Friday, February 27, 2009

Valentine's Evening
Not sixty six years together but working on it!

We are in the valley for the weekend. Today is my parent's 66th wedding anniversary. A celebration dinner is planned for this evening. My dear friend Bonnie's birthday is this Sunday. We are celebrating by taking a class at Mystic Paper on Saturday. In the past we all combined the celebrations into one gala event. I hosted a dinner party. Entertaining was a big part of my artistic endeavors. I would be embarrassed to tell you how many sets of different colors and types of silverware I own. Times change though and new interest creep into the repertoire. I have been cleaning out dishes and silverware over the last few months. Some of my favorites I have kept and some are packed up for storage. I just read a post on Judy's My Artistic Side
about the need to get rid of some supplies. It hit a real cord with me. Since I love to create with paper , fabric, and all sorts of other things I have a problem. I buy way too many gadgets that come my way. I buy way too many papers. I buy way too many stamps. You get the picture. When I was commenting on Judy's post I had a thought about treating my supplies like clothes in the closet. I once read a way to control one's closet was to throw something out each time a new item was purchased. I think I am going to try this approach to my art supplies and see if it helps. In the meantime I am also going to start with a little goal-I am going to go through all of my stamp sets and get a box and filter, filter, filter. When watching a recent Opra show it was about getting rid of clutter. One of the important suggestions was to have little goals to reach instead of getting bogged down by viewing the big picture.  Thank you Judy for putting a spark in my being about getting rid of some things.
Now-my next topic of conversation--beautiful, inspiring, gorgeous, eye candy filled publications.  Like supplies, I buy tons of them. It is like going to the movies for me. I love to look at them. Special treats for me to spend time being still just perusing and aaaaahhhhhing and ooooooohhhhhing. I purchased the latest edition of Artful Blogging a couple of weeks ago. I just started looking at it a day or two ago. As I read the letter from the editor at the very beginning of the book I stopped dead in my tracks when I came to the following sentence:
And as Jenny Doh reminds us, it's not whitewashing the truth to only blog about the good parts of your life-----it's spreading a positive message that will help brighten someone else's day. This sentence evoked many emotions within me and started me reflecting on it's content. I immediately went back to my beginning blogging class 101 with Mike Putman at Mystic Paper. He told us we needed to decide on the focus and purpose of our blog. I can remember thinking my purpose was to include everything about me--all of this thing called LIFE that I hold so dear. I also read a muse today by Ro of the Scrapgirls site concerning this very topic. B U----- It is worth the read. Often her muses are definitely worth the read-- but back to it-- I guess my point is, if one's blog is about one's life, not blogging about the entire being is not allowing someone else to gain entrance to one's REAL being.  Now, if the intent of the blog is not about life at all and just about ???? then why would one need to even address the topic about whitewashing the truth? I want people to know all of me. I want to know all about the people with which I spend my precious time.  I want to feel close to the people in my life and to be close requires intimacy.  To be close requires trust----not so much trust in other people but trust within oneself. Trust that allows one to B U!

Thanks for spending time with me today and my hope is you will find some time today to spend with yourself.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Why Is it

Why is it I seem to have so many creative ideas all at once? Why can't they be spread out a little? Does this happen to you? I don't even want to sleep right now. I have skipped my nap two days in a row. When I skip my nap something is happening. Smile. All I want to do right now is be in my studio creating! There is not enough time in the day. What fun but I sure wish I could be more creative in making more time in my days and my nights. Below are some pictures of a couple of completed projects from the weekend. Also, our supper last night. My grandson, Chandler, and I made a homemade pizza.

Close up of snowman face on my apron I altered for the Mystic Paper project
I embellished with vintage doilies and chenille. I wanted the snowman to look like it was peaking out among the snow flakes. Guess I have been in snow too long!
The entire altered apron--guess I should have cropped my shoe and table leg out of the picture.
There is that shoe again. I altered a pair of jeans using  chenille , vintage doilies and pot holders. I used hand crocheted vintage trim on the bottom of the skirt. I embellished a top with a vintage doily to match the skirt. This project is for my dear friend Suzanne's sister-in-law. I have had her jeans for way too long now. I am not a procrastinator usually. I am so glad to finally get this done for her. Now I have to get it in the mail. Hopefully this will not take me months! 

