november 18, 42 degrees, 21 tonight with hard freeze warning, (people are scurrying home from work, already accidents all over the highways) - i have the windows open and ceiling fans on.....

ok, it's probably my problem.


inched out

it's finally cooler and breezy, taking away some of the staleness. ohio is getting snow.....
i am growing tired of my inch-arts. made a whole bunch, don't know what to do with them. now that i have started small, i guess maybe i should go a little bigger - probably ATC's and off-beat scrap pages... baby steps....at this rate, i might make a decent-sized painting by the time i'm dead! i realize that these tiny canvases bring me the feeling that i have a tiny bit of control. i can produce order, even if only one inch at a time.
my house is a live, relentless hurricane. whenever i get it all sorted (into manageable piles) luka goes through and sweeps the toys, kitchen utensils and other non-toy essentials into a carpet of items that, if stepped upon, would cause a trip to the ER for extraction. dinosaurs, trucks and tiny pieces of toys...
piles are my method of organizing. i have piles everywhere, and now i am making piles of tiny colored thingys, or i make a 6 x 6 assortment if i'm really ambitious. yes, for those who also do that, i do admit that 6 x 6 is just a lame way for me to commit, or to give the bad ones a place to hide amongst the ones that turn out ok. :)


3 at 3

november 3rd, 3 am, 2005.
no one can forget the moment their child is born. for me, my kids' birthdays are more difficult than exciting. instead of reveling in their growth, i want to go back to that moment when i first looked in their eyes and hold them close forever. when i was young, i didn't want kids. then i found out i was pretty sick and couldn't have them anyway. then it mattered. but we didn't heed the docs warning to try immediately after my surgery if i wanted any chance.

6 years later, on the first try, our miracle daughter em came along. then, after a 5 1/2 year struggle, through the miscarriage of our daughter (we named her maggie), i held what i hoped was a sister for em. but what we got was a boy. and now i could never ever dream of a life without a boy. he is amazing, and after a difficult painful and diabetic pregnancy he refused to leave my ribcage even with 4.5 days of induced labor - so he came to us c-section.

my em turned 10 13 days ago, and my son is 3 today. but i can still smell those minutes, feel their skin and tiny breath, hear their cries....i've got to remember all of that and still turn around and see how incredible they are, and how much they make me proud to be their mama.

physically too, it was a really long recovery from being pregnant with my son. with more health problems now, my age already catching up, i have been far from the same. it's hard most days to keep up with them both and i have a lot of help from rodney, but he is back in school, and not really with me...we are in separate places in life. and i am here, where i promised i would never come, and after a complete year (on halloween night) i am still not a part of this place. i still miss home with a deep sadness, miss the boys, miss my/our good life and the comfort of knowing my city inside out. it took more than 23 years to make that life, a life i bitched about because there had to be someplace more beautiful to live. i was thinking the mountains or northwest. my husband and i dreamed excessively about getting out of town and heading northwest to oregon or montana, maybe even canadian rockies. so why was that rendered not important? we made a quick decision at a bad time, and spent all of our money making it happen, just to pat ourselves on the back for doing the right thing.

i digress. but it's all i think about....well, almost. the other stuff is confidential...
starting over??!! not in any way, except in a long-lasting end-of the road kind of way. how do you turn back now that new boundaries have been set with family? some family... other family boundaries haven't changed at all. i want my happy life back. i want to breathe again..........


need art....

need to do something more artistic than my daughter's math project to spend a million dollars...it's a great time capsule for her turning 10 - don't even get me started on how much that just depresses me. my boy will be THREE monday....mostly i feel achy that i will never have that time again...
the desire to smell the newborn-ness, to curl up all day with a tiny baby at my breast...without the possibility of ever having that honor again...the insane exhaustion..... those days of oblivion that never repeat and never end and disappear before you can draw a breath.

i digress (sp?). i haven't done too much for myself lately because of her party, halloween, costume issues, projects, dishes, her impending bronchitis, that boy's insane cuteness that makes me stop in my tracks to stare ....hopeless i am. not much in the way of company or here-ness from the student husband of mine...not happy that we don't have jobs - well, i am working a little, couple hundred a month at most. still, i have to go get the dreaded endoscopy i have been putting off for 9 months- my uncle is fighting strong his stomach cancer - well, a possible misnomer as he no longer has a stomach...and rodney's brother near death's door with liver failure...

