Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mental Duck to Mental Swan Award

It has been a while since I offered up this award that is dear to my heart. Inspired by of my biggest supporters and dearest friends..I thought it was time to add a few to the list.

The Mental Duck to Mental Swan Award is given to two amazing groups of bloggers;

1. To Bloggers who encourage and nurture others bloggers to explore and grow in their creative, spiritual or mental lives.
2. To Bloggers who are blooming and growing creatively, spiritually or mentally in their lives & sharing it on their blogs .

Please do not pass this one along....I like to give it out every now and again as a gift from me..Thanks!

So..... I thought it was time to offer up a couple more of my little award. You all amaze me every day here. I could give this to a 100 folks here. But..I will limit myself to a few folks that have really stood out of late. So as Renee inspires me, I hope I can inspire you a little. Thank you for all you do.

I have watched these folks consistently offer not only amazing support to me but many others across the blogs! And a few that have been growing like crazy!!! Yup I have been watching.

Barb Yes my sister Barb! She was a bit bemused by what a blog would offer her and a bit nervous - but boy look at her now!! She is Letting Fly with the blogging!!! Her deliciously written posts just keep bringing me back and her support - well it is amazing! Yeah - I love her!!!

Holdingmoments One of my very, very favorite wildlife photographers and an amazing supporter of my own baby photography work. But..not just my photography..but my blog in general! He is someone who I always look to for excellent posts and pics - but also a keep eye on life and a gentle word for all!! He bravely wades into our Quilting bees - I love that!! Yup I like him!!!

Bonnie Bonnie is not only an amazing supporter of me and others..but wowoza she is something in her own right!! I never fail to leave her blog without my head buzzing about something new or interesting I have been challenged to learn there! Plus - well..I really like her too!

Snap Snap is one of those folks that has been with me from the very beginning of my blogging here and has been a constant, amazing support and I think a good friend. I have watched her blog bloom as she has too! I guess I think of her as kind of a mentor - not sure she know this - LOL! Hope she does not mind too much!! Yes...I really like her too!!

Yup I like Emmy too!! I follow alot of women my own age and some follow me. I have a few young Moms - I love that! Emmy, well she is not only an amazing Mom..but an amazing woman!! She supports up all around her and offers such open comments and caring! I have watched her bloom on her blog and offer up real pieces of herself there. She is one of those young women you hope your daughters turn out to be!! I should be so blessed!! She is also someone I consider a friend!

Dede Dede is such an amazing woman - she really is. She is one of those truly genuine people..that real down to Earth woman that just is who she is and that is wonderful! She has been a huge supporter of mine and so many others. I love her work - go and see what she does!!! I hope I offer her something of value back!! She is amazing!! is a quack and a honk to all my swans - every one...thank you for being part of my world - I am blessed to know you! Namaste, Sarah

Oooo a New Award!!

Whoo hoo an award! It's been a this is fun!! This fun award came to me from Chris - thank you hon - I am honored!!!

Copy and change the answers to suit you and pass it on. It's quite tricky to use only one word answers! Once you have filled it out be sure to pass it on to 6 of your favorite bloggers. Alert them that they have been awarded! Have fun!
One word answers have got to be the hardest- but here goes:

1. Where is your cell phone? none
2. Your hair? Medium
3. Your mother? Died
4. Your father? Died
5. Your favorite food? Chinese
6. Your dream last night? Sexy
7.Your favorite drink? Latte
8. Your dream/goal? Retreat
9. What room are you in? Livingroom
10. Your hobby? Knitting
11. Your fear? confinement
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? stable
13. Where were you last night? Home
14. Something that you aren't? Skinny
15. Muffins? lemon
16. Wish list item? Ranch
17. Where did you grow up? everywhere
18. Last thing you did? toystore
19. What are you wearing? jeans
20. Your TV? old
21. Your pets? lots
22. Friends? Wonderful
23. Your life? Exciting
24. Your mood? energetic
25. Missing someone? Kate
26. Vehicle? Chev
27. Something you're not wearing? Crocs
28. Your favorite store? Michaels
29. Your favorite color? Green
30. When was the last time you laughed? 5 minutes
31. Last time you cried? Sheldon
32. Your best friend? Hubby
33. One place that I go to over and over? grocery
34. One person who emails me regularly? Sherry
35. Favorite place to eat? China Buffet
So let's see....I will send this off to....

