Friday, April 29, 2011

Congratulations ...

... to the two winners of my 2011 calendar -  Carolyn McIntyre and Cynthia Scott.  Thank you, ladies. Your choice of calendars will be on their way to you shortly. 

Free slightly late calendars 

Writer/Artist of the Week!

My dear online friend Natasha has featured me as Writer/Artist of the week for her Thursday Sweet Treat, a weekly creative prompt for all writers/artists.  I was a regular participant before my surgery, but this is the first time since my surgery that I have joined in.  Stop by to read my tribute to my Dad and take a look to see some incredible art and writing from some very talented people.  And if you're a writer or artist feel free to join the weekly party:

Exceptional artists and writers celebrate poetry month

Thank you, Natasha!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Free (Beautiful) Calendars

Just two more days to get your comment in to be eligible to receive one of my (slightly late) 2011 calendars.  Go here:

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy Easter

Enjoy this special day!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Free (Slightly Late) Calendars!

Last Christmas I created two different calendars to sell in a local Christmas art fair.  Sad to say, they didn't all sell. I just came across the pile today and decided I should let someone make use of these, even though we are already one quarter into the new year.

I'll give away one of each calendar. All words and photos in these calendars are my own. The good thing is that once the year is up you can cut out and use these photos in any way you choose, except of course to sell them.  The calendar is free and for your use only.  

I'll pick two winners via random number generator out of all comments made to this post. If you are already a follower, you can add a second comment mentioning that. If you're not yet a follower and think you might want to be, you can become a follower and add a second comment that you signed up. I'll keep this open for one week, until Friday, April 29. Sorry, but for this one time only I'm limiting this giveaway to U.S. and Canada residents only

I'll send an email to both winners and the first person to respond back to me will get their first choice of calendar.  Here's the original descriptions and some photos of each calendar.

 A Celebration of the Seasons
Those of us who live in Michigan are blessed to have four distinct seasons, each with their own beautiful ambiance and images. With this calendar I tried to capture Michigan’s four seasons with my own pictures and words.

At 5-1/2” x 8-1/2”, the calendar is small enough to carry with you, but large enough for notes, both at the bottom of each page and on extra pages included in the back. The spiral binding allows the book to lay flat, and the cover and back pages are protected with acetate. 

With both words and images I offer some of my own personal thoughts and inspirations in this 2011 calendar.

At 5-1/2” x 8-1/2”, the calendar is small enough to carry with you, but large enough for notes, both at the bottom of each page and on extra pages included in the back. The spiral binding allows the book to lay flat, and the cover and back pages are protected with acetate. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Stupid Insane Business

As I suffer through my (boring) recuperation, I'm trying to keep up with goings-on in the online art world, even though my Etsy shops are closed for the time being.  One of the Etsy teams I belong to is VAST (Visual Artists Street Team).  A discussion on their forum this morning about the difficulties of selling art had two comments that made me laugh out loud.  I couldn't resist memorializing these two artists' quotes.  Thanks, guys - my sentiments exactly!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Bluebirds and Bluejays and other exciting adventures

 I just read a really cute blog post by a favorite online artist/friend, Stephanie Mealor Corder of stefny68.
 Stef and I share a love of our gardens, flowers, birds, spring - not necessarily in that order!

Such goings-on in her spring garden!  Take a look:

Friday, April 15, 2011


Anyone who knows me or who follows my blog and my Etsy sites knows that I love flowers.  It's hard to pick a favorite, but roses and hydrangeas are up there at the top.  The other day I received from my Dallas sister a beautiful large bouquet of another top 5 favorite: Stargazer Lilies.  They are just coming into bloom so I couldn't resist cutting the early bloomers and creating a smaller arrangement. I love that I will have that lovely fragrance and those beautiful flowers to enjoy for several more days. So here - let me share them with you.

