Thursday, September 30, 2010


Perfection is something that, admittedly, I have struggled with off and on (mostly on!) for a lifetime.  While there is nothing anywhere near perfect about me, or anything I do, I struggled with the frequent desire to try to do things perfectly, and to please everyone with my actions ~~ impossible tasks that set me up for disappointment.

For awhile, I will overcome the "perfection attitude," and then I discover myself back in the same rut.  When having a conversation with my boss this week, I discovered I had returned to that "perfect rut."  We were discussing the shop owner's desire to try new things at the shop to attract business, and I questioned every suggestion made.  That questioning, or negativism as it was perceived, was based upon my interpretation of the possible results, and others' reception of our potential techniques for attracting new business.  In other words, I found myself focusing more on how other's would perceive our efforts, than focusing on what positive results could result ~~ seeking to find the workable, "perfect" solution at first effort, once again, instead of seeking to participate in potentially positive changes ~~ some that will end up working, and some that possibly won't.  It was when my boss stated, "you have something negative to say about every idea I come up with," that it hit me like a ton of bricks ~~ "here's that attempted perfectionism coming out in me again!"  Whoa!  So I took some of the suggested ideas and went to work, trying to fight that desire to do everything perfectly, realizing that some ideas will work, and some won't.  However we'll never learn what will work if we don't begin somewhere!

Then, when visiting some favorite blogs yesterday, I found Eden's Post and it was one of those inspiring moments that I hope to hold onto for a lifetime.  I love the thought of "Perfection ~~ I'm not buying it anymore!"  I have chosen to post this so I can review and reflect on it in the days ahead, and I know I will need many reminders in the days ahead.  May I continue to strive to simply enjoy myself, and participate in positive things with no concern for seeking perfection through those activities.  I remind myself that I can only do the best I can do, and realize that I am not a master of all things; rather I am master of nothing.  So, today, I go forth, seeking a new attitude of appreciation of my IMperfections, and appreciating and/or learning from all that results ... while pondering, "why is this such a hard thing for me?"  Perhaps it is a difficult thing for many of us.

Wishing each of you much happiness, love of your IMperfections, and many successes, as we all attempt to do whatever it is that we enjoy most.  Happy Day and Creating to each of you!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Doggie Collars and UFOs

Fall officially arrived here on the East Coast of the USA this morning ... and it feels wonderful! A nice crisp morning ~~ well temps in the low 60s (Fahrenheit), with an expected high of 70, and forecasted temps for this week not to exceed the low 80s ~~ and this is considered "crisp" after our record highs all summer long. We had a record 66 days of temps 90 or above this summer, and that is HOT for mid-North Carolina, so I'm excited to see fall officially arrive. Enough about the weather; I'll share what it is inspiring!

This is my latest "experiment." They appear to be party hats here, but they aren't.  A client suggested doggie "bandannas" that will slip onto the collar, instead of being tied around the neck, in seasonal prints, and it lit a "light bulb" for me. After all, I have two doggies (labrador retrievers) ... although my DH swears they will never wear "clothing" of any kind because it's too "sissy," ~~ not even bandannas, lol.

However, I need "test models" for these new pieces, so whom better to model these new handkerchiefs than my own doggies? So, I headed out to buy some fall fabrics yesterday, and whipped up the first set of pieces last nite. Above, is Gracie test modeling one of my first pieces.  She's a bit shy to the camera, but she loves her new clothing!  Now, to determine what I will name them? Handkerchiefs, collar accessories, Doggie Do's ~~ that's yet to be decided, and all suggestions are very welcome!  Naming is half the battle in this type of product within the marketing game, and I need your assistance here, please!

Last night, I also began my next journal spread for my Sketchbook Project 2011 based on a spread previously done in my "real" journal that I loved. Again, my theme is "Make Mine A Double," and this page speaks to wishing for "double happiness, and less worries." Color is still to come, as are the remaining words.

With fall coming on, and fabric coming into play within my projects, I am reminded of the Un-Finished Objects ("UFOs") in my stash. As fabric, and especially quilts, can be hot to work with, it has always seemed like a winter project to me. And, admittedly, while I've enjoyed quilting (especially piecing, not so much with the actual quilting), and I've completed several smaller quilts, I have two king-size quilts that have remained in the UFO state for far too many years.

