In a little over ten days Primsy*Whimsy will be the guest weekend artist on LolliShops. That means I gotta hustle my bustle and get things up on line. I'm starting today. I'll be posting as the days go on toward our grand opening on Jan. 9th!
Most people leave home when they graduate high school. They go to exotic places for college or just one day up and move as far away from their home town as they can get. My Grammar School buddy, Kirk, moved to the west coast and then when that wasn't far enough...he left the mainland and now calls Kona, HI his home town.
I was one of the lazy ones who moved only as far from home as the end of the road. If I go out my front door, down my drive, walk left 300 feet and turn right and walk 5.7 miles I'll walk right past Weinstein's on the corner of 16th Avenue in Lake Como, NJ. If I keep walking another six blocks I'll end up walking into the ocean I swam in as a kid. I still go back 'home' every once in awhile and today I took my camera with me to catch a glimpse of what once was and never again will be.
So here it is my friend. Your Christmas trip back 'home'. Aloha and Merry Christmas!
Sad to admit that I can't wait for Christmas to be over this year. There are very few gifts to be given this year because of our own personal economic woes. But there is still the spirit of love in the family and for that I am grateful. I think the adverts on TV make you feel like a failure if you can't load up on gifts for everyone and come dressed to any affair in sparkles and new duds.
I'm concentrating on our lollishop (click icon at top of this post) because that's where I see the future as taking place. We'll start uploading Valentine's supplies after Christmas. I've been working on scanning, cleaning and preparing several Valentine collage sheets for download in our shop. Got some really nice ideas for Valentine's gifts as well. I love red so is it really any wonder why I love St. Val's Day.
Just in case I don't have the chance to talk to you all directly or through email, I wish you the best, the merriest, the healthiest Holiday season you've ever had!
It's the Holiday season but my head has been into our spring line of craft supplies and instruction CDs for Primsy*Whimsy, our new LolliShops Shoppe. Instead of wrapping presents for underneath the tree I spent the week working out the instructions for making a faux feather tree. I am a penny pincher and figured out how to create it for under ten dollars! You can see that it still needs finishing but I just HAD to show it off to everyone I know. I'm in love with feather trees!
I chose to make it in a Shabby Chic PINK but it could be made in any color that pleases your fancy. Keep your eyes open for this upcoming craft project that is an original Primsy*Whimsy design. All designs are copyrighted and subject to the copyright protection law. Carolyn Sadowski is the originator of this design on 12/19/08.
The PrimsyWhimsy girls are stocking their shop for spring. If you have any requests for specific products for us to hunt for please let us know. We want to have to most outstanding collection of unique crafting supplies on the LolliShop site. In order to do that we need to know that what we love, you will love as well.
Just leave a comment on this posting and we'll definitely look into finding what you need. We've got a gazillion contacts after all these years PLUS a couple of storage units full of goodies that we'll be sorting through soon. Never know what might pop up and if we know you're looking, we'll make sure you're the first to know we're stocking it!
It's been one of those years. And now it's almost over and I'm feeling the Holiday Blues. I don't remember when I felt the magic, the happiness that Christmas once brought me. I think it might have been when my children were young. My youngest is now 29 so that means it's been a long, long time ago. And I feel guilty!
No, I don't have a lot of money but I do have my health now. Four years ago I was in the middle of chemo therapy. In fact, four years ago yesterday I was on a surgeon's table while he worked to remove the plastic port tubing that had lodged in the right atrium of my heart. So, yes, I have a lot to be thankful for in those terms. But not being able to bake, to buy gifts, to be out and about in holiday crowds is affecting how I am feeling.
That's shallow, isn't it? Thinking that material possessions are what should make me happy. But isn't that what we're taught Christmas is all about? As a kid, I would line up with the town's children and wait my turn with Santa. It was the mid-50's and the country was on an endless high of happiness. Or so it seemed to me at the time. And the gifts they gave us at those Santa visits were elaborate. No skimping on making the children's eyes twinkle. Each one wrapped in bright Christmas paper, hiding something special and magical. I never thought about it until now but someone must have realized how artistic I was because each year I got something art related.
