Saturday, February 27, 2010

"Swedish" Birthday

Yesterday was one week before my birthday and I received some wonderful surprises!

When I checked the mail in the afternoon, I found this beautiful little package - from "Sverige" (Sweden) I could hardly wait to open it!!!!!
The stamps on the envelope are lovely yellow birds and a peach!
Inside, a delightful green and white numbered card with a tiny red heart (xo) and a package wrapped in a sheet of "music" stamped with a nice brown stamp.....and tied up with red and white twine!

wow........WOW! I opened up the package to find the most fantastic "medal for valour" - complete with a star! I will wear it with great pride on those days that I feel the need for some self-confidence, which may be more often than I'd like to admit....
..... it is CHARMING!!!! Thanks to dear Becky (!) for your imagination and creativity and generosity. I am sooooo happy to meet this charming little guy. I think we will be good friends!

And Anna Bears! Thanks for the yummy "Siljans" - which Cullen has already have I.
A sweet surprise to see you at the gate.... enjoy Nambe.

Happy Happy Day to ALL!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Happy Birthday to MOM!!

Today is my mom's birthday!
This photo is from the beach last June when we were there to celebrate the twins' 4th birthday. It is one of my very favorite pictures of my mom....

My brother John and his family (wife, Wendy and twins, Haiden and Cece AND their other grandma, Nonnie) are visiting from California to help her celebrate.
My brother Bill and his family live in Austin. He and wife Carriline, daughter Leila and son Jake will be a part of the festivities, too.
Sorry to be missing it....

Hope your day is GREAT, Mom, and that the family visit is spectacular!
Happy, HAPPY Birthday to YOU!!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

goofy Jack

A couple of days ago, when there was no snow on the ground, Jack picked up a "Devil's Claw" that had grown in the garden last summer. It wrapped itself around his face and I had to take a photograph!
Actually, it was funnier before I ran to get my camera. All three of them were wrapped around!
What a goofy dog-child!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


THIS is what we woke up to this morning!
It is really beautiful - especially in the morning sun.
Cullen and Jack took off early this morning on skis (well, not Jack)
They headed down to the arroyo filled with snow and had a beautiful run, according to Cullen.
He said that Jack could hardly contain his excitement - and bounced all over!
I wonder, though, do the "powers that be" know that we are leaving Monday to drive to Flagstaff?! What are they thinking dumping all this snow on us when we put on the Grand Canyon next WEDNESDAY?!!?!! 
I am checking the weather daily, crossing my fingers for sunshine! 
So much for "spring".........sigh....winter continues!

Packing for the Canyon has been interesting. I keep waking up in the middle of the night wondering how we will all get through 7 days with layers and layers of clothing to stay warm and dry! (thank goodness for wetsuits!) I hope my worry is all in vain - and we have BEAUTIFUL weather! At least it will be warmer down in the bottom of the Canyon than up on top (!) 
I promise to take LOTS of pictures.

Cullen and Grayson will be gone for three weeks in all - two weeks longer than me. They are running the whole 18 days on the river and won't be home 'til the 21st!!
It will be Grayson's first BIG kayak trip.
I imagine it will be the trip of a lifetime for him.

(and I get to have two weeks alone at home with my animals  :0)

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Today, my friend, Jodi, came over and we worked on papier mache a little bit.
I think that I am finding a rhythm with all this.
Trying to decide, though, whether or not to "paint" these treasures......I love the monochromatic feel...
what do you think?

I love this bird in the "cage"....I think the bars are far apart enough for the bird to fly out, if it wishes to do so....

This one makes me smile - BIG!
 She is not finished yet, but is the first in what I hope will be many little figures on boxes...

You may not be able to get all the detail in this one
 (click on it to see if you can enlarge it)
I think the little, tiny bird is delightful...

I think that this one may need some paint.
I think it is a little "dull"

I am looking forward to finishing this one, though I am not sure quite how...
I guess it will be a surprise.

Too bad I am having such a "hard time" with these things.
I am not having any fun at all!!!!!
tee hee

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


We spotted these daffodils popping up through the snow the other day...
Now, the snow has melted and they are happy "little greens"
We are leaving the run the Colorado through the Grand Canyon in just under two weeks. I hope they bloom before we go.....

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

"Flat" Stanley, Caroline and Maria

Do you know about Flat Stanley? There is a story they read in first or second grade about a boy named Stanley who is crushed by a bulletin board (!) Gruesome, but not real.
The "silver lining" though, is that he can now travel everywhere in an envelope - to visit places all over the world. Great concept....

This is Flat Caroline. She came from Washington, DC. Our niece, Caroline, drew her and sent her to us. Our responsibility is to write about our state, New Mexico, and take photos with Flat Caroline around town. It has been pretty fun.
The great thing about this project is that the kids send their "flat" dolls around the country to friends and relatives and those people, in return, send all this information and photos back to the classroom so that they kids will have "first hand"
Flat Caroline helped us do some Valentine painting last week. She enjoyed the "box of paints" (hmmmm, a little "joni mitchell" reference)

Flat Caroline joined Grayson's swim team on the bus to go to a swim meet last weekend. The kids were very patient with holding her and allowing me to take a photo. (Grayson is fourth from the left, wearing purple and holding FC)

Along with all the photos and the bits of information about Santa Fe and New Mexico, I decided to draw a "new friend" to go back to DC with Flat Caroline. Her name is (Flat) Maria and she will be cut out when she gets to the east coast. She is dressed in a velvet skirt, turquoise jewelry and a silver concho belt - all pretty traditional dress around here.

