(10) March 2011

Last day of the month!!

Thursday March 31st

I love painting furniture! I keep waiting for my mother to come and yell at me for painting the tables and dressers!! lol

SMURFS everywhere!!

My 12 inch scrapbooking page supplies – all ready for me to create!

Dresser holds lots of miscellaneous crafting supplies.

I hand painted the background and flowers. All the smurf images are cut from a bedsheet I bought at my local thrift store!!


Wednesday March 30th

Sharing some more scenes from my studio!

Nothing like Mickey Mouse to brighten up my day! Always been a MM fan! He’s the one who always helps, makes things right, and laughs when things go wrong!!

I love to decorate everything!! My card box is overflowing with good wishes for birthdays and good health!

One of my 2 boxes of ribbons to decorate anything that needs wrapping up!

Tuesday March 29th

Sharing some scenes of my studio!

Here is me and Rascal playing on our favorite dino! Found this old drawing while cleaning up my studio.

A fun poster with lots of great ideas on how to spark your creativity!


Monday March 28th

Having a garden means enjoying the beauty and accepting the loss of plants that do not survive. It also means nurturing plants that take a beating from the weather, or a pet who damages them.

This primrose survived the winter, only to be bashed by heavy rains and chewed on by the hungry snails.

Just wanted to remind everyone – my garden is not perfect! I treasure the determination of everything to keep living and keep blooming!

And now come my beautiful hyacniths – spreading their perfume into the spring breezes!


Now I know spring is truly here!


Sunday March 27th

Day of rest so let’s enjoy some more spring flowers –

YES – I plant crocuses and other spring bulbs in the lawn! They are finished before it is time to mow the lawn for the first time.


First daffodil of the season opened today!

Finally a good pic of a white crocus grouping!

and my lovely, delicate wood violets. They have expanded partly down the slope now from under the holly tree.


Saturday March 26th


You might want to send Spock a Happy 80th Birthday Greeting!




Here’s the book cover for my new novel. I have just finished the first draft. Now I take a break before polishing it up (checking grammar and spelling – making sure everything makes sense) and getting it ready for publishing.

Here’s the dedication –

This story was written for my eight real grandchildren, and all my virtual ones from the wondrous world of the Internet, especially the girls.


  (and don’t worry – the next story will be for the boys!!)


Friday March 25th



Earth Hour started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia when 2.2 million individuals and more than 2,000 businesses turned their lights off for one hour to take a stand against climate change. Only a year later and Earth Hour had become a global sustainability movement with more than 50 million people across 35 countries/territories participating. Global landmarks such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge, CN Tower in Toronto, Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, and Rome’s Colosseum, all stood in darkness, as symbols of hope for a cause that grows more urgent by the hour.


Earth Hour 2011 will take place on Saturday 26 March at 8.30PM (local time). This Earth Hour we want you to go beyond the hour, so after the lights go back on think about what else you can do to make a difference. Together our actions add up.

text is from – http://www.earthhour.org/About.aspx

Thursday March 24th


Snow crocuses are almost over – now we have the giant ones!

Here come the hyacinths – already you can see what color they will be. Awesome to be back in my garden although my gardening muscles need some work!

This is the same group of crocuses from a different angle. Really hard to get a good shot of the white ones so pleased with this photo.

Lovely to see and chat with my friends and neighbors – everyone out and about smiling in the sunshine.

Every day for weeks now, even in the snow, Bella sits and will not come inside. She cannot understand why we do not stay out everyday and garden. Today she rolled in the grass, greeted everyone walking past and still did not want to come in even after a few hours in the sunshine.

 And just in case you wonder about these things – Bella gets taken to one of two off-leash parks, one she swims in the river and the other in a lake, almost every day!! She has lots of dog and human friends she loves to visit with.


Wednesday March 23rd

Mrs. Munchkin and the Cheshire Cat!!

