Sunday, January 31, 2010


You know that show, Hoarders? Have you ever watched it?
I have and it makes me so, so sad when I do.
Being a psych/soc major in college and keeping up with my reading, I know the pain a hoarder suffers and watching them have to go through the trauma of un-hoarding (un-hoarding? new word) just breaks my heart.

It's different when I go to a hoarder's estate sale.
Oh, hush. Someone has to buy that stuff.

I went to a hoarder's estate sale this past weekend. I dragged my poor 82 year old mother with me - I say "poor mother" but when I told her I could just go by myself she said absolutely not, she might miss something!
It had rained about 3" Thursday night so when we drove up on Friday it was a mushy, muddy mess. I'm surprised neither of us fell down. I told mom that if she fell down she'd be too muddy to get back in my car so she better hurt herself badly enough to require an ambulance.

We trudged through the mud and hit both the house and the barn.
Oh, my.
I forgot my camera to take pictures to show you the amazing amount of stuff, but, if you've seen the show Hoarders, just picture this house and barn having the same look except the trash has been shoveled out and the possessions are left.
It bothered me somewhat, it did, when I would look at ALL of the stuff/junk and think of whomever it was living that way. But, I knew they had to get rid of the "treasures" and that the money earned from the estate sale would go to whomever lived there or their children.

Okay, now for the treasures.
Treasure #1.) I met another estate sale shopper when she was standing there waiting to check out and I was checking out one of her items; I was just looking at it and we started kidding about "hey, back off!" and before I knew it we were laughing and having just the best time. We exchanged our business card information and planned on getting together. She lives pretty close and she's adorable and so much fun and she gets me - you other mixed media artists know what I mean. She gets me, lives close, is an antique/junk dealer, wants to work on her mixed media art skills, loves estate sales and, well, she's just great!
Her name is Anne Lorys and you will want to visit her blog and her etsy shop - both are worth the time! I love her blog - she writes like she talks, just like me:)

So, the next treasureS are the deals I got.
When mom and I went on Friday it was regular price, however, they were so wanting to get rid of her stuff that I was still able to deal - I loved that.
On Saturday it was what I would call, "It's a Steal" day because, not only was everything half price, but if it wasn't priced I was given such a good price (and most of it wasn't priced - too much stuff!).
Wanna see what I got?? (This is so much fun - sharing my finds with you!!)
I have to tell you the funniest story - y'all know that Craig, my oldest, is a police officer. I'm always buying him things to fill his books shelves on each side of his fireplace - I buy him books with titles like, oh, She Cried Murder, so this vintage framed embroidery piece was a given (mom thought the guy was a crossing guard and this girl standing near us overheard our conversation and saw the picture and said, "Who wants to grow up to be a crossing guard??" It was hysterical!!) Gosh, that was a great sale! And, the vintage plates will be used to make cake/cookie stands, the vintage hammered tin dish is for the Tank's remote control, and I'll use the book on pieces of art. Whoop!! (and did you see the wee little bisque doll and the wee white pitchers for my collection?)
Bases from vintage lamps. There were gazillions. I'm going to use these as bases for cake/dessert plates. They'll be for me or gifted and I'm soooo excited!
The copper pieces?? All of them for $8.50 - Whoop - they're going to be wonderful pounded and stamped for jewelry making! And the big doillies are just wonderful and I know exactly how I'm going to use the vintage dish!
This bowl is full of rusty wonders and wooden flourishes, black sequined trims, all vintage. I have so many ideas for this stuff, but you might find some of it in my Etsy shop - I got a LOT of stuff in this bowl!
Fun vintage metal pieces, hinges, and a great little vintage white ceramic blowl on a metal stand with wonderful metal trim which I want to make into a bird's nest. Oh, and a little jar that I thought was pretty cute!
A vintage clock for my clock collection and I want to use this lamp piece as a skirt in some kind of project. At least, that's my thought today!
A grouping of more fabulous finds. I tell ya, I was in heaven!!
Anne and I both dug through this file cabinet that had two drawers packed full of these fabulous vintage greeting cards. We had so much fun finding ones that were better than the last ones! The "Happy Anniversary Folks" card has a pop-up when you open it! Amazing. Whoop!!
This precious vintage picture is going to hang in the hall bathroom after I paint the frame either a dark cherry red or black. Probably black - you tell me! I got it for $1.50. .....I KNOW!!
This entire box of vintage earrings.............guess how much...............$8.50. Dying. I was dying!
A Bible from the late 1880's and four really beautiful trinket boxes that I plan on making even cuter than they already are! You'll find them in my Etsy shop
Won't this book cover make a great canvas??
Vintage jewelry, yum, vintage clock that says "NAP" on the face for my collection, old bottles, and a vintage coin purse.
Vintage heart shaped molds, vintage JELLO molds (see, you can see JELLO on the bottom of that one!), paint brushes for like nothing, brass stencils and a vintage bitty coin purse.
There were boxes and boxes and boxes of all different colors and hues of colors advertised. I missed them all by minutes. These two men bought all of the boxes..............but, they missed this one! Whoop!! The bottles are filled with powdered paint pigment. I know exactly what I'm going to do with all of these bottles. Well, some may be in my Etsy shop. Maybe. heeheehee

