Saturday, December 29, 2007

An Amazing Christmas

I hope you had an extravagant Christmas on the lines of this house in our neighborhood and my favorite children's Christmas book The Amazing Christmas Extravaganza.

We were fortunate this year to have Katie with us and the house was packed with about 25 of our relatives. We missed seeing my sister-in-law and her family and 4 children. We also missed seeing my nephew David and his family but they had a good excuse; Jamie delivered a beautiful baby boy, Xavier, on Christmas Eve. He joins his two year old brother Peter. Photos to follow.

We had great food and a crazy time playing Trivial Pursuit, the original 1982 version! I remember driving to Canada to get the game. It was a huge hit and impossible to find except in Canada. So a bunch of us piled in the car and drove to Windsor!

The frenetic pace of the holidays is over and it's time to kick back, relax, and cram in as many movies as possible. So far, Sweeney Todd, P.S I Love You with Charlie Wilson's War and The Great Debaters still to see.

Katie is the proud owner of her very first, official car. She bought a red Saturn SL!!! She turns the Geo over to heer brother, who has been longing for "his" car back. Now we just have to get rid of the blue truck.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Christmas Home Tour

Welcome to our home at Christmas. Enjoy!

(above and below)
Our beautiful 8', $25! , Blue Spruce.
For the full story see entry
entitled "Oh, Oh, Oh Christmas Tree"

Celadon nativity from Thailand.
I flew to Thailand last year on December 24, to visit my daughter who
was teaching at an international school, arriving in
Bagkok at 11:50 pm Christmas Day. This nativity was my beautiful
Christmas gift from my daughter.

New this year!
Pink and Black Victorian decorations in the foyer.
I used this color tree and color theme earlier in December on my
table display at an art show where I sold my jewelry.

Black and white silhouette ornaments are made from victorian images and embellished with a hint of pink; a rhinestone earring, necklace, or bracelet framed in a dollar store frame

Thursday, December 13, 2007

For Bev, Britt, and the children at The House of Blessing Orphanage

This Christmas, Britt, Katie's Thailand roommate's brother has "adopted" the children at the House of Blessing orphanage, where Brooke volunteers. He is hoping to find 123 sponsors to "adopt" each of the children. A gift of $10 will be used to buy a T-shirt, underwear, a toy and a craft.
What an incredible project. So far, 85 orphans have been adopted! We are so honored to be a part of it! You can too> Go to Bev's blog at

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Merry Christmas

It seems hard to believe that a year ago I was leaving on Christmas Eve to spend Christmas with Katie in Thailand. This photo is of the lobby at the Novotel where we stayed Christmas night. I traveled all day the 24th and arrived at 11:55 the 25th.

I'm feeling a good deal nostalgic about my three weeks in Thailand but I am so glad that Katie is home this year to celebrate with us. We are hosting the family Christmas at our house this year.

I wish you all a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!

You have made your way to this blog and I hope have enjoyed catching up on our lives this past year. Better than a newsletter, I hope.

Please visit Katie's blog to see how her life in med school has been going. Fun photos and videos too! You can get there from this blog...see the side bar on the left of my blog for the link that says "The Daughter" or type in.....

If you feel so inspired, leave her a note too.

Oh! Oh! Oh! Christmas Tree

The hunt for the "perfect" Christmas tree always used to send me into a tailspin of dread and anxiety. But many years ago I found two brothers who sold trees from their home that were fresh cut from their farm up north. They went up over Thanksgiving and brought the trees back with them. They were gorgeous! It still required going to their place in the freezing cold of Michigan, holding up trees to see what they looked like and then writing a hefty check, and hauling it home. But about 7 years ago they decided to retire to that farm up north, sold their property to a developer and left town!

It was panic time for me and a few years of trudging through the tree lots inreally freezing cold and semi darkness. Then.......ta da!.... a sign appeared at the red barn on the corner of my subdivision announcing blue spruce trees for sale. Not much parking and only about a dozen trees leaning against the barn BUT...they were all perfect! Every one of those blue spruces were gorgeous, in fact I don't even pick the tree out. I leave that to Larry, the True Blue Trees guys and they are only $25! Yes, 8 feet of blue spruce for $25. The best part? Larry also So for the past4 years I have had the most fabulous trees. One year he wasn't quite up to it and this year there was no sign out! Help...what to do? Before I took that long trudge out to some other tree places I called Larry and left a message. When he got back to me on Saturday afternoon, he said he wasn't doing any trees this year but he could get one for me. He was going out to his property Sunday and would cut a tree and deliver it. Did you get that??? He went out, picked out the tree, CUT it and DELIVERED IT the following day! The picture above is this years' tree. A plate of Christmas cookies is on it's way to Larry's house this week.