Of course! It must have been my Dad's friend who was a fireman. Henry "Hank" Poland always made sure that I got the perfect gift. And believe me, it WAS perfect. And I remember the Sunday he took me aside after church and told me not to show up at the firehouse that afternoon. "You're ten now and no longer qualify for a gift". Was that when I felt the magic start to ebb away? The magic dim because I was now on the 'outside' looking in?
I don't mean to infer that I had a sad childhood or ever lacked for gifts. Quite the opposite. Christmas was a wonderful time of year but I think it must have been that Sunday morning 'talk' with Uncle Hank that tarnished the magic for me. And I think I have spent the last 49 years trying to get it back. Hmmmm...I've given myself a lot of food for thought with this post. And to think I started it off with an entirely different direction in mind.
I'm going to climb into bed soon. I've pre-heated the covers with a heating blanket and it will serve to ward off the chill of the house. We've done without a heating system for five years. In fact, we've done without a lot of things for the last seven. But I have hope. If we're lucky, this country will return to the hopefulness of the 50's. And with the return of hope, perhaps a little of the magic may return as well.
I want to introduce you to an artist that can make me smile no matter how bad the day may seem! Jennifer Nilsson, the heart and art behind Mouser-kins™ produces not only sweet as sugar characters, but her own sweet self is someone I feel privileged to have come to know through our association with the wonderful site, www.Lollishops.com.
One of her characters that I absolutely adore is the PepperMint Fairy. She has him available as a set of four blank notecards. Click the picture below to go directly to that auction or search LolliShops.com for Mouser-kins in the keyword search.
Be sure to see all of her adorable mouse art on her LolliShops site: mouserkinswhimsies You can go directly there by clicking on the logo below or on the title of this blog post.
I LOVE my LolliShop. It's such an amazing community that surrounds it. With Sadie Hartmann at its helm, Lollishops is going to BE the place to BE in a very short time! http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=54071570638 is a group I started on facebook for all Lolli Lovers to post links to their shops. I think the more we network together the better the sense of community and the better our chances of success in each of our shops.
If you want to start your Lolli experience, feel free to start with: http://www.lollishops.com/primsywhimsy My sister and I are starting a craft supply business that will bring together some of the more unusual types of craft items. Vintage ones as well as our own handmade line of goodies. I am completely psyched about this site and totally support Sadie Lou and her crew and give them kudos for all of the work they are doing.
Do yourself a favor and shop homemade this year. And start with the LolliShops community: http://www.lollishops.com/
There was a game we played as children. You had to be blindfolded and be trusting enough of your friends and/or family that they would not put you in harm's way. That's how I've been feeling lately. I've been blindfolded. Groping around in the dark trying to decide if I dared to move ahead without fear.
With trepidation I announced to my customers on Sunday that I would no longer be selling Avon. It's been my saving grace, my pocket money, my little bit of security against total financial insecurity. But my customers have been dropping off one by one because of their own financial problems so that it has left me hardly breaking even. The amount of work for just a few dollars would be better invested in my new LolliShop, PrimsyWhimsy.
So I did it, put in my last order, 30% of which are gifts for family and friends. And then by stepping off into the void I hit the bottom and bounced up, up and away!! I received an email from the owner of LolliShops: "Hello! I would like Primsy Whimsy to be the Weekend Artist the weekend of January 9th-12th". Amazing, spine tingling serendipity OR the plan the universe had for me all along and was just waiting for me to step off and find my wings?
If you're someone who remembers the Holiday Corsage that Mom or Grandma pinned on your collar at Christmas time, then you're gonna love the latest additions to my LolliShop. I've designed a number of OOAK Christmas Corsages based on the ones I remember from my girlhood. I wore my favorite one today and a beautiful older woman looked at it and said "Now it feels like Christmas". She, like me, would sport one of these merry corsages during that magical time of year! If you'd like to see these up close and personal, click on the icon at the top of this post. Here are a couple of photos of ones that are available as of 8 pm EST, 12.05.08.
It's been a long time coming but finally my sister and I have opened a shop together. We're selling craft supplies and a few special gifts, etc on LolliShops. We're calling ourselves PrimsyWhimsy and if you click the logo above it will take you to our stash of goodies.