Pictured above is my first-ever quilt begun, oh, I'm ashamed to say it was at least 10 years ago. I signed up for this quilting class not realizing it was an "hand piecing, hand quilting" class, and the instructor talked me into doing this king-sized quilt, when I should have stuck with my gut and done a wall hanging as my "traditional handmade" first piece, ;). It's all pieced together, (by hand!), and the hand-quilting is partially completed ... but I'm thinking, if I'm ever going to complete this fella, he's going to have to meet my sewing machine!

Then there is this partial glimpse of an UFO, begun in 2003, (pieced together with a sewing machine!). After Mom passed, I wanted to preserve some of her, and her preference for very colorful clothing, and thus this quilt top is made from many of Mom's blouses, scarves, and a few pair of pants. It is all silk or soft polyester blends, so it will be a very "cool feeling" quilt ... when completed, and a beautiful family heirloom to pass along to my great niece.  I've included hand-embroidery on many blocks, as well as flower technique that Mom and I learned together (shown below).

Lastly, this is one completed quilt block that I machine embroidered ... before my embroidery attachment died. It, also, is done on silk fabric, and would have been a beauty of a quilt. However, since I don't have the option of machine embroidering today, I'm thinking the completed blocks could make some gorgeous pillows, :).

So, you see, I've obtained the "fabric fever" with the cooler temperatures, and I have plenty of projects to last me awhile. Perhaps posting about my UFOs will push me to complete some of these projects! That is one of the many things I'm appreciating about blogging; it gives me an incentive to complete my projects, so that I can share them, and "preserve" them for my recollection in years to come, as I flip back through my earlier posts and reflect on my art and projects. Speaking of reflection on previous projects, I completed my "Big Girl Journal!" I had it made into a hard-bound book by Shutterfly, including several pictures of Big Girl's first 5 years, and gave it to Big Girl ~~ and she, and her Mom, loved it! It's such a great feeling to share our art, and ourselves with others, and know that we've touch someone with our "gifts."

So, I'm off to make more fabric goodies, and perhaps complete my latest journal page, and wishing each of you a beautiful week filled with all the things you enjoy most. May we all feel the love that surrounds us, have time to enjoy life, and share ourselves with others. xoxo

Monday, September 20, 2010

The past week was a busy one, and thus I did not accomplish much artfully, and feel I neglected my blog.  So, without further ado, before rushing off to work this morning, here is what I accomplished last week.

First, the beginning of my first "sugar skull," a styrofoam skull I purchased on clearance last year at Michaels while taking Suzi Blu's Day Of The Dead class.  It now has color, and will come to life further as I add doodles in each section:

Then there is the completion of my "Hands" Journal Spread, with its 4" flap, as well as most of the next "Love" Journal Spread:

Wishing each of you a blissful week filled with all the things you love and enjoy most!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Latest Projects

Good morn-ing, blogg-ing friends!  I hope each of you had an enjoy-able week-end.  It was
beautiful here on the East Coast of the US, with a feeling of fall in the air, a time of year that I welcome with open arms.  I love the feeling fall brings, of "shedding the old, and bringing on the new," with the change of color brought with the leaves, and then, shedding of leaves; the arrival of cooler temperatures; the renewal of life in our gardens, as the heat of summer fades; and the thought of "something new" arriving with a new season, and to many, a new school year.  For me, fall also brings memories of Mom's passing (from breast cancer), as she passed during the early part of fall, October 2, in the mountains of NC, an area of the country that she loved ... and I do, too ... and an area where the leaves promise beautiful fall color.  She loved fall, and the morning of her passing, I "saw her" within the trees blowing in the wind, and their falling leaves .. and within the rainbow that appeared in the sky that morning. 

So it is very appropriate, to me, that Breast Cancer Awareness Month is the month of October, and it is even more appropriate that I am donating the above piece of art to the benefit being held at The Bistro, an event to be held on September 27 entitled "Toast To The Ta-Tas" where all proceeds benefit Friends For An Early Breast Cancer Test.  This donation, as well as all others, will be auctioned off, and I hope mine, and all the others, will be well received, as it is such a great cause. 