I made this pot holder a pocket.
Close up of the beautiful vintage trim - I love old trim and embellishments as much as I love paper.
Close up of the cute pot holder I used on the back of the skirt

Monday, February 23, 2009

Happy 38th Birthday, Amber

About ten and a half years ago when the Suns and our family were on top of the world. 
Maybe one day we will both be back in the groove. Like the Suns, it will take many adjustments  changes and hard work. We will never be the same team as before but then again who ever is the same as the day or year before?
Amber, with her son, Chandler, shortly after he was born. She would have been 27 in this picture.
Amber was born ten years to the day after her cousin, Dayna, was born. In a picture below you will see them celebrating Amber's first birthday together. 
Yes, you are seeing the same picture. I do not seem able to delete or move my photos around since getting my new Mac computer. I love the Mac but this part is frustrating me to no end. I used to be able to highlight  the photo and push delete. To move my photos I would just highlight them and move them around. Now, I can highlight but then the arrow will not change so the picture can be moved. On the other hand, you will see below, I did get a picture to move a little but not where I wanted it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If anyone out there has some hints for me I will gladly take the advice!
I want to post so I am just posting all of this as is. I apologize in advance for the poor organization.

Below you will see pictures of Amber's early birthday celebrations. Below these you will see my main text and the pictures of her first days in this world.

Thirty eight years ago, on a snowy day, in Murfreesboro, TN, I awoke thinking maybe I was in labor. I had never given birth before and did not know what labor would actually feel like. I called a couple of friends who had already had children. Both described back pain. Nope, no back pain. I decided I must not be in labor. I had heard too many tales of people going to the hospital only to be sent back home. Just in case though I took a bath and shaved my
 legs. I can specifically remember making sure my legs were shaved. Alright, then I called Dr. Kennedy, my doctor. She told me to come in so she could check me. Off to the Dr. Yep, she told me to go to the hospital. On the way, Amber's father, stopped at Kentucky Fried Chicken to eat. I, of course, could have nothing. Since then, people have commented to me how insensitive this was on his part. At the time it did not bother me. Anyway, I got to the hospital around noon. As most mothers do, I remember the time well. I won't elaborate on the details---most of you know them from your own experiences! Around 5:59 , Kelly Amber DuPriest, my daughter, was born. I wanted her named Amber Neill DuPriest. Neill was my maiden name and I thought it sounded classy. But Amber's birth father did not like the name Amber.  In order to name her Amber I had to agree to name her Kelly. When Amber was born Amber was NOT a common name. I like unusual names----seems I started something with all the Amber's around now-------Anyway, she was a beautiful baby and I was full of a mother's love. I am still full of a mother's love but my hopes and dreams are different now. My hopes are that she will make better choices for her life and my dreams are that she will make better choices for her life. She is at a disadvantage but ultimately each person makes choices regardless of the circumstances. Amber's birth father struggled with depression all of his life. He eventually committed suicide after ten years of marriage when Amber was six years old. Her early years were spent in a family that was not the best to say the least. I was nineteen when I married and I thought I could save my husband. Since I have learned it was me I should have been saving----we all need to save ourselves----the only person we really control. Anyway, as the years passed I did my best, married a wonderful man who has been Amber's father for 30 years. Starting from around the age of 12 Amber made choices that led to most of her teenage years being in drug programs across the state of AZ and juvenile detension centers. She was allowed to return home each time she completed a treatment program. This was not often as most of the time she ran away from the treatment centers. She would also run away from home eventually even when she did complete the programs. Around the age of 14 she was diagnosed as being manic depressive. Medicine, on and off again----hard to be on meds when running away. Counseling with Gordon Cuddeby ( he still practices in the valley and I highly recommend him ) and going to Tough Love sessions gave us the courage to wake up each day.  At the age of 19 after many years of pain for everyone, Amber decided to take meds regularly and started reaching for a better way of living. Through many trials and glories we regained a family relationship. This past October that relationship delved back into the depths of blackness. While not understanding the actions on our daughter's part we have had to rely on former growth lessons.  Regardless of the reason's one deals with the behavior. That old adage, " Actions speak louder than words" must remain foremost in our minds. There are many details that could be told but on this day they are not important. The important thing is regardless of the age, a mother wishes her child the best on her birthday and prayers for her protection. Your prayers are appreciated too! 

