Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Desert Botanical Gardens

I HEART the Botanical Garden!!!

Make sure to click on the photo so you can see it large and really grasp the beauty of nature... and see the close up shots of the bees and bugs in the blooms having pollen parties! :)

Check out the bee suspended over this artichoke plant! Cool shot!

I love how you can see all the detail of this butterflies face and eyes!

I promised some photos so here are a few of my favorites, although it was hard to choose favorites! Yes, the Chihuly exhibit is still there but I've seen it twice and seriously, the blooms at the garden rival Chihuly any day. Such amazing beauty amongst thorns!

I had a nice hike up North Mountain this morning and then had a long day. I just ate a piece of pizza with hot wings sauce drizzled on it and it's almost 10:30! Eek! Need to get to bed!

But first, I wanted to tell all of you locals who read my blog, I am going to be offering a basic book binding class in my home/studio 3 different days this month. This will be a class where you learn to gut an existing book, reinforce the spine, and bind new pages into it while adding beading on the outside spine! It's a great one-of-a-kind book and would make a great gift item if you could possibly bear to part with it! Here's what one of mine looks like... I used an old encyclopedia. I will have a lot of books to choose from.

If you are interested or have questions, e-mail me at

yoga shoulders

OK, I've always loved the look of cut muscles but know how much work it takes to get them. I've always had a tendency to lift weight to see muscle definition but I bulk up pretty fast. I've not been lifting weights but am starting to get, what I call, yoga shoulders! YIPPEE! Hard to see in a bad picture from photobooth though! Just got back from hiking the mountain and have to get ready for my day. I went to the Desert Botanical Garden yesterday and took almost 130 pictures and some really great ones. I'll show some later.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Sweet Morning

This morning was a light brunch for the leadership of Women's Bible study. My dear friend, Billie, always opens her home to us and it's such a neat time together. This morning, while we ate yummy yogurt with homemade granola and berries, we affirmed each other in what we saw God doing in us this year. What a special time! The food was yummy and the company even better. Here I am with two of my favorite women on the planet! Lori and Martha have been my team members this year and have been a powerful influence in my life. I love these two so much!

Billie always serves food in such beautiful dishes! This is Marcia, one of the key Women's Ministry leaders.
W got to drink out of Billie's vintage green depression glass! :) She has an amazing collection!

Pedicures were offered for those who wanted to get a pedicure as a gift from the head of our leadership! However, I don't do pedicures so I passed. Here's Lori enjoying her pamper time! Isn't she beautiful?
We had a wonderful morning. I ran to the grocery store for a few things before starting kid pick up. Now both boys are home and I need to pin them down for homework. Then we will make tacos, homemade salsa with chips, and homemade guacamole for dinner! I'm guessing Max will be my main helper. He really enjoys activities and helping with stuff. He's been begging to make this stuff for weeks! I finally remembered to buy all the ingredients! I can't tell you how much I have been enjoying my time with my boys. I am a different mom now than I was two months ago. Very different.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

What a weekend!

It was such a busy weekend. I was suppose to be having my bathtub resurfaced on Saturday but they guy came on Friday instead. This meant I had to quickly make plans to stay elsewhere because the fumes are severe. The apartment manager allowed me to give Kenzy his own apartment across the way since it was vacant! He was not so happy though, poor baby. I went and spent the evening with my mom and Fred. They took me out to eat Mexican food and it was so good! It had been months since I'd gone out for Mexican.

Fred and I got up at 5:00 the next morning to head back to my place for my yard sale... finally. Only to have almost no one even come and I made all of $8.50. I'm serious ya'll! It was so sad! Although while packing up car seats I had for sale, the gal across the apartment from me katty-corner, bought one of the seats so that was a little more money but not much! I loaded almost everything up in my van and took it to someone else's house for a yard sale next weekend. I refuse to store all that stuff and do this again! It felt good to just get rid of it! I did, however, meet a couple of neighbors and found out that my kids could ride the school bus! We're so close, I had no idea the bus would run but the stop is directly in front of our apartment! Since we are almost finished with this year, I'll continue driving but am seriously thinking of the benefits to the bus!

Yesterday, the fumes were still really strong in the apartment so I went for a slumber party at my best friend, Fran's house! Her husband is out-of-town speaking at some Dr.'s conference... or something... so I went over and we caught up on life stuff and she treated me to Thai! YUMMY! It was so fun catching up with her. She'll be leaving for Italy next week and gone for two weeks! Italy has always been my dream trip (along with Greece) so I can't wait to hear all about it when she gets back.

Today was church and then I found out that there was a huge Croc warehouse sale so I ran over after church and got the boys new crocs for summer for only $10. per pair and myself a new pair as well.... different style. They also had t-shirts and socks! Got the boys each a new shirt and myself some socks. GREAT, smokin' deals!

