The creative and spiritual journey of a (textile) recycler. . .

I have thought about starting a blog for a long time now. I just couldn’t seem to get started. I thought. . what would I say, what would I do and really . . . . . who would care.

Last year I had the great fortune to witness a ‘happening’. As a spouse at a reunion (I know, groan) I was both an observer and participant. This reunion was attended by some of the most creative and talented people on the face of the planet. Really, no exaggeration! But many were holding onto life long insecurities. They didn’t think they were talented enough and embarrassed to perform in front of each other for fear of . . who knows . . . finger pointing, whispers, laughter, ridicule of some sort for sure. Once it was revealed that many shared the same feelings, the healing began. And I was the lucky one. I got to witness it all and benefit as well.

So, the message is that we all think we are not good enough compared to someone else, but we are. Don’t let your fears and insecurities stop you. We can’t measure our own success by someone else’s talents.

This revelation and the kindness / support of strangers has propelled my creative journey to a place I had given up ever getting to. Tho I thought my creative juices were dried up forever, they have merely been reawakened. Many thanks to all involved in my process, including in-part . . Victoria B, Mrs. W., Charles Mc., Claudia H, Mary B, Cindy G, Sandy B, Traci B., Kat C, and my IAA family. So, thank you. I dedicate this blog to all of you!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Flea Market Friday..Ooops I forgot

OMG. I just realized that it is Sunday evening! So much for Flea Market Friday. How on earth could I forget.. oh yah.. now I remember...

The phone rang Friday morning. The caller asked for my husband, who wasn't home. I offered to take a message. The caller, the Hosipce social worker proceeded to ask how my husband was doing with his loss. 'Pops' was his dad. Then asked how his sibling was doing with the loss. First of all, she never even asked who I was. I could have been a child, a baby sitter, heck, I could have been the mistress who didn't leave the house yet! And, she never asked how I was doing either.

Until that point, I'd been doing ok. But that short call seemed to set off a chain of events that started and ended with tears.... for days. How insensitive Ms. Social Worker was. No, she wasn't rude, didn't raise her voice, or speak negatively, I was just shocked that someone with 'training' would not realize that a death affects everyone that person came in contact with. Some more than others. And, sometimes non blood related family can be more involved and caring than actual blood relatives. I spent every day and evening with the man and was so heavily invested ... with several decades of love. He and I got even closer since he moved to town. We were like Frick and Frack, Heckle and Jeckle, 2 peas in a pod.

I was ok when I hung up but as the day moved along, I got more and more upset. Thoughts of Pops transitioned into thoughts of my mom, who I spent every day and night with during her three year battle. I was at the bedside of both when they passed. A lot of thoughts and feelings were dredged up with that phone call and began my several day crying jag.

So,  I guess the message is, make sure that you include everyone in your thoughts of happiness or condolence, not just a select few. Your words or lack of can have a definite impact.

I'll start the new year off right with Flea Market Friday. Please join me and share your finds and how you use them with a link that will be found the bottom of the posts.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Craftsy classes on sale! Merry Christmas!

Hey all you crafty folks... ever hear of They specialize in online crafty type classes and workshops. Well here is a wonderful holiday surprise ...

Craftsy Christmas Sale
 Begins today, Dec 22 and ends Monday, Dec 24

All classes are priced between $9.99 - $24.99! 
What fantastic savings!

There are all kinds of great classes like quilting, jewelry making, dyeing fabric, knitting, crocheting, weaving, sewing, cake decorating and home & garden... even online classes to learn how to fit plus sized clothes! There's lots more. . . .  See for yourself.

What's cool is that once you register, the classes never expire, so you can keep going back again and again to retake them at no additional charge. They are interactive, too, so if you have a question, you can post it and wait for the teacher to respond. Cool, huh?

To learn more, find the perfect online class for yourself, or to give a class as a gift this holiday season, just click:

 I couldn't wait, so I signed up for mine already! 

Happy Crafting everyone!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Gift delivery today

Not much to write about today.

But I did have the pleasure of delivering
a handmade (not by me) Christmas ornament to a friend today.
 Just seeing her squeal with delight made my day! 

I wish I could deliver gifts all day, every day of the year...

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

List it Tuesday - holiday traditions!

Todays list is: Holiday Traditions or in my case Favorites.

I'm usually home alone for the holidays which sounds sad, but I love it. My time is my own. It's my time to cleanse my mind and my home. I can just get in the zone and do what I need to do and what I want to do without any guilt...So without a lot more explanation, here is my list:

  • fave movie: Miracle on 34th Street.... already seen it 2x this week!
  • fave way to keep warm: hot (chicken) soup or other yummy homemade soup & snuggling with my hub, of course
  • fave meal: lamb & green beans and/or bean sprout chili :)
  • fave beverage: soy egg nog ...yum-eeeee
  • fave thing just at holidays: making latkes, often times with the oddest of veggies
  • fave way to spend time: any way I darn well please!               No schedules :) 
  • fave trait: become a hermit... I don't leave the house for 14 days or so
  • fave challenge: I always issue myself a challenge of some sort. Usually something creative. My 2 faves: #1-making one quilt every day for the 14 days I was alone (photo above is one of my self-imposed challenge pieces & #2 -getting giant rolling drawer thingys and organizing all my my crafty bits
  • fave feeling when the holiday is over: knowing that a lot of crap from around the house got thrown out (or recycled to someone else)!
  • fave holiday song: by Donnie Hathaway, Christmas Song
  •  and the Ronettes, Sleigh Ride                                  
  • fave thing of all: peace and quiet
  • fave day: when hubby comes home (ding!)
Fave wish to you all:
Have a very happy, safe, and successful holiday season!

