Wednesday, December 27, 2006


Here and gone, the time together disappearing so fast, but by far an enriching and rewarding time together with my two sons.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The house is decorated, the smell of cookies baking wafting through the house, the kids arriving tonight and in the morning, and then the family descending later in the afternoon for our family holiday gathering (19 of us this year), the cards have been arriving in the mail, and as well as some wonderful surprises from some special friends. Here are two birdhouse ornaments made by Carla that I hung immediately on my tree, love them!! And today I got a package in the mail from Denise filled with birthday/christmas magic (even her handwriting is lovely)! I am in awe of all her generosity, very special. Lots of delightful things I will treasure from two dear friends - thank you girls, from the bottom of my humble heart - love you both - xoxo

Monday, December 18, 2006

Friday, December 15, 2006

where is the time going?!

Still so much I want to do and need get done for the holidays, packages to mail, gifts to buy, food to make. Argh!!!!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

love the impromptu!

I bought this jar intending to put all my white/off white buttons in it - well, this is as far as I got in the sorting! One day my work table was strewn with holiday items and I stuck the bottle brush trees inside, then rummaged through my xmas postcards and stuck on in as well. Liked the look so took it upstairs to enjoy through the holidays.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


I've been tagged by Carla, to list 6 weird things about myself:

1) I always eat the same thing every morning for breakfast, a bowl of cheerios with vanilla soy milk.
2) there are days I shower and put pj's back on if I'm not going out (guess I just love the comfort of pajamas).
3) I vacuum every day but cringe each time I empty it, can't stand seeing the dirt or the thought of it touching me.
4) I love christmas music and play it nearly constantly from thanksgiving to new year's.
5) I don't like the telephone much but have both a land line and cell phone.
6) I am a klutz, usually have all kinds of little bruises on me and most times don't even know where they came from.

Monday, December 04, 2006

it's a wonder land!

Has been snowing all afternoon, those large fluffy and puffy flakes that make everything so pretty. I haven't really driven in it for a couple years and decided to brave it today. My car isn't really the best for this situation but I did ok - whew, I was nervous to give it a go. This dog of mine just loves snow - tries to catch the flakes on his tongue, such a kid!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

it's beginning to look alot like christmas...

This is an old window frame made over with a couple brackets and a shelf. I'd bought it years ago now ~ in another life time, literally ~ and is the first I've hung it as my house was for sale when I acquired it, and there never really was a place for it in the subsequent one I bought in NC. But the other day I dug it out of the basement as I was inspired to hang it over my red couch - because I'm in holiday decorating mode! For most of the weekend I've been having fun, played christmas carols, there was snow softly falling outside, a frenzy of activity as boxes were opened and favorite & beloved things discovered all over again. Last year I was up here looking to buy a house (this house!) and then had to bypass any holiday decorating as I needed to then get ready to sell one, so it's been awhile since I've seen these things - family mementos, old things that have been passed down, traditions upheld and new ones formed; a comforting time of year.

Friday, December 01, 2006


The snow has subsided for the time being, may not have any more until sometime tomorrow (and the next day, and the next, and the next...). The storm wasn't nearly what they predicted in terms of inches of snow, but I went out and shoveled it and let me tell you, it is heavy from all the sleet and freezing rain underneath. Earned myself a cup of tea and a cookie for that job! Ernie has been out reveling (sp?) in the whole experience, I no sooner get him in and he wants to go back out - well, glad one of us is glad to be enamoured!

I have the most talented and thoughtful friends! The print pictured, titled "Peace Within" was created by Marie Otero, and she has just opened an ETSY shop where she has more for sale - check this out at (excuse the photography, that part is me)! And speaking of photography, the Journey to Creativity book and cards were put together by Cathy Anderson, a very talented photographer. You can find the book for sale on her website, These were my great gal pals from Charlotte, and although we all three are in different parts of the country now, continue to encourage and inspire one another. Thanks for thinking of me today girls, wish I could give you each a hug!


Well, today's the day I turn, gulp, {49}; this obviously a vintage photo! I now have this cake plate, it is tourquoise - very retro cool right now. Guess that's how I will think of myself on this, the last year of my 40's - retro (as opposed to just plain old)!
We are beginning (I can hear on the windows) to get the first sleet/ice/snow storm of the season which will most likely curtail any celebrating I do - we're predicted to get anywhere from 6 to 12 inches of snow with ice underneath - just a mess and not a time to be out and about. Flights are already cancelled into and out of Chicago so I'll be spending it by myself as even driving across town for the breakfast with my family that was planned just isn't going to happen. I have had a serious headache all week which just laid me out flat so will concentrate on getting the house decorated for the holidays as all my good intentions to do it earlier in the week were derailed, will play christmas carols, and most likely romp in the snow with my shovel. Yee-ha.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

i'm in love

with these slippers! And couldn't resist so bought them for myself for my b-day. There are over 100 designs on this website:, all so fabulous they just take my breath away.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Stranger Than Fiction

I just love this movie! Fun, wonderful cast, great music - all the goods.


