Thursday, December 31, 2009

"You Stick To Me Like Glue"

I've been participating in an art project found online called The Sketchbook Project from The Art House in Atlanta, GA. (They are moving to Brooklyn, NY). All of the participants are using the same moleskin sketchbooks they provide (you purchase)...but they assign the subject. That's the challenge! A whole sketchbook on one theme. "You Stick to Me Like Glue" was my theme. The top picture is a reflection on my days in Catholic elementary school and the page on the right shows a "board game". As a child, I played many board games with my 3 siblings and I tied in the rosary as it reminded me of a "game board" . The bottom photos in my sketchbook represent things you can't change....your gene pool. You can embellish and improve, but the blueprint is there. The hand shows many of the things found in our "blueprint". I also did pen and ink sketches of my dog, Boomer, and more. These sketchbooks become part of a traveling exhibit and will be first displayed at a gallery in Brooklyn, NY. Kind of fun.

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Monday, December 28, 2009

A Star in Heaven - Brett

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder how you are.
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.
Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder how you are!

When the blazing sun is gone,
When there's nothing He shines upon,
Then you show your little light,
Twinkle, twinkle, through the night.
Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder how you are!

In the dark blue sky so deep
Through my curtains often peep
For you never close your eyes
’Til the morning sun does rise
Twinkle, twinkle, little star
How I wonder how you are

Twinkle, twinkle, little star
How I wonder how you are

I've changed the words just a little bit in this famous nursery rhyme suit my needs. Brett....if you could just give us a sign every now and then....I won't look at the night sky the same ever again....I'm looking for you.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Gabriel's Message

The Christmas Season

This looks like a Currier and Ives picture. Holiday lights, the snow, people strolling, shopping. Wouldn't you like to stroll down this street? You wouldn't even mind the cold. Keep in mind how blessed you are this holiday season. Remember it's the season to give back. If you can make someone else's holiday just a little bit brighter...why not do it? My son, Tom, who is in the Marine Corp Reserves, was chosen to give a speech this week to businesses here in CT who have donated to their Toys for Tots toy drive. The Marine Corp collects thousands of toys each year for children who would otherwise not receive anything. So....find something. Send a care package to soldiers serving in Iraq & Afghanistan, find out what the children's wing at your local hospital does this time of year & volunteer your time, help your neighbor down the street who is recovering from an illness...WHATEVER it is....just do it. We all have something to give that doesn't have to be purchased.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Been Busy!


So it's the holiday season and I've been pretty busy. This Fall, I decided to make a lot of changes around my house and this room was a shared space with all of my art more. I changed my red den into my red art room and painted the guest room and made it a warm and inviting place. My neighbor, Toni, suggested the shutters at the head of the bed and they look great. The window treatment was crocheted by my Dutch friend, Inez, 20+ years ago. They are timeless, special, and I love them. Sorry I can't get the whole room in the photo but you get a sense of the coziness there. It will be occupied this Christmas season!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Boomer Turns One

November 30th is Boomer's birthday. As you can see....he's been recently groomed....he can see! Pictures don't do him justice, because he has the cutest face. And when he runs around the yard, he's very light on his feet....he resembles a horse doing a little trot. He has long legs! All I can say is that he is a sweetheart.

Friday, November 27, 2009

If You Overindulged.... may feel like this today!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Be Thankful

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.

---Ralph Waldo Emerson

I went to an Ecumenical service last night at my church with my neighbor. It occurs every year on the eve of Thanksgiving at one of the churches... a time when all of the churches in our small town have the opportunity to worship together. And we listened to the Executive Director of the Food Bank in our state, talk about the needs in our community...the choices that some people have to make....whether to serve their children breakfast or dinner. So, as you move through this holiday season, think about those around you. When you see the collection boxes....try to add a couple of items to your grocery list to help make someone else's holiday a little brighter. How about the Marine Corp's Toys for Tots? I get so annoyed this time of year when I see the commercials for stores opening at ridiculous hours so consumers can "get the best deals" makes me wonder what happened to the true meaning of Christmas. Did we learn nothing from the financial crisis that hit last year?!! Instead of "gimme, gimme" about GIVE. The gift is in the giving. Peace.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Tom and Ranya going to Marine Corp Ball

Tom and high school friend, Ranya, getting ready to go to the Marine Corp Ball this past weekend. So cute!

Where Does The Time Go....