As always, you can see more of Aimee's holiday elf's traditions lists at: 

Monday, December 17, 2012

A really close call

What a day...I was all set to go to the produce market... my cupboards (& fridge) were bare. It isn't exactly close to home, but the prices are so good that it pays to make the drive. So happily I went on my merry way.

I was almost there... so could have been waaaaay worse. I was about a mile from my exit, a big semi was in the right lane looking like he wanted to be in my lane. I slowed to let him in but he made no effort to move over, so I thought I was wrong. Then suddenly without any warning at all, he started moving that big ol' truck into my lane. Problem was, I was still there and there was traffic to my left. What the heck was I going to do. He's still coming.... Oh oh...

I laid it on the horn to get his attention and hopefully get him to stop. Nope... he kept on coming. And, he looked right a me in his side mirror. He knew exactly what he was doing. He knew that this was an accident waiting to happen.... literally. And apparently didn't care either. He'd be long gone by the time the cops got there... So I knew I was really in trouble... I was still moving but had nowhere to go and I was running out of road real fast....even tho I was in the middle lane. I felt like I was was waiting to be crushed from both sides..... I was almost the squishy filling in a metal sandwich... Luckily I just slowed a bit and he kept racing forward... It was so very close and I won't lie, I was a bit rattled. It also caused me to miss my exit.  Drat, do I turn around and go to the market or just go home and pull the covers up over my head?? Think fast....

I got off at the next exit, turned around and went into the market. Hmm.. 2 lbs of red peppers for a dollar! Maybe my luck has changed. The lady behind me in the checkout line started talking to me about juicing and how we both looked great for our ages. We chuckled. After that, I was bound for home with no side trips. You see, within one mile of that episode, I had very four close encounters. Ok Universe, I get the message.. I'm going home....

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Thank you bloggers.. and the winner is...

This was my first attempt at a blog hop....what fun! and so glad my first was celebrating Michele's 5th anniversary of the Quilting Gallery Blog.

I am so happy that a few hoppers like my blog enough to hop on board and follow along with me. It gives me a warm fuzzy. I feel validated.. and that's why we do this, right?? I hoped when I started, that I would touch a nerve with my experiences and observations. I hoped that maybe I might even make a difference in someone's life. You just never know where your lifeline will come from. For me, the wonderful comments left for me have meant so much. They have given me the strength and encouragement to keep peeling back the layers and let you see who I am and what I do.

So thank you Michele for the opportunity to celebrate with you, grow as a blogger, a quilter, a mixed media artist, and a person. . . . and to meet some really wonderful people that I am sure I will get to know better. With this experience, I have found blogs of interest that I never would have found any other way, met people I never would have, been shown kindness and appreciation from people I never thought I'd meet.. I am honored that you all want to be part of my crazy life...

And now, the moment you've all been waiting for ...... the winner of the 2 patterns .... drum roll . . . is: Sandra (please be sure to respond to your email Sandra)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

A day at the museum

Yesterday I spent the day with a bunch of high school kids at the local art museum. Before we left the school, there were lots of long faces, puffed out lips and cranky attitudes. Surprising because they were getting out of school for the day. So why you wonder....

Well it turns out that since the groups were pre-arranged and the kids were not able to hang out with their friends all day, they were unhappy. One came up to me with a long face and great concern and told me that none of his friends were in his group. He was horrified when I replied with a big smile, "Great! Now you can make new friends"... that's just me... So we all boarded the bus... quite a bumpy ride I must say... and rode to the city for a day of art.

When we got there, we were met by staff and our tour guides. We broke into our three groups and were on our way. Each group headed off in a different direction. To my surprise, my tour guide was an artist that I have known for 20 years! I was so happy to see her ... and she was great! Good with the kids and patiently answered all of their questions. And to my surprise, the kids responded well to her too. She pointed out little tid bits of fact and asked them questions to which many were able to answer. I think I smelled some burning oil for a minute there while they were trying to think of answers. But the gears kicked in and it was all good.

We started with the Diego Rivera murals.

Then moved on to a very large mosaic piece by Romare Bearden.


Then another large mixed media piece by Charles McGee.

After looking at quite a few galleries, all three groups met up for a quick lunch together, a trip to the gift shop, then I took my group on another short tour of Egyptian, Middle Eastern and African galleries before boarding the bus to go back to school.

When I asked on the bus if anyone liked the day at the museum, this was a response from two of the gals. I think their smiles say it all :)

Thanks museum for inviting us. Thanks bus driver for the safe trip. Thanks kids for going, behaving and learning while having fun. Let's do it again....

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Flea Market Friday!

Ok you mixed media, journal making I am! Sometimes ya have to go for it... right?

I grabbed some of my most recent flea market finds... that were freebies (ding!) Freebies are the best ever!

So what do I have .... a book .... and some really old unused dye....

The dye containers were sitting on the back porch with each dye color in separate containers..... since at least early May. They sat out in the bad storm that pulled the power box off my house. They sat out during the excessive summer heat ....  of many days close to, or over 100 degrees.

