Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Some of This and a Little of That....

Yesterday several people had questions about the knitting loom I showed so I decided to tell you what I know about it....this should just take a second!!

I bought the set of looms maybe 8 - 10 years ago and the instructions that come with them are very basic to say the least! I messed around with them a little bit and shoved them in the closet. A couple of Christmas's back, HB gave me knitting lessons at Michael's for part of my gift that year....and I loved that. The lessons were great, I learned a lot (which I've probably forgot most of now!) AND I met a very talented, creative woman in the process. She not only taught knitting but she also does classes on the looms!

Her name is Kathy and she has a blog that you might want to visit. On the left-hand side she has several links to patterns and more information about creating with a loom. In fact, Kathy has just signed a deal to publish a Leisure Arts book of her own original loom patterns. Yay, Kathy!!

The looms are easy to use....if you can wrap yarn around a little post then you can do it! You don't need to know how to knit or crochet to be able to do it. And if you're really good, like Kathy, you can make mittens, hats, socks, and lots of other things with the looms.

Here is a picture of the looms I have minus the red one that is currently in use making my scarf....



The little booklets are about a dollar each and have some good basic information in them. And just in case you don't find enough info in them here is another website you might check out.

This is a scarf I made using the red loom....



This is so much fun to wear. I love the colors, and people always comment on this scarf every time I wear it. It's so much fun to say "I made it!" and then have them start asking questions about it.

So I hope you give the looms a try and I hope you stop by Kathy's blog....she doesn't post every day because she's so busy. Besides teaching knitting classes, she also teaches loom classes and beading classes. I told you she was creative!! If any of you have been reading my blog since early last year you may remember I asked you to vote in a beading contest....that was for Kathy.

Now on to some other news....I won the contest over at Judie's blog!! I can't believe it! I won the new gel pens and I can't wait to try them out. Thank you, Judie!!

I'm still a bit slow getting around to all the blogs. HB is still using my computer. I never realized how much I use it even with my art! It was just always there waiting for me and I'd pop downstairs, print something, and go back to the studio....well, that isn't happening right now! I have to plan ahead. Which reminds me....do any of you use an HP all-in-one printer? I have one and every time I try to print on anything other than plain paper it prints about 1/3 - 1/2 a page and quits....tells me there's a paper jam even though the paper is coming through nice and flat and square! I set the thing for whatever kind of paper I'm using but it doesn't help. In fact, I think it makes it worse. Is there a secret I don't know about??

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If anyone reading this is in the Burbank area, Molly is having Sara Eaglewoman, an Apache Medicine Woman, Medical Intuitive and "Urban Shaman" in the store for a circle of healing on March 2nd 7 - 10 PM. You can read about it here on Molly's website. If you visit her site be sure to look at the photos "Lakshmi Lakshmi!!!"....the symbol on the floor is made using very fine powders! She said it was an amazing evening. Ok, that's enough plugs for Molly!! Sorry, but you know how moms are when their kids do something wonderful....we have to brag a little bit!

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Yesterday I did morning pages and the five rites.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Pony Express....

The mailman brought a long awaited goodie yesterday evening. Last week Blue emailed me to see if I had received a package from her....and no, I had not. She told me she sent something out around the first of the year (!!) and since it hadn't arrived I thought it was lost. How sad.

But lo and behold there it sat in my mailbox yesterday! Postmarked the 9th of January it took that long to reach me!! Now I know Canada is another country but it isn't that far away!! Nevertheless I was so happy to get it. She sent me a beautiful card and this beautiful "spa card"....



And an added bonus is the delicious (not edible) sounding recipe on the back for apricot oil moisturizer! I love this card!! You might not be able to see but it has GLITTER, a pretty little lacy flower with a "diamond" in the middle, and is just so pretty with my initial right there at the top. Thank you, Blue!! I'm so glad it wasn't lost. And thanks for putting bees on the envelope....they're so cute.

Since my big night out with Johnny I haven't had much excitement to write about. How do you top that!! I have been busy in the studio but nothing I can share yet. I'm working on a few things for swaps and believe it or not, I'm even thinking about Christmas! I've also been doing a scarf on one of the round looms. It's simple and I can sit and do that while I watch tv in the evenings....although I haven't really been watching that much tv lately. And on Wednesdays, the night I always watch, I never do anything but concentrate on the tv! Maybe tonight I can finish the scarf. I'm using that eyelash/furry yarn and it's turning out very pretty....



