Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Time Flies!!!

Carlanda, Aunt Linda, Karen and Clift (my beautiful family)!
two cousins and an aunt!
I guess time flies when you are having fun!  I can't believe I haven't written anything on here since October.  November was a GREAT month because I got to spend time with my family.  My family is very small, one aunt, one uncle and five first cousins (and I only see my aunt and two cousins).  My aunt from Texas came for nine days and we spent the weekend of the 12th in Palm Springs, CA with my cousins (her children).  My sister cousin Karen (as we call each other, since we are more sisters than cousins!), came in from Missouri with her son and his fiance.  We all ended up in Palm Springs for my other cousin Clift's 50th birthday party.  We all haven't been together as a family for quite a few years, and it really filled my heart with so much love.  Palm Springs was beautiful and oh so busy.  No recession there! The ending to the fabulous weekend was a surprise.  Clift and Doug's friends Michael and Mark were there from Las Vegas.  They have always spent Thanksgiving together, but this year everyone was going in different directions, so Michael cooked a wonderful Thanksgiving feast on Sunday afternoon for all of us.  I had tears in my eyes as I sat at that lovely table, surrounded by the people I love  and that love  me back
                                                                       Heart overflowing!

And if that wasn't enough, my aunt and I got to meet up with Annie Hooten and her friend Cynde Tagg for lunch.  They came in from New Mexico and attended a clay convention in Las Vegas.  We were facebook friends.
Aunt Linda, Carlanda and Annie Hooten

Then it was non stop getting ready for Doodlebug Craft Bazaar here in Boulder City on Dec. 3rd. Earrings and button rings and soldered pendants and collaged wooden beads and seashell jewelry and journals.....oh my! This was the second year I did this.  This year the weather was cold, windy and rainy so there were less people out than last year.  But all in all it was successful.  I shared a booth with my friend Marlene and saw many old and new friends.  I even met a facebook friend Rebecca Smith "in real life"!  She has a beautiful blog called Patina Moon, check it out.  Beautiful photography and lots of eye candy!   Thank you to everyone that came out.

one of my tables

jewelry display

December started off good!  I was published in the December 2011 issue of Belle Armoire Jewelry Magazine, the December issue of Cloth Paper Scissors gift and holiday issue (ornament challenge) and Kimberly Moore's Smart-Zine.  Much gratitude.
Belle Armoire Jewelry December, 2011

Next on the list.....open my etsy shop!

Next time I shall write less and more often! Thank you for visiting my blog and I hope you all have the most wonderful Christmas and the happiest and healthiest New Year to come.  xo

What do you want Santa to bring you?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Vacation in Oregon

Vacation  is a time for rest and renewal.  Or is it?  Our two and a half weeks in southern Oregon was anything but relaxing! We spent the majority of our time out scouting locations we want to move to and looking at houses and eating some pretty great food! The Station restaurant in Rogue River had some of the best food we have ever eaten.  It was so fresh and organic.  Our waiter Davey was beyond sweet. We ate there four times! We also spent time with some new and old friends. We took our travel trailer and stayed in Rogue River, Oregon.  We were right above the river and went to sleep each night listening to the frogs and the sound of gurgling water. Heavenly!  We picked wild blackberries and fed the birds and the squirrels.  I felt giddy as a child when the pigeons came and landed on my hand and eventually on my shoulder.  The things we miss out on living in the desert.

german pancake at elmers.  o.m.g.!!

