Friday, May 30, 2008

"By the Sea, By the Sea, By the Beautiful Sea . . ."

My hubby had some vacation time this past week, and I'd been wanting to go to the ocean; I wanted to visit Monterey and Carmel, but he said he'd like to go to Morro Bay, as he'd been there 30 years ago and wanted to see it again. Since I'd never been there, and he's the one who's working so hard these days, I said, of course, let's go to Morro Bay. It's about a 5-hour car trip from Sacramento, but the drive down I5 was okay, and especially when we reached Hwy 46, going over the coastal mountains, I felt like I was in Tuscany--there were so many wineries, and the scenery was just stunning. I couldn't take photos because I was driving, but trust me, it was GORGEOUS countryside, green rolling hills dotted with vineyards, with blue sky and puffy white clouds overhead. Morro Bay was very interesting--there's a HUGE volcanic rock sitting right there near the shore, and most of Morro Bay is a state bird sanctuary, containing a state and national estuary. If you're interested, you can google Morro Bay and find out fascinating facts about this waterfront town. It was so nice seeing the ocean again, and we had fun beachcombing and exploring shops and eating out, etc. Both of us grew up close to the beach in California--he in San Diego, and me not too far from Santa Monica, and so the ocean is dear to us. I remember my mom and her friends getting together each Tuesday and driving all of us kids to the beach all summer long during my growing-up years. There were many, many days of bodysurfing, eating sandy sandwiches, and laying out in the sun with the sound of the waves and the salt-water air all around us. As an adult, I took my children to the Oregon Coast, about an hour away from where we lived, every chance I got--it's a lot colder there most of the year than it is at the beach in Southern California, but the Oregon Coast (up and down the whole state), is unbelievable--so, so beautiful, I almost cried the first time I saw it. Now, whenever I am lucky enough to go to the ocean, I always feel so refreshed and peaceful when I leave to go home. Here are a few photos I picked out of the ones I took while we were in Morro Bay this week:

Morro Rock

One small view of the Harbor -- Morro Bay is home to one of the few remaining fishing fleets in the state of California.

Shorebird - Marbled Godwit

Otters Playing in the Bay - Click on photo to see them up close!

An Overfed Squirrel - He was so cute, sitting there, looking at us, and it was hard not to laugh because I'd never seen such a fat squirrel! There are tons of ground squirrels and chipmunks right there on the jetty rocks, and, unfortunately, too many people feed them; some of them are really overweight.

Views of the Estuary

Sunset at Morro Beach

Monday, May 26, 2008

Antique Photograph and Memories

I will be away from my computer for 3 days, so I'm repeating an older post I wrote when I first started my blog--no one knew I was around then, so in the spirit of Vintage, something old can become new again!


Lately, many memories have been passing through my mind; it's been strange, like watching old movies. I don't know where they are all coming from, but a lot of them are from my childhood. I've often wished I had the ability to go back in time for just a short while to revisit people and places. For example, I'd love to have a day back with my children when they were small (a GOOD day, not one of the ones where the baby cried all night or when all of them had the chickenpox at the same time!) or I'd love to see my dad again for one more day when he was well and happy. Or wouldn't it be fun to just jump into an old photo and talk with the people in the picture for awhile? This is a cabinet card photo of my great grandmother. Her name was Rose. I only knew her as an old lady when I was young, but I'd love to know what she was like as a child. Was she quiet, and somber, as she looks in the picture, or was there a lively, fun-loving and mischievous side to her? Feel free to use the photo in your artwork-Please leave a comment with a link to your picture of what you created!

“We all have our time machines. Some take us back, they're called memories. Some take us forward, they're called dreams.” (Jeremy Irons)

Memorial Day - 2008

Image courtesy of

Honoring all of the brave men and women who have given their lives in service to our country.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


Photo courtesy of Nancy Dooren: (Digital embellishment by me)

Happy Birthday, Dear Aimie! Today is my youngest daughter's 28th birthday. Lots of birthdays in May! I'm taking my 3 year-old granddaughter out to buy a special present for her mommy while my daughter's at work, and then we will celebrate with a family dinner with everyone here!

