Thursday, April 30, 2009

Off track a little....

I have been working on a challenge in one of my Ebay groups - SEHA The Society of Eclectic Halloween Artists. It is Dark Fairies or Witches. So as I was playing with this one and having a really fun time with it - I kinda just kept going with the theme. The Goth Fairy tickled me. I know not so very dark - but what can ya do - dark is not my forte. So here are a few new ones - one is going to someone as a gift the others are going to be listed on Ebay or Etsy. I will be working on a couple new Everyday Witch's Shops tonight. Thanks for flying by!!!

You can click on the picture for a larger image.

A Wonderful New Award!!!

I am speechless (stop giggling) but you know what I mean.. I have just been given a brand new award by Sherry! She has created an award that is different and wonderful!!
I am deeply honored and touched that she choose me at all, much less one of the first two to receive it! Thank you so very much Sherry. I will have to say... she is amazing in her own right and am proud to be considered her friend. I think this award speaks volumes about who she is, deep, caring and lovely! If you have not headed off to Sherry's blog it is not only a wonderful place for the soul- but major eye candy.

The award is for....
Our Spiritual beliefs are very important to us and we believe they manifest in our art. Our relationship and our individual personalities also manifest in our art. The viewer may not always see it but we do. So its like as Ron says "We give a little of me to you!" I see other artists on my journey's online who also achieve this. Their art is inspiring, whimsical, bring joy to others, show different lifestyles in a different view. They carry a message that is received according to the perceptions of the viewer. What else is this but Magic and Spiritual?
If you receive this please pass it along to two artists who inspire you this way!

So I think I will pass this award on to.....
Gail @ Art by Gail Loooove her work!!!Her ravens and horses are to die for!! She is also an amazing person and I adore her!!
Kim @ Oakmoon wonderful whimsy & a sweet soul!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wishcast Wednesday

Jamie asks us today...... What do we wish to read? I am a sucker for a seasonal read. I love reading Christmas mysteries and romances. I also look forward to a good summer read. I spend most of my high school and some of my college years in LA. At the beach as often as possible. We also had a pool at that home. Unlike my friends... I could not just lay at the beach for hours doing nothing, so if I wasn't in the water or building sandcastles (yeah - even at 18) I was reading. Reading a deliciously light summer book. So, I look forward to the lightness that Summer brings, the permission to read light, pull you hat down, slather on the sunscreen and stretch out on the lawn chair kind books. The ones that make you smile for the rest of the day and that you hope & pray there is a second in the series. Who's characters you adore and want to visit again - soon!
I recently read on one of the blogs of how some of these types of writers suffer criticism from the "More Serious" writers that they are not writing REAL books. I'm thinking that the majority of the public would get a good giggle and snort out of that. So as I dig out my summer hat and sunglasses and dust off my lawn chair.. here is to all of you wonderful writers that make my summer so much fun!
So.... I wish to read light, fun, relaxing summer books!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Pet Park - New work....

Here is the newest piece in the Everyday Witch's Town. We are moving away from the main street for a little bit to a pet park. This one is the same height but a little longer than the shops. I did a few dogs and other critters. Do you see Lucy Lu? I was really happy with the way the Scottie turned out. So here is "Familiars at Play"

Drum roll please.... the winners are.....

Ok folks - it's time for me to announce the winners of my sweet treat giveaway. Before I do, let me say thank you again to all of my wonderful followers and all of my new ones too!! Huge hugs from me!!!
I threw in two extra little treats into this giveaway.

One was a secret - and it went to my 100th follower... Sue @ Two Cute Pugs! I know she received her treat already so I can share it with you all now - I did I little ACEO of her sweet pug Daisy. My thanks Sue for being my 100th!! You will love her blog - wicked cute puppies and she is a doll!

I also added a third prize to the mix a unicorn ACEO....
So without further ado..... the winners are.......

"Tapestry" goes to... Audrey @ Stage 3 Who me. If you have not been to Audrey's amazing blog - please do yourself a favor today and go look... go laugh, go cry, go have your spirit filled by this amazing woman! Congrats Audrey!

My Witchy Kitty goes to....Clairedulalune This lovely lady hales from the UK and has just had a birthday!! So go visit her lovely blog and wish her HAPPY BIRTHDAY girl!!! She is very sweet and I think you will think so too!!Congratulations!!

Last but not least - that extra little added treat goes to...Suecae Sounds an amazing fellow from Sweden. His photography is wonderful, eye candy - pop by and see his amazing work! Congratulations!!!

