Saturday, October 30, 2010

Bird Watching Habitat

I'm already missing our bird watching habitat at our Coronado home. Finches, hummingbirds, orioles, and Black Phoebes were just some of the birds that frequented our garden. Our trees were a constant buzz of birdy activity, much to my bird watching delight. Birds even frequented our huge tall pine trees in the back yard. Take a look...

Here's the tree from my vantage point in the back yard:

A clack and a call causes me to run out and look up, to find this lodger:

A Blue Heron spends his days perched in a high lookout up over the bay.

He sits in the tree by day, and flies to the water to hunt in the late afternoon.

He stands about 3' tall. He's the largest bird that visits our garden.

Lola is so bored by it all. It's as if she says, "Lordy, here she goes again..."

We've relocated to Pt. Loma, and are ready to explore attracting birds to our new garden. We have quite some work to do over here... I put out some peanuts, hoping to bring the Blue Jays, but only succeeding in attracting a flock of crows.... sigh...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

These Hands...

  • can sew most anything on an old Singer sewing machine
  • can rock a crying baby to sleep
  • can cook a mean plate of pumpkin pancakes
  • can gesticulate like old Italian woman's hands
  • can get poked like pincushions by needles, & still be good to go
  • can fix a lovely hairdo for a young lady's prom
  • can help build a skateboard ramp with hammer and nails
  • can learn a new skill, and master it like nobody's business
  • can help win 345,000 points in 1 minute of Bejeweled Blitz
... but right now, these hands are busy painting doors, moulding and window trim in a 1930's house, and they are loving every minute! Now, if I could just get the paint washed off, I'd be a happy camper :o)

What are your hands busy with right about now?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Divine Purpose

I'm really not too sure how to go about telling you what I want to tell you... so, please bear with me as I muddle through this. I don't want to change the tone of my blog either, it's just that I feel I must share my purpose with you. So, here goes...

Many people close to me seem to be searching for spiritual meaning, the reason for being, questioning their connections (or lack of) with God. (Or, perhaps, those messages are what I'm listening to right now-?) Normally, I just shut up when these topics come up. I don't mean to lock my lips, but I'm just not sure what people will think (of me) if I speak up. So, I guess what I'm saying is that I've decided to "practice speak up". I'm going to speak up here in my virtual space, and if it goes well, then perhaps I'll have more courage to speak up in the live moment. Sounds good on "paper", right? Ok, here goes.

I'm going to tell you about my angels. My youngest son asks me to tell him this story again and again. It's pretty special.

photo courtesy of Lynne Harkes

We were living in Rhode Island when I met my angels. I was in the first grade, I was 6 years old. My dad was going to the War College, and my mom would type his assignments for him each night as I was going to bed. I couldn't ever go to sleep due to the click-clack noise the typewriter made, so my dad would come in and talk me through a relaxation process that would put me to sleep every night. What a dad! Later, when the house was quiet, I would get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. I did this every night. This meant I had to be fully awake because I was in the top bunk of a bunkbed. No stumbling around if you have to climb down a ladder in the middle of the night!

One middle of the night, I woke up, and as I sat up, I noticed a soft light in the corner of the room, over by the door. As I sat up and looked over, I saw them. Two angels, glowing white, as if lit from within. There was an older girl angel and a younger boy angel. The girl looked to be about 10 or 11 and the boy about 5 years old. They had big fluffy white wings that draped on the floor, like a load of beautiful hair falling about at their feet. They watched me, and waited to see what my reaction would be. What did I do? What any sane 6 year old would do! I buried my face in the pillow and told myself I was dreaming! But every time I would look up, they were still there. They stayed there the rest of the night. They watched me. They didn't leave until daybreak. I know, because I was shaken to my core, and I watched them the whole night too. What an auspicious meeting... my angels and me. Too bad I didn't realize it then...

Years passed... I was 6, then 7, then 10, 28....35, now 50. The angels have always been with me since I saw them at 6. First wanting to forget, then opening my heart to what I experienced, it has been a life changing experience. The angels have been my guiding light since I was 6 years old.

If I don't know how to proceed with a big decision, I get a gentle nudge from my angels. When I look for answers, they come. Plans are made in dreams, books are opened and words alight, the way is found in trust and listening, in looking forward with an open heart. When I ask, I find. (Thank you, angels :o)

When people question God's existence, I am quiet. If angels exist, so surely does God. I really have a lot to say, but they might think I'm crazy if I tell them I'm guided by my angels. So, I'm sharing this with you, first. It just seems like the right step to take. My angels said it would be...

How about you? Have angels touched your life too? Maybe your heart is your divine guidance.... Celebrate the special purpose within you!

