Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Good News and Gratefulness for another blessed year.

It seems as if this year has been frought with pitfalls for my family. But we are grateful. Lots of really great things have happened too! As many of you know, my parents left for an extended vacation to Mexico on Saturday morning. On Monday Mike got a call he needed to go back to the airport to pick them up.

They had been there only a few hours when Daddy lost his vision for 15-20 minutes. He went to the local Hospital to get checked out. They determined that his eyes were fine and he needed a MRI to determine what was happening. Since the closest MRI machine was a 6 hour trip away in Guadalajara they decided to fly home.

They came home Monday and we went straight to the hospital. He has been there since waiting on an MRI. In the mean time they have completed multiple other tests on his heart and head including a CAT scan. Monday night the doctor told us it appeared that he had a stroke in the portion of the brain the effects eyesight. The MRI that he is still waiting on is to rule out other things so they may determine that it was a stroke.

God is truly good. Daddy does not appear any different, only bored from being in the hospital for a few days. His eyesight has mostly returned. There is only a small place on one side of his vision he cannot see. Things could have been a lot worse. Although this has happened God took care of them and has returned them back home to us safely.

Were are awaiting the MRI and results. If anything different comes about I will update you. If you would pray for Daddy that his eyesight would be fully restored the family would be grateful. He is really doing fine other than wanting to get out of the hospital.

On that SAME day, I recieved in the mail something WONDERFUL! I got an advanced copy of Somerset's ART Journaling Magazine! I got an advanced copy because my article and artwork are in it! I feel so HONORED to be in this fine publication! As with all their wonderful books and magazines, it is an awesome piece, and really quite inspiring for anyone who might be interested in journaling or even people who have been journaling for some time! I feel it's an absolute DREAM come true for me to see some of my personal art in a Stampington publication!

If you would like to check out the magazine (NOW AVAILABLE) here is the link.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Have a Blessed Holiday season

Wow! I've been away for sometime, struggling with illness that kept me down. However I've been so blessed this holiday season, and hope everyone reading has enjoyed a wonderful season of Love with their family and friends! I'm so grateful for all that I've been given, and most of all that wonderful gift given on the original Christmas day. I hope the Lord is blessing all of you abundantly out there, and pray for you all to have a marvelous healthy and happy New Year!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sorry to be away

I'm so sorry to be away for so long! Mike and I have been traveling, then he had back surgery, and I've been under the weather. I've got some awesome news to share with everyone once I'm able to be back at my computer for more than a few minutes at a time!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Gift Box Nite Lites

If you wonder where I've been recently, I've been spending every spare minute trying to get ready for a craft show. My good friend Jennifer asked me to participate and I gladly said yes- as I do so love a good community craft show! Jennifer's hubby is the pastor of the church sponsoring the show, and the people I've met from there have all been so nice, I'm eager to do it.

Mike and I've been busy making a batch or two of our top sellers. We've got our "gift box nite lites" and the credit card wallets, and of course our home-made apple butter, and our cinnamon applesauce ornaments and potpourri. I've never attended this show before, but am looking forward to it.

I'm excited to see what everyone else has to offer, and I love to "feel out the crowd" to see what is floating their boats this year. I'm eager to see how the economy has effected the crafts market. Plus, I just plain ol' love to interact with other people who appreciate the simple handmade pleasures in life.
If you're looking for a bit of fun, you can check out the show this weekend.

Good Shepherd Community Church
210 Obetz Road
Columbus, Ohio 43207-4033

Monday, November 3, 2008

Artiscape 2009

Yipee! I just recieved word back that I have been chosen to teach classes at next year's Artiscape! I'll be teaching a Textural ATC wallet class, and a Fantastic Fatbook in a day class.