but that is tooo depressing for me, and stressful. i want to go home really badly. i miss the boys a lot and emma's friends, and our weedy backyard and fresh air....uuuuugh. i bitched so much about getting away from there and now i want it all back. 

haven't heard from somerset , don't really expect to but people keep asking. i so want to submit to somerset memories, but whatever affliction holds me pretty hostage with exhaustion keeps me from being creative. it seems, and i hope i am reading it wrong, that scrapping has been taking a turn back to the simple times with diecuts and fancy scissors...templates....maybe all the great scrappers got so creative and off the edge stylewise that they all submit to somerset memories, and creating keepsakes and memory makers are seeing fewer submissions....those magazines have become barely thicker than the ads from our local gym!

enough...my reason for getting on today was to vent...i'm struggling and little things are getting to me. but there was a shining moment...a glimmer of happiness....a message...that took me by complete surprise and stole my breath...someone unexpected was thinking of me and that just made everything else go away...if even for a brief moment. now i need to get back to reality...and that million dollar project, and my dishes.


i miss

I miss
the boys and my missy kim
emma's friends
AMAZING toledo museum of art (kicks high's butt)
AMAZING toledo zoo (and detroit, columbus, cleveland zoos)
AMAZING park system
turkey hill philadelphia style vanilla bean ice cream
tony packos chunky garlic dills
barry bagel's salt bagel w/roast beef
day-trips to ann arbor
non-smoking city!!!!
rosary cathedral - especially high mass
our backyard and screen porch, sandy soil
my big tub/shower and bath window that opens
level driveway – omg a level driveway
my basement, my utility sink, my well to water, having water!
my huge front window and great entryway
wood floors
dr.ruth, dr.smale, dr.mahmood, kids' peds !!!!!
having the lakes nearby – olander, erie, Michigan
not being able to see the flecks perform again…
bowling green DQ's huge purple dip cones and greasy burgers
Rodney smelling like ford (?)…. uh, job security….a job!
some knowledge of the hospital system in case I need it
ben franklin in bg
recycling dumpsters within 1 mile…a box when I need one
knowing where i am



and not just any magazine, either. i figured, if i were to be turned down by anyone, i would like it to be the very top.... SOMERSET STUDIO. wow, just saying it gives me willies. who do i think i am asking somerset if they would like my work enough to put it in their golden vault....


list of submissions: (all are black-pen drawings in different forms)
1 exemplar
3 inchie collection series
1 paper charm hanging
2 pen drawings
7 ATC cards

list of supplies used – same for all submissions:
zig writer .5/1.2mm, pure black
marvy pigmented artist, fine/broad, no.1 black
zig millennium, .05, black
pigma micron 01, black
pigma micron 08, black
us artquest perfect paper adhesive
pebbles inc. I kan dee chalk, pastels
bazzill cardstock
"paper charms: bird loft" : string pulled across chalk to color, all 3-d mounting is done with tiny squares of cardstock glued together to give height, string is glued between layers


