Friday, June 11, 2010

proud to be an American

Sweet Friends, With Memorial Day having just past & the 4th of July right around the corner, I wanted to start getting into the spirit of things here at home, on my blog & at my shop. I am one of those patriotic Americans that gets teary eyed sitting at a baseball field, looking & smelling the beyond green grass, on a lovely summer evening, singing the National Anthem. I mean...it's 'Field of Dreams', who doesn't right?

I get goosebumps walking through Washington DC, standing amid the history that this Nation was founded on. Staring up at the Lincoln & Jefferson Memorials, feeling so small among giants. Thinking back to the bravery of our colonial Father's, imagining that our new, little Nation could ever defeat a world dominating force like England...& yet we did.

A nation that was willing to war brother against brother to right the wrongs that had long gone unacknowledged about what the true meaning of "all men are created equal" infers. Having been fortunate enough to have stood in the battlefields of Gettysburg & in the exact place where Abraham Lincoln gave his amazing Gettysburg Address, I am in awe of this place I call home.

Being an American, I have the luxury to call home my California coastline to my Brother's Baltimore, MD harbor & all destinations in between. My home is big & beautiful & diverse. It has oceans & deserts, islands & redwoods, prairies & majestic mountains. It's so big it has places I've seen, places I wish to see & places I will sadly never get a chance to see.

So, here's some fun vintage images for you to create with and let's get out our red, white & blue & celebrate a nation that's not perfect, but is always trying to remedy that flaw & I will remind myself again of the wonderful words spoken in a Pennsylvania field in 1863. I think I'm going to town & buy a fresh new flag to fly today! Hugs Friends...

"Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

Abraham Lincoln

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

sarducci's & san juan capistrano

Greeting Friends from Laguna Hills, California! Dad is doing soooo much better, it's hard to believe he was teetering on death 5 short weeks ago. We had a lovely outing yesterday to San Juan Capistrano where we enjoyed the sunshine, lunch in the courtyard of Sarducci's & a little stroll in the Old Town district of Los Rios Street on the other side of the train tracks. Isn't this photograph fabulous of the Capistrano Depot in 1895...I ADORE the dress!

This is the same building 115 years later, can you see the courtyard? That's where Dad & I sat & had our lunch next to the center fountain, while a couple of little, hot sparrows braved the crowd & took a leisurely bath. Watching these little birds that have been visiting the Mission every summer for centuries is such a joy, they always make me smile.
The Cliff Swallow is a migratory bird that spends its winters in Goya, Argentina, but makes the 6,000 mile trek north to our warmer climate in springtime. According to legend, the birds first took refuge at the Mission after an irate innkeeper began destroying their mud nests. The Mission's location near two rivers made it an ideal location for the swallows to nest, as there was a constant supply of the insects on which they feed, and the young birds were well-protected inside the ruins of the old stone church.

As one walks along the Los Rios Historic District of San Juan, you get a glimpse of Capistrano's past and the oldest residential street in California. The adobe houses were built here in 1794 by the builders & the ranch hands of the Mission. To walk this street is to recapture the tranquillity of the slower pace of life that existed before the turn of the century and before. It was not long ago that the streets were still dirt. Willow trees grow among eucalyptus and palm. Cactus and wildflowers grow beneath sprays of bougainvillea.

So friends, if you ever get a chance to visit beautiful Mission San Juan Capistrano, don't forget to go to the depot & wander over to the other side of the tracks. History & serenity await you there, along with the soft mellow sound of Mission bells. A day to remember for us both I think!
XOXO

