Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Big Reveal

I'm so happy to show you what Brenna and I have completed.
It has been a labor of love and learning.

On each canvas,
 Brenna has transferred her hearts over and over on several layers, and each painting includes one of her original drawings.  I then followed up with layers of paint and inks, pieces from vintage children's books and free motion sewing on vintage sewing patterns. Each are a 12x12 canvas, 3/4 in. thick, suitable for framing if you wish.
She is quite happy with the result, as am I!

"With Love, no. 1"
turquoise background, some purple and muted yellows.
heart is a soft red with a touch of coral.

Sold!!! thanks so much, Cheralyn!!!! xo

Now what to do with them?

Brenna and I have decided that 100% of the proceeds of each painting sold will go to the National Down Syndrome Society, via Kelle Hampton for her fundraising efforts in honor of her daughter's birthday. Nella's Triple Crown is a huge celebration to raise awareness for our kids. For more info, click HERE.

"Love You"
 turquoise background, heart is a strong red, with hues of magenta.

Thank you, Kathleen!

Brenna and I are offering up each 12x12 canvas for $120.00. Should you become the proud owner of a canvas, the shipping will be included. (Unless outside the U.S.-then I will research shipping charges and let you know the extra cost.) 
Please contact me via EMAIL (see side bar on the right) should you wish to purchase a painting or have any further questions.
apparently my contact button is not working. Until it is fixed, you can email me at:

"With Love no. 2"
Turquoise background, just a splash or two of pink and soft, soft yellow in the back. The heart is a soft red with some coral hues.

It's a win-win project.
You own a lovely painting, research and advocacy for children and adults with Down Syndrome is advanced and, well, to be honest, there will be a big smile on the faces of two people over here.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Please Join Me

Hi friends! I am on a short jaunt with my husband and Miss B to visit family. It's been a treat to connect and see each other.

I would love it if you would care to join me over at my friend, Jenny Doh's blog, http://blog.crescendoh.com/crescendoh/

I have the honor and privilege of being Guest Curator there this week. Please feel free to drop by and browse around!!

Sure hope your week is off to a great start.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Friday Ramblings

Have I told you the story of the letterman's jacket?
Well, then.
(awesome photos at the end of the story, courtesy of Joylyn Newell I don't want to ruin the end)

There once was a girl named Brenna who had a sweet friend. Brenna saw her sweet friend at a football game and this friend was wearing a brand-spanking new Letterman's jacket. These jackets are earned, that's for certain. Lots of sweat, commitment, being on a Varsity team. Wow.

Now Brenna, not being a big fashion diva, threw her mom for a loop when on the way home from the football game, she said, "I sure liked my friend's jacket." Mom agreed it was pretty cool. (Mom would have given her right arm for one in high school but mom was not of the athletic persuasion. That came much, much later in life.)
Then, in a small, quiet voice, Brenna said, "I wish I could have one."
Oh dear.
How does a mother explain to her girl that you have to play on a Varsity team to be able to letter in sports and therefore have the coveted jacket? As in be an athlete, try out for the team, play for the school, etc., etc. So, as gently as she could, mom tried to explain the process. Brenna, being Brenna said, "I still want one."
No kidding. Mom did too.

Well, the months went by and Brenna continued to help out the girls varsity tennis team. Just as she did for two years on the volleyball team. And the track team.
 She went to practices, ran after balls, picked them up, learned how to swing a mean racquet, set up courts before matches, and cheered on her team. The season ended and the banquet for the team came up and Brenna, mom and dad all went. Mom did the slide show, (with help from Brenna taking photos during matches) and everyone had a great time.

The time to hand out certificates and letters and pins came around and each girl was called up.....
including Brenna.

Brenna was given a letter, a tiny tennis pin and certificate that year. Mom and dad were speechless. A letter. A flipping varsity LETTER. 
As in the kind that needed to go on a LETTERMAN'S JACKET.

