Monday, December 28, 2009

A Week Off

Anticlimax!  There was the big rush to get the office newsletter out, then the Annual Appeal, then the big rush to do 3 craft fairs, then the big rush to Christmas-3 days of parties.........Squeal to a halt!

Now I have the week off.  I have spent Monday sitting with a good book and overeating. The dishes are waiting to be washed, as is the laundry. I've spent hours looking at lovely blogs and artwork that I love, trying to get motivated to do something of my own.  As I said today on my facebook wall, "unstructured time is great, if you add some structure to it!"

Even though Christmas is past, I'm making some ornaments for Aunt E. They are called Ghosts of Christmas Past. I print sepia pictures onto transparencies, cut out, add a touch of glitter and insert them into clear glass ornaments. Then I decorate the tops with ribbons and flowers or leaves. This year I did some custom ones with family photos. That's what I'm working on this week for Aunt E. Some photos work better than others-the pictured ones are B&W, but I like the sepia prints too. I can turn any picture into a sepia print, but if they are not sharp with lots of contrast they don't show up well.  Unfortunately, I am running out of glass ornaments in this size, and Michael's is out of stock! Later, y'all...

Create a Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

To Grandmother's House

When I was growing up, we lived next door to my grandparents.  They had an old shingle house with a formal parlor in it.  It was a magical place. In the summer it was cool and private, and I was allowed to go in there and read all I wanted.  The shelves were filled with flowered poetry books, boys adventure stories and other wonderful things. There were two closets, one on either side of the fireplace. In one there was a Civil War uniform. I vaguely remember faded flowered wallpaper over white painted wainscotting and the fireplace wall was all white paneled. There was a tinder box and a bed warmer on the hearth. The furniture was victorian and dainty and pretty. There was a piano-out of tune, but pretty too-did it have flowers carved into it?  On one wall was a picture of a boy in a straw hat, by Thomas Sully. The floor was worn wide boards with rugs on it.

Christmas eves my grandparents had a party in the parlor, with a tree and sweets hand made by grandma. Mom played carols on the piano and we all sang. The fire crackled and we opened hand-made gifts wrapped in old ironed paper and ribbons.  That was my job, to iron the ribbons and paper. We made popcorn garlands. Grandma made potato divinity and stuffed dates.  I don't remember having a whole meal, though if we did, we ate it in the dining room. Grandpa twinkled and told stories, and the uncles teased us all. That's filed away in my memory for ever.

I haven't been in the parlor since 1974, just before I moved to Colorado for 20 years. Now it is out of my realm--other family members live there--but I have my memory. They say long-term memory is the longest lasting...I have my own traditions now, and I hope that I retain the spirit of those long ago Christmases. I glean gifts from around the house or make my own. I reuse paper and gift bags. I don't iron anymore, though!

I hope you all have a lovely holiday season.  Stay warm and cozy!

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Sunday night--As a new blogger, new facebook user and active emailer, I find that it is an effort to keep up. But I love this blog. Hope to get more followers and be more active on it. I'm planning next week's slide show. Maybe parts of my dream trip last spring. That should warm us all up.

I rode to Providence last night to pick up Paul W, who had been trying to get to Bradley, had had flights cancelled out from under him for 36 hours. Jim drove and I navigated. We knew a major storm was coming in from the south and we got all the way to Providence before we saw the first flakes. After going to the airport and picking up Paul, we dragged that blizzard all the way back to Worcester! Jim was our hero driving in white-out conditions. I don't know how much snow they got in R.I., but we were glad to get out! Before we hit Springfield the road was dry and there were only flurries. We never did get any up here in the hills of Western Mass THIS TIME! Welcome Paul!

Keeping it simple this Christmas-small or home-made gifts, a hot chili dinner Thursday night and to Mom's Christmas day for a more traditional dinner. Then we can all set our weight loss goals for the new year! Happy Holidays to you all

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Dave'sTeepee Raising

In September, my brother Dave's teepee was finally ready to set up. He had worked on it for the two previous years, making the pattern, cutting and stitching the canvas, working on all the details. He got a commercial sewing machine and converted his cabin into a tent-making factory. He invited Mom and me and my friend Tamara up to watch the set-up one sunny September day. Then we had a potluck/ceremony inside the teepee. It was fun and serious at the same time. I took 109 pictures of the event, which are attached as a slide show. If you want to see them bigger and faster, click on the picture, it takes you into the Picassa program and lets you do that.

Dave is honored to be a Firekeeper for many Native American ceremonies. He is 1/64th Native American himself. He travels around with a shaman from South America when he can. His teepee is for holding ceremonies. It is about 32 feet in diameter. The canvas weighs 250 lbs., not including the poles.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Technical difficulties...

I have had major technical difficulties with my computer, which should be resolved after today, so the slide shows and further postings have been on hold. This weekend should bring out my creativity. I will do a slideshow of brother Dave's teepee raising, to start with--then, who knows? Hanging in there...Sherry

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Winter Blanket

Today ushered in the first real snowstorm in our area, blanketing us with 8-12 inches of wet white stuff. I already miss color! I know people miss the light in the winter, but for me it is color. I need to surround myself with lots of color to keep a positive spin throughout the black and white season. I have purple sofa & loveseat, light green walls and lots of turquoise in the living room. My kitchen is red, yellow and white, retro style. I have always loved to wear bright colors, they make me happier!

What's it all about if we don't strive for happiness? I started really striving for it, not waiting for it, 5 years ago when my Dad died. After heart surgery and many strokes, he lost the struggle, and I began mine. I realized that I wanted to live better and healthier, so his issues would not be mine. I got off antidepressants, had lap band surgery, lost weight, adjusted my diet to a more healthy one. My Buddhist practice really helped! I guess I needed to get inside and really examine myself, to find out what makes me happy. I know I'm the one who controls my mind-nobody else can do it for me. So I started with small things--the light bright green walls, purchasing music I love, getting my brows waxed~it all contributes to a better life condition!

So, as the snow turns to rain and makes our white blanket a soggy mass, I will turn up the music and neaten up the red, yellow and white kitchen before tucking into a good book (this one about pioneer women). Stay Warm! Sherry

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Just a quick note to say Hello and please check out my first slide show. This is one way to have a picture album for you to see. If you click on the pictures it will take you to Picasa and you can view them enlarged. After I get my Imac back on line, I will post pictures of the Dream Trip, as promised, and I'll also add some pictures of my current art work. Have a nice day!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Craft fairs, revisited

Here it is Dec. 7th already. I did my third craft fair this weekend, and I've decided to severely limit my craft fairs in the future. In this fair, our setup was on the second floor (up 30 stairs) of an old town hall, cold, no tables, etc. It was a town wide event with lots of advertising. I made a modest amount, but when the commission comes out of it, it will be pretty piddling. I enjoyed the networking with other crafters, but it was really too much work hauling tables up and down the stairs. The second day we got heat. Then I needed a crew, my brother and niece, to help me get it all back downstairs. Etsy, here I come! So I will work on developing my blog and starting an on-line store. Yippee, I have a plan.

Tonight I hope to be able to set up a picture gallery or a slide show for viewing.