Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year 2010!

I cannot believe that it is the eve of a new year!

I cannot believe that it has been a month and a half since I've posted anything! It is the busiest time of the year for me since I do more business in that time on etsy and also participate in a local juried art show. Then add in the holidays and well...need I explain my absence any longer?

Here is a short update of what is happening in Elfland.

We love the new house. Even more so the ability to go outside and play every day. We had a house party in November and I must admit the house sure fills up quickly but the layout is great and, come summer, the backyard will be the perfect place to celebrate birthdays.

The Dharma dog decided that she likes to take self guided tours of the new neighborhood. I halfheartedly wished she'd get permanently lost the first time she took off. I had the little one to tend to and couldn't go traipsing through the neighborhood trying to catch her crazy @$$. (That and when I yelled her name she doubled down and took off faster. GRRRR.........) Unfortunately, she found her way home, not as stupid as I thought she was.

Our one and only car has become rather unreliable. We think it has an electrical problem. Needless to say it is rather stressful not knowing if the car will start in the morning or not! Luckily, my husband can take the bus to work but we still have to get him to the park n ride!

The show at Laurel School that I participate in every year was a huge success. I met a couple of ladies that are starting another show next year and so I hope to participate in that one also as well as 2 others(although I haven't identified which those would be)

I am currently putting together a craft book with all the patterns and directions to make the candy ornaments. I also started writing the little elf book and realized that I have 2 books that need to be written not just the one. I hope to have the first elf book completed as well as the craft book sometime this coming year(2010) I will self publish through Lulu and will keep you posted as to any developments.

I have started to look at going back to school. Engineering is the field I'm thinking of tackling. I have 20+ years of retail management experience but I think all would agree with the current economy, a job in retail is not the most secure field to be in. If anything happened to my husband, it would be very difficult for me to earn a living that would support both me and my child. Plus, I've pretty much had it with retail. I've done my time, it's time to move on! I am waiting for my catalog to arrive from the local community college. I look forward to learning and hope that, financially, everything will fall into place.

My son is definitely 2. Terrible is becoming his middle name. He's not the biggest terror in the world but he definitely is trying my patience and trying to assert his independence! He has been spending an awful lot of time sitting on the chair. As a matter of fact, he actually sends himself there every now and again. I hear him say " sit right there , don't move!" I must admit I have to chuckle. ( oh and he's learned the word 'idiot' from his mommy yelling at the dog, oops!)

Oh well, that's about all the news here. I hope to have some new items to share towards the middle of January( paper clay sculptures) but I also need to get our taxes together so that we can file as early as possible this year (it's awfully sad when your tax return becomes your safety net! Car repairs are not cheap!)

Have a Very Happy (and SAFE) New Year!
May each and everyone of us be blessed with prosperity and joy this new year and in the years to come!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Artwork for the Album "Ground Swell"

album cover

back cover

Here are the finished paintings for my friend David Mauk's new album "Ground Swell"
They were basically my renditions of the Edward Hopper paintings"Ground Swell" and "Cape Cod Evening". A little useless fact: "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" was a painting based on Hopper's "Nighthawks". Mine aren't quite that kitschy but I do hope they serve their purpose well! (The dog is actually Dave's pup, Petey.)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

T'is the Season!

I truly have been a busy little elf! I signed up to host an Underwriters Laboratory House Party this weekend. I thought it would be such a perfect match since I tend to go a little overboard with my holiday displays. I didn't take into consideration how tiring getting the house in order (and decorated early)would be. In addition to that, I have my show that I participate in every year quickly approaching so I am frantically trying to get all my projects completed. I also had 2 illustrations to complete recently. A friend of mine is a very talented musician who is getting ready to release his second CD. The music for the CD is completely based on many of Dave's favorite Edward Hopper paintings. I was honored to be his go-to-gal for the artwork. They are my rendition of of Hopper paintings. I can't wait to see his final package design and to hear the album in its entirety. He had sent me a few of the tracks and they are incredible. I'll have to review it when I get a copy :o) I think we are finally settled from the move now we just need to get through the holidays! Hopefully, I'll be able to get back into the groove of blogging on a regular basis. If I don't manage another post before next Thursday, Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!
(and while we're being thankful, Thank You all for following my blog and being my cyber friends!)

Friday, October 23, 2009

What's Up?

It's been a busy week in this part of the world. I had a large play dough order so I decided to make batches of each color instead of filling the order from 3 batches. I ended up making 11 batches of play dough and a large batch of alien guts. Since I'm going into my busy season it should make life a little easier having extras on hand.

