Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
A while back Elizabeth Beck (a.k.a. e.beck.artist) was having a giveaway & somehow the lucky gods were smiling on me ... I won an e.beck original! Due to life, art & other such stuff, it took a while for her to make her way to the post office. Even luckier for me as she decided to send me not one, but TWO of her little paintings (and a candy bracelet that my daughter quickly confiscated from me by calling dibs)! Whoa! and hold your horses! Check out what she sent:
I love, love, love them both & am thrilled to have them here in my home ... I may even leave the ornament up all year long (who knows, if I stare at it enough, that Christmas Spirit just might take its bite!). Go HERE to visit her blog & be sure to check out more of her wonderful art.
That's really good and awesome, right? But WAIT! there's more ... the most wonderful and loverly Cathie (a.k.a. Clevelandgirlie) decided that now was the time to send a little cheer my way (did she sense I was suffering from holiday zombieitis?!? I wonder) ... and what a precious little cheerleader I received ... introducing Mz. Meecies (yes, I do call her that & don't blame me if my goober hat shows once in a while - I was born this way & have practiced for years and years!):
Isn't she just the most adorable pin cushion EVER?!? She has a pin for a nose & Swarovski crystal eyes. You can actually put a spool of thread on her tail, too ... talk about a clever, clever design. I adore this little mouse. Right now she is sitting on the shelf right above my PC and just looking at her makes me happy. Go see Cathie HERE - scroll through some of her older posts as her talents are not only with a needle and thread ... plus, she has one loveable Gizmo.
Another wonderful and witty woman decided to send a little something my way ... imagine my surprise when this sweet package arrived:
Chris (at Prism Trail) sent the box full of hand made tags (when in the box, the lid doesn't close, but you get this amazing hand decorated box brimming with colors and ribbon galore - it's so sweet, but I wanted to show off all the pretty little tags & beads). Visit Chris HERE ... don't be surprised if you find yourself giggling for much of your visit.
You'd think after receiving such lovely gifts I wouldn't still be suffering from Christmas Avoidance Syndrome ... I wonder if there are meds I should be taking ... perhaps some Mint M-n-M's ...
You all said such nice things about the photo's from West Virgina, I thought I would share a few more:
That's Secret. She's the miniature pincher that lives with the peeps we were visiting in West Virginia; she enjoys the ride from the house to the cabin quite a bit. :)
May you all be treated to a holiday filled with
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Not quite two weeks ago we were up in West Virginia with snow and temps that didn't get above 40 degrees and are now back in our SW Florida sunshine (70's - 80's during the day).
On Monday we went to a homeschool Teddy Bear party (dressed bears for the Salvation Army's holiday bear-fest) at a friends home. Here's a shot of 64 bears in all their new finery:
Some are definitely dressed better than others, but all were clothed with a lot of heart and the best of intentions.
I was able to wear one of my favorite hats - event photographer - and have posted most of the party pics on snapfish for all the attendee's to view. Since it was a party, most shots are candids of the kids having a blast, but I did sneak in a few random shots of prettiness ... one of the guests brought rosemary hearts to share:
Don often brings bags of basil from our garden for the other families, so this was a lovely reciprocation and presented in such a simple and clever way - they look sweet and smell terrific. Looks like I have a great Christmas ornament back-up plan for this year (our rosemary bush is huge, so there's plenty, too).
The rest of these shots are taken in the back yard (one of those to-die-for spaces). There are a number of orchids in bloom right now & they are pretty amazing:
... and on that note, it's late and I have to work in the morning, so it's off to my pillows.
May you be treated to a day full of wonder.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
and this one:
and ... this one:
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
We were on the road about an hour after the above photo. 1100 miles later (& a white out that reduced driving to five miles per hour for a couple of hours) we arrived at our West Virginia destination ... the day of the first "big" snow (if you're like me, you might not know that this doesn't mean first snow, but the first snow where it sticks for more than a few hours). It was about 2:00PM and 30 degrees - brrrrr! The sky was really, really gray (I was concerned that I wouldn't be treated to any good photo light ... luckily, I was wrong) ... the next day we woke up to a beautiful day. I walked about along the fence line a little ways from the house and turned back to snap a shot of the house we stayed at (it's the building on the left).
The next few photo's are random close up shots of things that caught my eye ... the crazy range of colors between the white snow, brown twigs/leave and green mossy stuff:
strange little pod things (sorry, I really don't know what this is ... or was) that look a lot like distressed styrofoam balls to be used for art doll heads:
little pockets of ice & green caught in nooks, knots and crannies of trees
And wildly wonderful leaves with their twisted twiggy tendrils still clinging to thorny green stems:
pretty amazing, actually. It was a wonderful visit ... but I am really happy to be home (even if it does mean that I am back at work).
Monday, November 24, 2008
May you and yours enjoy a most wonderful & blessed Thanksgiving!
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Last week I learned that our local smoke shop sells empty cigar boxes for $.50/each, so I stopped by to see if they had any and walked out with five boxes. For years I have been intrigued by the magic that can happen to a cigar box & just a few random art supplies, odds and ends. How fun it would be to try my hand at making a little of that magic myself?
The boxes have been sitting in a stack since I brought them home. I keep looking at them & sometimes grab one to open and close it a bunch of times before returning it to the pile ... where to begin, right? As the fates would have it ... I have a starting point and a purpose now.
I know that most everyone is knee deep, in holiday planning/creating/shopping, but if you have a moment, check out the link above (the image) and read all about the Dia de Los Muertos Art Exhibit & Sale (or click HERE). There is also the Cigar Box Shrine Gallery located HERE that has pages of inspiration ... AND the final deadline for recieving them is January 10, 2009.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
hmmm ... what's next?
