Saturday, December 29, 2012

Welcome to The Mom in the Arena!

I'd like to introduce you to a new kid in the blogworld... The Mom in the Arena. Well, it's actually Me! But Me in a different form... which you can find over here

I am not completely sure how I can deal with writing two blogs, but one thing I know is that I have been dealing with both sides of my crazy life over the past several years, and I've managed to keep on top of that, not an easy feat! I often feel conflicted about writing about my teen boys and my home life on this blog, so I decided to devote this blog solely to my crafting life, and my other blog to my otherworld antics delving into the world of vulnerability, hope and the return from despair. I hope you will check me out over In The Arena. I also hope you might share a bit of what I do over there should you know of another family who might be dealing with out of control teens, and the mayhem that goes along with that.

x, Val

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12 Tidbits

Today is 12-12-12, and don't we like the simplicity of dates like these?! Ok, I'm not implying we are simple minded or anything (Lol!), just that our busy days enjoy the simplicity of an easy date like this to remember. It's just effortless, right?! My brother was married on 10-20-90, and my mom on 5-5-05. I can always remember their anniversaries!

I thought I would take a moment out of this noted day to post 12 things I am thankful for. Just a moment in the middle of the hectic for.... 

12 Little Thankful Tidbits....

  1. That the birdies in my garden that I love so much love me too, and come to visit me each day for food, sustenance, and care. In turn, they care for me too, for their beauty and sassiness carry me happily through my day.
  2. That my creative being seems to chug along through times of happy and hard, good and bad, and rough and smooth.
  3. For those that are getting snow in their parts of the country, and post photos on Facebook, so I get a chance to peek in on their stark loveliness. Thank you!
  4. For friends who care deeply for me, and I for them, as we help each other manage our life's ups and downs, and carry each other on days when our own burden is too great to bear.
  5. For the way God provides for me when I don't know which way to turn, and He helps me to navigate the journey ahead.
  6. For those people I don't know well, but trudge ahead blindly as they show me a way to find forgiveness from those by whom I feel wronged.
  7. For the opportunity to share my love of craft with others.
  8. For being able to live in a beautiful part of the world, where the sun shines down on me and warms my spirit.
  9. To share time with my 26 year old cockatiel - my old man birdie - who has many quiet days now, and every so often a day when he's like his old self, whistling and chattering... he is just so sweet and I love him so much!
  10. For family who may not always see eye to eye with my bossy self, but who support me wholeheartedly. I love them dearly!
  11. For tears that fall freely, even when I don't want them to (!), letting me know I am in touch with my heart... so, so good to be in touch with my heart!
  12. And, the most important: I am SO thankful for the rerouting that has happened in my immediate family over the past year. When I look back to where we were one year ago, I see a world filled with despair and pain, and unsure of what to do, or how to manage. Today, we are a renewed family, with two boys who are living life in a whole new, healthy way. We have learned so much over the past year, and have grown greatly!
Oh, and even though I have already listed 12 things, I certainly cannot leave out my sweet Lola-girl! She stands by my side through thick and thin, comforts me when I am down, and knows when I need a break so we can do a run and romp in the yard. I love my Missy Lola!

I hope you will find a moment to be thankful today, and during this season of wonder...

Love to you today, and always!
x, Val

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Just Added: Wooly Ornament Class!

Whew, we are in the thick of things now that the first week of December has spun by! I don't know about you, but I can hardly keep track of what date it actually is... I think I am constantly about 1 week behind! What? it's Dec 8th already? I thought it was the 1st!!!

So, in an effort to do more during the busy holiday season, not less by any means (Lol!) I have added a fun new class for next weekend, Dec 15... a Wooly Ornaments Class. Using scraps from my felted woolies pile, we will cut and paste wool, and stitch them up into the sweetest handmade ornaments you've ever seen! 

Suitable for hanging on the tree, or fashioning into a darling garland, or even adorning a package for a special someone, these sweet ornaments will delight the recipient (even if it's you!) Bring your daughter, or a friend, and spend a few hours in the company of like minded crafting souls, as we stitch and laugh our cares away.... so much fun!

 Call over to Paper Tales to sign up.. 619-222-2510. 
See you next weekend!

x, Val

Thursday, November 29, 2012

dang. cute. holiday!