Ok winners - I will post on your blogs - but you must email me your address within 24 hours or your treat goes to the next picked!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Quilting Bee of Women #6 (Men Welcome Too)

Good morning everyone!! As promised I have asked my friend here in town to provide drinks of choice today along with some scrumptious muffins. I love muffins. She owns a classic NW coffee stand and can brew up almost anything. I adore Chai, but… I think I will do a double shot, skinny, crème de menthe latte, no whip & a lemon poppy seed muffin. What would you like?? I have racked an enchanted quilt full of beauty and magic today. It is still not warm enough to head outside – soon I hope!!! So pull up a chair!

I was watching lovely Susan Boyle sing this week and I got to thinking about gifts and how we use them. Everyone has gifts, not everyone recognizes them as gifts though. Some gifts call out to be public, like Josh Groban – what an amazing voice that man has!! Gives me shivers. Others we keep to ourselves. Have you ever had someone tell you, you are not using your gift? I was thinking about that question… what is your gift and how do you choose to use it, do you even know you have one?

There were a few comments about myself being in a rock band – a bit of shock – lol. My kids get that look too – no way MOM. Yes…. It was brief but yes I played keyboards and sang lead vocals in a band. There was a period in my life that I was determined to use my voice as my vocation in some way or another. Then… well I had kids and life happened. But I continued to sing, if only at church in the crowd. What a joy was that. I love singing harmony – my very favorite thing. Frequently some stranger in front of me or beside me would chastise me for not being up on the stage in the choir. That I was wasting my gift. I remember being offended by this, I felt I was offering up just as much joy to the Divine in my seat as on the stage. Honestly, I didn’t want to sing solos, it makes me wanna puke. I wanted to sing backup harmony which I love. But, when the directors heard me sing they kept throwing solos at me and at that time in my life I had a hard time saying, ”NO thank you”. So I chose to not join at all. So, now I sing for the pure joy of singing. Does this make my gift less of a gift? Does the divine find less joy in hearing me sing in my kitchen or with my preschoolers? I guess… my very public gift has become a very private gift and I’m ok with that.

I think in our society we are so used to seeing big gifts, tv, You tube, it’s everywhere…. BIG gifts. But what of the not so public gifts, those amazingly quiet gifts. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking BIG gifts – what a joy they are! But… what of the wonderful nurse that answers that call button for the 15th time with grace and gentleness. Or that amazing blog writer that always touches your soul (I know several of those). What about that amazing woman who every day goes and cleans other people’s homes and never complains, does an amazing job and has such an amazing attitude about it? Isn’t that a gift too? Every day I meet women here who offer up their gifts! Deep, loving, gritty, honest women! When I read about a mom telling it like it is with a child who challenges her every day, exhausts her, but whom she fights for like a mama bear, I see a gift. Reading the struggles of women going through cancer treatments like warriors, I see a gift. I’ve met women here who offer up their beliefs despite severe criticism from others, I see a gift. The amazing artists here who offer up encouragement to those who are new, no jealousy, just a hand and a hug, I see a gift! Those of you who offer up words of support, I see a gift! Not big huge public gifts, but private, quiet gifts.

I guess what I’m asking today is….do you see the gift in yourself? It’s there! Do you know how HUGE those little gifts you offer up everyday to those around you really are? I’m asking you to see the beauty and gift I see in each of you!! See that little sparkle, kinda like fairy dust – yup right there!! That’s you!!! I ‘m not asking you to share with us if you don’t want to, but please share with yourself, what is your quiet gift – give yourself credit and the joy of acknowledging that you have amazing gifts that you offer up every day! Even if you don’t quite see them yet, someone out here does & thanks you!!

So….. gifted ones, I’m going to enjoy that muffin and latte now. There are also several bar cookies, oooh I see lemon bars – am in trouble now!!! Thank you for joining me again today!! Namaste, Sarah

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Some New Work & Treats

I listed a few of new ACEO's (2 1/2"x3 1/2") on my Etsy shop this morning. I'm kinda partial to the little owl in the old tree.

I also received two sweet treats yesterday. The first one if from my friend Cindy. Ok I was soooo amazed when this arrived - well blown away really - ok I cried. Cindy participated in my pay it forward 5 giveaway and asked if she might use my work. Knowing Cindy - you bet!! I have a couple of Cindy's wonderful pieces and am very fond of her work. I own a lap desk she did and use it all the time - loove it. Her clocks - they are to die for. Beyond that - she is just a really wonderful friend and I am honored to know her! So... when this arrived yesterday - I was beyond touched and thrilled that she had taken my little shops and made them smaller (perfectly by the way) and gave me something for me to keep!! Girl - it is amazing!! Thank you so very much, it is truly a gift of thought!