I hope that Caroline will enjoy the information that we sent and that the addition of Maria will be fun for all.

again, so lucky....

My dear friend, Anna ("Queen of Flat Rate" for those of you who follow the blog) made this wonderful potholder for me for Valentine's Day. It is made from fabric designed by my friend, Sharyn Sowell, who cuts the most extraordinary things from paper - like Rob Ryan.....
What you may not see is that the tiny heart in the middle of the center pink flowery heart is stitched, so that it has a "quilted" effect. I LOVE it so much!!! Thanks to Sharyn for her amazing talent and to Anna for her amazing eye...and talent, too.

And then, there is Oolie... who has made the most charming little secret place to visit - Briancon in a Box - ha!  I think that I was lucky to receive the "prototype" and did not post it until now, as I am seeing the others pop up on freinds' blogs.
Thanks, miss Oolie, for your generous spirit, your infinite creative desire and your friendship! 

Monday, February 15, 2010

Dogs in the Studio

My dogs thought it was cool that Oolie and I were in the studio, so they wanted to be in there with us....and then out...then in...and so on and so forth....ALL DAY FOR THREE DAYS!

Here is Miss Kipper Dog - my 9 year old Husky-Shepherd mix and constant companion. She was pretty bummed when Jack came to live with us, though he is a good form of entertainment.
Constant entertainment! I think that the days when Jack goes to the office with Cullen, or hiking, or whatever, Kipper is like a puppy and bounces right into the studio to spend the entire day at my feet, snoring away...or keeping her du-claw at a desirable length. I love her so much.

And Jack. Here he is on the landing of the stairs up to the studio. He likes the overview he has from this particular seat. He spends a lot of time running up and down the stairs. When he is in, he wants to be out. He will put his (very heavy) head on my arm, which totally messes up whatever I happen to be drawing at the moment. It is his way of saying, "I am being really patient, but I must go outside right now!" He is a beautiful dog, really, and I think we are very lucky to have him around....

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

Thanks to my friend, Cheryl, we have lovely heart-shaped cookies to look forward to!
This basket was dropped off and it is WONDERFUL!
Filled with cookies and chocolate kisses - yum!
Cullen brought the flowers home this morning while Oolie and I were working out in the studio. Pictures of that to follow soon.....
LOVE TO ALL on this day of love...happy hearts to everyone!  xoxo

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Spring Project

Every quarter, I do a "Kids' Page" for "Tumbleweeds Magazine," a newspaper here in town.
It usually has an art or craft project of some sort for kids of all ages to do.
This spring issue will have the following project - NEST!

I have developed a woven nest for kids to make and these are photos of the prototypes - using pipe cleaners and hemp twine...I think they look pretty cool...

This is a close-up (above) of the pipe cleaner nests....
And below is the combo nest - pipe cleaners and twine.
I love this view of the bottom of the twine nest...looks like a neat little basket.
I have to write out the directions today, but I will post them later on.
Have a good day!

Monday, February 8, 2010


well, here is what I submitted for the "LOVE" challenge on 
Spoonflower this morning....

Above is the repeat of the four hearts all topsy-turvy. Too bad that you can't really see all the detail in the hearts in the repeat. I have posted the "single of four" below, so that you can get an idea of what the hearts are like on the inside....
Mom left in a blizzard this morning. We were fortunate that there was ONE place left on the shuttle to the airport. The roads weren't very good, so we were a little late getting to the shuttle. The driver was very nice, though, and got Mom to the airport safely. She just called from the airport in Austin, so she is home safe.

Love you, Mom. Glad you were here for such a nice visit. Sorry the weather was so chilly, though. You saw more snow in a week than you have seen in a long time.
I hope it doesn't rain too long in Austin and that the sun shines again soon!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

fun with sylvie

My friend, Sylvie, came over to have a "Craft Date" yesterday, so Mom and I and Sylvie sat at the table and made rubber stamps. (I will post the directions soon)

Sylvie had very definite ideas about what she wanted and directed me in cutting out the images she desired. There is something to be said for be asked to create something in a moment. I think it is an exercise that keeps a person on their toes, so to speak.... and I like the challenge!

Mom was cutting out her image (see for more details) and Sylvie was writing out her list of classmates who needed valentine cards.

After cutting out the "heart of flowers" that Sylvie requested, I gave it to her to paint so that she could stamp it............. the tongue helps in concentration....for sure!

These are some of the stamps that I had made before, plus the "heart with S" and the "floral heart wreath" that I made for Sylvie. I wish I had a photo of the cards that she finished - wow. Her color sense is enviable, as are her sweet notes to each individual.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I Love You

Isn't this a cute couple?
They were made in Russia a long time ago.
They lived at a shop named Doodlet's for many, many years. 3 years ago, they were gifted to me by the owner of Doodlet's, my dear friend, Theo Raven.
Now they lived at my house.
Hope that this month of "love" inspires you to be in the moment and express your feelings directly to those who mean so much to you.
I certainly love and appreciate all of you.......   xo

Monday, February 1, 2010

"Creepy Crawlers"

Here are some BUGS that I have been working on for fabric design....
...whadya think?
I submitted some this morning to the Spoonflower weekly challenge, but was having so much fun, I kept going. I'll share more tomorrow when I have some more coordinating patterns..
...I really like 'em.....a LOT!

........... creepy crawlers .........