Jodi came down from Sandy, Oregon and stayed with us for 3 days. On Friday night we went to downtown Grants Pass to First Friday.  They keep the galleries open late. We met Debbie Ellerd at the Growers Market on Saturday and then went to lunch at a Thai restaurant. The following Saturday we met Jodi and the family in Eugene for a day of Eugene Saturday Market fun and eating our way thru the vendors!! It was great to see Jeff and the kiddos.  They were having occupy Eugene in the park across from the market.  Interesting!!  We also spent a good amount of time with Debbie Ellerd, who up until this vacation, was a friend that lived in my computer, on facebook!  She lives in Grants Pass. We shared some meals in town and she made a wonderful dinner at her lovely house with her husband Jim. Ready.......I adore pie!  I am the official Pie Princess and she made me an apple pie with HOMEMADE crust and apples from her trees. It was more than wonderful! (even for breakfast the next morning)! 


debbie ellerd, carlanda and jodi kincaid


carlanda and jodi in jacksonville, or.


saturday market in eugene, oregon

occupy eugene!



  The trees and the acorns and the scenery was spectacular!  Autumn in the northwest......mmmmmmm!

We went to Ashland one day and shopped.  What a beautiful town.  Bought a cute hat and went shopping at PaPaYa.  To see Anahata Katkin's store in real life is pure eye candy!  Loved the sidewalk messages around town.  If I wanted to live in town, that is where it would be!  Instead, we want to live in the country.

We went to visit our friends, Bob and Dorrie Baker that live in Williams, Oregon on the last Sunday night. We got to sit on their deck and enjoy the peaceful surroundings on their six acres. She made a fabulous dinner and we got to enjoy and share the farm life with them.They have eight adorable alpacas. I have always wanted to have alpacas and now will have some great resources to learn from.

All in all it was the best! We are more convinced than ever that Oregon is where we want to be. I know what has to get done to get out of here and up there!  Yard sales, cleaning, packing and more packing, trips to the thrift store (to drop off!) and some praying in this economy someone will want our wonderful home in the historic district here in Boulder City.

Oregon is for dreamers.  What are your dreams?  xo

Sunday, September 18, 2011

my heart is full

I was having a conversation with three loving friends (that live in my computer!) yesterday.  We were talking  about our class we took with Misty Mawn this past January.  I didn't realize there was a void in me that became filled with the wonderful friendships I have made through this adventure.  A lot of us will meet for the first time at Artfest in 2012.  We are sharing a house and are taking a class with our amazing teacher Misty Mawn.  The only way I could be more excited is if Joanne, Kristin, Linda, Michele and Manon were coming.  I am sure it will be a trip of a lifetime for me.  There are girls coming from the U.K., Canada and all over the U.S.  The only two people  I know (in real life!) are Jodi and Ilene.  Hmmmmm.......maybe this is why I have gained weight!  I am overfilled with love and joy!  Thank you girls, I look forward to chatting with you each and every day. We are all still together as we take Katie Kendrick's Layered Impressions class.  My life is really blessed right now.  xo 

We cannot tell the precise moment when a friendship is formed.
As in filling a vessel, drop by drop, at last there is a drop which makes the heart run over.
                                                                                                                      James Boswell

I am grateful for my old and new friendships.  What are you grateful for?  xo

Thursday, September 15, 2011

good morning caffeine!

Usually my husband is up before me and makes the coffee (thank you Lee, I appreciate you.)  I love waking up to the smell of fresh brewed coffee.  But equally as much, I love opening my cupboard to decide which cup to use that day.  I adore coffee cups and if they have polka dots on them, so much the better!  Sometimes I go for the color, sometimes the message and sometimes in a drowsy fog, I just reach for the closest one.                 

                             I AM SO NOT A MORNING PERSON!

the little red cups with the names on them i have found at thrift stores!  love them, always on the lookout.  so if you come for a visit, i may have a cup with your name on it!

What is your favorite coffee cup?  xo

Saturday, September 10, 2011

my grandfather-fred jackson leonard

I was looking through some old pictures I had, and came across these of my grandfather and I.  I loved that man.  He made the BEST buckwheat pancakes in the world!  He called me baby and was a gentle soul with an infectious laugh!  He had a beautiful garden full of flowers, but what I most remember are his orange poppies and his dichondra lawn.  It looked like clover.  We were allowed to do most anything, BUT play on that grass!  He also raised bees in the backyard and we always had fresh honey with honeycomb to slather on the homemade bisquits.  He was half Choctow Indian and could tell the best stories.  Somewhere I still have his "old grasshopper" story.  He lived to be 104 years old.

