Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy New Year

Happy New Year 2010. We will be leaving for Florida in a week or so, and I will not be posting as usual, at least not any photos. Will touch base every now and then from Vero Beach after leaving. We have some stops to make on the way to visit friends, no rush in traveling. Myrtle Beach then Hilton Head, then on to Vero Beach. It's an adventure!!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Best Wishes to All

It won't be long until Christmas Day is here, so I would like to wish all who visit my blog a very Merry Christmas. This is a portion of our little tree that holds many memories and many hand made ornaments. It is a joy to dress it up every Christmas season. Blessing to you all.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Birds of a Feather

Here they are..... Eleven plus my own calendar page. I am posting the process as it was so much fun and I felt like a child again. I think I was impressed with that incredible turkey that posed for me in October in the Pennsylvania Dutch Country. Nevertheless, here they are in all their splendor ready to meet other paper doll/puppets for the 2010 calendar of the Calendar Girls project.

Ms. May Paper Doll

This paper doll calendar page was made by Jan as part of the Calendar Girls Yahoo Group. Twelve different paperdoll/puppets, one for each month of 2010 are being created and sent to twelve players to complete an entire calendar for each artist. Isn't Ms. May lovely? Jan also unselfishly provided directions for all on how to create their own fabric paper doll, which is greatly appreciated.

Button Bag Extraordinairre

This is a gift from my friend, Jan, who is so very talented and beyond that, has the biggest heart ever. It was in the mail yesterday, and I couldn't imagine why she sent a large envelope to me. I am so happy to have this gift and the buttons she placed inside. It is an heirloom that I will pass on to Jasmine, as she is becoming a "buttonologist" at 6 years old. Thank you, Jan. I love it.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Jasmine's Wings

Today, Jasmine ate breakfast with her wings on. She had a 2 day sleepover and we celebrated our Christmas time together. Unfortunately, she was "under the weather" with asthma issues, but we got through it ok. We shopped at her favorite little store in Amherst, MA, to which we had been to only once this past summer. It made such an impression on her, that she requested to go there to choose her Christmas gifts. When we entered the store, Jasmine walked up to the store clerk and boldly announced, "We're back!" After choosing her gifts, we left to return home where she rested for the latter part of the day, her asthma getting the better of her. She loved her wings, and so do I. She wore them last night and this morning, taking them home with her when she left. I miss her when she is gone. Oddly, I took part in a round robin book swap with the 14 Secrets Yahoo Group a year or so ago, and my book was "Jasmine, the flower fairy". I took a photo of Jasmine and added wings to it for one of the pages, and ~ lo and behold, 2 years later, I have a serendipitous picture to add to the book's pages where an artist in the swap did not complete. There is a reason for everything. Blessings everyone.

Friday, November 27, 2009

A Krystal Event

It was a remarkable wonderful event, having Thanksgiving Dinner at Krystal's mom's home prepared by Krystal and her very best friend, Kelsey. We met Kelsey's mom, Leigh, and dad (Dan) and brother Shaun, and other friends, and visited for a short while with Wendy, Krystal's mom and Aly and Tyler, Krystal's siblings. The food was outrageous with so much of a selection, there was no room for desert! We had lots of laughs and left with a grand sense of contentment on many levels. We have much to be grateful for.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Hope your Thanksgiving Day is filled with love of family and friends.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Anne Marie Bennett's "Bright Side of the Road - A Spiritual Journey Through Breast Cancer

Is There Really a Bright Side to a
Breast Cancer Diagnosis?

Write it on your heart that every day is the best day of the year.
Ralph Waldo Emerson


Welcome! My name is Anne Marie and I’m a 7-year Breast Cancer Survivor. I would love to walk with you on your own spiritual journey through breast cancer (or any other difficult thing you’re going through).

I feel blessed and grateful that you are here today.

And I hope that you will feel equally blessed and grateful after spending some time here, as well as comforted in some way, and a little lighter in spirit.

When I was diagnosed with Stage 2 infiltrating ductal breast cancer in 2001, I never in a million years thought I would one day create a book about my journey. I was devastated, bewildered and frightened. Nor did I think I would headline the front page of my website with this particular Ralph Waldo Emerson quotation. Those days right after my diagnosis definitely did not seem like the best days of anybody’s year!

Long before my breast cancer journey began, I read about people who believed that being diagnosed with a life-threatening illness was the most important, life-giving thing that had ever happened to them. I read about these people from the safety of my own little world, my cancer-free world, and I could hardly believe they could possibly be serious. It seemed to me that these people were not in touch with reality, that their cockeyed optimism was just a mask to hide their real feelings and experience.

woman with butterflies

Art by Melissa Harris

Now, much to my surprise, I find that I am one of “those people.”

Soon after my diagnosis, I realized that I had a choice to make about how I would deal with this life-threatening illness. I could let the cancer bring me down, close me off, scare me into smallness. Or I could sanction its presence in my life, embrace the flow of never-ending changes, and allow it to transform me.

My book, Bright Side of the Road, is about that choice I made… which turned into a stream of choices that flowed into a new way to live my life. Was it all sweet-smelling roses and laughter? Definitely not! There was plenty of anger and doubt and insecurity and grumpiness (just ask my husband, Jeff!). But I allowed that to be part of my journey as well.