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

I just love these letter ornaments from Restoration Hardware! They come packaged in these wonderful envelopes (something else to use for an art project), come in either silver or gold, and at $5 apiece quite the bargain as they are a "twofer" (letter + envie)! Last year my sister and I bought J O Y and adhered them with scrapbook pop dots to a mirror over her mantel, it looked very cool. I've bought the letters M E R R Y, and although not sure yet what exactly I am going to do with them, am thinking of framing them to use in the holiday decorating I plan on starting this weekend.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

for a swap

My charm for the Art Erratica Winter Solstice Danglie Swap

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Two of my best friends are turning 50, Chris on Nov 9th and Annette on Dec 9th! We'll celebrate with a dinner at a yet to be determined date. I made these tins for them this weekend which I am going to fill with clinique beauty products.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

life-long friendships

Lunch today catching up with two girlfriends I've known forever - one since the 2nd grade, the other since 7th. We went all the way through high school together in the 70's; let's just say, if during that time period I was doing something where I could get into trouble, was dangerous, illegal, wacky or just plain fun - these two were probably near by - very near by. The other two, one a teacher in Grand Haven (and probably close to if not the most grounded girl in our class) and the other, a very succesful architect in Louisiana, weren't there but I include them at this juncture in the discourse as they are just guilty by past association - and always will be! Notice no names have been exchanged here, and this picture is NOT us (to say the least) - in fact very far from to protect our status in the communities where we reside. There are good reasons for being back "home" and today was one of them!!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Although we've had quite a bit of cold, a few days of snow and flurries, we are now having a bit of a warm spell. Today I noticed my shrub roses are actually budding and blooming right now. Unexpected, and so beautiful!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

new reading material

This is the first I've seen Mary Janes Farm magazine (bought the book last year and love it - although I am probably the farthest from a "farm chick" as can be). This issue is called "Artists in Aprons" and is chock full of beautiful aprons and patterns. It is also the Special Stitchery Issue and features many artists and their art. It's pricey, $7.99, but I was very enamoured with it - so bought it. You can receive a subscription if you order some of her products - And, I was excited to see Nick Bantock has written a novel, just published, titled Windflower. I am looking very forward to digging into this, it looks fascinating (as soon as I finish my current book, Myla Goldberg's Wickett's Remedy).

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Sunday, October 29, 2006

a little book

This is a little 7 gypsies coin envelope book I arted up yesterday. A little scrapbookie, but I absolutely fell in love with the Bohemia papers and rub-ons I'd found a couple weeks ago. I mixed quite a few of the lines together (as they were all so delicious I had to buy a large lot) and ~ voila ~ this is the result. I think it's quite precious, myself!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

saturday, part 3!

It is very, very windy today, we are losing the majority of our leaves. Ernie is having the time of his life chasing them! It is cold out there, but can there be anything more heartwarming than watching a puppy play?!!

and another thing...

What is blog etiquette as far as blog links go - I finally made a list of some of the blogs I read daily and put on this blog of mine (if ever there was a procrastinator or inept computer user, I am it and would take the prize. Guess I'd like there to be a prize - I never win anything!). It got me wondering, should I only put down those of people I know (which I did, albeit a couple mere acquaintances), or is it ok to link those that I also just absolutely love reading and visualizing due to talents I admire but who would have no clue who the heck I am (as I have become nearly hermit-like, in which case, who will know as I am sure my readership is infinitesimal??). And if I do, should I email them and tell them I am linking?? (Secret - I have 244 on a list I look at [just counted] - not of course daily, but obviously I am addicted. As addicted as I am to magazines and books it has become apparent). And need I say - I most probably need to get a life?!!!

is this a terrible admission?

I don't want to do halloween. My house is decorated, I love halloween decorating. But I don't feel like going and buying tons of candy, candy I am not even sure will get given out to trick or treaters as I have no clue how many kids would actually come down this street - we have no kids up here excepting one house, and another with a newborn. Because if I do then I will, 1) have wasted all that money on stuff that, 2) I will eat which will, 3) make me fat thus, 4) feel bad for having eaten. But I know I will because I love candy! I am thinking instead of going to Barnes and Noble, doing a bit of perusing and then sitting and having coffee from 6-9pm on tuesday. But, I, for some odd reason do feel guilty, I know how excited my kids always were to do halloween, how excited I was at a young age for that matter, and we were the recipients for many, many years of that kindness and fun, albeit in a different place, state - so it's not as I have particular people to repay the gratitude.

Why do I make things difficult, debating moral decisions with myself (is this exactly an important moral decison - I think in the scheme of things in the state my life and the world in general NOT). So guess I will go to the bookstore.