My son Fox also made me an amazing piece, just for me! He knows how much I love incense and has made me a couple of polymer clay holders. But..... this was so wicked cool, I had to share it with you. As you can see he can do dark much better than I. He gets better with every piece and it is a joy to see him create such cool stuff!! I'm not a proud Mama or anything.......

Saturday, April 25, 2009

New Work - The Half Moon Blacksmith

This one has been floating round in my head for a bit now. It turned out to be a closer view of his shop than I expected. I have found something interesting happening as I do this series and wonder if other artists experience this?

When you write fiction, as you move along in the story the characters seem to take on a life of their own. They will literally wake you up to tell you something and refuse to do other things. My sister has confirmed this experience in writing - but.... I can't say that I had had this happen with my art. So... this little town I have been creating little shop by little shop has done just that. I now have shop keepers clamoring to have me produce theirs! I do love my muse!! So here is the latest "Half Moon Blacksmith" and as you giggle at the name, clearly this fellow has a nice enough backside to keep his pants up. Honestly - it didn't strike me until after I wrote the name. LOL he's not a plumber.

PS. Don't forget to enter my contest! Have a great Saturday everyone.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Playin' with my camera...

I was granted permission by Raffa's Mom to post this pic of him. I am joyfully surrounded by children most of the time and dearly love to take pictures of them. So when one turns out wicked nice - I'm excited. It was also his birthday yesterday - he's 5 years old. At school yesterday he brought cupcakes for sharing and I presented his with a candle in his. That evening he had his cake with 5 candles, he said...
"Miss Sarah gave me one candle this morning, and I have five tonight... that must mean I'm six." Cracked me up - love these guys.

I finally managed to take a picture of my Lucy Lu that I liked. She is a very wiggly girl and hard to get a good shot. I discovered my telephoto lens - whoo hoo. Isn't she beautiful!!!

And.... drum roll... it is finally Spring in N. Idaho - YAYAYAYAAY!!

Ok just one more.... a pic of Jim - well sorta - he said I could share this one of him in his dry suit - giggle - he is really cute under all that... Have a wonderful day everyone!!

PS - Don't forget to enter my giveaway!!

Thank you's.....

Ok - am playing a little catch up today... bear with me. First, I would like to do few HUGE thank you's!!!

On my treat tree are some wonderful treats from.....

First one is to Lisa from Down Under. Her Blog is divine and I adore her sense of humor and warmth!! She sent me this sweet little package of goodies - looved each piece especially the stunning necklace!! Your treat is coming your way Lisa!!! Thank you!

Second thank you goes to Sonia who sent me this wonderful treat filled box. She is one of my favorites and I adore her sweet spirit and amazing blog! Is this not the cutest creepy sheep you have ever seen!! Loove him and the "Me" box - goodness knows I need one of these!! Thank you! I hope your treat has arrived!!!

To Pamela for the wonderful post this morning you made my day hon!! Thank you and hugs!Hope you can post too!!!

Jamie - go check out her amazing art - gave me this award.... &

Audrey gave me this new one, If you haven't been to her blog you are in for a huge treat - I adore Audrey! Whoo hoo love these ladies - thank you!!
so rather than do two sets - I will do one set of 10 things you may not know about me..... these are getting harder as I go - lol...

1. I worked in a bakery/deli for two years and loved the 4 am shift!
2. I adore the scent of carnations - better than roses.
3. I played the flute for many years.
4. I played/sang in a rock band in college.
5. I am a certified CNA.
6. I love bluegrass.
7. I have a passionate dislike for unfairness.
8. I cannot stand the sound of my dog licking herself.
9. My favorite word is Balance.
10. I adore watermelon!! Yummmmmm

So.... I think I will offer either of these awards to whoever has not gotten one yet or would like to do one - cause - honestly - they are really fun!!!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

One of Those Amazing Things....

I have several things I wanted to post this week, including some thank you's, an award and a few photos I love (playing with the camera again - lol). I will post them tomorrow. I was all prepared to do those today then the most amazing, touching reminder that "the Universe is listening to me" kind of thing happened.