Mrs. Munchkin gives the Cheshire Cat a kiss of welcome. My Cat finally arrived – took almost a month to get here!

Now he happily lives on my printer where he laughs at all my typos!!


Tuesday March 22nd

Sometimes even I am happy with my own work!! lol

 Redid my design completely and used combination of markers and pencils. Took me about 20 hours to finish. Really enjoyed the process as well as the result!


Colors are from layers of pencil and markers. I have a lot more control and can come back to adjust shading and highlights as many times as I want.


Monday March 21st

Hope everyone enjoyed the super moon!!

Shining in the night

Large and round and bright

Is it a balloon?

No! It’s super moon

– a silly poem by me! –


Here’s my photo of the super moon! It seemed about three times as bright as usual. I wanted to get photo of it through our cherry tree (about 3 in the morning) but I forgot to set an alarm and slept through it! This shot is from my front porch through my neighbors trees.

 Sunday March 2oth



 Spent the first day of spring inside watching over 5 hours of tennis from Indian Wells in California. This year women’s tennis has been much more exciting to watch! The final went 3 sets – with Bartoli losing mainly due to lack of conditioning.


Caroline Wozniaki taking the title at Indian Wells.


Certainly a clear message to all athletes – no matter how talented and intelligent you are – if you cannot go the distance – your opponent will win! (Bartoli suffered from a virus all week –  which contributed to her lack of energy for the third set – but was not the whole issue)

Caroline Wozniaki brags in her press conferences that her opponents have to either stay on the court for 3 or 4 hours to beat her (she seldom misses a ball) or blow her off the court! With Clisters and the William sisters out with injuries – this means no one has the power to defeat her at the moment. 



What a wonderful life we have!



I decided to post a photo to show what Japan has lost. The cherry blossom festivals should be celebrated soon, instead many people are fighting to survive.

The disasters in Japan are making me appreciate my life so much more! So many simple things we take for granted – turning on taps for hot and cold water, being warm, knowing where everyone we love is. Pray, send money for relief – do whatever you can!


Last night I yelled, screamed and groaned through the intense 3 set match between Nadal and Karlovic! Great tennis. Both men played well to the last point. No one threw a racquet or exchanged an angry word. They competed beautifully. Tie break for the final set. Just does not get any better!!


Ivo Karlovic has the fastest serve in tennis – and one of the most consistent. He is improving the rest of his game – which is a scary thought for other players. At 6 foot 10 inches, he will never be one of the best movers – but if he keeps working on his net game – he will move even farther up the rankings.

I felt so grateful to be sitting safely in my living room, with nothing more important to do than enjoy this great match.

 Oh yeah –  was such a great match I forgot to mention – Nadal won!! lol


Thursday March 17th


I love Spongebob and especially Patrick – with an award for doing nothing!!

Hope you’re wearing green and singing!!

and ANY excuse for fireworks is great!!

I like this current article about Saint Patrick’s Day –



Wednesday March 16th

A quiet day at home can bring us peace.

Let’s take a walk in the garden and see how spring is coming!

Here is the first giant crocus blooming.

Delicate wood violets bloom under the holly tree.

Spend some time coloring my current art project.

And have a nap with Mrs. Munchie and her teddy bear, Annabelle!


Tuesday March 15th

More wind and rain – more time for hot mochas and a good book!

I was SOOO DISAPPOINTED with this one! The book read like one of those TV shows where there is about 4 minutes of new stuff and the rest is flashbacks. DO NOT waste your money on this one. Sincerely hope Mr. Flanagan regains form for the next one and stops spending pages and pages telling us how great his characters are. I think he has fallen too far in love with them. Our imperfections make us more interesting!

Eoin Colfer did not disappoint me in this new adventure of Artemis Fowl and his buddies. Interesting and wonderful. Although I totally disagree with his ideas about the faerie world – he tells a great story.




