Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Feathers and Remembrance

I've decided to get involved in two projects this Fall that both involve a little art. The first one is THE MAGIC FEATHER PROJECT. The Magic Feather Project is a collective stitching project focused on creative sharing and giving. Jude Hill of spirit cloth, is hosting this project. I will stitch a feather on a piece of cloth and send it to Jude. Once she receives 1000 stitched feathers, she is going to sew the cloths together and donate one large or several small blankets to a charity that is associated with children. She will be posting the feathers on her blog as she receives them. For more information on this project, click on the feather on my sidebar. I thank my friend Constanza, of por amor al arte, for posting about this project on her blog and getting me interested in the project.

The second project is THE ART OF REMEMBERING. It centers around November 1st, All Souls Day (the Day of the Dead). It will be an honoring of loved ones now gone and a deep joy filled awareness to live life fully straight from the heart. We will share photographs, art, tutorials, dia de los muertos inspired art, and anything to fan the flames of enthusiasm for this soulful celebration. This project is being hosted by Stephanie Hilvitz of Mango Studio and Rebecca Brooks of Recuerda mi corazon. For more information, click on the dia de bloglandia heart on my sidebar. I thank my friend Pam, of Yoborobo, for posting about this project on her blog. I love what Pam had to say about it. "El Dia de Los Muertos gives us a chance to join together in our remembrances of loved ones and, at the same time, to celebrate life. Perhaps, at this special time, the veil between our worlds is lifted, and our souls visit." I plan to make a piece of art in remembrance of my brother, Patrick. I would love to think that our souls will visit on November 1st.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Recent Purchase

Not Quite Flying, But Soon


This summer, I purchased two original works of art by Adrienne Trafford. They are both from her Journey Oracle Deck. The tree with eggs is the work of art that is on the back of each of the cards in the deck. The Talisman is card #3o in the deck. These paintings are 4" x 6" and they are encased in glass, ready to hang.

On the back of the tree painting, Adrienne has written: "I think a bird's nest with eggs is such a hopeful thing. It is so filled with promise and potential." I chose this painting because of my strong love for trees and birds.

On the back of the Talisman painting, Adrienne has written: "It wasn't HER heart, but she suddenly felt quite powerful with it around..." I chose this painting because I like the idea of a talisman. A talisman is an object held to act as a charm to avert evil and bring good fortune ~ sometimes magical. I love the heart and everything about the girl ~ her hair, her tattoos, the look on her face.

Both of these works of art are signed and dated on the back. I am very happy to add them to my collection of art.

Adrienne is a wonderful artist. You will love what you see on her blog and in her etsy shop.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Earthquakes and Hurricanes

There is still a lot of talk going on about the recent earthquake that took place here in Virginia on Tuesday. The news today reported that aftershocks could possibly take place for up to two weeks after the earthquake. No thanks! One good shakeup was enough for me.

We only live about 1-1/2 hours from where the epicenter of the earthquake was. I was in my studio ~ I had just sat down at my desk when I started hearing little noises like things shaking in a jar. Suddenly, the room was moving and everything in my studio was rattling ~ the jars of paint, the beads in containers, the buttons in jars, everything ~ it sounded like a giant windchime. And then it stopped. I had never experienced that sensation before. I knew it was an earthquake and after the shaking stopped, I found myself holding tightly onto my desk with both hands. It was an experience I don't want repeated. Truth be told ~ it was frightening.

It amazes me that it was felt so far away. I immediately got on Facebook and the comments started popping up ~ earthquake in Canada ~ earthquake in North Carolina ~ earthquake in Pennsylvania, etc. News reports today stated that this earthquake was felt by 1/3 of the country.

Thankfully, we had no damage of any kind. I do now have a more realistic sympathy for those who experience severe earthquakes around the world. Not only is an earthquake frightening, the devastation of property and life can be catastrophic.

Now, we have this large hurricane ~ Irene ~ bearing down on our Eastern Coastline. Of course, my first thoughts were of Casey and Amanda in Charleston, SC. Thank God, it sounds like Charleston will be safe, but I fear for those in North Carolina all the way up the coast to Maine. I have many Blog friends living in those areas and I hope you will all be taking the necessary precautions. I will be thinking of you and praying for your safety.


Sunday, August 21, 2011


Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Boy Who Needed Alex

When I read a good uplifting story, I always want to share. There are too many depressing stories to read these days. This article is from The Power of Prayer Newsletter ~ it's an excerpt from Their Mysterious Ways Too. The Yellow Lab photo is not Alex ~ it is from the internet ~ I thought it would be nice to have a picture to relate to.

The Boy Who Needed Alex
by Lori Shaw

My yellow lab, Alex, a certified therapy dog, tugged at her leash and trotted down the elementary school hallway, eager to get to the kids we'd been visiting the past couple of months. She stopped at our usual classroom. I straightened her red scarf and opened the door. But there were no kids. Just the teacher. That's odd, I thought.

For years, I'd prayed for the chance to raise a therapy dog, and Alex was a natural. A whip-smart, energetic pup, she breezed through obedience training and became certified at just a year old. Deep in my heart, I knew Alex was meant to do good in the world. When one of her instructors told me about Dog Tales, a volunteer group that visits schools and libraries with therapy dogs, encouraging folks to read, it sounded perfect. Alex loved kids so I signed her up. Our assignment was the local elementary school. From our first visit, the kids bonded to Alex. Every time we came back, the students couldn't wait to sit and read with Alex.

But that day, with our regular class missing, I wondered if we could help at all. I worried about Alex. She needed to do her therapy work. "I'm so sorry," the teacher said. "I forgot to call you. The kids are out working on a project today." Alex sat next to me and whined. "Could we visit another class?" I asked. The teacher thought for a moment. "There is a class that would enjoy seeing..."