Remember the sweet friend from the football game? Her dad came over and gave Brenna a huge hug and congratulated her. He looked at mom and said, "When are you getting her the jacket?" To which mom replied, "Yesterday."

Christmas time came and there was a large box under the tree with Brenna's name on it, which she enthusiastically opened. Much to all of the family's surprise, when Brenna held up the jacket, there was a pause-it was so quiet- and then she began to cry. As you can imagine, all of the family were boo-hooing right along with her. She was overwhelmed! They were all overwhelmed! Who knew?

She now wears her letterman's jacket with great pride.
 Every blessed day.

 There is a letter on it, with THREE pins: one for volleyball, one for tennis and one for track. There is a patch on one side from the Race Across America, and her nick name from tennis, which is B-bop. She tells everyone who meets her all about the jacket, and her school. 

The girl's got school pride, that's for darn sure.
And mom?
Oh, mom has so much pride in her girl. Mom thinks she would have learned how to make a letter to put on that darn jacket. But no. Brenna earned it. 
All on her own.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Sneak Peak

When creativity strikes, it's all good.

Even better when Brenna is a part of it!

 I thought I would have more to show you, but I ended up fighting with my printer most of the day. That's when creativity takes a nose dive.
Honestly, how hard can it be to print cards?
Such is the life of the technologically challenged.
Guess I will stick to paint...

Hope your week is off to a good start!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Friday Ramblings

Can you stick to a schedule?
Does it seem that you can stick to a schedule and two weeks later life upends it and you can't get back to that schedule?
And that two weeks are all you ever get of normalcy?
Does it bother you?
As in, make you crazy. Make you want to throw in the towel. Think you will never get back to what you started. Forget what you even started?

Today I'm going from this

and this

 to this:

Home made chicken noodle soup makes everything better.

Plus it smells good.

Just picked oranges smell good, too.
I think I'm all about yummy smells today.

Can someone explain to me why pajamas shrink?
This question has been bothering me all week. 
I buy pajamas that are too big because I know they will shrink. Is that better than pajamas that fit and after you wash them the arms and legs are too short?
Do you like the smell of laundry?
I have a friend who says her most favorite smell is the dryer vent.

I love this candle. It's Volcano by Anthropologie.
It smells good.

Any thoughts on American Idol?
It's the only show I watch from beginning to end. Might be pathetic to some, but I'm in a pretty good crowd!

I'm on a quest for tall brown boots. Too bad it's the end of the "season" and there aren't a whole lot left. I opted for these instead, as my friend, Amy convinced me they are "stylish at any age." That's all I needed. Thank goodness for texting while shopping!!

O.K., best for last. 
Brenna and I went to the dog park yesterday and we met a trio of little dogs. This one just about killed me with a face that only a mother could love:

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Winter Fun...Not.

I was going to post about something fun I found on Pinterest-DIY boot socks.
One thing we know about life, though. It interrupts.
I thought about tra-la-laaing past this interruption and just wait until I could post about the socks. Oh, and the canvases Brenna and I have not finished yet...


So instead, I'll show photos  about ice on our birdbath that won't melt during the day.

Which is rather unusual in Southern California.

Then I'll tell you my little interruption today was known as heart palpitations.
Lots of people have them.
They can be caused by a multitude of things:
Medication, dehydration, thyroid, low blood sugar, Menopause (for crying out loud.)
Mine began a couple of weeks ago and have continued off and on and last night they ramped up pretty good and continued throughout the day, so I thought  I might want to get it checked out.

So, I did. 
I'm thankful I have had my flu vaccine, as being in an Urgent Care in the middle of a severe flu season was not my idea of fun. (Everyone else had taken every appointment with a Kaiser doctor in three counties, so I got Urgent Care.) I was very careful to wash my hands and sit by myself. 
My eldest sister suggested I rock back and forth and whimper while holding a bottle of Purell, but I thought that was going a bit far.