These are the first two books in the ongoing triology. Interesting and exciting. Again, I don’t share the same vision of the faerie world, but I enjoyed the tale. I look forward to the last one –

This last book is ready for pre-order and expected to be released in May 1st 2011.


Monday March 14th

HAPPY PI DAY – we had cake to celebrate!!


As most of you know I am retired and treasure the time to enjoy my talents!

I have been the house cleaner and chief cook since I was 14 years old. I often say – “it must be someone else’s turn to do the cleaning!!” and “I would rather be painting/photographing/sewing/quilting than cleaning! I still love cooking (as long as someone else washes the dishes!)

For years, a good friend of mine who has a cleaning business, gave me a hand with keeping my home clean. Now we are getting older, she has cut back on how much work she takes on. My sweet husband decided I should still have help on a regular basis so we have hired Merry Maids to scrub the house every 2 weeks.

 Merry Maids cleans more than 300,000 homes, apartments and condos in North America every month.
Merry Maids also has operations in Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines and the United Kingdom.

So far – we are really happy with them. A gift certificate for cleaning to someone who is ill, having a new baby, or getting older and could use a hand with those tough jobs is a thoughtful and useful gift.


Sunday March 13th


We have nothing but wind and rain in the forecast for the next week!!

We had a quiet day while our emotions caught up with the latest disasters in Japan and on the West Coast.

I love having access to all this amazing creativity. Awesome work!!


Remember we all need time to rest and recover. God made us to need that day of rest every week. Even if you cannot honor Sundays – try and pick one day a week where you sit back and relax.


Saturday March 12th


UNO is one of our favorite games! At my family’s cabin we often had ten or twelve people playing. The younger kids sat with an older player and learned how to play. Easy and exciting game – wonderful to yell UNO!!

You can spend a lot of money on the game in a box – or play it the way we did in our family. You need 5 dice and some paper and a pencil. And someone to add up the scores or a calculator!! Someone bought us the game a few years ago so we have the fancy scorecards now!

I started playing Yahtzee when I was about 5 years old, with my Granddad and Granny Elsie. We had so much fun together. Love playing with my grandchildren. (Don’t tell the little ones – they learn math and decision-making while they play!!)

Experience in Japan clearly shows building to earthquake-ready standards helps! Our friend watched several glasses fall off the shelf while he saved his television from smashing on the floor. His building rocks in the aftershocks but he survived and even his home is intact. Our other friends live far enough away they were not affected.

Please pray AND take positive action (be God’s helping hands on earth) if you can!



To take our minds off disasters for a while – we had Friday Night at the Movies where kids rule at our home, if we have kids visiting, and if not – Grannie rules!! Good thing Gramps likes some of same things I do.

This was GREAT!! I laughed so hard.

We really enjoyed the voice of  Zachary Levi – we are big fans of the TV series Chuck! Well worth watching if you haven’t seen it!!

And here is my favorite character – Maximus – best horse of all time!!

We also enjoyed some shorts from the world of Despicable Me and one from MegaMind – I loved the dehydrated parents!!

 This past year gave us awesome animated movies – with Toy Story 3 taking top honors!


Friday March 11th

Tense day as we waited for more news from the massive effects of the earthquake off Japan. Finally received direct messages from our last friends, they are all safe and well, but our hearts and prayers go out to everyone affected.

We had 3 sets of people who we know and care about – 2 of them reside in Japan and the other were travelling today. Such a relief to know they survived. Many did not.

CRESCENT CITY, Calif. – A tsunami swept at least five people watching the waves out to sea Friday!! http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/03/11/national/main20042243.shtml

I am still stunned by the stupidity of people who went out to watch the tsunami come in!! In times of disaster the Search and Rescue teams have enough work without risking their lives to save people who did not follow the warnings!!