Saturday, February 21, 2009

What's Up

Grandy and Chandler are off to the slopes this morning for a day of fun!
This means I will also have a day of fun because I am in my house all alone to play!
Our latest accomplishment - Mantle on fireplace is hung and secure.
Putting the final touches on this project was Randy's goal he reached yesterday.
One of my Friday projects was making these counting books for my dear friend Suzanne's upcoming two, not one, grandsons. Both are due any day now.
Covers of the Books- I am thinking about painting their names under the little birdies-
Ezra and Luke
Now, if all these little bunny heads don't make me smile there is just no hope for me!
Another Friday project. These will be going on the outside of darling gable boxes for April product. I will show you the finished product later, along with what the boxes will hold.

Now I am off to enjoy the rest of my "free to play" day! 
Hope yours is a happy one!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

And Here It Is

My brother read my blog and emailed me some MG pictures he had in his file. I chose this one to share as it also shows you a pretty girl who happens to be my sister-in-law. Like the MG she  makes my dad happy when he sees her. Marija is here visiting, from Serbia, as she had an interview, on Tuesday, for becoming a United States citizen.  She should be taking her citizenship vows in about three weeks.  Good for you, Marija!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Love Is In The Air and On The Floor

Here it is-February 14, 2009

Yesterday, along with my friend Bonnie, her daughter-in-law Debra, and Bonnie's daughter, Megan, we had the loveliest of days. Megan moved a year ago to PN. At the time of this move her mom and I were happy for her but not for us. She was going too far away. Megan shares our love of paper and goodies. It was going to be a loss not having her around to oooooohhhhhh and aaaaaahhhhhhh with us. When Megan now comes to town to visit, regardless of the date, love is in the air-
love for a daughter
love for a friend
love for a celebration
love for renewal and remembering old times
love for the hope of future times together
Yep, as the song goes----
love, love, love, all you need is love!

Sometimes love can be found in the funniest of places. My dad has a completely restored vintage red MG---a very special one. I am not into cars so I can not describe  and do it justice but I can tell you it is delightful. I will try to post a picture of it sometime. Anyway, not too long ago, I asked him why he did not sell it. My dad is 87 years old. My mom is 82 and is not in good health. My mother no longer drives and they own three cars. They have a two car garage and the MG sits in one of the garage spaces. When I questioned my dad, his response was perfect-----he said," Because it makes me happy every time I go by it. I like looking at it!" "Well, dad, I get it!, I replied.
Yesterday, as the girls were having their lovely day, and once again, as I spent $$$$ on paper and other delightful goodies, I thought of my dad's reply to me about the MG. For a few minutes I was feeling silly buying items that might not be used any time soon and maybe never but then I heard my dad's voice and thought yes, these things make me happy every time I see them. I like looking at them! So it is with that thought I share with you some of my happiness --- The paper and goodies evoke memories of a day shared with friends, inspiration of times gone by and yet to come and just sheer beauty to my senses. Each thing I purchased is already beautiful to me, in the current state it exists! I don't need to change it to make it better. All to often, in life, I want things changed. I think if only this or if only that. Today, and hopefully tomorrow too, I am going to be in love with the moment and what is----just the way it is! Happy Valentine's Day to all of you.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Little Story To Go With a Lot of Snow

