Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Closing a chapter - 2011

I don't know about you, but life is picking up speed!  I can't believe 2011 slipped by so quickly.  I surely did enjoy this past year.  Some of the highlights of my year were:
1.  Took an online class with Misty Mawn and because of that, made some incredible new friends.
2.  Signed up for Artfest this coming March in Port Townsend, WA.  I am attending and staying in a huge house with friends I met through this class.  I know Jodi Kincaid and Ilene Harris, but everyone else has been a facebook friend and classmate, thus far!  Will take a class with the incredible Misty Mawn, Mary Beth Shaw and Lynne Perrella.
3.  Have prayed for a sick friend more than I have ever prayed before.  I love you JoJo.
4.  Have discovered some incredible artists this year....Jodi Ohl, Misty Mawn, Terra Sheridan, Jennifer Valentine,  Kecia Deveney, Tracy Verdugo, Katie Kendrick, Gritty Jane, Rachelle Panagarry, Manon Visser, Kimberly Moore, Mary Jane Chadbourne, Effy Wild, Kristen Powers, Wanda Miller, Gloria Martin, Tamara Laporte, Sun B. Lewis, Jenny Wentworth, and on and on!  This is not even mentioning the incredible artists in our class.  I am very fortunate to own artwork from some of these folks and some of my friends.   BIG GRATEFUL HEART!  I am sure that anyone that reads this already is aware of these folks, but just in case not...check them out and their beautiful blogs!
5.  Have been published four times..twice in Belle Armoire Jewelry, once in Cloth Paper Scissors Gift and Holiday and once in Kimberly Moore's Smart-zine.  Very grateful and humbled.
6.  Took an online class with Katie Kendrick.  What a treat!
7.  Took an online metalsmithing class "Handbook of Elements" with the always amazing Stephanie Lee.
8.  Took an online class with Gritty Jane....will finish it this year!
9.  Got to spend time with my Aunt and cousins in November.  I love my family!
10. Did a small craft show here in Boulder City with Marlene Roberts in December, and that was fun!
11.Dodged a big bullet with a mysterious disappearing breast lump...didn't require a biopsy, because it was gone.  Wow, the incredible circle of strong women that surrounded me.  I thank each and every one of you.
12.Took an amazing vacation to Oregon and fell in love all over again!  Can't wait till we move.  You know how there are places that just make your soul feel good and you breathe a little deeper and the smile lingers longer on your face....Oregon does that to us!  Got to meet and spend some time with Debbie Ellerd in Grant's Pass, on vacation.  Facebook friend becomes REAL friend!  xo

May you have peace in your heart all year long.

 My word for 2012 is Focus. 
1.  I am going to focus on packing and getting our houses up for sale, so we can really move.
2.  I am going to focus on actually participating and doing the work in my new Misty Mawn Class and my Gritty Jane class.  I AM going to do my book for Effy Wild's class - Book of Days 2012.
3.  I am going to focus more on my health and eating better and doing more exercise.
4.  I am going to grab every opportunity that comes along!  Classes, trips, etc.
5.  I am going to open my Etsy shop.
6.  I am going to find good in every day and be happy.

I painted this on my birthday in 2011.  I am going to live the life I've imagined!

What are your goals and dreams for 2012?  xoxo

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?