With a tsunami warning in effect for Northern California, sightseers watch waves off Ocean Beach in San Francisco, March 11th, 2011.  Read more: http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2058546,00.html#ixzz1GMDcDNVo

I encourage everyone to make an emergency plan. There are lots of great sites on-line about what supplies to have and how to be ready. Do you have basic items for survival? Water? Food? First Aid kit? After a disaster it may take days for rescue teams to reach you. You and your family will need to take care of each other until help arrives. BE READY!!


 About 90% of the world’s earthquakes and 80% of the world’s largest earthquakes occur along the Ring of Fire. The Ring of Fire is a direct result of plate tectonics and the movement and collisions of crustal plates.


Spring is coming – wind and rain storms instead of blizzards!!

Still waiting to get planted!

One of the few primroses that survived from last year – beat up from the wind, snow and rain.

Several lovely groupings of crocuses!


They have survived the heavy rains well – still perfect!

Opening up to enjoy the spring sunshine!


Thursday March 10th

BUBBLES The time has come to pass on many of my family treasures. This is Bubbles and she will be going to live with my daughter on her next visit.

While in her teens, my mother injured herself while playing. The simple scratch became infected. Long before antibiotics were discovered, the doctors insisted my mother needed her leg amputated. My grandmother equally insisted she would keep trying hot poultices to draw the infection out.

Everyone assumed my mother would die. Her friend gave her this doll in the hopes of cheering my mother up.

(playing with the photo editing program – I like this sepia one – makes it look like an old photo from my mother’s childhood)

West Coast Trail, British Columbia, Canada

Eventually my grandmother’s home remedies worked and my mother went on to be an avid hiker, skier and mountain climber. She hiked the very difficult West Coast Trail (Vancouver Island Canada) a few years before she died, easily completing the 47 mile trek.

West Coast Trail, British Columbia, Canada


The West Coast Trail (WCT) is a coastal wilderness component of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. It has the reputation of being on of the most grueling treks in North America. It is isolated, strenuous, physically challenging and potentially hazardous.


 When my mother recovered, her friend wanted the doll back. (My mother always claimed the girl expected my mother to die and she would get the doll back then.) But my mother and grandmother decided Bubbles was a gift and my mother refused to give her back.

The dress Bubbles is wearing is one of my baby dresses, lovingly embroidered in stumpwork by my grandmother – the same one who saved my mother’s leg!

(this story is about my biological mother, not my wonderful MOM who is alive and well!)

A fun story about Bubbles: when my children were teenagers we moved to a new (bigger) house in the same city. I carried Bubbles in the car, wrapped in a baby shawl. I did not want her getting damaged during the move. Our new neighbor got all excited about our “baby”!! We had a good laugh about it and went on to be great friends. The grandmother often sat and visited with me while I gardened.


Wednesday March 9th

Today marks the start of the Lenten season – the time of preparation for Easter renewal. The ashes are made by burning the palm fronds from last year’s Palm Sunday.

After the priest blesses the ashes and sprinkles them with holy water, the faithful come forward to receive them. The priest dips his right thumb in the ashes and, making the Sign of the Cross on each person’s forehead, says, “Remember, man, that thou art dust, and to dust thou shalt return”

Photo: http://www.fallibleblogma.com/index.php/why-do-we-wear-ashes-on-ash-wednesday/

The distribution of ashes reminds us of our own mortality and calls us to repentance. In the early Church, Ash Wednesday was the day on which those who had sinned, and who wished to be readmitted to the Church, would begin their public penance. The ashes that we receive are a reminder of our own sinfulness, and many Catholics leave them on their foreheads all day as a sign of humility.

Comments: http://catholicism.about.com/od/holydaysandholidays/p/Ash_Wednesday.htm

Although this may seem like an unhappy day, and it should be celebrated solemnly, it is a day to remember that everything we are here on earth will fade and disappear like the ashes, but our souls, the light of our lives, will live on with God .


