Thursday, December 12, 2013

what's in a name?

Filomena & John with five of the husbands, Christmas 1946.
My dad is the uniformed officer.

My grandmother, Filomena Contella, immigrated to America from Italy in the early 20th century. She was promised to my grandfather, a well-to-do man from upstate New York. They had seven daughters during their marriage, my mother being number five and "daddy's favorite." (This, according to my Aunt Evelyn, who I've written about here.)

My mother often relegated the tale of my name whenever my birthday would come round on the calendar. Born in 1951 on a rainy, snowy day in February, my mother decided she wanted to name me after my grandmother, "but, the American translation." She told how she was going to name me Cheryl Constance, in honor of her mom. She said I would have had beautiful monograms with two "C"s in my name. {Don't snicker.}

As the story goes, when my mom announced to my dear grandmother that she was going to name me Cheryl Constance, my grandmother said if my mother wanted to use half of her name, she had to use all of it. Period. My grandmother, who was called Filomena even by her own daughters, always got her way with my mother. (And, my aunts, too!) So it was ... I was christened Phyllis Constance.

My family called me "Phyllis," except for my Aunt Christine who called me "Fifi." She didn't like the name either. But, it wasn't until I started first grade at Woodlawn Elementary School that I began to hate my first name.

If you Google "Phyllis," the first suggested entry is "Phyllis Diller." From Wikipedia comes this: "In the mid-1950s, she made appearances on The Jack Paar Show and was a contestant on Groucho Marx's quiz show You Bet Your Life.  Diller was part of the so-called "New Wave" comedians who began their careers after World War II and had no connections to vaudeville." She was loud. Her hair was wild. She wore outrageous costumes. And, the grown-ups loved her.

Diller on "Laugh In"
For those too young to remember this mid-century, modern woman, Diller was self-deprecating to a fault. A typical Diller joke had her running after a garbage truck pulling away from her curb. "Am I too late for the trash?" she'd yell. The driver's reply: "No, jump right in!"

Now that I think of it, she was, perhaps, the first in a new genre of comediennes that lead us to Roseanne. Their comedy comes from real life, with a twist. But, to a seven-year-old girl, it wasn't funny. It was mean spirited teasing from other first graders and by the end of my first year in school, I hated my name.

Other girls had names like Linda and Emily and Audrey and Diane. Real girl names. Names that said they were girls! I had "Phyllis," which sounded harsh and almost evil, like it was a curse. Which it was. Inevitably, in every new grade, in every new class, some sniggering jerk (males AND females) would make a joke about my name with a reference to Phyllis Diller. It didn't matter that Diller was so much more than a comedienne. She played piano. She painted. She made movies. She was an artist. It was her 'celebrity' status as a bawdy comedienne that made her my nemesis.

Then, I went to college. And, things changed.

During my sophomore year, I began an affair with my algebra professor. He lived aboard his sailboat and rode a bike everywhere. It was Key West in the early 1970s. At dinner one night, aboard his boat, he asked me about my name. He usually referred to me as "Miss P," and I suspected that he didn't like my name, but I was too afraid to ask. Anyway, this one evening I told him the story of my mother and how I got my name. When I had finished telling my story, he stated that he really liked "Constance." He said my middle name over and over, making silly sentences, causing me to feel silly. Then he announced that he was going to call me "Constance."  And, he did.

And, it stuck.

Here I am, 40+ years later, and 99% of the people in my life call me "Constance." My driver's license and passport have my first AND my middle name. It screws up the computers to go by anything other than your first name, but I prevailed. I found a way to keep it. And, I'm glad I did. I enjoy being "Constance."

Sometimes folks get confused and call me "Candace." I don't mind that so much. It's an easy mix up. However, I don't answer to "Connie." Again, another poor association with celebrities of the same name. It makes the hair on my arms stand up when someone reduces my name to THAT. I do try to be tolerant, but is it too much to ask for people to use your name the way you present it to them? If I introduce myself as "Bill," are you going to call me "William?"  If I tell you my name is "Margaret," are you going to refer to me as "Peggy?" What gives you the authority to change a person's name?

