Thursday, April 28, 2011

etsy shop update!!!!

just in time for mother's day: i just loaded NINE new originals to my etsy shop!! please check it out and pass the word!

the magic of the woods

may apples

dutchman's britches

mossy log

mr. toad

miss snails's home in the woods

stacked toadstools

mayflower gathering

as she stepped from her car she could smell the rich, wet forest floor. it flooded her senses with nostalgic memories of innocent childhood days spent frolicking and collecting and losing herself in the magic of the woods. she smiled as she recalled the games she and her brothers had played so many decades ago. the wide open woods beckoned her, a siren's call of images and scents and sponginess beneath her feet. she followed the call and entered the magic kingdom.

she delighted at the vast gatherings of may apples, like delicate ladies at a hat convention, each wearing a simple frilly white hat upon her coat of spring green.  toadstools of every variety and color and shape sprouted everywhere, just waiting for their moment of fame, their chance to be photographed. her eye caught a slight movement on the forest floor and to her surprise and delight she spied a toad. he patiently paused in his afternoon foray, posing as if to say 'yes, i'm part of the magic and happy to participate in your excursion'.

she meandered over the hill, dodging low-hanging branches and climbing over fallen logs, long dead yet alive with all manner of forest growth and fungi. she wondered when someone had last walked this woodsy way. was it an indian maiden hunting and gathering mushrooms and herbs? or had it been a squirrel hunter hoping to feed his family during depression times? she chuckled at how the woods spurred her imagination, making her feel so alive and creative.  she sat upon an old stump to rest, her eyes turned to the vast canopy above her head where she could see the sun streaming thru a few clouds. as the sun hit her face she soaked in the knowledge that this was the best free therapy she could ever ask for. gone were the aches and pains, the money worries, the restless questions about what to do next. she was at peace, one with nature, happy in her skin and content beyond measure.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

the farmer 6

this is me and my siblings and my mom on easter sunday. with two of my siblings living out of state we only all get together at mom's a couple of times a year so this was a very special day. i cherish this photo!

Friday, April 22, 2011

cloudy days

cloudy days
don't ruin my sunny disposition
even though it's sunny days
for which i am wishin

cloudy days
challenge the artist in me
by reflecting and enhancing
the things that i see

life with cats AND dogs

zoe and bella at 2:16 am -- 
patiently waiting for me to stop making art 
and start going to sleep!

zoe and bella at my mom's
wanting to run, run, run free
all over her property.
me? i had to take a break
and ask them to chill for a bit!

willow likes to play and sleep
in my plastic tub of tissue paper
and vintage sheet music.

willow looooves the flower bed
i dug up in the front of my house.
she wallers and lounges and chases
bugs and guards the house!

i'm seriously thinking about giving up tv. all the entertainment needed in my house is provided by the 4-legged companions who share my home. at any given moment you can witness a stampeding pet parade, willow air boxing bella's ears or zoe jumping over the couch to try to playfully catch willow. there is never a dull moment. late one night last week i took bella and zoe out for a walk and about a block from the house i noticed that willow had snuck out the door and was following us. i swear she thinks she's a dog!! she has even started sleeping on the dog bed with one or both of the girls. yesterday willow was trying to catch a fly and before i knew it all three of the girls were in on the chase. willow was on jenna's desk, zoe was on ben's desk and bella was leaping off the couch into mid-air to try to win the prize. 

my cup runneth over with love and joy and delicious blessedness!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011


for a helping hand
up to lofty heights
into the void
out of my comfort zone

the rainbow's edge
my heart's desire
a soulful solace
home sweet home

to find myself
lose myself
reclaim time
replace lost love


i often wonder how we know when we've arrived. do dreams ever end? are we ever done growing, learning, reaching? will there be a time when i'm old, old, old that i'm past dreaming and wanting more? i'm not talking about material things. i'm talking about sunsets, and sweet kisses from grandsons and walks in the rain. i'm talking about that first summer strawberry, the warm purr of my cat, a laugh with my mom. i feel i'm always reaching for more -- more life, more living, more doing, more being, more loving, more blessed exhilaration in the face of nature and all god's beauty. 

