Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

This is what our mantle and Christmas tree looked like on Christmas Eve.  Yes, our house is full this Christmas.  My second oldest daughter and her babies have come to stay with us awhile, filling my floor with little feet.  I had forgotten about the sound of pitter pattering little feet........or footfalls as my children use to call them.  Today they are quietly playing with the toys they opened up last night with no arguing.  Today we will watch movies, color in color books, read stories and take naps for sure.   

I want nothing but the best for each and everyone of you that have come here today.  May the peace, comfort, joy and hope you seek be found this day.  Thank you for supporting me this year as I find a new sense of balance and peace!

Thank you Jesus for being my reason for the season and showing me that the simplest of gifts can mean the most.  You have answered an important prayer for me this Christmas and I am eternally grateful to you for loving me so much to work out every detail.  Merry Christmas everyone, may you see the miracles He has for you today!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Peace in the midst of the storm

Have you ever just felt in your heart that something was going to happen but there was really no explaining why you felt that way?  I've been in that place for months.  After several losses this fall my family is facing yet another one, my wonderful husband was laid off.  No, we didn't see this coming, far from it actually.  In the midst of this happening I am away from home.  
Over a month ago I booked a flight to Omaha, Nebraska to come sort through my Mom's things.  The trip was a special gift from my beautiful Step Mom, she is so awesome!  I will be forever grateful to her and my friends for pushing me to do this.  I didn't want to go, didn't want to be away from my family especially the last week of school before winter break.  For my kids it seems to always be the worst...hard days getting out of bed, finals and the lack of motivation to do any school work at all.  I'll be honest that I have been suffering from lack of motivation to, so I have been able to feel there frustration.  
I flew in almost a week ago, spent the afternoon with my Dad, Jay and my nephew Brayden(he has turned into a nice young man!).  I asked my Dad what he wanted to accomplish in the days that I was here.  Go through Mom's stuff and decide where her things should go.  I tell you what, somethings have been easier than others!  My heart pulls to things that she had already gifted, maybe out of my own selfish reasons of wanting to pass them onto my own children.  
One brother Jason lives here in NE with his beautiful wife Jessica and my brother Jonathan, my niece Myriah and her son Tanner flew in on Saturday.  The weekend was then filled with sorting and tears.  I don't know what I was expecting but it wasn't this.  I didn't figure for the first time in my life I would actually feel, really feel like the big sister.  People were looking to me for the answers, hope I have made the right ones.  I will share my treasures with you when I get home, right now I need to keep them in my heart for just a bit longer.     
It amazes me the journey that has been opened up to me this year.  Learning, creating and believing in myself more than ever before.  I can feel my world changing and for the first time in my life I am NOT scared but joyful for it.  A little nervous but a good nervous!!  Hold on world and watch out cause here I come.....forever changed.  I like to think of life as a storm....sometimes raging, sometimes calm but refreshing.  Even in the midst of it there is always some type of peace.....have you noticed that?  Have you ever taken the time in the midst of your storm to see life?  It gives you a better perspective, try it.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


It has been just over a month since my Mom's death and I'm not crying so much anymore.  I expected her to call on Thanksgiving, for us to catch up and go over what the kids wanted for Christmas.  It seems like life has been full of adjustments the last few months and this is just one of them. I am finding my peace in my art as always.  I've never had to push through somethings but that has helped me through my pain. I know I'm not at the end of it but at least I'm having more good days than bad.

The beginning of the month our oldest dog Arthur had a stroke.  It hit us all hard but especially my son.  I still expect to see him running around the backyard, doing his morning exercise routine.  Again more adjustments for us and our other pets.  It was a beautiful fall day when we had to put him to sleep.  We gave him a grave under one of the new trees growing in our yard, right outside my son's window so he can see him and think of wonderful memories.  I am so glad I took these pictures the days after his stroke.  You are missed Arthur!  RIP 1998 - 2011

I am taking a trip to Nebraska to see my Dad and brothers.  A celebration of my Mom's life and sorting through things that need to be divided between all of us.  I will be here as often as I can.  Please be patient with me.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Things learned

My Mom has been a regular reader of my blog and it used to bother me.  Then I realized that all she wanted was a connection, which was hard being hundreds of miles away from each other.  I have always been terrible about calling and checking in with my parents.  With my blog at least they know I am still alive, except when I go MIA like the last few months.