I was curious to see if there was any umpf left in the dye. After all, it's been around so long it seemed a shame to just dump it without checking... and I am a recycler after all....

So, I painted and/or spilled it on the paper book pages. In some areas I put down some gesso first, in other spots, I didn't really care.

Then I just grabbed a stencil... any stencil... any stencil will do.... and I have bunches of them....

So here are a few of the pages I started. They are not done.. I know what I want to do to finish them... but, umm, let's see, I think I need to stay home and do it. And I will. But in a day or two.
.... A girl has plans ya know...

Alright now, here is the money shot .... the work in progress... mess on the table.... and the paint covered ironing board. 

See the icky water in the plastic container.....
and you thought I was kidding.....

What have you found lately or made from your Flea Market Finds?
Any thing with book pages?? Let's see....

Can you make your own fabric??

Today was another nice day. Again, it was sunny and warm... if you can think of 44 degrees as warm... and dry. So I've had a run of a few good days to go outside... I know I wrote that yesterday, but seriously... it's a big deal. I've gone months and even years barely leaving the house unless to scurry into the car and scurry back out. A girl needs to be in her oh so protective cocoon...and allergies stink. Enough said on that.

Anyway, I was invited to spend a day with another friend. OMG... this gal lives way out in the boonies! It was a looooong drive but so worth it. We talked, ate, commiserated over all sorts of thinks including Yahoo changing it's email look (yuk) and enjoyed listening to her hubby's stories and jokes. It was wonderful and comforting. 

If you didn't know it, I am one really lucky lady.. for many reasons. Just one of them is because I have such wonderful and talented friends. This gal makes fabric! Yep, you heard me... MAKES it. She looms fibers from her own personal alpaca herd and creates some of the most yummy garments you've ever seen or felt. The hand of this fabric is so soft and drapey, lightweight yet warm. I am so in awe of her ability and talent. If you think I am gushing because we are friends... think again. I don't gush needlessly. The jacket photos are garments that she made from start to finish.... including making the yardage to start with! Check out the photo. Am I right....

So do you see why I am so impressed....AND if you think the day couldn't get any better for me, think again. If you have read anything on my blog and have learned just one thing about me, it would be my love affair with scraps... 
           ....Guess who hit the scrap jackpot! 

                                                                                         ding! ding! ding!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

New store... new experience..

I had a nice afternoon today. The sun was shining brightly, it wasn’t blistery cold, everything was dry outside (notable if you have allergies) and I felt like being sociable. So I went to visit a friend at her new store. It’s only been open a month or so and it’s soooooo cool! She's gathered work from a variety of artists, mostly local but not exclusively and created a store named Poesy.

The space is filled with sunlight, items with lots of color and not very big, but maximized to show off everything really well. While I was there, she had a steady stream of not just shoppers, but buyers! Yeah! People are still buying hand made goodies!!

Having coordinated fine art fairs for twenty years, I found that I knew most of the artists represented. In fact, that’s how we met... She sold her work at one of my very first art fairs! And now the tables have turned. She took my new line of note cards to sell. To date I have not put my work in stores, and only showed my things very very minimally... so this is yet another new challenge for me.

In another week or so I will post my cards for sale via this blog... so please check back. In the meantime, look at some of the great hand made work that you can find at Poesy.1600 Rochester Road. Royal Oak. MI .....

Last night I noticed that if I post once a day till the end of the year, 
I will have 100, I'm going for it...

Please join me and it you have suggestions for posts,
don't hesitate to share them...

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

List it Tuesday! What's in your junk drawer...

Tuesday always comes so fast... sheesh....
Well, because I think so highly of Aimee, our list master, and because her list making has been a lifeline for me....I am going to use this week's list to out myself. I did not come to this decision lightly. And, I've been tearing the bandaid off very gently over the last few months. I guess it's time to rip it off all the way. So, here it goes:

I don't have a junk drawer.  I have a junk house. Yes, it's true. With everything going on over the last few years, I'm just glad to have some sanity left. I'm old, unemployed, everyone I love keeps dieing and have my own health issues to deal with ... a junk drawer isn't even on my radar. So for this list, my junk drawer is actually my dining room table.  Yes, the entire table. 

Here's how it started. Two years ago I was home alone from Christmas to New Years. So I did what any red blooded creative person would do... I laid out lots of bottles of paint, fabric, paper, screens, etc. Who would know? My plan was for this to be temporary... just till the holidays ended. Then everything would go back to it's rightful place(s) and Voila! No one would be the wiser. Well, unfortunately, with all of the deaths (8 last year over 5 mo), a flood, numerous multi-day power outages, bed ridden with allergies multiple times and oh so much more... well, clearing the table fell by the way side. And this year, same thing.. bedridden for a month or more with each allergy episode (hence the Prednisone in a past list), power outages and many of them.... heck, the dang power box was pulled right off the house in a storm that left me power less for a week in the 100 degrees this past July... uck, taking care of Pops, 5 deaths over 7 weeks.... why go get the idea...

