October 31, 2011

Goodbye October

I can't believe October has come to an end.  It's been such a beautiful month with the Fall weather, splashes of color on leaves, and smoky chimneys.

Looking forward to a spooky night with my three little pumpkins. Wishing you all a Happy Halloween!

October 27, 2011

Graffiti Love

This week I've been painting Graffiti Love.

Snacking on Autumn apples.

Capturing fallen leaves.

Beginning a banner.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend.  Be sure to check out all the beautiful paintings at Paint Party Friday!

October 25, 2011

Of Tender Sons

I watch my husband answer a phone call awakened out of needed sleep.  In the tender way he answers, I know it's his mother.  She has nothing vital that needed saying, just a friendly ear to listen.  Her elderly excitement is all about what she accomplished that morning.  He lays back on the pillow adding small affirmations along the way as she chatters in his ear.

He didn't have to listen.  He could've told her he'd been sleeping and would talk later, or quickly rushed off the phone; but he didn't.  That's the kind of son he is.

I watch my son walk to me first thing in the morning.  He sits on the edge of the recliner and wraps his arms around me mumbling a good morning.  He knows I love this greeting. I hold him tight for an extra long time.  He doesn't recoil, he allows me my added minutes.

He didn't have to hug me.  He could've shouted good morning from his room or simply met me at the breakfast table, but he didn't.  That's the kind of son he is.

I'm joining Storytellers today.  To browse other stories or to add your own, click the button below.

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October 21, 2011

The Playfulness of Blue

Background of a work-in-progress
I discover blue over and over in my paintings.  I'm not sure if it's the calming and peaceful aura it brings or just because I love almost every hue of it.  But lately, with the contrast of vibrant skies and brightly colored leaves, I can't get enough of this color!

The air has turned even cooler here.  I turned the heater on last night; probably a bit too early.  I'm somewhat cold-natured and tend to require the heater before others do. Although, I was layered with a long sleeve tee, a sweatshirt, flannel pajamas, thick knitted socks and a heavy comforter.  So it wasn't like I was in summer wear. (Okay fine, I'm a wimp!)

The schools here are out for Fall break, so my kids begged for some fun too. We've been staying up late and sleeping in; drinking Chai tea lattes, playing board games, and going to the dollar movies. LOVE these times!

Wishing you a wonderful weekend full of laughter and precious moments.

October 18, 2011

Laura Bray

Since this is Storyteller's Tuesday, I wanted to share Laura Bray's story from Katydiddy's.  She inspires me!

I wanted to be a hairdresser and drive a Trans Am. That was my first childhood dream. After receiving a set of Fashion Plates ® for my tenth birthday, I changed my mind and wanted to be a fashion designer. That dream stuck with me until a very mean high school teacher informed me that I had no artistic talent. I ended up getting an MBA and owning a Human Resources firm instead. In 2005, I had my daughter and my life completely changed. At 35, I was forced to take a hard look at what I was doing with my life and realized that I still wanted to do something creative.  I worked through the damage that was done by my wicked art teacher (and my own misconceptions about what I was capable of) and have been sewing, creating, entertaining, and designing ever since.

Since embarking on my career as a professional craft designer and lifestyle expert, I've found more joy in my life.  I love sharing my creative adventures with other woman as we all try to find ways to bring creativity to every aspect of our lives.

This summer I took an ecourse from Laura on Multiple Streams of Income.  I'm not a planner.  Let's just be upfront about that. My attitude about starting an online business up until that point had been hit and miss.  Laura asked me what I truly wanted to accomplish.  Teaching?  Helping others with their business?  Spreading beauty into the world?  She encouraged me to assess my reasons which helped me determine my goals.  Her plan was simple. Check out her ebooks through the link (under the picture) on my right sidebar. (Note: I receive a small commission from any books sold through the link on my blog)

I'm joining Storytellers today.  Click on the button below to read more artists stories or to add your own.  (P.S. Sadee with Storytellers lives in Germany, so sometimes there's a delay between my posting and hers)

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October 17, 2011

Much Love Monday: Library Love

What I'm loving today:
  • My new (to me) camera! It was given to us by a friend but needed a few parts.  Brilliant hubby found them and fixed it. Now to get through the manual so I'll know how to work this thing...
  • Dropping temperatures.  It's been cool but getting colder.  Sweaters and boots, here I come!
  • Experiments.  My family and a group of others are doing some experiments to move toward living simply and helping local (and global) communities.  Our first assignment was to write 10 things we're thankful for each day for seven days--and no repeats.  It's been fun each morning to write about what I'm thankful for today.
  • Pumpkins.  I love pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin bread, and pumpkin seeds.  I've got a recipe for pumpkin granola that I'm itching to try.  If it turns out, I'll share it with you.
  • The library.  It's always been a magical place to me.  Tons of books lining shelves just waiting for me to read.  And I've got a pile of them right now, just in time for evenings wrapped in an afghan.

October 13, 2011

October 12, 2011

Imperfect Prose: The Truth

I sit here trying to write out my thoughts but all that comes to me is sporadic pieces.  So guess what you're getting?  A bullet-in post.
  • I haven't painted for a week.
  • I haven't written either (on the book, that is).
  • Those two things make me feel like I'm doing nothing.
  • But I have been doing stuff.  Traveling, visiting with family and friends, keeping and caring for my grandmother, planning meals, reading, schooling my kids, laundry, cleaning, parenting, and sorting out bills.
  • Why don't I count these things?
  • I have a stack of five sewing books from the library sitting on my desk and I'm not sure why I checked them out.  I don't even own a sewing machine.
  • Maybe I want to have more stuff to do that I don't do so I can heap on the guilt.
  • Or maybe I'm overly hopeful that I'll have time to learn.
  • My grandmother's staying with me this week.  She's in the quiet stages of dementia.  She's precious and happy to sit reading her Bible, working word searches or watching Andy Griffith.  
  • I'd like to be that way, happy with simple things.
  • I need to be content with my beautiful life.

