Art · life

Artists in Action…

Annmarie Gardens Museum and Sculpture Gardens holds a program each year called Artists in Action where they host artists in the museum in “mobile studios” for various amounts of time so visitors can watch the artists and see their art and how they work. I have had the honor to be chosen as one of these artists this year.

From Jan 28-Feb7 I will set up a studio space in the museum and work on my art each day while visitors watch. (gulp) Kinda makes me feel like a zoo animal at the thought of it, but I’ll be “on display”, examples of my work will be on display and for sale, and I’m to answer questions.

This should be fun and yet at the same time it’s a bit daunting. Now to decide on exact projects to work on while there and get the supplies lined up and order any I need!

I hope all of you are having a wonderful holiday – this was a great Christmas present for me!


The press is on…

I got the tile down on the floor of the attic space off my studio yesterday. Today we get the studs and insulation covered so it’s cleaner in there, brighter when the light is on and a better environment for me to store some of my supplies. What a chore! But so much better once behind me and I can finish clearing out the storage unit and be done with that. Of course we’re expecting 1-3″ of snow today!

I had planned to empty the storage unit today because a unit close by is apparently being used by FedEx or UPS as a drop point for drivers to come collect packages to deliver. The last three times I’ve been there I’ve had to wait for them to leave to pull up to the hallway for my unit or drive around the building and use the door at the opposite end of the hallway to access my storage unit. My next payment is due in the 24th and their use of their unit won’t slow down any so I will have to grin and bear it until I make these last few loads to clear it.

Then the rest of the week is spent clearing the remainder of the boxes, putting up the last of the Christmas decorations, getting the RV ready for us to move into it when the in-laws arrive for their visit… It’s going to be crazy.

I need to run by the shop with a display of my felted acorns. I have two Christmas trees in the shop and apparently everyone wants them individually! Now they can buy them either way.

I think I will be moving my needle felt supplies temporarily into the RV for the evenings while we are out there until bed time while the in-laws are here and if I have time to work on something while in the house I’ll knit infant or preemie socks that are needed at the shop. 

I’ve applied to an Artist in Residence program at a local museum. It would only be about a two week stint and I would not actually reside there, I would commute daily, but we shall see if I get selected. I have my doubts, my husband and some friends say not to worry… I’m a worrier. 😊

As the season gets busier, as the hustle and bustle gets more and more, find some quiet time each day to just “be”. This move has about killed me, but the cabin itself has been such a gift. The peace here is beautiful. I love to step out on the back porch at least once a day just to take a moment to listen and relax when everything else around keeps going at warp speed. Or take the time to watch the deer when they come through the yard. It’s these little moments that help us deal with the catastrophes.

Art · downsizing

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…


I have had the idea for the “tree” for roughly 4-5 years now. It was to be a display for an ornament show/sale and I never got around to using it, so I finally did it here at home.  No more waiting!

I also had to get a couple of projects done to get out in the mail. One to a flamingo lover who also loves anything sparkly –


And the other one is for a baseball lover. I saw the ribbon a few days ago and immediately thought of baseballs and knew I had to somehow come up with a wreath for it.


I hope both recipients enjoy them!

On the moving front, about 1-2 more trips in my Subaru Outback and I should have the storage unit cleaned out and be done with it! It’s just a matter of getting it all put away in the “attic” space off my studio and the work room downstairs. Once I get done with all that and get everything situated I can then get on to even more art work. And presently that consists of needle felting.

If all goes well I’ll be taking part in an Artists in Residence program at a local museum associated with the Smithsonian. Wish me luck!



Home made Christmas


I’ve been busy cleaning up after Thanksgiving and transitioning the home to Christmas. Some things are in place and set, some are a work in progress and some I have not even begun.

I’ve been working on hand felted acorns to decorate with and finished the first Christmas tree to list for sale. Working on a white grapevine wreath with the acorns on it as well. It’s hard to tell in the photo but there is just a little bit of micro glitter to the acorn tops. I used a mica powder in the protectant I coated them with prior to using.

I had time to make some “MD crab” resin ornaments. (pictures to come) Those are mostly blue for Maryland blue crabs, but I did pour some red ones as a special order and will probably pour a few of those for sale as well. I have a multitude of little snowflakes in all sorts of colors. 

The snowflakes I like, but a few were disappointments. I used some “interference” mica powders for a few. Those colors are a pearlized color but the color; red, green, blue, violet; only shows when you tilt the piece so the light hits the mica powder at the right angle. The snowflakes are small enough that you don’t get much effect there like you do with a pendant for a necklace.

