Saturday, November 3, 2012


I'm afraid most of my posts for the past year have all been in my head!
Composed in the shower . . .
Driving in the car . . .
Wandering around my studio . . .
I think of brilliant things to write, 
Telling what is happening with me.
Or witty observations on life.
They just haven't made it out of my head.

Trusted Friends have been very encouraging, loving the stories & photos! 
Comments from visitors here inspire me.
I want to connect to the world out there.
I wish to share my active inner life,
Make ART,
Encourage creativity,

All the support in the world can't move me,
Until I follow Nike's brilliant admonition:
Just do it!
It's all well and good to have imagination,
To dream of living in another country,
To plan grand art pieces.
Its even better to put myself out there.
To post when I have no artwork to show . . .
No travel details to share . . .
No clever stories of family or garden.
So today I just write!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Pink Saturday in My Garden

Honestly, my garden is mostly shades of lavender, yellow and green . . .
but I found a few pink blossoms to share.

 This beautiful rose starts off pink, then fades to cream with just a hint of pink at the end of its petals.
Rescued by my son from the compost pile at the garden center where he worked,
it reminds me that given enough love, water and sunshine we all can bloom!

 These lavender buds will turn pink in a few weeks.

 My son's secret corner of the cottage garden beds.
Ice Plant and Franklin.

The bees happily forage these blooms.
Bee Balm
The low growing variety has just started to push blooms.

No garden of mine or my son's would be complete without succulents.
The Hen and Chicks were moved at the end of last summer
and have been happily growing and throwing off lots of "chicks."
I didn't know they bloomed, and pink no less.  Cool!

Enjoy your weekend and visit Bev's blog How Sweet The Sound to catch up with the pink doings of a few of her friends!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Old Friends

 photo courtesy of
To listen to "Old Friends," click here

70 still seems terribly strange, but I'm closer than I was when the album came out.  And today, just like at the tender age of 17, I know how wonderful it is to have old friends. I have a group of friends, women I have known 10, 20, 30, 40 + years who sustain me and support me.  They have become part of my family.  Some of them even remember my grandma & nana, two very different women who both encouraged my creativity and love of beautiful things and used to tell me I could do anything I wanted to do, be anyone I wanted to be.

My daughter's best friend does not like making new friends.  I, on the other hand, LOVE making new friends.  I made some new friends this very afternoon.  I went over to my favorite sandwich shop for lunch.  Close to where I parked my car there was an El Monte-brand RV, with California plates.  How could I not go over and say hi?  Turns out they had rented the RV in New Jersey and are themselves from the London, England suburbs.  They were actually delighted to make my acquaintance.  We ended up having lunch together, talking about their kids, my kids, music, how much they love Cape Cod, how delightful France is and a bit about our travels.  We exchanged email addresses.  We hugged good-bye and they drove off to visit P-town for the day.

I drove home and decided to tackle the stuff I am having so much trouble with lately -- I've been struggling with almost everything relating to my creativity.  What to do with the barn:  shop or studio or some combination?  What to do with my blog -- who am I writing it for?  How to get past this odd artists' block I have, where I have tons of ideas but can't get the ideas out of my head and into a piece of art.  I'm tackling the blog first -- writing it for this wonderful group of women, my old friends.  I know who they are, I can visualize their responses, and I have years of experience writing to each of them individually.  The best part of that decision is I don't feel the need to explain every little thing.  That was always the part of my blog that sounded so ponderous to me!  To my old friends, I love you dearly.  To my new friends, I'm delighted you've visited.  I hope you will join me regularly on this ride. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Here is not the stopping point . . .

. . . and that is what I realized a couple days ago.  I woke early with a real sense of dread -- like someone needed my help.  So I do what I always do in those circumstances -- I checked to make sure my son was breathing (he was home visiting), I called my daughter and tried not to sound frantic and asked her to call me back, and I began to pray.  Maybe prayer should have been first!  I also called a friend to pray with me.  It came to me to examine the term "stop" from a more spiritual basis.