"Perfect!" I said. She led the way down the hall, and Alex and I followed. Then Alex stopped short in front of another door. "C'mon girl," I said, tugging on her leash. But my normally obedient dog wouldn't budge. She wanted to, no, had to, enter this classroom. The teacher asked the class if they'd like to meet Alex. Then she waved us in. It was a small class, maybe ten kids. "Hi, everyone," I said. "This is Alex..."

Before I could finish, Alex made a beeline for a boy who was sitting on the carpet, his head down. She snuggled up to him and put her chin on his shoulder. The boy quietly put his arm around her.

I read a story to the kids. With each turn of the page, I caught a glimpse of the boy stroking Alex's coat. She never left his side. That's funny, I thought. Usually Alex makes her rounds and visits with all the kids. After we said our goodbyes, the teacher walked over. "May I please speak to you in the hallway?"

"Of course," I said, following her.

"I know you have a schedule, but could Alex visit us each week too?"

"We'd love to," I said. Then I saw tears in her eyes. "Did I say something wrong?"

She shook her head and pointed to the little boy. "He's been depressed for months. We've tried everything, and we just can't break through to him. But it looks like Alex has."

Alex and I kept going back to that classroom. Each week that little boy brightened a bit more. Today he's a happy fifth grader, who still gets visits from Alex and me. Who could've known Alex would make such a big difference in a child's life? But that's what happens sometimes, isn't it? We ask God to give us opportunities to help, and He leads us to where we're needed. Or rather, He led my dog.

Special thanks to my sister, Patty, who sent me this story in an email this morning.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

"Love yourself ~ accept yourself ~ forgive yourself ~ and be good to yourself, because without you, the rest of us are without a source of many wonderful things."

~Leo F. Buscaglia

~Photo by Audrey

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Never allow another person to kill your spirit ~ be wild ~ be free ~ follow your heart ALWAYS.

Thank you, Pam. ♥

~photo by Audrey

Monday, August 15, 2011

"Life is a paradise for those who love many things with a passion."

~Leo Buscaglia


Sunday, August 14, 2011

"And, thank you, God, for this food I'm about to eat."

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Thursday, August 11, 2011

August Art By Night

Forgive me if I've mentioned this before ~ the first Friday of each month is Art By Night in downtown Roanoke. The art galleries all stay open late, have special showings, and sometimes have refreshments. I look forward to this night each month. Last Friday night, DH and I walked around the renovated building in the center of the square downtown. This building houses the International Food Market which is a big draw downtown. It will be opening again very soon. The sidewalk all around the building was redone and made wider. An artist laid mosaics into beautiful scenes at the four entrances. I didn't have the right lens on my camera to get each entire scene in a photo. So, here are bits and pieces of each scene. They are so colorful and well done I really wanted to share them with you.

This month, my friend, John, had a show called Antique Match Book Art. Being the wonderful artist that he is, he framed some of the match book art and they were spectacular. Unfortunately, I neglected to take a photo of one to show you. It's always fun to visit John's shop, Appalachia Press.

This adorable puppet hangs in the window at Appalachia Press. Love it!!

John ~ always with a smile on his face. John was one of the first people I met when I moved here to Roanoke ~ he's been a good friend ever since.

The Taubman Museum of Art is directly next to Appalachia Press. We had dinner in the museum at Norah's Cafe before we started on our Art By Night walk. It was another fun evening!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Weekend Trip

We had a very full weekend ~ a fast and furious one. We left very early Saturday morning for Durham, NC. Saturday night was VIP Night at my son's latest venture ~ McAlister's Deli. Although Casey has kept me informed all along during the buildout of the restaurant and all that goes along with the opening of such, it was very exciting to finally see it. We had a fun evening sampling the tasty fare of McAlister's Deli and visiting with friends and family. It was really good to see and hug Casey and Amanda again. It has been a while.

Casey took me on a tour ~ while in the walk-in freezer, I noted the many bags of cheese (I LOVE cheese) and having not seen so much cheese in one place at any time, I had to photograph it.

This wonderful fountain is on the wall right next to the restaurant. Fountains are like magnets. If there is one nearby, I will hear it and find it. Water features are another thing I love.

When the restaurant closed, some of us went out for a celebration drink before heading back to the hotel for the night. We went to a place called Firebirds Wood Fired Grill. Always aware of my surroundings when I enter a new place, I couldn't help but notice the spectacular bar. The first photo I took through the window ~ what a beautiful, colorful sight for passerbys to appreciate. Definitely a draw. I didn't get a photo of the full bar area ~ it was very long and truly something to see at night.

We drove through some beautiful countryside and saw many old barns, horses, hay fields, and tobacco fields. I will blog about these things at a later time. While driving through Virginia, we also saw a miniature village completely made out of stone. It was fascinating and also worthy of a blog post on another day.

I managed to find time to go into two consignment shops in the Durham area. One of the shops was in a big old house and it had a lot of items outside ~ furniture, plates lining the sidewalks, pottery, etc. The one thing that caught my eye immediately were the large animals made out of odds and ends. The photo above looks like some kind of BIG CAT. I'm really not sure what it is, but I thought it was great.

Here is a closer look from a different angle. The whiskers are what makes me think it's a BIG CAT.

This elephant is large!! I love that someone used old trash parts to make these animals. They are well done and fun to look at. Great art!!

There were about four giraffes. Sorry, I didn't get good pictures of them. There was a chicken, too. I forgot to load that photo ):

We did a lot in a short period of time. Returned home on Sunday to more heat and no rain. Although it was warm here, there was a definite difference in the humidity. It was very humid in NC ~ reminded me of my year living in SC. And, they had rain in NC!! I wish I could have brought some of that back with me.