Last week, I received notice of a sale on Etsy. Much to my surprise it was the sale of my "Heart of Darkness". Now I know - I offered it up for sale, but when I saw it had sold my heart kinda sank. I had a very hard time sending it off to an unknown man back east. Every now and then you do a piece that you love, but as an artist - you put them out there. Heart of Darkness was one of those for me - hard to let go.

So...jump to this morning... I'm checking my blog and find a post from Tabitha in my giveaway. She mentioned my piece and that she would be posting about it later???? I was puzzled and then the light bulb turned on. The man who had purchased it had mentioned it was a gift for his other half - but never mentioned her name. I'm off to Tabitha's profile to see her location - them off to Etsy to look at the info there - was it possible my precious, much loved piece went to Tabitha who's blog I adore and who I am very fond of???
Before I could email her she posted on her blog. It was her - she had my precious piece!! To top it off what she wrote about my work had me weeping. I was so deeply touched by what she said. THANK YOU hon!!

As an artist when you put your work out there you hope that it touches people in some way. What Tabitha wrote was so much more than that. I am over the moon that she has this piece and that the universe worked in such an amazing way!! This is why I draw! May I also say - what kind of amazing guy surprises his girl like that!! You go boy!!! So at the risk of sounding braggy if ya wanna read her amazing,(has made me reapply my mascara several times) post & visit her wonderful on her name above. Thanks for stopping by & sharing in my joy today! Namaste, Sarah

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wishcast Wednesday

Jamie asked us today - What step do you wish to take? Hmmmmm another deep one. I missed last week, honestly nearly killed me. I have come to love this every Wednesday. It was a rough week and I had pushed myself as far as I could. I missed you all. Thank you all for the kind words, advice and support!! We have gotten through the week with some serious calm!!

So.... I wish to take the next step with my artwork. Making a living with art is not always an easy thing and I am a very logical soul when it comes to running the household. I am the primary breadwinner, as many of you know I run an inhome preschool and after care program. I love my kiddos I really do - but the artwork - that is my bliss! So, I have been working to get my work out there. I'm pleased to see things are popping and sales are growing. I would like to cut back to only afternoons next Fall as my youngest goes off to Kindergarten. I feel like the universe is asking me to take a leap of faith - or maybe a baby leap. That the pieces of the puzzle will fall into place as they should and that I should trust. So.. my wish is to confidently "step" out there. Namaste, Sarah

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My Giveaway - no strings attached.......

I thought it was about time for me to offer up a sweet treat to all of you wonderful bloggers. It does not seem like enough really, you all give me so much every day. It's not my anniversary, or 100th post - just a little thank you for popping by and visiting me!!

There are two chances to win - I might add a third. The larger piece "Tapestry" is
6"x6" and is done in pen and ink on acid free paper. The second is an ACEO (art card editions and originals)it is one of my Witch Kitties and is 2 1/2"x3 1/2", also pen and ink on acid free paper.

What do you need to do.... not too much.. leave a comment on this post telling me you would like to be entered for one chance to win. If you would like a second chance please post(or sidebar) my giveaway on your blog with a link to this post. Then let me know you have. I will draw a name on April 28th @ 9am Pacific time. Any posts received after that will not be included. The winners will have 48 hours to get me their address's after notification. After 48 hours I will go on to the next person drawn. Thanks for joining me - and good luck!!!!

*** Please feel free to join in if you are not in the US - should have mentioned that!
Now closed for comments..... off to choose a winner....

Monday, April 20, 2009

Quilting Bee of Women #5

This lovely quilt is by..Priscilla Bianchi

Hello again everyone, so glad you could join us. I think spring has finally sprung and the last of the snow is gone – fingers crossed!! Maybe next month we can take the whole rack outside and work in the sunshine!! Mmmmm that sounds heavenly – yes? My turn for treats so… I am offering up some old favorites of mine whoopee pies(check out Libby @ Twirl & Taste for some serious and delightful Southern hospitality) and cupcakes. Yes very gooey treats but I think we adults need gooey now and again too. I did the fancy Martha Stewart cupcakes – whoo hoo that was fun – see the little bumble bees on them? I have racked a lovely quilt today, full of all things lucky. Little clovers, rainbows with pots of gold, lottery tickets & horse shoes. I skipped the rabbit feet – ewwww – my bunnies would be quite angry with me. So please pull up a chair and let’s start stitching.