Sunday, June 6, 2010

200 Friends!!! WOW

OK...who's pulling the wool over my eyes??? {where did that phrase come from anyways???}
It seems like just a second ago, I did my Gala Award Ceremony Giveaway for 100 Friends & now I stop in to shout "Howdy" & I have my 200th Friend...how is this possible!!!
I am honored, I'm delighted, I'm humbled, I'm happy, I am astonished at how quickly I went from 100 to 200 friends & I am simply in love with BLOGGING!
The friendships I have made through blogging are some of the closest I've ever had in my life. There seems to be a commonality between bloggers that makes it so easy to connect. Maybe because we are all traveling down our different paths trying to find our own authenticity. Whether it be through art, crafting, photography, gardening, writing or junking...the 'journey is the thing.' And if along that journey we are lucky enough to find like minded souls who understand the importance of this & will allow us to follow them on their life's adventure, we have truly found BLISS!
THANK YOU so much my friends for making my life even better by having you all in it & I just can't wait to see where our journey's will take us next!!!
XOXO

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Artbliss

Greetings Sweet Friends,
We finally got my Daddy home to his own house where we know he will heal & get better so much quicker. Amazingly, his life threatening injuries are no longer the biggest concern...now, it's all about time & patience. He's so cute because when asked how he's feeling or how much pain he's in, his answer is..."I just feel a general state of miserableness." Ya Think....He's a lucky, lucky man to be alive & we in return are a lucky family to have this 2nd chance & the knowledge that, 'This too shall pass.'
While waiting for my Father to recover in his hospital in Escondido, I was blessed to be able to work with Cindy from sweet bead studio on a flyer & blog button for her upcoming 'Inaugural Event' in Washington DC this fall...ARTBLISS! This event is a weekend full of workshops, shopping, food & fun from September 24th ~ 26th. {oh, how I wish I lived closer & could attend!}

I love all of the vintage, patriotic elements we used in these two pieces & think this adorable little boy waving his flag is just the cutest! {wouldn't he be fun to have on your sidebar with all of our National Holidays coming up?} Thank you Cindy, so very much, for having the confidence to use me during such a stressful time & for giving me a reason to create & a moment in everyday to take my mind to a different place & time & to remember to smile!
And, Thanks Again Friends for all of your Loving & Supportive Comments.
You will never know how very much they have meant to me & my family!!!

XOXO

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Home

Oh, Dear Friends...
How can I tell you all how grateful & overwhelmed I am by your amazing & gracious thoughts, prayers & sweet comments? You will never know how very much they have meant to me. One night, after a particularly bad day at the hospital, my sister & I laid on my hotel bed & read them all. It brought tears to our eyes to know that so many lovely hearts were sending us & our Daddy, their strength & love to get through this tough time.
Thank You!

My poor Dad is having such a hard time recovering from this. His injuries are so severe, that there is hardly a place on his body that isn't in pain. I really do like his doctor & believe in what he has been saying...that even with a man in as good of shape as my Father is, an accident like this shows your age. We just have to give his body the time it needs to heal & be patient. {unfortunately, my family has a genetic flaw when it comes to this trait}

With my sisters keeping watching over Dad, I was able to come home for a couple of nights & I'm sooooo happppy to be HOME! I don't know if any of you are like me, but I always have an on going list in my head of things I need to get done in order for my house to be JUST RIGHT. It's too small, so I want to add a 3rd bedroom & 2nd bathroom. I want a nice big deck built off of this room, so double french doors can open out onto it & we can sit outside & drink wine in the evening admiring our beautiful view. I'd also like to have a charming gazebo & a lovely little garden there to add ambiance to this imaginary space & the list, I'm sad to say, goes on.

Leaving the hospital, I was giddy with the idea of going home. After having had such an emotional & stressful few days, my mind was transfixed on getting up the mountain & feeling the cool mountain air. Following the road that leads to my house, the list in my mind disappeared & when I finally got HOME, it looked simply 'PERFECT'!

These pictures are of a small vignette I've been working on in a corner of my bedroom to use as a work space or computer desk or whatever it turns out to be. Before the accident, I had just finished recovering the garden chair. The desk is an old sewing machine table, I found the mirror at the Senior Thrift Store across the street from my shop & the hand craved, wooden angel came from the little antique store next door.
My house is filled with wooden angels. They are my guardians, my spirit guides, my signs of faith & they are the one's that kept my Daddy alive on that wet & foggy morning. I can't wait to come home & find the perfect place to hang up this one in honor of my Dad's gift!

XOXO