Wishcast Wednesday..

Our fearless leader Jamie has asked us this morning..What would you like to share? Well you could take that a couple of you need to share something with someone or of your self. Speaking or offering up something. Hmmmmmm.

Ok gonna wish big again..ya goes...
Last week I wished for that wonderful ranch in the woods..several folks commented or emailed me saying that when I got the retreat going they would want to come and add their talents or just come and enjoy it. Well..the funny thing..I never mentioned creating a retreat in that is something I have wanted to do for many years. Some how that must have come across in the wish. Funny that!!

The summer I spent at Girl Scout Camp just verified what I thought - I could do it if I had a place to offer it up. A place where folks could come and find themselves or just sit and be. Art classes of all kinds, meditation, massage, yoga, hiking, riding, boating and more. Maybe just some places to just sit and be alone in the quiet of the woods. With one of those amazing communal dinning rooms. I want a place were women can find themselves..if even just for a week or a weekend. Where they can drop the masks of everyday life and just breathe and play. I want to share with other women the opportunity to discover the power in themselves. So that is my really big wish..I want a camp, a retreat for women! I want to share with other women the joy of finding your own bliss and power! What do you wish today?
Namaste, Sarah

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Five words.....

Dear Holly has offered me five words to play with today. The idea here is this..use these five words to weave a story about you and then offer them up to five more people who would like to play along. So here are the interesting words that Holly choose for me to create with. Here goes....

1. Genuine Hmmm. I think this was a good choice. I try very hard to be who I really am here. To be the person that you would see if you met me in person or here. I guess in terms of the blog..I struggled with how honest and genuine to be here. How much to share and how much to keep close to the vest. I guess ultimately I decided that all the lessons the universe had offered up for me to learn would not be served if I kept them close to the vest. Now and again I struggle with sharing deeply personal thing, but it seems that those are the posts that seem to touch you all. So..I keep stepping away from fear and "Let Fly". When my sisters, Anne and Barbara joined me in my blogging world..I gulped and stopped again. Did I want to still be as honest and genuine..what would they would they feel? Well..I think at least for has opened relationships with them that have never been so deep. So..I guess genuine works for me.

Disenchanted - Well there is one to weave in to the mix. Disenchanted..I have been that so often in my life. Deeply so. In the Spring of 1997 I attended "Jerry McGuire" with my then husband Mark. The marriage had been abusive and difficult at best. I had at that point spent over ten years trying to get him help for his bipolar issues and try to keep the marriage together despite the abuse and anger issues. After the movie we went to coffee and as we sat there chatting he shared something with me that made my whole world stop on a dime..everything around me slowed down and went quiet. He said this to me...
"You know I feel the same way, I never loved you and only married you because we had slept together and you were a single mom. I have only felt responsibility all of these years. I felt that way as each of the girls were born also. Just heavy responsibility."
I kept my face very controlled and drank my coffee. Seriously I asked? was the truth. I let him ramble on and on and dig the pit deeper and deeper. I was dumbstruck and heartbroken. For a couple of weeks I just kinda walked in a haze, then I began to understand how all of the broken pieces of or horrid marriage had fit together. How all of the things I had not understood fit. Then I became angry! For all of those years of loving him and trying to help him..and he had not ever loved me???!! I have never been so disenchanted with anything in my life. Unfortunately he felt the need to share this with the girls too. Within six months we were separated.

3.Table Interesting what a word means to you. When I saw this word I though..yup put it on the upfront, tell it how it is. I abhor passive aggressive behavior. Just tell me what ya think. I may not like it, we may argue or disagree, but I will respect you. I find game playing petty and childish I guess. Maybe I should consider why I feel so strongly about first husband for sure..but I think the roots are deeper than that. K- this is a short one..put it on the table!!!

4.Reluctant Wow there is a word. I guess there is one area that I have become reluctant over the years...I am not much for public gatherings. I don't mind crowds, or those meetings where you are one of 300 and no one knows you. There is little risk there. I guess it is more in groups of women whom I know - larger groups. Unless I am leading something, I feel awkward and out of place. Not that I have to lead I am happy to follow. Here is my problem..I am empathic..I read peoples body language and verbal cues extremely well.. I can feel their emotions and it is overwhelming in groups of more than a five. I am less able to filter out my own emotions and not take things to heart.
Recently in a group of moms at school there was lots of chat going on. One gal started chatting with me and asked me a question about my required more that a yes or no answer. Half way through the sentence her buddy walked up and she turned her back to me and left me standing there feeling silly. Yes I know it was rude..but her body language spoke volumes to me..things I really didn't want to know. I am not so oversensitive at 49..more like just aware. I don't enjoy having to put on my armor and fend off information that folks do not realize they are sharing and truly mean nothing by it. But - for me it is there as surely as as if it had been were an interesting diversion until my pal got I am done. I was not offended so much as put off and reluctant to put myself out there in groups. So there it is..reluctant.