I bought the yarn at Joann's when they had it on sale for $1 a skein! So for just a couple of dollars I'll have a spiffy new scarf.

I finished knitting another red scarf for next year's Red Scarf project so I have it all ready to go! I had the extra yarn so just kept going. Now you just watch....I'll completely forget where I put it next year and will have to make another one anyway! Of course when I do, then I'll find this one. It works that way every time for me!

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Yesterday I did my morning pages and the 5 rites.

Monday, February 26, 2007

The Morning After....

Whew!! I have a bit of a hangover this morning and my feet are killing me. It must have been all that champagne and dancing at the after Oscar parties last night! It was fab-u-lous, Dah-ling! I was rubbing elbows with the Hollywood elite and lovin' every minute.

Johnny was a delightful date and I think he's madly in love with me. He couldn't keep his hands off me all night. I finally had to tell him the bad news....that I'm a married woman. He didn't take it very well, poor guy.

Seriously, now....I thought it would be fun to tell you about one of my experiences seeing a movie star. When you live in the Los Angeles area it sort of becomes a regular occurance for some people. My ex-husband drove several miles along Sepulveda Blvd. next to Jack Nicholson one night. Molly has met Clint Eastwood and many others while working in a deli/wine store. HB and I had Jay Leno pull up beside us and start chatting at a stoplight. I've seen Moon Unit and Dweezel Zappa shopping for groceries at Gelson's. Things like that happen all the time.

But my first experience seeing a star up close was a little scary. I had only been out here a few years and didn't live anywhere near where it's normal to see a star. One afternoon my kids and I decided to go to Olvera Street. Be sure to check out the link as it has lots of information about this historic area.

We got there and the place was very busy....lots of people strolling about and we joined in. As we went along the street I noticed 4 or 5 very rough looking guys coming towards us. These were scary guys....the kind you wouldn't want to meet in a dark alley! They just had an extreme look about them.....their clothes, their attitude, they had Liberty spikes, lots of chains hanging from every loop, tats, and they just looked mean. (This was back in the very early 80's.)

I steered us over to the other side of the street to avoid them and we went on our way. A little bit later the kids and I noticed a large group of people standing around looking at something. I immediately thought of the guys we had seen earlier and wondered if something had happened.

My son wanted to check it out and went over to the crowd, then came back to get me and Molly. No one was hurt or murdered or anything like that. No, they were filming a movie right there on Olvera Street....and the star was in the middle of that throng of people....none other than Charles Bronson. They were filming Death Wish II and the four guys we had seen earlier were the gang members from the movie!

We ended up standing around watching for awhile and the thing that was so amazing was how small Bronson was! He had this reputation on screen of being a bad dude and he was just a very small guy in person. Not much bigger than me!! I wish I could show you photos but at the time I didn't even own a camera!



Since then I've had several encounters with "famous" people. I usually try not to bother them or stare at them because I know it must be a royal pain in the a-- to have people doing that all the time. What stars have you seen?? Do you have any funny stories about meeting a star?

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Yesterday I did: morning pages and the 5 rites

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Simple Abundance Sunday #6...and A Little Extra

Here we are again with me and Sarah. I must admit that this past week has not been one of my more productive ones regarding this book. I have been out of sequence with everything the past few days.

My routine has been upset by the recent changes to our house and it always takes me awhile to get back in stride. I have not exercised regularly for several days and I'm feeling it. My morning pages have been sporadic at best. I've made up my mind to concentrate on those things once again and get back on track. From now on I will be posting my stats for the previous day at the bottom of my posts.

Maybe that was part of the "digging" in the past that Sarah is having me do right now. I sometimes feel that the past should just be left there and not dug up! I don't have what I would call regrets because I have always thought I am the sum of all my past days and choices etc so why go back and rummage around in the things I cannot change. There are some choices I've made in the past that I certainly wouldn't make today but that is only because I did make them and now I know better. I like the quote by Maya Angelou, "If I'd known better I'd have done better." I sure have had a lot of those experiences!!

