Friday, December 21, 2012

So much to do and someone has the flu...

So Christmas is just around the corner, presents are mostly wrapped, kids are home from college, there is even a bowl of baked goods that I made with a wonderful friend and our daughters...Things are feeling wonderful.  And then my daughter got sick, so I took her to the doctor and she has the flu.  She is missing a party tonight with all her friends.  They are making ginger bread houses together and she feels so bad she doesn't even care that she can't go to the party.  I feel bad for her because they are wonderful friends and I know they will miss my fun Emily.  And... now I am coughing and getting that feeling like someone is standing on my chest.  Panic is hovering over me.  I'm thinking who will fill the stockings (or help Santa fill the stockings, I should say) and take pictures, who will cook and keep the laundry pile manageable, if not me?  And, I am certain that I will spend Christmas alone because I can't even think about risking going to all the family events and making everyone else sick.   I don't think I have ever been sick at Christmas - I did spend Y2K in a hotel room in Dallas with strep throat while the rest of my family went to the Cotton Bowl, fortunately the lights stayed on.

I did put my Etsy shop on vacation until after the New Year.  I figured I would focus on family until then.  But, I am anxious to add some fun new things in January (above), a precious new brown haired angel and lots of valentine things...once i get through Christmas...sick and alone...haha...

It will be interesting to see how it all works out...maybe I will spend the day with Santa, taking down the tree and hearing all about his adventures on Christmas Eve... if I am really lucky maybe he will even tell me who was on the naughty list this year.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A place to vent sorrow.

It has been a sad week.  A boy I vaguely knew, that my son once knew, died this week.  He fell off a cliff.  It was a tragic accident.  He hit a tree on the way down.  It broke his fall and for a few days, the family and many friends had hope.  Instead, his organs were donated.  He chose, long before this tragedy, to give others hope by determining that he wanted to be an organ donor.  We will not ever know the many lives he will save, change, touch with his decision.  Of course, there was the school shooting.  Sad day all around when sweet little children are not safe.  We cannot even begin to understand the lives that were lost or the families devastated.  All we can do is pray, love on our children or on a child that needs to be loved.  We can take a second look at that single mom and access if we can help in any way.   I have other friends with real battles - like caner...
I do not remember a Christmas season when I was struck with this sadness.  I was already feeling afraid for our country and then all this.  So, yesterday, my husband and I took our heavy hearts and joined in the Wreaths Across America event.  This is where wreaths are put at the base of the headstones at our national cemeteries.   I was struck by the large number of headstones for "unknown soldier".  Tears welled up as I thought about these heroes whose mothers do not know where they are.  I was honored to lay wreaths at the base of these headstones, knowing that somewhere there was a mother, a sister, maybe a wife or daughter that would be blessed at Christmas to know that someone had placed a wreath at their loved one's headstone, given a salute and said "thank you".
In the midst of all the helplessness there are things we can do.  We can check yes on our driver's license to be an organ donor.  We can do something to ease the burden of a single mom.  We can be kind to someone.  We can say thank you to a fallen hero... and we can pray like we have never prayed before.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

More about badges...

(This post will make no sense unless you read the one below.)  Ok, so I realize most people who own a computer and who read blogs are light years ahead of me in computer knowledge, though I am assuming there are a few other old ladies out there that have an Etsy shop - or who should have an Etsy shop.  And, I know there are a lot of women out there trying to blog who also love pinterest.  So, I learned one more thing since I posted yesterday about adding the badges to my blog.  I was a little disconcerted about the size of the Etsy blog.  It was kind of like I was screaming out that I have an Etsy shop.  So, all on my own I might add, I went back into the stuff I copied and pasted and there it was height and width.  I just changed the numbers to the same as the pinterest badge.  Then I decided they were both a little small, so I increased them both.  Easy as Pie...

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Etsy and the process of learning.

