Sunday, October 24, 2010

something new... something BOO!

after much deliberation, I am going to try something new

it is small, simple and sweet. 

nothing huge

but something fun.

I will be offering a small class,

a get together

at my home,

in my little embrace your bliss studio

for a tiny group of crafters.

if you are interested,

shoot me an email. 

the gist:

Grab a friend or two and spend the day with us Saturday October 30th in Oceanside at a private class at my own little slice of heaven, the embrace your bliss studio where we will be creating the perfect Halloween memento. I only have a few spots available that are open to the public for this exclusive class. You will not be able to find it anywhere else and it will only be taught once.

In our class we will make a five page (10 back and front) chipboard book jammed packed with goodness and featuring your little Halloween witches, ghosts, ghouls and goblins at their Halloween best.

A delicious lunch will be served, techniques will be taught, and lasting friendships will be made.

All supplies for this one of a kind kit will be given to you at the class, you only need your basic tool kit and pop-dots (I have some to share if you need them :O)

Optional items: if you like a distressed look, bring a sanding block or dremmel
(I use a dremmel... love my dremmel!)

10:00-10:15 guests arrival, mingling and “finding your seat”
10:15-12:00 class and loads of fun
12:00-12:30 yummy little lunch (served by me)
12:30-3:00 second half of class and more fun
 This workshop is for adults 18 and older.

The cost is $35 and payment for classes are to be made through paypal. If you send me an email, I can send you an invoice.

Once you sign up, I will send you the class address and if you have any dietary concerns, we can address those then, I want you to be happy and comfortable.

** I do have a couple of kits or completed books for sale too, they are $28.50 each.
Email me with questions or for additional photos.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

1,000 paper cranes

What would you do

if you found one of these?

Recently, I was contacted by this creative soul Sandy who has masterminded a wonderfully fun and positive idea.

After reading the true story of Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Elanor Coerr, Sandy was inspired.  She is attempting to make 1000 paper cranes, putting a different positive word on each of them, and then placing them all in different locations out and about in our world. She has included her blog address so that people can go there and write to her about where they found it and maybe share about how finding it affected them.  A picture of each crane with its word are on her blog daily in addition to a picture of the crane in its location.  Most of her cranes are in New Jersey, but I think it would be cool to contact her and see about sending them all over the states and further. 

What a sweet, peaceful idea.  I love stuff like this, reaching out to random others with happy messages of care, love and peace. 

Have a happy peaceful day, full of love!


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

September already??!!

Two years ago I posted that I was starting to branch out and sell a few paper crafting kits here and there. Well, my start kind of stalled.  I only ever made one. Don't get me wrong, they were great kits and sold out quickly but then I got busy with other things. Since the kids went back to school, I have had some time to created another. Based on one of my favorite holidays, these little Halloween monsters chipboard books are more of a treat than a trick. (giggle, giggle)

The kit is stuffed with goodness and just about everything you need to complete a project minus your basic tool kit and pop-dots. In addition to sending you the kit, I will email you instructions and full color photos of the completed project.

Here is a peek at the book:

You can see more photos and buy yours here
I have only made 10 kits and sold one already!   

Also, if you can believe it… (I still cannot)

we have adopted a little puppy.

Meet Charlie.

Charlie chews,
Charlie runs,
Charlie “teedles” (as my friend Holly would say) wherever Charlie likes…
Charlie is a baby.

Goodness. I forgot how hard babies are.

He is half boxer, half lab.

The person we got him from said he is called a boxador
back in the day we called a dog like that a mutt.

We just call him Charlie
and with all the chewing,
wild running,
more chewing,
and occasional teedle…
we love him
(and it is probably because he is just so darn cute.)

Please remind me of this when he goes after my anthropologie boots!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

remain calm...


while shopping for some art goodies,

i happened upon a copy

of the newest somerset

Holidays and Celebrations edition.

(i think it is supposed to hit shelves sep 1st.)

I flipped through it and


My work is right there,

taking up all of page 17!!!