October 11, 2011

The Smile of a Structural Engineer

I followed him through the yard and around the house.  Teetering as he stepped, his eyes scanned every nook and cranny. His shirt tucked neatly into his western belt-buckled jeans and a whiff of after-shave trailed him.  He perused my rooftop, and paused.  He explained the damage in a loud voice as if talking over a noise.

I stared at him mesmerized.  Not because of what he was saying, although it was dire enough I listened, but because of his laugh and good-natured teasing sprinkled among all he said.  His facial features, the twinkle in his eyes, and the way his smile curled to one side reminded me of my sweet Papaw.  I couldn't help feeling a connection to this structural engineer.

After he delivered bad news about our house, I asked him what he would suggest we do.  He gave me his winning smile and wise advice.  It felt like grandfather-granddaughter stuff; I struggled not to tear up.  He gave a few last words and walked to the door calling good-bye to my kids. I walked him out and thanked him for his time, secretly trying to prolong our conversation.

I wanted to hug him.  It was with great restraint that I didn't.  He waved as he walked to his truck and I reluctantly went back inside.

My eldest daughter was watching me.

Guiltily, I explained, "He reminded me of--"

"I know," she said, still staring.

"I almost hugged him," I confessed.

She smiled.  "Yeah, I know; I could see it on your face."  She pulled me to her and hugged me tight.

Papaw's Girl
Papaw's handwriting is hidden in the background.When he gardened, he always wore a straw hat.

He was known for his big ears and overalls.  I loved them. So I added ears and braids in memory of my favorite farmer.

I'm joining Storytelling Tuesday where Sadee explores how story impacts artists of all kinds (writers, painters, quilters, musicians, etc). For more stories (or to add your own) click on the button below.

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October 7, 2011



This is the girl I began a few weeks ago and here is the (almost) finished product.  Unfortunately I didn't take a picture after I put lights on the Ferris wheel.  It softened considerably.  Now my camera's not cooperating so I won't be able to show you.  Ah well...

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

October 5, 2011

Imperfect Prose: Imperfect Self

This year I've undergone a journey of acknowledging my fears. Fears of being unloved or rejected. Fears of not measuring up in someone else's eyes.  And I've asked myself, each time I feel those frantic thoughts, why?  What am I fearing?

When I sift through the trail of thoughts to the deep hidden lie I've believed; I'm able to release it through awareness.  Love throws out all fear. My process has been hard. It's been painful. There are moments I want to quit asking the questions and run!  But running has never got me where I want to go, only kept me circling.

It's only when I look deep within and truthfully state what it is I fear that I'm able to let go of  fear and accept love.  The irony is that I'm able to give love now without the ropes of fear constraining me. I don't take things as personally as much anymore.  I can love for love's sake without demanding something in return. I still have a long way to go; I battle fears everyday. But I'm aware and changing.

October 4, 2011

To Tell a Story: Ron Weasley

Do you remember how I wasn't a dog lover until I found out I was? (If not, see story here)

Fast forward to June.

My daughter asked for another dog.  Again. And again.  And yet, again.  I kept saying no.  I felt too maxed, too vulnerable.  I'd lost too much.  We drove to the coffee shop and what was taped to the cash register?  A picture of free puppies.  A CUTE picture of FREE puppies.  Yes, I know they're never really free but...

My daughter gave me her puppy dog eyes.

I said no.  But I contemplated it. I thought how I'd never given the first dog, Tally, a chance.  I didn't willingly embrace her or try to care; it just sort of happened.  I thought about my sweet friend who I missed already with a dreaded hole in my heart.  She loved dogs.  LOVED them.  She would've told me to get one.

I informed my daughter I'd go with her to look but not to expect anything.

Who was I kidding?

We drove out in the far country and up a dirt road to a sweet lady trying to save puppies.  The puppies were gray, silver and brown.  Except one.  He was red.

My daughter picked him up and cradled him in her arms the way I cradle every baby I'm allowed to hold.  She kissed him and petted him.  She handed him to me.

He looked up in my face.  He didn't cry or wriggle.  He just sank against my chest like he belonged there.  I didn't want to love him.  I didn't want to need him.

But I did. Tears sprang to my eyes.

"I'm naming him Ron Weasley," my daughter said with a twinkle in her eye. She knew I'd like that.

She was right.

He's five months old.  And I love him.

I'm joining Storytellers today.  See more stories through the button below:

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October 3, 2011

Much Love Monday: Confetti Popcorn

What I'm loving today:

  • The Corn Popper, a fun little shop I recently discovered.  They've got almost any flavor popcorn you could imagine.  For my daughter's party, we had three sweet choices and three salty ones: watermelon, strawberry and confetti; white cheddar, pizza and cool ranch.  I assumed I'd be tempted by the sweet flavors but it turns out the salty ones were my weakness. WARNING: Popcorn is addictive!

  • This book!  I gobbled it up over the weekend!!

  • My China Cabinet turned Art Supplies Cabinet.

What are you loving today?