50 things that make me happy

dispense as written / in random order / nonprioritized
  1. rain –sound, smell and feel
  2. fire –sound, sight and smell
  3. magazines –mainly scrap and art- smell and paper type are important
  4. cool weather – 50-60 degrees and breezy
  5. snow
  6. big mountains and woods, i love trees
  7. my kids' running and laughing
  8. christmas cards with glitter – glitter is uber cool
  9. hersheys milk chocolate – mostly with jif creamy
  10. good music by talented musicians
  11. 30's and 40's music
  12. 50's, 60's and 70's styles, kitsch, furniture
  13. fonts - free fonts
  14. high mass at rosary cathedral + large choirs
  15. forensic and crime shows
  16. being up post-dusk to pre-dawn
  17. writing – journaling, papermate pens, thin paper
  18. thrift stores
  19. estate sales
  20. rummage sales
  21. birds and crickets and frogs singing
  22. art, art, more art, creating, enjoying and living it
  23. skipping around online, finding art and weird sites
  24. tiny wood, glass and metal containers, boxes, vials
  25. old medical, art, science and lit books with lots of old pics
  26. photographs – taking, viewing and messing with digitally
  27. down-time and naps, coool showers
  28. a really good meal, mostly comfort food
  29. beeeeeeeads...........odder+older=better
  30. tiny fantasy worlds : fairies & dragons
  31. "reality" shows: top chef, project runway, ID channel, house
  32. movies – drama, disney + pixar, funny, suspense, indies, fantasy
  33. popcorn, corn on the cob, corn nuts!
  34. paranormal, ghosts, unexplained mysteries
  35. old rosaries, medals, angels and holy cards
  36. christmas lights – mini, multi, blinking, big bulbs, any kind, any time
  37. sticks and stones, twigs and rocks
  38. waterfalls, the sound of water in brooks and streams
  39. my blanket and pillow, and cool, crisp fresh sheets
  40. scrapbooking, reading about scrapbooking, buying scrap stuff
  41. little, old, toys or toy pieces, broken or not
  42. vintage ephemera, postcards, weird ads
  43. collaging – cutting and pasting (since forever) –titanium or fiskars microtip scissors
  44. turkey hill philadelphia style vanilla bean ice cream, or breyers vanilla bean since i can't get turkey hill
  45. dill pickles (mt olive), black and green olives, green olives stuffed with garlic, dilled brussel sprouts, mild dilled cauliflower, tony packos chunky garlic pickles
  46. moon, clouds, stars (and vintage glittery stars)
  47. getting packages and hand-written mail ( hand-signed cards are a treat anymore!)
  48. childrens' art, art done as therapy by anyone
  49. psychology, especially abnormal and criminal
  50. daydreaming
i am constantly making lists of stuff to buy, to do, to make, to send, i guess to feel like i am in control of something, even if the crap never gets done. i also make lists of stuff the kids do and say, and their achievements, but then i lose them in my piles, my chaos. here they might be safe. for awhile, til this site becomes a mess too. then there are the lists about me. i do these lists only to have a record for my children of my semi-sane side. i want them to know normal things about me, that they might not just remember difficult days and---


other stuff i'm doing....

stuff i have been addicted to this month: downloading and organizing new free fonts (no reason), sucking-in pictures of vintage seahorses and mermaids (off ebay) - for inspiration - ....and searching for stuff i've not searched before for mix-media art: gumball charms-vintage mostly, old flash cards or game cards with cool pictures, german scrap - silver, mardi-gras beads, and vintage japanese plastic cabochons.......oooooh, want to expand my room full of little boxes full of joy....

doing it..............

finally getting some art done.......using fine-line archival pigment pens - black - and drawing on pieces of archival paper. this is to make it all feel official, and in case i like something it will last a while! i have been coming up with stuff i used to draw as a kid. some of my favorite things to draw are very detailed, small decorative designs. they look like lace sometimes, but i am trying to get subject matter to at least make some ATC's. i used to color these extremely detailed coloring pictures that would take weeks to finish and lots of fine markers-- fairies, mushrooms, nature. so far i have also drawn a dragon, skulls, and lots of textural inchies for practice.
i am actually pretty proud of myself.....i have been drawing every day!!!!!!!! i need complete uninterrupted time to work. i have the tv on for company, but like to just dive-in and get absorbed. it's very therapeutic, esp when i come up with stuff i like. some of the things remind me of the drawings i did when i was really manic, but that's ok, right now it's relaxing......
i will try to photo these and post them.......
not using my scrap space, BTW, just my corner of the couch where i have a tiny workspace set up, it's my fave spot in the house, maybe i'll take a pic of that too.


my studio space

i am pretty excited about having a studio space....i have been "waiting" for a chance to have a space of my own for creating. about the time my daughter was born i envisioned me scrapping these amazingly artsy and fun, happy scrap pages of her so very gorgeous little face. she will be 10 in october. i have put a lot of money into supplies and dreams, and now i almost have a space where i can do stuff - scrap, sew, paint, burn, make things. 

i keep myself very busy organizing and sorting, my best friend kim can attest to time wasted....but now it's all pretty and all i need is a table - no smaller than 3x5, and a nice bright light. i see the one we had at our house when we were kids - the kind of alien space-ship shaped thing that you can pull down closer to the table for extra light, then pull it again slightly to make it go back up. do you know where i can find one of these things?? ebay had 2 - but no glass. might have to hit ikea....
basically, my struggle here is getting started after so many years of building up my vision. everyone, i guess has this issue, and i accept it as part of the creative process but i also have that part of my brain that sets me up to fail. what if i suck? what if i can't find that piece of me that lets me do what i love? did it get eaten by the meds? i remember that i was mostly in not a great place when i did my better stuff. is that my only reason for making paintings and collages? or have i been given the gift of a really amazing form of self therapy??