5. Whirl..I saved this one for last because I just like the word and what it means to dancing..Letting Fly. You ask..dancing Sarah? Yes..dancing. I danced for many, many years. Unlike my sister Barb who did passion was Modern Jazz. Another note you might not know about me is this.. I am a trained vocalist. The two collided in high school when I joined Chamber singers..a a performance troop that did not only singing but lots of dancing. Now I am not the best dancer in the world..but I loved it and worked hard at it. Thoroughly enjoyed musical comedy. To this day my kids and I whirl when the music is on! Two steppin'... any time! So when you say whirl, I say lets dance!! not sure if that was interesting for you..but it was a fun exercise for me. Thank you if you got all the way through that! Would you like to play this fun word game?? If so let me know and I will fly off a few interesting words your way!!
Namaste, Sarah

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Quilting Bee #25

Wow Y'all!!! Twenty five quilting bees!! I am thrilled and pleased that you are all still coming back to visit!! Thank you! So I was thinking that we need something warm a cozy to eat this morning!! How about some Belgian waffles, with strawberries and whip cream? Or maybe warm maple syrup..the real stuff!! Yummmy. So you name your topping and I bet I can dig it up for ya!! We have some delicious mixed berry yogurt and granola with almonds and honey this morning also. Of course...Kona coffee, chai and hot tea of any kind!! I keep a big stock of that! I have racked a beautiful Amish quilt this morning! Thank you for joining me today, please pull up a chair!!

I love all things Amish. I have for years. When "Witness" came out in 87 I was hooked! I researched with a passion. It's funny the things we are drawn to and why. I'm guessing you are scratching your head about now - Sarah...Amish...not so much. I am a pretty modern gal. I am good with the computer and most technology, prefer a my washing machine to hand wash and honestly being told I can't do something because of my gender really rubs me the wrong way. So why the Amish passion?

In the midst of financial craziness I think alot of us have gotten back to the idea of "living simple". Cutting back on many of the luxuries we have gotten used to over the wealthier years of late. Simple living has always appealed to me. A goal I have always strived for. Not always achieved. But the years that I have lived in simple ways honestly have left me feeling fulfilled and satisfied.

The summer at Girl Scout camp was pretty simple. Latrines, tents, shower houses, communal eating and work. There was a gentle rhythm to it. The ins and outs of days, ebbing and flowing. Calm, peaceful, predictable, my role was simple and straight forward. Closeness to nature and feeling the earth and water daily. I thrived there.

Likewise our cabin on 40 acres in Athol..very basic living. Indoor plumbing this time though. But life there had a pace, a consistency, simple, straight forward with the season's work. I love that..having things follow with the seasons, planting, harvesting, celebrating, resting. I knew my roll every was the same. I was clear on who I was and where I fit.

I am also without a doubt a farm girl. From the age of ten when our family moved to TN..that is all she girl I was, farm girl I will always be. I yearn to turn the soil and raise my own food. So the simple life, the Amish way of life appeals to me. Their roles are clear, no wondering what tomorrow will bring, they are pretty clear on the flow of the seasons and the roles of each member. Here in the modern world it's a toss up where I will land each day..what will my role be, what stress will be offered up today.

Of course..the reality is I would make a horrid Amish woman. I am not willing to submit or follow female roles as I would be expected to. I am VERY outspoken and stubborn when it comes to well...pretty much anything I feel passionate about. Am thinking that would not go over really well there. I would be happy canning and quilting, but I would want equal time on the plow driving the horses. I'm honestly not sure I could live without a computer...I really love my computer. I love all the learning and tech.that goes along with it. I love the fact that I can be whoever, believe whatever, care about whomever, create whatever, love whomever I choose my world. So..I would not be suited to the roll of an Amish woman.