So, a couple of days ago, I was reading Audrey’s blog . If you haven’t been there yet – by all means do. I never leave her blog without something to chew on or giggle about. She was writing about “Luck” and debating whether she was a lucky person. It’s a great post!! It got me thinking though….yeah I know – scary. Thinking about how we perceive life, as half full or half empty. I know several of both types and wonder often – what defines how we perceive the world. Who gets the better end of that lollipop?

I am without a doubt a half full kinda person. This seems, on the cover to be a good thing, and in general I guess it is. It seems that folks with a more positive out look on life live longer and generally are healthier. We tend to deal with stress better and let things roll off our backs like ducks – quack. We are often hopeless romantics ( am sooooo very much one).The down side is – being perpetually hope filled – we also tend to wade in the river of denial more often, thus getting ourselves into deeper bogs of stupid. – “Wow – why didn’t I see that coming?” As… we tend to look for the good in everyone and frankly – not everyone deserves this point of view. I think we tend to take longer to define boundaries for ourselves. I think though, once we do get some balance we tend to be pretty happy people. I am a duck.

I live with a half empty kinda guy. Which I have discovered much to my surprise, is amazing! He seldom expects great things to happen and reality is his friend. He does not trust easily, despite his big heart. He keeps that heart well protected and seldom wears it on his sleeve (mine is perpetually there). If he finds it there he will change his shirt. (Bare Naked Ladies, please forgive my stealing such a great line).Those close to him bask in his loyalty and warmth and huge sense of humor. But, the world is a much gloomier place for him and hope is at times a frivolity. So being a half full kind person, what do I see as the great things about being half empty? He seldom expects much, so he is seldom disappointed. He has tight boundaries and seldom gets hurt or walked on. He sees people with stark reality and a clear eye. He has a very hard shell and hides when he feels the need, he is a turtle.

So how do we get on with each other? Very rough at first!! I guess he has learned from a duck that putting good energy out there gets good things. Being more open, opens doors. He has relaxed A LOT in ten years & can often waddle with the best of us. What have I learned from the turtle – having a shell is a good thing, I am not nearly as squishy as I used to be. Boundaries are amazing things. I take a harder look at folks – fewer pairs of rose colored glasses, protect myself more and tend to wade out of my bogs more quickly. We balance each other pretty well I think.

So – I’m thinking that although we are what we are, I believe we are changeable – a bit anyway. I'll take two lollipops - good end for both please! So what are you….a duck or a turtle? What do you think is great about being one or the other?

Next week a good friend has offered to pop by and deliver her amazing lattes, chai tea or whatever drink you heart might desire from a classic North West coffee stand. She will also be bringing a mouthwatering selection of muffins – yummmmm. Thank you for popping by and joining me again. I hope the time has restored you a bit. Your company always restores me, thank you! I do so love hearing what you have to say in response to my ramblings. Have a great week! Namaste, Sarah

PS. Almost forgot - I will be having a giveaway - a couple sweet art offerings this week - please come and join the fun!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Here is #7 of my Everyday Witch's Shops - Fly By Broom Repair

Here is my latest in my Everyday Witch's Shops... Fly By Broom Repair. I acquired some finer tipped pens - whoo hoo. I liked the way this one turned out. Thought I might do a male for a change. I figured there must be at least a few around town!! Hope you like it too!! Thanks for flying by.... Sarah

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Next Entry in Christine's Giveaway!

Here is my last entry for Christine's amazing treat filled giveaway!! Click here to go check it out - there is still time to enter!!

Friday, April 17, 2009's a secret.......

Shhhhhhh – I’m whispering can you tell……I have a secret to tell you…ready……………………………….
Next week…… I will be doing a sweet giveaway. No strings attached just comment on the giveaway post. For an extra chance to win you could post a link on your blog – but not a requirement. So……keep an eye open for a few sweet treats from me!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Who would like a free artsy treat from me......

The lovely Diane offered up this wonderful concept and I was the very lucky recipient of one of her Halloween Ornies, BTW I love it(scroll down) so now it’s my turn to give gifts to you ( I looove this)….. so this is how this works…..
The first five people to respond to this post will get something made by me… Sarah of Cottage Garden Studio . My choice. For you. This offer does have some restrictions and limitations:
1- I make no guarantees that you will like what I make.(but there's a pretty good chance you might!)
2- What I create will be just for you.
3- It'll be done by May 10th.
4- You have no clue what it's going to be. I can say at least for me it will be art coming your way( what you send is up to you - could be a poem, treats - anything). It will be a surprise though. The catch? Oh, the catch is that you must repost this on your blog and offer the same to the first 5 people who do the same on your blog. So the first five people who post ….and are willing to pass it along will get a sweet artsy treat in the mail from me. When you get your treat make sure you post a pic on your blog (BTW – unlike me post the right person’s link). Ok…. Get ready, Get set……. Post!!!