i will begin with little sketches and drawings and ATCs (my version of them, anyway). i have been doing some drawing every day lately, and i will get the time and nerve to post it, just for fun and to see it stare back at me. that somehow makes it credible for me. ok, so i should go and work while i have sun. i will try to post a pic of my space today as well.
now if i could just get people off my back about swimming and going out.....


musically impaired :: 24 hour update

yes, i have listened to a lot of music in the last few hours...several songs that i dnloaded for my daughter (9.66 years old), and others that i have heard only a handful of times and always loved, but never bought. i have this thing about getting a cd - and listening to 1, maybe 2 songs, then putting it at the bottom of the pile, you know, to protect the rest of the cd's from any tiny floods or misc damage from below....(?)
i enjoyed listening during the day, when we were doing stuff around the house and the kids were having fun, but as the day wore on, it was more challenging to just relax and take it in. there was that moment, not unlike benny and joon, where i ran to the pc to turn it down....actually there are times when i shove my fingers into my ears to quiet my world - then i get that suffocating claustrophobia and i really could pass out.
good grief, right? i have this hope that by putting this stuff in front of my face, and making myself be honest, it might just go away....kind of like that picture i drew in college...
so, here is what i collected online, if you are interested.
  • andrea bocelli - ave maria, la donnamobile, time to say goodbye w sarah brightman
  • bing crosby - melekalikimaka (from nat'l lampoon's xmas vacation), and young at heart w guy lombardo ( i really want guy lombardo's 3 little fishies, can't find it as single)
  • collective soul - shine
  • daniel powter - bad day
  • eels - jelly dance (love this one)
  • finger eleven - one thing (love this one too - want to hear more)
  • goo goo dolls - name and slide (i so want better days and give a little bit)
  • janis joplin - me and bobby mcgee
  • jet - hold on from spiderman 2
  • jeff stewart - from his website....great artist too!!!
  • josh groban - you raise me up
  • lenny kravitz - i love the rain, if you want it
  • massive attack - inertia creeps and of course teardrop (i'm a house freak)
  • men at work - down under (nostalgia)
  • natasha bedingfield - these words and unwritten, which is a really awesome tune, these are for my daughter, but she has great talent
  • pink - don't let me get me (want the pill song)
  • ray charles - light out of darkness, messaround - everyone has to have this one - i will be searching for more ray oldies
  • roisin murphy - primitive (while looking for rama lama song)
  • rusted root - send me on my way and a drum solo, both live
  • snow patrol - chasing cars, run, you could be happy -these guys are new to me
  • the flecks - bessy, mr submarine man, now you're an angel - which is pure beauty, time is around (these are all on their myspace site, but now that their awesome bassist sent me the 1st cd i have them all!) thanks, V
  • lemon heads - being around (funny)
  • train - calling all angels, they call me free, when i look to the sky - need ordinary, also from spiderman
  • t-rex - i love to boogie (loved billy elliot, so love this song)
  • u2 - mission impossible theme (i own almost all of their other stuff)


musically impaired

i've always had a passion for music. it has always been there for me when i can't take life, reality. that's ironically the problem with it. i used to love listening to headphones and losing myself. i am sooo very claustrophobic i can't do it anymore. i'm trying as i write this to listen to some stuff i am downloading and i can only let them rest on my neck, because i am alone in the room. music itself is, to me, akin to the door they talk about in ghost hunter shows... the portal through which my senses and heart take over and bolt. gone. i can go all psych on this, but really, all it is is that songs have a way of lifting me off the floor and taking away my gravity. should be good, right? then i have the fear of being suspended or not in control of groundedness...like why i tried but can't water or snow ski, or skate. anyone with me so far? i feel , well, surrounded when i play loud music (or tv) and really miss that experience......you know that feeling when you're listening to a great song and it kind of wraps itself around you? brings back the youthful memories or ignites dreams of new experiences? 