This piece has so much meaning, to me.  First, the choosing of a corset was meant to portray the inner beauty of each woman, whether touched by breast cancer, or not; we all have beauty and love within us that sometimes may not be seen on the surface; here, I have chosen to portray that beauty on the surface.  The specific zentangles of this piece have meaning to me ~~ the "Flowers" on the upper portion symbolize the love that I hope surrounds each breast cancer patient, as they go through the process of dealing with cancer.  The "Silver Foreground with Daisy Centers" symbolize the grayness that surrounds the disease, and the hope for a future that I think every patient needs.  The "Tears Surrounded by Black" symbolize the tears shed over this disease, and the solid foundation of family- and friend-love that must be present to overcome and/or make it through a cancer diagnosis.  I'll skip to the word "Hope" that, for me, symbolizes the organization Mom formed in her community after being diagnosed, an organization called "Rainbow of Hope," that was organized to support local breast cancer patients and their families.  Lastly, I have to include a word about my new local friend, Marcia Joyce, of Pails of Passion, whom donated and faux finished, VINTAGE frame that surrounds my art in this piece ~~ what a talented lady she is ... and I WISH she had a blog to link to here, but Beverlys Down The Hill is where much of her work can be viewed.  Marcia creates some beautifully refinished furniture, specializing in turning "trash into treasures," in my humble opinion.

Okay, so beginning on a serious note, I'll move onto something a bit lighter ~~ my Sketchbook Project!  Here is the completion (well almost ~~ there's still a 4" "pull out" on the right side to work into the piece, as well as a few details to incorporate herein) of my Hands Spread.  If you remember, my theme is "Make Mine A Double," and this spread is meant to express the perhaps intermittent (or constant!) desire we experience to have "double hands" to accomplish our daily tasks.  I'm truly enjoying the discovery of Zentangles, and I love how much depth and dimension they add to my pages.  I "painted" Glimmer Mist within the background on this page ~~ finding that it doesn't always have to be sprayed sporadically.  If you could only see the shimmer it provides here, but the photo doesn't allow for that ... or at least, MY photographic abilities don't allow for it.

This is the back side of the above Hand Spread.  It speaks to the desire to have more (double) time to accomplish all that we hope to.  I love the Tim Holtz "stencil" here, shadowed with Glimmer Mist in shades of blues and greens.  I'm a bit disappointed with the wording on this page ... as, for some, time is so important, and every extra second counts.  But, for me yesterday, this was my thought ... "what would I actually accomplish with 'double' time?"  Today, I see there are many hugs, conversations, and accomplishments I could accomplish ... if today were my last day.  Perhaps I will include some verbage on top of the stencil to this effect, and I need to include this thought in my daily life.

Lastly, this is what I found this morning, on the computer's keyboard, as my DH knew the computer would be one of my first "spots" I hit this morning.  I absolutely adore his hand-made cards, and inclusion of our "children" in them.  This one expresses our "children's" recent fascination with cats on our neighborhood walks ... as well as my DH's "fading" fingerprints as he has been hand-sanding his latest truck purchase, before painting it ... and his fingerprints are being worn down to a frazzle, lol.  What a sweet card, with many memories to hold onto!

So, on this day, I wish each of you good health, more time to accomplish your tasks and desires, more hands to do so, and more love than you've ever imagined possible!  May you week be filled with much peace, love, and accomplishments. xoxo

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Flea Finds and SBP Continued

As promised in a previous post from Sunday, here are some more items seen at the Hillsville Flea Market.  These are terrariums made from old windows and topped off with scraps of decorative ceiling tins.  I had heard of these, but never seen one before.  If interested in making one, I found this Country Living Article giving step-by-step instructions ... although they use picture frames, instead of windows, in the article, that is a great alternative.

I liked this idea also, of using a window and some coat hooks to create this piece.  The beadboard backing is a great detail.

This cabinet, made from an old door without the glass panes, would be a great addition to store art supplies.  Not as nice of the Merchant's Cabinets seen in my prior post, but much easier to obtain ... or create!

Lastly, here are a few of the 2-foot square ceiling tiles being shown by Kenny Hoff.  He provides two hangers on the back of these pieces, so the owner can choose to hang them square, or on the diagonal.  I love these historical pieces of art, and am thrilled they are being upcycled today, and reused.  They are just too ornately beautiful to be thrown away, in my humble opinion.

As for "My Finds," I came home with a light load.

I have a new fascination with old door knobs, so I picked up a few of them, as well as an old tin type photo, and a pair of old glasses that looked like something that would have been worn by my great grandmother; I just had to have 'em!  The rhinestone-chain necklace will ... one day ... be further bejeweled with various vintage trinkets inspired by Amy Hanna.

And this little vintage wooden cream cheese box just had to come home with me.  My ink pads fit into it perfectly, and now I'm wishing I would have purchased all four of them!

So, now onto my Sketchbook Project!  In my previous post, I mentioned the mistake I made by completing a "spread" before binding my new pages onto the cover . . . and completing the entire "spread" only to discover it was actually supposed to the first ... and last page of the book.  Well, before scrapping all of the work I had done on these pages, I decided to try to bind them separately from the rest of the blank pages ... and it worked!  First I sewed all the blank pages into the book as one unit, and then I sewed my first spread in front of these pages separately, and voila!