I will say when you go into Urgent Care and mention your heart isn't quite acting properly, they will take you back right away. But after the normal EKG, they make you go back out and wait for 2 hours with the rest of the flu community until you are called back again to be told the EKG is normal and have blood work ordered and also a holter monitor that will take three weeks to get.

I got a lot of reading done, however. I do wish I had thought to bring an art journal and some pens, but then I would have wanted to Lysol everything.

Tomorrow is a new day, which means New Mercies.
And another shot at art.
Thank goodness. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Friday Ramblings

I thought today I would ramble a little bit about my husband.
He makes me laugh all the time, even more so after 27 years.
For our Christmas gift to each other, we went into Los Angeles and saw Iris, the Cirque Du Soleil show. The next morning, we were having breakfast and my sweet husband said, "Let's go see museums today." How could I decline? He went in search of a paper to see what was going on in town. The only paper he could find was the Beverly Hills Courier, which didn't have much of the goings-on of the museums in L.A., but it had an eye catching ad for an auction at the Beverly Hills Country Club.
"Wanna go?" the husband asked.

If you have ever been in the Beverly Hills area, you know that there are a million and one tour buses whizzing by every three minutes to view the "HOMES OF THE STARS."  I personally have never been on such a tour, but it must be a booming business. I just don't see the fun in whizzing by a house covered in rod iron fencing and high bushes and ooohing and ahhing because it's Tom Cruise's house.

What I do know is fun is that on our way to the auction, when ever a tour bus would drive by, my husband would hide behind the Beverly Hills Courier and pretend he was "somebody." You know, as in a famous somebody who thought they could roam the streets of Beverly Hills undeterred.

I thought I would wet my pants.
He has perfect timing, and each time the tour bus would go by, he would be crossing the street with the paper held in front of his head and I would be watching the people on the open air top part of the bus to see if anyone would whip out their camera and start snapping away.
Sadly, no one did, but we sure had a good time.

The auction? Sheer entertainment in a mind-boggling way.
We watched as persian rugs went for a "song" at $6,000.00 and twenty five karat necklaces were practically given away at $13,000.00!! Boy, I sure missed my chance on that necklace- I couldn't get my auction number up fast enough during the bidding.
yeah, right.....

I put our adventures on Facebook and when we ended up at the Los Angeles  County Museum of Art (LACMA) to see the exhibited entitled, "Levitated Mass", my husband thought it would be fun to continue the mysterious star's adventures. I thought it would be fun as the whole thing of a rock on exhibit was not quite my cup of tea but snapping pictures of a fake star would be more entertaining.

I snapped this photo, making sure to keep the "star's" identity secret, but the best part of the photo is the little girl in pink in the lower right corner.

Stronger than any human, more impressive than any mysterious "star", SHE can hold up the entire rock!

On to the next subject:
Will Work For Justin Bieber Tickets.

We have struck gold, here gang. Pure gold.
Brenna is more motivated than I have ever, ever seen.
Every day she does some form of exercise. Every day we work out her food plan-and she sticks to it and makes really good decisions around food.
Every night she gets a piece of the puzzle and let me tell you what, she LIVES for picking out that  puzzle piece after dinner. 
I am a little worried that she doesn't get the concept of time-that we will be doing this for six months, but I think we will figure out a prize at the end of this first month of filling in the puzzle.

We have found a fun new way to exercise and it is in the form of a giant space with multiple trampolines. I'm going to brave it next time, providing I have some Depends on, if you get my drift...
She had so much fun, but boy, was she beat at the end of an hour!!! 

She motivates us every day, that girl. Between Brenna's fabulous eating habits and my eldest daughter being a vegetarian and home over Christmas break, I have come up with some yummy dinners.
Grilled chicken on top of salad with roasted butternut squash and feta cheese.
Oh, yum...
I love being able to BBQ all year.

And the artwork together?
Slower than I imagined, but we are still working on it.