To young parents-to-be out there ... please give serious consideration to how the name you give your child will affect them throughout their life. I know I'm not the first person to say that, but I AM a person who had a name that caused unhappiness. It took many years to come to understand  that my mother meant well, but the truth is, "Cheryl" would have been so much better.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

losing track of time with paper dolls

When I was a girl, I spent hours playing paper dolls. I loved cutting out each individual fashion, oh, so carefully, and organizing them. I loved changing their clothes and pretending they were going to work, going to class, going on dates, going shopping ... my paper dolls did all the things that girls do as well as the things they dream of doing!

I later learned that the activity of cutting out the fashions was great for improving dexterity and eye-hand coordination. I found it amazing that something I loved to do could have so many benefits aside from the "play value!"

I had two friends who loved paper dolls as much as I did and we would meet at one house or another and play. We would each show up with our folders filled with cutout dolls and their fashions and we played for what seemed like hours, often forgetting to go home for dinner! It was such a wonderful time to be a girl child!

For the better part of a year now I have been messing around with watercolor painting, imitating the style of other, more accomplished artists as I try to find my own style. I've never taken a painting class, though it is something I hope to one day be able to do, so the internet has been a rich source of inspiration for me as I make my way through the kinds of paint (there are many), the colors (there are more!) and the papers and brushes used to create watercolor paintings.

Sophie + Lili painting
It became an exercise for me to, first,  admire the work of an artist in some faraway place, then attempt to copy their style and/or technique. Oh, and, I bought a book about watercolor painting which has been helpful. But, as they say, you learn by doing, so I'm doing as much as I can as often as I can.

Recently, I stumbled on art from Sophie + Lili and pinned some of their watercolor paintings to my Pinterest board. Sophie + Lili began life as a boutique children's clothing line for girls, but has evolved to become a signature collection of dolls that capture the imagination, and the personality, of little girls at play. I was hooked!

It's funny the things that stick in your head. I kept going back to my Pinterest board and looking at those Sophie + Lili paintings, admiring them, studying them, much as I had done with paper dolls when I was a little girl.

Finally, one day not so very long ago, I was inspired to attempt imitation.

I used Talons transparent watercolors set of 24 on Canson Montval cold pressed watercolor paper measuring 5.5 inches by 8.5 inches. I used two brushes, a generic 0 round synthetic brush and 00 Windsor & Newton brush from Series 233. The brushes were the perfect size for the scale of the paper and I learned a lot about loading paint into the brush.

Do you remember what it was like to do something for long periods and lose complete track of time? It seems that we all did it a lot as children. Then, somewhere along the way, something happens and we forget.

I guess we're just too busy being grownups. It's a fact of life that the world moves really fast. Speed limit on the Interstate is 70 mph. We measure time in nanoseconds and computers deliver information in real time. So, I ask you ... who can afford to lose track of time?

Well, I couldn't afford it, but I did it anyway! Ask me if I had fun doing it. YOU BET! I had such a fine time making these pictures that I made more than one!

I'm telling you now, the odds are I will continue to make them (with different outfits, of course!) because it's just so much fun to do! There is no socially redeeming value. I can't sell them. I'm not even sure I could give them away! I'm learning a lot about perspective, relationships between objects and things like that. But, what I really love is when I'm painting and I lose track of time and look at the clock and realize I've been doing this far longer than I had planned! What joy!!!

Just for the heck of it,
here are a couple of
my watercolor "paper dolls."
I hope you like them!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

housekeeping on the blog

I spent a couple of hours this morning, in between other work-related tasks, clicking on the links in  "My Favorites" list over there, to the right. I was surprised to find that some of the blogs I once followed faithfully hadn't updated their blog in months or, in some cases, years. That just goes to prove how rapidly our digital consumption habits are changing, doesn't it? Once, I poured over blogs filled with fantastic photos and confessions of creativity. Now, I can get that digital fix in byte size increments via Instagram and Tumblr.

