Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Monday, April 5, 2010

Waiting for the Tidal Wave....

Tomorrow would have been my Dad's 80th birthday. Since his death on November 13, the April calendar page has been like a dreaded countdown.

It will be a big wave to ride ......

Love you and miss you Dad. ♥

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

"procrasticleaning" .....

I am supposed to have read this entire book by Thursday morning for a study group, called "When Everything Changes, Change Everything: in a Time of Turmoil, a Pathway to Peace" by Neale Donald Walsch.

Instead, I am tempted to fall into my bad habit of "procrasticleaning". Overwhelmed by my "to-do" list , before any of the above tasks can be completed, my entire desk, closet, house, refrigerator and life must be cleaned and organized first. Like that will ever happen.

If I've learned anything in the past year, everything changes - I mean EVERYTHING, and you just have to roll with it. I'm not sure that reading this book will unlock all the mysteries of life's trials and tribulations or help me find more peace.

It's enough progress for me to give up procrasticleaning, leave everything in chaos and go practice my saxophone outside on the deck (my version of peace) now that it's finally above 50 degrees in Vermont. The book, and everything else can wait - at least for today.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

"Spark Plugging" Valentine's Day

Vintage romance just in time for Valentine's Day. I love the title at the bottom "The Sparking Plug" I hope this inspires you to copy and use in your handmade paper arts projects. Please share your work with us?

♥ ♥ ♥ Happy Valentine's Day ♥ ♥ ♥

Thursday, December 31, 2009

One more for 2009

My father passed away November 13. Still reeling from the shock and disbelief, I have been unable to write about it until today. The last day of 2009 seems like the appropriate moment.

He was extremely generous, and my mind keeps wandering back to the day he presented me with my Selmer Mark VII tenor and alto saxophones. I was a senior in high school, and had always played on rentals (a Yamaha tenor) or an older instrument borrowed from a family member (an alto Buescher Tru-Tone). My Dad was a very busy man, and traveled extensively for his company, which meant he missed most of my concerts and performances. Last year at Thanksgiving, while visiting in Vermont, he remarked that he'd never heard me play. I took out the tenor he gave me, and played for him. Looking up as I finished I saw tears in his eyes. I asked him why he was crying. He replied that he felt terrible he had never heard me play before and told me he thought I was really good. "It doesn't matter Dad, you heard me now."

I wanted to play for him one last time, and my husband was kind enough to realize I wasn't crazy when I asked him to drive my Selmer Tenor across Canada for 2 days so I could play "A Closer Walk With Thee" at his funeral.

From now on, every time I play, I know he can hear me.

Friday, May 15, 2009

I want to play saxophone underwater.......

If you like this - check out the main site and contribute to the charity "Band on the Wall", helping to teach music to disabled children.


Saturday, May 9, 2009

Mother's Day 2009

It's a strange Mother's Day weekend this year.  Typically, my mother-in-law Joan would be arriving from Spain for her annual 2 month visit.  She's not coming this year, or ever again.  She passed away in February after somewhat brief and completely horrible battle with lymphoma. 

I'm home alone for the weekend - the husband and kids are off to Lake Placid for a basketball tournament.  I'm usually with them, because Joan would be here, to hold the fort and insist I go. I'm here with the dog, and surprisingly, I don't mind being left behind this year.

Thunderstorms rolled in, and the phones are out.  My mind wanders and I think about things she said to me last year.  "Don't you EVER give up what makes you happy for anyone...EVER!" and then she grabbed my hand, looked me in the eyes and said "I want you to know, that I know, that it's you that keeps the kids and this family together.... and I love you for it."   

Two to three months a year for the last 11 years - roughly 990 days.  We spent a lot of time together - more than I've spent with almost anyone else.  We talked about everything, over coffee in the morning, riding in the car, sitting outside watching the kids play.  I always felt like she understood me in a way not many people do.

The sun has come out. The house is quiet.  I can hear Joanie's voice in my head, almost like she's in the next room.  I take my bari sax out of the case, open the door to the balcony..... I stand outside and play "Moonlight in Vermont" and some Dizzy Gillespie licks.  One of the benefits of rural Vermont, no neighbors, but I am scaring the squirrels away from the birdfeeder.  I play until the sun starts to go down.  She would have loved that. The sky looks like a heavenly painting - blues and warm reds.  The birds are singing.  I know she heard me.