Catching up...and a few fun new awards....

Ok - I'm so excited to get this one - why - because it totally cracks me up - Seriously...thank you so much for your kind words Audrey and giving me this award. I was very touched by your words!
The blogger who receives this award believes in the Tao of the zombie chicken-excellence, grace, and persistence in all situations, even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse, these amazing bloggers regularly produce content so remarkable that their readers would brave a raving pack of zombie chickens just to be able to read their inspiring words. As a recipient of this world-renowned award, you now have the task of passing it on to at least five other worthy bloggers. Do not risk the wrath of the zombie chickens by not choosing wisely or not choosing at all.
I will pass this(I'd send it to Renee - but Audrey bet me to it)..giggle.. fun award to.....

Gail, who I adore and is not only an amazing friend of mine but also an amazing artist gave me this fun award. Being the massive movie buff that I am I jumped on this one. Thank you Gail!!!!
Acknowledge via link the artist who passes you the award and pick it up from their blog. Then, name five of your all-time favorite movies. Additionally, name your pick for this year's movie of the year. Then pass the award forward to three blog artists you appreciate, linking them in your post.

So here are my - with difficulty, in no particular order... my top five....
1. BraveHeart
2. Practical Magic
3. P.S.I Love You
4. Last of the Mohicans
5. Witness
I need a top 20 list......
For this year - am clueless so far - I'm with Gail - the new Harry Potter movie.
I will pass this one on tooooo...
Anne - my sis

***Just a quick addition - info I didn't know -

"Just a clarification note: sorry it wasn't stated more clearly in the rules themselves, and it's fine too if the award is wider spread, but my intention with this in particular is to honor miniature artists. To the extent possible, please choose artists to pass it forward to whose blogs focus on miniature painting and/or ACEOs, and thanks to all for passing it on."

Here is a new Everyday Witches - Into the Enchanted Woods

Although the last week has thrown me a bit, I have tried to keep some balance (a little) and keep creating as I looove it and it feeds my soul. Here is a new Everyday Witches - a hedge witch in an enchanted will be up on Ebay later today. Thanks for flying by for a look....

My Next Bookmark for Christine's Giveaway/Contest

Here is my 2nd of three bookmarks for Christine's amazing blog giveaway/contest - click here to check out her treat filled contest. It needs it's little tail and sweet bead - but I will add them today... Here is Carpe Diem.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Here is my first entry...

Christine is having a wonderful contest/giveaway - click & go check out this wonderful treat filled giveaway!!
I love this one and thought you might too Christine......

I Got a Sweet Treat & Huge Hugs

A huge thank you to all of you who offered me comfort and advice yesterday!! I cannot tell you how touched I am. You have given me courage & hope that we will get through this and Hanna just might make it through and become a functional, happy adult. Huge hugs back and Namaste, Sarah

I'm sooooo excited - looky what I got in the mail from Diane!!! With all the Halloween art I do and have - I don't have an Ornie like this!!! Actually - I have very few at all!!! Whoo hoo - thank you hon!! I looooooveeee it!!! Yours is coming to you.....

ACKKKKKKK - I made a huge mistake - I put the wrong link in for that sweet little ornie!!! Yikes - So sorry Diane - this is her lovely piece - I copied & pasted the wrong link - huge appologies hon!!!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Feeling Frozen...

Atwork by Franz Miklis

I have been a bit frozen the last couple of days – I guess that’s a good way to put it. I have been so deeply touched by the honesty I have found from other moms struggling with children with problems on these blogs. I guess today it’s my turn to step up to the plate and share my struggles with my lovely Hanna (17).

I received an email yesterday informing me that the couple who have been working with my daughter (she has been staying with them) have suddenly & very prematurely decided she must leave their home by this Sunday. I cannot say enough about the grace this couple offered us and how huge it has been that they did this for all of us. It offered me a chance to clear my head and see things honestly. I know a few of you are aware of the details, of my struggles with my daughter’s mental state. I write this for a couple purposes today I guess… I need to vent, I need support and I hope maybe in some little way this post may touch someone going through the same thing and help in some small way.