please don't let me ever lose this thirst for life. make me humble in the face of god, grateful for every blessing, accepting of love and giving of myself. this is my morning prayer.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

after the rain

she stretched luxuriously as she read the last few lines of her book. she had enjoyed every word of it and couldn't believe she had spent the better part of the day lazy and content in her reading chair. even the dogs and the cat had shared in her tranquil mood. looking out the window, she noticed that the sky had brightened and the sound of rain on the roof had stopped. this was one of her favorite times to stroll with her camera. in two shakes she had her shoes on and the camera slung around her neck. she was out the door, off the porch and turning a keen eye toward all of nature's bounty. the funny thing about a warm rain is that it changes so many things. flowers open, puddles form, drips hang suspended in a lovely dramatic play waiting for an audience to applaud. her applause was the whirr and click of her nikon. her standing ovation was the smile on her face and the gratitude in her heart. nature's encore was the appearance of the sun as the clouds parted.

she trekked several blocks enjoying the squeak of her wet sneakers on the reflective street. skirting puddles and admiring the winged birds, she marveled at how human beings are so like nature. each season is a reinvention of new shapes, forms, colors and nuances. she was reinventing herself as well. or maybe she was simply finding herself after a long absence. either way, she was taking on new dimension and texture in her life. her tapestry was being woven with vibrant hues of confident colors. she was infused with a joyful balance. after the rain, the sun must come and she knew her clouds had parted to let in the wonderful glow of life.

Monday, April 11, 2011

looking up

 seeing all the world's possibilities

  embracing hope


 nurturing self

 taking time to heal

this is where i'm dwelling now . . . on me and healing and getting better and getting over whatever has been ailing me for a couple of years. i've hinted at it a few times here and maybe said it right out loud. i suffer from depression. this has been quite a battle for me because my entire life i've been a happy-go-lucky gal who laughs at all of life's trials. i was never one to dwell on me or feel sad or take life too seriously. looking back i can see the series of events that lead me down this current path -- ailing parents, the loss of an adored job, the loss of fantastic work friends, the isolation, a new stressful unfulfilling job, and relationship challenges. the truth is i let it all get to me and became overwhelmed. i did not reach out for help, share my feelings with others or nurture myself. i simply plunged on and let it pile up on me.

it got so bad that last september i left my husband and moved to my hometown. last month i quit my job. the idea of getting a new job is scary and weighs me down. i know the reality -- my money will not last forever and i will need to have additional income. but i find myself channeling scarlett o'hara and whispering tomorrow. maybe i'll be able to focus on that tomorrow.

i've had over a month to simply be, to sleep and meditate on my life and heal. surrounded by my family and the overwhelming support of my daughter i have started to put the pieces of my life back together. the spring weather has helped immensely. my doctor switched me to a new med last week and already i feel a big difference.

but, the bottom line is that i need to see someone who can give me the professional help i need to finish the healing process. it has taken me getting better to realize that this is the next step (even though so many people have encouraged me to do so for some time). a month ago i was still too overwhelmed by the heaviness to focus. i do not want to be on anti-depressants for the rest of my life. i want to return to that free-spirited gal who loved every second of her life. despite my desire to do it all alone, i know that i cannot.

what is most frustrating is that i have NOTHING to be depressed about. i am so very blessed in my life. when i look at the world and what others battle and endure, i am ashamed that i feel depressed. and, that is how i know that this is clinical and a sickness that i must treat medically and psychologically.

why am i sharing this with all of you? it is simple . . . so i can tell others that you really can't fight depression alone. that you need to get help. do it early on before the burden becomes so heavy that you have no fight left and the only course you have is flight. because that is what i've done -- flown from everything that i couldn't deal with.

if you know someone who suffers from depression, please pass this on. my heart goes out to each and every person who is battling this.