While I have taught mixed media classes at many different venues, this year will be a first teaching at Artiscape. I have attended the event every single year, and can't say enough about the inspiration and awesome atmosphere of this particular Artist's Retreat. I've attended many different art venues around the country (outside the USA as well) and I hold a sincere fondness for this particular gathering. It is run by Lisa Ohmer of European Papers, and is a class act all the way. Artiscape 2009 will be held in Columbus Ohio, April 17-19, with pre-event workshops on Thurday the 16th as well. For more information on Artiscape, click the link below. The web site will be up in just a few days.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The most perfect anniversary!

Mike and I just returned home from our anniversary trip to Niagara Falls. It was the most wonderful anniversary we've had yet! they just keep getting better and better!

Our weekend started out busy, on Friday it was Pizza with my Grannie, trying out a new moon fairy costume with full makeup & nail polish for Macie, and picking my parents up from the airport at 1 am. (All this after 9 hours at work!) Saturday morning was a soccer game, McDonalds, picking pumpkins and apples with Macie and our niece Morgan, making spaghetti, visiting with my parents, playing in the yard, playing in the house, shopping for shoes for a 5 year old who says they hurt if they aren't pink and sparkly. Then shopping for new school clothes, along with a few groceries for our trip. Home again, dinner, bath time, story time, and then Grandma visits for popcorn and puzzles. Finally bedtime, so I can do laundry and pack for a trip, and a photo shoot immediately after the job. Oh- did I mention the apples- 90 pounds of apples that have to be peeled and sliced and frozen in seal a meal bags....

Sunday morning rolled around early and we got up and dressed and went to 1st service at church and Macie enjoyed the Church Mouse Playhouse. Then she played in the play land for half an hour, and we headed home to pack her new school clothes up. We stopped at Sonic for a quick lunch and headed North. On the way, we dropped Macie off, and marvelled at the quiet and were mesmerized by the beautiful colors of the crisp blue Autumn sky and brilliant trees! Let the relaxing begin!

We took our time, stopping anywhere we liked along the route. We enjoyed each other's company, and talked and laughed and totally had fun again. 2 full days of no work ahead- YAHOO! We saw this restaurant that had burned down and felt so sorry for the owners misfortune, but we still laughed ourselves silly when we saw what their catch phrase had been!

Once we got to our hotel (the Fallsview Hilton on Niagara Falls) we were in awe once we got to our room. We were on the 17th floor and overlooked the falls! Huge king size bed, and jacuzzi tub that all looked out the window! PLUS they gave us free breakfasts in the penthouse restaurant on the 33rd floor for the entire stay! We could see the entire falls and river!

The hotel is beautiful, and connected by a sky walk to a lovely non-smoking casino and huge upscale mall. There were wonderful restaurants plus my very favorite- The Famous!

We walked up and down the falls, and we took in the sights. We went to the Oneida Outlet center and a wonderful shoe warehouse where I got some lovely copper kitten-heel shoes and Mike got a pair of work boots for his trip to Belize in February. We stopped in the Hersheys store and got free samples and about choked when we found out that a regular candy bar that costs about 1$ in the States cost 4.99$ plus tax!!! We were told because it's an import! (We really were happy to get back to the room to our stash of M&M's we brought with us!) (Mike said he figured we were smugglers who could make a fortune outside the casino with our chocolate stash!)LOL!!!

On the day we packed up to leave, we were in the car going out of the parking structure when Mike reached out to see what was under the windshield wiper blade- a 1$ bill! Silly, but it made our day thinking of the possibilities. Was it a random act of kindness? Had someone seen us drop it? Was it because it was a US dollar and we had US plates? I think this Christmas season, I might do that at a few local malls, just as a random act of kindness to create a happy moment for somebody!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Happiness of the Harvest Moon!

A photo I shot a couple years ago for the cover of a
magazine- it's still one of my favorite shots!

I love this time of the year! I'm so incredibly busy right now though, that I haven't had time to enjoy it properly! I love the colors, the decorations, the pumpkins! I hope to at least to make it to the Circleville Pumpkin show this weekend! I've always gone for years and years. Tasted the pumpkin ice cream, fudge, fritters, the deep fried sweet potato chips, the spiced pumpkin seeds. I draw the line at the grilled pumpkin burgers though...