My husband is actually on vacation. It's been awhile since he has had any time off so we've been trying to enjoy it. We had incredible weather for the first couple of days so we took advantage of it by going out and about in our neighborhood. I also managed to get my transplanted flowers from the last house in the ground, hopefully they will be okay. A few dried out while they were waiting for their new home. We will see!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Nature Walks

We took advantage of our surroundings the other day(even though it was in the upper 30's/low 40's and a bit nippy!) The little guy and I started out walking a trail at the Mentor Marsh then we moseyed on over to Headlands Beach and finally had lunch at the Holden Arboretum. The pictures uploaded in reverse order, but it was a great day and we look forward to doing it again very soon!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Out My Front Door

Everyone is warning me about my garden. That the deer will destroy it. Well, it's okay, I have decided I like seeing the deer every morning, just like I like seeing an occasional skunk (from a distance) and other wildlife. I guess it is my hierarchy of living things. Like flowers but they aren't as dynamic as animals. Of course it is fall, so maybe my outlook will change after a long , cold winter when I start itching for signs of life. But then maybe a constant feast of wildlife throughout the cold months may take the edge off of my desire to see plant growth. Who knows? We will find out in a short few months!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Living Inside a Painting

Sunrise over Morton Salt plant

I used to work at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Before that, the CMA was one of my favorite places to visit. I have favorite paintings there that I visit every time I go. One of those is
Twilight in the Wilderness, Frederic Edwin Church (American, 1826 - 1900) 1860
[link to Church Painting]

As I drove home from taking my husband to the Park and Ride, I saw a beautiful sunrise forming. It has been a typical gray fall here as of late, which I actually love, especially with the vivid autumn hues of the trees in peak color playing against the dreary sky. However, as I drove toward home I saw beautiful, peachy-pink clouds forming above the horizon. I quickly returned home, ran inside and grabbed the old Nikon. I then proceeded to try to find an ideal place to capture the beauty of the morning sky. Alas, I had to settle for the sky over the Morton Salt plant. (I saw more picturesque locales but no good, safe places to stop the car and since the wee tot was strapped into his car seat, I made the best of what I had to work with) Obviously, the beauty still shows. As I looked at the sunrise, I realized how it feels to live in a painting. There is a great similarity between the Church painting and the photo. Thank Goodness for an artist's eye. I realize the freedom of my artistic license. I naturally delete the sordid details of my view and focus on the beauty of my vision. I also do that with people, although people tend to remind me of their less attractive side so I can't linger in my idealism for very long! I wish everyone the freedom that I felt that morning. Enjoy!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Thursday, October 8, 2009

I Love Autumn!

I took my little one out today for a play day since he had been such a trooper over the past 2 months with the move. We started off early and went to the Holden Arboretum we walked around and looked at the pretty trees and then the bug discovered an area where they seat groups before a tour. It is constructed with wood railroad ties built into the earth. The bug just walked back and forth, up and down, over and over and over. After I managed to pull him away from that, I had to supply him with 'cookie straws' (in 2 year old speak, that would be a doughnut) We got back in the car and drove to a little apple orchard a few miles away. We sat down and shared our doughnut and apple fritter and drank our cider and coffee. We went outside and looked at the pretty trees then made our way over to the pumpkins. I had every intention of buying our pumpkins but realized that I needed to have daddy there to pull that off.

The little bug got to play with some little ones his own age, a rarity, unfortunately, when you have a mommy of 'advanced' age. I then had to pull him away when I saw he was getting tired and the older boys were beginning to misbehave (throwing handfuls of rocks on the slides is not something I want to encourage the little one to do) I had to drag him out kicking and screaming (literally!) Luckily when other mommies are around, they understand! He fell asleep within minutes of hitting the car seat. I managed to get an appointment with my hairdresser today, it was a fluke and a very unusual happening, but it has been nearly 2 years since my last cut!! So I let the little guy sleep in the car from the time we left the orchard until we nearly got to the salon (two hours since I had made a trip home between the two spots) It was lucky he got such a good nap because he was so wonderful sitting patiently in his stroller while I had all my hair cut and styled. All in all, it was a very good day that was needed by both of us!

Oh and on another note, the deer have found my daylilies. The buds that were just opening up, mysteriously disappeared. The only thing I'm disappointed with is I didn't get a picture of it!!
I also realized I'd rather have an animal eat my flowers than a rotten kid unceremoniously rip them off as they walked by (yes, it happened often at the other house!)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Hello, Is Anybody Out There?

