Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye 2011... Hello 2012

How do I sum up this past year? I can use almost every adjective that I can think of to explain this year. It was bad and good, it had its ups and downs… and more downs. It started with bad news at 9:30 am on January 1st, with a text telling me that there were some things going on in my life that I did not know the truth about. I can remember thinking and now I have 364 more days to go in this year? I had to make some very hard decisions in 2011. I had to find the courage ask the man that I have loved for 34 years for a divorce. I have had to come to grips with the fact that the life I thought I had was no longer. That being married and growing old together was not going to happen for us. I have learned and I am still learning about the legal side of divorce and custody, about “time-sharing” the kids. I had to move out of our home that I thought we would live in for many years… in 14 days. We had to find and move into a temporary place for a month and then move again. I feel like we have been packing and unpacking and moving stuff and moving it again for 5 months. All that happened while going back to work full-time in a new field of work. I have had to put my “art business” on hold temporarily. I have had to make a new life for our new family of 3. To try to keep some old traditions to provide security, yet start some new also. The first year of “firsts” is so hard.


There were many good things that happened this year also. My niece got married to the love of her life. My daughter graduated from high school and turned 18. I reached my 5 year anniversary of survivorship and lived to celebrate my 50th birthday. I found a job, in this economy. The company has now hired me as a full-time employee. We found a nice apartment in a safe neighborhood, close to a good school for my son. My daughter has a job and is going to school and she has been an amazing help to me and her little brother. We are all healthy. Let me say that one again… We are all healthy.

I am happy to say good bye to 2011. I am hoping for good health, peace and happiness for 2012. Many years ago, my brother-in-law gave me some advice. When you are on an airplane and the cabin pressure drops, you are instructed to put your mask on and then help your kids. I feel like that is what I have been doing the past 6 months. We have our masks on and hopefully can now breathe and stabilize in the New Year.

Lastly, I wish I could say that this year ended on a better note than it started but unfortunately I cannot. I received a call at about 5:30am this morning from my ex-husband letting me know that his youngest brother had passed away during the night. I have known Mike for over 40+ years. He was my Daughter’s Godfather. He made many people laugh. He loved the Buffalo Bills and the Buffalo Sabres. He loved California, (even though he did not live here), the sun, the beach and the Beach Boys. He referred to himself as “LA Mike”. He loved music especially Oasis and their song “Wonderwall”.  He knew so much music trivia. He was infamous for bringing over a pizza late at night (especially when the kids were younger and we were trying to get them to bed) and I am sure that the Burger King and McDonald’s drive thru staff knew him by name. Rest in Peace LA Mike…

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Another Good-bye

It is with such sadness that I add another name to the MB remembers column tonight. Judy Ohles Kooistra  who blogged at justenjoyhim...a fellow contributor to MotherswithCancer. Rest in Peace Judy.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Flora Bowley Bloom True - Final Phase

After our lunch break we got back to work. If we were stuck, Flora would urge us to "make a bold move".
Here are my final stages of each painting:

 and the progression of the piece that was gifted to me...

My finished pieces and the amazing Flora Bowley. If you ever have the chance to take one of her workshops do not even think twice. It was such a rewarding experience!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Hope you had a sweet Thanksgiving!

A vendor brought Thanksgiving in a box from The Great Dane Baking Co. In Huntington Beach, CA. as a treat at work.
Sweet creativity in a box! My favorite was the mashed potatoes and gravy.. it was yummy! I hope you all had a safe, sweet Thanksgiving. It has been a rough few months for us over here but I have to say I loved hearing my kids laugh today. I am so thankful for so much in my life right now and for all of the people who have reached out to help us.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Flora Bowley Bloom True - Second Phase

Flora did not want us to get too attached to our paintings just yet. She stopped us all from painting and told us to choose one painting to "gift" to our neighbor to our right. I did not have a hard time choosing. I liked the painting that I gifted, yet I felt is was too chaotic... perhaps a reflection of my life?
I kept my first painting and here are a few more steps:

 This was the painting I decided to "gift"...
 This was the painting that I received:
It was so interesting to receive a painting from someone else. I usually do not use a lot of blue so this was a complete departure to what I am use to and comfortable with for that matter.

It was at this time that we broke for lunch! But just before lunch if we were stuck Flora would say "make a bold move". My bold move was adding in all of the white for some contrast!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Flora Bowley Bloom True

Flora Bowley. Amazing artist, woman and so wise for her age. A few weekends ago I had the pleasure of taking a 2 day workshop with Flora and many other amazing artists. Jenny Doh hosted the retreat at Studio Crescendoh. This painting retreat was my 50th birthday present to myself. A few months earlier on my actual birthday, my husband of 28 years had chosen that particular day to move out. The kids and I went to Disneyland to celebrate and I will always remember that day. A few weeks later, I received and email blast that Flora was coming to the OC. I literally went online at 8am and secured my spot. Then I had to wait 3 months... and what a crazy 3 months it was. A separation, finding a job, my son starting a new school, finding a temporary apartment for a month that accepted pets, packing up, having a garage sale ,finding a mover who would move, store and re-deliver our stuff (who was an absolute nightmare) finding a yearly rental that accepts pets, hostage negotiations with our mover once he had our goods in his possession, moving into the yearly rental, court dates, 5 different types of attorneys... But I believe everything happens for a reason and the retreat came at a perfect time.