I have been blessed in my life in having two sets of parents.  My Mom and Dad divorced when I was three, then my Step Dad married my Mom and adopted me when I was 5.  I only call him my Step Dad so as to not confuse others when I am talking about family.  He is my Daddy and always will be.  I never had contact with my Dad until my early 30's.  When I met him it was like part of who had been lost was found.  I was given an inner confidence that day by God, something I had prayed for and that had come to pass.

Fast forward 15 years later, I sit here and look back over my life.  I can see what each set of parents has taught me, individually as well as a whole.

*Love without regret*Love when you don't want to*Love when all you want to do is give up and give in*Love when there is so much pain-you feel as if it is going to break you*Stand strong*Stand for what you believe in*Acceptance regardless of what is seen because you may not know the whole story*Peace, that in time you will somehow at least understand each other even if you don't agree*That being angry is okay-work out what you need. We are going to be here when you are ready*We will give you the space you need, always remember we love you.*

My Step Dad is an example of what love is all about.  Seeing past all the bad and loving because it is the right thing.  He showed a strength to me that I couldn't really understand until I had been married 15 give up part of yourself but you gain others.  My parents complete each other, constant companions(I'm sure driving each other crazy at times) and each others care giver.

Our lives changed this week as my Mom's body just couldn't take anymore of this life.  She went to a place of peace, with no pain and she is now surrounded by the ones that have gone before her. Despite everything, I will always miss and love her.  We will all be okay Mom, trust that God has a plan just like He always has.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


I am sorry it has taken me a few more days to post the winner of the give aways.  I have gotten caught up in organizing a few things in my garage before the weather gets any colder.  Thank you my friends for taking part in celebrating my birthday last month. 

I gave everyone a number and put all those numbers into the random generator.  I'm happy to announce that Judy, from Just a Simple gal will receive the book Art Saves and Georgie Horn, from Puddin'n Pie will receive the Tag Birthday Book that I made.  Please email me your addresses so I can get these things out to you.  Enjoy!! 

What do you love about fall?  Do you have any special things you do with your family this time of year?  Come back tomorrow and I'll share some of my favorites!

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Happiness in the Fall

Fall is here and honestly I am really not ready for it.  I much prefer a bit of sunshine to the dark weather.  I always think I mentally prepare myself for it but it happens, then I find myself in a bit of a funk.  So in order to keep myself out of a bad place I am promising myself that when I feel this way I will be sure to look back on this year to see all the beautiful artwork I've created.  It is bright and happy which I am sure will help my moods.

This is the piece I felt deserved it's own post.  It was weeks in the making after I saw a small nick knack piece at a local grocery store.  It made me happy but the price tag didn't especially for something so small.  Plus I don't really have the space so it just made more sense to take the time to make a canvas.

I put to good use what I learned for Christy Tomlinson in the classes I took from her this year.  Layer upon layer, with hidden messages if you look closely.  People may never really see them but they mean something to me.  This was a healing piece, a testament of sorts to show how far I have come in my life.  Again it just makes me completely happy!

I've always been a detail orientated person.  That is what you will see when you look at it.  After months of it being completed I still can't help but look at it and see something new.  Did I really put that there or is it just something that happened?   The hardest part??  Waiting for each layer to completely dry!  I thought sometimes I would go crazy.  You can't help the urge to touch but then you remember you may just mess it up, so you walk away.  Trust me just walk away from the project, if you face that!  You will be happier!!

Is there something you will hold onto tightly as we go into the holidays, then into a New Year? 

Whatever it happens don't forget to STOP and Enjoy this day that you have been given.      

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Full steam ahead

Some days it really seems that I am going so fast that I can't keep up with myself, then I have to give out the gentle reminder that I am probably bringing it upon myself.  I have been feeling like I have been being pulled in so many directions.  This is our busy time of year and by the end of my children's days they barely have enough time to stop to eat with so much homework.  They are working hard in Marching Band and keeping on top of schoolwork.......chores got put to the back burner the first couple of weeks of school.  Now I am just trying to help them to find the balance to what needs to be done here.  I miss them when they are busy.