What an amazing week it has been. I had no idea that when I posted that photo of my sister and I it would change the course and direction of my life! More about that after Thanksgiving!
For now I HAD to share the hysterical antics of this cat. Reminds me so much of my own furbabies. If you're a cat lover you HAVE to watch it...it will turn a frown upside down. Warning: if you've just finished eating your Thanksgiving fill...you might want to wait awhile for it to digest!
Looking at the previous photo made me realize how much we change from year to year. It wasn't that long ago that I was a size 6 active woman who never stayed home. Now I spend almost 95% of my time at home. Not having a car can do that to you! Anyway, it made me think about my sister who has always been my sidekick. Sometimes that frustrated me but now I welcome her help when we spend time crafting. She's applied for a lollishop under the name Primsy*Whimsy. Here are our photos both then and now.
Well, that last photo was almost now. It was last October at my nephew's wedding. This past July I couldn't stand the heat anymore and I took a pair of clippers to that long hair. It's just now growing out and by July will be ready to be crew cut again! TGIF everyone. Caar
It's been almost a week and I haven't gotten around to posting my pics from last Friday's gallery bash. It was a blast and very profitable for me. Unfortunately not everyone made sales but I was one of the lucky ones. Here's what I was showing:
I met three wonderful artists who I so enjoyed spending time with. I will be sending them all emails this weekend. Didn't want to appear 'needy' so I didn't write to them immediately...lol :) Anyway, the show was great, the company was terrific and this happy artist is planning to do it again in the spring.
Next time I'll have more of my large art pieces. Most of what I had to show were pieces I sold on eBay and Etsy which were all small due to shipping costs and the challenge of packaging them for shipment! Hugs to all my followers and thanks to everyone who supported me this week during my daughter inspired 'crisis'. :)
I woke up this morning tucked cozily under my new microfiber blanket and heating blanket with the late autumn sun shining brightly in my south window. It was only 17 degrees in Jersey last night which is unusual for this time of year. Since our heating system hasn't operated in five years we've been heating with a wood stove. Sometimes that heat doesn't quite make it down to our bedroom before the door gets closed at night. So the air around my bed was definitely nippy.
Stretching like one of my four contented cats I decided to turn on my side and enjoy a few more moments of warmth before I hopped out of bed and into my long johns. During those moments I thought about where my life is and where I'd like it to be in six months. And I finally made a decision that I've postponed for a year. In the late spring I am going on a much needed sabbatical. Four months of rest, creativity and much needed introspection IS going to happen this time.
We have a 15 year old fifth wheel trailer that is in relatively good shape. At least it was when we closed it down in the fall of '07. It's parked lakeside in a campground in the heart of Pennsylvania's Amish country. I had planned my escape for May 22 through September 17 of this past year but with fuel prices and the lack of a working vehicle I needed to let the dream that had guided me through the winter of '08 become just another broken one. This time I AM going to do it. I'll be 60 in April. 60 is the new 40 and since I didn't get much chance to enjoy that decade of my life I'm going to give myself a do-over.
I have always been available and ready to help my friends and family no matter the day, the hour or my own plans. This time I'm going to be selfish and give myself this special time. I think the fact that I went through metastatic breast cancer successfully without a whimper, at least in part, entitles me to some "ME" time alone.
So once again I'll start my plans for that precious time alone. Time to get healthy. Time to lose the 50 lbs. that came with menopause and chemo meds. Time to paint, photograph and blog about my life. Time with my best pal, my sweet furry love Sebastian.
And when May arrives and the trip looks like a bust AGAIN, I will at least have spent my winter planning, looking forward to days of warmth and solitude and I won't remember these mornings of ear chilling cold.
Thanks to everyone who commented on my last blog post. In the interim my daughter and I have talked. In fact spent more time than we have in months talking about her feelings.
She has been in counseling. As the psychologist told her, she already knows how to deal with this because of her insightful nature. And as my daughter said to me with great wisdom..."I do know how to get through this...it just takes time...Nick met every item on my 'list' except for the blue eyes...it's like someone died...but instead of losing one person it's like there was a major calamity and I lost an entire family".