I’ve got to run by the storage unit this week to get more of our Christmas decorations out. I’ll get more stuff settled here and set in the work room downstairs. My goal is to get rid of the storage unit asap.

On top of all of the art, getting the home ready for the holidays, that kind of thing, I have to get the cabin ready for my in-laws to come stay for Christmas and our 5th wheel ready for us to stay in while they visit. Since we have no second bedroom (the teeny, tiny “second bedroom” that you could maybe fit a twin bed in is my studio) we’re out in the RV during the visit. So I’m pretty busy here these next few weeks! Maybe I can catch my breath in January.


Ever thankful…

There have been times when this year has been very trying and just physically exhausting, including right now. 😊 Overwhelmingly this has been an amazing year though. I have truly been blessed and so much to be thankful for and I am truly grateful.

I have some wonderful friends who have been there to support me throughout the trying times this year and I am so blessed to have them in my life. Just to have an ear to listen to me whine and moan, a shoulder to cry on, was such a comfort at times. That enabled me to pick myself up, dust myself off and get going again. To laugh with me, sometimes at me, during the good times, celebrating the ups along with shoring me up during the downs, I thank you. I couldn’t get through the daily grind without each and every one of you. 

A wonderful friend who was just fighting for his life in a medically induced coma, diagnosed with Toxic Shock Syndrome, has fought his way back and may be going home from the hospital soon. What a blessing to have him come back like that. He still has a road ahead recovering, but that’s better than the alternative.

For the most part I have my health. Sure I deal with fibromyalgia (and other things) and have good days and bad days, but I’ve had more good than bad I think. I’ve been dealing with the Achilles tendon here lately and physical therapy for the micro tears, but that will all heal.

We have our new home, our “cabin in the woods” that is so peaceful and full of inspiration. We have deer and squirrels visiting all the time and I even caught a fox sneaking through the yard early one morning just at the break of daylight. It is our refuge.

I’m thankful for our kids who helped with the move. They were awesome and graciously spent several weekend days throwing their backs into the heavy lifting. They helped out with the staining of the interior logs of the cabin prior to us moving in too. It definitely helped to make the move run more smoothly.

I became the proud owner of a 2018 Subaru Outback and also became a #SubaruAmbassador! I love the brand and vehicle so much I applied to be an Ambassador and was accepted. So now I get to spread the #SubaruLove any chance I get. 😊

And last, but by no means least, my husband. He’s been there through thick and thin, good and bad, stressful and smooth sailing; supported my crazy art ideas and art explosions all over the house; believed in what I was doing even when I was sometimes unsure myself of the course I was taking; always my best cheerleader; and above all my best friend. Even though he can be exasperating at times (I admit he is getting better about giving me back my tools) I still love him dearly.

I hope as each of you looks back on this year you find you had more blessings and goodness than you realized. I hope you have family and friends to share your load, your joys, your sorrows, and your journey. And as you begin to look forward to the new year approaching, and it is fast approaching(!), I hope you will go into that new year with inspiration, plans, and a brightness glowing in you that comes from a soul inspired to do more, explore more, give more, share more, and just “be” more.


It’s been too long…

This move seemed like it would never end! We are finally out of the old house as of the end of October, thank goodness. Most everything is in the cabin now with only a small storage space that needs to be brought into here. 

I have to say my 2018 Subaru Outback, lovingly known as “Scoobyru”, was the hero of this move! We rented a truck a couple of weekends to move big furniture, chest freezer, get the larger items over here. But the lion’s share of this move I accomplished with Scoobyru. It’s amazing how much you can pack in the back of an Outback! It was like a clown car at the circus when I would unload her – things kept coming out, box after box after box. 😄 I made countless trips back and forth between the house and the cabin, to the thrift shop to donate stuff, to the dump with stuff that should have been disposed of long ago but just collected. She has been a trooper!

I’m still getting things settled, still shifting things as I figure out what works and what doesn’t. The kitchen is ever changing right now. I have about half of it definitely set, the rest is in place but not necessarily where it will stay. 

I’ve painted furniture, stained unfinished logs, painted unfinished window sashes, painted doors… Some art is hung in permanent spots. Some are just hung because there was an existing nail there so I put something there. LOL Those things will probably change. While all of that is/was creative to a certain extent it wasn’t creative in my artistic, have to create sense. I was withering inside going too long without my arts.