Over the years things have happened and I have been stopped.  I will be going along and something happens, or a friend says something/tries to define me in ways I don't agree with, I won't correct them and wham!  It's like what runners describe as hitting the wall.  It's debilitating.  I've been feeling stopped lately.  A friend did recently define me in ways I didn't agree with.  A blog friend has stopped talking with me (and the awful thing is I don't know why, which really condemns me as a terrible person.  I mean, how can you tick someone off so much and not know what you did?).  A couple months ago neighbors let me know in no uncertain terms that I am the most selfish person they have ever known.  I know this last one isn't really true, but they did hammer on for more than 30 minutes and even called me back to share more of my faults with me.  And I thought we were friends. *sigh*   Humanly, this hasn't been a very good Spring!

 In the garden it's been a great Spring!

So when the call to prayer came, the topic of stopping seemed a good one to explore.  I found these ideas useful:  
Goodness and philanthropy begin with work and never stop working.
Our thoughts beget our actions; they make us what we are.
A deep sincerity is sure of success, for God takes care of it. 

I finished up the day feeling at peace.  I still don't know who needed my help that day.   I always think if I haven't had some big AH HA realization then nothing has happened/changed.  But I look around my life and notice the things I am doing again:  the worktables in my studio are now clear (and I know Sudsy Muffin did not come in while I was asleep); I'm gathering things to sell next weekend at the flea market; I water the kitchen garden my son planted for me, it hasn't died; I went to the movies; I wrote this post!

This is not my original work, I copied this from another blog, but I can't remember where or when.
No copyright infringement is intended.  Thanks for the fish!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

One Little Word -- Blog Hop February


I didn't do the prompt for this month.  I meant to, even as late as Feb 28th I thought, sure, I can do this.  And I haven't.  Still I signed up for the blog hop and I'm not going to bail on that.  So as I was driving around yesterday, assiduously avoiding being at home where I might work on the assignment, without my camera where I might take suitable photos, I thought.  What was so tough about this assignment?  What was the assignment?  What was so difficult about dealing with abundance this month?

"This month is all about cultivating an awareness of the ways in which our words exist in the world around us." 

Had I done this?  Not consciously.  However, this whole month I have been distinctly aware of how much stuff exists in the world around me.  And that has made me aware of the excesses of my word.  Over-Abundance -- too much to the point of overwhelm!

 At the beginning of the month a friend and I went to a large wholesale gift show.
Aisles and Rows of stuff to buy for one's shop.  Handmade jewelry, fancy china, stationery, books, linens galore.

Beautiful things.  Things from all over the world.  And every choice a company offers! 
After three days I thought my head would explode.

I returned home to an exciting prospect and a new direction for my shop. *I'll tell you about it when things are finalized.*  But it means the shop needs to be open, and also spacious inside.  And for the shop to be open a person needs to be able to walk in the front door.  And for a person to walk in the front door, etc, a lot of s-t-u-f-f needs to cleared off the floor and out of the shop.  I was confronted once again by an over-abundance of things.  

 I've been clearing out and doing displays simultaneously.
Here are 2 shelves ready for shop opening.

Pull back and you see chairs to be painted, ribbon to be priced and display pieces to be properly placed.

 Pull back further and you see what my month has been like.  And this is so much better; you can now see the carpet!  This is the over-abundance of things I have been dealing with.  I hesitated to show this full size. . . whew that's a lot of ****  Not the sort of photo I want permanently in my pretty OLW notebook!   So, I'll get to this month's assignment eventually.  Knowing what's going on with me always helps with stops & blocks.  I'm actually looking forward to taking photos that express abundance in a way that supports me.   It was not a very pleasant thought that my head might explode!
This blog hop goes live at 8 am pst, so check back after that if you're here earlier.
And now on to the next stop in the blog hop:

Melissa S
Melissa C
Monica B 
Heidi D  
Jen R    
Missus W 
Marilee        <===== you are here.  Next is Cindy.
Dawn G   
Orange Gearle

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

One Little Word - Blog Hop January

My word for 2012 is Abundance.  Every month, as part of an online class with Ali Edwards, I receive a prompt -- that month's assignment.  For January, we are exploring our word:  "Name it. Claim it. Invite it. Define it." 

My finished page
 There are 5 cards with specific prompts and 4 cards to use as we are called.
Where one puts each card in the holder is also up to individual choice.

 Some of the other participants have specific colour schemes.  I'm not sure if I do, tho I like how everything looks so nice with the Japanese origami paper.  I have a feeling next month other colours will call to me and the album will end up a rainbow, or perhaps I should say an abundance of colours!