Life in the fast lane

Women artisan's sale Set up (avove and right) at The Iron Pig

Yikes!!! It's been almost a month since I last posted on this blog. Where did the time go?? What on earth have I been doing? New pins made with Vintage postcards Pink and black tree at Women Artisans

I'll try to catch you up and post pictures above. I haven't quite figured out how to imbed pictures in my text so they all end up at the top of my blog entry. Maybe over break I'll have Katie help me.

It's Art and Craft season and I've been doing a lot of shows. The first weekend of November I invited 4 crafty friends to do a show at our house. It was wonderfully successful and a so much fun. The weekend after that I was in the 3 day Mason Christmas Craft Show and again did exceptionally well. For the past 3 years I have been floating from "house to house" on this sale (there are 20 houses featuring about 40+ artisans) and I found myself at the delightful Iron Pig Antiques. Helen and Leroy Townsend and their daughter Jeanine were such gracious and generous hosts that by the end of the weekend it seemed like we were family. In fact, over the three days I met many of their family members and learned a good deal more about the Townsend family. I had a blast. Thank you Townsends!!

Thanksgiving arrived along with my daughter Katie! It was so good to have her home for a few days. I am blessed that she is in school so close to home; Detroit is only and hour and a half drive from here. I see her often but there's nothing quite like having her home. I'm looking forward to her three week break for Christmas.

The following weekend I did an amazing show, a new one for me, at the East Lansing Hannah Community Center called Lansing Women Artisan's Holiday Sale. Very classy and beautiful handcrafted items. I decided to decorate my area in black and pink! So much fun and very different. My good friend Dan has also been sharing my jewelry with his clients, he's a hair stylist, and with the cast of Spamelot, he does hair for the traveling shows. I've been finishing up special orders and having fun restyling some jewelry for a client of mine.

It's probably time to do some Christmas shopping now.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Zombie Attack

Thank goodness! Lansing is well prepared for a Zombie attack. We have been assured by the chief of [olice that a plan is in action just in case of a zombie attack Phew!

Last week, a news item out of Lansing appeared in the British tabloid, The Sun.It read: "Potty police lieutenant Bruce Ferguson has stockpiled chain saws so his men can lop off the heads of zombies if they invade Lansing, Michigan, US.""Potty," to the Brits, means something along the lines of "nutty."

According to Ferguson, "We can feel confident if zombies start invading. We know how to close the streets. If a swarm comes in on I-496 westbound, we'll block off the exits so they'll miss the city. If the undead did attack you'd have three options: come up with an escape plan, cower in your basement, or head out to the nearest store and buy a machete and a .357 magnum and start cracking craniums."

A similar piece ran in the New York Post.The story was aired as actual news on radio stations in New Jersey and North Carolina and in other states as well.In fact, a quick Google search or two will turn up versions of that story written in German, French, Danish, Greek, Romanian, Hungarian, Czech, Latvian and Icelandic.

"Whether you're in Britain, the Czech Republic or in New Jersey, the threat of the undead is always lying just below the surface - especially in Jersey. I'm glad we were able to alert local residents and others to Lansing's pro-active stance."

Check out the whole article at

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Homecoming 2007

Men in Black

John and Sierra

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Posterity and Nostalgia

I made an astonishing and stunningly wonderful discovery today that made my heart sing. I know that sounds a little over the top and corny but bear with me. In my "Big O" post I uploaded a Saturday Evening Post cover of trick or treaters. The moment I typed Saturday Evening Post a metaphorical cartoon lightbulb appeared in balloon a cartoon .

Many of you know that both my Dad and I have been on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post as well as a third cover that featured our odd little car. My Dad was into buying strange little cars. I learned to drive on a German Borgward.

I've been on a mission to find all the covers that the artist painted.

Could I find the artist online? Would I be able to find the covers he painted? Would I find myself on the internet? So I googled Earl Mayan.

Earl was a neighbor of ours, one of my Dad's best friends, my Dad's tennis partner, the host of a fourth of July party that I can conjure images of even to this day and probably the inspiration for my own 4th of July party and, of course, an excellent artist.I am lucky to have inherited some of his paintings.

And there I found them... "Rainy Saturday" Earl is the disappointed golfer on the left and my Dad is the happy gardener on the right.
This is the "Big Hill" not the real title of this cover but what we all called it. Woodhollow Lane was the major road into our subdivision. It was huge (to our eyes), steep and long. Earl is leaning on the shovel. An aged version of my Dad is shoveling, I am on my stomach on my sled behind my Dad. My best friend Christine is in the middle sitting and Earl's daughter is at the bottom.
"Traffic Jam"
See that ugly olive green car in the top right of this picture? It's our English Hillman. You can see it repeated in the traffic jam.
What a find!

Caution! Blonde Thinking

Did you know that you can click on any picture on the blog to make it bigger so you can actually see it? I just found that out!
Doris Day, my kind of girl.