So, here's what's on the table~
paint: lots of small bottles
brushes: foam, bristle
little sponges: bunches of 'em
paint sticks: omg
fabric scraps: no comment
fabric yardage: ditto to above
upholstry fabric books
rubber stamps: strewn around the other crap on the table
bobbins: don't ask
empty food containers: now hold dingy paint water or are totally dried up
jewelry: odd bits, and they are there for no good reason
a shoe: can't even remember why
and a basket or two: why? who know's
misc mail: junk mail... but still.....
some boxes of misc stuff: I need to see what's in them I think
big yellow phone book: waiting to be pitched... or used for mixed media : )
mini ironing board: with paint globs & fabric patches all over it, I might add
squeegees: gotta have 'em
old credit cards: squeegee wannabees

I'm sure there is more but I'd have to remove the top layer to find out what.

There is no photographic evidence this week. The photos will be used for next weeks Flea Market Friday, so I guess if want to see the ugly truth for yourself, you'll have to come back  ....

If curious about the other list makers junk drawers, go to:

Ahhhh, thanks Aimee... I feel so much better now (ding!)

Monday, December 10, 2012

It's a great day!

Ok, I just have to say something.. days don't always start and end as we plan. My day started with me being excited about participating in my first blog hop. I didn't have a lot else planned and not much else to be geeked up about. Not too many people seemed to be signing up to follow my blog. A bit sad. That's ok. I think I'm an acquired taste. I'm not mainstream and definitely march to the beat of my own drum. What I do and have to say is not for everyone.
On my errand list was a plan to pick up some freebies ..... but I got so much more. I think I made a new friend today. What a nice lady....We sat and talked and got to know each other as we looked thru all kinds of things together.... and toward the end of our visit she offered information that could lead to come gainful employment! I am going into my 5th year of being laid off folks. Money is tight. Oh, did I mention a big thanks auto industry for taking a nose dive. I lost the best job I ever had (as did so many others).  Said it many times. Tho I am truly not bitter. I do know that thinks happen for reasons that can take years to figure other than the loss of income, I get it..... I'm cool ....

When I was first laid off tho, I was pretty confident that I would start something new in a relatively short period of time. I have credentials and experience on my side. But people wanted to me work for free and after a year get what ever was left over. My forehead does not say 'fool' on, no, I did not take those jobs. Can't work on spec for a year with no money at the end. While looking in my field I still looked for other types of employment... anything. Been looking ever since. It can start getting to you when you are told repeatedly that you are too old and overqualified. So, when my new friend not only filled my addiction for all things creative and then offered the possibility of a job too! Yep.. the day got a lot better.

I will be sharing more about my great finds at Flea Market Friday.. tho the post may show up on Sat or Sunday this week. I'll be traveling with a pack of teen-agers to the art institute for the day. I just may be to old for some things after all ... maybe those people that didn't hire me were right!

So as I've said before, the kindness of strangers always amazes me. I live in an area where adult men let the door close rather than hold it open, where people of all ages drive so aggressively that just going out your front door can be a risk and where people never ever hesitate to curse you out for no reason at all.

Well nice new friend... thank you for opening up your home and sharing some time with me... I appreciate the ego boost and the goodies and hope that you feel as good about the day as I do (ding!)

New shoes, part of my freebies. I LOVE purple!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Quilters Blog Hop Party - Happy 5th Quilting Gallery!

Six or seven years ago, later in life, I suddenly became a joiner. I've always done my own thing, but I suddenly joined every quilting group I could find. I shocked myself because I'm a rather shy person. But, I needed to get over it. So, I forced myself to join and meet new people. Well that was great for a long while, but I starting finding it a bit tedious. I needed to pull back to keep my sanity.

As a kid I tried and tried to keep a diary. Everyone did it. But I just couldn't. Tried again as an adult. A number of times. Nope not for me.

Then about four years ago I started blogging. It took me quite a few years to even work up the nerve to do it. I had no idea if anyone one would care or if I would write about anything anyone wanted to read. So I decided that would be true to myself. I would write what I feel and create what I wanted, how I wanted and break any rules I feel like breaking. I am creative after all. I am entitled. Then there's that age thing. I have gotten to the age where I feel I have earned some points. Some of you know what I mean. I've paid my dues.

Well what a pleasant surprise that I could be joiner and keep a diary blog form. I've certainly had my ups and downs with consistency. I've been sidetracked by births, deaths, floods, power outages, health issues and so much more. But finally I've gotten in the groove and I'm enjoying it. I've joined other blogs and am getting to know other bloggers and creative folks out there in cyber land.

So as you look over new and old posts, you'll see that I like to promote other people, show their work, write lots of introspective and spiritual stuff, plus a bit of what I do as an art quilter. Now that hopefully I am past the 'constant crisis' phase of life, you will find a lot more creative stuff here. I love to use my whole bag of tricks when working with fabric, which includes stitching, dyeing, painting, tearing, discharging, screening, embellishing, recycling ...  you get the idea....

Always up for a new challenge, now I'm sticking my big toe in the Blog Hop arena. In honor of the Quilting Gallerie's 5th anniversary, I am joining forces with 100+ other bloggers to celebrate and offer a special gift.

To be eligible to win the give-a-way, please join my blog as a follower and let me know in the comments section that you have done so. If you are already a follower, just let me know that you are participating. Feel free to leave any other comments any time you'd like as well.... and don't forget to stop in and share on Flea Market Fridays. Show us what you do with your new found treasures.

The winner will be drawn at random and receive: 
2 Humble Bee quilt patterns - Pinwheels & Posies and Argyle

Click the Quilting Gallery Blog Hop Party link below
to see the whole list of participating bloggers. 