My, how things have changed.

Which begs the question. How many social media outlets can one person maintain?

If you've followed my blog for a while (and, there are a few folks out there who check in now and again) you may remember I was obsessed with Pinterest for a period of time. Now, I have 2,500+ followers and am way less obsessed with it or any other social networking outlet.

I think Facebook continues to be my favorite way to keep in touch with friends ... the ones who live across town and the ones who live across the country ... and, while I like being a presence on Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram and Flickr ... oh, and My365! Well, they definitely took me away from my blog and my all time favorite task of W R I T I N G!!!
Poppy Parker housekeeping ...

Back to "My Favorites" list. I edited it today. I consider it a housekeeping task. I added some artists who I follow faithfully, still, and whose work will certainly inspire you. And, I've added a couple of fashion doll links, too.

You may have noticed that I've changed the look of my blog with a new banner and some different style choices. I thought it might be nice to freshen things up a bit as we approach the New Year. The photo of the pink flowers was taken in my backyard one fine Florida February day. We stopped at a very cool roadside stand at the 88 mile marker in the Florida Keys several years ago, and when I saw these flowers, blooming in a pot, I said to my darling husband, "We have to take these home!" So, we did! And, twice a year we are treated to these beautiful blooms!

If you visit my blog, I hope you will find something that inspires you, even if it's from a link on  "My Favorites" list!

Enjoy your day! I'm going to make something now!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

end of the year, new beginnings

welcoming the Christmas spirit.

decorating the house with Santas.

wondering if I'll get to see my youngest grandchildren this year.

sorting all the dolls and goodies I got at the Integrity Toy Convention in November.

sharing Christmas decorations with my granddaughter.

reading the December issue of WIRED magazine, guest edited by Bill Gates.

enjoying my new, "convention exclusive" Poppy Parker dolls.

mixing & matching my old clothes to create new looks

planting a little vegetable garden with my darling husband.

drinking red wine with dinner, still.

planning ways to create more writing time.

waiting for the arrival of the "Catching Fire" version of Katniss Everdeen Barbie.

trying to find balance at one of the most hectic times of year.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

What's doing?

waking up is more challenging as the days grow shorter.

discovering that Halloween costumes have arrived in stores.

waiting for season three of Homeland.

making it to Jazzercise twice a week after a back injury.

calling my granddaughter more often to check up on her.

trying to figure out whether to use ghosts or skeletons for decorations this year.

restoring  beauty to some of my older dolls with a bath and shampoo.

writing on my blog more frequently.

wearing closed toe shoes to work even though it's still near 90 outside.

planning some improvements to the front yard landscape.

dreaming about attending the Integrity Toy convention in Los Angeles at the end of October.

drinking red wine with dinner.

re-reading Catching Fire before the movie arrives in November.

finding that balance is easier some days than others.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Who gets paid when you pin on Pinterest?

I have 2,059 followers on Pinterest today. I don't obsess about it like I did here, so, when I reached the 2,000 benchmark sometime last week, it was a surprise. I know it doesn't matter in the overall scheme of things, but it matters to me because it reflects my connection to the rest of the world. And, I like that about Pinterest. Sharing ...

Around the time my counter crossed that 2,000 mark, I received a message via e-mail from Pinterest addressing the "testing" of what they're calling "promoted pins."  In the back of my mind, I knew it was just a matter of time before PAID advertising came to Pinterest. And, that message explained how the test would go.

Then, while catching up on my e-mail this morning, I was lead to this article about Pinterest. The article came from AD AGE.

Pinterest Will Test Promoted Pins -- but Won't Charge for Them (Yet)
By Cotton Delo, Published September 19, 2013
Part of Social-Bookmarking Company's Inevitable March Toward an Ad Business

So, now I have questions. How will that affect the overall appearance of Pinterest? Will the "advertisements" appear as pins? Don't a lot of advertisers already do that? Don't a lot of pinners already do that for a lot of companies?