                             1955                                                       1959

 Grampa, tell me 'bout the good ole days.

an art journal page i finished today.

his garden of orange poppies swayed in the summer breeze.

I hope you are all enjoying your Saturday!  xo


Monday, August 29, 2011

I come from......

Good morning!  For anyone that read yesterday's post, I said I would follow it up with this poem.  I took an online class earlier this year with the wonderful Misty Mawn.  It was titled "stretching within".  It was a drawing, painting, collage, journaling and photography class.  It was amazing!  Our first assignment was to write a poem, with the prompt, I come from................  This was the first writing I had ever done. It was hard!  But I did it, and shared it with our group and found out from reading everyone's poems, my life was not a lot different.  Everyone struggled with some issues from their childhood.  But we survived and came through and are stronger because of it.  I wrote a post earlier that was titled "don't look back".  I am trying to follow my own advice!!

                                                         I come from.............
I come from the fifties, from roots deep in the heart of Texas.  Stretching the sea from Ireland to the Choctow reservation.

I come from small town parades, walking to school, many childhood to present friends, handmade barbie clothes, antiques, gypsy blood and wheels on my feet.

I come from talent.  Mother was a blue ribbon gardener and gypsy treasure hunter and daddy was a blue collar worker and an amazing woodworker.  Talent and lives blurred and slowly washed away in alcohol.  I come from being the adult in a child's world, filled with anxiety, mis-trust and fear.

I come from loving grandparents.  Aprons, fried pies, cobblers, gardens of swaying poppies, feather beds, beehives and honeycomb, paint by number, days at the five and dime and the lingering smell of jergens cherry almond lotion.  My salvation and my rocks.

Today I am happy.
Life is great!

Today I am sad. 
Life could have been better.


my grandparents.
Ina and Fred Leonard.
thank you.

Where do you come from?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Life Changing Moments

Here is a little something my friend Phyllis posted on facebook today and I immediately borrowed it!

A study has revealed that the kind of face a woman finds attractive on a man can differ depending on where she is in her menstrual cycle. For example: if she is ovulating, she is attracted to men with rugged and masculine features. However, if she is menstruating or menopausal, she tends to be more attracted to a man with duct tape over his mouth and a spear lodged in his chest while he is on fire. No further studies are expected on this matter. nuff said!

This quote made me think of a friend I worked with at school, a few years back.  She was our graphic artist and she was going through similar feelings!  She called the doctor's office to make an appointment and the receptionist said she could come in, in two weeks.  Linda told her, with her voice escalating, "Lady, i don't think you understand.  In two weeks my husband will be dead, my children will be dead and my house burned down".  The receptionist said she could come in the next day!  True story.

This in turn makes me think about my own life.  I have struggled with  anxiety and panic attacks most of my life.  I had no idea there was name for it, much less medication to control it.  I just knew I spent my entire life worrying about things that were completely out of my control.  I will post my "I come from" poem tomorrow (it was a prompt in my Misty Mawn online class I took this year).  For those of you that don't know me, this will explain alot of the anxiety that started as a child.  Then along came Jodi and helped me realize it was something real.  Two years ago, our cat Roadie disappeared from our other home in Caliente, Nevada.  I was heartbroken.  And to make it worse, he vanished 5 years to the day my daddy died in that same house.  I was a freakin mess.  I cried for a week, and that is when Linda stepped in and had me talk to the doctor.  She suggested Lexapro and I started taking it and it changed my life.  I asked her the next year when I went in for my annual check up, if I could be the poster child for Lexapro!  I am not advocating taking drugs of any sort, I just know it worked immediately for me.  Funny story....it worked so fast that the following week after starting it, I was out doing errands and grocery shopping.  I came home and told Lee that everywhere I went, people smiled at me and said hello.  He said, maybe because you are now smiling and looking up.  Aha!  As I told someone, it just took the edge off.  Don't get me wrong, I still worry.  I am still nervous when in traffic on the freeway.  I still have white knuckles on airplane rides!  I still lay in bed at night and listen to Lee breathing, praying he will stay healthy for a very long time. I still wonder if that headache is a brain tumor.  I just know these things are out of my hands and there is a higher power watching over me.  Thank you Jodi and Linda for always being there and listening and loving me. And thank you to the love of my life, Lee, for always standing beside me and loving me, no matter what!                                   

