Saturday, December 31, 2016


I'm really REALLY looking forward to 2017!
I just KNOW it's gonna be a good year!

Some years I don't make too many resolutions
but most years I just say the same things as I've always said.

Get Healthy
Lose weight.
Get Organized
Do my Art
Blah, Blah, Blah.
So this year, what are my resolutions?
All of the above of course but most importantly it's to change my priorities.

I never seem to have time for making my Art
or writing my books.
I have so many ideas and yet I never find the time...

So I'm going to find time.
I might let some things fall through the cracks
but I'm going to work it out.
I might have to cut back on work hours.
I might have to let the new girl take some of them
and while that scares me, both in a financial way
and in a caretaker way, (not to say she's not a good caretaker)
but it's hard for me not to micro-manage.

But if I don't step back a little bit
I'll never get the things done that I'm always talking about.
And wouldn't it be ironic if something I create takes off
and I don't have to work so many hours.

Also, I HAVE TO start taking care of MYSELF.
I hate to whine about aches and pains but
I've been having some problems with my knee
and foot problems.
I'm finding that I have to hold on to the stair railing in order to walk down the steps
for the first time in my life.
It might just be part of getting older but
I've also put on too many pounds.
I hate seeing photos of myself anymore and the other day
I was looking at someone else's photos of Christmas Eve at my stepmom's.
The photo showed the little kids opening presents and in the background
was a woman I didn't recognize.
It was me.
I was shocked,
Do I look like that?!
Evidently so, although I don't FEEL like that.

I need to get the weight off and stop eating fast and easy junk.
Not a diet though.
No, more of a conscious way of eating.
I plan to go the Fork over Knives route.
Anyway... that's the plan.

AND to start focusing on enjoying the NOW.
I'm always careful with money but...
I'm going to start going to the random movie
and stopping and getting a yummy coffee
and get a first ever manicure.

If I've learned anything this year, it's that life is short.
So many celebrities died young this year
and several people I know quite well
are stricken with Cancer...

I'm going to stop worrying
and THAT'S a really hard one for me
and put it out to The Universe that things will work out and be OK.

So that's my resolutions.
#1. Re-prioritize my time and work on my Art.

#2. To think about my health
I will still enjoy an occasional treat
but I'll savor it, and not just mindless snack.

And I will stop eating processed, packaged stuff
and stop the emotional eating.

#3. I will live in the NOW and ENJOY my life.

#4. Stop worrying about everything and put in in
The Universe's hands.

Did YOU make any resolutions for 2017?
I'd love to know!

Sunday, December 25, 2016


Wake up Jimmy!

I think there are a couple of presents with your name on them!

Well Jimmy, you did it!
You fooled Santa!


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Truly LAST MINUTE THOUGHTFUL Christmas gifts

Since I am always running a day late
and a dollar short, I thought I'd share some last minute gift ideas
to people who are in the same boat as I.

I've read some suggestions on different design/decor type blogs
and they are absolutely ridiculous in MY world.
Suggestions like giving a plant to someone because they "have everything"
or buying them some other knick-knack...
that kind of thing drives me crazy.

First, let me address this plant idea.
If they LOVE plants, then by all means, get them one.
But if you've never seen a plant in their home,
don't do it.
Most likely they have a brown thumb
OR pets.

Many plants are toxic to pets,
so think before you buy.

OK, here's my ideas.
First, before you leave the house,
sit down with a pen and paper or your smart phone
and THINK.

Write down each person's name
and leave a space for ideas.
I think the object is to only write down 2-3 ideas.
If you write down too many, if you are like me,
it will make you indecisive when you get to the store.

Now think about the person
and what they need AND would actually like to have.
I'll use my own family (because none of them ever read my blog.)

But first I'm going to give a three examples of gifts I've received.
One of which was very thoughtful
and the other two, nice but...
And what we all really want to give, is "thoughtful" gifts
isn't it?

First, the thoughtful one-
I received a box a couple of years ago from a client
that contained a pair of very nice warm gloves and hand lotion.
In the winter, my hands are always cracked and dry from being outside
and also from constantly putting them in dish water.
She had also tucked inside the box a very cute card that she had obviously carefully chosen.
The card had an illustration of dachshunds playing in the snow
and the client's pets, who I take care of, are of course dachshunds.
Inside was a gift card to Starbucks and she had written a note about wanting me
to enjoy a hot drink in the cold weather and she had signed her dogs names to the card.
I love Starbucks but they are not in my budget so I really appreciated being
able to treat myself to a hot beverage.