The cards in the next 2 photos were my favorite to make.  On both cards, the printed words were done on my computer.  I had to figure out how to fit the words on the cards and how to get the right color so they can be read but also act as a background for the stamped images.  I'm not the daughter of an engineer for nothing.  I liked the challenge!

I typed two sentences over & over again on this card.  The first talks about how the superlatives of Love fill all space.  The second sentence is "That is enough."  One of the concepts I am exploring is "what is enough?"   So this seemed a perfect background for my 2012 word.

I typed up all the synonyms of the words on my thesaurus card and ended with the sentence I used on the gray abundance card.  I stamped the sunflower on white cardstock, added gold embossing powder, then cut it out and attached it to the card with a mounting square to give dimensionality.
 Title Page attached to January prompts.

I was pretty obsessive about this month's assignment.  It's funny cuz I didn't think it had to be perfect.  It just had to look "right."  So, I started out doing all the prompts in my own handwriting.  It didn't look bad and generally I like my handwriting.  But it didn't look spectacular and I really wanted this to shine.

I know better than to compare myself to other artists.  Now knowing better and actually not comparing are of course two different things!  Still I know my competitive side and work really hard not to be held hostage by her!  So at least I finished version 1 before going to the class gallery to see what others had done.  I saw how some people had used typefaces instead of handwriting and I thought this looked really good.  So version 2  had all the prompts typed.  Again, it didn't look bad, but it seemed a little too much the same (which is just a nice way of saying bor-ring).  Version 3, which is what you see here is a combination of handwritten cards and typed cards.  I also changed the card stock from stark white to a softer white, slightly thicker & textured paper.  You should have heard my poor printer -- it did not like the soft white card stock -- and it sounded like an injured animal from Jurrasic Park.  Version 3 also included re-writing one of the prompts.  As I said, obsessive.  But now, DONE! And I'm pleased.  It is a nice beginning to my album.

Margie of Nihao, Cupcake is sponsoring this OLW blog hop.  So you may have come here from Carmen's blog.  I'm going to send you on to Kristina.  Click here to see her word.  Then she'll send you on to the next blog.  I'll be out of town when this post appears and I don't know what sort of internet connection I will have.  Which means I may not be able to get the list of participants added to this post ( it wasn't available when I left home)  Please click here: Nihao, see everyone.  Bye and thanks for hopping by!


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Snow Day at My House -- A Photo Essay

Doesn't look like the snow will melt today!

Reaching as high as the peak of our three-story house,
I've been told these are two of the tallest Holly Trees on Cape Cod!
The lady Holly with her lovely red berries.
Her mate stands behind her and a little to the east.

 The barn where my shop & studio reside on the first floor.
The upstairs neighbor lives on the second floor.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Snow in the Garden

It snowed last night and before it has all melted away I wanted to share how pretty it looks.

 My front garden.
A labor of love and fellowship for me & my son.

 The rain chain my son gave me.
He also put up the gutters, hung the chain, and designed what the water flows into.  He knows me so well: he used an old galvanized bucket inside an open wire basket, sitting on used bricks.  The fish you can barely see was a throw-away from his nursery job.  He found the front half, asked if he could have it and then spent 30 minutes searching for it's tail.  It's now glued together and sitting nice & shabby to the right of the bucket.

 The sunflower was made by a former upstairs neighbor.
We spray painted it after I saw the sunflower fields of France.
I like how the rust is slowly seeping through on the petals.

Hidcote Lavendar

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Leaving La Cascade


The food was fabulous
The desserts divine

 The art projects were inspiring

 The green jar was purchased at the market with yogurt in it.
Yummy yogurt, great pen holder!

My "black & white" box
It reminds me my artistic sensibilities keep my from copying no matter how hard I try!

 Our rooms vacated

 Suitcases in trunks

Au Revoir

when we next meet our heroine, she will have arrived in Paris . . . from the overnight train . . . that is a story . . .

Friday, January 6, 2012

Pink Saturday

Last summer I spent the month of June in France.  Here are some images in pink from that trip.



Ile St-Louis, Paris

Le Petite Trianon
Marie-Antoinette's Village
 Merry-Go-Round at Place Wilson

Another day
Teenagers in Toulouse.

You can read more about my trip here, here, here, here, here, and yesterday.
As I mentioned in my first post I took over 500 photos, so I will be sharing a lot more of this adventure in the coming month.  Hope you will join me!

To see who else is participating in Pink Saturday, visit Bev at How Sweet The Sound