Please, Rain, do not rain on me this Saturday! It's hard to do a dang cute show in the rain... Saturday is Artisans' Alley, which is a super fun outdoor holiday craft show... See, Rain, it's outdoors, and it just won't be a good day for you, Rain. (I'm sorry) It would be really great if you could just take your rainy business away from Coronado for the day. Yep, just go somewhere else to play for the day, and you can come back anytime after 4 pm on Saturday. Ok?  Then we'll be good, Rain, and I promise we can play together very soon!

Rain or no rain, I invite you to come on over to Coronado this Saturday from 9-3 for Artisans' Alley. Maybe, bring your umbrella... just in case Rain decides to show up. (He and I have been talking, you know, and I'm working on him, hard!) And, I have been working like a non-stop fiend to get as ready as I can be. Lots of new... dang. cute. product. ... which would make fantastic holiday gifts!

See you on Saturday :o)
x, Val

Friday, November 23, 2012

Shop Small This Saturday

Psst! Did you know this coming Saturday, Nov 24th is "Shop Small Saturday"? The idea is that you support your local merchants and small shops instead of doing all your holiday shopping at the big box stores, or at the mall. Then, your favorite local small retailers can get a piece of the financial windfall pie, and that helps to sustain them, and keep them in business. It's win-win!

It's so important to shop at those sweet mom-and-pop shops you love to frequent, or pretty soon, they will close up without our much needed support. Last holiday season, I did ALL my holiday shopping at small retailers, and golly, they were SO appreciative! Plus, the gift recipients were touched by such a personal and "out of the ordinary" gift.

Etsy shops are also a great way to "Shop Small", and many are offering special deals this weekend, Black Friday through Cyber Monday. So, I  decided to get in gear with this too, and so...

I am offering a 25% discount in my Etsy shop this long weekend ONLY! 

Just head over to my Etsy shop by clicking here**, and select any ready-to-ship item (NOTE: SALE Pricing is NOT valid on custom orders!) Enter this coupon code at check out to receive 25% off your entire order! Shipping is one low rate to US states! (Please note: All orders will ship beginning 11-28-12)


Happy Holidays, Happy Thanksgiving, and Happy "Shop Small" shopping :o)

x, Val

**PS. A secret for you: Blog readers get an early entrance to the sale. Coupon code is actually valid now!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Willing ... and so Thankful

We ask a lot of ourselves on a daily basis, don't we? We start by getting ourselves out of bed, and into the day, and it just goes on from there, doesn't it?! Heck, yep, it's all downhill from there!

As I watch the transformation of my very brave son(s) right before my eyes, but particularly Drew, who is away from us right now, ... I am awed by both of their spirits, and willingness to change, to accept our love and help, and to understand the whys and the hows and the reasons behind our will that put Drew into treatment, and living away from us during the time he gets the help he needs. I am knocked to my knees with love and respect, and wowed by the path God has sent us on. I still find myself challenged by my will to remain hopeful, which I do, yes I do. I will myself to trust anew. I can now embrace and better understand our fierce love for him, and our willingness to go to the ends of the earth to help and support the very fine young man we have always know him to be. To help our younger son, Kyle, gain the understanding to best help his brother on the path towards recovery. And we are getting there, God willing, Drew is doing so well, so fine, and he is getting to where he needs to be .... one day at a time.

We are getting ready to move Drew to a "step down program" next week, and we are all so excited by this development. Drew is a little nervous, because he will have more freedoms, but he is ready for this now. The medicine he is taking for his brain trauma allows him to plan ahead, and think before he acts, something he wasn't able to do before. This next placement is the step before he comes home, which will still take some time. To date, he has been in treatment for nine long months (!), but in the past 4 months since he's been at Meridell Achievement Center, he's grown by leaps and bounds. We are beyond thankful.

So, as we move towards the day of Thanksgiving, I cannot be more thankful that we have our son back, and he is more beautiful than ever before. His brain is functioning so that he is whole now. We are beyond grateful as a family that we are "whole in spirit" once again. It feels beyond fantastic.

I wish you and yours a very happy Thanksgiving, and hopeful that you too may take time to reflect on what is important and good in life. To be willing to hope and dream, plan and enjoy the fruits of your dreams.... God is willing if you are.

x, Val

PS. Still heavily involved in my busy SHOW SEASON with two shows this weekend... Local Color on Saturday, and Talmadge on Sunday... Please see the links on the left sidebar for more information, and directions to both these events. I hope to see you there!!!!

PPS. New works are being created like mad, and I promise to post photos very soon

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Winter Classes!

Hellooo there!