Good luck to everyone and Happy Anniversary Quilting Gallery!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Flea Market Friday

To me, any place you find a treasure can be considered a flea market. My newest find was after an estate sale. One of my sewing club ladies passed away very recently. What a lovely women. She had a bright spirit, a warm smile and a sparkle in her eye, always. Before each meeting we had a big hug and a chat and if we were lucky enough to run into each other somewhere out and about, we always pulled up a few chairs and just sat and chatted more...

After her passing, her daughter held a sale, then allowed the group to come in and just take what was left. As you can imagine, a lifetime sewer had a lot of stuff any fabric addict would go gaga for. I had been on the hunt for a tall folding screen or something of similar ilk to hang small quilts on for display. I have been attempting to show some of my work lately, but increasingly frustrated trying to find just the right way to display little art quiltlets. I don't like them looking all messy and forlorn just hanging all askew and lifeless. 

So I have asked the Universe to put something usable in my path. Well, to my good fortune, my request was answered. There was a screen sitting in the corner. The fabric wasn't going to work for me but that was easy enough to swap out. So I happily carried my treasure out and began to furiously try to figure out what type of fabric I had for the panels. I had a few yards of black felt purchased for a project that I hadn't started yet. Oh geez.. here we go...

So I quickly measured up the space. Then figured out if I had enough felt. I did!

So I quickly cut the felt, stitched some strips down at the top and bottom, threaded dowel rods thru and voila!

It still needs some work, but for a quick fix, it's a start ....

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

R.I.P. Dave Brubeck

Another death... what is going on Universe??? 

A jazz great has now been taken from us. He gave us all so many years of fantastic music.. a pioneer ... a legend.. Yes, my path crossed with Mr. Brubeck. Close friends, no. But he and his family's lives were entwined with ours. Dave & Iola, his wife, were friends with my in laws and kept in touch for many many years, Chris and his brothers were and have been friends with my husband for decades. Back in the day... and I mean waaaaay back, Chris and my husband were in a band together. When they were strangers to me, for some reason my roommate and I let 'the boys' practice and jam at our house during the day. Then they'd gig at local clubs at night. I was stunned one day to come home from work and find Mr. Dave Brubeck sitting in my living room. What a pleasant surprise. What a lovely and gracious man.

Sorry for your loss Brubeck family. Thank you for sharing your husband, your dad and his genius with the world. We are so much richer for it.

Here is one of my all time favorite Dave Brubeck songs, Take Five:

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Addition to today's List it Tuesday post

In my List it Tuesday post, I referred to a video that my husband made while driving his dad from Florida to Michigan, to be near us. I debated about adding it to the post. Decided not to... but it really makes me smile when I am down. It is not only fun but a great comfort to me, so, I thought I would share it after all. 

Now you'll see who I spent my everydays with since the summer and why he was such a treasure to be with.

I think about you every day 'Pops' and still collect your hugs from the girls at Sunrise.

So here is Rick and Roger's Excellent Adventure:

~ see original full post below ~

List it Tuesday!

Geez, it's Tuesday already. I can't believe how quickly the days pass...and how timely the new list topic is. You may think this can't be true, but it is. I had another family member pass away yesterday. Today, Tuesday is the funeral.

So, just in time, here is my list for: Small Comforts... Things That Make Me Feel Better:
  • home made chicken soup - Yum
  • if carrots and boiled chicken are in the soup.... all the better (ding!)
  • Vernors..  hot or's like a warm hug
  • a smile from a stranger
  • some hot salsa music
  • the heat from my hubby's hand placed on my sore bones & muscles
  • spending time with friends 
  • thinking about the old days
  • finishing a UFO
  • getting a good nights sleep
  • Prednisone!
  • hugs from my hubby 
  • remembering the Disco days (ding!)
  • snuggling
  • finishing a new creation . . . and liking it
  • remembering the cute things the kids said when they were little
  • watching the video my husband made while driving his dad from the south to the north (link to video in post above)
  • looking at old family movies and pictures
  • potato chips... always and forever :) 

And to you my dear cousin, you had a long and wonderful life. I know you are happy to be with your sweetie again. . . .  maybe under the tree with bright leaves, holding hands and catching up after so many years. . . . I'll smile when I see you in the old family movies. . . laughing, drinking, smoking, and dancing along with everyone else. Those were such good times, honest times. Even tho I was young, I knew. . .

Join Aimee and the rest of the list posse at:

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

List it Tuesday!

Ok all you list writers and readers. Today's list from Artsyville is 'Been there, Done that'!

Many years ago and friend and I had a funny, as in odd, conversation. I said that I was in awe or really, jealous of her because she has had the same job now for over 40 years! WOW! Who can really say that now-a-days. What an awesome feat... and did I mention..pension.... there's a mighty fine reason to be jealous.

Well, it turned out that she was jealous of me for the many many different things I had done over the same number of years. Who knew? We lived at opposite ends of the spectrum, always wishing we walked in the shoes of the other.