So what can I do to find a nice middle ground? Maybe let go of some of the chaos in my life. Be more organized and more grounded in my daily needs and wants. That my wants be less unharnessed. Not to always do without..but to remember the goal of simple living. Do I really need it? Why do I want it? What purpose does this want have? Being more simple and present in my daily, hourly life. To get back to the way of living that turns with the seasons, a flowing life where I can wake up with every morning and feel joy and bliss in the living of it. So maybe not Amish..but to take what I admire about them and try to blend it into mine just a little bit.
What do you want your life to look like? Do you thrive on the complicated modern world or do you long for a simpler lifestyle? Please share your thoughts with us!!

I think I will have some serious waffles with strawberries and whip cream and a chai today please. What can I get for you? Thank you for joining me today..I so love having you come by!! Namaste, Sarah

Saturday, September 26, 2009

BIG NEWS Times 2!!!!

Well I did it..I created a website all my own!! It's's flying! There isn't much there yet..but more this weekend!! I used a designer - who was wonderful and a joy to work with. Someday I will figure out how to load my own - but for now Robin made a fun set of designs for me!! I have lots of new items to post this weekend so come back and visit again next week. I'm so very excited!! I really am!! I'm doing a really big happy dance! Can ya see me???? So here is is.... !! So please go and take a look and tell me what ya think!!! I am Letting Fly bigger - whoo hoo!!!

Our other fun news..Our Etsy Team is up and running on Etsy and Ning!! Magical Holiday Artists! If you are interested in finding our members work there type MHA or Magical Holiday Artists into the search bar on Etsy!!
Our Ning site currently has 70 plus members! What an amazing group it is!!! If you are an Etsy seller of Holiday or seasonal items created by you and would be interested in joining us, please convo me on Etsy me!! If you are a creator of holiday or seasonal art..and would like to start an Esty shop - our Ning group might be a good place to start - please email me!! Whoo hoo!!!

So I am off for an excursion with the kiddos and then hard at work in both of these places!! Have a wonderful Saturday all!! Namaste, Sarah

Thursday, September 24, 2009

OMG..WTHECK..... hole cat seems to have also stolen my avatar from several people's following widget. It has come to my attention by a very sweet friend that I am not showing up as a follower on her blog and it would seem several others...that in fact I am still following. When I went in to check a said I was already following..but my avatar was missing. Thus..I am wondering how many of you sweet bloggers think that I have stopped following you!! OMG WTH...just so you all know..I have not stopped following a single wonderful person on my very long list of folks I love!! So could you please do me a favor and let me know if you thought I had exited stage left.. and know I have not..Yikes I am totally freaked out here!!! Blogger said - no worry they are working on it..well worry..if people believe I have left them!! ARGGGGGGGGGG!! I have no idea how to fix it other than stop following and then follow again. So please let me would be so appreciated. Maybe I can breathe again soon...geesh..stupid blogger......Hugs, Sarah

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wishcast Wednesday

Our wonderful shepherdess Jamie asked us this morning...What luxury do you wish for?
This seems like a simple one..but don't let her fool you...this is a deep one at least for me. This one is all about where you are coming from..your perspective.

I have been given the wonderful gift in my life to have experienced financial abundance and deep poverty. Yes, I do believe it was a gift. It is hard to appreciate abundance unless you have experienced the lack of it. I am at present somewhere in the middle. This is a good place for now. So the answer I might have given 12 years ago when I was quite well off would certainly be different than the one I would have offered 5 years ago.

During those deeply poor years I started a practice that helped me keep moving forward and pushing myself to keep moving up financially. We still received catalogs in the mail...lots of them. During on of those weeks were the food bank had been visited and my soul was sagging, it was fun to escape into one. I made a habit of choosing one item from each page that I added to my imaginary cart. It was wishcasting in a way I guess. I had to believe that the day would come again that I could afford some of those things.

So when Jamie asked what luxury would we was a good reminder of how very far we have come in the last five years!!! I do actually order from some of the catalogs now. We have not needed the food bank in several years. Although I struggle to pay bills some months.. the world for us is a more financially stable place. So with much joy today..I am going to wish the past my luxury would have been basic living with those met..I will ask for a hearts desire..something bigger...ok really bigger. I wish for a sweet cabin in the woods on 20 acres with a barn, an art studio and mountain view. Oh and if it is not too much to ask.. a week at a yoga retreat would make my heart sing too!!!
What do you wish for today? Namaste, Sarah

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Welcome to Fall.....Whoo hoooo!!!