I decided to go back to school with Suzi Blu.....she is doing an awesome 8 month class on art journaling, you can read about it here.  I've also enrolled in three of her other classes here .  All of these classes are such a good deal!  You won't regret taking a look and possibly signing up.  Suzi really walks you through each step so you are doing it as she does it.  This is called a tower, it brought me a great deal of peace as I was working on it.  I am pretty sure it isn't complete yet, there are a few things missing but I will wait for it to speak to me.

It isn't to late to put your name into my birthday drawing, just scroll down and check it out.  It will remain open until Sunday October 9pst.  I will then pick a winner and post on Monday, October 10.  I would REALLY love to hear what you have done to make someones day!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

10 Things and a Giveaway!!

Have you ever wanted to make a difference?  It has taken me years to realize that in order to really make a difference two things need to happen....1) You  have to believe you can and 2) You have to believe that no matter what you do you are enough.  I use to think that if I couldn't do it all or buy it all it was never going to be enough.  It wouldn't be enough to make anyone happy including myself.  Well, yesterday I celebrated my 47th birthday and I am happy to report that my 40's have been better than my 30's.  I use to live with regret of what could have been but I became a better person from where I have walked.  It feels good to be where I am, to see life like this and be happy.  To receive an out pouring birthday wishes from friends and just laughing literally all day is such a good feeling!

So in honor my my birthday yesterday I have decided to do Shimele's 10 on the 10th.  Ten things I have loved about this birthday week!  If you decide to stick this out, there is a special give away at the end!!  I LOVE presents!!

1.  Friends that allow you to be silly and love you anyway!!

2. Friends that bring over their special tools so you can all make cool art journals!!

3. Friends that take you out to lunch and make you laugh so hard your sides hurt while people are giving you weird looks.  Then knowing you just don't care what they think and you are okay with that.

4. Birthday cards from special friends in my life.  I also received a special necklace from my Dad in my favorite color green. 

5. Special things I have been wanting.

6. Initial tape....two rolls originally bought, lost then found, after a special friend bought me another roll! 

7.  Wonderful books I've picked up at the Border's close out sale in our city.  Wonderful lovely!

8. Repurposing an old wine box to hold fun things to add to art journals and canvas.

9. A sampling of a piece of art that I've had the idea for all summer.  I am again in LOVE and it deserves it's own post later.

10. Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, made by my young lovely.  Thanks sweetheart!!

You are wonderful, if you have stuck it out OR just skipped over the fluff going straight to the end to see about the giveaway.  Today, I am celebrating two things that I count important in my life.  1) My birthday, when I was growing up I was sure I would die of old age when I was in my forties.....glad that hasn't happened and 2) reaching a goal of 250+ posts on my little corner of the world that is mine.  Two of you will receive a special gift, one of the following; a Birthday book I have made, on a ring with a place to add photos and write out your people's birthdays so you don't miss them.  Then under my #7 above, are my favorite books right now.  I have an extra copy of Art Saves, it is so wonderful and has changed quite a lot of my thinking recently.  Now I am going to make you all work for it cause, I believe that is more fun!  Think of something you could do for somone special, then do it OR to receive an extra place in the drawing, do something special for a complete stranger.  It is up to you what that something is.  Come back here and post what you have done by 9pm(PST) Sunday, September 18 and I will post a winner on Monday, September 19.(I will except up to three enteries per person to make it fair for everyone.)            

Let the games begin!!!  Most of all have fun!!  I can't wait to hear how you will make a difference in someone's live this week!

Thursday, September 08, 2011

A promise kept and a surprise

Art, art and more art.  If a day goes by that I can't do it or don't, I can be quite crappy.  When I am making something, every piece of my heart is in what I do, it is a peaceful place.  I am in such a happy place, it is part of my center.  I use to think that you had to have a degree in art to be an artist.  I don't think that anymore and I try to encourage people that think they can't be creative to just pick up something.  You can be creative in ANYTHING you do, it doesn't have to be with a paint brush, colored pencil or pretty inks.  Look at how you keep or organize your house or how you cook(probably better than me).......that IS a form of being creative.  I challenge you to not put being creative into a box, look at what you do and see it differently.