So I have had a chance the last couple days to catch my breath.  And I am so excited today I figured out how to add the Etsy badge and the Follow me on Pinterest badges to this blog.  After all, I think what makes all this Etsy and blogging stuff cool for me is that I am learning...moving forward.  There is so much to learn about Etsy and promotion etc.  I have found the community there to be wonderful.  I have bought numerous Christmas presents through these shops.  I saw a story on the news and they said if we would each buy $64 of American made goods, it would generate 200,000 jobs.  So I have bought my share and more on Etsy.   Originally, I was going to mainly blog about what I have learned on Etsy and encourage others to pursue having a shop, but I decided that was a bit limiting, so I hope to just throw pointers out along with whatever else suits me.  Its really quite simple to add the badges.  I found a great blog that teaches all this stuff.  Once I read it some more and figure out how to put the link back to her page on my blog I will let you know.  I hope everyone is relaxed and enjoying the family and friend time of the holidays rather than running themselves ragged.  I had two strands of lights go out on my tree, so there are a couple dark spots, but oh well, I feel sure no one will notice but me and I am choosing not to let that get me in a twist.

Etsy Tip:
To add your Etsy Badge go to your shop, on the left under promotion click on "off-site".  You will see your badge choices.  Click the "generate" button by the badge you want and then highlight and copy and hit "done".  Now go to your blogger blog.  Go to layout/add a widget  click + on the one that says java html...  paste in your code that you copied off Etsy and hit save.  There you go, easy as pie.  For Pinterest, its pretty much the same thing except you go to the About area and click on "Pin it Button", scroll to the bottom and follow the same highlight, copy, paste instructions as above.

Monday, December 10, 2012

True meaning of Christmas

We are bustling about trying "to get ready for Christmas".  I have a list (and I'm checking it twice) as I am sure are you.  Those lists include such things as what gifts I have purchased for whom, all the gifts I have yet to purchase (I go over this one a lot), and then there are the cards, stamps, wrapping paper, grocery lists (don't forget the batteries), the calendar with all the cookie exchanges, appetizers for this party and desserts for that one, hostess gifts and on and on it goes.  For some of us the list includes Christmas Ever service at church - which then begs the question of what everyone in our family will wear, getting it purchased, cleaned and ironed and if your kids are little getting them to put it on.  My son once spent half of Christmas Eve  upstairs because he refused to wear his nice shoes.  It is something just short of chaos.  I didn't even mention school Christmas parties, plays and events.

Several years ago, I decided that I just wasn't going to get too worked up about Christmas anymore.   I put my tree up each year, no longer worrying about what day I get it up.  If I get my cards out, wonderful.  If not, I am thankful we live in an age of texting and Facebook and other tools that insure I will not lose touch with the people I care about.  If I forget a gift, well I will give that person a big hug and a smile and send them a nice birthday gift, after all I don't think any of us really need anything.  I have even shown up at cookie exchanges with no cookies.  I don't get to take any home, but no one at my house really needs any cookies, and I still get to have fellowship with my friends - stress free. So, I dare you to just cross one thing off that list, just one.  Take a deep breath and let go.

This is supposed to be a time when we reflect on the birth of Jesus Christ.  Jesus did not stand for chaos and stress and maxed out credit cards.  He came that we might have peace and hope and eternal life.  Christmas should be a time when we are thankful - thankful for each person we have on our list, for family gatherings and the abundance we have.   One last thing.  Go to and search for singing Christmas carols at the mall.  There are several.  Do not miss this opportunity to smile and remember what Christmas is really about.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Putting yourself out there

Things are stacking up as I am getting ready to have a sort of "showing" of my paintings etc. with a couple friends and I have decided its kind of hard to put yourself out there.  I have fallen into this entire thing by accident the last few months and have been thrilled that my things are selling (I mean what do you do if they don't, stack them to the ceiling??).  I am having so much fun learning, not only the art but how to get around on Etsy, how to market in other places etc.  Though I am not sure I really needed all these extra entries on my "To do" list.   With this show, however, I am a little nervous to be actually sitting there while people that I know peruse my stuff.  I am old enough that I don't really seek approval so much anymore, but still, its a little awkward.  What do you do if your really good friend is sitting there with a proud smile on her face and you hate her paintings??  It will be interesting and another learning experience, I am sure.  Its nice to still be learning something - it replaces all the things I have forgotten, like calculus ...

