I have to link this card I received recently from my friend, AMY (thanks very much)...it is gorgeous and inspired me to search out ANOTHER chandelier to keep our lil' friendly competition going!  Today's uploadfor SCS was the result.  I can't believe I found another image and a single clear stamp no less from Heidi Swapp. I stamped it with Galaxy Gold and embossed with Platinum powder.   I love the slightly tarnished look...how about you?

I'm sending this to my oldest son whom I took back to university this week.  And while it was much easier this time (and still only 100 miles from home)...the emptiness is profound...our youngest son was just commenting to me, how much he missed his big bro.  I didn't cry this time...not even on the drive home...I am so thrilled for him, it's just meant for him to be at this school during this time of his life! So I suppose you could say my heart was overflowing with contentment...knowing that all we have put into his life is bearing fruit away from us.  And that he calls on Friday night about 10:30, just having gotten back from church...a very cool rocking Jesus loving body of young adults that choose to spend Friday nights in worship and fellowship. He said,  "Mom, you will love John Mark's message....(I usually listen to podcasts on Mondays) and he spent a good 5 minutes filling me in on what had struck him."  Yep, it is contentment and a grateful heart.

Now I just hope he learns that you can always make do and even scrabble an "U" into a 'N'.  Shine bright, Sam! 



I'm sitting here in the very middle of the night feeling the serenity of my house. Tomorrow, or rather today~~~my boys arrive home from camp and it will be dirty clothes and stories and packing up for college all in the same evening!  So for now, even though I should be sleeping, I'm soaking in the serenity that being alone and creating never fails to bring to me.

My card for the sketch challenge over on SCS is filled with all the visuals that come to mind when I think on serenity.  Water, sky, and land in the country.  I've enjoyed some simply amazing sunsets recently where the golden light of the setting sun shines through the clouds and you can almost see heaven. I have a small water feature out my front kitchen window that catches the sky reflected every now and then...and that takes my breath away!  Everywhere I turn is an opportunity to bathe my senses in beauty...a salve for whatever lies ahead!

I know this week is going to bring tears as we take our oldest son back to university and away from us...but I am sure he's seeing those same skies and waters and gathering serenity for his weeks ahead.  How about you?  Have you paused lately and seen a masterpiece?



I am always amazed at the creative process. How about you, when you approach a challenge, what steps do you take in beginning and are you pleasantly surprised when you have brought something to life?  I was especially happy with my card for the color challenge on SCS today.  I just received some Kraft paper yesterday...it's a bit rough...love the texture with the multi-colored fibers woven though. I was flipping in my image book and thought this Art Declassified image would be perfect with a sepia wash. Happened upon an old clearance sheet of cologne label paper and I was on my way.

I adore the sentiment.  A good reminder for me...if I was of the tattoo ilk, I would have it inked on my arm. I might not solve all the worlds troubles, but I can RADIATE, for this moment, just for today, good cheer and happiness. So when I go out into my world this afternoon...I'm gonna spread sweetness...be it a smile, a kind greeting, or a hug.  Life's too short to let this opportunity pass me by.


very first

what a perfect challenge today on SCS!  Oldies but goodies.  This one is made even more special, because I am honoring my stamping mentor! A little background first!  I bought this stamp, PSX's Hydrangea in 1996.  I don't even know what I was thinking because I walked out of the stamp store (Great Impressions in Issaquah WA) with no ink and no paper. And as I recall, I used it once with some Crayola felt markers and then it sat in my desk drawer for 10 years!!!

I began my paper artist journey in July of 2006. In my SCS gallery is posted my first project , along with pages at the top of what is inside my pocketbook.  Needing some advice, I stopped into my lss and into my life came Konnie.  She gently, very gently listened to my questions and guided me as I was ready for the next step in stamping. I would go and just hang in the store 'round the project tables.  I would ask her if I was considering a particular stamp, tell me ways I can use this stamp or that...I HAVE NEVER BEEN SORRY FOR ANY STAMPING RELATED PURCHASE.  Konnie has been my biggest encourager.