I have learned so much from all the wonderful blessings of classes this year.  I've taken away from them learning techniques that I have helped me so much.  This is one of the projects that I took my time on and it is something I am in love with.  I've always wanted to do something with all the little love notes I have saved for years from my children.  Each little element in this means something and is proudly hanging in my bedroom where I can see it everyday.    

Do you remember this post?  My daughter was asking about what honor meant to you.  We posted the same question on the Brave Girls site.  She then took everyone's answers, printed them out and used them in her artwork.  They turned out so wonderful.  She received a high grade and has decided she doesn't want to keep them for herself put pass them onto the ladies who are a big part of her life.  We put everyone's name into a basket and drew three names, Selena Alvar, Kaere Schmidt and Sandi Floyd Tygar, you will each receive one of these 8x10 canvas.  Enjoy!

If you like what I have done with my Canvas of Love and would like one of your own please feel free to contact me for pricing.  It would be my honor to take your tokens of love and make them something you can see everyday. 

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

A bit differant

It's been awhile and things are just a bit different now.  Out of summer, into school and heading towards fall weather, that is what my little family is all about right now.  My son is a Senior and my daughter is a Sophomore......time just keeps ticking by, much to my dislikes.  I am however enjoying where my life is right now and that is the biggest reason for such the long breaks in between posts. 

My handsome son.  These are actually the second day of school because the first day was just to busy to remember that I needed to take pictures.

My beautiful daughter.  Still rushing out the door to catch the bus.  Yes, she is always this happy if she isn't something is very wrong!!

Blogging just has to take a back burner sometimes I am feeling less and less guilty about it.  I promised to show you a project I worked on this summer and I will do that tomorrow!  Thanks for showing up and listening in about my life.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Take the time

So it isn't a big surprise to me that one day gets away from me.  I have been toting teenagers to and from Band Camp this past week, with one more week to go.  My hour plus compute starts at 8am and I'm good to get in by 9:30am, then I start again later in the afternoon.  I know there are people that do this everyday and I have total respect for you!  I don't know how you do it, my body is having a hard time.  I might complain a little but my heart is happy to hear the stuff going on with the car load I have.

So this summer has been about making art, slowing down to relize what is most important, just not worrying about things and rekindling a friendship.  Then you have tackling a list but just taking your time doing it.  This is what my family and I needed, no regrets.

I have also taken Soul Restoration 2.  While I am not completely through the class projects, I did make it through all the videos.  I never thought of myself as a goal setter, not like some anyway.  I've never been one to think about the dreams I have in my heart as ones that could happen.  I share them with very few and I am not sure they will ever be shared here.  I believe somethings should remain private and for now that is okay with me.  In Soul Restoration 2, we have talked about goals, dreams and setting rules for our daily lives.  Again, I never thought I had to many rules but as I am going through the materials I have relized I am a goal and rules person.  This has all helped this summer to find a center that I thought I had lost a long time ago.  I've been able to stand and say no to things, that before I would have just gone through with because it is what you do.  It is a good feeling to start believing in yourself again and know you are okay.

The BIG thing that I have taken away is a solid thing for me.  Something I have known for a long time BUT this time I REALLY got it, to the point of making me cry.  To relize I am enough..........

As I have been creating my Life Journal, filling it with things that are important to me.  I find myself changing, healing and becoming stronger.  I NEVER in my life thought I would be falling so much in love with my book.  In a sense falling in love with my life, something I almost lost sight of.  I use to look at Melody and think I don't know if I will be able to understand what she is talking about.  How she can be so happy, well I'm getting it.  I am blessed and so happy to be right where I am.  

Take time to see your life, you won't regret it!    

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Needed Breaks

I have found myself in need of taking more breaks this summer than I had planned.  I've given myself permission to be okay with it and I hope my faithful few can forgive me.  This year it has been about Me, it that can be said without it sounding conceded.  Taking care of Me has helped me refocus on the things that are the most important to me and letting go of things I just can't control.