Truly today is one of my very favorite days of the year. The official start to Fall! I do not Spring clean, I Fall clean. My yearly planning starts now, not in January. Resolutions..yup now! I feel refreshed, filled with energy that has been hot weather lacking. So to celebrate today, here are a few Fall shots to start the season off. Believe me as Coeur D Alene dons it's stunning Autumn trappings, I will be posting more! I hope you will join me as I celebrate FALL!!!

This is a mushroom if you are wondering...

Here and on the top are some of our volunteer pumpkins and gourds!!

I think this was my favorite shot of the week..

I liked this one too...

So here is a handful of acorns from me to you...

And a preview of things to come....remember Oreo..he got bigger!!!

Happy Fall to all of you!! Namaste, Sarah

Monday, September 21, 2009

Quilting Bee #24

This darling quilt is done by Melissa!

Good morning all! It is a very chilly morning here..I have actually stoked the fire. Can you smell that delicious wood smoke..mmmmmmm! So we are cozy inside again and it is cool enough that I feel like quilting! I have set out a hearty breakfast of homemade egg sandwiches with ham or sausage and no meat at all if you prefer. Hot scones with berries and a few maple walnut and chocolate chip ones too. I have the end of the season plums and peaches to savor. Hot tea for today I think with herbal and a bit of Earl favorite. Of course there is Kona coffee and all the delicious things to add. I have racked a cozy quilt for us today. Please pull up a chair!!

I was thinking about groups this week. Groups out in the "real" world. When you join a group out there do you jump right in? Are you a leader, a follower, the quiet one, the one who really does not want to be there? Do you find it easier to join in here online? I went to a get together yesterday, led by a gal I love. I haven't been to one of their gatherings in a while..just a friendly coffee. Well..the last time I went it was..this was a bit different. I was unprepared for the serious nature of the groups makeup now. So unlike my normal self, who jumps in and is an extrovert..I sat back and observed. Totally not like me. I watched some checking out the new some of them I was new. I watched some folks try to step in and take over and step on others words and thoughts. It was a surprisingly stressful meeting. I loved seeing a few of the folks I know, but honestly felt a bit out of place.

When I was a younger woman, I really struggled with the fitting in part. I have been told I am uncommon - a nice way to say odd. I'm an artist what do ya want? I have been told I am too nice, what is too nice???? Can you be too nice? Hmmmm. I have been a leader and a follower and sometimes..I have been the one left out. I hate that..when the leader of a group for no understandable reason takes a dislike to someone. There is a responsibility that goes with leading I think..that fairness factor, that shuts down gossip and expects the best of everyone and gives it herself.

So yesterday as I sat watching the group and observing the interplay between members competing for power..I was observing my own new behaviour. Why was I sitting back and being that person that watches and speaks little. Believe me it is not me at all. What made me uncomfortable? It occurred to me in a jolt..I no longer fit here, in this group. The leader and several of the members I adore, but as a whole this was no longer my place to be. Somewhere in the last few months I think my heart knew this, but my head still felt loyalty to my dear friend. I was squirming in my seat. As I walked home I felt relief to be heading home. I also felt guilt that I didn't want to be there, I don't want to disappoint my friend.

It was then that it struck me..sometimes things just don't fit anymore, groups don't fit anymore, jobs, lifestyles, belief systems, friends. Sometimes as we grow and change we have to let go of things that hold us back, that no longer fit. Those comfortable things we have worn for so long, now feel itchy and uncomfortable. So..I am taking it off and moving on. Not from my friend whom I adore, or even some of the delightful members, just the group part. It has left me to ponder though..have I been hanging on to other things that I need to evaluate? Maybe. I don't do this without great thought..but it must be done. That deep, honest soul cleaning. I feel a bit lighter today..I really do. Would you like to share something you have let go of as you have grown?

So I think I will have a berry scone and a Kona coffee..I do love my coffee! Can I get something yummy for you? Thank you so for joining me today!! I do love it when you are here!! Namaste, Sarah

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Just a Few That Pleased My Eye.....

I have several children, including my own that walk to school with me everyday. Some days just a few like here..other days it's more like a herd..LOL. I do enjoy our walks!! We stopped to visit with this darling kit! Isn't he handsome? Look at those beautiful little hands!!