So at the moment she's decided to concentrate on her career. I know she'll be ok but there are always going to be setbacks until someone or something keeps her so absorbed that she never slips back into the past but is soundly planted in the present with an eye toward the future.
Love hurts everyone in the family when one of its members has been heartbroken without reason. I had another post in mind for this evening but because this is weighing so heavily on my mind I decided to get it out and 'on the air' so I could stop obsessing about my 29 yro daughter's heartbreak.
It's been seven months since her significant other dropped her via phone on their first anniversary of dating. He was the one who she had finally trusted with her heart and he not only stomped it and kick dropped it into the toilet but he gave her no reason for his rejection. I think the not knowing has finally taken its toll. She no longer wants to attend family functions, spends most of her free time either watching TV or sleeping and she's living her life as a lady in waiting. Waiting for life to happen to her.
OK...so losing the only man you've loved may not be an excuse to be come a recluse but I worry about the fact that it's happened as such a delayed reaction. At first she seemed like she was holding up and growing stronger. Then about 6 weeks ago I could see her start to unravel every time she mentioned his name. And she mentioned it more often then she had since it happened. I don't know how to reach her any more. All she does is obsess about why he stopped loving her. Especially when he swore that she could trust him because he would NEVER treat her like the other men in her life had.
So what do I do? I don't know, I really don't. I guess because I never loved like that; never really gave away my heart and loved someone beyond reason I can't understand her pain. But she is my daughter and I love her beyond reason so perhaps if she rejected me I would feel the same pangs of heartbreak as she does??? No, a mother's love doesn't stop with a child's rejection because a mother's love is forever no matter whether or not that love is returned.
But I miss her. I miss the sweet little girl who would hold my hand and skip down the street with me. The funny little urchin with the dirty face who could make me laugh so hard my eyes would tear up and I’d fall on the couch clutching my sides. I miss the young woman who would go shopping with me and say “MOM! that makes you look so fat”! I miss the young woman who glowed with such promise and passion. I thought that young woman would come to my gallery opening on 11.14. Instead an unhappy, thrown together waif showed up, looked around without interest and left without much of a smile.
I know it’s because my nephew and I were doing the show together and his girlfriend was there. I know it’s because my other nephew was there with his wife. I know it’s because everywhere she looks she sees couples but when she looks in the mirror she doesn’t see anyone anymore. She has disappeared and in her place is a lost and unhappy woman who doesn’t trust anyone. Not even the ones who will love her whether or not she returns that love.
So how do I reach her? The question haunts me because I know there is no answer. I can do nothing. I can’t repair her heart. I can’t kiss the booboo and make it better. I can only be there, when and if she ever decides to reach out and ask for my help. As for her lover, how do I feel about him? Do I hate him? Good question and an interesting one because he made me fall in love with him too. And not just with him but with his Mother and step father and his 88 year-old grandmother. I miss him, I miss them but most of all I miss my daughter.
PERFECT TIMING! Friday 11.13 was my first gallery show in 12 years and on that day I was nominated for my first
blog Award by Leslie of the Flowers of Life.
She called me “An insightful passionate Artist” and in IMHO that is the highest compliment that can be paid. I’d like to believe that my journey through breast cancer has made me insightful and there is no doubt that I am PASSIONATE about my art. For that fact, any ART! It’s what got me through my darkest days of chemotherapy and gave me hope that at the end of the journey there would be new life and new friends to enjoy!
The Marie-Antoinette, A Real Person, A Real Award comes with several caveats; you must: 1. Please put the Marie-Antoinette logo on your blog 2. Place a link to the person from whom you received the award 3. Nominate at least 7 or more blogs 4. Put the links of those blogs on your blog 5. Leave a message on their blogs to tell them. Fortunately that's not hard because over the last ten years of posting on the web I've met some incredible PEOPLE. So my awards go to the nominees on my Marie Antoinette Blog list. See it on the top of the right column.
Tonight is the one night Gallery Bash at Surf Taco, Main Street in Belmar, NJ. The art is amazing and the company will be outstanding as a group of very talented artists come together to show their work. I'm one of those lucky artists and here's a tiny taste of what I'll be showing along with some larger canvasses and framed work.