Tuesday March 8th


(translates as Fat Tuesday)


Traditional PARTY TIME – the day before Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent

The history of Mardi Gras began long before Europeans set foot in the New World. In mid February the ancient Romans celebrated the Lupercalia, a circus like festival not entirely unlike the Mardi Gras we are familiar with today. When Rome embraced Christianity, the early Church fathers decided it was better to incorporate certain aspects of pagan rituals into the new faith rather than attempt to abolish them altogether. Carnival became a period of abandon and merriment that preceded the penance of Lent, thus giving a Christian interpretation to the ancient custom.



Here we have yet another pagan celebration “overwritten” by the Christian Church. Many of the traditions come from the original pagan festivals, while new traditions are added over the years.

New Orleans has an awesome celebration every year with almost everyone out for the party! Probably the most famous images of Mardi Gras come from Rio de Janeiro.

http://www.reasonpad.com/2009/05/rio-de-janeiro-carnival/  for both photos. This site is well worth looking at for more photos and information about Mardi Gras.


Monday March 7th

Spring is finally appearing

These are rock iris. Never grown these before. They are really cute.


I love this closeup of a snowdrop!! 

Here is a hyacynith emerging into spring sun.

The daffs are coming up nicely.


Sunday March 6th

Fairy section is updated –


Much better photos with my new camera and a few new things.

Also letting everyone know I renewed my membership for a full year with Minimonos – it is a great deal!! Also bought some more shells so I could get the new pet!!



Saturday March 5th

reworking my sunflower design again with different medium


Friday March 4th

The good news is HAPPY WEEKEND!!

The bad news is – even the Canadian Government has cancelled spring for the poor cold Canucks!!

So this seems like the perfect time to introduce you to one of my favorite characters:

Sneezlewort Rowanberry Rootmuster Boggs the Seventh!

In this wonderful adventure, Sneezle has to find Winter. When he finds her, perhaps he can ask her to go to sleep until next year!! She has visited us long enough!

YES! The amazingly talented creator of YODA also created my buddy, Sneezle! The photos in these books are awesome, the dolls incredible and the story wonderfully satisfying. I own all three of them – they really are worth sitting down and enjoying.

And here are the other two books in the series:


Thursday March 3rd

Finished off Roddick this time in straight games!!

A nice decisive win with only 3 unforced errors! And I owe it all to my new lucky Tinkerbell tennis shirt!! lol

And YES! Tadess Saresty is my wii character. I play under the name Saresty, for Finland. If you play – send me a buddy request and we can have a fun match!


Wednesday March 2nd

Finally finished my sunflowers on black


Was sorting through some art work and found this unfinished. Great to have some time to enjoy painting yesterday. Still not happy with it. But that is what keeps artists enthusiastic and striving. We are never satisfied with our work. Never perfect. Never quite the image we had in our heads. Looking at my older painting I can see I need more time to paint and work on my technique. I have lost a lot because I have not practised enough. Just like playing an instrument – we need to draw everyday!!

Also found this painting from a few years ago. Seemed like a great day to remind  myself spring is coming. Today we are being hammered by a vicious wind and rain storm. At least not the 100 mph they predicted and rain not snow!!

The sunflowers are a colored drawing – you can see the lines clearly and I have painted in the colors. Just like a coloring book. The spring bouquet is a painting – but you can see my pencil lines in this close-up. Technique is still the same – fill in the spaces with colors!





This is a lovely and interesting blog – well worth taking a look – and I LOVE this photo!


Tuesday March 1st



Follow the link to learn more about this Welsh holiday!!

My goal for this week was to beat Andy Roddick on the Play Now level of wii Grand Slam Tennis and TODAY I DID IT!!

Working towards a goal always helps motivate me. Just exercising to stay in shape is BORING so I love my gardening and my tennis to keep me fit. I play everyday except Sunday because every body needs some time to rest and recover.

For tennis players – you might want to note I did not play well. I had 12 unforced errors and Roddick won more points. The games I won went to deuce several times. But I played a great tie-breaker and took the match!!


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