Saturday, December 13, 2008

MMMmmmm I smell pizza. Take-out.
An absolute fairy tale ending to a really wonderful creative day today.
Always a bit of magical fairy tale when I don't have to cook ...;0)....
I can't remember when the last wonderfully creative day I had was, so I'm letting the whole world know about it!!

I rediscovered our Christmas nuns this year as I was going through all the Christmas stuff. I have had these since my childhood, and long story short, they remind me of the Italian side of the family that I knew through my father. My relatives lived in San Francisco and we lived in LA, so we saw them once a year at Christmas when I was growing up.

I remember misty San Francisco's hills and my uncle's HUGE Santa that waved. It was 4 feet tall, taller than me for all those years. I was fascinated with it. My uncle also lived on a hill, and he kept Santa in his big bay window just wavin' to folks passing by. These were the 50's and the 60's, and even in San Francisco you put your silver Christmas tree and your animated Santa in the window and left the drapes open so everyone could get the Spirit.

We may not have seen them that often, but they kept in touch via phone frequently.

This was back in the day, I'm talking about the phone that had the rotary dial on it, before push buttons! It was a big deal when they called and the conversations were mostly in Italian, which my dad's family spoke, not me nor my mother. So after I got to say hi, (and I always got to say hi, they called me Cookie. Isn't that cute?) I would have to wait until they hung up to hear the latest news.

It was so special to hear my Dad speaking Italian louldly and laughing and talking on and on. He was a mystery to me, larger than life! Just like my uncle's waving Santa.

Well, it has been one heck of a crazy year and when I unpacked the Sisters and wound the music box I heard Ave Maria. Yeah, I got a little misty. I just got nostalgic for the good old days, and took a moment to remember how simple life used to be. I was so thankful for that moment, thankful that I had the life that I had. The Nun music box was a gift from my distant, mysterious relatives, and for my adult years I would only bring it out at Christmas to keep it from breaking. Now I have it in a new place of honor in the china hutch. I'm going to leave them out all year. Just as a little reminder of the love that I was blessed with.

As it turns out, they are inspirational in other ways as well...

I just love painting those sweet faced girls, I'm amazed at how they take shape and form, I just love how different they turn out when they are done, and they aren't done until they're done.

So I began the process, flesh paint on primed canvas board. By the time I had the triangular heads filled in, I knew I had to paint the Nuns. I knew they had to be singers too!

So, after many layers of acrylics, watercolors, chalks, sheet music decoupage, notes words, I put stamped napkins on today. I'm so excited. I didn't have this in mind at all when I began. I am so enjoying this project!. So here's a brief share, forgive the glare.

I also started a Christmas hanger,

Made from decoupaged music paper on foam core and a stamped napkin so far. I'm excited to see how this turns out.

...and a pile of Christmas bamboo tiles. I can't wait to see how they finish up. Ornaments? Pins? Magnets? Probably!

Also, I got to my tag project today.

I received the most generous pile of 'tuck-in' gifts when I purchased these amazing 4th of July hang tags from Ruebee's own Katey-d (of Caat fame)( here's a quick copy and paste for a quick look at her stuff)and in the pile were these awesome, coffee died, hand inked, buttoned, threaded, large hang tags. So I took some vintage Christmas images and glued and glittered until they turned into Christmas tags.

I love pennant banners, and I plan to use the 4th of July tags in a holiday banner. This year, my Santa tags will probably end up on the tree as I'm too far into the month, but the plan is for them to be part of a pennant banner too. Probably 2009.

So I'm feeling blessed, it was a very productive creative day. Merry Christmas!

Rotary phone pic courtesy of
(under creative commons license)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Nativity

Among the oxen
(like an ox I'm slow)
I see a glory
in the stable grow
Which, with the ox's dullness
might at length
Give me
an ox's strength.

Among the asses
(stubborn I as they)
I see my Saviour
where I looked for hay;
So may my beastlike folly
learn at least
The patience
of a beast.

Among the sheep
(I like a sheep have strayed)
I watch the manger
where my Lord is laid;
Oh that my baa-ing nature
would win thence
Some woolly innocence!

