Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas, Tom!

In The Pursuit of Happiness

I have had the best Christmas....I spent it with my son, Tom.  Now....crazy as this son wasn't home for the first time in 23 years to celebrate Christmas.  But being focused on creating this little art piece...he and I were together and he'll be home soon.
I have a few more little "touches" I need to do and I also haven't figured out yet how I'm going to close the flap on the says" Thank you for your service..."  but it will come to me, just as the theme for this piece of art came to me....

 When I sat down yesterday to do some art....this wasn't at all the direction I was going, but as often happens when you sit and start playing with things...ideas start to form....

And the next thing you can hardly stand to stop working on it because the ideas are coming so fast and you're waiting for things to dry.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom,
must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it."
---Thomas Paine
Inside the red envelope it says, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
 The Christmas stamp represents freedom of religion.

Look outside:  it's morning
This is a day you'll remember
Hurry, get up and go
There are those who believe in you
Don't give up
Once in every life
There comes a time
We walk out all alone
And into the light
The moment won't last but then,
We remember it again
When we close our eyes.
Like stars across the sky
And in order to shine
You will have to win
We were born to shine
All of us here because we believe
Look ahead and never turn your back
On the caress of your dreams,
Your hopes and then,
Turn towards the day that will be
There is a finish line there.

Like stars across the sky
And in order to shine
You will have to win
Like stars across the sky
Don't give up
Someone is with you
Like stars across the sky
We were born to shine
And in order to shine
You will have to win
And then, you will win.

----Andrea Bocelli

Saturday, December 24, 2011



Thursday, December 22, 2011


Trees in winter are really more beautiful than they are when they are clothed with winter you can really see their shapes...they aren't camouflaged.  It's not that their seasonal colors aren't beautiful....but somehow in winter...their soul is revealed.   Haven't painted in weeks...felt good to sit down with the paint brush today...and because this is in my Red,White & Blue journal...I added the flag....I could have put a cardinal in a tree, but I didn't want to take away from the starkness of the trees...

Monday, December 19, 2011

What is Christmas?

I've been away from blogging....just couldn't seem to get here.  I haven't created anything either....after the nor'easter on Halloween weekend....I just had other things on my mind.  How do we roll so fast from Halloween to Christmas week?  Retailers kind of push the plate on that...I wish we could restore Christmas to what it truly is....and it's not finding the "big deal"  at 4:00am on Black Friday....that I am sure of.

I fee like I've already celebrated sister and husband were here to celebrate her birthday and we exchanged gifts;  and I and many others helped  to spread the word about an injured Marine in my son's unit that resulted in many generous people giving their time and making a donation to help get his life back on track.  God bless him!  So....I don't really need anything else except to go to church and give thanks and pray for those who aren't as blessed as I am this Christmas.
Here are some photos from around the house....

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Grace

photo by T. Sand
This photo was taken during the recent storm that knocked out the power in many parts of Connecticut.  I love pumpkins...they look "happy".  They are whimsical.  They come in so many shapes and sizes.  They are colorful.  And they make delicious pies.  So today, when you're sharing your meal with family and friends....don't forget all of the things you are thankful for...even pumpkins.  I have a wonderful little book of Graces so here is one for today...

This is a day for thanks.
A day in which we
see or hear or feel
the wonders of the
other moments of the year.
This is a day for time.
A day in which we 
think of pasts that make
our presents rich
and future bountiful.
This is a day for joy.
A day in which we share a gift of laughter
warm and gentle
as a smile.
Above all, this is a day for peace.
So let us 
touch each other
and know that
we are one.
For these and other blessings,
we thank Thee, God.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


I found this wonderful "beast" on the artist, Emma Kidd....wonderful imagination. All I had to do was cut him out and assemble. I think I'm probably going to put him in a frame....he's not what you normally think of as a "paper doll"...  Even the envelope he arrived in is a treasure...from Australia, so I now also have two great Koala bear stamps....he're's the "beastie"!

Saturday, November 12, 2011


He starts like a little book, folded up.....
and becomes an accordion book that spells out "HOPE"
 ...a closer look....
....and the back of them is covered in paper napkins!  

The "Hope" is a napkin that I tore and placed a letter on each Santa chest...sort of like a winter scarf....slightly hard to read in the photo because the letters are black.  I used paint, rubber stamps, napkins and gold pen to do these, tied together with jute string.  I need to make them out of stronger paper than drawing paper because the wear and tear on the "fold" is not going to last long...thus the jute.   His shape came from my favorite, tin cookie cutter that I've had forever of a gnome.   The holidays are coming....

Playing with Dolls

Before the recent storm, I was playing with paper ...dolls.  I think she's kind of cute....I can't tell you how long it took to cut out all of the pieces, put it together and embellish it.  Maybe because it's my first took me longer...I do think they are fun....there will be others.  I'd like to make a couple and frame them...I have ideas....

Friday, November 11, 2011


The word "God" makes some people uncomfortable , but I believe in the power of prayer and it was important for me to share this for our past and present service men & women, today and always....  godspeed.  
Thank you to my friend, Kathy, for sending it to me....