Those poor ladies in the shop looked over to find

me jumping up and down,  

hair falling out of the clip it was so carefully put in,

squealing to my 10 year old...

"Ohmygoodness, ohmygoodness, ohmygoodness!!"  was all I could say!

At Silver Bella 2 years ago, I hosted a swap full of amazing talent and one of the girls (thanks Kim!) submitted the entire work along with an article about the swap to somerset and they decided to put it in their magazine!!!

(You can find all of the work of these amazing ladies blogged about here)

"Ohmygoodness, ohmygoodness, ohmygoodness!!"

I know girls who have their work in these magazines and they are so cool about it. 

"yes, I have a few things in there"


"oh, that little thing?"


"oh, that really isn't anything"

Well, let me tell you...

I was not cool


Jumping up and down so very excited... I bought one. 

Now I am off to actually read it.


Saturday, August 21, 2010

It really was no miracle, what happened was just this...

The wind began to swish

The house, to pitch

And suddenly the hinges started to unhitch

Just then the Witch

To satisfy an itch 

Was flying on her broomstick, thumbing for a hitch.

and, oh, what happened then was rich.

~dorothy gale

I have done it! 

Finished my tags for the Wizard of Oz Swap
(hosted by the lovely Karla Nathan)

Getting them packaged up and mailing them monday...


Now on to other goodies...

gotta work on:

my journal
birdhouse (yes, I signed up and have not even started!)
and some little albums I will be selling on etsy

Although, when I get to create, it isn't really work at all.  It is more of a recharging of my batteries.



Friday, August 20, 2010

my honey bunches of stinkweed...

first, as promised...

the answers to yesterday's post.

here is the back of my alphabet card with the answers:

now on to the real reason for this post...

while shopping with Hope the other day

I found a ring

you know when you find something you like

you make the move to try it on

and when you do,

it fits

AND looks good?

well, it happened to me.

it was not a big deal, just a sterling ring...

but it had a heart in the center of it.

i don't want to buy a heart for myself.

i know it sounds weird

i feel like I am saying "i love you" to me

and as we should love ourselves...

i don't need to buy something to tell me that. 

well, i suppose no one needs to buy something for someone else to tell them that.

it is evident in how we treat each other,


Well, I went home that day,


and told my husband about it.

it was the same day I got my little animal

(fox? bear? cat?  we still don't know)

I digress

(i do that a lot!)

So today, he told me to go put my feet up, take a nap or just lie down for a bit. 

and after a ton of lollygagging

(it is what i do best,)

i finally made my way into my room and found this:

Upon first glance, it looked as if she had a cast on...

but no!

It was the ring!!!

and then came the note...

I won't share it, because it is personal,
and mushy...

but it was the sweetest note ever.


you are just going to have to believe me on this.

He was supposed to be setting up his classroom yesterday
with our kids
while i was out with friends
and instead,
he spent over an hour on the road
and somehow the kids kept this a secret for a whole day!

(my favorite is the heart in the middle)

I love my honey bunches of stinkweed!


Thursday, August 19, 2010

staying true to my word...

one more thing to check off the list! 


I completed my ABC book swap page.

(hosted by the ever so sweet and gracious Marian Ballog)

as you can probably guess

my letter

was Gg 

it started out in a whole other direction, but as I worked

my page morphed into something whimsical.

and i can sit back and say

"i am happy with it"

so, I think I will...

I am happy with it!

There, another thing checked off my list...
being kind to myself about what I create.

Wow, this evening is full of check offs.

Here are all TWENTY SEVEN in all of their glory...


Can you guess all of the "g" words included on the page?

there are seven!
get it?
G is the seventh letter of the alphabet!!

answers coming tomorrow...

On another note,
I got to hang out with Hope this week while she was in town!

What a treat that was!!!

Anna and I took her

to blick (oh the copics!)

antiquing (vignettes is amazing!!!)
met up with LeAnne,
had lunch on the beach
touched our toes in the COLD Pacific
ate bright green ice cream

(well, Anna and I did... everyone else had normal colors)
went to Out of the Blue, Solo and Leaping Lotus

Love this towel!

before having to take her back to her hubby.