i have a pretty huge palette of musical taste, cultured by both good and bad influences in my life, and i appreciate all of the lessons. i can go from bach to marilyn manson in a heartbeat, skipping through opera, folk, classic rock, african and hindu and blues on the way. i most love 30's and 40's stuff, bing crosby, alternative, classical and even some, gasp, pop. i never listen to the radio unless i can get a good mellow station or public radio, and haven't bought a cd in - many moons.

peter gabriel is one of my idols. i followed his concerts in college, once almost becoming stranded in a blizzard to get there. i had the privilege to see his UP tour, and own almost every cd he has made, including a german version of shock the monkey. i get as many of the source albums as i can afford, and find those to be some of my favorite songs! even my kids love those. my brother went to see him sing with sinead, and i think i shall never forgive him for leaving TWO UNUSED TICKETS behind without telling me. dude!

sinead was another long-time musical companion, as was enya. that means i have many of their cd's and could go to them over and over. i have since somehow abandoned them because i cannot listen to their music without being jolted back in time to places i care not go on most days. i am desperately trying to build a new songlist of nicer, happier music. more inspiring. i know not where to go. my brother gave me a nice collection of a bunch of his stuff. being an audio engineer and past band member, and collector of all cool instruments, he had quite a nice selection....but i lost it all when my pc crashed. TODAY I DOWNLOADED MY VERY FIRST MUSIC ONLINE. ok, after you pick your butts up off the floor, i have to say i got what i knew i would, hooked. for hours i grabbed what i could and left this place we call earth. 

there are times and days when i am extremely input overloaded, and i can't even listen to the thoughts in my head much less the sounds of my house, kids, husband and outside world at the same time. music is kind of like that for me... a sensory overload that calms, charges, inspires and exhausts me. when i have the need for background music, i put on singers and standards channel, adult alternative or sometimes reggae or blues. a lot of soundtracks have led me to new interests....and those vary greatly as well. i only wish i could sit all day and collect the music that makes me feel light.

my husband and i went to an alanis concert back before kids, and though we were the eldest people present, we had a blast. then we went to - drumroll - a bar!!! last november to hear a friend's local band ....now, i'm not sure how best to express the discomfort i feel in a dark, crowded bar, but it's up there on my list of most feared atmospheres. i was soooo excited to go that i actually blocked the over-packed parking lots out of my head as we walked from across the street. when we got inside i managed to not pass out when i became one with the throng of people. i even pulled my husband to the stage with my eyes mostly closed, so i could have the best view and be untouched on at least 2 of my 4 sides (yes, i am square). wow....we don't go out (unless there is a coupon for free kids' meals or someone dies or gets married) but being we were under some of the worst stress in our 20 year relationship, we agreed with this friend that a break was a good idea. the band was incredible, the music was absorbing for me, and standing in front of the speaker was miraculously not the death of me! in fact, i couldn't bring myself to leave and even took pictures with my phone! all i can say is thank you for such a great departure from my life, for a memorable trip back to my more alive self, and a plain old awesome time. it's almost good we moved 850 miles away, as one more of those nights would have done me in!!! your cd's are already worn!

so, if you're still with me, tell me what to do to overcome my fear of loss of control when listening to music?! i can't take much more quiet down here, i feel so alone. does anyone get this??? i truly loooove good music, and i can't just listen to the same stuff forever....when someone asks what new songs i like, i can't keep starting my answer with "laurie berkner". my now-sister-in-law made us a cd mix of all moving/home/south songs, and it was one of the best gifts i ever received. there are great tunes, none of which i have ever heard, and all truly good music, and it has become one of my favorite cd's. i even love reading the playlists of other artists, thinking the mental kinship might find me something new to love.
maybe reading a list of some of my favorite artists (see my other post) and hearing my story will strike someone like you who understands or feels sad for me "{ to make me a cd mix of grounded exhileration? i can't afford to download a whole shitload of music right now, and it's probably just as well, as i am an addict when it comes to some things...tell me how crazy this is?!