For example, I have a pin board for Soft Surroundings. It's a catalog of fashions for women and the home and seems targeted to middle aged folks and I receive e-mails from them as well as printed catalogs via USPS at home.  By pinning the items I like to my pin board, aren't I already "advertising" for them? If someone "repins" from my board, then goes on to purchase that item, shouldn't I get a percentage of that sale for promoting the item that lead to the sale?

C'mon now! Aren't those "pins" advertisements?

You bet they are!

I have pinned things to my personal style board and actually purchased an item after pinning it. And, I've done this more than once! My most recent "Pinterest Purchase" was this sweater from Garnet Hill. I love polka dots, so as soon as I saw it, I pinned it. Then, it just wouldn't do but I had to have it. Click. Click. Click. And, that adorable garment is at home, waiting for cooler weather so I can wear it!

A valid pin leads to the web site where the item is/was available, and it's merely a click or two or three and it's on its way to your address! Aren't advertisers already benefitting from Pinterest this way?

You bet they are!

It will be interesting to see how this goes. It is, after all, "social networking." We gravitate to those pins, pinners and pinboards of others who SHARE our style, interests and ideas. Marketers are itching to figure out how to make money from that. Me? I'm happy to have so many followers!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Summer's over ....

Holy shit!  Tomorrow is the first day of autumn, also known as "fall."  (And, who changed the name of autumn to fall anyway?)
I have been way too busy to blog this summer. (Nice alliteration, don't you think?) There just haven't been enough hours in the days. And, as always, being busy is a good thing. Isn't it?

Well, let's see... what did I do this summer.

Lots and lots of yard work. It's been an extraordinarily wet summer here in sunny south Florida and I am not exaggerating when I say you can watch the grass grow. As for the weeds ... well ... that's a full-time job all by itself!

My darling husband and I visited Whitehall, the winter home of Henry Morrison Flagler, way up there in Palm Beach over the Fourth of July weekend. I wrote about it here, and there's lots of pictures to see if you like photos. Here's one of my favorites ...

The little art gallery our neighborhood association started is coming along. We had painting classes this summer. The "Island City Painters" became a regular Saturday fixture in the gallery. And, we got the 2013-2014 season planned. These folks are so talented! I love their work and I love their spirit! Creatives are the best people! (Here's an acrylic painting by the lovely Nia Nakis who taught our painting classes in July and August ...)

What else? Dolls! Dolls! Dolls! I never tire of my doll room. I've been infatuated with Integrity Toys' Poppy Parker doll and between her and Barbie, they lure me into the doll room and distract me from the important things in life, like vacuuming and laundry. Such is life, right? Who is Poppy Parker? Here's a picture by poppybelle from Flickr. Clearly she has more time than me. I must make more time for doll photo shoots!

AND! I made a baby afghan for one of the young guys at my job this summer, so I've been crafty! His wife gave birth to a little boy in August and he just glows whenever you ask him about his son. I love that!

So, there your are! Consider this my "catch up" blog entry! I promise I'll try to do better! ("Try" being the operative word here!) Happy Autumn!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

I see summer coming ...

My dad used to say, "The older you get, the faster time flies." I was in high school then and could not imagine time going fast. When you're in high school, every class feels like it's twice as long as it really is and there's never enough time for homework.

Here I am some forty years later and I now know what he meant. The days melt into each other and I find I have to stop and think in the morning to remember what day it is. I hear the sprinklers go on at 4:30 AM, so I know it's Thursday. But, the rest of the days of the week move by in a blur.  It seems it was just Valentine's Day and Christmas, for cryin' out loud!

Life is just way too busy and I think THAT is what makes the time go by so fast.

So, here we are in the middle of May already and summer is looming on the horizon. Next weekend is Memorial Day already, the "unofficial" start of summer! 