Sarah mentions trying to recall things from your past....your childhood home, seeing yourself at different ages as you grew up, and suggests looking at old photographs, your year book, reading old love letters, etc. You all know that I am surrounded by things from my past. I've written about and shown them here on my blog many times. I can clearly remember my childhood home and that of my best friend, Gail! We were just talking about this recently. I don't have any old love letters to read. I threw those out years ago!

I think I would rather look at my future right now than at my past. I can't change my past but I can change my future! That's not to say I won't continue with this book but I won't be doing anymore digging in the past right now. It just doesn't feel right for me at this time. I'm focusing on my future and making it as fantastic as possible.

Since tonight is Oscar Night I thought it would be fun to do something I saw over on Deb's blog. She picked out her dress, shoes, and jewelry that she will "wear" to the big event and also who her "date" would be. I decided to play along. I didn't have much time to shop so I have a couple of selections for my dress....either this one....



or this one....



and here are my shoes....



Now the rules are that the dress does not have to be something you could actually wear in real life so no matter what color or style or size it is it will look gorgeous on you! This is strictly virtual reality stuff. Since I didn't have much time to shop these were the best I could come up with.

My date was easy.....



So there you have it! I'll be out on the town tonight with the beautiful, charming Mr Depp....wait! That will be terrible to have my date be more beautiful than I am!! Oh, well, what the heck....I'll suffer through!

Friday, February 23, 2007

A Saturday Meme....

I've been tagged by Rowan to do a meme. She knows I love doing them so here goes...

A. Available or single?
Nope

B. Best Friend?
Gail

C. Cake or Pie?
Could I have both, please?

D. Drink of choice?
Water! Boring, but true.

E. Essential Item?
Books, and my computer!

F. Favourite colour?
Do you have to ask?? Everyone on the planet must know this one by now....purple!

G. Gummy bears or worms?
Yuk!! Neither one!

H. Hometown?
Decatur, IL

I. Indulgence?
Books, books, and more books followed closely by art supplies!

J. January or February?
I'm not sure I prefer one over the other. My mom's birthday was in January and February has Valentine's Day so guess it's a toss up.

K. Kids and names?
Two. "Buck" and Molly....and two step-children but since I don't know if they want their names put on here, I won't give them right now.

L. Life is incomplete without?
See "I" (books) also love, family, pets, art, and friends including all my blogger friends!

M. Marriage date?
June 24, 1995

N. Number of siblings?
Zero

O. Oranges or apples?
Apples

P. Phobias/fears?
Another one the entire planet knows ....SNAKES! And I also don't like heights especially if it's out in the open like a glass elevator.

Q. Favourite quote?
I'm not sure I have a favorite but this is one I like right now: "Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep." - Scott Adams

R. Reasons to smile?
Being alive!!

S. Season?
Autumn

T. Tag 3 people
I tag whoever wants to do this.

U. Unknown fact about me?
I used to ride an Arabian horse bareback when I lived in Colorado.

V. Vegetable you hate?
I wouldn't say "hate" but I strongly dislike okra!

W.Worst habit?
I interrupt HB when he's talking....I think I already know what he is going to say and I jump in before he finishes his thought.

X. X-rays you've had?
Dental, wrist (broke my left wrist while roller skating at Venice Beach) and foot (I have a sewing needle in my foot!)

Y. Your favourite foods?
One more thing you already know....steel cut oatmeal and peanut butter, Boca burgers, salmon.

Z.Zodiac?
Virbra....I'm on the cusp of Virgo and Libra

Now you know everything there is to know about me!! Actually I kept one little thing a secret so if there's another meme I'll be prepared.

Brain Block!

I'm having a brain block today! I can't seem to think of anything to write about so I will just show you a few more ATCs I made last night....


I think these are clickable to view larger


I like the dictionary description....assume a prim expression! I thought this lady definitely had a prim expression. It doesn't show but there is a red sequin on the front of her dress.


This is a small piece of a famous painting (can't recall who did it!)....I liked her casual attitude.


I played with some napkins and book images....not quite sure I like this one.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Namelians Gone Wild....

Apparently Hermione was really in a snit yesterday when she flew off with Hortense in her clutches. I thought they had left the area only to find they had not! And to make matters worse, they hid in the studio!!