I start feeling blue when I have in mind the perfect "country living" harvest season for my home, and alot of it falls thru because I'm over committed to work projects, and I have tons of family & friend obligations from now until the end of the year. I'd like to be able to just let it go, and enjoy what I do get accomplished this year. I do soooo love the decorating, the activities, and the seasonal baking! Sometimes- THAT'S the fun part for me. And when I have to let it go because there aren't 40 hours in a day, I feel sort of like I've missed out on something.

Am I the only one who feels like this? Every year I promise myself I'll budget my time better, start earlier, schedule it on the calender, etc. But then life gets in the way, and things come up that I feel obligated to do, to take care of, because it's the right thing, and the decorating and extras are just that- extra. I think maybe I have Martha Stewart Syndrome..... Mike always kindly reminds me that she has an entire staff to get her house and office and studios whipped into shape. Oh DEAR! ...I always secretly suspected that I needed minions!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Multi-Tasking the country boy way!

Even though I've been frightfully busy lately, we took 2 hours and picked apples. (Gotta make hay while the sun shines right?) This year is a bumper crop for apples in central Ohio. The heavy rains of the spring and the moderate summer have made for some really large and really juicy apples! Mike is a master of picking the perfectly sun blushed Golden Delicious with one hand, holding the bag with the other, as well as tasting along the way! I'm lucky to not break my ankle tripping over ones on the ground, or get concussed from the falling ones! Once we get them home, Mike cores and peels, and I measure and seal-a-meal them. Straight in the freezer before they hit the air, and no browning begins. I've also made several batches of home-made apple butter already, over 2 dozen jars! So if you ever wonder why all the lights are on at our house till 2 am every morning in the you know!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Popped in for a visit

I told Mike I didn't know where this little girl came from, she just sort of popped out of my pencil and onto the wood, and stayed for a visit. She's so unlike me- I like sugar and spice and everything nice, and pink and sparkly! I definitely don't care for spiders! I don't know what came over me, but I am just letting go and having a ball seeing who shows up! Maybe it's the cool, crisp autumn air, or maybe it's the nature shows Mike is always watching!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

First Wood Burning Efforts

This is my first wood burning effort since I was in shop class in 7th grade! I sort of liked the darker look and went around the burns with a PITT pen to make them even darker. This piece is still in progress and now I'm ready for layers and collage! More to come!
If you are interested in the online class that inspired this piece, It's the mixed media class with Suzi Blu.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Updated sketches

Wow! Super busy until the company's big fall seminar. Magazine articles, class proposals and a huge fatbook swap all fall in the next two weeks! Don't even know how I managed to squeak it in, but here is the next phase I added to my recent sketches.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Didn't realize I'd been away for so long!

Wow- with the traveling and other jobs I've been doing, I didn't realize it had been so long since I put up any new art. Well, I don't have anything completed yet, but I have been working on some sketching lately. All day Monday and Tuesday of this week I stayed in my pj's and doodled and sketched and goofed around. It was heavenly! It was my first real day off in over 9 weeks! Ahhhh! I needed that. I've started 2 new sketches, and been working on the shading and underlayers, so these are rough, but I thought it might be fun to show you as it progresses.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Faith Journal

Wow- this faith journal project is really moving along for me. If I had more time free to work on it, it would be done already, as the ideas are flowing faster than I can get time to produce them! (That's ALWAYS a welcome problem to any artist, as opposed to the other way around!) I've found I am enjoying each page more and more. I've noticed too, that it seems to be helping me look at some internal questions I have bouncing around. I was certain that by the time I got to the letter "Q" that I would have a tough time finding a word to use... It seems clear sailing until I get to the letters X and Z. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Ties that Bind

I've been invited to participate in the wonderful project called "Ties that Bind" Artists united to benefit ovarian cancer research. Artists Jan Brown, Aileen Roberts, and Kris Henderson are organizing, so it is SURE to be a fabulous finished project! I will be needing to make a charm for the project, and here is a sneak peek of the digital art I created as the base for my charm.