I am so behind the eight ball....what an expression. Fall is zooming by and I haven't had time to blog. And I haven't painted. And I didn't carve any pumpkins. I did take some days off from work to get some tasks accomplished around here....that always makes me feel good. Not exactly a vacation. So I painted my guest rm, changed my den into my art room and decided to actually use my living rm on a daily basis instead of just holidays. I moved furniture from one room to another. I had "stuff" hauled away, firewood delivered, a plumber here, cleaned closets, had my car serviced and new tires put on (always good as winter approaches) and recently went on an overnight retreat. I'm in no way ready for the approaching holidays and am trying to "wrap my head" around it all. And when your child is all grown up....Christmas is just different...sometimes you'd just like to turn back the clock for just a little bit.

Because I don't have any "new art" to show, I decided to post a photo of Boomer that I took over the weekend. He really needs to go to the groomer, but she's been on maternity leave. So...two more weeks and he'll be able to see better and I'll post a photo in his "holiday do". Actually, he turns one on November 30, so it will be his birthday "do". He's a bundle of energy and so much fun. So...that's all for now!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Home Sweet Home

It's almost the middle of October and I haven't created any new art since I went to the workshop and I haven't taken any photos and I haven't even bought any mums! This photo is from 2008. Where does the time gets so busy.

This is my favorite season, but there's hardly enough time to enjoy it....there are lots of outdoor chores to complete before the snow flies...the biggest of all being the leaf cleanup and here in CT....that's huge in my yard. I have to stop and remind myself to "take a breath"...

I also think, for many, it's a time of reflection...more than any other season. Another year is almost over....did you accomplish what you wanted this year....did you waste the time....or was it so packed with're happy to just flop in the easy chair by the fire and say..thank God!! Well, I'm thankful for many things.

I've taken lots of pictures of this entrance into my kitchen. I know what's on the other side...the comfort of my surroundings. Home. Count your blessings.
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Saturday, September 19, 2009

A Fun Play Day

Last Friday I decided to take a day off from work and I participated in a Creativity Workshop hosted by Beth Sax ( I know Beth through work associations and knew that anything she was organizing....would be fun. And any day that I get on a major highway like know I want to do it because I avoid those roads like the plague....I'm a "backroads kind of girl"! So with my new GPS hooked up, I headed down the highway for a fun day of meditation, play and painting!!! It doesn't get any better than that. I liked the idea of this workshop because of it's nature....I knew that whatever I painted was OK, that I wasn't going to be "intmidated" by other art going on around me.

I wasn't trying to do a landscape, I wasn't trying to do a still life. I was inspired to put paint on the paper from a meditative reading that Beth did. It was so "freeing"is the best way to describe it. After lunch we did another painting. I had actually picked up an oak leaf when we had taken a walk outside thinking I would do something with it in my next painting....whatever that might be. So here is my can't even tell I used an oak leaf!

The funny thing about this I was leaving, someone said it looked like a sunflower....I wasn't consciously thinking of painting a sunflower...but if you look at entries on my can see how much I like....sunflowers.

So, Beth inspired me to create. We get so locked into our daily routines sometimes, so when we can "escape" that for just a little can open our minds to new thoughts and ideas. The Creative Everyday Challenge word for September is "inspire" and I continue to be inspired every day by all that surrounds me.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

A 90th Birthday

Today is the birthday of my good friend, Jan's, Dad....a 90th birthday to be exact. And I am honored to be joining them for a family dinner celebrating this special day. I first met him when his grandaughters and my son, Tom, were in a playgroup together. His is a life well lived...a great man for many reasons that I have come to know....a Grandfather, Dad, horseman, statesman, humanitarian, friend. But since he might not want to be "blogged about", I will just say that I created this fun little birthday postcard for him. Happy Birthday!
p.s. and today would have been my Dad's 91st birthday

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A Picture's Worth A Thousand Words

Grinning from ear to ear on Graduation Day...a very proud moment and, oh my his Mom I can say this....he is so darn handsome!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Crucible

This week is the culmination of all that Tom has learned on Parris Is. this summer. If I look at what they are doing on any given's pretty I can't go there...please keep him in your thoughts.

The Crucible
A Rite of Passage for all Marines
The Crucible is the 54-hour culmination to the transformation of recruit training. It is a physically and mentally challenging event that involves food and sleep deprivation and the completion of various obstacles for the potential Marine to negotiate.
Basic Facts
  • Recruits will travel 48 miles on foot during the event.
  • There are 29 problem-solving exercises during the Crucible.
  • It consists of 36 different stations.
  • The recruits will have three meals, ready-to-eat (MREs) during the 54 hours.
  • The recruits will be required to carry 45 pounds during the Crucible, in addition to 782 gear, uniform and M16 A2 service rifle weight.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Pretend You're A Color...