What are we doing this summer? No plans for a vacation. Yet. It's so hot and humid in Florida in the summer time, so my darling husband is never interested in outdoor activities during these sultry summer months. 

I know this, though ... it'll fly by. It's not even June yet and I know I'll wake up one morning and realize summer has come and gone yet again. C'mon summer! I'm thinking the beach may be my favorite place this ear. Being by the water with a gentle tropical breeze will do wonders for the spirit!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

One Week Without My Cell Phone ...

I attempted to "update" my cell phone one week ago today. And, not only did the update fail, but it screwed up the software on my Samsung Galaxy SII which I absolutely love and didn't think I could live without.
Danbo looks forlorn. He loves taking pictures and posting them to Facebook.

When I called T-Mobile they tried to help. After about half an hour back and forth, they told me to call Samsung.

I called Samsung and spent two hours on the phone with a technical support person, to no avail. That Galaxy SII simply did not want to work.

Samsung said go to the T-Mobile store, so I took it straight away and the very helpful staff tried to reformat or erase or whatever it is they do to the phone to make it work again, but, no. It wasn't meant to be. They couldn't do it.

Finally, after another 30 minutes of waiting and holding, Samsung provided details on how to ship the phone to their Repair Center in Plano, Texas. My! Oh, my! You cannot send the battery or SIM card or back cover. It has to be wrapped and padded and shipped in a heavy duty shipping box and the "Ticket Number" has to be written on three sides of the box or it will be returned.
Danbo is very good with the scotch tape.

So, Danbo helped me and we wrapped that little machine up and sent it on its way!

Danbo really liked his task of putting the popcorns in the box to protect
the phone. He did a really good job!

Danbo checked to make sure everything was labeled correctly.

So, here we are, one week later, and I just received an e-mail from Samsung that the phone has been repaired and shipped out today. Since tomorrow is Friday, I am realistic enough to know I probably won't receive it until Monday, so another weekend without my phone is planned for me and Danbo. (Sad Face)

Danbo asked me what I missed. Besides shooting photos of him and posting them online, that is.

Well ...

All those long traffic lights when you are stopped in your car with nothing to do for two and a half minutes are wonderful opportunities to play a round of Words With Friends or post a comment or photo to Facebook.

Checking in places! I haven't been able to check in anywhere! Not Jazzercise. Not a restaurant. Not the government center. Not the art gallery. Nothing. I am probably no longer Mayor anywhere on FourSquare.

My365 was my daily picture fix. Gone. Don't know how I'll ever get it back.

Pinterest. A favorite pass time whenever I have to wait anywhere.




Flickr. No uploading photos or looking through other folks photos. Bah! Humbug!

Then, yesterday I went to pick up my granddaughter. I called before I left the office and told her I should be there by 5 PM. Traffic on I-95 is an unpredictable variable in making that statement, but I was lucky enough to arrive ten minutes early. BUT!! I couldn't call her and tell her, "I'm here."  Noooooooo. I had to sit and wait until she came out of the building where she works. NOW, THAT was frustrating.

I know we lived without cell phones BEFORE. Then, when they became "hand held devices" capable of many magical feats, we became even more dependent on them. If I've learned anything this past week, it's that I can live without my cell phone, but oh, my, goodness, what a challenge it is. AND. Thank heaven for OnStar!

Monday, February 11, 2013

I've changed how I use Pinterest ...

I am a doll collector. If you've visited this blog more than once, you may know that.

I started with Barbie.
Loved her as a child.
Love her as an adult.

Then I met the Asian dolls, Momoko, Misaki, Susie and Kana!

Which lead to Jason Wu's Integrity Toy Company where Fashion Royalty and Poppy Parker dolls are created in very limited numbers.

Not to mention the 16-inch dolls Gene Marshall and Tyler Wentworth.

Clothes. Accessories. Furniture to scale. Cars. Books and Magazines. Shelves of dolls. And, more shelves filled with my girls! A room dedicated to my hobby.

You see, the thing about being a collector of anything is that you want to meet other collectors who collect the same kind of thing you collect.