Things 'round my blog world have been on the quiet side lately. Life has been giving me the old one-two punch lately, but in a calm, quiet, sweet sort of way. It's been all good... really good, just dang busy!

My good news is that I have  f i n a l l y, finally set up a couple of winter classes. Yes! At this point, I can just manage two classes, but more will be in the works for the new year, I promise....

The first is one of my most popular classes from last December, Mr. Wooly Snowman. He is just beyond cuteness!

 Wooly Snowman will be offered one day only, so put it on your calendar and call over to Paper Tales to sign up NOW!

Saturday, December 8 - 2:30-6:30pm

The second class is a brand new, and extra sweet class in one of my favorite subject matters... "The Bunny"...

In the Bunny Hoop class, we will be making the sweetest needle felted bunny scene, and working with felted wooly bits, flat needle felting, and embroidery stitching. This class sample is pictured on the left. This class will be offered on:

Saturday, January 12, from 3-5pm

Again, call over to Paper Tales to sign up.

Now, if the girls at Paper Tales tell you we are still working out the details on the class, make sure you put your name on the wait list and get a spot before they all fill up. We are going to have so much needle felting FUN, I just can't wait! 

Upcoming Fall Shows will be listed on the blog soon. I will be a very busy bee over the next 6 weeks... I hope to see you at a show or a class very soon :o)

x, Val

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Tribute to a Warrior

Randlett Towns "Tex" Lawrence

Yesterday, the man who has been the steadfast light in my family, my stepfather, Randlett Lawrence, who we called Tex, passed away quietly at 12:30 pm. My mom was at his side, as she has been during this last rocky journey in life, his demise into the world of Alzheimer's Disease. It is a blessing that he is released from the disease that destroyed his brain, but we were not ready for his departure from this life. 

I have only known a few good men in my life, and am proud to call Tex one of them. He lived his life with honesty, bravery, valiance and integrity. I met Tex in my mid 20s, introduced to him by my mom, who played bridge and tennis with Tex. I could see they shared fun times together. Tex was quite the "ladies man" and when I encouraged my mom to date him, she didn't think she had what it took to compete with all his other "dates." It took quite a while, 17 years to be exact, but it was a highlight in my life to stand up at my mom and Tex's wedding on 5-5-05.

Tex has been a model Grandfather to my two boys, and I am so happy they have had the length of their lives to get to know this fine man. He has helped our family more than humanely possible. I don't know where we'd be today without Tex's guidance. Even in sickness, he would stand tall as he could, his Marine Colonel background always his ruler and guide. Tex was a career Marine, and has been the subject of many books, he was a true leader, and many men have stood up in praise of his actions during several wars, and in his military career.

I am happy my mom married and has had the past 24 years of her life with such a good man. I am happy for the many lessons I have learned from this patient and caring man. Moving forward, I can see I will be forever affected by dear sweet Tex, and the model of the person he ultimately proved himself to be. He always called me "Valiant Valerie." How was I to know then that I was mirroring the valiance he displayed to me from the moment I met him?

You will be forever missed, Valiant Tex. I will love you forever. 

These photos were taken just two weeks ago during a family visit to where Tex was living, The Sun and Sea Manor. This was the last good day for Tex before he died. 
RIP Tex. Until we meet again...

x, Val

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I choose truth

Ugh, I had to make a very hard choice today. I am still reeling with the decision, and how I'm going to tell  about this decision I made? Actually, both of them. I think they will hate me for what I'm going to tell them...

I think that when we choose from a place of truth, the choice might be easy because our heart guides us to the truth. Whether we like it or not, our heart knows the right choice, and our gut confirms what our heart is telling us. The choice might be clear, and the path to take seems evident. But then... in living our truth... well, that seems to be where the going gets rough. 

So, now, I must explain the reason to them for my choice. And I cringe, and hope that they will understand, and not hate me. I have forged this path before, and the "hate me" part is where I get stuck. In the past, they have either, 1) not understood, and gotten mad at me  2) not liked it, 3) not liked ME for what I have to say, 4) just plain hated me, or 5) just ignored me from that moment on....  :o(

It doesn't bode well for me. No wonder we struggle with living our most honest, heartfelt Truth.

I just hope they can see my side of things, and respect me for my decision. In choosing Truth, at least I know the choice is right for me. In making this decision, my heart is lighter, and I know it is right. At least I have that to hold on to. 

Let's hope they don't take it too hard.

