Twelve

Twelve. That’s how old my Jax is. I remember thinking, ‘oh, I’ll be in my thirties when he gets old.’ Being a thirty something meant reaching a far and distant land. One that I thought I would never reach, which also meant my little guy would remain young too. Ha. And here we are. Just like that he is twelve. 
He has seen me through many of the ups and downs in life from jobs, to cars, apartments, houses, a divorce, finding my true love [and his forever Daddy] and so many other little day-to-day things. We’ve been on countless walks, car rides and shared numerous ice cream cones. Jax has by far been the one constant source of light and joy in my life over these past twelve years. He has taught me: 
:: How to play fetch [I’m actually better at than he is]
:: To slow down and smell the rose, well more like the grass and leaves
:: What it’s like to care about something more than myself
:: To love, unconditionally 
:: The importance of affection – in the form of cuddles and sloppy kisses
:: How to let it go and run free 
On his special day, we’ll celebrate with a car ride and a piece of birthday cake. My wish is that I have given him at least half as much joy as he has brought into my life. 

Cupid’s Arrow

Cupid’s arrows have struck our home and the things-to-make list is dwindling down. With the love in the air, comes the grumbling of those who have other feelings about the day. And although both my husband and I agree that it’s important to show how much that other person means to you on a regular basis throughout the year, Valentine’s Day is a day to place a greater emphasis on that person and the love you share. 
To us this means doing something we both enjoy. It doesn’t always have to be comprised of the typical roses, candy and dinner [although I have nothing against any of these things]. Looking back, we’ve had some great dates and not just on Valentine’s Day. If you’re looking for some ideas, here you are dear readers: 
:: Sledding
:: Side-by-side snow angels [be sure to capture a picture- it could be a great future gift]
:: Making homemade hot chocolate 
:: Setup a table for two in your house and pretend you’re out for a romantic dinner
:: Cook a new fancy dish 
:: Go for a long drive and ‘get lost’
:: Couple pedicures
:: Attend a wine or chocolate tasting
:: Bake cookies
:: A movie night 
:: Have your fortune told 
:: Take your iPod and have a concert night at home. Sing and dance your heart out. 
:: Make something together 
:: Have a picnic on the living room rug 
Whatever it is you’re doing, I hope it’s extra special and filled with love.  

heart’s day crafts

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been gathering supplies for Valentine’s Day. While there was one project I couldn’t wait to make, the rest have been patiently waiting for me to work on them. Friday was a quiet, snowy day here and with nothing much to do I began puttering away on a few of the projects. 
While out snowshoeing around the holidays, there were lots of birch trees shedding their bark. Being careful, it peels right off in big chunks. I trimmed a piece to size, traced a heart onto it with a pencil, wrote our initials and heated up the wood burning tool to trace over my writing. Never would I have thought I’d enjoy wood burning, but I do. That is once I got the hang of it.

A quick note on this: the tool itself can be purchased at the craft store with a coupon for under $10. The tip gets VERY hot and the smell of it can set the smoke alarm off in the house. If you have your alarm attached to a security system, it’s best to give them a call and let them know what you are up to, otherwise unexpected visitors with lots of gear may show up at your door.  

While I have nothing against store bought truffles, I’m not a huge fan of the packaging. After all, isn’t all about the packaging. Realtors preach location, location, location. Marketers on the other hand are big on packaging. If it doesn’t look just right, how can it sell? The top of this heart shaped box of chocolates was covered using a brown paper bag and then customized using Valentine’s Day sheet music and a vintage Valentine’s Day card. A little red watercolor paint around the edges and voila! 
The saying on the card, cracks me right up, “Show signs of life and be my Valentine.”

Again, store bought candy, placed in a clear bag with a custom label attached. It’ll make a great lunchtime surprise treat. 
With only a couple of little things left to make, I’m almost ready to celebrate. 

Muses

Cabin fever is kicking in and I’m getting a little anxious for spring to arrive. I’m starting to yearn for brighter colors and to put away the red, black, grey and white neutrals in the house, in my closet and for colorful flowers to spring to life in the yard. But silly me, here in New York we have a ways to go, now don’t we?! 
Instead, a mid-week mixed media collage piece using many of my muses [pastels, washi paper, tea, doilies and colorful paper] will have to fill this albeit temporary void. This piece is actually going to be used as a promotion piece at an upcoming week long fair where attendees can sign up for a variety of classes, including a beginners mixed media collage class. 
My hope is that the sweet gentleness of this piece encourages those looking for a new experience, that has the potential to usher in wonderful new things into their lives, to sign up for the class. I’m a firm believer that trying and learning new things is good for the mind, body and soul. Many incredible things have come my way with this outlook, and my intention is to offer a class that puts exactly that back out into the world. 
Please do feel free to message me if you or someone you know is in upstate New York and is looking for a mixed media collage class. I’d be happy to share the details. 

Art and Wine

My first opening was a success and went off without a hitch. Many dear friends came out to celebrate, which left me smiling for two straight hours. Seeing my art in a public place, hanging in a sweet wine store, was and is still incredible. 
My dear husband played photographer, so I could mingle and soak it all in [the experience, not the wine]. In my mind, art and wine go together pretty well. Won’t you stay for a few and check out the opening?