I ended up getting the boys back early today as well so, some of my plans just didn't work. I still have a lot of cleaning up to do in the apartment and I still didn't get my checkbook balanced. maybe tomorrow....

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Fabric postcard sample #2

Here is my second sample for my fabric postcard class. The green elements are pieces of paper/fabric fused with Translucent Liquid Sculpey clay and then cut to use as elements in the composition. This piece also has beautiful black handmade paper... hand and machine stitching.

What drama.. get ready for a laugh *SPEW* alert

Well, I have had the most dramatic morning with my 7-year-old Max. Look at this mischievously cute face and imagine the following but first let me set up the background story. Max is a head strong child who fights sleeping every night and is like death getting up every morning. He's also VERY particular about his appearance spending a lot of time on his hair making it "just right".

So, I have been telling him for years how unfair it is to Sam every morning when Sam gets right up and dressed in 5 minutes to then is tardy because Max won't get ready and makes them both late for school. When Chuck and I were living together, I would often take Sam to school on time and go back home to get Max and allow him to be tardy and deal with those consequences. We lived just around the corner from school. I was trying to honor Sam in doing that but it really wasn't helping Max at all because he could care less if he's on time for school. Well, for several weeks, I have been telling him that I was having a "leaving time" and however ready he was for school at that time is how he goes to school. So, if his hair wasn't brushed, he would just have to go with messy hair. I knew the time was coming to dig my heels in and prove my words. Yesterday, he put his socks and shoes on in the car while trying to convince me that it was against the school rules to go with messy hair. Uh... I'm thinkin' not. I also just purchased a small alarm clock for them on Monday so I thought that might help.

So, this morning, the alarm went off, Max doesn't budge. I start going in every few minutes trying to get him up. He's not moving. I started singing "Raindrops keep falling on my head" while misting him with a spray bottle. All I got was a whiny "stooopppppp" while covering himself with a pillow. At least there was movement. Well, We have to leave for school at the latest, 7:35. At 7:30, he was still laying in bed. I told him he'd better get up and move fast because we were leaving and he would go "as is". I walk out of his room and leave him to get dressed. At 7:35, he was no longer in the bed, but laying in the floor! OK, so I'm not feeling so sweet now. I knew THIS was the morning to teach him a BIG lesson. I got him to put clothes on and I then said, "That's all you have time for. Take your shoes and socks and get in the car. " He goes hysterical. I told him in a calm but very stern voice, "If you do not get in the car on your own, I will carry you. If I have to carry you, there will be consequences for you when you get home from school." I started pulling his hand and he was grabbing on to doorways, doors, furniture... anything he could grab, kicking and screaming. I picked his little butt up and hauled him to the car in hysterics. By now, he's coughing and choking with snot streaming with tears. I calmly handed him kleenex and then told him that if he were so concerned about these school rules about hair (which are bogus), then I would imagine he'd take extra care to get up and have his hair done in the morning. And so, he broke a family rule with me in getting to the car, he was disrespectful to his brother's time, disrespectful and disobedient to me, so there will be consequences. And if he has, in fact, broken a school rule, then he will have to deal with those consequences as well. He was NOT liking me.

So, we leave for school and I apologize to Sam for allowing Max's behavior to continue making him late for school so many times and promised I would not allow it again.

We get to school and Sam jumps and runs like a bolt of lightening. Max was still hysterical and would not get out of the car. Now mind you, I am in a "drive thru" drop off line with cars backed up behind me. I had to physically remove my child and his belongings from the car and put them on the sidewalk. I told him that I love him and cannot allow him to act this way any more. He kept trying to get back to the car so I ran and locked it. As I was pulling away, he's hanging on to the door handle of the car screaming and crying in bare feet with rat nest bed head. I left. But I didn't go far. I parked around the corner and walked back over hiding behind a wall so I could watch him. He tried to cover his head with his backpack while putting on his shoes and slowly but finally, walked into school... heading to the bathroom to do his hair, I'd imagine. I also imagine he missed breakfast because hair was more important and that too, is part of a consequence of his choice. It hurt my heart to do this yet felt liberating all at the same time.

I'm thinking mornings will change in my household from here out. Don't ya'll? My only regret is that there was no one to video tape this scene. It was a doozy and I wonder what all those parents in cars behind me were thinking of this scene! It doesn't matter... I learned something about following through, loving well, and my child learned that I mean what I say. No more games.

still here

The headache still hasn't completely gone away. This is the worst I"ve had in months. Gosh, another day like this.... My eyes are swollen and I look awful. I feel awful!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Yesterday I made a sample for one of my classes coming up at the Creative Quest. I'll be teaching a fabric/ mixed media postcard class. This is one of the samples.