Here is one of our beautiful mums..I just love Chrysanthemums. I find the smell just delicious.

I hope you have a peaceful Sunday!! Namaste, Sarah

Friday, September 18, 2009

With Deep Sadness

With deepest sadness I share with you all the passing of Renee's nephew Sheldon. A deeply beloved young man, recently and unexpectedly diagnosed with cancer. Sheldon, much adored by his family was only 25 years old. He handled it all with a grace unexpected. He will be deeply missed.

So today through my tears I put down my blogging pen and join Renee and her family in mourning this remarkable young man. If you have a moment today, please stop by Renee's blog and give her a hug. Please keep her and her family in your thoughts and prayers today. Namaste, Sarah

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Seasonal Musings....

Karie Ann (one of my favorite artists)mentioned in the Quilting Bee this week, that I made Fall sound romantic. That comment has stuck with me all week, as she mentioned she is not a huge Fall fan. I started thinking about what draws people to a certain season. What draws me to Fall so strongly? Well the more I thought about it the more things came to me.

I am a Fall Baby..October 7th. Yes...that is me. I was born in Upstate New York where Autumn is glorious. In the 1960's Halloween was still celebrated with all the bells and dingers. My parents went all out every year. Not so much decorations...some. But every Halloween our door was the most visited one in the neighborhood. parents served powdered donut holes and fresh cider. Every year we lived there the cider flowed. What a joy it was to see all of the happy costumed faces enjoying the special treat at our house! It was magic to me!

We visited the pumpkin patch each year..I loved it there. I still do!!

Yup..from left to right that's me, my Mom. Anne and Barb - their gonna kill me - giggle!!!

This might explain my love of all things Witchy...look a good witch!!! Here is me and my Mom..isn't she 60's cool. Funny I don't remember that!

As I grew older, I ended up living in Scottsdale, AZ...for 14 years. Now the desert is a stunningly beautiful place. I found so much to love there. But..not the heat or the lack of seasons. Honestly, it made me depressed every September. Kind of like people get SADD up here in the winter. I hungered for the Fall. Missed it horribly. When we went up north in the Fall and I got a little was almost to painful for me to leave and return home.

So when we moved here to N.Idaho, I was in heaven. It can rain for days and I do not have a care. But..when the weather starts to change and the leaves start to have a little heart lightens. As fireplaces are stoked and woodsmoke floats through the crisp air, I am at my very happiest. I have for years yearned to pass on to my own children and students the joy of this wonderful Season. I hope I have offered them just a taste of the joy I feel every Fall. I hope if you are not a Fall fan that maybe looking at the falling leaves and playing squirrels through my eyes may bring you just a little joy. Happy Autumn all!!! Namaste, Sarah

Artwork by one of my very favorites..Charles Wysocki

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wishcast Wednesday...

Jamie, our Shepherdess has asked another thought provoking question this morning..."what do you wish to stretch?"
The first thing that jumped to mind the moment I am stretched way too thin in many ways. I have not been an attentive blogger this last week or so....I am pains me to pop in late to a post a comment. Please have patience with me. I have children coming at 6:30 am every day..only for a hour and a half..then later in the afternoon every day. I am with three other wonderful women putting together the Ning group I mentioned yesterday. We have an unexpectedly wonderful 60+ members!! I'm so thrilled and trying to keep up. What an amazing group of artists!! I am painting like a crazy! School started last week and I am filled with joy getting up with all the Mamas I have not seen in so long! I have taken a bit of time to work in Nonni's class and hope to offer services to Fox's when needed. The website should be up and ready for me to load graphics and products sometime this week too. Pant, pant, pant...all wonderful, good things..I am loving it. It is busy bliss!!
But..when I realized it was Wednesday..I almost skipped this...I needed this. Every week Jamie makes me slow down and think about something important. In my hyper focus to get the ball rolling this Fall - ok several balls rolling and plates spinning...I have had a hard time stopping and just breathing..without guilt. So what do I need to stretch? I need to stop and do my yoga, walk without purpose, tootle to the library or around Tubbs Hill with my camera...I need to stretch my relaxing and meditation..I need to breathe a bit more and relax. So there it is, I said it..I need to stretch my relaxation time!! What do you need to stretch this week?
Namaste, Sarah

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Calling All Holiday and Seasonal Artists....