((hugs)) to all of you for continuing to listen and support me. it means a lot!!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

hello front porch

hello front porch
i've missed you

good evening potted violas
thanks for welcoming me home

it is sooo nice to be able to sit out on my porch and read or simply watch the world go by. i have a rope hooked to the porch railing so bella and zoe can hang out with me (without running off). yesterday morning i ate my cereal out there and took a few breaks from cleaning out there as well. willow likes to come out with us and so far has not wandered too far off the porch. she runs back up to my lap with every dog bark, door slam or big gust of wind. it is so funny to see her wallow in the sun!

this is the simple life i've been craving!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

she (still) loved books

of all my artwork, prints of my original "she loved books" mixed media sell the best online and locally. i like to think that it is because reading is such a universal passion. there's just nothing like getting lost in a good story. so i thought it was time to create a second version of the same theme. above is she loved books 2. the original is available in my etsy shop. the story reads:

"she loved books, devouring them like decadent chocolate eclairs, each one more delicious than the previous. attracted to the aged, mellow colors of the frayed covers, she was soon intimately involved with the rich characters she found inside. these charismatic, often quirky soul mates were her nightly bedfellows and her traveling companions. even during her strolls in the park, she found her mind wandering to her current read, anticipating each delightful revelation and turn of phrase. the sweet scent of the old, dusty pages filled her head with aromatic visions of far-off places and oft-forgotten times. her fingers itched to caress each page as the story unfolded and wove its magical spell. her home was overflowing with stacks of much-loved, well-worn tomes, stepping stones to a life she could only hope to live one day. but for now, she was content to exist within the toothy vellum pages of the hardbound books she so loved."

it is warm enough for me to have my windows cracked a bit here today. looove! i'm doing some spring house cleaning and plan to drag the spade out of the garage later this afternoon. i need to start cleaning up the flower beds around this little house. and, of course, i plan to create some new flower beds as well. my flower beds are all being created in the "volunteer" method. all the perennials i plant will be starts donated from family and friends -- the ultimate in recycling!!

have a great day!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

vintage clothespins

so many things in my life remind me of my mom and bind me to her. but for some reason the thing that seems to tug my heart strings the most is her old clothespins. as you can tell from the photos, she has used them for decades. they stay on the line thru all the seasons -- bleached by the sun, frozen by the ice and snow, windburned and rain-sodden. hanging clothes on the line was one of my favorite chores as a child. you had to hang them just right so that they dried with as few wrinkles as possible. and oh the smell when you brought them into the house after a long day of sunshine and fresh air was just divine.

i've already used mom's line to hang out all my bedding and one day this week i hope to hang out my shower curtain and bathroom rugs. spring is here and my heart is singing a happy tune!

Monday, April 4, 2011

tea bag cranes

i stumbled onto these tea bag cranes while browsing blogs a couple of weeks ago. i fell in love with them immediately and knew they would look adorable hanging above my kitchen sink. the best part was that all the proceeds went to the red cross japan relief efforts. there is something so serene and light-hearted about these cranes as they swing in the early spring breeze coming in my window. you can find them in the artinredwagons etsy shop.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

a couple new pieces i created last weekend. the top one is old pattern tissue paper crinkled up and then glued down. i added acrylic paints and pastel chalks to the top of the hard tissue paper for color, etc. for the second one i applied i thin layer of dap to the bare wood and used a pencil to draw shapes and texture in the wet dap. after it was partially dry i added all the colors.

bella and zoe and i are headed to my mom's today to clean out the shed in preparation for getting our baby chicks later this month. excited!!!

Friday, April 1, 2011

goat stampede

i got a little cabin feverish yesterday and grabbed my camera for a drive in the country. it was wonderful to ramble down some roads i've not been on in over 30 years. i experienced that "wow, it looks so much smaller than i remember" feeling a few times. and, i managed to get lost . . . but only temporarily. the highlight of the trip was stumbling upon this herd of goats. they were way across the field when i pulled up and got out of my car. the second i stepped toward the fence and said hi goats they stampeded toward me. my photos don't capture how quick and anxious they were to see me. most of the goats were content to stand back but a few couldn't get close enough. i must say i burbled over with laughter at their antics to get their heads stuck thru the fence holes.

as i was editing and naming the photos here at my mac, i couldn't help thinking that people are a lot like these goats. some have a zest for living and want to push ahead to experience every ounce of life full tilt. others are much more content to be take a second row seat, observing the livelier ones. in my life, i've been both kinds at one time or another. lately i've been more comfortable in the 2nd row but then i think not. after all, i was the one who stopped on a desolate road to befriend the goats. hee hee