Those are my treasures:)
And, there's going to be a Part II to the  barn sale - the entire "loft" area which is as big as the downstairs (four rooms), is packed with so much that you can't even walk up there! The sale will be in about a month and you can bet that Anne and I will be there - together, I'll bet!!

Thanks for sharing my treasures!! I love you all, readers!

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Well, okay, I didn't exactly have a baby...
What I did have, what I do have is a new puppy!

Excuse me?
I said that I would rescue any dog, but no more puppies??
No 'mam, not me, too old for a puppy, too much work, noppers.
Give me a house trained mutt that needs a home and I'm there.

Then God introduced me to one of my dearest friends, Pam Warden, a (licensed - woohoo!!) artist with an amazing gift and a heart unlike anyone I know.
So, her dogs, a Yorkie and a Cairn, get married and have puppies.
She sends me pictures, I fall in love and claim "that one!".

When I drive up to my mom's in Michigan after Christmas, I make a detour through Madison, Wisconsin, to meet Pam and John, her husband, and snag the newest member of our 'kennel'.
5 weeks old
We had a great evening and breakfast the next morning. They were in Madison for an art show and because they drove through blizzard-like weather to get down to Madison, we didn't have as much time to spend together. But, it being the first time that Pam and I had met in person (we had been emailing and talking on the phone for what seems like forever) it was a wonderful time! We noticed that we both tended to talk at the same time and I told her it was because neither of us stopped talking.
See that one sharp tooth?? She has FOUR of those - we call them razors.
When I picked her up she was this wee little thing and she couldn't have weighed more than two pounds. Cutest thing you ever saw 'ceptin' for my boys.
Beautiful little girl in pink (is there any other color??)
It's been amazing watching her change color since I picked her up. When I got her, she was pretty much a little black girl. Now, she's getting that Yorkie coloring on her legs, neck, face, and, well, okay, her behind. That means it always looks like she just took a poop and got it all over herself when I look at her from behind real quick. It makes my heart skip a beat thinking that she's had yet another accident. Then, I realize that it's just her coloring.
Well, sometimes it's not just her coloring. Sometimes I can smell that it's not just her coloring.
8 weeks old and I'm totally smitten!
Did I mention that just God and I knew about this new addition to our family at this point? Just wondering if I had mentioned that I was planning on surprising the Tank with our new puppy. No?? Well, that was the plan, so when it was time to leave for home with my mom in tow I also had mom's darling Maltese, Sophie, in tow, but also the new puppy for our very long trip home. I must say that the first hour and a half in the car with puppy in the kennel in the backseat of my convertible and me in the front seat wasn't very pleasant for anyone within hearing distance (and it wasn't me screaming - it was HER!) But, after that initial period she settled down and the rest of the trip was great.
I was really, really glad she got over her separation anxiety because I was NOT looking to have another appendage - my laptop's enough.
Finally home and finding peace in chewing on a throw-away box instead of mommmy's *bloody* hand.
She is settling into ranch life just like you would expect a puppy to.
She bugs Ben until he shows his teeth though he's now too old to growl (Ben's a dog).
She plays with Killer and Baxter which lasts about 5 seconds until they run for the couch *because she can't reach it*.
And, she is making Maytag, the cat that thinks she is a dog, neurotic. She will not leave her alone and the poor kitty doesn't have any claws in her front paws. (However, if I WAS Maytag, I'd swat the heck outta that puppy - I think it'd just take one time...)
Oh, and by the way, boys, this is your little sister. hahaha
As you can see, we are starting to look alike - both laughing a LOT!