Well....I have an announcement...I have been alluding to it for a bit now...Sherry, Heather and I are putting a Team together on Etsy. Magical Holiday Artists. If you are an artists who creates holiday of seasonal artwork, in any medium or style; painting, drawing, fiber arts, jewelry, doll making, sculpting, art photography, knitting, crochet, collage, scrap booking, get the idea! If you create artwork yourself..handmade, and would be interested in joining a Team to promote support, sharing and sales on Etsy..we just might be your Team.

While are awaiting the Etsy Team folks to set up our Team..we have gone ahead and put together a Ning site to get the ball rolling.

Now I know,some of you are saying...

"But Sarah, I'm not on Etsy...yet. But,I am a holiday/seasonal artist that would like to participate on Ning and/or learning about Etsy."

...Please know you are welcome too!!

It is about growing, learning and supporting each other up as artists and friends in life and in business! We hope to create a bigger presence on Etsy and as a group make our artwork more visible there! We also intend to have some fun doing it!!

So..if you think you might be interested in joining our Ning group and/or Etsy Team..please email me - the link is on my profile here and I will send you an invite!!! We would love to have you! Namaste, Sarah

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Quilting Bee #23

"Autumn in My Dreams"Lola De Longoria, Carol Tackett and Marilyn Limbaugh have worked on the quilt and it is being quilted by Sharon Malachowski.

The colors are popping here and it's starting to cool off!! I looove Fall, love it!! The smell, the chill, the crunchy leaves, the colors, the start of the holidays...yup I love it! Not quite cool enough for a fire in the fireplace but soon!! I can hardly wait! Welcome I'm so glad you are here. I have been painting my backside off and have Halloween and Fall pictures floating around in my dreams!! It's nice to take a break and think about something else.

So, in line with the Fall is so close theme..I have set out a hearty breakfast of pancakes. You can get pumpkin spice, apple, chocolate chip, blueberry or just ole plain stacks. We have several delicious syrups...real maple of course, huckleberry an local favorite, blueberry, raspberry, peach and strawberry. I also have scones in the same flavors as the pancakes. There is some delicious peach yogurt and granola if you would prefer. Seasonal fresh fruit too..apples and pears today..yummmm. As always Kona Coffee and several types of hot tea! I have racked a lovely Fall quilt today. Please pull up a chair.

Last week was a huge joy for me. I was able to walk my kids to school and back. Jump in and help the teacher one morning finish a project, visit with a few other Moms. The last two school years I have been unable to attend anything at school, barely making parent teacher conferences. I have always been involved at school with my kids. It was hard for me not to be there. I had children here every day sometimes as early as 6:30am until 6pm. Long days but well worth the cost..we have gotten ahead slowly but surely. But...I deeply missed being there for Fox and and thrilled that this year I can be there more for them both!! I feel deeply blessed this year.

About a month or so ago Elizabeth sent me two books in a giveaway. I have been reading them the last three weeks. They have not only served to remind me how fortunate I am. But also..remind me as I walk back into the world of public school, kiddos and be more sensitive to those parents who are dealing with children with special needs. You see Elizabeth sent me, "This Lovely Life" by Vicki Forman and "A Cup of Comfort for Parents of Special Needs Children". I have worked with special needs kiddos for years..but as a teacher, in a small way as a parent. What these books brought me was a deep respect for these parents. The honest, painful, heartbreaking, inspiring, joyful lives these folks live.

Elizabeth is one of those women that never fails to amaze me..what she goes through as a parent, what her daughter and family go through... all offered up with honesty and love. Amazing..she really is. I follow several blogs like Elizabeth's. As a teacher I am always seeking to understand more clearly and with a deeper heart what the reality for these children and their family's is like. I have a daughter with ADHD (28)and one who is ODD (oppositional Defiance Disorder) and I believe Bi-polar(17 1/2). I do not though believe that I have been through anything even close to what Elizabeth and her family, or Vicki and hers have been through. Their experiences have been on a whole different level.

When I started Vicki's book...I could not put it down. It was shocking, heartfelt and an experience that most of us could not even contemplate in our wildest nightmares. All offered up with honesty and love. The early birth of twins, the loss of her newborn daughter and the sever disabilities of the surviving son and all the resulting chaos that she lived through. An honestly refreshing, heart wrenching account of the realities of dealing with a special needs child with many issues. It was not just a memoir of the pain..but of the deep love and joy she found through this experience. The path she has paved for others going through similar circumstances. She like Elizabeth....amazed me. Truly amazed me. Thank you to both of you for giving me the opportunity to share in your lives. You are both a blessing to us all.

