastic!

You know what?  I feel better.  More inspired.  Ready for the weekend and ready to carve out some time to be creative and PLAY!   Thanks for letting me share what's inspiring me.

I really think I love pushing through the meh!

Help me keep going!  What or who is inspiring you lately??

August 12, 2013

Hold on Loosely.

Today, I received a Facebook message from someone who I admire, unrelated to any artsy type of community.  I had asked her a question and part of her answer was “hold on loosely”.  Ever since reading that, it has struck a chord in me that keeps reverberating through my head.

Hold on loosely.

It echoed around until I started doodling on paper while at work, in hopes to set the thought free (like singing a song that is on endless repeat inside your head).   

My whole life I have never succeeded at that… “hold on loosely”.  I hold on tightly.  Too tightly. 

Check out this photo… 

The tip of my index finger is white from the pressure I place on whatever tool I am using, when I write or draw or anything (cut, paint, stencil…).   

I have this vivid memory of writing in grade school, and the teacher walking behind us (the students) as we practiced our letters.   I remember him pausing behind me, when he suddenly reached over my shoulder and attempted to grab my pencil.  He failed to pull it from my hand because I was gripping it so tightly.  He told me to loosen my grasp and to let it flow.  “Hold on loosely.”  I have, to date, never perfected that grip.  To date, I have a constantly sore index finger, which is why I prefer to type over writing any day.

It isn't just physical objects.  I hold on too tightly to my emotions.  I hold on too tightly to the people that surround me.  I have a hard time letting go...a nearly impossible time, actually, of letting things just “go”.  After reading the statement today in my Facebook message, I then spoke at length with someone – again, unrelated to the person on Facebook – who brought this up as well.  She said, “You need to learn to let [it, that, fill-in-the-blank] go.”

There it was again, in different words perhaps, but there it was.  "Hold on loosely”… reverberating through my head again.

I have realized that this is different.  It isn’t about setting something or someone free.  That whole:

"If you love something/someone, set it free.  If it comes back to you, it’s yours.  If it doesn’t, it never was.”  

That isn't what I’m focusing on here.  

Hold on loosely.  If it doesn’t get pulled away, then it was meant to be.  At least for now, in the moment.   If it is pulled away, then it wasn’t meant to be.  If it isn't meant to be and you are holding on too tightly, you could get hurt in the process, in the losing of the "it"; torn up by the brutal, forced separation.  Like my index finger holding onto my pencil too, too tightly, until it aches and becomes stiff, and if that teacher were behind me to yank it from my hand, I know that it would still hurt.  

So I can hold on to what I value, but I need to hold on loosely; learn to value it while it is with me, whatever “it” is and learn that by holding on too tightly, I will be hurt by my attempts to keep “it” when the time has come for it to go.  

I need to learn how to hold on loosely.  I think I will find serenity in that.

August 10, 2013


Today was a home improvement day.  Lots of projects started at our house, but none too many finished.  Then, on top of it all, our garbage disposal quit on us last weekend.  So... today was a "get up, get out, get it bought, get home, get it done" day.

Just a boring ol' day in the life of a homeowner.  At least I got a new, working garbage disposal out of it.  That's fun.

Except this mess is not boring, nor is it fun...

That is the bedroom we are renovating after The Hubs took a sander to it and sanded the walls down.


Tomorrow he is tackling the bathroom, which also needs to be sanded.  I'm sure it will be a lovely mess as well.

But I'm not dwelling.  Because... then we can PAINT!

And then we can move the spare bedroom stuff into the renovated bedroom (after we get the flooring in, of course, but I'm jumping ahead because I'm excited)...  and THEN we get to renovate the OTHER bedroom... AND THEN it becomes my new scrappin'/art space!  I'm so, super, duper excited about this!

I have a great space now, as you may have read about previously, when we moved me downstairs, a few years ago, into The Hubs' "man cave".  Also, I mentioned my space when we added my new slat wall.  It's a good space.  A great space!

But you know what?  It's always dark down there... and often sounds like Football... and that's really stoppering up my creative Chi.  I will have less room upstairs, but... I think things will flow so much better with windows and light and No Football!   So I'm SO EXCITED to be moving upstairs.


But first we have to clean up this mess.

Anyone want to come help?

August 8, 2013

Just Play.

Bad lighting. This is really on Kraft paper.

I came home from work today and busted through the "have to get done" list in an hour.  I was so surprised, but of course since I am fueled by unresolved "stormy", I guess I shouldn't be that surprised.  I started to go into my room to do some job #3 work and decided to take a break and play a little.

Nothing fancy, just some mini thank you cards for my tea customers, but it was relaxing to cut and glue and stamp and ink... and just play.

I need to remember this feeling. And then do that more often.

Just play.


August 6, 2013

Feeling Stormy...

© Dave Winfield | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Today I am filled with disappointment.  Disappointment in the life I am living, the choices I have made and now live with the repercussions and mostly, vast disappointment in so many of those I have let in and held close to my heart.  I am disappointed in the choices those people have made and sad that the future, which is now, did not turn out to be what I had hoped.  I am filled with shadows and it is hard to climb over them, or move around them or push through them to see anything that is shiny and wonderful.  I am disappointed in myself for not Seeing the reality, having instead chosen to follow my heart.  Following your heart is supposed to be a good  thing.  But my heart has been left battered and bruised.  It is hard to know, now, when to follow my heart or when to capitulate to my logical brain, my embittered conscience that now guides me with doubt and sarcasm.