Monday, April 11, 2011

My Personal Tower of London

Three hundred years ago a prisoner condemned to the Tower of London carved on the wall of his cell this sentiment to keep up his spirits during his long imprisonment: 
"It is not adversity that kills, but the impatience with which we bear adversity."
- James Keller

My comfortable house is hardly the Tower of London (unless we've totally slacked off on our house cleaning) and "adversity" is a bit strong a word for my recuperation.  But why my heart goes out to that long ago poor soul and his long imprisonment is the word "impatience."  

When I looked at the calendar today and realized that it is just two weeks today since I came home from my surgery in St. Louis, I let out a very unladylike howl.  It seems more like two months!  I should be grateful that I'm in the wonderful shape I'm in at this point in the recuperation. Instead I'm so impatient with the lack of appetite, the uneasiness of my digestive system, the odd soreness and aches that come and go, and the weakness in my legs which keeps me chained to the walker. Mostly it's my need to rest and sleep that frustrates me the most.  My friend Mary visited me today - I was up and on my feet for about 3 hours. Afterward I had to immediately hit the bed and sleep for two hours!  (Please don't chide me about this - I know my body is telling me it needs the rest and I know I have to do it.)

Pre-surgery, I thought I would enjoy this break from my busy life - I would lie around reading books and eating bon-bons for a few months. Instead I find myself getting worked up and impatient about my long list of post-surgery responsibilities: create new work; clean out and re-open my Etsy shops and list only the very best; re-vamp my blog and make it more interesting than it is at the moment; finally get to that family tree and generations album that has been waiting for me for a long time. And, oh yeah, I want to read a few of those books. 

I just can't seem to calm down and let it all happen on its own time. Any suggestions? Do I need to take up meditation? How can I find some peace of mind?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Happy Birthday to me!

I was so totally busy today with phone calls and visitors bringing such luscious fare as chocolate covered strawberries and pink cupcakes that I forgot to tell you it was my birthday!  Okay, I have to be honest, in between all that excitement I had to take some naps too - my fatigue factor is still huge.

Those chocolate covered strawberries are HUGE and for a minute as the juices dripped down my chin I had trouble remembering that I have no appetite!

No, I'm not going to tell you how old I am because I now feel like a whole brand new person.  Age is just a number anyway!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Time is a Healer

 There's that fleeting moment in the morning between sleep and waking when your body feels light as a feather and your mind is peaceful and clear. As I move toward waking, my first conscious thoughts go to my pre-March life: I would awaken, have some coffee and jump wholeheartedly into a life of activity devoted to creating my artwork, enjoying family and friends, and basically doing whatever I choose to do, with few worries.

As I become more completely awake, I am brought up short quickly: the heaviness of my altered body reminds me that my life is now changed considerably. For now, my life is a much smaller world revolving around medicine, restricted movement, dependence, physical therapy, lack of appetite, and bowel movements. (Just keeping it real!) I won't be able to drive for perhaps another 5-6 weeks, and in any case not until I'm off the hard drugs.

It takes a year or more for my fusion to heal so it will be a year of small victories and slow progress. To be sure the fusion heals as it should, I have to restrict my movements such as bending, twisting, and lifting.  I am concerned that my legs are quite weak, but I'm confident that's a temporary issue that physical therapy should take care of.

All in all, I am so relieved and ecstatic that my back is so straight I'm determined to get through this healing and do whatever I need to do to not jeopardize it.  Take a look and tell me - isn't this quite miraculous??

These days, the lyric that keeps running through my mind is "Time is a Healer" by my all-time favorite female singer, Eva Cassidy.  Sadly, Eva passed away many years ago and only a few precious CDs exist of her beautiful work.  Pretty much an underground performer when she was alive, most of her fame has come after her death as fellow performers, fans, friends, and family strive to keep her memory alive.  She has her own unique take on classics we know, but hearing her version makes us think it's the first time we are hearing them. I love almost everything she has done, but here's two of my favorites Over the Rainbow and Fields of Gold.  Enjoy.

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