Friday, October 27, 2006

{time flies}

time flies - whether you're having fun - or not. This was a blah kind of week, and this is how I felt - kind of flat, smooshed. Headachey, cold. Did get out today with dad and the seesters for breakfast, then the girls went to the mall for a bit. They had me buy cuticle conditioner. And Peggy was on a mission to find a ginger-scented candle. I came home and made gingersnaps. Looking forward to a yoga class I am starting in two weeks - bacon and cookies all in one day, yikes.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

autumnal splendor

The colors are beginning to peak, I grabbed my camera when I went out to the mailbox this afternoon. So gorgeous.

Monday, October 16, 2006


Last night's sunset on Lake Michigan, they're getting earlier and earlier each day.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

a taste of what's to come

This is what I woke to this morning, gone are the 70 degree temperatures of the past weekend, nanook of the north swept in during the night apparently. When I looked out to see if Ernie was ready to come in I felt he had the same look on his face I did, that "what the...?!" Ahh well, this is reality but it too shall pass - in about 7 months!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Just spent an extra long, extraordinarily gorgeous weekend doing a color tour in the upper penninsula of Michigan. Full moon and gorgeous sunsets reflecting onto Lake Michigan, rock hunting on Lake Superior, the falls at Tahquamenon beautiful as always, the trees in peak color, the weather absolutely all you could ask for in October. And even took the Lake Huron drive home for more spectacular views. So fun, so relaxing, so perfect. Now if blogger would only let me load some photos (@$*&#@!!^**!@~) ADDENDUM - photo added later today, this is a pic of the sunset last friday night near St. Ignace.

Monday, October 02, 2006

There are some words you just don't hear much anymore - like hunker. Any old way, it sounds as if the next few days will be a hunkering down kind of time, a time to stay inside, feather the nest and pull out the throws, keep the coffee pot full, and the pjs on! I woke up this morning at 6:30 to the sounds of heavy rain and thunder, and it is still doing so. I actually kind of like it - but give me a couple more days and I'm sure I'll be changing that tune.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Where in the world has September gone?! Hard to believe this is the last day of the month. But - I just love halloween, such a fun, silly time of year. This is the banner I've just made and hung over my kitchen window - easy peasy, just some cardstock, book pages, ribbon, buttons and pom poms! Now to go into the basement storeroom and try to find my box of fall/halloween decorations and decorate the house up while I watch some football. Love fall saturdays!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

This is wonderful, one of those rare books that transports you from the first sentence into its world and upon reaching the end and looking up, find yourself surprised and a little disoriented to be back in your own. I all but read it in one sitting, could not put it down. Just the type thing for a rainy day.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

it's beginning to look alot like autumn!

There are days I wonder why I didn't buy a condo! I just finished power washing the house, whew. Took about four hours, a big job, which included moving all the furniture off the front porch (and putting it back), taking down all the screens, moving things around on the deck and back patio, etc. The worst part of it all though is hauling all the cords and hoses around with the dang thing - but the house was filthy from the build and dirt and mud of the landscaping, and it is a good thing to have done. And one I felt I had no choice but to tackle today as it most likely will be our last warm one for quite some time (although am crossing my fingers we have some semblance of indian summer yet) because the temps for the coming week are to be in the 50's, quite crisp! I do hope to get my doors painted this week, something I have been waiting to do until I came into possession of the power washer. Luke brought it with him last week from his dad's as he was swinging back around and heading back to Seattle after having enjoyed a two-week vacation. But it started raining the day after he left and although we've had a couple nice days now this my first chance to get at it.

Anyway, I'm filthy and a bit damp and in need of a shower but wanted to drink a diet coke and catch my breath a minute so sat down for the first time today to see what is happening in the cyber-world. Might then bake an apple pie with some apples I picked up at the farmer's market on friday. Also picked up this stack of squash which I just put on the now sparkling clean porch - aren't they cute?

Thursday, September 14, 2006

This Thomas Merton quote seems appropriate as I work at taking charge of my anxiety - "You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope."

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

totally - cute overload!

Some days you just need to smile, ya know?! This website ( never fails to warm my heart, and it definitely drew a laugh today. Given it has been dark and dreary for days now I have had a hard time staying out of the kitchen so as to avoid moments like this for myself, lol!

Sunday, September 10, 2006


I am starting to see and feel fall in the air, the slight hint that change is occurring. There are a few colored leaves which have fallen, although what are on the trees still green but for a jewel or two. It's been dark and rainy since friday evening when thunderstorms rolled through, and with the dampness I can smell a few fires as neighbors try to take off the chill and get cozy. I spent the whole of yesterday snuggled in blankets with Ernie and piles of books around me, and admit to more than one snooze. What I look forward to after these days of rain are the glorious bright sunny days of autumn, filled with brilliant colors, pumpkins and gourds, and the house filled with the aroma of baking apple pies. It is such sensory overload, this time of year!