I just could not resist bringing this little one home...

She was just so sweet that I could not leave her.

she has a home, now she needs a name...

any suggestions?


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

someday is here

I decided today that it is about time.

About time I start finishing up all of the old projects

i paid big bucks to create

there are so many

and yes,

they are neatly stored

and kept in the state they were in when the class was over

i packed up

exhausted from a long day of creating and good company

there was usually a long drive home or flight

unpacking and putting it up on a shelf for someday


someday is here

it is now or never

use it or lose it

I think we all come to a point where it is easier
to chuck some things

rather than take the time to finish them

i am battling with that

and trying to win.

(silver bella alum 2008, remember this one?  this one will be done before bed!)

so, with that in mind...

i am already taking Hope's journal class (as you probably know)

and suzi's petit dolls class (you probably know this too)

i am in a vintage abc book swap (but hey, one is going to charity!)

just signed up for Karla's swap:

and planning on signing up for this class online because i just cannot resist.

I mean come on
2 weeks and $25... super cute and affordable. 
Who can resist this stuff???

now, I am creating, finishing and glad someday came.

paper is flying, scissors are snipping and glue is dripping

but i don't care.

someday is here and i am getting ahead.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

one word? really??

I was supposed to think of one word to describe myself...
and since it was difficult,
I cheated. 

I used a word that has more descriptors than any other I could think of.

I picked Libra

Here is my most recent journal entry
my first attempt at a petit doll
from the suzi blu class i have been taking...

on my last journal page,
I realized that my journaling
(well really my lettering)
needed much practice,
so that is really my focus here. 
Look at that ridiculous letter A in the middle of the left page! 
Well, it was a good exercise to get some practice in and stretch those creative wings once again.


Friday, July 30, 2010

Nourish Your Soul

I went to mail something yesterday and realized I was near a bookshop that sells Moleskines and I needed some for my journaling class. The come in packs of 3. I purchased them and went home, not knowing what I was in store for and how fate sometimes has other ideas for us.

There has not been much creating lately and I was so excited to get back into it (much like my blogging!) It is when I am at my most calm and peaceful state, which doesn't happen often enough.

As I sat down yesterday to begin my online journaling workshop taught by Hope, my little budding artist asked if she could join and grabbed one of the journals.

If you want to grow as an artist, create with a child.

We ended up at it most of the day.

It was quite an experience.

She is only ten and expects herself to create just like the master.

There were some tears,

but when she realized what wonderful things she can come up with on her own,

she relaxed and enjoyed the day.

Now she has some work that she is proud of and the time we spent together was priceless.

Here are our first pages:


Now, as I reflect,
I see that I need to
work on more words and less collage.

Getting comfortable with my writing is tough,
but I have to let go…
especially with my little one watching.

Being comfortable in our own skin and developing our talents is such a mountain for an artist to climb but once we are at the summit, the possibilities are endless and what amazing and beautiful work follows! 

I am still climbing...


Thursday, July 29, 2010

a random act of kindness (rak)

Today was unlike any other...

got up, got ready,

ran out for errands



I found a box in the mail.

I didn't order anything...

hopefully my son was not on eBay again trying to out bid someone

(the last time he did that
we paid almost $70 for 2 inspector gadget toys...
God bless him, he hates to lose!
you can bet your sweet pa-tootie
that we changed our password though)

I digress.

In the door I went,

mail and box in hand.

I ripped into the package and found the sweetest card and gifts.

AND all owlies! 

She knows me!!!

My dear friend Julie Baxley sent it with thanks for hosting swaps last year at Silver Bella. 


what a living doll! 

She already sent me goodies back then

and now this!

Well, there is only one thing to do...

pay it forward. 

Maybe you can do one too!

I love random acts of kindness, thank you Julie!!!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

i am still here...

life tends to get away from me...

or maybe it is this blogging that gets away.

while i am living life


that is it.