Kristin's The Summer of Color was wonderful for me.  It helped me break into a Moleskin journal I purchased almost two years ago.  You can visit my Flickr page to see everything all in one place for what I did this summer.  Each and everyone of the pages hold a special meaning to me.  I am so thankful that Kristin took time out of her summer to make us all happy about color!  Guess what?  She already has plans for next summer!!  Yep, The Summer of Color 2 ~ Ice Cream Inspirations, coming June 4, 2012.  Plan on joining us, it will be fun.  I think it will be a hard summer for me to stay away from the ice cream!!

Come visit me tomorrow, I have a couple of things I want to show you that I am really proud of!!

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Just a bit of sun

Our summer has finally hit Spokane, just in enough time to start thinking about school.  For our family, there is one more week off before our Marching Band life starts.  We hit the ground running and it really doesn't let up until the end of October.  I really can't complain at all about summer this year, it has only hit over 90* a few times and our air conditioner has only been needed maybe a half a dozen times.  My heart goes out to the states who have had record breaking heat.  Try to stay cool!

I have successfully been doing some type of art for over 30 days.  I have really been making the time.....a few minutes here and a few minutes there.  It has made me feel very accomplished.  Kristin has done such a wonderful job at keeping us all motivated about color, check out her blog with all the wonderful links to everyone in our group.  This last week it has been all about the color Orange, again not one of my most favorite colors in the world.  You won't find me wearing it, in less it is more on the lighter side with a more of a pinkish shade to it.  I've tried but it washes me out and makes me have that frumpy feeling.  That feeling is something I am trying to get out of with my clothes so I just stay away from colors that just don't work for me.  To my art journal I've added a couple of more pages.

Last November I looked out my front window and noticed that everything had this Orange glow to it.  I went to my back deck and this is what I saw, totally breathe taking.  I love it when God just takes His paint brush to the sky, it gives me so much peace to know He gives me beautiful things to look at.

Our bonus was to use a poem.  This poem was shared with me by a friend, we found it tucked into a few sheets of old music from her Grandmother.  I felt it deserved a special place, along side a photo taken by my friend Ajae, you can find her here and here.  I KNOW this page isn't completed but I'm okay with it.  I'll wait for the inspiration to come.

In my garden this year I only have one splash of Orange from my Lilies.  I've shared before how amazed I am of how my garden was made for me, full of flowers that I are at the top of my list of loves.  These are one of them and if you look close you can see again how God just takes His paintbrush adding all the little details.

This week at Kristin's blog we will be sharing what we have created over the last few weeks.  I'm going to also be sharing a few other things I have been working on, that I am pretty excited about.  Keep checking back in when you can.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Almost over?

Purple, Purple, Purple.......I was excited when I had my first daughter because that meant I could dress her in every shade of purple that I could find.  I even taught myself to sew and made her first dress.  I was so proud of myself.  I learned a few things with this little dress....never use velcro 'buttons' on clothing for babies, don't make your elastic to tight around the arms and one can never have to many ruffles even for a baby.

In my garden I LOVE seeing purple.  It makes me happy and calm.  It reminds me of when my girls were young and I had pots of pansies on my deck.  The day after I planted all my pansies all the blooms were gone.  It seemed so strange to me at the time.  I would find out later that while my girls were outside playing they got hungry so they ate all the blooms.  So here is to my garden this year, beautiful purple.

So if you haven't guessed over at Kristin's blog this week we are talking about Purple.  It is hard for me to realize that next week is our last week, where we will be showing off the color Orange.

As this is my first ever art journal I want to just keep things as simple as possible and pretty basic.  More for my photos sake than anything.  Painted straight purple for the base with a design on the right where I added a favorite picture of my son when he was about 2.  He captures my attention even now 16 years later.  I added a bit of bling with a rindstone and iridescent confetti.

A parting shot, remember the Clematis a friend helped me transplant last year?  I thought for sure that I had lost it but all the old growth just died.  It is back and it makes me so happy.  I need to find a way to protect it a bit more from the winter elements.  Any ideas?

So what is making you happy this summer?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Here is to the color RED this week at Kristin's blog!  It is hard for me to realize that there is only a couple of more weeks left.  This has been a well needed distraction, thank you Kristin for making this happen.

For me the color red has always been a happy color.  When I think of red I think of my beautiful red headed girls, they bring me much joy.......everything that is red is in their personalities, even as adults.  Red creates warmth, passion and energy.  It can be seen every where if you allow yourself to open your eyes to its beauty. 