So I was on the CED (Creative Every Day) blog and became interested in an exercise having to do with...Color. The exercise is about role-playing a color. Become the color...what are it's characteristics.... let the color speak for you...tell what qualities you have as that color. Let the color do the writing. a Gemini...I am having trouble picking one I'm picking goes:

I am Blue
Deep like the night sky
Serene like the ocean at dawn's break...
until a big, blue wave rolls in...and then
I am the color of my eyes, always searching
I am peaceful
I am the light and the dark of the spectrum
I am any blue flower
I am Blue

Now for the Red...

I am Red
...the Lady in Red in my soul
Feel the beat of a hot, Latin rhythm
Soft like the petals of a red rose
Warm like the embers in the fireplace
Creative down to my red, polished toenails!
I am impulsive!
I am Red

(OK, siblings! I can hear you laughing and saying to yourselves....what?!!! I'd like to exchange this exercise with all of you...maybe learn a little more about you.. We've all been on different journeys these many how's it "color"???)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Prolific Weekend

Well, there is art and there is art. Happy art, sad art, all "over the map" art. Clearly not good at doing faces. When you're "feeling should think about painting yourself another color" ...will get to that. That's my art journaling for this weekend. See what you think. Not feeling the sunflowers.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Updates from.....

It's getting closer to graduation day, August 21, and I thought I'd share some more of the letters I get from Tom. He's been great about writing and I get pretty excited when I see his handwriting on an envelope when I reach into my mailbox. And I have to chuckle because....well, just because he makes me chuckle.
On 16 July he writes:
"One more day of firing. Tomorrow is when we have to qualify for shooting. I'm nervous - Mon, Tues, Wed, I shot great and today I shot idea why. Anyway, make sure you bring my American Eagle shorts (khaki), flip flops and some t-shirts. Also I couldn't imagine not having Maui Jim's for travel, my sunglasses...other than that my cell phone, ipod & cell phone charger. It feels good to be 5 weeks out. Hope I do ok on the rifle range. Love, Tom."

So, you can tell he misses all of his electronics and his cool sunglasses!

20 July:
"Hey Mom,
Shot well at the rifle range...earned a sharpshooter badge. Back in original squad bay. We have 3 1/2 weeks til The Crucible and 34 days until graduation. Time is flying by. I earned a leadership position. I am a squad leader - there are 3 others out of our 74 man platoon. We are starting to prep our dress uniforms. Can't believe the government pays people to do this job - it is truly enriching as it is. That's all for now. Love, Tom"

Saturday, July 18, 2009


I started these flowers from seeds in a large
pot on my deck. Ultimately, I had planned
transplanting them in the yard....but I decided that the best sun was on the deck....and, of course, the deer can't get to them. The deer really limit gardening here in CT. It's fun to check the pot each morning to see how much the flowers have opened.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Independence Day

Next weekend is the 4th of July and Tom is in Parris Is., SC. It's hard for me to imagine that he is not spending it with his friends, bbq-ing, swimming and listening to Jimmy Buffett tunes and watching some fireworks...but he's doing something that means so much to him. So, as I was thinking about him today, I journaled 2 pages; one is a soldier, like Tom, guarding our shores with the American Flag serving as the view on the horizon. The other photo is a painting of a typical backyard deck on the 4th of's because of the painting of the soldier that we are able to enjoy the the scene on the deck....something we should never take for granted.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Snippets from Parris Is.

I want to share a little bit from Tom's most recent letter from Parris Is., dated 6/21/09.
Hey Mom,
I think today is Father's Day. I sent Dad a letter a few days ago. I have swim week coming up this week which I am looking forward to. As of today, I have exactly 2 months left, and am definitely looking forward to the next two months of training.
I can't wait to breath the crisp, Connecticut air. All of the kids here are starting to get a tighter bond, although I do miss all of my home friends. It's funny how most people say you develop your friends for life in college, but I think all of the Redding and Easton kids I am friends with will be friends for life...strange how it works out.
There are guys here from all walks of life, some rich kids, some poor kids from the ghetto. 4 or 5 kids have degrees and there's a ton of guys like me who are college students looking to become Marines. One thing I have learned from my Drill Instructor is that the truest Marines are made on Parris Is, and if you can lead, they will send you to OCS. My Senior Drill Instructor is the most experienced DI on Parris Is. It doesn't even annoy me that I am here because I know I'm completing my childhood dream. Even when we are physically and mentally getting destroyed, the only thing that goes through my head ...well if this is what it takes, this is what it takes. I can do 26 pull-ups and 202 situps in 2 minutes. We haven't done a timed 3 mi yet.
The food isn't as bad as I thought it would be; they have all sorts of concoctions that are decent. But I tell you now...when I get home, I'm going out to eat a lot...soft shell crabs, lobster, steak and damn good cheeseburgers with onions and tomatoes.
It is really amazing how fast our time flies, at least the week to week. Just have to keep focusing on the light at the end of the tunnel.
P.S. Send me updates on world news, sports news and local news.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Celebrating Fathers