A few days ago I took the time, set up some molds, mixed resin and did a pour. That was nice. I spent some time spinning and feeling the fiber slip through my fingers was so therapeutic! I finally felt like I was home! I’ve been playing with needle felting too. And I’ll be adding wet felting in there, probably pulling out the dye pot after Thanksgiving… I’m back! 😄

Being surrounded be nature here at the cabin just feeds the soul and sparks the creative juices. I’m trying to be disciplined and get work done around the home each day before I start playing. LOL If I don’t do that we’ll never fully get settled for months to come, and we have company coming for the holidays! So I have to get this cabin in tip top shape.

After Thanksgiving I’ll have to get to the storage space and get all the Christmas decorations out so I can start putting some of those touches up around here. We’ll have to wait until closer to Christmas to put up the tree of course since we put up a live one. 

Oh, and in the middle of this move I managed to get micro tears in my Achilles tendon and was in a boot for about half the move. Yay, that was fun! (Full on sarcasm if you didn’t realize it there folks) Yeah, had to go through the whole process of xrays, MRI, ortho doc, all that. I’m now doing physical therapy until Christmas, I think my last appointment is the week before in fact. I will be glad to be done with that and have that off my plate.

I seem to be slowly finding a “new normal”. I know that won’t really settle into existence until after the holidays, but it’s sorely working its way here. Much closer now than a couple of months ago and for that I am grateful!


It was such a simple thing…


We just bought our first home. Being a Navy family for roughly 25 years we always rented or lived in base housing, once my husband retired we found a nice rental and had just stayed there until the owner decided to move back in himself. Being lifelong renters or living in base housing relegates you to a life of “renter’s beige” walls, never being able to paint things the way you want them, only being able to personalize through furniture, curtains and limited wall hangings – although with the invention of Command hooks that has become easier.

So we bought a log cabin – not something you will go hog wild with color inside either. The other day as we were staining the raw wood of the interior of our cabin, and I have gotten sick of painting the raw wood of the window frames white, repainting the garish dark brown doors a light grey to either be a base coat or their color, and painting two dressers that are going into our closet the ever slightest green tinted white – I went to our local Ace Hardware for paint for the inside of the front door.  The artist in me was craving color, not only to work with, but to look at as well. That’s when I found “the blue”, Mykonos Reflection.

This was a blue you can fall into it’s so deep and rich. I had to have it and I had to paint my front door this color. I came home with this paint and about halfway through the first coat, (it took two) tears started rolling down my cheeks. Tears that I think only someone who has been denied the opportunity to pick and choose the colors you want surrounding you could understand. The tears of a 54 year old, who for the first time in her life, could go to the paint store and say – “I want to paint the inside of my front door Mykonos Reflection” and actually do it, not say that and think one day I’ll be able to do that.

I have other ideas and some plans for what I want done in some other areas, and trust me, more color is coming – but for that one moment it was the utmost joy to pick a color – any color – and just paint in my own home.

downsizing · Moving

How to turn your excitement into drudgery

So, we started the process of buying our awesome log cabin back the first of July and the original closing date was July 31… that didn’t happen. I know everyone says closing on a new home is stressful and they have stories, but this has just been more than the usual I feel.

We are now on our fourth date to close. Allegedly we are closing tomorrow, Aug 28 – I say allegedly because at the moment I don’t have a time to show up and sign papers, only a date. And until I am sitting at the table with my husband signing papers I don’t trust it. (see the first sentence of this paragraph that this is our fourth closing date…)

The septic system was tested roughly the second week of July, realtor went out of the country on vacation and had someone else in the office supposedly handling her business in case anything came up. Realtor gets back in country on Wed, Thurs she reads the report from the test (and I have my suspicions that it was there prior to her leaving actually) to find out the septic system failed. We were to close that following  Tues.

Finally get a perc test done, we pass, and a new septic system is going to be put in, but first 3 trees have to be taken down. Nothing for 11 days. When questioned the realtor then says – I had no idea on the trees to know I had to schedule someone to remove trees before work could start on the septic system. So, she basically checked out for almost 2 weeks and we were at a standstill. Finally the trees get taken down. Now the contractor for the septic system is fighting wet areas and putting a mound system in at another location and has to finish that before working on our higher/drier location. When questioned he says, well I can drive by to see if it’s dry enough to work the location and possibly put it in while I’m waiting for the other location to dry some. Pardon me but – Duh!

So now we get the new septic system in, with the distribution box now sitting about 5-6′ into what was our driveway with an access pipe sticking about 6″ above grade in the middle of the driveway and the distribution box then spans out to the drain field the other side of the driveway in the area that used to be where we were to park our vehicles – oh, and there was no driveway to speak of. Well, my husband says that’s not correct because we have the two top sections where you come in and leave, it’s just all that in between stuff that’s gone.