Monday, October 11, 2010

My New Friend Picnik! I wish I had eons of time to edit each and every photo I take. Granted, proper editing takes quite a bit of time, but I just love the results. I love that I can add text, and I LOVE the fashion forward text options :o) Photos can be uploaded and edited for free-what a deal! I have decided to buy the premier version so I can have even more options at my fingertips (like making collages of photos), plus Kyle can turn photos of himself into a proper ghoul. (Check out Picnik, and you'll see what I mean) Happy editing!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Midnight Needle Felting Gnomes

Who knew there were such a thing? I woke up this morning and found this on my needle felting table... what a surprise!

I don't think I had anything to do with it. (But, humm- I did go out with the girls last night) I only had 2 small drinks ^beer^ and that's certainly not enough to make needle felting gnomes come out! But they did. Here's the little peaceful scene after a bit more time was spent on it this morning...

Truth be told, we have sooo much going on in our family life right now that my head is like one of those whizzing Bingo ball machines. The kind where there are a million numbered ping pong balls flying around. Then, when they're ready to call a number, a ball is sucked out of the whirling dervish. Yep, that's my head right now; one big whirling dervish! We are moving in 2 weeks, and things are moving like wildfire at the house in Pt. Loma we are restoring. The contractor needs this, I have to get over to paint that, this needs to be purchased, go find that hardware... you know, that sort of stuff. Then, on the Val's Art Studio side of things... 3 big shows in a 2 week span the end of Nov/early Dec. THAT alone is enough to make my head spin. Well, I know I work well under pressure, so just keep piling it on! (Just kidding. I don't think I can take much more.) At least the needle felting gets accomplished by those midnight gnomes. Wow, what a gift to wake up to. Gnomes, you are welcome anytime :o)

Hope those gifting gnomes come to visit you!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Who Knew Toast Would Be So Jammy?

Mr. Toasty pillows have been my most popular items as of late. They brought people in droves to my booth during Art Walk. I heard people exclaim as they walked over, "Here are the Toast Pillows we've heard about". Well, heck, who knew that everyone loves Toast so much?! The sign says, "
Mr. Toasty... with a Pat of Butter Love" Ok, really... how could you not?!

The first Toast pillow came about out of boredom, and looking for something new to please my fancy. When I made up a cashmere toast pillow, both Drew and Kyle kind of went crazy over it... I've learned to recognize the signs; delightful shrieks, cheek rubbing, face petting, that sort of thing.

Greg has been watching me make Toast like they are going out of style. He's been so puzzled... the look on his face says [What's with all the stupid toast?] and, *Don't we have enough toast pillows hanging around here already?* and, #Good lord, she's making another one# ... He just doesn't get it.

Lately, we've had some new Toast folk arrive on the scene. We have Mr. Pirate Toasty (not really new, but a very popular guy, so many more Pirate Toasts are being created, in several different mustache shades!) Plus, we now have Ms. Hairdo Toast. I love her! All have a sort of Honey Bun Hairdo, some even have bows...

Next on the radar are (plain) Mustache Toast. Really, with those mustaches, what more do they need? I'm not really sure how these will be received. At least they made Greg laugh...

Toast pillows are being made in great fluffy quantities now that I've been invited to a one day show and sale at the
New San Diego Children's Museum! Mark your calendars for Saturday, November 27th. Admission is FREE that day. I will be exhibiting with the Make Good group. There's going to be all SORTS of handmade goodness to be found! (Lots of Toast too :o)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Why Needle Felting?

Why is needle felting such an attraction?, you may wonder... What is it about it's tactile quality, the feeling that you need to pick it up, look it over, admire it's wooly characteristics? Why do you feel like you need to learn how to make it? What's the deal with needle felting, and how come we admire it so dang much???!

Are you asking yourself these questions?

I remember when I had my very first encounter with needle felting. It was in a knitting class. Specifically, it was in a class where we learned to knit Cat Bordhi's Mobius purse. The class was taught by Marcia DeCoster, back when she taught knitting too, before she was strictly a bead artist. It's when I got to know and begin to love my knitting girls... but, I digress...

After 3 weeks of knitting and shaping the purse, we felted it. (Check out this informational article to learn how to felt knitted wool or sweaters in your washing machine) Once felted, Marcia shared tips on Embellishment. Now, if you know Marcia, or Marcia's Beaded Opulence, you know she's all about embellishing! Of course, she pushed beaded embellishing, but one little phrase struck a cord with me. She said, ..."or, you could needle felt it". I thought, "Needle felt? What's needle felting?" So, Marcia brought out a needle felting needle, and off I went, merrily needle felting a "V" with yarn onto my felted, handknit bag. That's really all it took... I remember it being an "ah-ha" moment, and then it becoming an "oh, no, this could be dangerous" moment. Well, I'm really all about listening to my heart... so, yes, that danger set in, and after one thing leading to another, I've become all about the wooly wonder of needle felting. It's really a Very good place to be!

Happy Fall, and Very happy Needle Felting to you!