As I was reading the second book.. "A Cup of Comfort.." I was struck by something over and over as I the many authors..Elizabeth being one of hard it is in the social arena for these parents. How deeply they want their kiddos to fit in they feel out of place sometimes themselves. In Nonni's class this year we have a kiddo with special needs. He has an aid and I have been able to observe him a little. is his Mom that I have really noticed. As I was reading through this book..I started to pay closer attention to her. She stands to herself as we wait for our kiddos to come out of class. She rushes him off in a hurry..she does not make much eye contact. She is clearly uncomfortable. This is hard for her without doubt. I have contemplated how to approach her and at least offer up a hello or smile. I always make a point of saying hello to her son as I say hello to many of the kiddos I know in the class... he always thanks me with a brilliant smile. I am trying to reach out to her.

I guess today I am not asking so much, as sharing what I have learned at the feet of these amazing parents. Perhaps some of you might have input here.. how can we be better support systems for these parents? There is my question today...

I think I will have a pumpkin spice scone and a Kona coffee. What can I get for you??
Thank you for stopping by and joining me are a blessing to me!!
Namaste, Sarah

New Work.......

Here is my new piece in the Falling Series..."Boots and Hats"

And some new grungly, prim hang tags. They smell delicious..cinnamon and vanilla!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A Labor Day Trip and Panic Attack....

Labor Day here in N. Idaho dawned cold, wet and gray. Of course this didn't stop us from heading out on an adventure. It was a bit drizzly and the thermometer hovered around 50 degrees. We donned sweatshirts and hot drinks, the dog and we were off. This time to a digging site that Jim likes. It is an old mining area, as long as you take care..there is no real threat. As we were doing more rock picking up and not any digging.

We were headed to the Silver Valley area..this unfortunate sign welcomes you to one small town entrances. At first this seems funny. But if you know the history of the area..not so much. This 21 Sq. mile area is a Superfund Cleanup site. Huge amounts of work and money have been invested here to clean up old mining areas of heavy metal toxins left over from a century of silver mining. In the 1980's the children in the area in tested higher for lead content than any other area in the country. So..seeing these items on the same sign seemed unfortunate to Jim and I.

As you can see it is a stunning area! We are thrilled it has become available to tootle about in again. But as parents..remain careful.So..Jim decides to take the loooooooogggg way to the mine. Uhmmmmm..ok it all started fine..nice logging road..pretty scenery..but then....OMG..not so much.. The farther along this logging road we went the more treacherous the road way to turn around...and the drop offs were getting worse with every hairpin turn. These pictures do not do this horrid ride justice. To be completely honest I was to terrified to look to the left and take pictures!!

It was a very narrow, old, edge crumbling, bolder blocking terrifying ride. I am not a chicken really I am not...I can handle lots of things, bugs, spiders, snakes, rats...almost anything but this. Putting my children in a car and tootling around terrifyingly close 1000 foot drop offs no guard rails, for an hour. To say I was an absolute wreck when we finally got there & completely pissed off at my husband...would be the understatement of the century. I kept 90% of it to myself as not to freak out the children.....he owes me in a huge way for this one!!!!!

So..we are almost there and Jim said,"Gee I hope this turn up here is not washed out this time." WTF are you serious(sorry that's how upset I was) was somewhat - but by the skin of our teeth we made it across without getting stuck. So when I exited the car, the evil "you are a dead man looks" were flying his way. After a few minutes..I was OK and we got to a bit of fun rock collecting. I was breathing again. The kids - had a blast the whole time! Go figure!

So....where did the kids and I go while he drove back? We walked the rest of the short way (yeah..there was a short way - really short way with a gate..we could have walked up) to the main road and played in the river as he drove around. He loves me..he really does..knew I would never make it going back down that road!!! Of course he would not have survived my wrath had I been forced to return that way.

This river is stunning! One of the things that was done for the cleanup...this whole river bed was scooped out down to the bedrock and replaced with river rock from Montana.

They had fun - they really did. I managed to start breathing again & catch a few fun pictures. Jim was quickly forgiven as nothing horrid happened - lucky boy. But uhmmm the next time we head up that way...I will not be taking any logging roads!!! Have a wonderful weekend all!! Namaste, Sarah