I'll try and post some of the larger pieces later today but I'm running behind myself and have a LOT of last minute art to get matted. Hugs, y'all Caar
I've been battling with my authentic self for weeks, nay months! on what my artist voice should be singing. I have gone back and forth looking at the various online sites to see what was selling; could I do that and did I want to?
Yesterday through a series of coincidences, I now believe in a Universal plan that I had misplaced somewhere along the way to making my art be profitable. I've tried various styles, mediums, surfaces...anything that was selling that I thought I could do as well if not better than the person who was selling it. I got confused and lost and my voice became a squeak in a depth of the blackest night. I was well and truly lost. And being confused is not the way to a healthy mental or physical lifestyle. Especially when one has already been through cancer and needs to keep healthy and stress-free.
It came to a head when I accepted a spot in a one night all out gallery bash in my old home town. I agreed instantly because I was sure it would finally help me decide on what I was 'supposed' to be painting. After 7 weeks of going back and forth and looking at my work I could not find a single thing that was consistent between the pieces other than I had created them with the same paintbrushes and paints. They were a mishmosh of every artist I have ever admired! Holy Cow! Now I knew I was in trouble because gallery night was four nights away and OMG what was I going to do.
Walking about my house and its hidey holes of supplies and such I came across a box of pieces I'd done back in 1996. 1996 was a definitive year for me for a lot of reasons. Not the least of which was I found myself in a position that Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Edwards have occupied. And as surely as Mrs. Edwards would have sworn on her husband's faithfulness I swore on mine. You know the old saying about the wife being the last to know. It isn't a saying, it is a truth.
Anyway, I found the work I had shown that year. The last year I had a gallery show, the last year I was my true and authentic self. Holding those pieces in my hands I rediscovered myself. How refreshing and how peaceful it is to finally look into that artistic mirror and see your true self looking back at you.
So I have put aside all of those pieces I have painted over the last weeks and months and pulled out of storage the true and authentic artist I knew was hiding somewhere behind the curtains of my doubt and uncertainty. The pieces may or may not sell come Friday night. But the crowds will be friendly, the wine will be great and the work will finally be...authentic!
Found out this evening that I need to have some kind of structure to hang all of my pieces for Friday's Gallery Bash in Belmar, NJ. Fortunately DH has a solution for me so I'm not as distraught as I was about four hours ago!
I'm getting really excited about this LolliShops beta opening on Saturday. It's also the Sugar & Spice bazaar at church so I'll have the gallery show Fri., Bazaar table Sat and the cyber opening of my wild gypsy shop on Sat. as well. Full creative week ahead so I've got to hit the sheets so I'll have the energy to do mega creating! If you're any kind of crafty be sure to click on the LolliShops banner to the right and pre-register. And be sure to tell 'em I sent you 'cause we get credit for recruiting our crafty friends!
Night all...big king sized bed and heating blanket are calling my name. Til tomorrow y'all, keep creative...it just might save your life! Caar
There's excitement 'round the ole woodstove tonight! I've been accepted to join the beta launch of LolliShops. Here's what my email said: You have been accepted! You are just what we're looking for. Our Beta Launch is scheduled for November 15th And our whole site launch is scheduled for November 28th!! PERFECT, PERFECT PERFECT timing! My gallery show is the 14th and I'll have goods aplenty to upload to the site for the beta launch. Stay tuned for more happiness from the Jersey Girl!
I'm still in a race down to the wire for next Friday's gallery blast. I'm taking a moment to pre-apply to the lollishop's website. I hope that the owner will like my work but everyone has different tastes and I've long since given up trying to appeal to everyone. I'll just be me and that will have to do.
I've been quiet since Election Night working my hands until the OA reared its ugly head and made me slow down. Nonetheless I've gotten some VERY interesting pieces finished and I think that instead of going back to the SOS on eBay I'm going to see if the Lollis want to have me aboard. Wish me luck.
AND IF YOU'RE IN JERSEY NEXT WEEKEND. STAY TUNED FOR INFO ON THIS ONE NIGHT GALLERY BASH! Huggabugs, Caar
The last time I stood in line to vote for president, it was 5:30 am on a cold, dark day and I was less than 24 hours out from my first chemo session.