Got it?

Doll collectors are an enthusiastic group for the most part. They enjoy sharing their collections and being with people who enjoy talking about dolls. Up until the turn of the century, we would meet at doll shows and club meetings and conventions, but today, the doll show has all but disappeared from the collectors' social landscape, doll clubs come with their own politics, and conventions are few and far between and very expensive. This change in how doll collectors congregate is a direct result of the internet.

In the 1990s and early 2000s, doll collectors began turning to ebay to purchase the dolls of their dreams. This online marketplace decimated doll shows and took away the most rewarding way collectors had to connect to each other. Then, just when we had adjusted and become accustomed to being lonely doll collectors again, social networking appeared.

It took a while ... but, we found each other again ... and, then some! Which was my answer to gaining "followers" on Pinterest!

I gain from 2 to 5 new followers a day now because of my doll pin boards. And, the movement is growing! Doll collectors have been sharing on Flickr for years, and, yes, you can create sets and collections with your photos. But, it's not the same. Somehow Pinterest brings collectors together in a new way.

Last year, shortly after I discovered Pinterest, I was, for reasons I cannot explain, obsessed with the site and the process of pinning. {I even write about it here.}

For nigh onto a month, I did it for hours each day. The Android ap wasn't yet developed, but I found a way to pin on my smart phone. {Yes, I was ecstatic when they DID create the ap!}

About two months into it, I created my Fashion Dolls board. I thought it would be fun to create a place where I could have stuff that I liked! A couple of months after that, I saw I had a lot of Barbie Fashion Model Collection (BFMC) pins, so I created a board dedicated to them. Then, Vintage Barbie & Friends followed, along with Momoko and Poppy Parker and, more recently, Barbie Basics. Just like a small child, I found the process of sorting these images and web site links very satisfying. And, it was free!

My most useful pinboard is "handmade."  I like to knit and crochet, do scrapbook and journal stuff, so Pinterest has become an especially good way for me to keep up with those crochet sock patterns I wanted to try and those journaling ideas I had admired and felt inspired by.

And, the time did I arrive when I actually USED my pin board as a RESOURCE! Over the weekend, I was working on a granny square afghan I've been making for forever. (Or, so it seems!) I had pinned several different methods for joining those granny squares, so, it was a pleasure to not have to wrestle with my 3-ring binder of patterns or folded sheets of paper buried in my yarn basket to find the one I wanted. It was right there on my "handmade" pin board.

I introduced my darling husband to Pinterest, but not because he's into fashion or landscape design ideas like me. Instead, it became useful when we were doing work on our kitchen. It provided me with a forum to share with him on line as we shopped for materials and design ideas.

He has since discovered it is a handy way for keeping track of recipes. He likes to cook and bake and he's always on the lookout for new ideas for the kitchen! He has a 7.5-inch tablet and sets it on the counter just as my mother and grandmother used to do with their recipes written on 5" x 3" index cards.

My how times have changed, huh?

So, where I used to be obsessed with how many pins and followers I had, today, Pinterest has become a genuine resource for me, and, I think, for others who share my interests. Especially doll collectors! We're a special breed and we've found a new way to connect! Maybe that's what the Pinterest people intended all along!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Time keeps on slipping into the future ...

Holy cow! It's February! I know you get tired of hearing it, but, gosh, it's the truth ... time keeps on slipping away ... into the future ... (isn't that a song I heard somewhere???)

So, my January has been filled with lots of little projects. Art Gallery 21 opened on the 17th, we've got two artist workshops coming up on February 1st and 8th and the planning for art shows and special events never stops, like the days on the calendar. I did some freelance design work for a friend to replenish my doll budget, planted a little winter garden, and cleaned out my closet, so I've been busy! Maybe that's why the days flew by so quickly!