We created 2 - 30" x 30" paintings overs the 2 days. Layers and layers upon layers of paint, texture and color.

Here are the first 3 steps of painting one:

 (after the first layer, we took a turn at each and every painting and then returned to our own)
 Painting two:

I will share more in a few days...

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Good Morning!

This little heart greeted me this morning when I got into my car. I like to think that God is giving me little signs of love and encouragement to keep on going.

Monday, October 10, 2011

A Picture Says Thousand Words....

Or a few pictures... It has been over a month since my last post... it is hard to describe what has been happening in our lives over the past few months, but I think these pictures sum it up better than any words....

The life as we knew it or thought we knew it is gone... but a new life is waiting... thank you for checking in on this blog of mine and stay tuned for our next chapter...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Speeding Cars..

This is my beautiful and talented daughter singing Speeding Cars by Imogen Heap. The higher this girl sings the sweeter her voice gets. I am partial but I'm just sayin...

I love how she coordinated her heart with my heart piece in the background...

"Can"struction Orange County

I went to South Coast Plaza the other night in search of pants that fit...After 3 hours I finally found a pair.. and they fit... but the zipper was broken. Of course the system said there was one more pair, but it was no where to be found. I had not been to South Coast in awhile and did not realize that it does not stay open very late on Saturday. As I started to walk through the mall I noticed Canstruction. This was the 4th annual design/build competition to benefit the Orange County Food Bank. I just love creativity and brilliant ideas... There may have been more than this, but it was getting late so this is all I have for you:

nibbling away at hunger...
Flounder and Sebastian...
I love his grin...

Hello Kitty...

My favorite FIDM... Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising...
Clams on the bottom and sardines on the top.
"To lend a hand in the purseuit of toteally bagging hunger, the inside of our handbag has been filled with cans of diced tomatoes, mxed vegetables, beans, potatoes, corn, carrots and peas; the outside is sardines and crab meat totaling 9500 cans."

I. love. it...

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Little Reds

Meet "Little Reds".....

I was inspired by The Flower Fields in Carlsbad when I created "Paint them Red". 

A client who found me through that post bought "Paint Them Red" and this piece has now found a new home in Northern California . So I created Little Reds, which is about 1/4 of the size of Paint Them Red. It is now mounted and framed and is for sale at Ornate Home on Balboa Island.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Monday, On a Budget...

All of a sudden I find myself trying to find clothes to wear to an office job. I am on a budget… as most people are, especially in this economy. I have a lot of sweaters and tops but not much in the way of slacks and skirts that are office appropriate. I have also lost weight and I am about 90 pounds. Time for some creativity. I went to the kids department at Macy’s. They had one style of pants that would pass for business and of course they had exactly one pair and of course it was not my size. So up to the junior department I went. Luckily this time of year there are great sales. I found one dress and one pair of cropped pants that fit and were on sale.

So here is my build-up of Monday’s outfit:
I found this dress… not really sure why it was in the junior department as I can not see any junior really wearing it.. But perhaps that is why it was waiting for me on the sale rack. Originally $54.00... on sale for $32.40. Today’s price was $27.00. Macy’s is notorious for sales… but there usually are so many disclaimers… you have to use your Macy’s charge and you have to buy it on this day at this time, etc… So I have made it a practice to just ask “ are there any coupons that would work for this item?’” Usually the clerk will try one of the zillion coupons at their register… Bingo it took another few dollars off and the final cost: $22.95! I love black and white together! The splash of bright green… one of my favorite colors was just a bonus.
Next I added this sweater… I had this in my closet already.. See the favorite color comment above.
My favorite platform shoes from last year…
My Harvey’s seatbelt bag in black and white from who knows how long ago… and voila:
The nice thing about living in a warmer climate is that I will be able to wear this dress into the Fall. I can add a pair of black pumps and perhaps a black sweater and make it work longer!

All part of my Not-So Simple Abundance plan. I did email Sarah Ban Breathnach to see if she had any problems with me using the Not-So before her trademarked Simple Abundance title… no answer yet!

Have a great week…

Friday, August 26, 2011

My Star....

I have been super busy this week with a lot of changes going on over here, some I can talk about and some I can't yet. You may have to wait to read my book... I should say our book. It is going to be a Mother/Daughter book, we had this idea that one side is my story and then you flip the book over and read her story. While we are writing that masterpiece you can listen to this:
 She can even go higher... and the higher she goes the sweeter her voice gets!!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Always an Artist

Last Friday I had a job interview and we met at a local coffee shop. When my new boss picked up her drink I noticed this heart in the froth. So me being the artist, I quickly got out my phone and asked if i could take a picture? 

Not sure if it was the most appropriate interview practice, but it is the real me!

Sunday, August 21, 2011


This is my daughter's first You Tube Video. She has an amazing voice and a sweet personality to go with it!

Ever since she was little, no matter where we were... a store, the post office, just doing our errands, people would stop in their tracks and comment on her voice. After many years of waiting for someone who promised to "get her into the recording studio" she is taking the matter into her own hands. Please tell your friends... if Justin can do it so can Nina Maria!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

His path...

I  sketched this piece a long time ago and I gave everyone a first glimpse in this post
This is my progression over the past few months:

I forgot to take some pictures of the last few steps but I finished the piece and I picked it up from the photographer today:

It really does not need much explanation... 
I ask for His guidance every morning and every night...

The original is available as well as Fine Art Prints and Giclees on Canvas...Please email me if you are interested!


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