I haven't told y'all her name, have I?
Her name is Sister.
Sister Mary Tina after my precious friend, Tina Wright.
Oh, and she's Catholic.

Blessings, y'all, from the kennel!    
I love you!!
P.S. The Tank went to hug and kiss me when I walked in when we got home and I was holding a wiggling Sister behind my back and when he reached his arms around me for his hug he felt her.
His reaction?
"Uh, oh, I KNOW what that is!!" hahaha - he loves her and wasn't a bit surprised:)

Monday, January 25, 2010


.....Haiti is on my heart and mind today like it probably is for almost every other person I know. And we feel stuck.

A Haitian child carries food at a refuge camp in Port-au-Prince.

.....I'm not unique in the feeling of what can I possibly do from here? I see a few options.

A woman walks among the debris in Port-au-Prince surveying the wreckage.
About a third of Haiti's population, or 3 million people have been affected by the earthquake.
Curl up into the fetal postition and curse God and wonder how things can go to Hell in a hand basket.

Obsess with worry and fear and helplessness.

Not think about it at all because I can't see it from my house.

Do something.

I think you just might know me well enough by now to know where I land.

But what can any of us do when we are sitting over here in our warm houses in front of a computer with our beverage of choice nearby and our healthy kids playing in the next room? (Insert your life's details into that question.)

A couple of things. Really. There are a couple of things you can actually do.

First and foremost, pray. .....Pray for the parents looking for children and children looking for parents. Pray for help to make it there. Pray for all those who want to help to work well together, not making things worse by stirring up the chaos.

Haitian worshipers pray Sunday morning outside the destroyed cathedral
of Port-au-Prince.
Give. I know things are tight, but you know what? That's just an excuse. Do you realize how far our money could go if we all gave ten bucks today? I'm not kidding. Just don't have three of your fancy coffees this'll be fine. And, if you're wondering who to give to, here are two trustworthy options: &

Young earthquake victims sleep without shelter.
(An aside: today is not the day to start the debate up of why should we help all of the way over there when people are hurting right here. If that's your opinion, then give ten bucks to the Salvation Army down the street and ten bucks to help Haiti. People are people.)

Do. Do what? What can you do from here, really?

  • Spread the word. Use Twitter, Facebook, your blog, email. Just pick a solid organization that is trying to do something and then tell everyone you know to support it.
  • Go on with your life. I don't mean this with a cavalier attitude. I mean cook your family good meal tonight, with gratitude. Hug your kids a bit longer. Cuddle with them on the couch and watch their favorite show. Color a picture with them. Play a game with your family. Call your mom or your kids or your sister or your best friend and tell them you love them. 
I'm serious. Let moments like this that can rock our world, no pun intended, do just that. Let them remind you that life is short and tough, but we can love and hope and pray.

Tents and other temporary shelters cover a stadium surface in Loagan, Haiti, on Sunday, January 17th.
Okay, stop reading now. Go take one little action. And say a prayer.
(c) Elisabeth IK. Corcoran, 2010

Though the above words are not mine, they could be. Elisabeth is speaking what I've been thinking and speaking these last several days, only she does it so much better than I ever could. And, she got me to post on my blog about Haiti.
Praise God and thank God for Elisabeth Corcoran.
(I subscribe to and that is where I read Ms. Corcoran's words.)

God bless you, all of my readers.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Wow. Team Tina was such a great idea - a nudge from God several months ago - that did so many things to bless Tina while she was battling cancer.

If you're not aware of Team Tina's efforts to bless Tina, notes were sent by our wonderful women, a tag gate was made by the women *which you can read about in a prior post if you're not aware of it* and then there was the Cash Campaign where we raised money to help with expenses not covered by insurance or for whatever Will and Tina needed it for......

