Sunday, November 29, 2009

Quilting Bee #33

This beautiful quilt by Wendy

Good morning all!! How wonderful to find you at my cabin door again..I love it when you join me on Mondays!! It is a bit nippy here and I have the fire going nicely! I do love a wood fire. I have another Sullivan family treat for today..homemade donuts. We make them every year..those delicious homemade old fashions with just a hint of nutmeg and cinnamon. I have sugared, dipped and sprinkled all morning. There are plain, powdered sugared, chocolate covered, maple and white frosted, sprinkles, nuts, filled with lemon, raspberry, cherry and custard. I have laid out some delicious oranges..navels and delicious tangerines and some yummy grapes, red and green. Yogurt of course and granola if you would like. Coffee..yup have Kona and hot tea and I added some chai too. I have racked a quilt full of gifts today. Please pull up a chair and join me.

I had the joy this week of popping around folks blogs and reading what they are thankful for. Most of us are thankful for our families and things that went well this year, health and happiness. The normal things..good blessed things. It made me smile to read about folks getting good results on medical tests, new jobs, new babies. Blessings small and large. I also stopped to think about those who have been through a deeply painful year, full of loss and illness, financial disasters and humbling falls, mental illness and pain..plain and simply...pain.

I spent a great deal of time this year laughing so hard I blew coffee out my nose. I also spent many early mornings with tears streaming down my face, so deeply touched by what is written here in these much pain, love, tenderness, caring, crowning victories and devastating loss. I have mourned, hugged, commiserated, sobbed, laughed till it hurt, giggled, snorted, been deeply touched by and with so many of you. So today I would like to tell you that I am thankful for having found every one of you here. You amaze do.. every single one of you. That you would allow me to be a part of your life just never fails to amaze me!! How blessed am I!!??

One of my greatest joys this year has been these Quilting Bees. I have been overjoyed and humbled weekly that you come back and by what you share here. By the fact that anything I have to say reaches you in some way. Weekly it touches my heart that you come back and speak with your wonderful voices here. Share deeply of yourselves, connect and give of yourselves. are!! Thank you for allowing me to share with has made me stretch and grow in so many have my undying gratitude.
This duck has become a swan and is loving her beautiful new wings! Thank you for allowing me to be brave, stretch them and fly every Monday!

So here on the very last day of November I am want you to know how deeply thankful I am for your friendships, support, encouragement, hugs, shoulders, tears, caring, laughs, coffee through the nose, comments, emails & love. So rather than use my soap box today..I will simply say to each and every one of you...

I honor the place in you in which the entire universe dwells.
I honor the place in you which is of love and truth, of light and of peace.
When you are in that place in you and I am in that place in me,
we are one.
I bow to you.

Would you like to share what you have found here on the blogs to be thankful for this year? I am most surely thankful for you...Namaste, Sarah

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Day After......

So we polished off the pumpkin pie and had a delightful day! I had not expected this beautiful woman to come by...I was so thrilled she made it. Ok I say woman, but to me..she is one of my beautiful children..Kate. I don't get many shots of her as she is on her own and isn't here all the I took advantage of her visit and snapped a couple of shots. She is beautiful in spirit too..she is!

She reminds me of Drew Barrymore..what do ya think? Love this woman..I do!!

Of course there was the required after dessert silliness..what fun would a holiday be without this!

LOL Love these children too!! Hope you all had a wonderful day all!!
Namaste, Sarah

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving All!!

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Last year at this time I didn't know most of you!! I had no idea what I was missing and how blessed I would be! You all are blessings to me and my life!! Thank you all so very much!! I hope you have a peaceful day!! Namaste, Sarah

Ok.....Let Fly with the food....whoo hoo....

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wishcast Wednesday..