I have been LIVING LIFE.

summer is in full swing,

family visits, garage band sessions, house guests, horse camp, swimming in the cold pacific, BBQs, kids i do not even know running through my home... 

gosh, i need a vacation to get away from my vacation. 

that sounds ungrateful. 

i do not mean to sound that way,

i am happy to have the time off. 

it is a blessing.

just yesterday, i drove my dad and step mom to the airport and said goodbye. 

I came home and everyone was exhausted

so we pulled out the hide-a-bed and hung out snuggling and watching movies all day...

the whole family

(and yes, puppy too) 

It was like a snow day, without the snow. 

Now that I am all rested, I wondered onto a wonderful friend and artist's blog...

Hope Wallace Karney

look out girls, if you have never been there

(and I cannot imagine you haven't)

you can get lost in the wonderfulness of it all

I just signed up for her
"nourish your soul"
journaling class

(i know, like I need something else to work on)

but maybe i will finish this one... maybe

it looks really, really, really creative and i hope to get those juices flowin' again

it has been

really, really, really too long.

more on this and that suzi blu class later... (whichihavereallynevermentionedexcepttosomeclosefriendswhohavebeenaskingaboutmyprogresswhichihavenonetoshowbecasueijustcannotsitstill.)


Friday, April 30, 2010

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


"Heartbreak is life educating us"
                               ~george bernard shaw

I am sad to report that Despereaux Squeakling has passed away. 

We are not sure what happened but it could have been a number of things. 

He was so small

his mother was missing

his brothers as sisters were all popping up dead in various places at the school
(may have been poisoned)

but whatever it was,

we cared for him

and loved him

while he was with us. 

The worst part of it all

is that my kids are so sad. 

It is amazing...

the love they have in their hearts

for something that would repulse most.

I love them for that,

and hope they never lose it.

Monday, April 19, 2010

"no rodents!" and some bursts of creativity...

My son has wanted a hamster for as long as I can remember.

Every time we go to the pet store

(or happen anywhere around one)

it is as if he has a radar that goes off and it starts up all over again...

"can I have a hamster?"

"let's not start that again..."

"Mom listen, I have an idea... maybe when I am sixteen I can keep one in my car..." (which leads to a whole other dialogue about this delusion of his that he will magically get a car when he is sixteen...)

I am sure I will look back on all of this and laugh, right?

Last week

one of my colleagues at my school

told me that she stepped on a mouse

in her classroom

and didn't even know it!

I scoffed...

"stepped on a mouse? You would know if you stepped on a mouse."

She was so convinced that this really happened

and went on to tell me how flat it was

after the stepping, that is...

Now let me tell you,

I teach at a middle school,

and it is not above kids at this level

to play a little joke or two on teachers or other students.

I put it out of my mind and moved on.

Today, that same teacher told me she found

another little puffball but with obvious trauma

that caused its demise.

It was not flat this time

but was still in the same state as the other one,


A moment of silence for the little furry ones...

Just too weird...

as I said my goodbyes to my son this morning,

we walked into a short inner hallway

that leads

to the "mouse teacher's" classroom,

(sort of a tunnel from her room to mine)

I saw this little bit of fur and instantly flashed to the flattened and not so flattened critters...

This one was squeaking and





a goldfish cracker.

He could have used a small water bottle for a swimming pool.

Well, guess who found him first.

That is right...

my hamster wanting son.

Surprisingly, he trotted off to class without much more to say.

I scooped up the little guy and he was so stinkin' small...

what was I to do?

There are all sorts of creatures that would have loved a little snack such as him

but instead,

we ended up bringing him home.


the whole family loves him,

this poor little mother-less baby who chirps more than squeaks.

(he must know I like birds)

And after much deliberation and a family meeting,

we have decided to keep him.


Despereaux Squeakling

I know, it is nuts.

On another note...

I got my hands on 6 bistro chairs and started playing with one of them. 

The man that sold them to us had

this wonderfully thick

French accent.

He told us they came from France. 

Maybe they did,

maybe they didn't,

but it is certainly romantic to think they did...