Just look at the mess they made....



And over here on the other side....



I think they liked my worktable because they must have spent a lot of time messing this up....it was neat as a pin when I left it earlier....(wink, wink)



Hermione and Hortense must have been Namelians Gone Wild by the looks of this room! Hey, I have to blame it on someone....I couldn't possibly have made this mess!!

Can you believe this mess?? And this is where I do all my art! I really do clean it up now and then but it looks pretty much like this when I'm doing anything in there. How does anyone keep a tidy studio? Is there a secret that I don't know? I do know that if I put things back when I drag them out it wouldn't get like this but ....and it's a big but (big butt!!).... when I'm in the middle of creating I don't ever think about putting things away! My mind is usually going in fifty different directions at about 90 MPH and I just grab stuff and go at it.

And here's the kicker....HB wanted to know if I could move my computer into the studio and then he could put his in the office! Yeah! Right! I'll just suspend it from the ceiling because that's the only space not cluttered with stuff!

If that's not bad enough, I went to Michael's today and bought a few more things! Like I really need more stuff! Today they just opened a brand new Michael's about 2-3 miles from our house and of course I had to go check it out. Bummer....this one doesn't carry any of the Golden products either!

I'm off to chase down those pesky Namelians and make sure they aren't in my studio again.

The Namelians Have Landed....

There has been an invasion recently! Don't worry though....they're fairly harmless. Many of you have already heard about this fromTinker! She was invaded earlier and now they've made it all the way to my house. They're called Namelians.

The only thing you really have to worry about is whether or not you have enough chocolate to pacify them. Unfortunately, since I can't eat it anymore, I don't keep chocolate around....so I had to make a quick chocolate run before they arrived.

The first one that showed up was named Hortense....she proved to be rather greedy!



You can tell by her round, chubby body! Hortense feasted on chocolate until she couldn't eat anymore at which time she wandered off to one of the bedrooms and promptly fell asleep.

No sooner had she left when a second one appeared....Hermione!!



Hermione was looking for chocolate. I was in trouble! There wasn't any left! She was a bit angry (you can see it in her eyes!) because she was completely empty of any chocolate....see that white, vacant space....that's her empty tummy! Hermione flew around the room several times, checking to make sure there wasn't any chocolate hidden about and when she was satisfied there wasn't, she flew upstairs and woke Hortense who had drooled in her sleep and had a dribble of chocolate on her chin! Hermione was furious when she saw that. She grabbed Hortense's wing, twisted it behind her back and they both flew off together.

I'm not sure what happened next but I wouldn't want to be Hortense when Hermione gets through with her!

Keep a good supply of chocolate on hand because who knows....you might be invaded next.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

My Incredible Mail

I tried and tried to get some great photos but my little camera only has so much oomph to it so I guess these will have to do.

I received these ATCs from Lisa....



I tried scanning them but the fabric one has beads and a cute little turtle in the corner and it wouldn't scan right. I wish you could see it in person. Lisa said it's her first fabric ATC! It's so cute and has so much detail....and glitter!! I did scan the other one and here it is....



The depth in the background is wonderful....and of course the color!!

But the best part of all was this....



One of Lisa's handpainted mugs! It is incredible....the detail is amazing. And there's that color again! I tried to get an artsy shot of it (Gail, that's the beautiful scarf you gave me for my birthday last year) but I'm not a photographer! I just love it! HB couldn't believe that Lisa painted it. We both were just stunned and sat there with our mouths hanging open while admiring all the details. Thank you, Lisa! I feel like a queen.

And here are a couple more ATCs I did today....I had to take photos of them because they won't lay flat to scan either....



I think the photo of Lisa's ATCs and this one are clickable so you can see them larger.

Sharing my computer with HB is a challenge!! We both spend a lot of time on the computer and I'm used to having mine all to myself but now since we're setting up the office for show we only put mine in....so not only am I already behind in reading blogs, now I have to work them in when HB isn't using the computer! So please don't think I'm forgetting about you or ignoring you if I don't visit as much as I did before. I'm learning to play nice and share!!