To me, this was the perfect Christmas gift
and obviously I still remember it.

Now to the other gift I received from a client.
A BIG box of fudge.
Now that was super nice of them
and looking at me,  I suppose they figured out that I enjoy sugar but...
it was really the last thing in the world I needed.
Luckily I was having a "strong" day and carried it up front
so my co-workers could have some too!

Another gift I got was from a good friend.
I had mentioned how much I loved a mug she had gotten me several years back
and how I use it every single morning.
It's a HUGE mug that can hold 2 cups of coffee
and on it is a photo of a Golden Retriever puppy.
PERFECT Gift for ME.
So, this year she got me another mug,
A one cup size mug that had a dog motif and very cute but...
I don't really need it.
What was she thinking????????
I mean, it was sweet of her to give me a gift
but I have a BIG mug that I love!
(She doesn't read my blog either, so I feel safe posting this.)

So, this is what I'm trying to get at.
I think if we just sit down for a minute and THINK,
just let that panicky time running out feeling go
and think....

This is what I came up with.
My sister said not to get her anything.
She didn't need more stuff.
But, yeah... it's Christmas
and because she is always misplacing her gloves
I got her another warm pair that she can keep in her car.
Also, because she has to go out in all kinds of weather, to go to work
I bought some cute little ear muffs because she usually forgets her hat too.

For my BIL, a very hard man to buy for,
I bought him fishing lures off of Amazon
for trout fishing.
That's what he does in Vermont when they go up there.
A cheap gift but something he will actually use.

A word about Amazon.

and while I bought several gifts at Target
(this last Sunday I went, around dinner time, after everyone had mostly gone home from a day of shopping, I hate crowds but these gloves were 30% off! and might not be there for long)

I got about half of the gifts from Amazon.
Amazon has free two-day shipping, if you are in their Prime program.
The fee pays for itself if you buy a lot throughout the year, which I do.
I order my dog potty pads from there, monthly.
Sometimes I will order cat food from there too.
....and my paint water-pens and micro pens and of course BOOKS about everything!
and Amazon is usually much cheaper than the store!
I'm extremely fortunate that my sister put me on her Prime account
and SHE pays that fee! LOL!
That's the best bargain EVER!

So there's another good idea, I think,
an AMAZON gift card, which they will NEXT day to you!
and then your person can choose whatever they really want.

OK, more gift ideas.
My oldest niece who is an Artist who travels all over the country
and has gone to England and France a few times too for artist retreats...
I got her a travel sketchbook and a micro pen.

My middle niece was complaining how she cuts up her legs when shaving, every time!
So I got her a gift box of a nice shaver with shaving lotion and body cream
and then I picked up $3.00 super fuzzy purple socks.
She loves purple socks.

My youngest niece,
I bought her a best selling dog book

(that I might end ordering one for myself! LOL!)
and then I included a block of the Sculpey clay
that she uses for her little creations.
(I'm going to do a post soon about the creatures she creates and her Etsy shop)

Finally, every year my sister and I go in on a gift certificate for our Step-Mom
and her hubs to a dinner theater.
They both have said how much they enjoy going
and they probably wouldn't have gone in the beginning it they hadn't had the gift certificate
and now it's kind of a tradition now.

So that's my suggestions.
I don't think a gift needs to BIG
or a lot of them.
I don't think that's what Christmas is about.
Not for me anyway.
I like a simpler Christmas.
One that doesn't leave you with a BIG credit card bill in January.

Final note:
If you can't think of the right thoughtful gift
and the person has a pet,
you can't go wrong in giving them something for their pet.
In fact, that kind of gift makes me happiest of all!
It tells me the person really knows ME
and was super thoughtful!


Saturday, December 17, 2016

Jimmy Chew and Santa

We went to see Santa today.
Jimmy had some lying to do.

Afterwards I let him pick out a toy.
We had to go down three aisles before he found what he wanted.

He stood patiently in the checkout lane and waited.
Other customers laughed and told me I had to get him that toy!
He just ignored them all and waited until it was his turn

to be rung up.

When we got back into the car I asked him if he thought he had fooled Santa?
"Do you think you're still on his "Naughty" list?"