Most of those reasons she wanted to walk in my shoes are my Been there, Done that...
  • made jewelry, had a rep
  • started own successful business from scratch...two times!
  • supported self with craft making
  • had an almost brush with fame... my former dance partner became one of top 5 international ballroom & Latin dancer for many years
  • never succumbed to peer pressure 
  • drove a 26 foot truck filled with everything I owned, to uncharted territories to start a new life
  • started a 501(c)3 non-profit arts organization
  • had my "That Girl" moment
  • gathered a gaggle of the most wonderful & talented people in the world to call 'friend'
  • made peace with my shortcomings & embraced my strengths
  • learned to live with crazy health issues so people think I'm 'normal'
  • found relatives I never knew existed via the internet
  • had the idea & wrote proposal for two of the areas biggest events...and I mean internationally known (ding!)
  • hung out with Mark Anthony, Los Lobos, Santana, Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, Eddie Palmieri, Helio Castroneves, (ding, ding!)
  • visited the burial site of my great grandparents who fulfilled their dream to spend eternity in the holy land
I've had a great life so far. I have walked in the shadow of some truly great people. I am a blessed child. As always Aimee.. thank you for giving me the opportunity (or push) to be introspective, thankful and to grow as a person and artist.

ADDITIONS TO LIST: after reading other peoples lists I am reminded of so many things that maybe I should mention... not so much for you readers, but for me. Holy Cow! How could I completely forget:
  • camped out in the Blue Ridge Mountains...was fun till I saw a bear one night.. yipes
  • was passenger driving thru mountains while driver took turns at Parneli Jones speeds :(
  • potentially saved a family's life via Craigslist
  • went to quilt show in Sisters, Oregon and spent a week hitting every quilt shop I could find (ding!)
  • went on an amazing road trip all thru the east and as far north in Canada as you can get
  • traveled thru a hurricane in progress... twice.. very scarey
  • been so shy I wouldn't speak in front of other those that know me, yes it's very very true
  • showed art work in galleries as a child !
  • have known the kindness of complete strangers many times over....
  • somersaulted down a very large horses neck as a kid.. no I was not in the rodeo
  • been collecting fabric since 1956 (ding, ding, ding!)

Find more about Aimee and Artsyville @

Friday, November 23, 2012

Flea Market Friday - classes??

Well, it has come round again very quickly. . . Flea Market Friday.

Even though taking classes is not exactly flea market.. good prices are. And who doesn't like a good bargain. I found the Craftsy website a while ago and have been meaning to take some of their online classes. I've been a bit busy as you know. As things are calming down I'm trying to decide where to start.

What I like about Craftsy is the wide variety of creative classes they offer and that they never expire. You can log on any time, anywhere. Working in my jammies at my own speed works for me every time. Classes range from gardening, fiber arts, garment making, food and paper crafts and lots more. You can even give a class (or classes) as a gift for that hard to buy for creative person in your life!

Now that things are settling down a bit, I am looking forward to getting started. Which one, oh which one will I start with? Click on the banner above to take you directly to the website and get started. I'm going to.

Check it out.. get in on that bargain now! Sale prices are good for just a few days.. but really... these classes are a bargain all year round!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

List it Tuesday!

Today's list is: Wish List! WooHoo...
That can really get a girls mind going.... 
I gave myself the challenge of 'off the top of my head in 2 minutes'.
Here are the first things that come to mind. I bet I'll be adding more......

My wish is:
for everyone that has passed that I love, to come back, even for just a day
to know what it's really like on 'the other side'
for the time to create, preferably all day and night - every day :)
to be able to execute the creative ideas in my head to my satisfaction
to travel to exotic places
to change my thumb from black to green
for my body to allergies or other health issues
to be able to jump up and dance when my favorite songs comes on
to carry a tune..omg, bad, bad, bad
to never have to worry about finances
to play a musical instrument..proficiently
to understand and enjoy things that I just don't get 
to never have computer problems again.....
....... and never have to talk to call centers around the world
to turn back the clock to a time when life was more fun and innocent

    corny I know, but... peace, love and success to everyone!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Gpysy Cricut for Sale.. Never opened!

Heads up all you crafters... Get creative! Just in time for the holidays! Create your gift cards, note cards, gift tags, books, scrapbooks, calendars, mix media collages and so much more. You will LOVE this Gypsy!!

Cricut Gypsy Machine - NEW IN BOX - STILL SEALED

Product Description:
Life shouldn’t slow down when you get inspired with a good design. Now it doesn’t have to with the Gypsy handheld design studio for Cricut.
Whether you’re on the road or just in the backyard, you can escape, be creative, and have fun. Intuitive Cricut App allows you to search, design, group, weld, rotate, slant, stretch, flip, and more. Comes with 2 exclusive Cricut cartridges pre-loaded—Gypsy Font and Gypsy Wanderings. Gypsy stores all your Cricut cartridges, making it easy to search and find just the right shape. Gypsy works easily with any Cricut machine and provides hours of rechargeable battery life—just connect and cut. Design anywhere with Gypsy from Provo Craft. 

This machine is perfect for artists & crafters of all skill levels.
 . . . . . . . . . . . .
Ever buy something you were so sure you'd get tons of use out of ...but never crack the seal on?? Well, that's what's I did.

A number of years ago I bought a Cricut, which I have used. I planned to load up the Gypsy and use it on the road, but if you've ever read this blog, you know that my life is full of twists and turns and ... well...not the crafting time I thought I would have. So that leaves me with the Cricut Gypsy to sell. Check out the Ebay link below !

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

List it Tuesday

Sorry to cop-out... I just can't quite wrap my head around a new list today. I'm just trying to regain some normalcy to life while cleaning out 'Pops' stuff.