And, certainly, I'm not saying that Team Tina was the only group of women that blessed Tina during her battle. I'm sure you're all aware of the hundreds of people that blessed her in many different ways. But, God put together Team Tina and that's what I know so that's what I'll post about:)

In our Cash Campaign we raised THREE HUNDRED THIRTY DOLLARS for Will to use, like I said, in any capacity needed. Well, I talked to Will earlier this week and we were trying to work out a chance for me to stop by and deliver the money order in person and have some time together. Unfortunately, he's working a job in Tulsa and won't be home when I'm driving through on my way home from Michigan later this week. However, in talking with Will I discovered that he has started a scholarship program for the high school that Tina attended using all of the monies that generous friends have donated through the trust account set up in Tina's name. He wants to add our Cash Campaign money to that scholarship account. Is that the coolest thing?? I'm so excited to know that Tina's name will live on in her hometown, her high school and that every year for how long we don't know, a graduate will benefit from the money that has been pouring in through different avenues, INCLUDING ours. PRAISE GOD!

I've always said that there is at least one blessing in every "disaster" and I personally think we're looking at one of those blessings. Tina, who was so giving, so thoughtful, lives on in many ways, including this scholarship fund. What a blessing!

Thank you, Will, for your willingness to help Tina live on in so many lives!
And, to the women that donated to the Cash Campaign, know that you are a blessing and be blessed by that.

God bless you all,

Monday, January 18, 2010


Hi, y'all! Believe it or not I'm stepping up and posting the first two pairs of earrings that I've made.............. ever.............. before.................. posting them for the entire world to critique.
I think I've lost my mind. But, I decided a bit ago that I needed to get back into jewelry making.
I have made grunge pendants in the past, about three years ago, and some charms for an Art-n-Soul retreat (a swap) several years ago.
Then, this last fall, my BFF, Molly Alexander, asked me to be in a jewelry swap. Actually, she didn't mention the word "jewelry" until I had said that I would love to be in a swap! She knows me well - if she would have mentioned "jewelry" I would have run for the hills!

Once again, God paves the path he wants me to go down. I am now making jewelry again and have started with some earrings. It's only fair that I share them with you - when I get them perfect *which they're not yet*, I'll list them in my Etsy shop so y'all can fight over who is going to get to buy them.

This top pair I made because I just loved those square turqouise stones. They have a light brown border which makes them look vintage to me. And the round stones I did some wire wrapping. I used silver wire with a copper center that should 'tarnish' with time which will give the earrings more of a vintage look. I also made the ear wires myself. They need to be shaped a bit more so they're exactly alike. I'll get right on that.

This pair (above) was made with beautiful flat round black obsidian stones *they really are so gorgeous* and a clear red glass bead that I just love. In between those two pieces is a small Petosky stone which is the Michigan state stone. 
Really. Michigan has a state stone. Odd, but so cool, because when we were kids we would go to Lake Michigan with the "diddy bags" my mom had made all of us kids and we would walk the beach looking for Petosky stones. When they're shined up or under water they have the most amazing markings that you can see. (When I found these stones at the bead shop on sale I was so excited!) So, anyway, that's the smallish tan stone between the two larger stones.
I also made the ear wires - wire wrapping and all - do I rock or what? heehee

Thanks for taking a few minutes and reading about my new adventure.
If you want to leave some CONSTRUCTIVE critizism, I welcome it!!

Happy New Year, y'all!! I hope that 2010 turns out to be even better than 2009!

God bless you,

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


I've been writing posts on facebook.
I've been reading posts on facebook.
I've been answering messages on facebook.
And, I've been answering emails.....
all about my sweet Tina.
But I have not been able to bring myself to blog about her.
This is my safe place.
This is where I tell you about the funny things that happen, where I show you new art, tell you about my family and sometimes, but rarely, bare my soul.
That's what has made this so's one of those soul baring posts because my dear friend, Tina, went to meet her Lord this past Sunday, January 3rd.

What that means to me is that she's not here any more.
She's not here to talk to on the phone, to email, to play "soldering", to enjoy the adventure of the Paper Cowgirl art retreat that she founded with Cindy Mayfield.
All of that is the selfish part of me.