And now for the tie-in with the Hydrangea.  One Saturday, I took the stamp into the store and asked if she could show me how to use it. Now you have to understand, Saturdays were for in-store demos. Konnie made my stamp the whole demo.  She created 8 different techniques for this one stamp and I was blown away with stamping. I never considered coloring, alcohol inks, micro beads, crayon resist, embossing, bleaching, brayering...to name a few.  But she was always there when I was ready for the next phase. 

So I dedicate my 'very first' card to her and will be mailing it today.  Sad to say, our lss is closing its' doors in the next few weeks---victims of break-ins that have broken the spirit of the owners.  I understand, but oh so sad. However, I am confident from this will come new beginnings, maybe in the art, maybe not...but I hope after a rest, Konnie will be up for playing with ink again...this time I'll set her a spot in my studio, let her use my stamps...I can hardly wait to see what she'll create!

Dear Konnie, I can never thank you enough for what you have given into my life!  I love you, my friend!



it's fun to see what brings us together, common likes or dislikes. Today I celebrate my friend, Amy, who shares a love of chandeliers with me!  We've got a friendly competition going collecting stamps which feature chandeliers...and she has scored one that is at the top of my list!  Okay, Miss Amy...bring it on! I, also, am reminded of NancyRuth who actually works around shiny, dreamy fixtures every day...what fun!  This one of mine today is very similar to one which hung in my grandmothers' house. Whenever they moved, the chandelier moved too!  It was such a beauty...all crystal pieces. 

So now along with my beloved windows, chairs, and doors, I have chandeliers...and since my ceilings are only 8ft...I'll just keep collecting them in rubber!  How about you?  What do you have a thing for?


moment in time

As my card for the sketch challenge today on SCS implies, where does the time go.  I can't believe it's been 38 years since I was a starry eyed young woman on a grand tour of Europe, a gift from my Daddy.  I can still recall the thrill I felt stepping on the airplane for my first trip outside of America.  My life has been full of passion. For travel, art, people.  It's been a curvy road, I've been sidetracked, run off the road, found dead ends, but I'm still journeying!  I'm sure there will be more wrong turns, roadblocks, and mountains to climb~~~I'm gonna motor,how about you?  



Don't you just love the gifts of summer?  God's bounty in our garden plots, roadside stands, farmers markets, and our lives!  I know I do and I am thankful for time to slow down and revel.
I love the beauty to be found in the colors of fruit and vegetables so my card for the Ways to Use it Challenge over at SCS was a natural choice.  

We are so fortunate to have numerous family farms and one of the oldest outdoor Saturday markets to obtain this harvest!  In each season, new wonders. I especially love the fall markets when the mushrooms are available...fresh from the forest floors.  All this reminds me of the seasons in my life, too.  And that my searching for balance is part of God's design on my life.

Is my house more orderly and the laundry caught up, no..but in my spirit there is peace!



I'm continuing on this journey to find the balance...I've gotten into a very interesting book in the last few days and am again enjoying that delicious feeling you have when you are 'into' the pages! 
I am trying to listen more to what the Lord is speaking to me for my life, self corrections which often times don't feel so good!

My card for the recent challenges on SCS speaks volumes to where I am just now.  Check it the challenges here and also this one.   The photo here on the blog is slightly different...my shadow is on the left side as I photographed the card!

I'd love to hear your take on living a balanced life...there are so many stages and I am reminded of Anne Lindbergh's marvelous book "Gift from the Sea".  I find myself coming back to this book now and again.  I highly recommend it!


Inquire within...

It's been a long time since my last update...guess that's what getting away and relaxing will do for you!  I don't know about you, but I have a constant struggle with finding balance in my life.  I know I must have time alone with the Lord every morning and time just for myself in some part of everyday.  Lately that time has been in the creative process...and what a ride it's been; however I've begun to know that something I so love to do is OUT OF BALANCE.  Piles of great books are going upread...not to mention piles of clothes or dishes or you fill in the blank!  

I'm seeking the Lord to find my way here...I know it will be difficult...and yet oh so worth it!