I hope I haven't spilled too much personal information!  I hope my followers on this blog don't suddenly decrease!  I just ended up here from the funny quote at the top of the page!  xo

What causes you anxiety?

For me.......what if they run out of pie?!!
I heart pie!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

friends are like perennials

i was thinking about a conversation i had with my sweet friend joanne, about flowers.  which in turn made me think about my dear friends i have in my life.  each one of you are like the perennial flowers i have planted in my gardens. you are there for me year after year. you are a constant and i don't have to worry about you not returning the next year.  you are brilliant and beautiful and bursting forth with the tenderness of a newborn.  the one i chose to delete from my life this year, must have been an annual.  there will be no returning next year, or any year.  that flower had thorns that hurt me.  i didn't need that.

flowers,  like friends need nurturing and care.  some flowers are newer than others in my garden, as are my friends.  but i care deeply for each of you as if you have been planted there for decades. 

what is planted in your garden?  xo

Monday, August 15, 2011

Hoppy Monday!!

hoppy monday to you!

one of my little fellows that live in my garden in caliente!
hope you have a "ribbiting" good week!  xo

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Charming gardeners

To people who make us happy;
They are the charming gardeners
who make our souls blossom.

Marcel Proust

pictures of my backyard in boulder city.

what makes your soul blossom?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

don't look back!

Summer is just flying by, which suits me just fine since the summers are so brutal here in southern Nevada.  Looking forward to our vacation in Oregon in the fall.  Autumn is my favorite season, and especially spent in the beautiful state of Oregon.  The colors must rival New England, at least in my mind!  I am always in amazement at the vast amount of colors, textures and fauna that i experience when I am there. From ferns of every kind to the moss.  MOSS, coming from the desert, this is quite appealing to me. The campground hosts and park rangers are always chuckling as I scurry around Valley of the Rogue campground outside Grants Pass, Oregon, picking up acorns by the pound,  filling my bags with beautiful leaves and picking the lonely blackberry stragglers left on the bushes.  Sitting by the mighty Rogue River and daydreaming of living on it feeds my soul.  This year I intend to sit there with my sketchbook.

Yesterday, my husband Lee and I went to Las Vegas to do some shopping and get groceries.  We stopped by the Total Wine and More store to look around.  As we were checking out, the cashier Pamela asked Lee for his I.D. with his credit card.  So me being the smart ass I am, asked Lee who he was. The cashier said to me "i know you just met him in the parking lot and want him to buy you some beer, because you are underage."  I laughed and said "I wish".  She said, not me, she wouldn't go back.  She said marriages and kids and life in general.  She wants to only look ahead and not look back.  Wow!  I thought about it and told her how that really was so true.  She said there is so much to look forward to.  I couldn't stop thinking about that all day.  I tend to revert back to the past, and the what if's, and maybe if I had done this or that differently.  I really want to focus on today and think of all the wonderful things I have going for me and the wonderful people I have in my life NOW.  Thank you Pamela and if you read this and I didn't quote you exactly right, set me straight! 