The unselfish part of me, the part of me that drowns in sorrow, will tell you that she has left behind an amazing husband, amazing kids, grandbabies and friends.
Her husband, Will, "Silly Will" to me, gave me the endearing(?) nickname recently, "Nine Toes", telling me that it was my Indian name. "That's silly, Will!"
I've seen Will and Tina together more than once and I know deep in my heart that he simply adored her. He was Mr. World Federation Cancer Fighter during her fight, researching, Googling, putting her on a homeopathic diet (she called him "the Food Police"), doing everything that he could to make her better.
They were married for 27 years and now she's gone on before him and he's sad that she's not here with him.
He has an amazing faith, thank you, God, for his faith in you, or I don't know how he'd get through this.

Also mourning her passing are her children, Nicole and Deke, both so very special to her.
When Deke was counting the days he would be coming home from the war, she was counting them, too, and telling anyone that would listen that her Deke was coming home! Oh, how she had missed him, loved him.
Oh, and, she loved Nicole as only a mother can love a daughter!
She has also left behind her darling "grandbabies". She doted on those girls. She would have them stay with her and Will and they would play "art" and would just enjoy being together.
How do you explain grandma going to Heaven to wee ones in a way that they understand?

And, the friends from her world of Harley's, the friends that she loved going on Harley road trips with - they will surely miss her sweet nature.
One day she and Will and another couple rode their Harley's to the ranch. They were on a road trip in the Hill Country and she knew where I lived - very close to where they would be riding. So, she calls and we make plans for them to come by and go to lunch.
That was the first time we met in person. Oh, my gosh, you would have thought that we had lived next door for years...........once we started talking we couldn't stop! Poor Will and Frank - thank goodness they really liked each other. But that poor other couple...I can't remember their names right now, but both were so nice. I hope they didn't leave feeling left out!
It was at that point, that 'in person' visit, that Tina and I really clicked. Just think, a Harley made us complete. Who would'a thought?

And, this tribute wouldn't be complete without mentioning her art. She had a gift from God for creating and teaching. I have many pieces that she made that I bought from Paper Cowgirl Art Retreat Vendor's Nights, several pieces that she made "for me", and one extremely precious necklace that she made for me last March for my "half-birthday" (celebrating my half-birthday cracked her up).
She was always gifting her friends. That's who she was.
The mixed media art world will surely miss her.
There are hundreds that she touched in some way. And, there are so many from the blog world, mixed media art world, facebook, places that I'm not thinking of, that she touched that didn't even know her.
*click on the picture to enlarge*
The saddest part of Tina's death is when I think of all of the people, hundreds of people, that are reading blog posts about her, facebook messages about her - there are SO many, and they/you don't understand Tina's passing the way that a believer does because you aren't a Christian.
You don't understand what I mean when I say that I look forward to seeing her again, sitting at the feet of Jesus. You don't understand Will's faith that will get him through this horror on earth; nor do you understand the peace I feel because I know that God has healed her.
But, she died, you say.

No. Her body died. She lives on in Heaven. It gives me great peace and joy to know that she is with Jesus.
If you are someone that doesn't understand any or some of this, if you've got questions about Christianity, anything, please email me ( and I'll answer your questions. And if I don't have the answer, I'll find it.
And remember, there are no stupid questions. Never.

Tina would want you to ask questions.
On her facebook page it says, "Jesus Christ is my Savior. Who's yours?"

That's my "tribute" to Tina. I hope it made sense to you. I hope you were able to see into my heart and know what I was trying to say with words that seem so inadequate.

I loved her dearly. Still do. And until Jesus takes me to Heaven, I'll miss being with her, but I'll keep her memory in my heart

God bless you, my sweet readers, know that I'm back and know that I love you,


Can I say one more thing? I think Tina would like it if I mentioned this thought that I can't get out of my mind. . . . .Don't wait until it's too late to tell someone how much they mean to you, how much someone has touched your life, no matter how small, to tell someone that you love them. Don't keep those kind of thoughts to yourself - share them with those involved, preferably in writing so that they can have that tangible piece of you for all times.

It's important. Tina would tell you that and it's what I'm going to be doing this year. If I love you, you're going to know it, if you have touched my life in a positive way, you're going to know it. I think that if we all did that for each other that we would all have higher self esteem, we would have higher self worth and we would all be a better person because of it.

Oh, and one more wee little thing.....if you don't have something nice to say about someone, don't say it. And remember that everyone is fighting some kind of battle so always be kinder than necessary. (I promise that's all:)

God bless you all.


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