Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Wishes for 2009

This past week I have visited a number of my favorite blogs and read some beautifully thoughtful reflections of 2008. I'm touched by what people choose to share; inspired, too.

Since I haven't quite gotten over my whole non-holiday-spirit, I feel like my reflections might be a bit tainted right now; rather than wallow, I'd prefer to offer ...

Wishes for 2009

May we live honestly & wholeheartedly

May we be wise enough to recognize what's truly important

May we dare to try new things (even if some may scare us a little ... or a lot)

May we be well & healthy in body, mind and spirit

May we suffer bouts of spontaneous dancing (and/or singing)

May we be open to (and accepting of) our highest potentials

May we share ourselves without fear

May we practice kindness, until practice becomes habit
and habit becomes as natural as breathing

May kindness continue to be contagious

May we be treated to lots of gut splitting laughter & silly little fits of giggles

May we accept others for exactly who they are and not what we expect them to be

May we be inspired

and touched by magic

May we experience 10,000+ moments of happiness

May we all find peace in our hearts, our homes & our universal community

With love,

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

How Did it Happen?

I've been having issues with this holiday season ... usually I begin preparing sometime in early October and have a bunch of stuff in the works & by December 1 I'm in a baking and making frenzy (believe me when I say that I truly enjoy every part of it, too) ... this year, I never really got started. Strange, really. I have baked a bit, made even less and now it's officially Christmas Eve ... this is so odd. I mentioned in an earlier email that I am hoping that my holiday clock is just set on delay ... who knows, maybe I'll have my holiday burst sometime in March. One never really knows ... I hope that I haven't bummed y'all out & your still with me - this next part is chock full of happy surprises, some pretty pictures (from that trip North) and a super happy face at the end.

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:

And just for the sheer pleasure:

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
love, laughter & good cheer!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

From Snow to Sunshine

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:

Here's a shot of the tree watching us:

Perhaps not part of all the prettiness, but it cracks me up. I've seen a lot of those spirit of the tree faces & always found them to be quite intriguing, but a tree spirit that's watching us? and with his own binoculars?!? too funny.
This little moth found one perfect place to sun and feast:

... 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

Last Minute Shopping, Anyone?

I just found out that another friend of mine (check out her blog: HERE) has opened an Etsy store ... actually, she has three ... one for her vintage inspired pieces, one specifically for the earrings she makes and another for vintage beading and craft supplies ... all sorts of yumminess!

Here's a sampling of her earrings:

(click on the image to be directed to the Earring Emporium)

This one:

(click on the image to be directed to La Belle Savage)

and this one:

(click on the image to be directed to La Belle Savage)

and ... this one:

(click on the image to be directed to La Belle Savage)

Are samples of items you could find at her other shop:

Do yourself a favor and go check out the goodies she has for sale ... I'm pretty sure you'll be blown away & her prices are more than reasonable. Have fun ... and let me know if you decide to buy one of her trinkets (even if it's for yourself).

Oh! ... and if anyone happens to have an inexpensive and foolproof recipe for uber-tasy cookies, I am all ears! I have a cookie exchange party a week from today ... EEK!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

We're home safe, somewhat sound and a little more than EXHAUSTED!

I feel like I have tons to catch up on ... laundry, emails, lists, planning, crafting & blog visits(I have gotten through my first rounds of checking in, but have a lot more to go) ... and then there's the reality ... I am wiped out (and seriously thinking that I am part bear in need of hibernation ... or could use another four days of vacation) ... so ... I promise not to torture you with the 800+ photo's that I took this past week, but instead will leave you with just a handful ... and a promise to be back soon ...

On the night we left, it was 74 degrees (at 8:00PM) here in sunny Florida and this is the sunset we were treated to as we loaded the mini-v:

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).

May you be treated to a day of happy moments!