It's difficult to tell from these photos, but the pages are all NOW BOUND ~~ woot!  So, I'm moving on ...

... and working on pages 4 and 5 of my Sketchbook Project ~~ these are my hands that I will totally tangle. I'm loving some zentangles, needless to say ... and figured two hands fit into the "Make Mine A Double" theme, ;)!

Now I'm off to weave an untangled web of life today!  Wishing each of you a blissful day of much success, love and creativity!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Woot, my Sketchbook is taking shape!  I cut the threads binding the original paper, ripped those flimsy pages out, and used an 11x14 pad of Strathmore 100 lb. smooth paper to create 16 new pages within my Sketchbook Project 2011 sketchbook.  It was easy peasy.  I even left every other spread with a 4-inch flap that will open up for expansion ~~ how cool, right?  Then, ... I had the "bright idea" of leaving my spreads unbound until completed, to make them easier to work with ~~ BIG MISTAKE ... but it sounded like such a great idea!

Ohhh, it was looking so good ... until I realized this first "spread" I had completed was SUPPOSED to bind as the FIRST and LAST page of the book, )-:..  What a bummer realization.  (And, even more embarrassing, I was a typesetter in the printing industry for several years, in my previous life, and should have KNOWN how signatures fit together!)  I'll either have to figure out a way to make a 'dual-bound signature" ... or either begin again!  SO, fellow Sketchbookers ... don't make this same mistake, please!

So ... here is my first page, on the back side of my first spread ... if I can figure out how to bind it in the journal:

And here is my first spread, again, if I can figure out how to bind it:
This photo is showing a bit of the "cutting edge" overlapping, with the glass and hand, but hopefully you get the idea.  I still have words to add to the "liquid" in the glass, but otherwise it was complete.

Here's a picture of this spread with the flap open:
NOTE TO SELF: remember that spreads are not exactly "spreads" til bound!

Happy Journaling, and Artfullness to each of you!

Flea Market Finds, Etc.

I'm anxious to share my day at the Hillsville Flea Market ... but I have to begin with this ~~ my SKETCHBOOK arrived!  I can't wait to get started working in it, but admittedly the thin paper doesn't appear too "user friendly" for my purposes, and I will take the suggestion of so many whom have "gone before me" and rip this little book apart to replace the paper with something more "workable" ... with fewer pages than the 81 included in the original.  I've got several ideas running through my brain that take an unusual trail to my theme (and I need to begin writing them down ... before they disappear).  My theme is "Make Mine A Double."  I'll be posting my progression, as it occurs.  Thank you to Eden, Rebecca, as well as many other participants I've found  in blogland, whom encouraged me to participate ~~ I'm gonna do it!

One more thing, before my Flea Market recap.  I'm so excited to have discovered what I'm going to do with my Breast Cancer Benefit Piece to complete it.  I shared it with a friend whom suggested I Zentangle it!  What a fabulous idea!  I'm so "anal retentive" when it comes to trying something new on a "real" piece; so, instead of working on the original piece, I first resketched the corset image on a scratch piece of paper and tried Zentangling it, and here is my first attempt:
I'm loving this idea!  But, before moving forward and committing to any particular tangles, I've ordered two more Zentangle books, Totally Tangled and Zentangle 2.  I would like to try a few more "tangles" before choosing specific designs for each section, especially the lace-y, frilly portions of the corset.

Now, moving onto to the Hillsville Flea Market!  Upon arrival, DH and I were saddened to see that it quickly appeared there would be fewer vendors this year.  The upper lot, seen in this picture, is typically filled with vendors (as well as the lower lot and the entire town).  While we could quickly see there were a few vendors in the upper lot, we saw that it had been dedicated to RV parking for the most part ... with lots of unused space.  Additionally, the parking lot for attendees was not nearly as full as is typical.

However, once we entered the gate into the lower lot, we were happy to see that it was full, with many old-timers present and expressing that, during the first three days of the show, they had done well; not as good as in previous years, but well enough to justify their participation this year.  So, off DH and I went, on the hunt for the unusual items, and a few things that I had on my "wanted list."

Following are a few of the "unusual items" we discovered, all that we left behind, but admired with desiring eyes, just the same:

The above are two "Merchants Cabinets" were from an old general store.  The cabinets were both spinners, with lots of really cool drawers.  Can you IMAGINE having one of these in your studio, filled with all kinds of neat supplies and gadgets to use in mixed media art?  My heart beat was frantic while viewing these beauties and imagining the possibilities ... the price tags were a bit too steep for my consideration.  So we moved on.