I worked on another today but have had a horrible headache all day and ended up in bed the entire afternoon with the exception of crawling out to do a haircut and feed my children. So, my second sample didn't get finished but I'll do it in the morning if my headache is gone. Pray for me, people! I'm about to take more meds and go back to bed with an ice pack now. It's the only thing I've not tried short of drilling holes in my head.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Beautiful morning

Our Bible Study brunch this morning was wonderful! Some of the members of class could not be there for our last day and that was sad. They were missed. We had our brunch at a wonderful home that is an oasis in the desert... in the midst of a busy city... you turn into the drive way and feel like you walked into the secret garden. We ate outside by the pool while sitting in the shade listening to the birds and sound of running water in the fountain. It's the most peaceful place I know in the valley. We had a wonderful time eating together and sharing what God has taught us this year. I hate to see it end. Because my need for income and work situation is so up in the air, I cannot commit to teaching again next year, at this time. Martha and Lori are in uncertain situations as well. Martha cares for her husband who is paralyzed by ALS and Lori is having to seek full time employment due to the economy... she and I are in the same boat. These two women were gifts to me this year. Truly. I could not have made it through this year teaching without them.

I left Bible study to head straight into 3 haircuts. I finished just in time to pick Max up from school but got a phone call asking to have him over for a play date so I didn't have to go get him. I worked on a sample for one of my upcoming classes at The Creative Quest. This class will be for fabric postcards. I want to make at least one more sample so I have two postcards for the samples to advertise the class. I got one finished and want to do another one tomorrow. I'd like to take my class samples for both classes to the store on Thursday.

Tomorrow morning I have an appt. at school to observe the 4th grade classes. At my kid's school, you are allowed to request the teacher you want. If you had one child in a certain teachers class one year and have another child coming along behind them and you request the same teacher, you automatically are granted your choice. So I know who Max will have next year. But for Sam, I have to go observe and put in my request. Tomorrow is a short school day too as my boys get out at 12:39 and 1:10. I have a haircut to do in the afternoon as well. It will be another busy day but a good day. I need to walk in the morning. It's starting to really get hot already ... over 100 today although it didn't feel that hot to me. I may go hike the mountain... maybe.

Has anyone noticed how INSANELY expensive blank transparencies are now? I use to buy them at Walmart and they don't carry them anymore. I went to the office supply place and almost fainted in the floor! There's no way on earth I'm paying $40. for a box. Yet I need them for my class I'm teaching at AU. Well, I just found some online and for less than that price, I was able to get 3 boxes totalling 150 sheets! They were on clearance! WoooHooo! I just ordered art business cards too so I'm getting myself set to advertise and make some money!

Ok, I'm heading to bed now. I'm really tired.

For Joanne

Today I'm heading out to a special brunch for the last day of my Art Expressions Bible study class that I've taught the last two years. What another amazing year! Today I'm wearing the coolest necklace that my sweet friend Joanne made for me as a little surprise gift. I realized that I didn't show it off to everyone yet so here it is! Anyway, it is felted and beaded... and I think she sells them! ;) I had to whip up some matching earrings this morning. Photobooth doesn't take the best pictures in the world but Joanne gets the message and hopefully you can see some of the greatness of the necklace! Now off I go!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Odd day

Well, I worked like a crazy woman the past few days getting items ready to sell at a small art fair for today. I didn't expect spectacular since this is a small fair held monthly outside a store in a strip mall but since it's a regular thing and a busy corner, I thought it was worth a shot. I took several types of items with the intention of seeing what got the most interest so I'd know where to focus more energy for the future. In the midst of this, I also finished a commissioned gift book which I'm really happy about. It turned out beautiful, I think! I worked like mad yesterday and ended up with 5 hours of sleep before going to the art fair. Well, it was a bust. And I mean that in the biggest sense of the word. I left at 12:30. After sitting for almost 3 hours with MAYBE 3 people walk by and only one of them engaged in any conversation or actually touched anything on my table, I decided that my time could be better spent elsewhere. My apartment looked like a bomb went off and I hadn't done laundry since last weekend. I also had a large plastic bin of dishes in my bathtub... I've had a clogged up kitchen sink for 4 days! The plumber finally got here yesterday and it took him TWO hours to snake out the pipes they were so bad! All is flowing well now!!! So anyway, with the messy house and fatigue hitting me, I packed up and came home. I now have several things to sell another time and will continue making things. I have to get stock for my vendor table at AU anyway. I tried to take a short nap but didn't really sleep during that hour. Now I'm dead tired but wanted to show you the beautiful book I did!