Peter Sellers in a clip from "The Party"

Saturday, May 24, 2008


Today would have been my dad's 81st birthday. This isn't a real clear picture, but he's holding a plate with his birthday cake on it. He just looks so sweet, there! I love his little bow tie! On the back of the picture it says that it was his 3rd birthday. I'm sure my grandmother made the cake. His mother was a terrific cook; she could make a gourmet meal out of practically nothing. My dad grew up during the Great Depression, but his parents did a wonderful job of making his and his brothers' childhoods happy ones. It was tough, losing my dad a few years ago to cancer. He was one of the smartest people I've ever known, and whenever I had a question or needed advice, he was the one I always called first. I miss his smile and his laugh the most, and I miss how he always, always told me he loved me, whether I was on the phone long distance, or visiting with him in person. Happy Birthday, Dad. I hope you're celebrating with a huge party in Heaven today. I love and miss you so very much!

Friday, May 23, 2008


I just had to show you the little treasure I received today! I was blessed to meet a wonderful new friend, the lovely Myrna of "More Than Heirlooms" -- we had "cream tea" at a beautiful little vintage-style tearoom, and then she took me to some darling cottage shops. When we sat down to tea, Myrna gave me this sweet ATC that she'd made for me--as I said, a treasure, and I will keep it forever! This is the front and back; she fashioned this ATC out of a vintage playing card -- how clever is that?! It was enclosed in a little brown paper sleeve that Myrna had decorated with stamps and embellishments, (so cute!) but my photo program is running SUPER SLOW and, until I get it fixed, I'll have to settle for these 2 pictures today. Thank you, Myrna; I had fun! It was so very nice to meet you and I look forward to seeing you again!

"Each friend represents a world in us, a world not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born." ~ Anais Nin


Happy, Happy Birthday to my new friend, Jeannene! I hope you have a wonderful day; I made this little ATC for you and will send it to you with my very best wishes. (I'm sorry my lighting is poor and you can't see all the glittery effects; I need to get a better set-up for taking photos!) For those of you who are so gracious to visit my blog, please click on the cute picture of the baby on my sidebar--that will lead you to Nene's Birthday Giveaway! Hugs and Blessings, Nene, on your SPECIAL DAY!!!!!

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Today is my youngest sister's birthday, and I want to wish her the happiest, ever! My sister Lisa is one of the funniest, sweetest, kindest people I've ever known. She's a great wife, a wonderful mother, and a terrific sister. Shortly after I started my blog, I emailed her the link and told her to take a look. She was very complimentary, but said she had one question: "What's an ATC?" (My exact question when I first heard about them!) I explained that it was a little art card of a certain size and that it could only be traded or given away, never sold--and last night I decided I'd make a special one for her birthday and send it to her. So, here is a little Artist Trading Card for you, Lisa--also, look in your mailbox today and you should have a package waiting for you, and above all, have a very, very Happy Birthday!!!!! I love you and miss you very much! (PS-if you click on the picture, you can see a larger version of the ATC--the picture doesn't really do the glittery effect justice, but you get the idea!)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

"Women in Art"

Mary Cassatt, American Painter (1844-1926)

This week's TMTA challenge is to honor women in art, whether it be a favorite woman artist, or a favorite portrait of a woman, etc. I chose Mary Cassatt because she is one of my favorites. Her paintings were done in the Impressionist manner, and so many of them are lovely, soft portraits of women and children. I placed a photo of Mary in the middle of my ATC, surrounded by a few of her paintings in the background. Mary was born and raised in America, but found more acceptance of her desire to study art and painting when she moved to France. Her story is interesting in that she painted during an era when it wasn't socially acceptable for women to have careers doing what she did, especially in America, and also, she was a member of the Impressionist group, which included Edgar Degas (whom she admired greatly), Cezanne, Monet, and Renoir, among others. She lost her eyesight in later life and was no longer able to do what she loved most. One of her famous quotes reads, "I am independent! I can live alone and I love to work." Many websites are devoted to her, and can be found easily by using Google.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

"The Sunday Funnies"

I remember looking at the funny papers with my dad on Sunday mornings after church when I was little. So . . . a couple of weeks ago, I was on You Tube watching little videos and I got this idea to start featuring some old clips on my blog on Sundays. If you have time, enjoy--this one is a classic. (I've turned off my music today.)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

"If At First You Don't Succeed . . ."