They needed cleaning


a bit of paint

don't get me wrong,

I love distressed and used


these were sickly green with orange edges...

so I started by stripping one of the chairs. 

and guess what???


you know that old 70's style of staining?


sorry if you like that

but I just don't know how that was

ever attractive.

Saw this in a magazine once...

I used cardstock and cut out

a bunch of different sizes and fonts

of letters and numbers with my cricut.

I glued them to the chair

and then

painted the chair cream.

It isn't complete,

but here is an idea of where it is right now...

I think I like it.

Sometimes these ideas sound really great

and flop

and sometimes they actually

turn out ok.

hooray for ok!

there is still more to do. 

I want to lightly sand,

give some more coats

and distress with dark brown...

hopefully it will all still be ok!


here is little turtle I

embroidered on a onsie

for a sweet little one on the way. 

it isn't much, but

the momma loves turtles

and I could not resist the chance to make


for that little blessing!


Sunday, March 21, 2010

seems to be baby season around here...

just the other day

a girlfriend,

my neighbor,

came by to talk.

she asked if I had heard the big news.

what news? 

there is so much of it these days

(most of which i would like to block out)

she told me she is pregnant.

today, i went to a baby shower where three ladies are pregnant!

(one with twins!)

there were only 8 of us there...

I stayed away

from whatever water they were drinking.

next week i am going to another.

babies, babies, babies

i love that baby smell,

no, not THAT smell,

the smell that is right in the center

of that swirl of hair

on the crown

of that sweet little angel's head

while asleep in your arms.

such peace,

such trust,

such calm.

I digress...

I have never been a big registry person. 

i mean,

i want to get the mom

or bride

or whoever

what they want,

but I love to give them

something that no one else will.

something unexpected,

something homemade.

I know it may be quirky...

but there is a lot of love that goes into each one

and each one is different.

Here is the one I made today

(some of the adhesive is still wet in the photo

and looks yucky,

but it came out ok)

the proud momma is having twins! 

bless her!!!

as i left the party

one of the "mothers to be" stopped me

and said,

"I want you to know, I am expecting a handmade gift too."

I smiled and said "of course."


she is only six weeks along...

i have some time.


Monday, March 15, 2010


it is Monday

trash day

and for my 12 year old's birthday

(in addition to all of the other goodies, of course)

i gave him something that money cannot buy

(well, at least not his money)

I told him i would take out the trash

for an entire MONTH!!!

needless to say,

he loved that.

as i was lugging our one bag out the door,

headed for those


germ riddled,

daunting containers,

a warm breeze whooshed across the yard,

through the beautiful blooming jasmine

and right into my nose.

all of the sudden

that trash bag

full of



became a beautiful blessing.

the day is warm,

the sun is out,

our orange tree is heavy with citrus,

and the jasmine, oh the jasmine

it is just exploding

on our back fence.

i don't think

i would have ventured out there


i didn't need to take out the trash.

and i thought to myself,


just sometimes,

the gnarly jobs are full of joy too.

I hope you all have a trash experience today.

(just be sure to wash your hands afterward)


Sunday, January 31, 2010

silver sunday #5... what is it with shoes lately???

In keeping with my quirky tradition,

I am posting silver, but not really silver...

my mercury silver glass cup where I keep my paint brushes

the only ring i wear almost as much as my wedding ring
(can you tell it is a tree?)

and the shoes calling to me telling me that my trip to the gym is WwaAaaAYyyy overdue.

off I go...


Sunday, January 24, 2010

silver sunday #4... already?

for this 4th silver sunday

I will make this one short and sweet,

one photo,

one quote.

One shoe can change your life.  ~Cinderella


Sunday, January 17, 2010

a girl and her silver

I bought this vase antiquing somewhere

(I really do forget where)

and it sat...

and sat...

and sat...

like most things that I buy

and have big plans for

but it had a certain charm

i just could not bring myself

to goodwill it,
send it off to another home

it was the charm.

one day, while looking for a home
for this little wooden doll bottle stopper

i put 2 and 2 together and found they made a nice pair.

now they sit happily on a shelf with other treasures in my studio.

the girl, and her silver

isn't that happy?