Monday, October 01, 2007

The Big O

One of the earlier Unicef boxes

A spooky shelf of Jack o' lanterns

Vintage ads and an old Saturday Evening Post cover

October that is! I love October. It's my favorite month of the entire year.

Why do I love thee, let me count the ways....

It is the only month that starts with a big fat O

Fall Folliage

Crispy, crunchy mounds of leaves

The first real month of Autumn

My birthday month

Jack o' Lanterns


Harvest Moon


And don't forget all those other special celebrations in the month of October!

Celebrate Sun Dried Tomatoes month

Columbus Day

Moldy Cheese Day

Eat Country Ham Day

World Smile Day :)

National pajamas month

National Sarcastic month

National self Promotion month

Did I say, October is my birthday month? I was the envy of all my friends because I was only kid in elementary school that actually got to have a Halloween party every year! Because my birthday is only 5 days away from Halloween every birthday party had an orange and black theme; orange paper hats, clickety metal noisemakers, blow outs, metal horns, tablecloth,cups, plates, and napkins decorated with goblins and witches, bobbing for apples, treasure hunts, and spooky charades. But no costumes,they were saved only for Halloween night, long before costume parades became fashionable at school.

Trick or treating was was an all night affair. Well, from the time you got home from school until midnight! So much time, so many treats, and so much time to plan an execute the tricks.

And don't forget to "Trick or Treat for Unicef".

Back in the fifties little girls dressed up in their best party finery in their party dresses complete with full skirts, velvet bows, frilly petticoats, and lots of lace with little white socks and black patent leather shoes.

So enjoy this glorious month.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Autumn Harvest Sale

(L.) Booth at this weekends Autumn Harvest Sale at The Wooden Shoe Herb Farm.
Great food an
good friends at the Friday Wine, hors d'oeurve, dessert reception. This year's dates November 2 and 3.

Jeanie's beautiful cards, felt bags, and scarves
Unique and elegant jewelry

This past weekend was one of those quintessential fall weekends that we all get nostalgic about. I spent both Friday and Saturday outside in the beautiful gardens of The Wooden Shoe Herb Farm with my friend and owner Brenda Ginther. It was our 2nd annual Autumn Harvest Sale. I set up my jewelry outside under a tent and Brenda had her gorgeous and fragrant herbs, wreaths, and floral arrangements inside. A fun weekend selling jewelry and chatting with old and new friends.

We are gearing up for 2 Fall events:

Designing Women Open House

5 very talented and artsy women will gather at my home for a sale; Me with Firefly Jewelry and accessories, Jeanie Croope with note cards, scarves, and mixed media, Jane Rosemont with amazing photography, Brenda Ginther with wreathes, soaps, potpourri and dried flower arrangements, and Nancy Williams with gourmet dog treats and her organizing business

This is a great way to get a jump on the holidays or just to treat yourself.

Friday, November 2 from 5-9 ***Wine, hors d'oeurves, and dessert reception Friday
Saturday, November 3 from 9-5

We had such fun last year. Come join the fun this year.
For more information email me at

Come join the fun!

33rd Mason Christmas Craft Sale

Thursday-Saturday November 8, 9, 10
Thursday and Friday 9-9 and Saturday 9-5

This is the sale everyone waits for. It's huge and so much fun. 18 homes and more than 50 exhibitors. All the houses are decorated for the holidays and many houses feature a sampling of treats as well as holiday decorations and gift items. Look for the numbered house signs; each house will have a flyer and map of the participating artists.

This year I will be at HOUSE #12 The Iron Pig Antiques at 611 E. Columbia Rd., Mason.

Life With Izzy

Labor day Weekend in Traverse.(Far left) Katie and Izzy camping.
(Near left) Izzy at 3 1/2 months. She's a long legged beauty and about 20 lbs here.

I took her to the vet this week and now at 4 1/2 months she weighs in at 32 lbs.

Up North

The beach where the Platte River and Lake Michigan meet. Sleeping Bear dunes are in the background.
(L.) Our "cottage" in the woods

Mission Point Lighhouse

A bunch o' grapes at one of the wineries.

The beach at the lighthouse.

The perks of retirement. In my 33 years of teaching it was rare that we went away for Labor Day. School had already started and there was too much to do to be ready for the 2nd and "real" first week of school.

Retirement has allowed me to enjoy my first real Labor Day weekend Up North in Traverse City. We packed up the camper and the dog and headed for one of my favorite places in all of Michigan; Lake Michigan and Grand Traverse Bay for a weekend at the beach taking in the sun, shopping in Traverse City and roasting marshmallows over the campfire at the campground.

This year, Katie and I did the whole wine tour thing. Because of the lake and temperate weather the MissionPoint Pennisula is known for its great wines much like eastern Long Island. We did a wine tasting tour of 4 of the 5 wineries, tasting a variety of wines from dry white to dessert wines and sampling all the jams, salsas, and mustards made with Michigan's famous cherries.