Last week I got to Skype with my sweet friend Livve in the U.K. and Phyllis in North Carolina.  Phyllis got us on a group chat.  I LOVED Livvie's accent.  We are all excited and busy planning our grand adventure to Artfest in Port Townsend, Wa. next spring.  There is a group of us that met online during Misty Mawn's class.  We formed such a strong bond, that we are all sharing a house up there. Of course I am sharing a room with one of my very bestest friends in the world, Jodi Kincaid!  I can't imagine getting to meet my stretching sisters in real life!  Wishing our friends Michele Redman, Joanne Rose, Kristin Hyde and Jenny Wentworth could join us.  That would make this journey complete!

Guess I will quit babbling and let you enjoy your Tuesday.  What are you planning for the week?
Have a wonderful week and DON'T LOOK BACK!  xoxo  Carlanda

her name is Dottie.  5x5 canvas.

Friday, July 22, 2011

friday's funnies

Hi ya'll! I am surprised I still have my eyes open and it is only 5:43 pm, considering I was still wide awake and chatting with Phyllis on the computer till 2:30 am or so.  Menopause and artsy thoughts and jewelry designs and painted collaged canvases racing around in my head (oh my)! makes it hard for a girl to get some decent sleep! Looks like I could pack for Europe in the bags under my eyes!!

I must say my day started wonderfully, with a shared conversation between the always lovely Joanne Rose and myself.  If she is not the sweetest, kindest, kindred spirit sister I have, I'll eat Phyllis' new hats!  Thank you Joanne.  You inspire me and I admire you!  xo

Today had some funny moments I would like to share with you.  I went to Las Vegas to get groceries at Trader Joe's and use my Joanns and Hobby Lobby coupons. I was so pleased to see that Joanns is making a large section with Tim Holtz products. They are expanding their jewelry section and carrying vintaj elements, but sadly they are downsizing their fine art section. I  got some 2 oz jars of liquitex concentrated professional acrylic paints for $1.97 ea. on clearance and some flat canvases.  Lots of coupons and some good deals.  Then went to Hobby Lobby and FINALLY  they had Jen Cushman's book "Explore, Create, Resinate".  Used my 40% off (or... as some husbands say "60% on) coupon.  Deal!  I would love to save for a nice big easel.  Hmmmm....maybe for Christmas!  My little 8x10" canvases will look just swell on a big ole easel!!  Then I went to Trader Joe's.  I had my cart full of healthy, organic stuff and I notice this lady, about my age looking at me.  Is she looking at those bags under my eyes??  She comes really close and in a low voice says "you look like you know your way around this store, can you tell me about the fruit?"  THE FRUIT??  I said I buy it all the time and it is fine.  She smiled and thanked me and left.  Bizarro!  Maybe I looked like I knew my way around the store from the size of my butt!  Then I headed back to Boulder City with the 108 degree temp.  Here I sit needing to make some phone calls and do some painting, but...there is always tomorrow!

The funnies:
1.  I saw a sign in a strip mall for "great massages".  What is the alternative?  Bad massages?
2.  A sign for a business called "Pretty Kitty", a  brazilian wax joint!!  LOL!  Wish I could have snapped a picture with my phone.  I will the next time by there.
3.  The expiration date on the vinegar.  Really?  And how do you know it has gone bad?  It smells good?

Also a miraculous day for me.
1.  I didn't buy a tootsie roll at Joanns on the way out.  (probably a first!)
2.  I didn't stop and get a bean burrito at Taco Bell.  (maybe another first)
3.  I spent less than $100.00 at Trader Joe's!

Collaged and painted on 8x10" canvas

If you are still hanging in there reading this, what did  you do on this fabulous Friday?  I'd love to hear from you.  Have a great weekend and enjoy life.  As my favorite saying goes.......Live the life you've imagined.  xo

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

my journey begins TODAY

My most favorite coffee cup.
Love the colors.
Love the scooter.
But MOST of all...
I love the message.