"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing" ~ Helen Keller
Thursday, November 6, 2008
About whatever happened to the umbrella painting for the Red Art Project?
... and here's a detail ...
and don't forget about:
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Happy Dia de los Muertos!
I had a very strong desire to create an ofrenda (altar) in honor of the people I love that have passed, but must admit I had a hard time getting started ... I was nervous that I wouldn't be able to come up with anything worthy of the emotion I feel for those I hoped to honor ... that is until this morning.
I knew I wanted to include at least one traditional Mexican craft & realized I had everything I needed to make paper flowers (most of us do have these items on hand - tissue paper & pipe cleaners), so that's where I started ... the rest, well, it just seemed to fall into place ...
There are six people I am remembering today. The two candles sort of center right are for my Grandfather and my Omi. My Grandfather Pitcairn passed on October 12th of this year; he was 95 and died in his sleep. I can't think of a more gentle way to go. When I found out, all I could think of is that he and my Omi were finally together again. Theirs was a love that not only survived World War II (in Germany, no less), rations & two daughters that both married American men and left their home country for the United States, but thrived. They were more in love in their "golden" years than they even were in the beginning. I loved both of them dearly & was blessed to have been able to spend quite a lot of time with them considering the distance between us ... plus, there was always the letters back and forth.
The four candles clustered to the left are for friends of mine who's lives were tragically cut way too short (in my humble opinion, at least) - John, Brian, Mac & Bill - all on separate occasions. I still miss them dearly and think of each of them often. They are in a very real way responsible for the woman I am today. For that, I will forever be grateful; they will always occupy a sacred space in my heart.
I learned that it is traditional to light an extra candle for forgotten souls, so I have added the larger white candle to the left of the raised portion. See if you notice other traditional items that I included in this ofrenda.
The simple papal picado (banner) below includes "flags" with the names of those I've mentioned.
Special Message: To the lovely gals that won one of my mock sugar skulls from Vanessa's party way back when, you might see your little gems in these photo's ... my sincerest appologies for the delay, but their presence here today is very appropriate and greatly appreciated. They will most definitely be on their way to you come Monday.
Building this ofrenda was truly an amazing experience for me. I felt such a joyful peace in creating it & my heart actually new when it was complete. Once I lit the candles, I sat in silence for quite some time before taking any photographs. I offer my sincerest thanks to Susanna & Stephanie for hosting this beautiful event.
... and on that note, I am off to visit all the other participants ...
Happy Dia de los Muertos!
(ps - click on any of the images for a larger view)
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Here's another photo of the small pumpkins we saw at Hunsader Farms last week.
Angela from Just Go is holding her very first Blogapalooza & in the process is also having an awesome goodie bag giveway. Here's what she asked us to do: On October 29, put a photo of a pumpkin at the top of your post (check) and tell us the story of your strangest or scariest trip ever ...
... here goes ...
I wish that in the spirit of Halloween I had a spooky - in a creepy way - strange tale to tell, but unfortunately I don't (though I will admit that I did consider making one up ...). Instead, I'll share a camping trip adventure that nearly scared me out of my britches.
In my mid-twenties, I shared a house with three guy friends and we would often run away for a weekend of camping. We usually headed up to Mingus Mountain, but once we learned there was a seasonal waterfall, well, we just had to make the trip (sorry, I can't even remember the area let alone the name of the falls) ... understand that waterfalls in central AZ are not all that commen, so this was a pretty big deal for us. It should also be noted that though I can play a pretty good pack mule, I am not known as a daredevil ... that said, we made our eight mile hike into this secret canyon and actually found the waterfall. There were boulders to climb on that were huge (taller than me by more than double), beautiful river rock and everything was so lush. Pretty cool even if the waterfall was not much more than a trickle. It was still pretty amazing. We found a nice ledge down "stream" (more aptly dry bed) from the fall that was about 10 feet above the bed and level, so decided to set up camp there. That night we were pretty exhausted after a day of playing and good camp food, so when it started sprinkling we all decided to turn in for the night. That sprinkle turned into a pretty big storm. It rained most of the night and was still raining when we woke. Thanks to being in a canyon, we weren't beaten up by the winds, so I guess that counts for something. ... when we came out of our tents that dry bed had turned into a raging river ... and wouldn't you know it, the trail out was on the other side. The waters were still rising, but the rain had let up a bit, so we broke camp. There we are on the wrong side of the river with the waters still rising and the only way out was UP THE SIDE OF THE CANYON ... I kid you not. The boys had to do some pretty serious cajoling to get me to agree to scale the side of the mountain, but they managed to & I actually made it to the top. The hike out was a good 20+ miles (ok, not really ... remember it was eight miles in and we took that shortcut up the side of the canyon) ... by the time we got back to our truck, we were all exhausted and so ready for a hot meal that we took our rain soaked stinky selves to the nearest Denny's to rehash, revisit and retell our adventurous waterfall trip.
I really should be fast asleep, but I didn't want to be a party pooper ... I'll try to find pictures from the trip when I get home from work tomorrow ... if I find them, I'll be sure to add them.
Now, go check out the other Blogapalooza players HERE (listed on Angela's side bar) ... who knows, maybe one of them will have a wickedly haunted trip to share.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
It shouldn't take us long to get out to the farm, so relax and enjoy the ride.
Look! it's Ms. Goat ... she says we're almost there!
there are plenty to choose from ... we should grab a few extra for the Pumpkin Cannon!
WOW! that was seriously crazy.
That little ghost sure was amazing ... I had no idea he'd know how to tap dance!
Shall we head on over to Madama Furtunata's place? I have been sooooo looking forward to seeing her.
Madame Fortunata was in an extra good mood today ... it's not often she invites us to go along with her to a party!
Click the image above to visit Kathryn Party and all the guests that are attending