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Hunker Down for the Holidays

Happy Thanksgiving to all.  We are home and we have eaten enough to go into hibernation.  Now it is time to get focused and hunker down for the holidays.  Most of my busy will be trying to get this new computer figured out so that I can get my Etsy shop and Paisley Place inventory where it needs to be.  And I have not gotten any Christmas decorations up.  This is one of those years where I don't feel any urgency about putting up our tree.  I mostly do it alone now which is sad but also affords me the time to ponder the sentiment behind each ornament.

We figured out a while back that we didn't have to go crazy on gifts for our children.  We decided there was something wrong when our kids asked for 3 items and we went out and bought 10.  What were we teaching them - that what they wanted wasn't enough??  That a great Christmas meant getting more than they could even have fathomed??   So we gradually cut back.  My kids are older now - two are in college, so the gift buying is fairly easy.  They still do not ask for much, if anything, so we try to get them something they will really like and a few things that they actually need.  I hope that its a lesson learned that Christmas is not really about the gifts.  It is about family and truly being thankful for all you have and embracing that so long ago God sent his only son that whosoever believes, would not perish.  Now, that is a gift that means something.

That was not really what my intention was when I logged on here - I really just wanted to say that from Black Friday thru Cyber Monday you can get 10% off your order in my Etsy shop,   Just use the coupon code 2thankful.
 Happy shopping and remember less is more.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Time Flies and then its Christmas Again

I have been so busy getting ready for Christmas. I really think at some point its going to seem like a week and a half between Christmases (How in the world do you spell the plural of Christmas).  I am getting to where I do not even want to put a tree up because I feel like I just took it down.  That and the fact that all my kids are too old to care about helping me decorate the tree.  I miss the days when they would fight over hanging up an ornament.
I am trying something that I think will be fun this year.  I am having my own little "holiday market" with a couple of friends.  We are selling our art and also having a pampered chef lady, Arbonne, Noonday, and who knows what else.  I have been making angels among other things.  (Above).  I think I am going to put my Etsy shop on vacation that day and just take everything I have to the show. I have to say I have decided this week that there are so many very nice, hard working people on Etsy and I have been blessed to "meet" them there.  It has given me hope that there are some decent people out there.  I think one day I am going to see if some of them will let me post some of my favorite items on here.
I will post how the open house goes.  It is just one more step in this "artist" adventure that I am on.  It may be something others may want to try.
My sons are home from college and I am so thrilled.  Young moms out there - take a deep breath with those little ones and relax just a bit and enjoy them.  Enjoy their messes and their runny noses.  Enjoy being a bus driver and seeing their little faces for those brief car rides and turn the music down and listen to them.  It won't be long and they will be gone.
Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


I did two projects for Canvas Corp/7Gypsies to be used for a blog hop with Authentique Paper.  I loved the products and had so much fun combining scrap book design with my new love of mixed media art. I did a garden journal.  I find that growing flowers is good for the soul and I love my flowers.  There are several hidden journaling spots in the journal.  Something new I did that I would not have done a couple years ago is cover everything in Mod Podge.  I love it and I think it adds protection to the album.  Try it!!
Feel free to check out the Canvas Corp blog here:

I also did a canvas.  Again, just dig out your stash of patterned paper scraps and piece together a picture, all the time adding texture with inks, papers, words, etc.  I used the Authentique Lively collection for both pieces and loved the texture and feel of this high quality paper.  I also love Stazon ink.  I don't think anything compares.  (No, I am not geting anything from either company).