ok, we moved here, it was our choice, and we did it for family, but i don't think, in all honesty and reality, that i can live here for the rest of my life. this heat has already got me severely claustrophobic and exhausted! i am sooo crabby and edgy, i cannot for the life of me figure out why i didn't insist that i truly cannot handle the heat.
so the kids and i sit in the house, go nowhere unless necessary, and we are already getting on each other about stupid stuff. E insists she doesn't mind, R is so far not convinced he understood himself and his own heat tolerances, and me, ha, i am feeling hellish. L - well, he gets beet red outside when he runs, and keeps turning from the sun like it's burning his little retinas.
it's amazing how if you cannot tolerate cold, people sympathize and will talk endlessly about how it is horrible and painful and they can't wait til it's over - then you talk about the heat. people roll their eyes and act as if you are some kind of alienish non-human wimp.
"you'll get used to it" (no! i won't!)
"it doesn't feel so hot after a while" (because your BRAIN IS FRIED - ALL PERCEPTION IS LOST)
"wear lighter clothes!" (ok - don't get me started on fat clothes for summer)
and - my alltime fave-
"SOME SUN IS GOOD FOR YOU" (yes, the time it takes me to take out the garbage...)
-oh, and i do know that it's possible to acclimate slowly, a little each day...i don't care.
how can anyone think it's good to spend time out in the sun!!?? people lay around down here in nothing but strings, shiny from oil to make it darker, and they think it makes them healthy to turn orangy-brown. oh yes - horribly sexy!
when i go out in temps above 85, humid or not, i feel like i am instantly suffocating. my eyes burn. my skin burns. my meds make me temperately-compromised and after about 15 minutes i feel weak, sick and seriously a little delirious! am i alone?????? NO!! do not admit you hate the heat!!!! you will be laughed at, scorned and then excluded from the elite group of masochists who "tan easily".
go away. i am planning my escape to the northwest mountains.
am i ignorant about global warming, am i just too paranoid? the sun is SO much hotter than when we were kids....all the stuff about UV ratings, extra high sun lotion coverage numbers, UVB and UVA protection, wear a hat, drink lots of fluids - it's all a bunch of crap, right??? oh, i know, i hear you - "it's all about moderation..."
ok. i'll stay inside, where the temp is moderate
you know what the only good part about hot days is??? that when you come in, or finally just get enough time to take a cool shower, and you feel that water hit you, the heat slides from your head to your feet, and you feel, for that moment, so very alive! 


favorite movie/tv quotes

in no particular order, possibly not entirely letter for letter:

  •  "oh, do stop talking" (lila on dexter, in a deep english/brit accent)
  • "that's strangely involuntary" -ratatouille
  • "that is our most modestly priced receptacle" -big lebowski
  • "Has the whole world gone crazy? Am I the only one around here who gives a shit about the rules?" -big lebowski
  • "LOOK AT IT! LOOK AT IT!" -seinfeld
  • "look away, i'm hideous" -seinfeld
  • "We've got ourselves a nodder!" -cars, disney
  • "You think they'll have THAT on the tour?" -jurassic park
  • "I need unguent." -fargo
  • "the sea monkey has my money" -nemo


OH MY GOSH this was quite a day... mike and ashley got together around the time my boy was born, known each other for years before that....i have never seen mike so happy, and she is amazing- almost surreally so....
the wedding was at a beautiful gardens/inn place south of town and it felt almost detached from daily life. it was like a spread from a victoria magazine with everyone in pretty dresses, especially the little girls, and many wearing floppy garden hats....we had an umbrella to keep the heat off the kids.
it was a pretty short ceremony led by their long-time friend/co-worker, music provided by a victrola. dinner followed on the wrap-around porch of the inn with fans overhead....southern fried chicken, collard greens, corn cobs and mac-n-cheese! lemonade and sweet tea to drink - and let me tell you, i have never had or been interested in collard greens - but these were so incredibly good i must get the recipe....
the cake was red velvet - never had that either and i am telling you it was dreamy! cream frosting, side of mousse with fresh berries....and to top it off ---a's dad picked enough strawberries wednesday to make jars of fresh "kohlerberry" jam for everyone....
the whole thing was so sweet - the girls playing in their organza by the pool that looked like a garden koi pond - trees and flowers blooming everywhere - a's dad in suspenders, and the old inn with gorgeous wooden floors and antiques...
honestly, it was the most beautiful wedding ever. and very small - which made it even more personal and very intimate. awesome, ash!!!! (oh, yeah, the bride "fell" into said pool while cooling with her best friend) go see the pictures in my web album!