Jamie has asked us this morning.."What steps do you wish to take?" Wow there is a question..the very first thing I thought of was..I wish to take my time.. I do. Because I spend so much of it rushing about trying to get it all done. Now that is not all bad, the busy stuff..bored would make me a crazy woman. I am much happier with things to be doing. But....that said...I would like to linger in certain areas of my life a bit more. Like my artwork..just close myself in the studio and create for a whole day uninterrupted..just now and again would be nice. Maybe over a good of those all nighters and then sleep all morning..yup I want to do that. I want to wander through a weekend and not worry about the time..just watch movies and play games with the kids, take a nature walk with my camera (and the kids)...I wish to take my time and waste it. Without worry or concern..just let it fly away from me and smile. I wish to take my time and do whatever my heart desires at that moment with it. What do you wish today?
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving you all know how very thankful I am to have met you here?? You bless me every day..Thank You, Sarah

Monday, November 23, 2009

Quilting Bee #32

Pattern by Liz Schwartz & Stephen Seifert

Good Morning all!!! We had snow yesterday so we are all cozied up in the cabin again and the fire is roaring!! Oh I so love to get that fireplace going every year..some how it just warms my soul! I have set out another of our family favorites for the holiday season...french toast. I do adore french toast..better than pancakes I think. There are toppings, berries and whip cream and several types of syrup..maple (the real kind) and huckleberry a local favorite..kind like blueberry. I have also set out several types of cereal if you would prefer; corn flakes, grape nuts, honey nut Cheerios, granola, raisin bran, if it's not out I am sure I have it..we do adore cereal at our house. There is also yogurt and feel free to raid the berries. Kona coffee of course and several hot teas if you would rather. I have racked a simple quilt today. Thank you for joining me again today..I do love having you come. Hang up your coat and mittens and pull up a seat!!

I have been reading alot around the blogs this last week or two about what people do and how it is viewed. For instance..writers of mystery or romance be told they are not writing literature, or folks that do not create "fine art" are not real artists. Uhmmm seriously??!! I guess my first reaction to that is..if the books are selling and the art is too..they are about as real as they come. Don't ya love the critics..the ones who are snooty and full of themselves. I got to thinking about my own artwork and photography and teaching and how I view myself. It kinda brought me up did.

What makes us valid in the world we work in? Who gets to choose whether we are professional or real for that matter. It's funny..I don't struggle with this with my artwork so much. I have had years of art training..I am not self to speak..I am confident in what I create. If my work sells and others find it touches them in some way..if only to make them smile..I have hit my mark and am happy with that. I do get the occasional "oh you draw?" thing. Yup I do. I'm secure there.

Where does it get me in my life? I was a bit surprised to realize this..light bulb a teacher. Now if there is any place in my life..vocation wise that I am secure and confident in what I is as a teacher. I am wickedly good at working with both preschoolers and children with issues. So why did I get hung up here with my title? Because it comes into question in the real world..ALOT! I am a preschool teacher..not alot of respect there..even less with the title of daycare provider. When I come into contact with "teachers" that have a degree in elementary or secondary education (not all of them of course)I often get..the question..what do you do..when I say I teach..the questions fly..oh what grade..preschool..oh....I see. Yeah it kind of goes like that. There is this look that goes with it..the look I hate that. Like some how being a preschool teacher is not worthy of the title teacher. It annoys me in a huge way! When I am in a group and someone says.."this is Sarah she is my daycare provider"..I cringe..there is that look!! Geesh!!

So why do I allow others to effect me in a negative way? Public perception is incorrect. I know this. So I started to think about what my job entails as an in home preschool teacher and daycare provider. Was their judgment valid? Here is what I do in my job as a daycare provider and teacher of preschoolers...well a short list anyway... Parents know when they bring their children to me that: they will be safe all day, loved on, encouraged, fed well, entertained, taught new and wonderful things, strong boundaries so when they leave my nest they will understand what to do in big school, how to get along with others, how to share and keep ones hands to ones self, how to use nice words, manners, how to wait in a line or for a turn,how to use a pencil, scissors, ABC's and 123's, upper and lowercase, beginning reading and addition, sorting and patterns, beginning writing, the basics of nature and science, the color wheel and basic computer skills..etc etc.. They will also know that if their child is having issues..I will more likely be the first one to see it and bring it to their attention. I also, clean bottoms, wipe noses, comfort, dance with, laugh with, get them ready for soccer, running, swim team, a long road trip, homework and tutoring. So when I thought about all of these things..wrote them all down I was deeply pleased with what I do.