I have been scrap booking for years, but when I have thrown in this mixed media element, I think it has given me such a freedom to create.  As a scrapper, i was very symmetrical and clean.  Here I can slap on things here and there that go a little more outside the box.   Give it a try, and don't be afraid to just keep adding and if you don't like something, just keep on layering until you have covered up what you don't like.

Off topic, I am saddened by the election, but I pray for our country and its leaders.  Everything God does is good and right and he is in control.  Keep the faith and keep on praying.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

I'm in Love

Sneak Peak:
Ok so I am participating in a blog hop through 7 Gypsies and Tattered Angels with Authentique Paper and I am in love with the Authentique Paper.  I have never used it and I was given the entire "Lively" line to work with on the project.  I LOVE this paper.  I loved the texture and the colors.  I will post the projects once they appear on the above mentioned blogs.  I did an angel canvas and a mini album - which was more of a journal.  I can't wait to see all the projects and I cannot wait to go out and find more of this wonderful paper.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Sweet Tooth

 Halloween after thoughts.

New Etsy Listing:

Thanks for looking.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Costumes

Time flies - Halloween 2002

Just got home from Bible Study Fellowship.  I am thankful for God's grace.  If you are looking for a great way to study God's word and to grow, find out if there is a BSF class near you.  I don't think there is a better thing you can do for your family.  This week one of the questions was "What do you think you do that displeases God?"  Wow, that is not one we like to think about, but when we do and we confess it, He will make changes in our lives that can transform us and affect our children and our relationships.

Tonight is Halloween and I don't have any little ones anymore, though my daughter still wants to dress up and walk around the neighborhood with her friends.  I want to share that I worked at one of the schools this week.  Most of the little kindergartners showed up in full costume and many little boys were super heroes.  One little boy had forgotten and was on the verge of tears so I let him go to the office and call home.  He was so excited and proud when his grandmother brought his costume and he, too, was a super hero.  It made me think of the time my son wanted to be a Pokemon character.  I never felt that it was worth it to invest a lot of money in Halloween costumes so I tried to make his costume.  Well you can see the result above.  But you know that sweet child of mine never complained about how ridiculous that costume was.  I know he was embarrassed but he wore it anyway.  Somehow he knew that that costume would not be the deciding factor in whether he could become a super hero.  I'm not sure how but I think he knew it was more heroic to just wear the costume his mom had made for him and to have fun with his friends without complaining.

Monday, October 29, 2012

I have decided I will be forever haunted by little boys in uniforms.  I loved all the years I spent at the ballpark watching my boys.  They are grown now and their ballpark days are behind them.  But, so many memories remain there.  Every time I see a little boy or even a medium sized boy in a uniform I smile, and on the inside a part of me cries for my long lost little boys and those days at the baseball diamond or the football field or the....... I so want to grab those parents and tell them to relax just a bit and enjoy the day, not to be so intense about their child's performance or the baseball hat that is lost or whose son is the best catcher, to just cherish the moment when life is fun and those little boys have big dreams.  In the end thats what really matters.  Really.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Here We Go, Open Etsy Shop

I am not quite an empty nester, but getting close.  I have been making scrap books for years and designing pages for this store or that for awhile, but honestly I was getting tired of scrapping as I have no more wide eyed little ones making those adorable faces and I have done so many sports pages and so many "girl" pages.  So, I needed something new.  I was drawn to the art journaling and to the mixed media canvases.  I loved them but wasn't sure I could do it.  I gave it a try and actually liked what I was doing.  Problem was that unlike scrapbooks, you only have so many places for a canvas.  I started selling them at a local store and had very good luck.  So, I thought about it and an Etsy shop seemed like a good idea.  I figured I could sell prints and cards and other things from my originals that I was selling locally.  My suggestion if you are thinking about a shop is first get on Etsy and play around.  Hit the sellers tab and read through the FAQs.  Run a search for the item you would be selling and see if the market is saturated or if you are unique, and take note of the pricing on similar items.   I did not pay anyone to come up with my banner, avatar etc.  But even that is available for a low cost on Etsy.  Next pick a name for your shop and make your banner (top of the page for your shop).  You also have to be a registered user on Etsy.   Think it over.  This is something you can try with pretty much no investment, other than your inventory.   I wont talk about it here but you will have to invest time in your shop.  I call it "working it".  I am actually having fun. Some days I feel really in control and feel like I am rolling along.  Other days I wonder what I should be doing that I do not have a clue about.  But I am glad I opened my shop and I have a couple new ideas rolling around.  So, get ready, set....go.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Random Thoughts from Broken Computer