In Truth,

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Messenger Magic

Image from Facebook via my dear friend, Sara
What does one do when a prayer is answered? Laugh, giggle, dance ...and sing? Yes, I think so. How about... If all your prayers - ALL of them...  are answered ... ALL at once?

I have been numb for two weeks now, just trying to soak it all in. I pinch myself, and can't believe it is so. I think it is okay to smile, and feel free, but still the oppression of the "Before" is sitting upon my shoulders. I don't want to ever forget "the Before," because I know the Before like the back of my hand now. I guess I'm going to need to keep that Before with me, right in my back pocket. That Before will keep me humble. Yes, very very humble.

You know this too, don't you? Maybe your prayers were answered last month or last year, or maybe everything you were working for came together many years ago, but today you can remember it like it was yesterday. The relief... the lightness it brings to your heart. The feeling that makes you cry hot tears of relief, and at the same time, run and twirl with joy....

Calling to my angels... how can ever I thank you? The trying, the hoping, the hurting, the not being sure how to do it, the messages, the messengers... The Messengers. Oh, how important to be open to the messengers!

How did it all come together ALL at once? Like a magic firestorm...

Still so numb in the looking back, and seeing the messengers at work, and how they pulled me towards the place I needed to be. I am ... floored....

Thank you. 

To the Universe... how can I ever thank you enough???

For now, I think I am going to take a very small, a very tiny b-r-e-a-k. Maybe just for a day. I think I will knit. Something I haven't done in quite a while. I will read a book too. I know just the one. I will walk in nature and marvel at the birds and the leaves on the trees. They are really, so, so SO healing to my heart. 

And, I will prepare for the future. It's going to be a different future for me, from this day forward. Very different. As for me, today, I am crying a lot, and I am more thankful than I have ever been in my life. Ever. In my life. 

Yes, God. I know you are there, and you know me, and somehow, my words here in this world, even this bloggie world, are being placed at your feet. And I am numb with relief, and so, so SO thankful....

Your forever gal, 


Friday, September 7, 2012

Sugar Skull Portraits- Eek!!!

I guess the impending fall season has gotten a hold of me. What's new in the studio this week are a mess of Sugar Skull pillows. I just couldn't resist photographing them in portrait format. They are too cute!

Of course, after the first dozen or two photos, I had to enlist my son, Kyle. I think he captured the images very nicely, Lol!

I'm working on these crazy pillows for next weekend's Coronado Art Walk. Mark your calendar! We'll be set up in beautiful Coronado by the Ferry Landing. My booth is right down by the bay. I hope you'll stop by!

x, Skele-Val

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Love and thankfulness

L ike a faithful pup, you offer me a cozy space and a listening ear, and a willingness to be there when I need you the most. In my efforts to shut the door on fretfulness and anxieties, you welcome my (sometimes) rambling thoughts, and are patient with me as we mull over life's most thought-provoking complexities. You welcome me, and allow me to speak my truth, and for that I am supremely grateful.

As trouble and hardship and disappointments roll over us, as accolades and congratulations and a job well done cheer us on, and as friends high-five us, may we hold tight to peace.

Old chapters end, and new ones begin. What seemed impossible may now seem probable. We embrace giving thanks in the small things.

Let patience be our new companion while we struggle with the traffic jam that bring us back to the place we find restoration and acceptance. Feel a release as we watch them make choices seven steps away from crazy and realize there’s nothing we can do. Remember love, receive joy, relish miracles, and be stubborn in the important things.

Have a wonderful week, friends!

x, Val

PS. My new chapter is starting now. I am over the moon happy, and beyond thankful with the miracles that have recently happened in my life. Thank you, universe!

* ramblings inspired by sweet Emily over at Chatting At The Sky

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Just seeking answers is all...

Lately, I've been involved with a bit of name calling, but it hasn't bothered me. No, I'm actually ok with it. In fact, the name calling has been directed towards me, and I've rather enjoyed it. In the last week alone, I've been called the following:
  • bear
  • a fighter
  • epic
  • (someone with) spidey-sense
  • awesome
  • and, one woman who works in a doctors office asked me if I am a Nurse!
You may or may not know that I have been involved in the fight of my life for the past nearly 17 years. I got pregnant with my first son, and went into preterm labor with him at week 21. At week 21, day 2, my Ob/Gyn and Perinatologist stood at the foot of my bed, and told me they couldn't stop my labor, and I should just go home. I would deliver a stillborn baby, and then I could just start over again. Well, two weeks later still in the hospital, heavily medicated, find me still pregnant. Fast forward to 15 weeks later, and, though I am still medicated, I am also still pregnant. The day they turn off my medication is the day my labor resumes. Drew is born 12 hours later at day 1 of week 36. He is a true gift, and amazingly healthy, he is my miracle.