Let your journey begin TODAY.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

the desert

i have been pondering my thoughts about leaving the desert behind, when we move to oregon.  will i miss it? certain aspects i will.  i have lived here for 56 years and have suffered headaches from the unforgiving heat. and i am sad my skin looks parched with sunspots, even though it has been slathered with creams and sunscreen.  won't miss that!  i do though, enjoy spending time in the quiet, peaceful desert.  sitting on a rock, wondering who walked there before me, searching for beautiful rocks, chasing lizards that are always a fingertip away, and smelling the sagebrush after a desert rain.  sunsets in the desert are brilliant.  lightning storms are vivid.  the wild horses and burros are fascinating. searching through forgotten dumps, left by pioneers long before us is always rewarding.  looking for arrowheads and flint left behind by the indians that lived on this land, is always fun.  will i find another desert in oregon to explore..of course i will!  but in the meantime, i am giddy with excitement anticipating the rain.  that phenomenon of liquid falling from the sky that we don't get to enjoy very often here!  i know it is not for everyone, but cloudy, gray, rain swollen clouds make my heart skip a beat!  i actually get more accomplished and my muse works overtime when it is overcast.  i'll leave you with a poem i wrote after being in the desert this past year.

the desert

the desert floor sparkles like finely ground glitter
too bad it is covered in so much litter
the fresh smell of sage indulges my senses
the stillness and quiet remove all my tensions
who walked here before me, i'd love to know
lakota, choctow or maybe the crows
for now i'll enjoy this glorious day
picking up rocks along my way

what are you pondering today?  have a wonderful sunday and thank you for coming by for a visit!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tuesday tidbits

This will just be a bit of rambling about the day, so get out your hand painted magic carpet and fetch a cold adult beverage of your choice and join me.  First thing this morning (well for those that really know me, it was about 10:00 am)!, but anyway, I went to Las Vegas to Joann's to use my 50% coupons.  Couldn't let those go to waste, even though I  have enough supplies of every kind to last a couple of lifetimes!  I showed my favorite checker, Joanne,  my beads in the Belle Armoire Jewelry magazine and she announces it as loud as possible to everyone in line and calls them over to see.  My face turned every shade of red possible.  She is a sweetheart , always a smile and a kind word.

I decided next to go get a pedicure.  Now that was an experience. The girl I got did not speak English very well at all.  She was making small talk with me and I just kept nodding and smiling, not getting a single word of it!  Then she asks me if I know Linda?  Linda who?  Oh, she says, she lives in Boulder City.  We only have about 17,000 people here! LOL!

Then when I left, there were about a bazillion pigeons all lined up in the median, trying desperately to find a little shade in the 102 degree heat, and hoping for a handout.  I know people don't like them, and think they are a nuisance, but I think they are pretty darn cute.  They looked like they were lined up like laborers waiting to get a job.  Was wishing I had some popcorn to give them.

Before I left this morning, I got the sweetest message on facebook from one of my stretching sisters, Joanne Rose.  She made my day.  What a sweetheart.  Who knew when I signed up for Misty Mawn's class, that I would make such endearing friends.  It is amazing that I feel like some of them have been my closest friends for years, and it hasn't even been a year. It was worth the money to make these friendships, even if I hadn't learned a thing! When we rendezvous in Port Townsend for Art Fest next March, it will be fun, fun, fun, till our daddy takes our T-bird away!  I guess I have 9 months to lose 30 pounds!

I have so many ideas for jewelry and art projects swirling around in my head, it is making me dizzy!  Speaking of dizzy, please say a prayer for Phyllis Peterson, she is really having dizzy spells.  We need her well, she and I have a lot of plans for 2012!

What art projects are you working on at this time?  I would love to see them.  Till next time....  xo

Monday, June 13, 2011

Create your own path.

Only you can create your own path......
when you find it and set foot on it
step boldly in the direction of what feels right.

The first steps
can be the hardest.

New landscapes
can be astonishingly beautiful.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

My very first blog post!!

Well, thanks to Linda Penny I am in the blog world! My blog posts will mostly be about my  my artwork, my garden, my travels and my cats.  I will try not to bore you.  Now to post a picture.