Do you ever spend a lot of time working on a piece, only to find when you're done, you don't like it? I received lovely gifts for Mother's Day, and thought I'd get busy with some thank-you cards; so I worked on this one tonight and was very disappointed in how it turned out. Sometimes I really like what I've created, but at other times, I think I haven't done a good job. That's okay, though--it just makes me want to do better the next time. I have more cards to make, so I will " . . . Try, Try Again!"

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

My Grandmother

This is my mom's mother on her First Communion day; I don't know how old she was in this photo, unfortunately. (If you click on the picture, you can see the finer details on her beautiful dress and you can see the cross she's wearing, and look at her shoes!) What I do know about her is that she grew up in Georgia, (she had a great accent!) and her mother's mother came over to America on a ship from Ireland. I was not very close to this grandmother of mine, but she was a good person who raised four children, was married for over 40 years to the most wonderful man (my grandfather), who was 20 years older than she was, and she made each of her 12 grandchildren something special every Christmas. (She started knitting, or crafting gifts for us in January, and always used to say, "I start early so I have one month for each grandchild.") I remember one year she gave us girls darling doll cradles she'd fashioned out of oatmeal boxes she'd covered and decorated with fabric. I put a tiny baby doll in mine and played with it for a long, long time. One year she knitted beautiful ponchos for us when they were in style. I kept that poncho for many years, but I don't think I have it anymore. My mother said that Grandma was a good mom, that she always was involved with her Girl Scout troup, sewed Halloween costumes for her kids, and that they had chickens and goats in their backyard (in Burbank, California!) to help with food during the Great Depression. Now I wish I could go back in time to talk to my grandma as an adult and get to know her a little better. Wouldn't we all like to have an opportunity like that?

Monday, May 12, 2008

TMTA - "Heroes"

Wilfred Owen 1893-1918

The theme this week for the TMTA challenge is Heroes. I decided when I was nearly 40 that I wanted to get a college education; I was a "late bloomer" I suppose, but I do think that at that time in my life, I appreciated the opportunity to learn much more than I would have at a younger age. I majored in English, and discovered Wilfred Owen in a literature course. I have been a big fan of his poetry ever since. Wilfred Owen was a gifted poet who wrote beautiful, often graphic, and always heart-wrenching poetry based on his personal experiences fighting in the trenches for the British during World War I. He was injured badly during his service, suffered shell-shock, and spent some time in a war hospital, recovering. Later on, he returned to the front lines. He was very courageous and a true leader during battles, all the while recording with pencil and paper his impressions of the everyday horrors he and his comrades faced during the war. Tragically, he was killed in action, just one week before the war ended, and was posthumously awarded the Military Cross for his leadership and for his courage. He was only 25 years old when he died; he's buried at the British Cemetery at Ors, in Northern France. (By the way, the torn paper near the top of the ATC is a miniature copy of the actual Service Report telling of his death.)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

I wish for you all a happy, peaceful and blessed Mother's Day weekend!

"A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts." ~Washington Irving

Friday, May 9, 2008

"Thank You"

Image courtesy of Nancy Dooren ~~ Card by me

To all the wonderful ladies who have visited my blog and left such lovely comments, THANK YOU ever so much! When I first started my little blog, I felt sort of like I was floating alone out there in cyberspace, and it's been so nice to find that the blogging world is full of sweet people who care so much about others! It warms my heart to see all the prayers and love being sent out to those who are suffering either physical or emotional hurt. And it's so much fun to see others willing to share instructions, recipes, advice, wonderful photos, etc. To me, this is a perfect example of the positive effects the Internet can have on someone's life--providing a way to meet terrific people from all over the world. It is one example (and there are so many) of how the Internet can be used for good. Thank you, thank you all!!!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I can see why people get addicted to ATCs! They are really fun to make! I'm still learning and experimenting, and it takes me too long to make one, but I'm getting a little faster at it, I think. I love this sweet little angel. The glitter on her wings doesn't show up too well, unless you click on the picture and make it bigger. Oh, I do love to put accents of glitter on just about everything I make to add a little sparkle!

Monday, May 5, 2008

"Black and White"

Here is my first contribution to an art challenge--TMTA--This week's theme is to make an ATC using only black and white. This was a little challenging, especially because I wanted to add color so badly, (force of habit), but it was fun to try! (The flower in the photo looks a little yellowish, probably because of my camera, but I assure you, it's all white in real life!)

Sunday, May 4, 2008

"The Sunday Funnies"

(Pause my music at the bottom of this page)

Thursday, May 1, 2008