This last month has been a whirlwind of questions answered, "i"s dotted, and "t"s crossed. We have finally learned that Drew is having microscopic brain seizures, has ADHD, and can be treated for this with medication. We have also learned that the therapy I received while in preterm labor is supposed to be used for no longer than 72 hours, and I was on it for 6 straight WEEKS. I wouldn't have gotten to this place, this island of learning located deep in my heart, without doing some leaning, and some trusting...

Even though I don't want my son to have anything wrong with him, I am so, so thankful to finally have answers. I am thankful that he can finally receive the help he so desperately needs. I am so, SO happy that HE now understands what is going on inside his brain, and will be able to look at life through new glasses, so to speak. My prayers have been answered big time, and in that, I am grateful, and a bit speechless.

You see, I struggle with running my life through discipline, and perfection. Loosening my grip on the powerful control hold wrought by (ahem) me is difficult, and sobering. Though I have always known about letting God be in charge of my life, I keep trying to put my own spin on things. My old patterns beg me to cling to them, and I talk back. At first, gradually. But as I am witness to the letting go, and letting God be in charge, I am finding that my surefire grip on things wasn't really taking me where I need to go. 

In the trusting, I am finding truth. 
In the letting go, I am being led down the right path. 
In the release, I am finding the answers.

Once, that was terrifying. Now, it brings me great comfort. Now, that gives me a foothold on which to start anew. Now, I have a solid place on which I can lean.

And, in all of that, a true blessing for my son. I couldn't ask for more. I am humbled beyond words.

x, Val

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Sketch magic

I am standing in the store, and here I am again... in front of the sketch books. Now really... I have enough. I do not need another sketch book, I have sketch books I haven't even sketched in yet. I have diaries and plain paper sketch books. Ones with covers I can paint, and ones that are too cute that I-don't-dare-touch-them for fear of diminishing them in some ridiculous way. Walk -a w a y- from the sketch books, I say to myself sternly, as I gently place this adorable one in my shopping basket. Oh well, just one more surely won't hurt, right??

I love the sketch, the simplicity of pencil on paper. The magic of the mark. Transforming of the book with a mark I make, and with my mark, I make it mine. I love that my sketch can be bold and colorful, or it can be a line that only my trained eye can see. The sketch and I are one.

If the book is deemed cute, or it's paper is modest but of good quality, then it passes my test. If the paper can be easily torn out with that small vertical perforation, then it is good! Most likely, it will be coming home with me. Sometimes it has lovely inside art, or, like the one above, it's cute cover causes me to open it up, and I find irresistible-ness inside. I am weak with resistance. I have them big, and I have them small. They are tucked into the pocket of my handbag. They are thin and they are thick. Would you look at THAT ONE! Home it comes.

The mark is simple, and it can become complex and extremely cute once I pair it with some wool fluff and my delicate barbed needles. The needles work the wool into the sweater, and turn my simple sketch into something worth loving. 

... with all my heart. I love the sketch, the wool, the life they take on. And it all begins with one simple mark, on a piece of paper. Um, out of a cute book.

So, yes, I will keep sketching. And I will probably have a dozen sketchbooks on the shelf waiting patiently for a magic line or two. 

What about you? What can't you resist? I know there must be something!

x, Val 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


I don't really like that word "aftermath" because it implies something like a Holocaust, or a tornado, or a thing that is big and horrible, and somehow you survived. Perhaps I need to take myself just a little more seriously BEFORE the event so the after part isn't such a big, freaking deal. Ugh... note to self, Val.

I won't say I didn't enjoy the Renegade LA show, but I will say it was a TON of work. I am used to attending shows close to home, AND I admit, I am a natural control freak. Close to home means I have something to hold in my back pocket like a security blanket.... Home. hOmE... H O M E. 

I liked meeting new people and the exposure LA brought me. It was all very good. I made some great new friends, had a few fantastic offers, an invitation to debut my Robot Friendlys in the Stuffed magazine (one of my favs!), and more. I know I will continue to venture out past my beloved Home, just have to go into it knowing exactly what to expect next time...

I loved seeing friends who cannot always come so far south to see me in my hometown. Here is gorgeous Mira with her friend. And who can resist a pirate face painted boy, Really?!!!