Friday, November 11, 2011
With admiration, I honor those who serve others.
To those who have answered the call to serve, I say, "Thank you." I appreciate your sacrifice and accomplishments. I am grateful for your strength, courage and perseverance in the face of great challenge. I respect your dedication. I honor you today and offer this prayer: May the light of God surround all who are serving or have served this country. May Divine Love enfold them; Divine Power protect them; and may the presence of God watch over them now and always. Amen.
In silent tribute, I pause and remember those who, in service to humankind, have sacrificed their lives. I pray for goodwill among people and peace on earth as a lasting tribute to their sacrifice.
Pay to all what is due them, ... respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due.--Romans 13:7


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Aftermath of the nor'easter...

A beautiful, sunny's what Mother Nature did...these are shots of my neighbor's yard.....I was more fortunate.  And the 2nd photo from the top shows a tree that broke in half by our mailboxes on the road.  These are just a small glimpse of the havoc that Mother Nature wrought, knocking out power to 830,000 homes in the state, most left without power for a week....the clean-up will go on for weeks...definitely a major inconvenience, but it could be worse....always have to keep things in perspective. art the last couple of weeks....

Saturday, October 29, 2011

A "Trick" from Mother Nature

The pictures say it all....the snow is really coming down....the trees are sagging under the weight.  Boomer was just groomed this morning...there was no snow when I dropped him off!  It was white knuckle driving when I went to pick him up.  I never expected the storm to be as bad as it is this early in the day.  My lights have flickered once, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed....this is really an early "trick" from Mother Nature on this Halloween weekend....

Friday, October 28, 2011

Here Comes The Groom....

Home & Garden Journal
Mirabeau Bonaparte & Virginia Swanson
c. 1920

When I was looking for things for my "pear" pages, I came across the wedding photo of my maternal grandparents.  And it is so lovely, I had to journal it.  I never knew my grandmother... as she had passed before I arrived on the planet.  I don't know the wedding date either...still searching for that, but I've left room under their photo to add it.  And I don't know what I want to put inside the metal heart either....I do love that I found the music "Behold, the Bridegroom Cometh!"   The lace is from an old mantilla from my Catholic days... And on the opposite page, I found the wonderful drawing of the was part of an old advertisement...but he's dressed just like my grandfather....serendipity.  So I just embellished him a bit with a little white paint on his bow tie and flower and I painted the candlesticks silver and I "upholstered" the chair....I just altered the page a bit here and there. The clocks on the left of the groom...just to indicate the passage of time....once upon a time....

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

"In The Pursuit of Happiness"

Rhinebeck, NY

My friend, Jan and I, took a beautiful day yesterday to visit the town of Rhinebeck, NY in the Hudson River Valley area...a little over an hour from our homes.  We wandered the streets, visited the local shops and had lunch at a very old inn, catching up on our daily lives which we have so little time to may be wondering what is the story behind the above always, sorry the quality isn't better...but Rhinebeck has some really beautiful architecture which we were admiring on our stroll.  We stopped in front of a building that had a very interesting front door, and a young woman came out and asked if we'd like to see the inside....of course we would!!!  As it turns out, it's a restaurant that has just barely opened it's doors...I felt like I was walking back in time as I stepped into the dining room with all of the American flags, the red banquettes, the pewter ware on the rustic, old tables.   It felt like the kind of place you might celebrate after an important treaty was signed... I could imagine soldiers here catching a brew and sharing a hot meal; the room on the opposite side of the entrance is the bar.  I didn't take a photo of it...but it is indescribable, the attention to details that make this room so would just have to visit.  AND...of course I loved the whole place because of the use of our American if you ever get to Rhinebeck, you'll have to stop at this place, aptly named, "In The Pursuit of Happiness."

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Little Book of Pears

These are the next two pages in my Home & Garden altered book.  I painted, used napkins, stamps, different papers and created a pocket for the "Little Pears" book.  There are 16 pears in the accordion book, each one is different.  I even painted one to look like a nun from my youth...and named her... Sr. Poire!

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Colors of Autumn

This is how Autumn looks in my Red, White & Blue Journal.....

Sunday, October 9, 2011

WITCHY WOMAN-altered book, Femme

Having an altered book to work on that is all about so much fun.  It's October, Halloween, etc. etc.  So I had to have a "Witchy Woman", Eagles lyrics on left side.  Her face is from a Vogue magazine....

 "Raven hair and ruby lips ...sparks fly from her finger tips...echoed voices in the night....she's a restless spirit on an endless flight...wooo hooo witchy woman....".   We've all got a little bit of "witchy woman" in us....

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Monday, September 5, 2011

On Labor Day....I Labor

I know it's still summer on the calendar, but not being at work today, I can get things done at I changed my kitchen cabinet into Fall is my favorite season.  Pretty soon I won't have time to do the indoor "stuff" because the outdoor chores will be calling....the leaves, small painting jobs and odds and ends.  I'm into closets and getting rid of all of those manuals for appliances I no longer own, found lots of batteries...they would have come in handy last week had I known....and I have more of those outlet strips....I'll probably never need to buy another one.  I found my First Communion prayer book!  I'll add that to my mini book collection.  I can't dawdle here...there's more to do!
 I bought this sparkly crow and tiny pumpkins that fill this cupcake holder and... I picked up a mini book at our library book fair this weekend...The Raven and Three Tales of Horror by Edgar Allen Poe.  This isn't about Halloween...I just think crows are interesting...