First off, let me apologize for my absence, I never would have thought I couldn't post or drop cards for as long as it has been! The move isn't complete but the old house chapter is finally coming to a close(thank goodness! When I recover from the move, I will share all the gories) In the meantime, I wanted to share some new images, not all that great (I actually had the date stamp on for nostalgia purposes at the ole' homestead and forgot to turn it off,whoops!) I snapped my first few photos of our neighborhood deer(hopefully they will get more artistic and just plain better as time goes by!), a couple pretty nature shots and the pick-up spot for my husband's bus. A little taste of my new life. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The New House

I got the keys the other day to the new home and have started taking boxes over. Drapes are now hung. The bathroom is coming together as is the kitchen. I still need to cover the old ugly drawer linings and shelf 'paper', it's vintage '60s and while my friend Karen thinks it's kitschy cool, I personally do not. And my studio, well let's just say organization is a very good thing! Best of all, the tot LOVES it. He can run all over and I don't have to worry about the stairs or the vents. He even keeps his toys more organized they all are in the front closet or the bathtub(don't ask :o)
On another note, I was so excited this evening when we were heading out to the new homestead for the second time today(I had gone out with the wee tot early this morning) Since I had been up since about 5 am, I wasn't exactly firing on all cylinders. I saw what I thought were those cheesy deer statues in the front yard of a home and I wondered why on Earth they would position the one with it's hind end towards the street. Now, while there would be times when that may make sense, it struck me when I looked at the second one that they weren't statues at all, they were REAL live deer! As we drove down the last main street to our new place we got to see a couple more beautiful deer out for their sunset feeding. After living in the city for so many years, I tend to forget about the wildlife that exists out in the 'sticks'. What an absolute joy! My husband also saw a couple of deer at the end of our street as he was unloading the car. Plus it is ultra dark on our street you can actually see the starlight. Boy, do I miss that. (I'm so used to those obnoxious orange street lamps, I don't know what I'm going to do with myself) Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera today(I know, for shame!) But now that I am reminded of the beauty of nature in the area around the new home, I will be on look out for some stunning photo ops. :o)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Joy of Moving, Part 3

the last two glasses to be packed.
(I had to keep my Labatt Blue Hockey glass, so my husband also got to keep his Chicago Bears Glass)

Well hi there! I haven't given an update on the move recently but I will be getting the keys for the new place in a couple days so no time like the present! Progress has been made. The kitchen is almost completely packed but I want to spend the time really cleaning everything since it seems the kitchen and baths are the rooms that need the most attention. My studio is mostly packed, lots of odds and ends. Bathroom and linen closet are completely packed except for the things we use every day. The attic, ah, the attic, making progress there, too. It should be finished before the big move. My biggest push now is to get the baby clothes to the children's resale shop, books to the resale bookstore and a Salvation Army Truck pick up scheduled for everything else we are giving up. I hope to schedule the pick up for next week, after garbage pick up but before the big move that way all the garbage that needs to go out can and all the things we don't need can be gone before our moving date arrives(no unnecessary temptation to save anything!)

Once the house is finished I can move onto to the poor neglected yard and garden beds. I feel so sad for them, I have neglected them in the past month and a half and, quite honestly, for some unknown reason, weeds grow much faster than plants, it's a mess! Still have a mass of pretty flowers but they are intertwined with weeds. The one thing I have been able to do is rip out the squash vines since they were dying anyway. The only other outdoor accomplishment was to work on gathering up all the things we stored in the garage and throwing away things that needed to be gone(it's amazing to me how the garage became a catchall, especially to my husband. Sadly, I had a wool rug in the garage that needed to be cleaned (I didn't know where to take it so I put it off!) While in the garage it became mildewed and now will be making it's way to the curb for garbage pick up this week.:o(

Onto a more joyful matter, while doing all this menial labor, I have been planning/designing ornaments in my head. A question for you, What is your favorite character from "Alice in Wonderland"? Leave me a comment, so I can use my mind designing an adorable ornament!

Friday, September 11, 2009


"peppermint stripe" charitable puzzle piece wreath ornament

Do you have puzzles sitting around the house that have seen better days? Either they are missing pieces, have been outgrown or just not used(and probably won't be!)

I have a purpose for those poor neglected puzzle pieces. Every year I like to sell an ornament to benefit a charitable cause. This year I am selling puzzle piece wreath ornaments to benefit a charity called
Autism Solution Center. Their vision is to open a minimum of one, NO COST autism treatment, education, assistance and research facility in each of the 50 US states, and abroad in other countries.

If you would like to mail me your unwanted puzzle pieces(all sizes welcome, please use the most cost effective method of postage), I will donate the mailing cost +$1 to Autism Solution Center. In addition, I will send you a puzzle piece wreath as a special Thank You for helping me in my endeavor. If it sounds like it is something you'd be interested in, leave me a comment with your email address and we can exchange mailing addresses.