2011 "Barbie and Friends Take Over Old Davie School"
I've just this week started planning for  "Tea with Barbie," in July. Now, "Tea with Barbie" started as a special event that complemented a fashion doll exhibit a friend and I installed in the Old Davie School ca. 1918. The 2011 National Barbie Doll Collector's Convention was held in Fort Lauderdale (where I live), but I couldn't go. My husband's daughter was getting married on a hilltop outside of Seattle that same weekend, so I had to find another way to get my "Barbie Fix!" Coincidentally, I was asked about creating a museum exhibit of dolls, so I paid tribute to Barbie with an exhibit of 606 fashion dolls, mostly Barbies. It took two days to do the installation, but when it was done, OH, MY! Was it a delight!!

My dilemma this year is which Barbie should be this year's "face" for marketing and PR? The first year it was a "Barbie Basics" doll from the first collection ... she was the one that lured the local TV stations to come check out the exhibit, which set a record for attendance AND the tea party, which was a sold out event!

2012 "Tea With Barbie at Old Davie School"
The executive director at Old Davie School was so enthusiastic about the outcome from the first year that she said she wanted to do JUST the tea party. So, "Tea with Barbie" became an annual event. Last year I decided I wanted to tap into the western theme that is prevalent in Davie, so I rooted around in my doll room and found a  wonderful one-of-a-kind dress that was made by one of my doll club members and it seemed perfect on my favorite play line doll with the Mackie face, which I love-love-love! Once again, that photo caught the attention of the media and this time, the TV stations and the local newspapers were on hand for our tea party! It was so much fun and, if you're interested, you can see photos from last year's event on our Facebook page, "Barbie & Friends Take Over Old Davie School."

This year? I just don't know ... should I go with a brunette? Vintage? Silkstone? Which lovely Barbie will represent "Tea with Barbie" this year? I'm thinking I may hold photo auditions and see if our fans want to vote on one. Ahhhh ... those creative wheels are turning!

Enjoy your weekend! And, Happy February!

Friday, January 25, 2013

January's joys ...

I do not know where the time goes. January is nearly done, for cryin' out loud! I thought for sure it would be a quiet month. Boy! Was I wrong! Among the things I've been doing in this grand New Year, I am ...

enjoying Florida's winter weather of cool nights and warm (but, not hot) days.
planning the artists' schedule for Art Gallery 21.
thrilled that my brother finally got a real job after 3 years of unemployment.
praying for my friend Jane who is wrestling with health issues.
celebrating my friend's 3-year anniversary as a heart transplant recipient.
resisting added calories to maintain my weight.
playing with my new doll photo box.
preparing for my "retirement age" birthday, even though I'm not retiring. Yet.
staying fit with Jazzercise and Personal Touch.
making time for needlework.
carrying my camera everywhere I go and taking pictures.
writing a list of project ideas for me and the darling husband to do.
changing my style with new prints, new colors and vintage accessories.
eating fresh cherry tomatoes that grow wild behind my office.
loving my brother's cat who is staying with us for a while.
sleeping well and sympathizing with those who don't.

My friend sent this picture of a blue egg one of her chickens laid on
the third anniversary of her heart transplant. She is convinced it's the
chicken's way of celebrating her achievement and I agree!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Happy New Year!

It's the first Friday of the New Year and as much as I'd like to "be organized," I am still stumbling around trying to get myself in order. So, what does it mean, exactly, to "be organized?"  Does it mean my closet is organized by colors like the Goodwill Store? Or, that my desk is neat and tidy? If so, I am in big trouble! But, rather than whine about all that I didn't get done in 2012, I'm going to look for inspiration for 2013. If all those lovely folks on the blogs and Pinterest can do it, surely we (me and you) can, too!

Here's a clever idea.

I always forget what I've stashed, so labels would be very helpful.
I just plain like this.

The photos on the wall are wonderful.

And, I'm sure all those boxes are labeled.

Now, THAT'S organization!
I would love to have a closet like this.

Wouldn't you?

Let's be inspired!
This closet is a sight to behold

isn't it?

I'm off to work on being more organized! Happy New Year!