....i spent it cleaning out the drain in our shower-smaller-than-a-public-restroom-stall.....got the toilet brush stuck in it..........that was funny.....least it doesn't smell mildewy anymore....
HAPPY MOTHERS' DAY to anyone who has ever changed a diaper....
to anyone who has ever wondered if their kids love them....
anyone who has forgotten to sign their kid's assignment book (no recess!)...
anyone who has gotten ulcers over their sick kids....
anyone who can't stop saying "no. not today"....
anyone who keeps looking for lightening mcqueen even though you know your kid lost it....
anyone who wonders if you did enough for your family today...
anyone who can't figure out what that smell is.....
anyone who takes 10 minutes to read a book, play cars or polly or who watches aladar...again....
anyone who adores the smell of peanutbutter, juice and sweat in their hair....
anyone who would rather hold their child in their arms than do anything else in the world.


out of context....

  • "there was an easter egg with pudding in it in the corner."
  • my brother: "no, because i saw the jelly in the trunk"
  • from rodney: "smell me, i've been exfoliated"....wait....that wasn't out of context at all.



well, i am now past "just turning" 40.....
my motto this year is FORTITUDE. "brave determination".
i have every intention of trying to be brave this year.
every intention of trying to become a practicing "artist",
which only means
being determined
to make a few hundred scrapbook pages,
to make some paintings, some mini icons,
lots of art cards,
and maybe even try to get published......finally.

too much pressure? sure.
especially since my top goal is to become a better parent.
baba said "life begins at 40". i do believe her...
but, 41 was the WORST year of my life, so we'll see...



