Sunday, December 27, 2009

happy birthday twins

Happy birthday Liam and Erica. Twelve years have gone fast. You have grown from tiny, mischievous toddlers into kind, smart, fun young people. I hope you have a great birthday!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

time flies birthday boy

a clock I made for Mark called "time flies"

the birthday boy

Time flies, yes it does. I want to wish my wonderful husband a happy birthday and to remind him, age is just a number, you get better and better with each passing year!

Happy Christmas Eve everyone else!

Friday, December 18, 2009


Impending - don't you love that word. All the schools here let out early today "due to the impending storm" which actually started around 4:00. I'm from Syracuse, where there is always an impending storm from October right through to April or sometimes even May. Since it doesn't snow that often in Virginia, most people are pretty excited. Not me, I had 38 years of snow. I'm staying in with my fuzzy socks, a nice hot cup of coffee, some delicious biscotti and the heat cranked up.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas magic...

A few pictures of my Christmas decorations... The colorful tree is the kids tree. In past years I have decorated the big tree all fancy and color coordinated, with lots of white lights. I even used to get color coordinated candy canes. This year I let the kids decorate the big tree. It was hard for me, but the kids were so excited (I think that's really what it's all about anyway) and it actually turned out really nice. Colored and white lights, all of the kids ornaments that they have made over the years, candy canes and popcorn strings and we put some of their other handmade things on the mantel. To make it all better, I decorated a small tree for myself with my white lights, some glittery pinecones, crocheted snowflakes and paper chains made from old dictionary pages. I put it in the kitchen and the simplicity of it calms me while I am slaving over the hot stove.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

hamming it up

While taking the annual Christmas card picture last night the kids seemed a little... well... wound up. I told them if they could be still for just five minutes so I could get a good picture, that they could let loose. And they did. I got a nice picture, but now I'm wondering if I should use one of these...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

angels among us

The cover from a box that I found at a junk store.

Detail from a painting that I did last year.

A necklace that you can buy in my etsy shop.
I truly believe that angels live among us and I have a great story to tell you. As some of you know, my husband Mark runs the Boys and Girls Club here in Lynchburg. He is deeply committed to his job (this is his dream job) and he has helped countless kids over the past 20 years. Earlier this week, both heating units at his club stopped working, too old to fix. The cost to replace - $24,000. Not in the budget in these hard financial times. An appeal was sent out to the community to help with the cost. The next day, within 6 hours, the whole amount had been raised and then some. Wow. But that is not the best part of my story. One of the club members, a sweet little boy who comes to the club every day, heard about the cost and he came to Mark. He shyly reached into his pocket and placed a nickel in Mark's hand. "This is all I have", he said. Mark was incredibly touched, because he knows that nickel is really all that little boy has. I am so inspired by this selfless act. A true angel.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

the importance of hands

Liam broke his finger. Now that the pain has subsided a bit, he thinks his splint is pretty cool. But his hand will be stuck in an awkward position for a few weeks. That got me thinking a little bit about our hands and how we take them for granted. He has realized that he can't tie his own shoes or wash his hair. Simple things we usually don't think about. He loves physical education class, but the doctor says no for six weeks. He is determined to play his trumpet in the holiday concert next week, he has a week to figure that out. I really rely on my hands - for all sorts of things - necessary things like driving and cooking and things I don't have to do, but really want to do, like art making. Hands are important. Today, I am feeling very thankful for mine.

Monday, December 7, 2009

dog love and other stuff

Poor Dexter in his reindeer get-up. He thinks I'm nuts, but I know he loves me anyway.
It was a great weekend. Liam had his all night rehearse-a-thon for band on Friday. It snowed on Saturday, which made the kids jump for joy (even though it melted immediately). The Lynchburg Christmas Parade was also on Saturday. I have never been to a parade before. Mark is always in the parade with his group from the Boys & Girls club and Jacob likes to go with him. This year I planned on taking the twins so that I could see Cassidy marching with her tuba. But Liam was too tired and Erica decided to keep him company (too cold for her), so I ended up being in the parade with Mark and Jake. It was so much fun! I waved like a princess for a couple of hours and all the club kids were so cute. Excited that they might be on TV.
Today, I'm running around. We have a broken trumpet, a possible broken finger and all the usual stuff that goes on around here.