Today, my entire family stood in line with me as we waited for the doors to open at 6 am. Of course, my daughter and I are known for our friendly manner and BIG mouths. So no surprise, that I got to be the number one voter in our district and she got to be the number two voter. DH and DS followed us and it was easy as pie to use the new touch screen booths to cast our votes for OBAMA/BIDEN!
I AM NOW OFFICIALLY AN OBAMA MAMA!!! I'll blog more later today but I want to remind you to use your right as an American Citizen and VOTE!!!
This is a portion of an editorial that appeared in The Reporter, a free local Jersey Shore paper on 10.30.08 and I wanted to share it with all of my readers.
"...Obama has the intellect needed to comprehend the complexities of the times and the ability to articulate his positions clearly and eloquently. He can inspire, and we believe he will be able to bring out the best in the American people at a time when our best will be needed. He also offers the best hope for building coalitions and winning back the support of our friends abroad, which he recognizes is critical, not only to help win the war on terrorism but to restore order in the world financial markets.
McCain has burned way too many bridges to lead at home or in the international arena. His abrasiveness and that of running mate Sarah Palin during the debates, at their rallies and in their barrage of attack ads have been in sharp contrast to the respectful presidential manner of Obama.
McCain has alienated the Germans, the Spanish and the French, and set the stage for a new cold war with Russia by stating in a debate that when he looks into the eyes of Russian leader Vladimir Putin, he sees "K-G=B." Thinking it is one thing. Saying it to the world is another.
An ongoing Economist magazine poll of its readers around the world indicates McCain would carry only two nations -- Macedonia and Georgia. Obama is preferered by 85 percent or more of the magazine's readers in Canada, Australia and most European, Caribean and South American nations.
Obama and McCain both have portrayed themselves as agents of change. Obama's claim rings true. McCain's does not. McCain has opposed President Bush and the Republican Party on some issues...McCain's views are barely distinguishable from those of Bush."
This editorial was surprising because this particular conglomerate of newspapers usually goes straight Republican!
If you are still undecided on who to vote on Tuesday ask yourself: Which party has been screaming terrorist, socialist, Marxist, murder him and kill him… and which party has been talking about hope and unity?
I admit it. I am a registered Republican who hasn't voted her party since Bush 41. I almost returned to the fold when I voted for John McCain in the 2000 presidential primaries, but when he folded like a cheap suit under Bush's smear campaign I lost faith in the Republicans and in McCain himself.
Since I'd been a Hillary supporter from Day One you'd think I'd be thrilled to see another strong woman in the race. But after reading about Palin’s latest antics I'm more fearful than ever of a Republican win. Especially when several McCain advisers have suggested to CNN that they have become increasingly frustrated with what one aide described as Palin "going rogue."
McCain sources say Palin has gone off-message several times, and they privately wonder whether the incidents were deliberate. "She's no longer playing for 2008; she's playing 2012," Democratic pollster Peter Hart said.
A second McCain source says she appears to be looking out for herself more than the McCain campaign. "She is a diva. She takes no advice from anyone," said this McCain adviser. "She does not have relationships of trust with any of us…also, she is playing for her own future and sees herself as the next leader of the party.”
I was never a Bush supporter because of his attacks on McCain back in ’00. I also have never been supportive of any man I can out think. McCain almost had my vote until he selected Palin as his running mate. It makes me question HIS thinking AND his judgment in the fundamentals.
My son, Evan, picked arbitrary numbers for each of the three sets of ACEOs and I matched them up to the blog postings. This was done at 10:02 this morning but just got the time to announce the winners to the public. Giveaway #1 - Shirley Avelis Giveaway #2 - Tricia Everetts Giveaway #3 - Deb Jones Congratulations to all the winners and thanks to everyone who participated in this giveaway. Stay tuned to this blog as I'm going to make this a monthly event!
This is the most unbelievable bit of sewing craftsmanship I have EVER seen. I just had to post it for all to see. Check it out and wish me luck. I'd love to win it! Maybe she'll win one of my Halloween giveaway ACEOs.