(Clive Staples) C. S. Lewis

Nativity picture found at

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A Christmas Creed
I believe in Jesus Christ and in the beauty of the gospel begun in Bethlehem.

I believe in the one whose spirit glorified a little town; and whose spirit still brings music to persons all over the world, in towns both large and small.

I believe in the one for whom the crowded inn could find no room, and I confess that my heart still sometimes wants to exclude Christ from my life today.

I believe in the one who the rulers of the earth ignored and the proud could never understand; whose life was among common people, whose welcome came from persons of hungry hearts.

I believe in the one who proclaimed the love of God to be invincible:

I believe in the one whose cradle was a mother's arms, whose modest home in Nazareth had love for its only wealth, who looked at persons and made them see what God's love saw in them, who by love brought sinners back to purity, and lifted human weakness up to meet the strength of God.

I confess my ever-lasting need of God,
The need of forgiveness for our selfishness and greed,
the need of new life for empty souls,
the need of love for hearts grown cold.

I believe in God who gives us the best of himself. I believe in Jesus, the son of the living God, born in Bethlehem this night, for me and for the world.

Walter Russell Bowie

Monday, December 8, 2008

The other half of my world

We all have those moments in the morning when we've just woken from a vivid dream, and honestly, it's hard sometimes to leave that dream world and connect with good old 2008.
Well, Gavin loves Sesame Street. He's a rompin stompin 2 and 4mos old and knows his alphabet and his own mind, and can count to 13 or 14. He's doted on and tutored by my daughter and of course, I think he's the next Einstien.
One bright morning
as he was waking up,
he told his mom,


she asked 'sparklies?'

he said 'no, Barkley'

she said 'OH Barkley!'(on Sesame Street)

he said 'no, brocolli' ...she asked 'brocolli? You want brocolli?' ...he said 'yes, brocolli!' brocolli for breakfast it was.
I really wonder what he was dreaming about.

How far you go in life depends on
your being tender with the young,
compassionate with the aged,
sympathetic with the striving
and tolerant of the weak
and strong.

Because someday in life you will have been all of these.

George Washington Carver

Sunday, December 7, 2008

One half of my world,

There is a certain force of nature that no man can conquer, that no mere mortal can subdue, which has an undeniable 6th (or 7th or 8th) primal sense that knows when I have an urgent task at hand.

This allows it the advantage of absolute chaos and disruption and makes me completely helpless when ever I attempt to sit at my computer to work or play.

Through some devious psychic means, my intelligence and focus are sucked right from my brain as it chirps and emits noises that the angels understand, but of which my poor feeble ears strain to make sense of.

It assumes the immediate possession of any pencil, pen, paper, paperclip, tape roll, pair of glasses, piece of paper, picture, book, actually anything that isn't nailed down, without thought of purpose or value, present or future, except for its own immediate use and gains control of my attention rendering me inept for the task that I was trying to accomplish.

I try to maintain my thoughts while verbally protesting that it is making a huge mess that I alone will have to clean up, but little appendages fly to and fro all the faster, and what once was nice, neat and orderly, is now strewn to four corners making this creature squeak with delight.

A master of diversion, before I realize what has transpired, my books are strewn and my once clean floor is littered with the debris of items formerly on my desk that were used in a wild session of abandon with scissors and paper. His voice is raised and he is pulling on my sleeve to gain my attention so that I might give approval and praise for the act of destruction that he has just accomplished.

His mission is complete, and I am left drained and frustrated, my face is a screwed mess of emotion while still trying to maintain my composure and I'm ready to let out a howl that would make wolves jealous, but then he lifts his sweet little face to me and says... 'gramma...G R A M M A! ...Can I have some ice cream?'

Oh glorious moment, I believe I feel a smile faintly forming on my face, and as I exhale I utter those 4 magic words, "go ask your father". Before I draw my next breath, what do I hear but those little feet thomping toward the kitchen, toward his next unsuspecting captive. Finally! I am mistress of my domain again, even if only for the moment, and I think, that I have started my blog!


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