anyone who knows me is painfully aware of my need to collect stuff. i grab something thinking i will use it for a project, then it gets stored in an old shoebox, then i forget about it. but it’s there. i don’t think any of my collections have any monetary value.
sometimes i think, when i see something at a rummage sale or thrift store….i’m sure that i will never see another one of those again, for that price anyway. the price is key. thus the lack of value…see?
maybe creating a list of my collections will be good therapy. maybe it will be a bridge to a new friend who collects what i do. or, maybe i am becoming uber-obssessive about my stuff. it cost us almost $10,000 to move it all down here, so i better shine some light on some of this stuff and make something…
ok, so here it is in all it’s too-much-info glory:
  • STRANGE LITTLE ODD TOYS : i especially like very small and weird or somehow unusual toys, even if it’s just the color that makes it different. i have 4 sets of old apothecary drawers to store them all. even toy pieces make bring me happiness! i love little unusual animals, odd people figures, marbles (esp clay), old dice and game peices....frogs and turtles, wind-up tin toys...all very small.
  • SMALL BOXES, TINS, CONTAINERS : LOVE tiny wood, soapstone, metal, or plastic things with lids (or not) especially very old, hand made boxes or glass vials from jewelry parts or even nice, simple hotel shampoo containers to store beads! i LOVE tiny vintage wood boxes that screw closed-like from jewelry parts - and the tiny tins that keep them sorted…want more…
  • OLD BOOKS : poem, literature, art, biology, religion, and garden books…. most of my collection consists of medical books - surgery, anatomy, disease and nursing. they MUST have great pictures or illustrations and smooth pages. the heavier the better, the smaller the better, the ones that smell old are bonus points. mostly, unless it’s really awesome content, it must have awesome pictures. i am slowing down with this one too, unless it’s under $1.50, i won’t bite.
  • CHILDREN'S BOOKS : i also have an insatiable need to gather childrens’ books that are well illustrated. they are mostly old, from my childhood era (ok, vintage then :] ). my favorites are “retro” style, absolutely must have pictures, and has to be a good story. these i buy at used kids shops or thrift stores, rummage sales. my kids have over 1000 books.
  • RELIGIOUS ITEMS : i have a pretty cool box full of medals, crosses, old rosaries, plastic figures - saints and marys and such, holy cards and tiny prayer/icon cards. since i was raised catholic, that’s what most of my stuff is, but i would like to branch out a little. catholic stuff is so addictive for me. i have 2 shoeboxes full of this stuff.
  • SMALL BLUE PLASTIC ANGELS: i started a small group (7) of blue plastic and ceramic angels -not more than 2 or 3 inches tall. love the more worn-out ones, mostly i find old christmas angels.
  • SHINY PAPER : ( i AM a racoon)…i love little scraps of shiny or textured paper - mostly
  • SEWING SCRAPS : old ribbon, ricrac, seam binding, cool old buttons, sequins, yadayada. use this stuff to put little accents on things or to make tiny quilted cards. i have a literal ton of fabric. (i had more than twice as much before we moved, but i gave more than half to the linus project ladies.) i have an intense need to recycle…i made 2.5 quilts anyway, that’s enough. ok, i have 4 kitchen sink boxes and about 4 office boxes full, and maybe a shoebox ..or 2 of sewing scraps/buttons/notions.
  • COLLAGE MATERIALS : definitely my most embarrasing collection. i have approx 3 office boxes fuuuull of magazine and encyclopedia clippings and misc ephemera. i have made 1 large collage journal, and have recently started to make ATC’s (art trading cards, not to trade but to get inspired). i have also started altering books. i want to alter other stuff, i love to decoupage. in truth, the cutting and pasting is very relaxing for me, and i do it regularly, mostly right now i cut up my scrapbook magazines to keep ideas in - yes, yet another journal...i love ephemera like old written notes or lists or strange ads, sketches or doodles, and welcome any scraps anyone has to offer.
  • SMALL BIRDS (and other orphaned creatures) : i've got a great small pink florenza metal limoge? bird, a ceramic weird retro bird planter (4 inches), and an olive-colored glass bird, as well as a very old xmas tree clip-on bird from my baba.....wish i could have one more.....so only 3 birds, but a new interest in small, old birds and bird images......i also take in small, odd ceramic frogs, turtles and squirrels..oh, and the occassional weird elephant!
  • PHOTOGRAPHS: ok, i have several thousand pictures of my kids and most are no good, but i keep them all, now on cd's. but i always take in old, unwanted photos and postcards and i hope to collect more photos, even ones that aren't so good - they make excellent collage material.
  • JUNK : this is a rather loose term for the few boxes of discarded items i have to keep. pieces of wood, parts of frames, broken stuff, old doll parts.. not sure why i still collect this stuff, once wanted to do more assemblages, guess i want to keep it on the burner..
  • BEADS: wow, i went crazy here between college and kids…kimmy and i and our well-focused bead brains….this was my most acute binging- mostly at rummage sales and thrift stores, some catalog orders…we would sit up all night unstringing costume jewelry and dividing our finds, also searching for the all-important storage bottels…what memories! color, vintage-ness, and uniqueness were top priority. hmm…i have about 5 of those plastic sweater boxes of beads and related tools…
  • STICKERS : well, i don’t collect much of these anymore, but i have to say i have an incredibly stupidly large amount of these….a forever interest that got out of control at the dawn of scrapbooking as a serious hobby…i have since moved on to rub-ons to keep the collection down, but my 40% coupons don’t help…
  • CATS :i have about 100 vintage and “retro” ceramic, chalk, glass, plastic and porcelain cats. i am finished with this collection unless i find something i can’t resist. it was a pre-child, college interest.
  • SCRAPBOOK SUPPLIES, BOOKS, MAGAZINES :this is my most valuable, or shall i say, financially draining collection. i have gotten a lot better at going obssessive, but i do have doubles due to the stupid need to use my 40% michaels and joann coupons - duh. currently i am amassing quite a ridiculous collection of patterend paper (vintage, distressed and retro) and rub-ons. STOP ME!
i cannot believe you're still reading this....maybe there ARE other people who can appreciate hoarding of all things personally beautiful and potentially new!!? i want to read others' lists of collections, so i will be skipping around other blogs to find people as obssessive as me. thanks for your interest!

*06.2011 update: i will be adding photos of these collections in the near future

"i have a website!"

it's now may - and just now i am getting online to share our new life...it is a little pathetic, but i have really recently given in to wanting a website of my own. this is all new to me...

so here i am ....i'm starting out wanting to show mostly our yankee friends and family what we have gotten ourselves into. those who already reside down here don't want to see any more than they have to! bear with me - it will take me a while to find all the pictures i want to put up. not sure what else i want to do here online....

we miss nw ohio in general, and we so miss all of you....please help me out by sending suggestions/critiques, and/or requests...my old yahoo email is my main one now, or post comments!