Realtor gets another contractor out there to work the driveway when my husband contacts her to say, I really need a driveway. Contractor goes out there. Starts to work, gets pissed at what work the septic contractor left behind and stopped. Driveway contractor called the realtor to say he can’t work with what was left behind and the septic guy has got to fix things. Now the realtor knows my husband wasn’t being a pain for asking for a driveway… So sometime today (no time on this yet either) my husband, the realtor, the septic contractor, and the driveway contractor are all supposed to meet out at the cabin to figure out what the heck will be done to give us a basic circular driveway. At this point we don’t care about parking, we’ll figure that out after we’ve been in the cabin for a bit and have lived with it and know what we want then, but right now just give us a driveway that we can use, okay???!!!

Supposedly this is not to hold up closing tomorrow. All parties have agreed that the work will happen/continue even after the sale of the cabin. sigh But this is the kind of crap that has just been constant and non-stop since we began this whole process of buying the cabin. I knew there would be hiccups, but this seems to be extreme!

Part of the stress also comes from the fact we need to get in there and stain the inside logs before my husband heads out of country for several weeks now days after closing.(since maintenance on the logs/chinking/etc. fell to the wayside as the owner got older and she couldn’t keep up with it) With the original closing date we had a month to accomplish work and get furniture in there before he left. Now, we can get staining done, but then I’m stuck doing little stuff here and there and waiting for him to return to finish the move. I have plenty of family and friends who have offered to help with the move, but I really don’t feel like doing this by myself. I did enough of that type of thing while he was active duty Navy and I’m not wanting to let him off the hook this time. He needs to “share in the joy” with this as well. LOL It’s his home too.


So, what should be a joyous, happy time has just turned into a chore to just get done and checked off a list. I feel cheated.



Amazing how small that number looks, 35. And yet when you look back on 35 years of marriage it is huge. It encompasses so much, how do you begin to explain it all?

How do you explain the changes your relationship goes through over those years. The deepening of your love, the deepening of your bond, your connection with one another. We talk in a sort of short hand, half sentences, sometimes not even that. I’ve been known to look at him and go, “ummm” – and he started saying “yeah, I thought…” and was right on the money for what I was thinking!

We’ve had our  “BK” phase or before kids phase, kids phase, now on to grand kid. The active Navy phase, to Reserves and back to Active to finish almost 25 years total before going to his second career. He’s almost halfway through the second career now! Kids out of the house phase, kids back home phase (different times), kids back out for good phase, 😊 looking towards permanent retirement phase, “Life is Good”/hitting our stride phase…

Being there for me when I was down, celebrating with me for good things, supporting me through the stresses of a Board position for several years, being my “crew chief” and making sure everything was good to go for me with my competitive shooting, putting up with my art explosions all over the house, supporting me when I spent countless hours supporting other military families instead of being with our own family… How do you thank someone for that and tell them how much you love them for that?

He knows my worst fears, my worst secrets, my worst faults, and yet he still loves me and is still here after 35 years, well actually we’ve known one another for 45 years. So that makes it even more wonderful and amazing. 

Maybe Paul McCartney said it best – Maybe I’m amazed at the way you help me sing my song, Right me when I’m wrong, Maybe I’m amazed at the way I really need you.

Still love you, still need you, still enjoy everything about our lives together, love you Babe, Always…


We Did Not Ask For This Room

We did not ask for this room,
or this music;
we were invited in.
because the dark surrounds us,
let us turn our faces toward the light.
Let us endure hardship
to be grateful for plenty.
We have been given pain
to be astounded by joy.
We have been given life
to deny death.
We did not ask for this room,
or this music.
But because we are here,
let us dance.

This poem was read at the end of the mini-series, 11.22.63, but is not in the book written by Stephen King. He wrote it for the screenplay. What more can be said to explain life?

We’ve each been given our lives and they are what we make of it – good, bad, just existing… We have the power to choose, we have the power to overcome obstacles or surrender to them, we have the power to surrender and be the victim or fight back, we are the master of our own fate. We may choose to help those around us to find their potential or leave them to flounder – give a man a fish, he eats for a day; teach a man to fish he eats for life.

It is not a magic light switch that changes in a moment it takes time but choose to be happy, look for the good, and keep doing this daily. You’ll find one day you’ll wake up and you are truly happy, things seem to fall into place for you, things seem to be better, run smoother and life is just easier when you choose to be happy.

Let’s dance…