Just know that I am with you in spirit my fellow list makers :)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Best funeral ever?

Who says 'I loved that funeral', or 'that was a fun funeral' or 'best funeral ever'? It's weird and creepy and crazy and, it seems disrespectful. But that's what I heard over and over again on Sunday afternoon after the funeral. Yes, my special guy passed away, quietly and peacefully in his sleep, with my husband and I at his side.

It was a tough road, watching him cry out in pain as he did so many days and nights. But through it all, he never lost his sense of humor. When nurses would talk to him, he look right at me and stick his tongue out, or when he couldn't talk, he wink at me. And when his nurses and caregivers would give him hugs and kisses, he said, 'wow'. The fun we had with the fart app I put on my phone just to amuse him was ridiculous. Even in an almost comatose state, he still smiled if I pushed the button. When he was in better shape, I had him push the buttons and we'd blame the noise on who ever was in the room. It was adolescent, I know. But geez did we ever get a lot of laughs out of it. I guess it's true, boys never grow up. This boy was well educated, creative, a visionary, well known and loved by many..... and at 88 years of age and wanting to die, and he still laughed at fake farts.

So, back to the funeral.... a brass band played some kickin' New Orleans style music at the beginning and end, with a rousing eulogy by his favorite pastor. This guy was great. I want him to speak at my funeral! He spoke from the heart about himself, the world and his friendship with the departed one. There were no tears at this funeral.... odd... but it was such a celebration of a wonderful man and his wonderful life, that I guess we forgot for a moment he was no longer on this earth.... but instead somewhere having a wonderful time reuniting with his wife, who passed one year earlier and missed so much.

Am I going to miss him? Yes, I am having withdrawals. We were together at some point every single day for months, and for the last 4 weeks, every day and evening. Who will I play the fart noises for now? Who will I take shopping? Who will I go for walks with? Who will I sit and rock in our favorite recliners with, while we watch tv or talk? I guess I have to go to Margarita Monday by myself this week... love you Pops... will miss you terribly....

Thank you for letting me share your last months so intimately. You thought enough of me to tell me your secrets, your fears, your memories, your wishes and best of all, the laughs. Though I have not done massive amounts of crying, my eyes burn from the inside out....

So once again, in the spirit of Ms. Artsyville Aimee's list making... here are a few things I can tell you about my father-in-law:

  • He was silly and mischievous . . .  right up to the end
  • I loved seeing the sparkle in his eye when I'd show up and he'd say 'WoW. Looks who's here'
  • He was fiercely disciplined... unless it came to ice cream and Dewars (scotch)
  • We laughed together till it hurt, every single day
  • Though he hob-nobbed with some of the most famous people in the world, he was very down-to-earth and humble
  • I loved it when he tried to use his age and authority to get his way, even when he knew it wouldn't fly
  • He was always excited to hear from former students, learn about their lives & proud of their successes 
  • He let his personality speak not his accomplishments
  • He hugged me, kissed me and told me that he loved me every day
  • He lived life to the fullest and chose just when and how to end it, and on his terms

The video below is the Motor City Street Band playing
'Oh When the Saints Come Marching in' at the end of the service.

He was a life long trumpet player. Still performed in two bands until this past July (when the photo above was taken). His trumpet has now been silenced.... but the wonderful memories of him and his music will live on in the hearts of all who knew him.

Thank you for letting me table my creativity while I went on this journey. Thanks too for going with me......

Monday, October 29, 2012

Life gets in the way, again

Over the years I have had periods, some quite long, of not posting. I merely explained it as 'life got in the way'. I've always thought that it wasn't anyone's business and who would want to read about it anyway ... We all have problems. Only thru Aimee and Artsyville did I start listing what was really going on .... the things that keep me from being creative. Sometimes it's my own health issues that take me out of the game for extended periods of time. But, it's usually that someone is ill and needs constant attention. I'm glad that I have the ability to take care of others when they most need it. I did it for my mom and my aunt and for friends as well. I consider it an honor to be allowed to share someone's precious time when they know it is so limited. I'll have time for myself later.

Well, after the last full week in the hospital and release, we went back to the ER about 14 hours later and are still there. Admitted for the third time now in as many weeks. I know the ER and staff throughout the hospital by name now. They are great and doing what they can ... but, It is not looking good at the moment and as much as I am burning and yearning to doing something creative .... anything, someone needs me more. So ... life gets in the way again. Life is in the balance. It's very delicate right now. We are preparing for the worse... just in case it comes sooner than we ever thought it would. It's not easy.. and it may take me off my blog for a while again. I am just taking it day by day.....

Friday, October 26, 2012

Flea Market Friday

Holy cow! It's 11:44 on Friday evening and I just realized that it WAS Friday and not just any Friday.... Flea Market Friday! 

I didn't do anything I should have today. I was all about 'Pops'. Brought him home from the hospital today. It was a challenge and a bit sketchy for a while. He was out of it and not doing so well  . . .  till a posse of favorite nieces came to visit. It was the ultimate perk-up.. love those gals. . .

So, hopefully I can get a pass on Friday and post it another day. If YOU did better than me with time management, please share your flea market finds or redos below.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

List it Tuesday :)

I'm really getting into 'List it Tuesday'... that Aimee... what she started .... I love that girl :) 

So today's theme is "what I love about where I live". Ok, I can do that, but I'm limiting myself to 5: 

* I live less than one block from my small downtown. I can walk to cool stores, cool events, and talk to cool people, too!