It is the color God uses to get my attention and to take my breathe away.  My youngest and I were out for a drive a couple of weeks ago and we went around a corner, we were caught in awe of the beauty. 

Then in my garden this week I found this red lily.  I always seem to forget that they around because there are so few of them.  I think I need to find a place in my front garden for a clump of them because they just make me smile.

So onto my journal page for this week.  Different spots of red that mean alot to me; a red ribbon rose that came from one of my daughter's outfits(she is now 24) and a heart that came on a card that a special friend sent to me.  I painted both pages with red paint first, using a white piece of cardstock as protection of the edges.  I used a piece of the cardstock on the right page as an accent.  The heart from the card is on the left with wings I cut out in thick plastic and accented with white paint.  On the bottom is a back of a self adhesive doily.  I can't see getting rid of them especially when you can use them in mixed media.

A close up of the heart.  Have a great week and look for red, see what you can find!! 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Starting to feel caught up

Really I can't believe how tired I've been.  I decided yesterday that I would get back to my regular bedtime of 10pm instead of staying up until after 11:30pm playing.  It turned out to be the best thing!  I actually woke up this morning feeling normal even though I really could have rolled over and gone back to sleep.

Over at Kristin's Blog this week we are taking a look at the color Brown.  I have always LOVED Brown!  It is the color of my eyes and of my very special friend I have had for over 40 years.  So it was natural to me that I would choose my friend, along with a couple of pages from an old Winnie the Pooh book, found at a thrift store for .99cents.  I then by added a pop of Pooh bear yellow, as I like to call it.

The background was painted a light tan, stamped over with a word stamp and a diamond stamp I picked up last year in the $1 bin at Michael's craft store.  The brown circles are from a tp tube dipped into paint then stamped on the page.  I tried the same thing with a light orange paint but ended up not liking it so I covered it up with Liquitex ink in Yellow Orange.  This ink is wonderful because it is transparent but still gives a bold color.  I liked it so much that I used it in the white spaces on the pages and added circles on the book pages. 

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Resting and Creating

This week has been all about resting, creating and less blogging.  The days are longer and I find myself not sleeping well, loads of tossing and turning.  When you don't sleep well at night it is a struggle to stay awake durning the day and so I tend to find myself taking naps mid afternoon.  It makes me less irritable, which I am sure my family likes.

On the creating front I am busy with Soul Restoration 2 and am feeling a bit behind.  This session is about creating the life you want to live and putting it to a life journal.  This way you can refer to it when you need to be reminded of what your goals are.  It is full of hard but rewarding questions to answer.  The artwork we are going is slowly coming together for me.  It really does make me completely happy.

This week on Kristin's blog, it is all about the color Yellow, which happens to be my least favorite color.  I wouldn't say I never use it but it does take me out of my comfort zone.  This time though it came easy when I went to create my art journal page.

A favorite photo of my youngest daughter when she was just over three years old.  On the left page is a flower she made me just around the same age, it has been on my inspiration board for 13 years!  I'm happy that it has found a permanent home here.  The inside of the flower is filled with green split peas painted black, then sealed with Mod Podge.  On the leaves of the flowers you will find what the color yellow means, followed by things to remember about the color Yellow at the bottom.  Our challenge was to use metallic somewhere, so it is added to the background along with a couple of Martha Stewart punched butterflies.

If my day goes the way I want it today I will be back with more artwork tomorrow.  Have a wonderful weekend whatever you are up to!! 

Monday, July 04, 2011

What a fun filled busy week!  Hardly time to breathe much less post to my blog.  I was able to get a few fun things completed so I will be sharing them this week, promise.

Last week with The Summer of Color was the color Pink, not to much a favorite of it but did make it work for these pages.  I chose things from my garden and looked up the feelings that pink is suppose to mean.  I am pleased with it and surprisingly it makes me happy.

My Daughter, Son in law(who came in on Friday) and my Grandson left this morning so it is a laid back day.  I'm ready to settle into my summer and start a project or two.  Today is the 4th of July here in the states so we might be going for a drive across town to watch the fireworks above the city.  Whatever you do today, enjoy yourself!!