I found this piece very intriguing, as I am currently in need of too much dental work.  This was a vintage set of dental crowns.  With a price tag of $275, it was tempting, but then I determined that all of the "teeth" I needed would most likely be the ones that are missing from this set!

This chastity belt just totally amazed me.  My first thought was, "okay, I've heard of these, but is THIS what they actually were ... years ago???"  Surely NOT, lol!  Can you imagine how uncomfortable this would have been?  The heart-shaped emblem says, "Guaranteed Virginity.  Dr. Polasky's Approved Chastity Belt."  The price was $75, but I would think the wearer of such an item would pay you much more to remove it and provide their freedom from it!

I found this piece too humorous not to include.  How many of us would like to have had this (with a "dead" grenade, no doubt!), at some point in our lives, when dealing with clients whom cannot be pleased, no matter our efforts?  I would have loved to have had this piece on my desk during many years of working for difficult attorneys, (-;.

I love this piece, and could not imagine anyone riding in it other than a Real Santa!  Wouldn't we love to know the history of this piece?

And perhaps I've saved the best for last ... at least in my humble opinion.
This is Kenny "The Tin Man" Hoff with a collaborative piece of artwork by Fleetwood Covington, framed by Kenny in a style only he can execute.  My workplace carries Kenny's work ~~ reclaimed ceiling tiles that he and his wife paint, refinish and incorporate into awesome art pieces that can be hung on walls, used as ceiling medallions, or table tops, huge molding pieces that he turns into shelving pieces, tiles that have been incorporated in many clients' homes as back splashes in their kitchens, etc.   He mounts the tiles on boards, and typically will include notes on the backer board entailing where the building was in which the tile(s) were reclaimed, and the date of the building's erection.  So they truly are art AND history, all in the same piece.  Yesterday was the first time I had seen a collaborative piece of work from Kenny and Fleetwood, and what a terrific piece of art they produce together.  Fleetwood Covington uses carbon pencil to execute his awesomely detailed drawings on reclaimed barn roof tins, incorporating all of the holes and aged areas into each piece.  Fleetwood's speciality is portraits of great older blues musicians, and he is great at it, just as Kenny is great at his art of working with the old tiles.  Together they make an awesome pair of artists, and I hope you will check out their websites; it's well worth the time, to see some awesome talent.  We hope to have an exhibit with these two artists at our shop one day soon.

I have much more to show you ... including the finds I purchased ... but perhaps this is enough for today.  Stay tuned for some great uses for old windows, and the pieces I returned home with.  For now, I'm off to get some things done around the house, and hopefully find time to begin rebinding my Sketchbook!  Happy Day of Creativity and Pleasure to each of you! xoxo ~~ Jeanne

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Birdies and Breasties

Good morning, blogland!  It's a nice cool morning here on the east coast, with the feeling of fall in the air ... finally.  After a day at work today, DH and I are headed to Hillsville, Virginia for their annual Labor Day Flea Market tomorrow, where I can only expect to find even cooler temps ~~ woo hoo.  I love fall, and I love this flea market.  Hillsville is a small town, but the entire town turns into one huge flea market/yard sale every Labor Day weekend.  I'm hoping to find some good "junk" to incorporate into my art ~~ we shall see!

Thinking of fall, I painted this piece this week.  I love the colors, but am not real happy with the lettering, or the birdies tail.  Hmmm, may haveta try reworking these components.

Then, looking ahead to Breast Cancer Awareness month (October), I would like to do a piece of art for a local benefit.  I'm not sure where this piece is going from here, but it's a start ... that may be painted over and begun all over again!  Having lost my Mom to breast cancer in 2002, and knowing many others whom have been touched by this disease, this is a project that is perhaps too close to my heart.  I didn't want to be a "face" on the piece, as there is not one face that can represent all those whom have been touched by it.  Instead, I wanted to emphasize the beauty that exists within these souls, before, during and after their battles with cancer.  So, this is where I began; a pretty camisole that would hopefully make any woman feel pretty.

Off to work now, and wishing each of you a weekend filled with blissfulness and much love!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sunshine, Hearts, Lace ... and Earl

Good morning to all my friends in the wonderful land of blogging!  Hope this finds each of you well, safe from harm, feeling much love, and filled with inspiration.