We knew it was coming. We expected our grandson to have a snow day yesterday. The principal had forewarned the kids to check the local channel to see if there were delays or if school was being held. I knew my husband had gotten up and checked and then turned off the alarm. I knew this because when I awoke at seven it was light outside. If Chandler has school we get up at 6:10 and it is still dark. I came out of my bedroom to quiet and I thought, " Good, Chandler is sleeping in ". I made the coffee, opened the curtains and even looked out at the white grandeur. I went back to get my coffee and all of a sudden I heard the front door---It was Chandler. He had not been sleeping at all. He said he got up at six, looked at the T.V. and silently screamed for joy. He then sat down to watch T.V. but he started thinking about all the nice things we had been doing for him lately. He decided it would be a nice thing for him to go out and shovel snow for us without a reward for doing so. He had completely cleaned off the porch in front of the door, the steps, made two paths to the car ( which we had backed in and parked close to the street so he had a long path to make on the driveway. ). The street had already been snow plowed so he had cleared the berm made ,from the plow, in front of the driveway. He had started all this in the dark and was coming back inside to take a break and warm up. His little cheeks were red but his eyes were twinkling, much like Santa's at Christmas time. He was quite pleased with himself and I don't think I even have to tell you how warm my heart felt from this gesture of gratitude. One of those moments one knows why people have kids! Smile---
Enjoy the pictures and notice the cleared porch!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Well Well Well

Well, Well, Well----

It is becoming more evident I have much to learn. I am operating in windows right now on my new Mac computer. On my old PC when I wanted to delete a picture, I just chose it and pushed the delete button. That is doing nothing for me and I am tired of trying so I will just post as I uploaded and hope all will just give me a break on the pictures.

I can't believe a month is already gone in 2009 and we are well into February. I thought I would share with you where much of my creative endeavors go.

I created this long before the Cardinals were going to the super bowl.

Tag reads
Super Bowl is on the way
Regardless of the sport in season
Your referrals are always super!
This house packaging is from a kraft gable house. I painted the bottom with a tooth brush. The window show the months of Jan. Feb. and March. Each little window shows a piece of scrap book paper representing each month. The door says
Come in and smell
the scents of the season!
The package holds candles with scents for each month.
I will be creating this packaging for each season of the year.
Tag for next picture

Chandler's valentine for his teachers

Tag on product says
In the field of ---
thanks for loving us!
Packaging for chocolates
Tag reads
Thanks from the heart!
Thanks ,from my heart, for stopping by and visiting!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A Sweet Story

A few months ago my cousin, Mickey, died. He died of respiratory problems. He happened to be a son of my very favorite aunt, Loree McBee. I adored her and could go on and on about the reasons why. This ,however, is not about that subject. It is about my cousin's death and the sweet story his wife told me about the his last days on earth and the days immediately following his death.

Mickey smoked most of his life. So did my aunt, by the way. Sorry, can't help but think of her when I am thinking of her son. Anyway, smoking eventually takes a huge toll on the body. Mickey was having quite the time breathing and his being became more and more difficult. Kay told me Mickey had told her he didn't want to leave her but he just was ready to go be with his parents and his dogs in heaven. Living under these physical conditions was too difficult. After quite the hospital stay and no relief in sight, Kay asked the Doctors to take away the life support and let nature take it's course. Mickey was allowed to be transferred to a Hospice center. Kay was with him much of the time and was very grateful to have Mickey spend his last days in such a caring facility. She purchased a bag of Dove candy and would eat one of these sweet treats each day. I never knew ( am not a big candy eater ) that Dove candies each have a saying tucked inside. Below you will find six days of Dove messages given to her

Day 1- Learn to say I love you in a different language.

Day 2- Have patience to the end.

Day 3-Have tranquility in your life today.

On day three a nurse came into the room and asked Kay if she would like to get in bed with her husband. She said she would love to. She did and started talking to Mickey about things she wanted to share with him. Among the things she told him was she would like for him to send her a sign from heaven that he had made it on his journey alright and was safe and sound.

Day 4- Take a deep breath.
This was the day Mickey's body gave out and he went to heaven.

Day5-Listen closely to your friends.

Day 6-Reach for new boundaries.

Kay, like me, is not very astute when it comes to all the technical operations of all our gadgets these days. Months before Mickey died, time and time again he had tried to show her how to pull up a calendar on her cell phone. She always got frustrated and just could not learn to do it. She finally told him to just forget it. She did not want to try anymore. Days after Mickey died and she went to get her cell phone. When she picked up the phone to use it, without touching a thing, guess what was on the phone starring at her--the calendar.


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Gran Torino

Have you seen it? If not - go see it.