Finally, I cannot resist taking pictures of things people bring INTO my booth. This woman let me photograph her darling motif on her shirt. Now, really, how cute is THAT?!

Thanks to all who came out for the Renegade LA show. It was fun, it was HOT, it was an adventure and it was a thrill to be involved. I loved every moment!

x, Val

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Last minute details

Ugh, there are always those dang last minute details right before a show, including some crazy figuring out. Tonight, it's along the lines of attaching "legs" to a robot plushie. Sometimes I shake my head at myself. Really... Do we really need a last minute robot?

Why, yes, I think we do!

Come visit me this coming weekend at the Renegade LA show. I will be in booth 85, along with my booth share mate, Emmie Bean. It's sure to be a weekend full of fun. The show runs from 11-7 both Sat and Sunday. Hope to see you!

x, Val

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Quirky Cute

Lately, I've been all about the Quirky, and all about the Cutes... well, my work is, as least! I go through phases of letting my artistic painterly side shine, to my crazy whimsy side, to my tailored-artistic side. Right now, it's Quirky-cute.

How about these girls dresses? Holy-moly, I literally am going crazy in my fabric stash department! I could put these fabric mixes together 'til the cows come home, I swear!

And, how about the back sides? As fun as the fronts! Check out those spotted zippers! Who thought of that? I love them!

Renegade LA is creeping closer... just 5 more days. I will save my story about the hawk and my sewing machine for another day (it's a doozy!) but will leave you with this picture of me and Kyle. At 14, he has just passed me in height! And he doesn't mind posing and being with his mom, even though she likes dressing like a 6 year old. LOL!

Have yourself a good week!
x, Val

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Readying for Renegade LA

At this point, a week and a half before an upcoming new show, things start to get a little bit frantic in my art and craft life. I start sleeping only about 6 hours a night. I make about 15 mental lists a day. And my work desk takes on the appearance of a tornado touching down. It's not exactly pretty...

I thought I'd just take some "snippet" photos so you can get a glimpse of what's in store for the Renegade LA show. I am getting SO excited! I am making clothing like mad (more photos of clothing coming soon) Today, Toshi learned how to make the birdy brooches. I've changed up the design a bit so they are more lively in color... Aren't they adorable?!

These big XO Lovie Friendly's are such a piece of work to make. But, they are so irresistible, and all the ones I made last fall have sold. So, I am making 4 more, and only 4. I swear, I've worked on them for at least 4 days now... Here they are before stuffing, and final stitching. Plus, they are still armless :o[

And, all finished up...

And, of course, the Friendlys. I have made stitched Friendlys, Tattooed Friendlys and overall Happy Friendlys. All too cute, if I do say so myself :o)

I ask myself, why the heck didn't I name my business "Studio Val: Crazy For Cutes"... humm.

Renegade LA... July 28 +29. Look on the left sidebar for the banner, and click for directions, etc. It is going to be SO MUCH FUN!!! I hope to see you there.

x, Val

Saturday, July 7, 2012


Every time I do a pet portrait, I have to brace myself, for I know I will fall in love. By the time the portrait is finished, my heart strings will have been tugged on, and hard. Even though we have never met, and, in most cases, I have never laid eyes on the pet, my connection runs deep. Such was the case with this sweet pet... Miss Caddie.

This pillow was ordered by a close friend of Caddie's owner. Meant as a gift, I didn't know much about Caddie, just that she is especially cute, AND photogenic. I fell in love with this adorable photo...

The woman who ordered the pillow said there was "no rush", and waited patiently as I attended to many other things life is currently throwing at me. Finally, as I knew she was coming back to Coronado for July 4th, I made an effort to finish Caddie's pillow. 

I told Gail (modeling fashionably with the Caddie pillow. Thanks Gail!) this is (again) my favorite dog pillow. sigh... Each one is my favorite once I finish...

When she picked up the pillow late yesterday afternoon, Caddie's "aunt" told us that Caddie had passed away that morning. Awwww, heck. No one is prepared for that news.... Sweet Caddie off to heaven on the day her pillow is delivered. Well, all I can say is that I am so glad she will have a beautiful and warm remembrance of her sweetest lovie, Caddie. And, to be a part of that makes me feel extremely blessed and grateful. 

Rest in peace, beautiful Caddie.

Caddie's mom, I feel your loss, and hope this gift from your sweet friend brings you a measure of relief from your grief.

x, Val