I decided to write this book for many reasons, but mainly because of you. You have found this site because your life has been touched by breast cancer in some way. Maybe you’ve just received the diagnosis. Perhaps you love someone who is struggling through treatments. Maybe you have already completed your treatments and are wondering what is next for you. Or maybe you are simply curious about what women with breast cancer go through.

We all share a unique connection because breast cancer has swooped down and interrupted our lives in some way. Because of this, we are deeply connected even though we have never met, even though we may never meet.

Bright Side - Chapter One

I am happy to be a part of Anne Marie Bennett's Blog Tour informing my visitors about her remarkable book, "Bright Side of the Road - A Spiritual Journey Through Breast Cancer". I found out about Anne Marie's book from a friend who sent me a link to Anne Marie's blog describing her book and offering a free book as part of her blog tour. After reading the download of the first chapter, I immediately ordered the book and could hardly wait to resume my reading. The book was delivered promptly, and I read it in one sitting, totally mesmerized by its contents. It brought back many memories of my experience with breast cancer, which I had so neatly tucked away for many years. I laud Anne Marie for her honesty and for sharing some of her most intimate thoughts and moments. If you are in any way curious about how one travels this difficult and truly soul baring vision quest, I invite you to read this book. You can find all information about Anne Marie and her book at

Monday, November 16, 2009

New York Holiday

Yesterday was a perfect day spent with my dear penfriend Michele's daughter, Sandrine. We spent time together 20 or so years ago when she was in the US, staying a year in Boston at the French Library as an excchange student (after graduating from college in Paris). At that time, Sandrine was in her early 20's and I in my 40's. She arrived in New York last Tuesday, and because she invited me, I took the train to spend the day with her in New York City. I couldn't have asked for a better day nor a better time. We walked the day away, and most of it at the Central Park Zoo, where we saw sea lions performing, monkeys enjoying the good weather, 2 huge polar bears taking a nap on giant rocks, a beautiful snow leopard, little penguin looking things that were not penguins but looked like miniature penguins (puffins?), large turtles, and lovely birds. The city was alive with people walking without coats, as it was nearly 70 degrees. The park was alive with joggers, walkers, ice skaters, and a never ending parade of horse and buggies carrying people of all ages and cultures. It was a very special day and a wonderful memory spent with Sandrine. She is leaving tomorrow for France - safe journey, Sandrine. You are much loved.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

late afternoon

It's a beautiful fall day today and I just returned from a MSBS button show. I took my godchild, Jasmine, with me and she had a great time picking out buttons from poke boxes. I went to a pre estate tag sale yesterday and brought home 2 boxes of art supples. Now, I just have to stay home and make art! Here is a picture of my "Pal" in his "pod". Isn't he a sweetheart?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Collage Queens

What a fun day I had today. A few of my old high school friends came over to make art. They each brought something to share for lunch, and then we began making art. The time flew by and it was such a great time. Here are some pictures of the finished products! Pictured in the top photo (left to right) are Anne, Linda Jo, and Jan.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Backyard View

I couldn't help but take some photos of the fallen leaves in our back yard. The sea of crimson color on the ground was so inviting. Here it is in all of its splendor. Today is another heaven sent day in the high fifities and flooded with sunshine, until tonight when rain is forecast. We have been fortunate to be experiencing an awesome Indian Summer here in Western MA. Love it!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Latest portrait painting

This is my most recent portrait painting that I am entering in the TVAA exhibit on Monday at the Chicopee, MA Public Library. I just love this child's expression. I saw her sitting on her mom's lap at a wedding we attended and asked if I could take her picture. I don't even know her name, and I refer to her as "sweetie pie." I am hoping to be a winner, but either way, I will enjoy looking at her in my studio for inspiration!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Churchtown PA

Here are more photos from my PA trip. Today is a painting day. Need to finish for entry on Monday. Hope the paint dries!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

errands and spaghetti sauce and June

What a day! It flew by. I checked off a number of tasks on my list; however, did not get to paint as I had planned. Well, there will be a great meal tonight - my husband's favorite: pasta. He could eat it seven days a week. I'm off to my Artist's Association meeting tonight in Connecticut, so I invited one of my sons over to eat and to spend some time with his Dad. Here is a picture of June on the top of the cathedral ceiling ramp. She is "high in the sky" up amongst the clouds, snoozin away. She loves it because it is nice and warm (heat rises) and she can catch a really good view of the birds.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

My Jewelry Swap

These are sent from Emma, my jewelry swap partner from the UK. I was paired with her by Sam of "Incy Wincy Stitches" blog. It was a fun swap, using a button or buttons to create a piece of jewelry. Emma made me a "button bib" and sent along shortbread cookies as well. The hand cream and buttons were special extras. Thank you and big hugs to you Emma.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Squash Portraits

from the fence of Churchtown, PA. I love them all! What a wonderful idea. Which is your favorite?

It has been raining all day and a good day to spend in the art studio. I photographed many wood buttons in preparation for creating a program on wooden buttons to present for the MA Button Society Meeting next September. I have forgotten how to use the Keynote Program, and a friend is joining me on Thursday to help get me started. It is so good to have friends that are there for one when needed. The Patriots are playing the Titans currently on TV, and I am tempted to watch the game rather than go into my studio to paint. Hmmmmmm.