I am entering my middle life and hate looking back with wiser vision and seeing where I could have possibly changed my life had I only made a different choice.  I realize that I would probably still make the same choices, and then where does that leave me?  Right back here in the shadows.

Don’t get me wrong.  I am not ungrateful for all of the good I have in my life.  My life is not horrible by any means.  I had just hoped for more ... or better... or just different... than where I am at now.  Because of that disappointment, I have a hard time moving forward, because by moving forward, I need to accept all that has been.  Accepting that is so very hard when I am so filled with unhappiness regarding how things have turned out.

I know that tomorrow will be a new day.  A fresh start.  I know that I will continue to move forward and fight the disappointment again.  Today it was just overwhelming.   But some very wise people have assured me that it's okay to feel stormy now and then.  

Thank you for the butterflies.

August 4, 2013

Charleston Tea Plantation

Just a glimpse at my day today.  This is our tour of the Charleston Tea Plantation. I am so, so exhausted, that I am not going to go into details, but for now... here's a peek at how tea is grown at the only tea plantation in the United States of America.  :)

More later...

August 3, 2013

Eleven Hours

After eleven hours driving in the car yesterday... alone, I would like to add... I finally made it to South Carolina.  While the trip was mostly uneventful, there were a few miles (many, many miles at one point) where the traffic was down to a crawl.  Thank goodness for satellite radio!

Have I ever told you I melt?  "South" is not my happy place.  In fact, when I moved "south" to Ohio from NY State, it took me two years to adjust to the warmer climate. 

I'm not joking.

So... here I am in the true south.  I think.  South Carolina has south in it's name so I think I can accurately call this the "south".   Of course, that doesn't quite work the same with South Dakota, but let's not go there.

Let me tell you, I am melting.  Even though I'm a good witch, I'm melting... melllltttinnnggg.  If I'm not sitting still next to the air conditioner, it is so humid that just walking makes me saturated with sweat.  But, thank goodness for A/C when I'm near it or I truly would be just a puddle.

But I digress.  Want to see what I see?

This is my view from my room:

Not that I will be in it very much.  No, instead, I will be spending some quality time with some of my co-workers at Tealightful, learning some new things, tasting some new product, and having an otherwise jolly good time.  I will be sure to share more with you after our tour on Sunday!  :)

August 2, 2013

Things You See by the Roadside...

So, I meant to share this much earlier this year, but... life happens.  There is a billboard that is north of where I live.  I have passed by it several times and it always catches me off guard and then gives me a giggle.  This year, we passed by it before we realized it, on our way to a scrapbooking convention.  

No worries, though!  I pulled a U-Turn, headed back... pulled another U-Turn and here we were able to get the picture.

I don't know why I find this humorous, but it makes me smile every. damn. time.

August 1, 2013

Art Exploration…

Toward the end of last year I was very excited to discover that I had won a spot (thanks to Effy Wild’s giveaway and Tam LaPorte’s generosity in donating a spot) in Tam’s LifeBook 2013.  While I was excited, I must admit more than a little apprehension.  Looking through the course description, I was afraid the gift would be wasted on me, because I considered myself to be oh-so talentless in the realm of Art.  I mean, really… the last time I remembered picking up a paint brush was in grade-school art class (which, by the way, was one of my favorite classes evah)!  I’m a crafter.  I’m a cut-n-paster.  Art?  That’s downright scary.

With trepidation, I did promise myself to open my heart and mind and just TRY and PLAY.  I promised myself to embrace IMPERFECTION (with Cheri’s voice echoing in my head).  I promised myself that I would not compare or judge.  To that latter statement, I do admit I rarely go look at what other class participants are doing for fear that I will do exactly that, so a piece of me feels guilt for not participating more fully in the class with regard to socialization.  But yet another piece of me is so super-duper proud for achieving the no-judgment/no-comparison goal so much of the time that it outweighs the twinges of guilt about being antisocial.
However… as is always my way with classes, and as I know some of you can jump on my bandwagon… life has gotten the best of me and I have not been “keeping up” with the class offerings.  In acknowledgement of my own time-management imperfection, I’m “okay” with being so far “behind”, though.  And why am I okay with it?  Because the few classes I have completed have blown my mind!  I CAN do “Art” with a capital “A”.  It’s not all just cut-n-paste.  I have picked up paint brushes and watercolors and markers and stamps and ink and masks and templates and … wow… a graphite pencil and used them to draw and color and … ART.  I did not realize how good it feels to learn from these fantastic instructors and learn things that I LOVE to do and things that are … eh… not my “thang”.  My only longing wish is to have more time… to make more time… to do more of the lessons and keep growing my own niche of Art. 
It seems that every lesson I do becomes my “favorite”.  This is the last lesson I completed and she’s absolutely my Favorite of all favorites.  I drew... yes, drew her from ‘bones’ up and while I know the wolf howling in the background is a little hard to distinguish, I’m fantastically proud and happy and excited with her... and moreso, inspired by her.

I just wanted to share a little bit my art exploration this year.  What I love most about it, is that by exploring art, it is helping me explore myself.  

I hope you are exploring new things too!


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