I'm planning a teal encasement with teal embellishments to complete this charm. Teal is the color ribbon for the ovarian cancer research movement.

If you would like to see more really awesome charms by some of the most amazing artists working today, pop over to

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Faith Journal on the road

I have, with many good wishes, sent my art journals off to Stampington and Company in hopes they will be well received there. I almost felt a little nervous letting my "babies" off into the world like that, out to stand on their own. But I am having faith that they will speak to others too, I sent my Hope journal, and my Gratitude journal, as well as an electronic version of my ABC Faith journal.

The next two pages for my Faith Journal. Some of you will recognize the archway on top from the rubber stamp I carved in order to make the Artiscape 08 Fatbook covers. For some reason I just love this image. It was a photo originally, and I've altered it so many ways from Sunday, and in each version I find something appealing about it. Don't know what it is exactly. Just like it.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Faith Journal

I've been very busy lately with work, travel, and family obligations. The Lord has chosen to richly pour out blessings on Mike and I in the last couple weeks, and some exciting things are in the works for my art personally and professionally. I hope to be able to post about them here in the near future. I've been working every free moment on Fatbook swaps and some of my journal pages.

Here are the most recent installments to my digital Faith Journal. The top photo of me was originally taken by a very talented photographer friend Ronnie Bianco. (And if you only KNEW how UN-photogenic I am you would know the wonderful magic he worked to get this shot!) His blog link is or in my list of blogs it's listed as "Ronnie's photography."
The world photo and M100 Galaxy shot I collaged together were both released into public domain by NASA. If you've never been to any of their sites, you are missing a fantastic array of information and photos. I visit every once in awhile to check on what some of the telescopes are up to. Fascinating.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Niagara Falls

Last week, Mike and I started out to my location shoot in Rochester NY. On the way back we were lucky enough to be able to spend the night at Niagara Falls. Here are just a few quick shots of the beautiful weather we experienced along the way.

Horseshoe falls from the Canadian side. Great shot by Mike!

Down river on the Canadian side at the white water rapids, looking up at the Rainbow Bridge.

This was on the American side, at the lookout tower. I did NOT enjoy looking down at all, but looking out and over was beautiful!

I grabbed this shot hanging over the rails at the American side of the American Falls.

How lucky are we to have such wonderful beauty we can get up close to experience?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Faith Journal

Here comes another mushy one. Can't help it! Mike and I are just so happy to have each other- I had to go for the obvious "L" word in my ABC Faith journal!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Mike and My Faith journal

This month is my husband Mike's birthday. Yet everyday, I am the one who gets the gift! He is my best friend, my soul mate, my hero. (Sorry for the mush!~ But he IS wonderful!) He is an awesome gift from God, and he does complete me in every sense. He is calm and tender and thoughtful and hard working. He is strong and intelligent and loving and gentle. He is very laid back to my spastics!

I thank the Lord for him every day, and he is the prompt for this weeks faith journaling page. In this harsh world we are living in today, all around us there is disease, destruction, and desperation. I do realize how extremely difficult life is for so many, and how they struggle in their marriages. But there is hope, and there are good men and good marriages out there. Mike is the proof.

This week is K for Know.... I KNOW how blessed I am to be happy and in love in my marriage.

I KNOW that God is there in our marriage. And I have the luxury of knowing that Mike is there for me always. I pray he KNOWS I love and appreciate him with every fiber of my being.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Black Raspberries wait for no man....

Look at poor Mike's permanent purple paws!!

Wonder why I've not posted much art this week? The wild black raspberries on our farm are ready! Ya gotta pick em' and use them as soon as they are ready because they spoil quickly! So Mike has been picking every day, and we've been making jams and jellies until 2 in the morning after I get home from work at night! Probably only enough left for another batch or two this season, and at least a cobbler or two as well. Yummy! Plus we have the added comfort of knowing there are no pesticides or chemicals added!