I have a few things to share with you today.  First, the above painting is the result of my second "Mystele" piece.  This is the background I completed, and posted, last week.  In my earlier post, I mentioned that I was seeing a face within it ~~ a distinct chin, and a slanted eye.  Well, I broke out my watercolors and began painting the face I saw.  Thankfully I used watercolors for this process, because it just didn't feel right once I got further into the process.  The "graffiti-type" background wasn't working with the face that was forthcoming.  So, being watercolors, I was able to "wash" it away, like it never excited.  Then, I realized I have never done a piece of art for my DH ... other than several cards.  This seemed the perfect piece to dedicate to him.  So, the 'face' became a heart instead, and the rest just flowed.  After 24 years of marriage, we have just gone through one of those "stale" periods, where things had become too routine, and we're now currently in the process of re-dedicating ourselves to each other, and attempting to renew our feelings and love for each other.  In our first years of marriage, I would frequently sing my version of "You Are My Sunshine" to him, so I included the sunshine in this piece, as a way to express the feeling that he remains my sunshine on this sometimes cloudy earth.  I was thrilled when he seemed to truly appreciate this piece, and has placed it in his hobby room ... filled with hunting and fishing "junk" ~~ containing all his favorite things.  So, I discovered, again, that it pays to follow my heart with my art, and be flexible with the direction in which my heart wants my art to go.

Then, yesterday, as I was rushing to leaving the house to begin a second part-time job (at another eclectic shop), I discovered a package on my doorstep.  I just LOVE getting mail and/or packages ~~ who doesn't?!?  This package was very special, as it contained the items I had received in my first-ever blog giveaway!  It was from Close2myArt, and I rushed to the car, box in hand, to rip it open and find my goodies!  And here they are:

The larger piece to the left is an art print entitled "Breaking Free."  I love it, and its title fits me right now, as I am attempting to 'break free' with my style of art.  The owl on the top right is a magnet, and the bottom right piece is a card.  But, perhaps my favorite piece here in the "art blox" with the simple word "create" on it.  This piece will definitely be hung in my studio.  The whimsical feel to all of these pieces speaks loudly to me, as does the bright color palette.  Aren't they fun?  There is one piece that I can't show here, because it is a gift for a very special someone whom reads my blog, ;).

And the last piece received from Close2myArt is this cute little house box:

I love this little box.  The words wrap around its heart-shaped base and state, "Home ... a dwelling place."  The whimsy and bright colors within these pieces are right up my alley, and I just love 'em!  I am very humbled, and honored, to have received them, and plan to share them with others whom enjoy the same whimsical style of art pieces.

Speaking of packages, I received another package in the mail this week!  This one wasn't for me, but for a dear friend whom lives "on the other side of the pond" and occasionally has items she purchases within the US shipped to me, that stay in my care until she has a collection of packages that I then ship to her, overseas.  I love receiving her packages, as they traditionally contain beautiful Sid Dickens memory blocks, that we both admire.  This week's package contained my favorite memory block of Sid Dickens entitled "Black Lace."

This is a long-ago retired memory block that I've always been drawn to because of the "damask" pattern on its front.  This picture doesn't do it justice.  This is a 6" x 8" piece of art created from hydro plaster over a wooden base.  The cracks are part of the piece and, to me, give it that "Olde World" feel.  Now I am awaiting receipt of a second package containing another memory block for my friend, that is due to arrive any day ~~ it's like Christmas, to me, when I receive her packages!  While I've never met her in person, she is such a special person to me, and I truly appreciate our friendship.  I hope to travel "over the pond" and visit her in person one day ... when I win the lottery!

Lastly, I can't help but mention "Earl."  He is that Category 4 hurricane that currently resides 410 miles off of North Carolina's coastline, with current wind speeds of 145 miles per hour.  Earl is attempting to ruin many folks' Labor Day vacations, as many locals travel to the NC coast on this holiday, to enjoy their last summer vacation.  Evacuations have already begun along our coastline, and, as the Dixie Chicks song goes, "Earl [has] to die, Goodbye Earl!"  Let's all hope that Earl is drawn out to sea, and finds a quiet death in the middle of the ocean, providing no harm to anyone.

And so, that is my ramblings for today.  Thanks, to each of you, whom read my blog and/or comment.  Admittedly, I'm not a great artist, or writer, but I truly enjoy blogging, and your visits and comments provide me much joy and many smiles.  My desire is for you to feel "at home" here on my "front porch."  I wish each of you safety, happiness, and much inspiration for creativity today and always.  May your days be filled with all of these, and more.