Before and After

It's taken me a few days but I'm finally going to show you some before and after photos of the new carpet. First, let me just say that this would not be my first choice for carpet color! I would prefer something more neutral but when we bought this house it had a blue-gray carpet throughout the entire house. I never liked it from the beginning and we always planned to replace it but just couldn't agree on what we wanted to do or when we wanted to do it. So the blue-gray stayed and I just tried to decorate "around" it....by that, I mean I tried to ignore it! Well, when we finally got around to replace the downstairs carpet we decided it would be a good idea to stay with the same color so that the upstairs wouldn't be too different from the downstairs....so I still have blue-gray carpet....it's just new and a bit shaggier!



This is the family room before....we had everything out except the big furniture. This was just before the installers arrived.



This is the family room with the new carpet in but not stretched yet.



This is the office area before. As many of you know, we had a leak in the slab back in September and had to pull the carpet up to do the repair. That set us on a path of re-doing the house and we used this room mostly as a work area and place to keep our tools while we painted and did other house repairs and re-models. We put our computers in the dining room for all that time! It was a bit of chaos around here for several months....and probably will be for a few more since we're going to be selling this house.



This is the same area after carpet was installed.



HB added a return to the desk area. We just have to finish off the back.



It has bookshelves inside....which aren't organized yet! Just have stuff crammed in to get it out of the way! In fact, none of the shelves are organized as yet. Most of the stuff above the desk is HB's and he hasn't gone through any of it yet.



This is the other side of the office. Nothing has been "decorated" yet....no pictures have been hung, no curtains, nothing!! It's just the bare bones right now. I will show you things as I go along.



This is the dining room right before they stretched the carpet and hid the seams. I hope to replace that hideous light fixture, too. Another one of the things I've disliked from the beginning!! I do love the pot shelf above the doorway/arch. It's always fun to decorate that area. And again there is nothing in the room at this point.

I'm thinking of using beiges and soft golds to tie in with the blue. The family room walls are a gold color and the living/dining room is creamy so I think bringing in some beiges/tans....something in the brownish family will help pull the blue into the room and make it work. Our furniture is in the tan/brown color range too. I'm hoping I can use a few shades of blue in pillows, throws, etc to make it all look like it works. If anyone has any ideas throw 'em out there and let me know.

So there you have it....before and after. But the chaos still continues! I'm trying to remain calm in the midst of it all.

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I received some very special mail yesterday but I have to get photos of it so I'll probably be posting it later today.

Here are a couple of ATCs I made yesterday....






This is the string technique taken from Artist Trading Cards Workshop.


This one is dark blue felt.

I did several more but they don't sit flat on the scanner so I'll have to try to get photos of them.

That's it for now....but be sure to keep watching this space for photos of my incredible mail!!!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Gettin' Back to the Studio....

Thank you to everyone who stopped by to party yesterday....and for all the wonderful comments you left for me. I feel like Sally Field at the Academy Awards...."You like me! You really, really like me!" I'm smiling and winking as I typed that.

I have been very behind in posting some of my recent mail. I'm sure many of you know about Maryellen's art offering. Mine arrived a few days ago and I love it. I chose this one because HB is an Aries....



And this one is just so incredible....so detailed and precise....



There is another one but I just realized I don't have a photo of it yet! I love each of them and they will be framed and hung in our home. Thank you, Maryellen!

I recently did a fabric ATC swap with Doreen. Her ATC arrived and it is just beautiful!



This photo does NOT do it justice. The colors are so rich and vibrant and it sparkles all over. The background is a multi-colored metallic mesh/net. It's just incredible. I love it. Thank you, Doreen!

And these last two ATCs are from Denmark. I did a swap through Flickr and received these beautiful ATCs....



I finally got into the studio today and I made a few ATCs plus I had some from before the carpet/sick days that I had not posted yet so here goes....

This first one is actually a photograph in the background. While going through some photos I found a handful that were just scenery that hadn't turned out very good. I thought I might be able to use them for ATC backgrounds and this one worked good. I added the bird (from the bird book I recently bought) and the stamp is just a sticker.



The next one is another photo background. It was just some trees so I added the berries and leaves in front, the birds in the sky and the white outlines.



I did several more ATCs so I'll just post them without any explanations....










Then I did a couple of postcard sized collages....