Hope your weekend is most enjoyable!!!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Love and Hearts

December 27 I was at Target and they had all the bathing suits out and all the trappings of Valentine's Day. "Holy COW!!!" I thought. How could anyone think of that stuff now????
Well, it did get me to thinking about an art project I have had brewing for quite a while now.

Miss Brenna seems to have caught the artistic bug in her own , unique way.
She loves (LOVES) to draw objects in rows, methodically picking a marker, making the shape, and either coloring it in or marking it into fours and then coloring the four squares within the shape. Then she puts the cap on her marker, puts it back into the box and chooses another to repeat the process. It's fairly fascinating to watch and she has filled multiple notebook doing this. It's also fascinating to see her progression.

I set us up in my art room, surprised by her acceptance of my invitation to do an art project together. She is definitely at the stage where it's waaaay more fun to do stuff with friends and not mom.

I took out some Golden's Fluid Matte Medium and gave her a sponge brush.
We took her papers with all the hearts and began to adhere them to the canvases and then we would  rub an old credit card over them and lift off the page to discover what it had left behind.

I was quite pleased and envisioned us working together for quite a while, spending a happy afternoon together. 
She was finished after 20 minutes. 
Maybe she got tired of me oohing and ahhing over each discovery. 
Probably it's more like I wasn't one of her cool friends, but 
I'll be happy with what I get!

So, thanks for the push to begin the project Target! Sorry I won't be buying any bathing suits any time soon, but I would if you send me to the Bahamas.

Keep your fingers crossed that Brenna and I will be back in the art room together this week.
Hope your week is off to a wonderful start!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Friday Ramblings

Happy January.
It's an odd January for me.
The calendar tells me that it has been a year since my mom passed away.
Some days it seems it has been just a couple of weeks ago, other times it seems like ten years. Memories and time away does that, I think.

Do you make resolutions?
Not me.
I have learned that for someone with perfectionistic tendencies they aren't such a good idea and they actually add more stress to my life. Then there's the stubborn side of me that keeps saying, "Huh. You can't make me do that. I want to do just the opposite because it's way more fun, and don't we all need more fun??? Please??" Plus, when something better comes along, I'm all for it and I have completely forgotten my resolution. When I do make up my mind to do something, I get it done, but I have to have the say so as to when I start. June is nice. Or April. Kinda eases you into the year....
If you make them, do you tend to stick to them? Have you seen one accomplished?
I can honestly say no to both questions.

We have taken lots and lots of walks this break. The weather has been cold (for us) and beautiful. 
The other reason we are taking lots of walks is because Brenna is "working" for some concert tickets.
She is bound and determined to get to a Justin Bieber concert. We thought he was finished winging his way through our area, but noooooooo....
With our other daughter, we would ask her to work for the money to pay for her ticket. It's a little more difficult for Brenna to do this, so my husband came up with a GENIUS idea.
We have cut up last year's J.B. calendar, month by month. For every day that Brenna eats well and exercises this month, she get a piece of the "puzzle" and puts it back together. We will do this for six months, until the date of the concert in June. 
We have tried so many ways to get her motivated to move, to make good choices about food, and it has been a long, strenuous road.
We have hit gold on this idea. I have never seen her more motivated in my life. The trick will be to continue it month by month, but I tell you what, so far so good!
It's not a resolution, as we have worked on this issue for years. So, I'm motivated to help her as well, and I'm looking forward to posting about the progress.

Have you seen it yet?
Oh, my word.
Les Miserables.
Possibly the best movie I have ever seen. I was riveted, I cried like a baby, I was utterly drained when it was done.
The darkness of man, and the greatness of grace and redemption. Over and over and over again,  grace and redemption win out. 
It's tremendous.

So, here's to January.
And June. 
And April.
New beginnings, new words to live by for the year, so much to look forward to in the coming days. Sometimes it's just a daybreak, maybe it's a reunion, but whatever it is, I hope it's gentle and brings you joy.

 Iphoto for the last couple of weeks: