A woman who works with her hands is a laborer;

A woman who works with her hands and her head is a craftsperson;

A woman who works with her hands, her head and her heart is an....


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Be in AWE

"In awe -"
a google search of the defininition of the word awe states:
"a feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear or wonder"

or another definition . . .(by the way - I really, really like this definition):
"an overwhelming feeling of reverance, admiration,  fear, etc.,
produced by that which is
grand or sublime or fearful . . ."

How can you argue with something that is grand or sublime?
Those are such good words.

And each day that I awake -
I try to think of all that I have.
All the blessings that I am fortunate enough to enjoy.
And I don't mean the things.
Although "things" are wonderful -
and I am lucky and fortunate to have the things I need to be comfortable.
I have a roof over my head, comfortable furniture, clothes to wear, food to eat, a car to drive.
And I am grateful for those things.

But I am more grateful for those things that are "unquantifiable".
My ability to hear music - all sorts of music and to feel the rhythm to dance and my ability to raise my voice in song;
my ability to see all of the colors and miracles around me;
my ability to read and grow;
the miraculous movement of the earth - the growth - it's lifecycle;
my children and the miracle of life;
my family - near and far;
my friends and my support system.

I am in AWE.

Yesterday - hurricaine Sandy wreaked it's devastation across the East Coast.
And I find myself, once again, in awe -
 but this time the awe created comes more from fear.
The feeling of helplessness for friends that are far away and that were in its path.
To my knowledge - these friends are all ok.
But there are those that are not.
And some of the comforts of life have been taken away from many.

But I feel awe as I reflect on the power of thought and prayer.
And I am sending prayers out to all that were affected by the storm.

And although, the awe I feel over this storm is based in the more "negative" side of awe -
I choose to feel the "awe" that is based in the feeling of reverance and admiration.
For aside from the devastation - many have been spared and the power of the human spirit has once again triumphed.

Prayers and thoughts go out to all . . .


Monday, October 29, 2012

More Upcycling

It's late Fall.
The weather is changing.
What I cook for dinner is changing with the seasons.
It's time for comfort food.
And in my world -
that means soup.
Lots of thick and hearty homemade soups.
Now when I make soups,
I use a lot of things like
stewed tomatoes and beans.
And because I am a lazy cook at times -
those items usually come in tin cans.
Depending on the soup,
once it is all assembled and simmering away
I look around and find my kitchen counter covered with tins cans.
Sometimes just one or two -
sometimes a lot more.
And although Oregon has a great curbside recycling program for all those cans -
I still feel a little guilty when I throw them out.
After a trip around pinterest and the web -
I found all sorts of upcycled ideas for tin cans.
Seriously - these are some awesome projects!
And now - I find myself wondering what other ways I can
upcycle tin cans.
I'm in trouble now . . .
I LOVE these - I mean really, really love these! Especially the contrast of the cans with the bling!

You know you've been looking for a more efficient way to store your yarn.

What a great desk organizer . . .
But this organizer is my favorite. I could so use something like this on my work table - although i would probably paint the cans rather than cover them in fabric!
Another great organizer. Love!

No need to explain - it's a great idea.

Who needs to buy an expensive cake plate? Make one out of recycled can and plates.

Finally - a way to store plastic bags, or tissues, or ???

And do these not make adorable planters? And talk about affordable. I love this idea, too.
So there you go -
Now before you throw away that next tin can -
take a minute and think about how it could be upcylced!
And if you have any other ideas - be sure to share!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Dream big with god nothing is impossible

When I was a young girl,
I learned a song that I sang at church.
I don't remember much of it - but I do remember a line that said,
"And with God, Nothing is impossible."
I believed this, I think.
But at that age -
I just took life as it came and it all seemed good.
My goals were pretty basic -
graduate from school, have a date to the prom (and there is a good story with that), get to sleep in on Saturday mornings,
As an adult -
the desires are a little bigger.
But as I put this theory to the test -
I'm beginning to think that there is some truth here.
So I am going to keep dreaming BIG.
Because I have decided that little dreams don't really suit us.
So what are you dreaming about doing?
What big, giant, momentous things do you think about and want and desire?
Let's all make a pact to keep our dreams big  -
but more importantly - Let's choose to believe that we deserve them. . .
Just a little thought that helps me keep going these days.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Work In Progress

After yesterday's whine fest . . .
We now return you to our regularly scheduled program.
And just in case you were wondering -
although many of the looming questions I am dealing with have not been answered,
I am feeling much better today.
I am back to feeling strong (sort of) and believing that I will make it!
So, it's all good.
And now to the real purpose of today's post -
here is a sneak peek of a work in progress.
Last Christmas, I had a table set up at a local business for a Holiday sale.
A lady bought a small piece.
OK - that's great.
And that is all there is to that story . . .
until -
about a month ago.
I received a phone call.
The lady on the other end told me about purchasing the small piece at the holiday sale.
She was remodeling and expanding her family restaurant.
Would I be interested in doing a painting for the restaurant?
Of course!
We made an appointment for me to drive to the restaurant and see the space.
I was somewhat unclear as to what she was wanting -
but was excited to work on a new order.
I arrived at Chennai Masala in Hillsboro, Oregon.
They were undergoing a major remodel and expansion.
I looked at around at the colors and the space.
When we spoke - she let me know that she was looking for 12 paintings.
This was a much bigger job that I thought.
12- 3 ft x 3 ft paintings to hang above each of the tables.
And the other catch?
They all needed to incorporate traditional East Indian motifs with my own personal spin on them.
And lots of bright colors!
OK then -
This is a big project.
And if you paint at all - you know how long it can take to complete a 3 ft x 3 ft painting.
So the pictures you are seeing are definitely a "work in progress".
Detailing is still needed -
but this will give you an idea of where this project is headed.
And maybe, when these are delivered -
I can treat myself to some chicken tika masala and some warm naan.
Soon to be a brightly embellished peacock

Cool flower design

leaf motif
Stay tuned - I will post more pictures as this project advances - including some of the finished designs with all of the detailing.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Warning: a whine fest is coming up.
Come on - come all!
She's up. She's down. She's all over the place.
She is the human emotional pretzel.
I am at a significant crossroads.
Decisions have to be made.
Changes have to be made.
I know this is for the best - but I am struggling with emotions and grief.
I have done great at getting control of my emotions - but this last week I have felt it all starting to slip a bit.
OK - more than a bit -
a lot.
I know I am strong.
I know I can do this.
I know I will be so much better off in the end.
But . . .
One of the consequences of my divorce is the fact that I can no longer remain in my home.
It is a good thing.
My home is full of issues that need attention including gutters that need to be replaced, molding that is not completed, floors that need to be replaced, walls that need to be painted, a back yard that is so overgrown a person could get lost in it, a front yard that is unfinished -
Most of these projects are reminders of all that was really wrong in my marriage.
We could talk big about things - we could start them -
but the follow through and finishing of said things rarely happened.
Much like the marriage itself -
we talked about forever -
but the follow through didn't happen.
Once the decision was undeniable that the marriage was over, I contacted a realtor to list my house.
The value of my neighborhood has dramatically fallen over the last few years.
The only option was a short sale.
That, in and of itself, was difficult enough.
But I proceeded.
And I expected that things would be finalized and I would be moving around the first of the year.
A week ago I received a phone call that things are moving faster than expected
and I now realize I need to be out of my home before Thanksgiving.
I went looking for a place this weekend.
I found one - it will be great.
But there will be changes and things to adapt to.
I will be in a "complex" in a lovely town home that has everything I want and need -
but it is in a complex.
I have never lived in a complex where I had to fight for parking or share walls.
I am not sure if I will be able to keep my dog.
I am leaving my home.
With all of the bad - this is the place where I have raised my children.
It is the place of birthday parties, holiday celebrations, family dinners, evenings spent around the outdoor fire, movie nights, making music together, laughter, tears . . .Family.
A move will allow me the chance to start over.
But I am saddened at the cost.
My family is forever changed.
And although I feel my wings sprouting and I know that I will be brighter and happier -
I mourn for the loss.
This move will symbolize the final point of "the end".
There is no going back.
And although I do not want to go back . . .
well, I'm sure you understand.
I have so appreciated this blog and the support I have felt through it.
The strength I have gained from putting this all out there.
And although most days,
I feel strong - today, that is not the case.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Taking Care of My Bamboo . . .

Ted Talks.
I love them.
A while ago a friend turned me on to a talk that was delivered in Portland.
It was called "Watering the Bamboo".
It's about twenty minutes
- but seriously -
take twenty minutes and watch it.
Go on - click on the link above and watch it.
Then come back and finish reading.
You will not regret it.
It will inspire you.
It will make you feel hopeful and full of purpose.
It will give you a new insight into this crazy thing called life.
So now . . .
about the drawing above.
This is not one of my best.
I get that.
But remember - I work an 8-5 job in an office.
I attend a lot of meetings.
I suffer from a little condition I call AADD -
Artists Attention Deficit Disorder.
I have a hard time sitting still during meetings.
I get fidgety. I get anxious. And then I miss everything that is being said.
So I doodle.
I am a bit of a joke around the office -
everyone wants to see my "meeting notes" because they are usually filled with all sorts of drawings and doodles with a few notes, words and reminders scattered about.
I was in a meeting the other day.
 I had just watched the Ted Talk on Watering the Bamboo the day before.
And it was still swirling around in my head.
This is the doodle that came out.
It was obviously still sitting in my sub-concious.
And I really spent some time thinking about my situation.
A few days ago, I received notice from my realtor that the deal on my house was nearing completion.
Where I thought I would be moving out of my home after the first of the year -
I discovered that it would probably be before Thanksgiving.
I hung up the phone and instead of happiness and relief I felt anger, panic and sadness.
I cried.
Where am I going to go? How am I going to move 16 years worth of stuff?
When am I going to get all of this done?
How much change can I person deal with in a short period of time?
But the words of the bamboo analogy came back to me.
Now - to understand what a profound effect this had on me - you will have to watch the video.
Just suffice it to say -
I was reminded, by my very wise father, of  all the things that had been taking place over the last few years leading up to these very important moments.
And it's good.
It's very very good.
And since the day that my life was thrown off kilter -
I have had some absolutely wonderful things take place.
Many that I can't even talk about here yet.
But dreams and wishes are beginning to come true.
And the thing is -
I don't think they would have happened if things had stayed the way they were.
So basically -
I have spent the last several years watering my bamboo.
And now - it has sprouted.
And watch out -
cause it is starting to grow!
Here are a few other silly office meeting doodles . . .
Nothing to do with the bamboo, but I figured I share them just the same!

A little Halloween doodle . . .

Patterns and designs doodle . . .

Friday, October 19, 2012

Dream while you are awake

We all dream. . .
Pretty much every night.
In fact, in College I did a research paper on dreams.
It was fascinating.
The cycles of sleep, the importance of sleep and more importantly -
the importance of dreams.
Did you know that we dream multiple times through the night?
And we only remember our dreams if we wake up in the middle of it?
Things that make you go hmmmmm . . .
So what are we dreaming that we don't remember?
And why should all of the good dreams happen when we are asleep and we can't enjoy them?
I prefer to save the good ones -
the really wonderful inspiring, juicy dreams for when I am awake and I can remember them.
And that way  -
Maybe I can actually participate and make them come true.

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Colors are more intense.
Mornings are darker.
It's darker earlier in the evening.
Days are still warm but . . .different.
Air is crisp.
It takes a bit longer to be ready to shed the sweatshirt.
I find myself wanting to cocoon in a little longer.

I'm sad to see you go summer.
I didn't get nearly enough days to lie and around and do nothing.
But then . . . I never do.
But Fall - I am happy to welcome you in.
I have missed you.
I am looking forward to breaking out the sweaters.
I am looking forward to warm comfort foods . . .
soups, slow cooked meals.
I am looking forward to lighting candles.
Drinking hot tea.
Thick comforters.
Thick socks.
OK - I think I am ready.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Multi-media painting on upcycled wood with upcycled frame
A crazy ride.
It's been a rollercoaster in my world lately.
Moving at the speed of light.
In fact, for my birthday this year -
my kids surprised me with a trip to a local amusement park.
A good portion of the day was spent riding roller coasters.
I took on that adventure with a sense of symbolism -
life is a rollercoaster - and one hell of a lot of fun!
And throughout this experience, I have had the chance to jump and jump high.
A few things that have happened. . .
I signed papers for my divorce. That was strange and disconcerting.
But deep down, I knew it was the right thing to do.
Full of every range of emotion possible.
I was able to participate in "the" show of the year.
This was a show I have wanted to participate in for over 6 years - but I was never brave enough to jury in for it.
This year - I took the leap.
I was accepted.
I participated this weekend.
And it was a tremendous success for me.
I was surrounded by some of the most talented women artists in the region.
I was humbled to be a part.
I have been working on a huge PO for one of my wholesale accounts.
The biggest ever.
I was brave and went in and talked to the buyer.
We expanded my line with their stores.
I conquered my gremlin on that one and it paid off.
I have reconnected with old friends.
Friends I haven't spoken with in almost 30 years.
And it feels good.
I have rekindled these relationships and wondered why they were neglected for so long.
It has felt like a warm homecoming.
These are people who knew me well and understand who I am, who I was, and what makes my soul leap.
We have shared laughs, tears, and many wonderful memories.
I have taken mini-vacations to replinish my soul and feed my inspiration.
I have listened to new music.
Looked at amazing art.
Read uplifting books.
I have gone into collaboration with a new business associate.
My work can now be found as a needlepoint patterns at
I have been putting new ideas out there and experiencing the joy of
reaping the rewards.
Now don't get me wrong -
the last four months have been full of a lot of sadness, frustration and a little anger as well.
There has been discouragement.
There has been a constant sense of being overwhelmed.
There has been fear . . .more fear than you can possibly imagine.
But friends and family keep stepping in and lightening the burden.
They have encouraged and lifted me up.
But I am here to say -
I have tested the theory.
I have jumped . . .
and I think I have seen a few wings sprouting back there.
Have you tried it yet?
Go on - jump.
And jump HIGH!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

UpCycled Furniture

                                                       Upcycled Furniture

Upcycling, as defined by Wikipedia, is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or for better environmental value.

If you follow my blog at all, you know that upcycled furniture or upcycling furniture is one of my favorite things to do.
Who knew I was being so "trendy".
Every one of the pieces of upcycled furniture that I work on have been cast off, headed for the dump and no longer loved.
Once they are completed - they become new Functional pieces of art. 
So not only am I having a great time painting in these bright colors - but I am being environmentally conscious and responsible.
That sounds so very grown up!
And if you know me . . .you know that is not always the case. LOL

UPcycled Cat-themed bar stool

Upcycled CREATE library chair

Upcycled Ladybug School-chair

Upcycled Creative Chef - Old wooden box converted to a classy garbage can

Upcycled Corner television cabinet

UPcycled Embrace the Moon Stool