William L. Shea

Back in the '40's, most young men were in uniform serving in WWII. This is a great photo of Dad who would have turned 91 this summer, if he were still alive today. What a handsome guy!

Saturday, June 20, 2009


Secret Garden
She'll lead you down a path
There'll be tenderness in the air
She'll let you come just far enough
So you know she's really there
She'll look at you and smile
And her eyes will say
She's got a secret garden
Where everything you want
Where everything you need
Will always stay
A million miles away

---Bruce Springsteen

Friday, May 22, 2009

Do You Believe in Angels?

I had an interesting experience today at a car wash. I was waiting outside along with a few others as the car wash guys were vacuuming and finishing up and I struck up a conversation with an elderly woman standing next to me. I was commenting on the cost of getting your car washed these days and she shared with me that she was 81 and, of course, she certainly had seen the price escalate in her long life. While I was standing there, I had been trying to guess which cars belonged to which people...could I match the cars to the "personality" of the owners? Well....the snazzy red Subaru belonged to the elderly woman! We had a short discussion about it....she said she bought it last year and that she was blessed....I figured she must have gotten a good deal! She said there are angels among us. Her car was ready and we wished each other a pleasant weekend and she went over to her car. Then she came back, as I was sitting on the bench waiting for my car, and she said, "I have to give you this" and I looked at my hand into which she had placed a very small angel that was wrapped in a cellophane wrapper....and as she turned to walk away, I thanked her. I watched her as she climbed into her snazzy, red coupe and she gave me a slight wave and I waved back. I can't stop thinking about her.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

My Flag Tree

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Free & Brave

Memorial Day means a lot to me.
I sat down to think & journal about Memorial Day and about the men and women who put their lives on the line for us. (US ) They give so much.
So...Memorial Day is still over a week away, but I'm posting this now because....these people should be remembered... everyday... in our prayers for what they do for US.

Tom is off to boot camp in a little over a week and he is so excited to be going. He's looked forward to this day....since he was a little kid. The day he came home after enlisting in the Marine Corp Reserves, he gave me a decal to put on my car....."Proud Parent of a United States Marine.
I am proud.
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Monday, May 11, 2009

Tree with Blue Leaves

These pages are from my Simply Blue journal. I took it out last night...I haven't looked through it in awhile. And I came across these two pages and was thinking about how I often paint a solitary tree....and I think...maybe that tree is me. I painted a couple of pages for Memorial Day which I haven't posted yet....and that tree is there...again. I like painting "the tree." I think the tree is strong. Most of the time....I feel least a lot stronger than many people I know. Who knew.

Art of the Universe

This painting by Kathleen Karlsen, Hubble's Legacy, is inspired by images from the Hubble Telescope. The Hubble is in dire need of repair. You can see more of Kathleen's paintings, inspired by the immense space and incredible drama of the universe by visiting

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Springtime in CT

This is a photo from Spring 2008....the tree is just getting ready to blossom in my yard. I've been out planting Lily of the Valley on this gorgeous day.
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Monday, May 4, 2009

Field of Daffodils

I wanted to take a photo of this beautiful field of Daffodils in my town but just haven't had the chance. I look forward to driving past it every Spring. It was planted by a local, retired high school teacher in the field adjacent to his home. His house is painted yellow too! This photo appeared in our local, weekly newspaper, The Redding Pilot. Thank you, Thomas!

Sunday, May 3, 2009


Sometimes I have to "journal" when I am "in the moment." Even if you've never been to church or are not a spiritual person, I think everyone at some time in their life has heard the 23rd Psalm...."The Lord is my shepherd..." and that was the theme of today's sermon at church. Life and death. What's next? Not sure I'm done with these pages but that's part of the fun of journaling. Sorry the photos aren't better!