* I love the feel of the city. It's like a mini big city but still has that small town feel. The streets are actual tree lined city blocks where you can walk, talk to neighbors, hang out. Reminds me of my childhood in the city before things began to fall apart. 

* My city is filled with creative and talented, artistic and musical residents. There's a plethora of quality handmade goods found in mom & pop shops for artists, art fairs, and galleries. Truly no need to ever step into a mall again!

* Easy expressway access. Within 20 minutes, we can be in the big city, the countryside or another country altogether! Being right off of 3 main expressways can get us into the next state in an hour. And (yum) less than a 15 min drive to a variety of farmers markets any day of the week.

* The architecture here is fab! You'll find everything from little bungalows to huge Tudor style homes. I particularly love the old stone houses like you see in magazines. The yards have big trees, gorgeous colorful flowers, wonderful gardens and walkways. 

my street in spring

Bonus post-
** and ding, ding, ding. . . there are always lots of garage sales :)
I will be starting Flea Market Friday this week on my blog. You are all welcome to join in! I know that you love them as much as I do and I also know that you find fabulous things, then give them your personal touch.... so let's see what you are up to.

To join in on Artsyville Aimee's 'List it Tuesday', go to: 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Say something nice

Well, by now you know that just days apart, my aunt passed away, my friend passed away and I have been at the hospital day and night for at least a week now. 

It's funny how things happen and what effects us (or doesn't). In the emergency room, a patient laying on a stretcher sat up and complimented my hair cut as I walked by. I laughed and told her she must be in the ER for bad eye sight. We shared a few words and laughs, I said thanks and kept going. It was getting pretty harried in my room and I really needed to be there. Doctors in and out, nurses furiously doing what they had to, everyone trying to assess the situation and put together a plan of action... But, that exchange it put a little pep in my step during a very intense day and night. I didn't leave the hospital that night till after midnight.

Then the next day the parking lot attendant made a friendly comment, then the next day a hospital secretary and so on each day. Every time, those kinds words helped get me to the next phase of the day.. so I guess the moral of the story is, no matter what we are going through, just take a second to smile or say a kind word to someone. Even though they look like their day is going great, it may not be. Your kindness can have a huge impact that you may never even know about... but do it anyway. It will put a little pep in your step, too. . .

Thank you to all of you who posted comments or contacted me directly with kinds words and prayers. It means a lot and is greatly appreciated....

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Another passing

Well, it’s not ‘List it Tuesday' any more, it actually Wednesday now ... but the need has arisen for another list ... there’s been another passing.

My junior high and high school friend has passed ... too young, too soon...drawn her last breath ... Some of us knew it was coming, but it’s still hard to hear that the final breath has been drawn.. It’s so final ... no chance to say what you wanted or forgot to or even needed to say ... no do-overs... too late.

Those of us that knew it was coming have been helping each other, knowing the end was drawing near... It’s still hard tho... and how ironic that this week is the anniversary of my own moms passing... so, every year at the same time, I will reflect on memories of my mom, her sister and now my friend... sigh...

I’ll think of my friend often. What a great gal.. Here are 5 things I’ll always remember about her:

She had ...
  . . . an infectious laugh that just drew you in
  . . . a bright smile that shined like a bright beacon of light
  . . . a mischievous twinkle in her eye that made you giggle
  . . . a spirit and capacity for love and compassion that paled to others
  . . . and a zest for life that could not be attained by anyone else

Good night and rest in peace sweetie...we’ll talk about you, laugh and share crazy memories of things that teenagers did when they thought they wouldn’t get caught or just didn’t know any better.... I’ll think of you and love you always. . .

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

List it Tuesday !

Well, I'm just a big, fat liar. I said I wouldn't bore anyone any more with my lists... but here I am again. I have spend days now in the emergency room and hospital with a beloved family member. My aunt's passing was a momentary side step in between. So here I am again ... at the hospital, sitting, waiting, talking, hand holding, laughing and being the mouthpiece and protector for someone who can't really do it themself and sitting and waiting some more.

So the contents of my list for 'List it Tuesday' today have changed a bit from what it would have been originally.... here it goes:

I am a sucker for:

- Compassionate, empathetic and competent medical staff

- Fabric, fabric, fabric and more fabric...(no surprise there, eh)

- Odd color combinations

- Texture... fabric, rust, metal, twisted paper, rice paper, yarns, threads, shredded stuff, texture in pattern too ....

- Flea markets and other peoples junk! (smile)

Get well loved one...

To join the list making club, go to:

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Memories & thanks with love

It's Saturday . . .  not 'List it Tuesday' . . . . but sometimes ya just have to be a rebel. 

Through tears, here's an impromptu list of 5 reasons why
I love my aunt who just passed away:

she kick started my love of all things fabric

she let me play in her 'wall of scraps', let me take lots home :)
and encouraged me to make something wonderful

she let me know from the time I was a very little girl,
that I could sew and be creative and it was ok

though sometimes it was difficult,
she always told me the truth when asked

starting at early childhood we always had a special bond
of understanding and respect

ok, just one more:
she always hugged and kissed me like she loved me
with everything she had 

Thank you Auntie ... Love you too.