Random thoughts and a broken computer:
So my computer got hit by lightening and pretty much died.  I am sure you can all relate to that time when your computer gets to a point where you are lying awake at night thinking about how much pleasure you would get if you could open a second story window and chunk it as far as you could throw it.  That is where I was and then it just died completely.  So I am in a mess.  I had a lot of files saved, but not all.  My Etsy shop has been completely ignored and I have not posted anything yet about how I actually came to have an Etsy shop.  I am sure I will get there.  I had also intended to kind of post about things I was learning as I go along - kind of a blind leading the blind thing.  I have a lot going on.  I was hoping to add some new things to the shop - like paper art and mixed media elements for others to add to their projects.  I have been making some of the above and am loving them.  The ones in the picture include pieces of a vintage quilt that I got at the coolest antique place in Texas.  That is an entire story in itself.  I will have to find pictures because words cannot describe it.  Sadly, my friend that I visited there sold her lake house, so I may never go again.  But anyway, I got a cool old quilt that was thread bare in spots so using it for other things.

Lots going on which I will post pics later.  I had a piece on the Tattered Angels blog that I had done for their CHA booth this summer.  I sent a piece that I loved to New York to help raise money for an organization called Love 146.  Check out their web-site.    And I am working on two things right now for a blog hop between Authentique Paper (which I have fallen in love with) and Canvas Corp, Tattered Angels and 7 Gypsies.  I will post pics later.  I have to get this new computer figured out and get new photo software as I have gone from PC to MAC.  

In closing I want to posted a few pictures from another artist (above) as I have absolutely fallen in love with her work.  I think her pages are stunning.  She also does a lot of art journaling.  She uses the name Mumkaa on Flickr and pinterest.  Go check out her stuff.  I just think it is amazing.  

Have a great day.  One day soon I will talk about my shop.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

So grateful that God created Color

I am studying the Book of Genesis in BSF.  We just started and today talked about His creation (God is quite the genious isn't he?).  And when he created plants and flowers - basically when color came along - what an amazing gift that was to mankind.   Color gives us beauty, it affects our moods, it makes the world deeper and more satisfying.   My first step on this journey was with watercolor paper and mainly watercolors, pastels and inks (watch the ink, it does not add to the beauty of your carpet).  You just have to play.  Put a little ink and water on a page, swirl it around and then go from there. Go Play!!
First attempts looked something like this:

I also love my garden.  It is color straight from God's hands. And it is an inspriation and a refuge:

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Getting Started

I have more arts and craft supplies than any person needs to have - as most of you that love to create can probably relate.  So, in fact, getting started in the world of mixed media art was just a matter of reorganizing, putting some of the scrapbook elements to the back of the shelf and pretty much moving the yarn, knitting needles and ribbon to another room (yes, I have taken over several closets and an entire room).  I have been on a couple of scrapbook design teams and have always said I was "creative, but not an artist".  So the idea of it all was rather daunting.  My son, who himself is pretty creative, encouraged me to give it a try.  So I watched videos, Robin Marie got me started with her videos and  pretty much changed my life - really.   It was pretty thrilling as things began to take shape and I actually liked what I was creating. And, I was having a blast in the process.  So all you creators, dig out those paint brushes, water colors, ink and stamps and tubes of paint and get started.  You can do it and it may turn into an adventure like it has for me.