Friday, December 4, 2009

handmade specialness

My teenage daughter says, "oh yeah, I need a gift for my friend, her birthday party is tonight". She gives me her cutest smile and says, "she likes to make earrings". So, I spent some time this morning putting together some pretty beads and findings, enough to make several pairs of earrings. I grumped a little about the short notice, but actually I love making gifts for people. Before I started my little etsy shop, I made gifts all the time and a lot of the recipients told me I should sell my stuff. So here I am. I still love to make stuff and give it away. I put a lot of thought into my gifts and what I think the person might like. I want them to feel special and to know their gift was custom made for them. The same goes for the stuff I sell. I really put a lot of thought and a lot of time into making each item. I think everyone deserves a little "handmade specialness" in their lives, don't you think?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

fairy magic

I spied the cutest little set of chairs and a little moss table by our fairy door the other day. I suppose even fairies like to sit out and enjoy the day.

Meanwhile, I spent some time working on wings for my fairy doll from a few posts back. This is my second try. It took a while to get them just right. The first pair was too flimsy, so I sewed wire in all around the edges and I also used a darker thread for the stitching. The stitching part took over an hour. That's a lot of thread. And my neck is now stuck in a bad position.

christmas-ey stuff

Now that it's officially December I can get into full Christmas decorating mode. The tree went up last night and even though I am a die-hard white lights only person, I let the kids talk me into stringing some colored lights in with the white. I'm becoming such a pushover! I got out just a few decorations today, I like to spread it out over a few days. I spent the morning making 24 paper pockets out of old dictionary pages. I made it real simple and just stitched around three sides and cut them with pinking shears. I included a nice picture of my trash can for you. Who ever thought I would end up taking pictures of trash cans? The pockets get filled with candy and hung across the mantel and each day the kids get to take one down and have a treat. It's our annual "countdown to Christmas" tradition. I also made a whole bunch of glittered pineconesfor the tree. There's just a few in the picture above. I am not too traditional when it comes to the tree. I try to change it up every year or two. I haven't totally figured out this year's tree yet, but don't worry, I'll show you a picture when it's done!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Happy Thanksgiving to you! Thanksgiving is typically a day to express gratitude, even though I try to be grateful every day for my blessings. I just want to take a moment to say how very grateful I am for the most important things in my life - my kind and supportive hubby; my smart, funny and unique children; my cute and faithful little dog; all of whom I love beyond measure. I have such a wonderful life and as some of my artistic dreams take flight I am feeling ever so thankful for it all. I hope you all have a wonderful day filled with gratitude for all your blessings.

pie day

Today is pie day. When I said that this morning, my son asked me if that was some kind of holiday or something. I made pumpkin, apple and pecan. I gave myself a break this year and went with store bought crust. Usually everyone says, great pie Mom, but when they are done I notice the crust is always left to the side. I'm pastry impaired. I am great at making all kinds of desserts, but flaky pastry is not one of them. I say, who cares about the crust, save calories and just eat the filling and whipped cream.
Later today, we will be delivering a few packages like the one above, with my handmade pumpkins. Happy pie day to you!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


A journal page with one of my favorite quotes and one that is very appropriate for me right now.

Another journal page. I call it "omgiamsooverwhelmed", also very appropriate right now.
I am feeling a tad bit stressed. Time seems to be moving so fast lately. There is always something going on with the kids, the holidays are fast approaching, unfinished projects, the house needs cleaning, the dryer broke... You know, the usual stuff. I am looking forward to Thanksgiving - I'm hoping to relax a little, eat too much pie and have some quality time with my family.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


I'm a pretty regular person, but once in a while, even I cut loose a little. Here are a couple of the quirkier things that I have made. The top picture is "Gary" and under him is "Petula". These were both designed by my teenage daughter, Cassidy. She drew me some wonderful pictures and I made Gary and Petula come to life - kinda like Frankenstein. Gary now resides in Cassidy's room (under a pile of dirty socks), but Petula can be purchased from my etsy shop. I'm enjoying the sun today. I hope it's sunny where you are.

Sun, where have you gone?

It's raining again... I went around the house in search of the sun and this is what I came up with. Meanwhile, I am keeping busy, making things for my shop. I'm getting all kinds of inspiration lately, but there are not enough hours in the day to complete it all. Of course, it doesn't help that I am usually asleep on the couch around 10pm (well, ok, maybe 9:30 if there's nothing good on t.v.)