And that's about all I have for today! Whew! I'm still trying to catch up on all your blogs and what happened while I was away from the computer so if I haven't visited in a few days just be patient....I'll get there!

Monday, February 19, 2007

It's My Blog's Birthday!!!!



One year ago today I made a decision that changed my life! I began this blog. I had no idea what I was doing or why I was doing it but I wanted a blog. I had been reading blogs for several months and it just seemed like such a fun way to interact with people. Little did I know how many people I would meet, how many friends I would make, and how much fun I would have.



I hope there's enough cake for everyone....there's champagne over there on the table, and don't forget to grab a balloon.



I think this past year has been one of the best years of my life. And it's all because of YOU! I love everyone who comes here to visit and leave a comment, and I sincerely appreciate that you take the time to do so. I hope that the next year will be even better. I wish I had presents for each and every one of you....but you know I'm not that organized!

I will post some art and mail later today....after the party. Now I'm off to grab some champagne and to toast all my blogger friends.

And just so there is something fun to do here is a little color thingie.

BLUE

You give your love and friendship unconditionally. You enjoy long, thoughtful conversations rich in philosophy and spirituality. You are very loyal and intuitive.

Find out your color at QuizMeme.com!



I guess blue is part of what makes purple!!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Simple Abundance Sunday #5

This week was especially trying for me. My routine was all messed up and I like my routines! We are still re-arranging the house. While everything was out we decided to take that opportunity to sort through things once again (!) and set things up for staging the house for selling. That means we are now sharing my computer....and that is a challenge! So if my posts aren't at their usual times for awhile you'll know why.

"Simple Abundance" was all about going within and exploring to find the real "you" or "me"...however you want to look at it. Sarah talked about going on safari. She quoted Alexandra David-Neel who wrote in 1923, "I craved to go beyond the garden gate, follow the road that passed it by, and set out for the unknown." Sarah advises us to look on our search for ourselves as a journey, a safari and there is my problem. I hate to travel! I would be perfectly happy staying inside the garden gate and letting others pass by on the road to the unknown. I'm not adventuresome! I like to keep both feet on the ground. You won't find me flying (I have in the past but don't like it) or going on a cruise. I like solid ground under my feet.



But the journey within is something I have done several times while reading this book, and I'm still not sure I know the real me. I think I knew the real me at the time I read the book the first time, and then again, and again but each time I re-read this book I learn more about myself that I hadn't discovered before. I keep changing and evolving and it's difficult to keep track of myself!

Buried Dreams was one of the topics this week and I know about this one. As a child I drew constantly....first horses and flowers and trees, then later it was paper dolls and designer clothes, and then it was houses and interiors. But when I went out into the world I quit drawing anything. I dabbled in a home study course for interior decorating when Molly was a baby but I didn't draw much even for that.

I don't know why I quit and I don't know why I began again but one day while HB was at work I just started drawing and when he came home I had several finished pieces to show him. He was surprised that I had done them because he had no idea I could draw. I went into a frenzy of drawing after that. I bought pencils and paper at the art store and began to draw things from magazines and from outside my window. The one thing that has always eluded me is the drawing that comes from inside my head. I can sit in front of something and draw it but if you ask me to make up something in my head and draw it, I will be stumped.

I need some kind of inspiration or some direction or something to look at in order to draw....with the exception of flowers. Those I can draw out of my head. They may not be recognizable varieties but they will be my idea of flowers. For whatever reasons, I buried my dream of being an artist for many years. And only since I've had this blog have I actually started to think of myself as an artist. I'm 63 years young and just realized what it is I want to be when I grow up!! My dreams were buried for all that time.

So now I'm off to find my gear and then I'll be exploring once again. Maybe not in that adventuresome way that others do but in my own way....and hopefully, along the way I will discover more new things about myself. Maybe there are more buried dreams that need to be uncovered. Who knows....maybe I'm just beginning to uncover the real me.

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On the topic of my goals for this year, I have been keeping to them with the exception of this past week when things were so disrupted, and when I wasn't feeling all that great for the past few days.

I have some new art to show you, too but it will have to wait until my camera and printer are hooked up again....hopefully today.

I also received some goodies in the mail but will have to show you those later, too. So stay tuned....I'll have things to show you.