After having lived with her Dad during the main part of the year and me for summers for a long time, Hanna came to me two years ago to stay here full time. Her Dad could no longer manage her and we all thought she would function better with us as they do not get on well. We were wrong. The longer she was here the more serious, abusive and destructive her behaviors have become. I have suspected for several months now that she is suffering from bipolar disorder. Suffice it to say, I have lots of experience dealing with this, not with in my self but with others around me. I am not offering up a diagnosis – just a strong suspicion. Let me assure you I know what a difficult teen is like – my oldest daughter Julia will tell you herself – she was a teen challenge. Please understand, this is not the same thing. This is the unspoken craziness that surrounds those living with someone who is mentally unstable.

Five weeks ago after an extremely horrid melt down she left my home and refused to come home. We managed through the grace of another family secure a place for her to be and begin counseling. Something she has been unwilling to do before. She has begun counseling with a savvy gal who has Hanna pegged and I think she can really help her move toward diagnosis and a better life as an adult. I had hoped that she could remain with this family at least until summer so we could get several sessions in before she returned here or to a more intense program. I am unsure what has happened in their home – communication has been sketchy, they will meet with me this week. I am clear on one thing, Hanna has not bent or made any efforts to make amends and is walking back into my home with the same attitudes she left with.

The last six weeks for me have been a huge time of renewal – in so very many ways. I truly did not realize in the middle of all the literally craziness how stressful dealing with Hanna had been. Not only for me but the rest of the household. So today I am gulping down my panic and stress and trying to buck myself up for another round in the ring with my daughter, whom I love,but who sends me into panic attacks. I know as I go into this next round of “dealing with” I will loose some of myself trying to give her what she needs to move on in her life – hopefully as a functional adult. When Hanna is functional she is a stunning, sweet, lovely girl and I adore her. When she is not and that is at least half of the time, I love her anyway, I just don’t like her behavior much. So…. today I am desperately searching for ways to integrate her back into the household with the least impact to everyone else & keep the pieces of myself intact at the same time! Thanks for listening. Namaste, Sarah

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Quilting Bee of Women #4

This beautiful quilt by Judy Vine

Good morning!! I’m so thrilled you are back again this week!! I have racked a lovely piece today, full of water and ripples and smooth round stones that feel cool and lovely in the hand. Christina, bless her has brought a wonderful treat – a bunny shaped carrot cake!! Oooooh my favorite. Someone else has brought a box of See’s truffles – oy diet has just stomped out of the cabin. There is coffee and tea and cream for those who dare. Please pull up a chair, it’s wonderful to see you here!!!

I love the metaphor of dropping a stone a pond and the ripples grow and grow. I was wondering, what stones of help do you throw into the pond and how do they effect others around you? With the state of the economy right now, I think most all of us are struggling and looking for ways to save. I was thinking about what we can do for each other. Who could I help in some small or even a big way? I think sometimes we feel like we are bragging when we share what we do for others. But just for today, don’t be embarrassed – let it fly!! I would like to hear what you do that you think helps others. Why …you ask, am I asking you to tell me this? I’m hoping by us sharing these big or little things, we can all discover ways to help each other. Maybe in ways we never thought of!! Just maybe there is someone here that will see a ripple and reach out to touch it & receive the help they need. It could be as small as a verbal hug. So throw that stone and let’s see who the ripples touch.

Ok, here is the stone I threw. I thought it was a small stone when I threw it. A gal I knew from my last preschool has spent the last several years successfully flipping houses & restoring furniture. Clearly the market has fallen out from underneath her. She came to me through a mutual friend in search of daycare a few days a week. Honestly, I could not afford to offer care for free, which was what would have really helped her at the time. After some thought it occurred to me that although she couldn’t pay me currency, she might be able to offer up something she already had that I really needed, like older furniture, left over building materials – honestly I didn’t know – but I threw the stone and she reached out and touched the ripple.

Something that started as a way to help her, has blessed me in ways I had never imagine or considered. I was hoping to perhaps get a couple of decent pieces of furniture. She has been with me a year now and not only become a close friend but what she has given me in return is priceless. We have bartered a few thousand dollars worth of daycare in return I received among other things a beautiful old farm table restored and now lovingly adored by me. It has been over ten years since I had a “real” piece of nice, wooden furniture. You know, the kind you actually need to wax!! It wasn’t cheap, but it’s mine! She has also brought me several dressers & some wonderful wooden chairs. But, by far the most wonderful gift she gives me… she does my shopping for me! Every week she gets my list and she goes and does my grocery shopping. Without a car this is huge!! She charges me a reasonable hourly rate & I save a huge amount of time & energy. Not only does this help me in huge ways, it makes me feel a bit spoiled!!! Loove that! What started out as an effort to help her, turned into a huge blessing for me too. Yup, still feel like I’m bragging, but there it is.