So now my apartment is a bit cleaner, I've got clean laundry, a clean kitchen, and I can go to bed!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

catch up

I seem to always be catching up! I can't believe it's been a week since I last posted! Here are a few fun picture of us playing with photobooth again! If you have a mac and haven't played with it, you should! Gosh, do my boys ever need haircuts but both are in "don't cut my hair" phases. Shaggy.

It's been a super busy week. I've been getting more and more calls for haircuts, which is great! I have a private art class I teach every Friday and have been working on some class samples for upcoming classes as well as thinking through some other possible proposals. I'm also working on some projects to sell at the art fair I am participating in this coming Saturday. I have another coming up the first weekend of May.

My yard sale got rained out this past weekend so that was a bummer but I used the time making things and doing haircuts. Chuck took the boys out of town for the weekend. I was so happy to see them Easter evening. I spent Easter with my mom and Fred playing Scrabble, of course! Mom and I have gotten totally addicted to playing online through Facebook! Last night I was playing another friend and made history for myself. I used all my letters in one play with the word Validate. Got my bonus points so that was fun! LOL!

I just realized that there is a problem with one of my e-mail accounts and I can't access it. I have an etsy order there and can't get to the invoice! Argh....Very frustrating.

Well, guess I need to get some work done here in the house and plan dinner since I have another haircut to do around that time.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


OK, so I didn't make it back yesterday for an update. The day was crazy busy. So, here I go.

Last weekend, Chuck went to an all day class on Saturday so he didn't have the boys all weekend. He dropped them off with me from 8-6:30 that day. He had gotten free tickets to a local amusement type park a couple miles from here called Castles 'N Coasters. The tickets were for advance entry before general public and lunch was included. Now, I REALLY didn't want to go do this. It was Chuck's plan. But, I knew how much the boys would love it so I reluctantly took them trying not to let them see me dragging my feet. The weather couldn't have been more perfect. And, it turned out to be a wonderful day with my boys playing putt-putt golf, riding a log ride, watching them on bumper cars, and watching Sam, my more fearful child, ride a roller coaster ALONE, twice! I think he would have stayed on all day if I'd let him. The day was a gift from God. It really was. On the way home, we stopped at Blockbuster since I had a coupon for a movie. We watched "Bedtime Stories" as a wind down. That movie had us laughing so hard!

(bad photo taken by a stranger.. guess beggars can't be choosers)

Tuesday, I had my weekly Women's Bible study that I co-teach. This week was one of my favorite weeks. We started doing meditation the previous week, on the parable of the Sower and the seed. This week, we set up 4 interactive stations in our room. Each station had prompts or questions to ask yourself and God, etc...

Station 1: Meditating on art: pictures of the Sower and the Seed

Station 2: Observation table: a table full of a variety of seeds and seed pods

Station 3: The discipline of study: hand outs on topics about seed germination, dormancy,
dispersal ( no pictures here because the women took the handouts and went outside to meditate)

Station 4: watercolor

The women divided up and rotated at will amongst the various stations. It was an eye opening morning as we learned so much about God through seeds!

Here is my journal page I did that morning:
At the end of the morning, we all gathered back in a circle. Martha and I had taken a closing question to meditate on, printed and cut them into strips, rolled them up, and tucked them into seed pods. Each woman took a pod, removed the question and meditated on it for the last 15 minutes of our time together. We had all the pods sitting in this beautiful large handcarved wooden bowl with other nature goodies. Isn't it beautiful? Many of my favorite colors! It was such a great morning!
Yesterday morning, I hiked the mountain and it was gorgeous out. I hiked a little later, like around 11:45 so there was hardly anyone there. A really nice breeze kept me cool as burst of wind wrapped around me.

Since I had the boys all day last Saturday during Chuck's usual time with them, he agreed to take them after school yesterday and keep them over night. So, I was able to go to our monthly art group meeting held here locally at The Creative Quest in downtown Glendale. We had a guest speaking about taking better pictures and then, we got to take an existing little photo book and turn it into this:
I'm dying over this paper! I LOVE it! While I was at the store last night, I spoke with one of the owners, Kathie, whom I just love, and we booked me two different teaching dates! So now I have to crank out some class samples to get to her because obviously, the longer the samples are in the store before the class, the more likely the class will fill! So, I'll be starting that this morning. I'm so excited!

I was suppose to meet with a women yesterday who is starting an art studio opening next month but she had to change the meeting date so I'll meet with her on Monday and see if I can get scheduled with her as well!

I got notification last night from Linda with Art Unraveled, and I have 13 people signed up for my class that I'll be teaching there in August! WoooHooooo!!!!!! I think I can only take a few more so if you are reading this and coming to AU with an interest in my "One Page at a Time" book class, better sign up quick because it's almost filled!

OK, so now I have kept my word and updated here and I need to get to work on some samples before I have to get dressed and take lunches up to the school!