When we got home I told him I'm sure everything would be ok.

But he seemed to still be thinking about it.

We walked up the front steps and I said
"Seriously Jimmy! He knows you're a terrier. He knows it's just your nature to do what you do!"
"If you are good this whole last week, I'm sure he'll put you on his "NICE" list".
I hope that reassured him some.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016


So many blogs are now posting beautiful photos of their Christmas decor.

I have to be honest, I haven't decorated.
In fact, I haven't done much decorating for years.
I'll hang a couple of wooden snowflakes above my windows,
and a little wreath on the front door.
Maybe I'll put a tiny tree in a silver bucket on the front steps
and set a couple of bottle brushes on a shelf and then I'm done.

This year, like almost everything that happened this year.
has me way behind and no time to catch up.
But I've made the decision to make major changes next year
so that I'm not always behind and stressed about it.

I just really feel like 2017 is going to be my YEAR.
I've made the decision that I'm not moving.
I'm not moving to a different house
and I'm not moving to a different state.
I will do a different post about how and why I reached this decision but
today's post is about Christmas decorating.

Because of my decision not to move
I've decided to work on my house and make it like exactly like I want it to be.
And that is a simple, white but colorful, farmhouse, folk art, modern style.

What kind of style is that?
I don't know and don't care what it's really called
but I call it my HAPPY style.
Yep, I want to pull in the driveway and smile
and walk in the front door and feel HAPPY!

I'm a HUGE fan of PINTEREST.
It never feels to inspire me.
I've created "boards" of things I love
but I found that some are very unrealistic.
So I've decided to go in and start deleting some of my "Pins"
and just keep what I really truly need for inspiration for MY life.
Not my fantasy life.

So since I don't have anything set up for Christmas to show THIS year,
I thought I'd share some of my Christmas PINS.

Yep, that's what I like.
That's my HAPPY STYLE!

I pulled my little canvases from the place I blogged about.
I gave my notice 60 days ago as my "contract" said I must.
But the owner asked me if I would be interested in leaving some seasonal pieces
on a commission only basis.
Meaning I wouldn't have to pay for a "space"
but rather she would just set them around the shop
and maybe now and then, something might sell.
She wanted only seasonal items and that sounded good to me.
I did a big group of "Vintage Christmas" photos and mounted them on canvas.

We'll see how that goes.

I also am trying to fill up the vet clinic with little canvases
in hopes that people will buy some for stocking stuffers and gift exchange type gifts.

But with Christmas so close now.
I'm starting on Valentines Day.

Yep Valentines.
Several years back I made Valentine's cats.
Some were painted fabric cats.

And some were made of PaperClay.

I sold them on eBay back then.
I remember that a blogger friend had messaged me and asked why they all had broken hearts painted on their chests.
To be honest, I did that kinda halfway subconsciously I guess
and was surprised at the question.
I mean, of course they had broken hearts.

So I'm starting to work on that NOW
because that's my PLAN for next year!
To be AHEAD of the game and actually get my IDEAS created and ready for sell.

Sunday, December 4, 2016


Yesterday I did a post of two videos.
It showed a massive amount of birds flying over my home.
I've learned from my wise Blogger buddies that they were starlings.
Those birds were pretty smart too and obviously they knew what was coming!
This morning I woke up to this-

It's one of the trees I showed in the video.
To be honest, I'm not happy about the snow.
And it continued to fall all day.
Here's a photo of the bush just outside my backdoor.
All of it's leaves had not fallen yet.

It's kinda pretty, but it's still snow.
I had some plans for today, including running some errands.
Instead I just stayed inside all day.
My back is hurting and I just didn't want to shovel.
(Although I eventually gave in and shoveled out my car.)
But my sore back didn't stop me from re-arranging the furniture again.

Eventually I should post photos of the back bedroom that I'm decided to use as my Art space.
I emptied everything out of the room and then dragged just what I wanted back in.
I still have Blue's twin bed in there though.
My plan is to work at the big table and then slide my projects into the empty drawers
of the several dressers I have in there when I leave the room to go to work or whatever.
My reasoning behind that is because not only is Blue in that room while I'm gone,
but also Nora and Jimmy Chew.

 Yeah, he looks like a sweet, innocent good boy but I know him better than that.

Saturday, December 3, 2016


A greeting? Kinda eerie. I sorta felt like Tippi Hendren..... (two 7 second video's -)