So…. here is my question to you….. what do you or have you offered to someone who is in need. Small or big – tell us about the stone you threw and who reached out and touched the ripple.

Ok.. while you pick which stone to share, large or small…, I am gonna go steal a piece of that amazing carrot cake and maybe a truffle or two – yikes!! My diet is dying a slow death. Hurry before I eat the whole cake!! Thanks for joining me again today!! Blessings, Sarah

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Look what I found this my coffee..

I have been a maudy, too introspective, overstressed girl all week! So today I'm offering up some silly for you and me! Mhanon, Jim and I already had an hour's worth of giggles choosing a few pictures to post. Here are a couple of Easter weekend giggles on me..

Friday, April 10, 2009

Gypsy gave me this very interesting and wonderful award!! Gypsy has such an amazing spirit, thank you hon!

Here are the rules:
First, admit one thing you feel awful about, involving being a mom. Get it off your shoulders. Once you've written it down, you are No Longer allowed to feel bad. It's over with, it's in the past. Remember, you're a good mom!

Then, Remind yourself you are a good mom, list 7 things you love about your kids, you love doing with your kids, or that your kids love about you. These are the things to remind yourself everyday that you Rock!

Ok - here goes.... I wish I had made better choices during my divorce. Choices that would have secured my older daughters the youth they deserved and did not have enough of. Simplified but there it is - gotta go get Kleenex.....

1. They are all wickedly funny!! How I managed to get 5 Witty kids I don't know! Dry on the mark funny!! They surprise and crack me up on a daily basis.

2. They all have wonderful hearts. Through all of the difficult years & things that happen they remain really good at the core.

3. Each one of us has had a "thing" we have done together. Some little treat, or activity that only that one child and I shared. Like.. Kate and I went to Target and shared soft pretzels and cheese.

4. I think overall my kids would say I am fair with my discipline and judgements.

5. Despite everything, every challenge I love every one of them deeply.

6. That I have given them all a love and respect for nature and the joy it offers them.

7. That truly I would be lost without them!!

So I would like to pass this on to.....

Ideas....ideas please.....

It's that time of the year for teachers... spring burnout. Well.. at least for preschool teachers & I'm guessing all teachers. Rather than look forward to the summer, I struggle this time of year. With a couple of issues, summer planning and a change of age group(the above picture is not of my group of kiddos).

I'm a Early Childhood Educator for a reason - I looove the little guys. I love my big guys too - but my heart is with "teaching" preschoolers. I don't run a classic in home daycare - I run a full program every morning and a camp style program in the summer. That said... by the time I get to April, I'm running low on enthusiasm and drive. Unlike older grades, I don't get breaks for Christmas, Spring break or summers off. I know alot of older grade teachers are suffering through this too as you work at other jobs all summer too. Honestly, we all need a good break at the end of the school year. We don't always get one. I'm tired and burned out and struggling to wrap my head around the summer.

My first struggle is the change of group dynamics in the summer. I have several older siblings, all wonderful kiddos mind you. But when you change up the mix - the game changes too. During the summer there is lots more drama, older kiddo drama, sibling drama, more - "I'm bored" drama. My preschoolers are seldom bored. Then again, the older kids keep the play rolling along and do a great job of including the little guys. The first day of fall this last year, my little guys and I went outside for the first time without the older kids. As a group they all turned around and looked at me like.... now what. LOL I realized they had been the followers all summer, I also realized I had not been the leader. We all laughed and went on a nature hunt - me in the lead. I guess what I'm saying is for me it feels like I work much harder in the summer than the rest of the year to maintain calm and structure. It's the time of the year that I yearn to work less not more.

So in summers past I have done less curriculum in the summer and more just fun stuff. I have come to realize although it sounds less work intensive for me it is not. We tie dye, paper mache, fine art, have a mud/water day, beading, code breaking, gardening.... you get the idea. I won't stop the tie dye week - it has become a tradition & one of my favorite weeks of the year!

I guess I was hoping that all of you amazing, creative women out there might be able to give me some ideas...a shot in the arm. I know once I get the summer program rolling in my head, my enthusiasm will return. So.... I'm looking for some less intensive summer ideas, fun and simple craft, science, nature type ideas that we can do for summer camp. any input here would be a huge blessing!!
Thank you so much, Sarah