Happy Mother's Day to all mothers wherever you are.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Hats, Bonnets and Easter

I decided to double up on the vintage ephemera this month... so many beautiful images with ladies and their hats. I heard a commentary on VPR this morning about the criticism hurled at Aretha Franklin regarding her now famous inaugural finery: "Gerzina: Easter bonnets and Aretha's hat", By Gretchen Gerzina. It is worth reading and gives a new perspective on ladies wearing hats as a show of R-E-S-P-E-C-T. http://www.vpr.net/episode/45802/ .

I love to provide monthly ephemera "freebies". All I ask is that you share what you make with the rest of us. Thanks.

Friday, March 20, 2009

"Little Darling - the snow is finally melting..."

Here comes the sun ~ finally. The signs of spring take their time in the Green Mountains. The chicadees are whistling their happy song - the sky has transformed from grey to blue, and the mud ruts in the road could suck the tire off your car. Aaahhh the 5th season in Vermont - Mud Season.

No matter - I'm so happy to see spring - I've decided to post a bonus freebie this month - hope you like it. It is from my private collection - put on the Beatles and sing along with the birds.......and enjoy it.
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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day

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Happy St. Patrick's Day - Hope you're wearing green or rumour has it that you are eligible for a fanny pinch! This is this month's vintage image freebie - please enjoy and show me your work!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Monday, February 2, 2009

February Ephemera Freebie

I love February - it's a short month, I can forget about all the January pressure to make everything over, it's the last real month of winter (or so I tell myself), and Valentine's Day is right around the corner!

In keeping with that romantic sentiment - here is another vintage freebie ~ make something romantic and enjoy - please share if you're feeling brave - I'd love to see what you've made!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Now where did I put my bliss.....?

Every January we are bombarded by messages encouraging us to revamp, reorganize and reprioritize. The television talk show circuit is rife with professionals ready to help overhaul our finances, personal appearance, home, health, life. I'm compelled to make lists, read magazine articles, listen to the experts. Now, there is the added pressure of finding bliss. Bliss is a word I just can't wrap my head around. What are they talking about? Like most women, I'm starting to stress about falling short in yet another category...... the “bliss” scale. In addition to the sudden urge to lose ten pounds, look ten years younger, or check ten things off my new daily online organizational calendar, something else keeps popping into my head.... How can I find my bliss if I can't even find my car keys!

There are hooks by the back door, a basket on the hall table, and a key chain bigger than the one for the restroom at the gas station. What's wrong with me? According to the experts, an invisible army of perfectly organized women exists with everything they need at their fingertips. Why can't I do all that stuff? Should I take more vitamins, make a duty roster for the kids and post it on the bathroom mirror, hire a personal trainer? I'm starting to feel panicky. I put my coat on and slip my hand into the pocket and find bliss at that moment. The realization hits me: our bills get paid, the kids are happy, there's food on the table, a roof over our heads, and we love each other. This past year was challenging for my family in almost every way possible, but we pulled together and persevered. My bliss is, I'm still here, so is my family, and I'm holding my car keys. I have to run, I'm late for a makeover at the beauty shop.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

January 20, 2009

My husband and our oldest daughter are together today in the nation's capital. Early this morning, they woke and walked together to the Washington Monument and beyond, to participate in the making of history. I spoke with them early this afternoon. They are elated, emotional and a little exhausted but are sharing and making memories today that will last a lifetime.

I thought this particular piece of vintage ephemera appropriate, considering the occasion and it's celebratory nature. It's this month's freebie - so please send me a photo if you are inspired by it to be creative.

Pace سلام שלום Hasîtî शान्ति Barış ...... Peace.

Friday, January 9, 2009

MACM - Button Heart Valentine's Day Card

I think this is a great card idea ~ especially after the holidays. I always end up with a box of those little "extra button" envelopes - mostly white and clear - which would look great on red, pink or purple cardstock. I do think you could send it through the mail - however, I would wrap it in tissue/bubble wrap and send in a padded envelope. More like a little gift? You could rubber stamp a heart in a darker or contrasting ink and mount the buttons on top - eliminating the need to sketch your heart or erase pencil marks (that would drive me nuts).

Do a miniature version of this and make a beautiful gift tag with tiny white dress shirt buttons (raid your husband's closet and remove the extras from the lower inside front tail of his shirt ~ the price is right and tucking the shirt in will be less bulky!).

Or if you've been really ambitious and have cleaned your closet to make room for the new things received over the holidays ~ some of those "throw away" items of clothing probably have some great buttons on them!