Sunday, September 03, 2006


I bought this beautiful old book at an wonderful antique market last weekend, one of those last minute stops as I was heading home at the one booth I'd passed by on the way in and again when I'd put some of my purchases into the car and not stopped at. Decided at the last minute though to do a quick perusal and was glad I did. I was thrilled to get it for $15, it is filled with 500 pages of the very best collage material. However, my dilemma - it is big, in fact this scan took up the whole bed of my scanner, and it is heavy, probably weighing a good five pounds or so both of which will make trying to scan individual pages quite difficult. The best thing to do would be to disassemble the entire book - yet I am so reluctant to do so as it is such a great old tome. It's not in good shape but has obviously been well-used and referred to much over the years. Can you tell I am quite the book lover and find them all quite sacred?! The thing is if I don't take it apart I most likely will not use it for the purpose I initially intended, and the whole point of buying it was because I had so many thoughts run immediately through my head as to the great things I could do with it art-wise. But it's 123 years old! Do I keep it and love it as is, or bite the bullet and get out the x-acto?!

Saturday, September 02, 2006


This is my new favorite place in my backyard! Have always wanted a porch swing and I love it as much as I thought I would! I ended up purchasing this on the internet after searching for a nice one around here for awhile, it was a good price and they offered free shipping - gotta love that! Ironically I found when it arrived it was manufactured in the town in Ohio we'd lived in and raised the boys, and Joe had actually worked there a month or so (before he decided production work was not his deal) - small world! The next two pics are the before and after of my view from the swing. My neighbors have turned out to be overly friendly, and as he is newly retired seems to always come out there and wanting to chat the minute I sit down. Sometimes a girl just wants some peace and quiet, some privacy, ya know?! He'd actually driven my landscaper nuts and so I'd been told when he was finishing up the project he could come back and add trees at any time if I wanted. Well, I decided I wanted, and two eight-foot white pines were planted! I am happier and they like the trees too. I do imagine after living in their home for eight years and an empty wooded lot they'd looked on suddenly having been cleared and a home sprouting directly behind them that it came as a bit of a letdown to them anyway to lose what they'd had. Hopefully.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

positive thinking

My sister, Cathy, starts back to school next week, her second year at GVSU; she hopes to become a radiation therapist. This term she has to take a cadaver lab, needless to say, she is a bit (?!*@!!) freaked. We are planning to go out for hamburgers before tuesday as she thinks this may be the last time in her life she will want to eat meat. I give her all the credit in the world for going back to college in her 40's, I know it has been stressful. I'm going to further toot her horn and reveal she passed her anatomy exam in June with the highest mark in her class, and this a pre-med course that is failed often the first time around, and to do so when it is taken as at an accelerated pace during a summer session - wowza!! As I've watched and listened to her over the last year I have pretty much come to the conclusion I don't believe I'd be able to do it, some of the old brain cells have just evaporated by this time in my life. I made her a little something this afternoon to hang in her car to remind her that, yes, she can do this! The power of positive thinking!

Friday, August 25, 2006

puppy love

While driving past our veterinarian/boarding kennel I noticed their sign today read, "whoever said money can't buy love forgot about puppies". Made me grin, how very true! And speaking of dogs, Letterman last night and the 80-something year old woman who made wigs for dogs?!! Too, too funny.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

new book

Hey art friends, found a new work of fiction today at B&N on the 'new releases' table that looks to be alot of fun, right up our alley. It is titled, Journal, and written by Kristine & Joyce Atkinson, sisters from Texas. Here is the blurb on the back cover: "In Journal, Kristine Atkinson and Joyce Atkinson conjure the voyeuristic appeal of finding a stranger's diary, then becoming transfixed by the secrets contained within. These pages belong to artist, wife, and mother Amy Zoe Mason, whose riveting storytelling relies equally on visual and verbal clues. Using an old book as her canvas, Amy layers words, collages, newspaper clippings, and emails into a personal narrative that at first feels familiar, until a sense of alarm begins to build. Readers will find themselves scouring the pages for missing hints and important evidence, compelled to interpret the signs." The authors have done some wonderful artwork within the pages of this book, very believably an art journal, and I look forward to the intrigue of the story they've written to go along with it.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

just watching the grass grow

I talked to my son, Luke, this afternoon who is out in Washington working for the summer. After relaying all his news he asked me what's been going on. I told him the lawn had its first cut yesterday and he told me that didn't sound exciting, that I really need to get out more! Reminded him when I talked to him saturday afternoon I'd just been to the button show. That didn't give him alot of confidence I'm having a rolicking good time this summer as he replied, "exactly". Well, it sounds maybe worse than it is?!