There is a Buddhist concept, I am paraphrasing here..about being present and happy in what ever you do..being present. It does not matter what you do but how you do it. It does not matter what society thinks of your job, whether you are a surgeon or you collect the garbage, whether you are a secretary or the president of the company, whether you are a stay at home mom or a writer or artists! You are gifted in what you are the gift. It is the action of doing what ever you do with joy and peace that is what is important..not how others view it. It is only important how you view your work and not how people around you view what you do. So my kiddos show up and I do my thing or I draw of snap pics..I will try to do it with joy, contentment and be present in the knowledge that no matter what others may think of me as a teacher, artist or photographer..I am content in what I do and that is enough.

Would you share with us what wonderful thing you do and how you feel about it? Please do..I love it when you come and join me!! I think I will have some french toast and coffee...MMMMMMMMmmmmmm. You are a blessing to me, thank you!! Namaste, Sarah

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Look What We Have...Whoo hoo.... and a Wip

When I crawled out of my nice cozy bed this morning...look what beauty I found!! Our first real snow of the season - WHOOHOO!! If it can't be Fall..snow is the very next best thing!!! Whoot!!!

Of course no sooner had Nonni discovered it had snowed..she was outside with Lucy Lu.

Oh and here is the next piece in my new town of Maple Hill. Renee's Tea Room!! Love you Renee!! About half done...maybe done today!!

Namaste, Sarah

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Angelic Help....

I spent a good deal of time working on my Etsy Banner this morning...makes me crazy! So after several attempts at creating a properly sized (760x100) banner and it was blurry every time...I went off to the Forums on Etsy for help. Now on Blogger..I am a wiz..I can set up a blog with bells and dingers = whoo hoo looove it. But..Etsy banners make me crazy nuts. I posted a thread asking for help and an angel answered...Sharon of Addie Designs. Not only did she offer to help..she fixed the picture I was trying to use so it would fit and not be a blurry mess!! Thank you Sharon you made my day..week...month!!!

So..I thought I might pass along this wonderful Etsy shop and owner to you! If you are looking for a new avatar and header for your Etsy shop..Sharon is your girl..her shop has several available and her artwork and photography is wonderful! So pop in and see her at the above link and heart her for me!!! She does custom orders and I am guessing she could provide you with a wonderful banner and avatar.
Huge hugs to you Sharon!!! Namaste, Sarah

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Birthday Girl....

So Miss Mhanon's 6th birthday. How we got to six you got me....when did this happen??!! My very last little clanlette..little duckling has hit that magic age. The one where they start to venture away from the Mama. Sigh..sniff...I will be ok I think!! Maybe.

Tomorrow..Mhanon (Nonni) will be having her very first friend birthday party. Whoo hoo I love birthday parties..kiddos all over the place, games and treats!! I will have several art and craft stations and we will be having a Teddy bear tea..Giggle....loooove it!!

Don't ya just love goofy??

I love this just says it all about this delightful child. Happy Birthday sweet heart!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Couple New Little Works...

Here are three of my newest fun little snowmen... "A Sweet Trio" featuring a snowman family, "A Good Scritch" featuring a sweet kit getting a lovely scritchin' from a snowman, and "Snow Cat" a suggestion by Fox to create a snowman cat!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Can Breathe Again...

Many of you know I run an inhome preschool and after school program. I live in a town that insists on tight regulations on day cares! I like this. Our Health inspector is tough and I like that too. I know....but I have very strong feelings about what children should experience while in daycare of any kind.

So this week was my annual health inspection. This should not freak me out..I am pretty tough on myself about the rules and regs, sanitation and care giving. But..this year the clutter got away from me a bit. I have not been able to get my Fall reorder finished..the clutter has been making me nuts. Not dirty..just lots of stuff ..waiting for a place to be. So this last was all about the reordering of the whole upstairs. You know one of those jobs that you have to make a mess before you can put it back together again!! I don't think I realized how much the clutter was bothering me..stopping me from doing other things happy!!! Yikes!! I know...I'm kind of anal about the clean thing.

So yesterday he was here and did his inspection. I passed with flying colors, he even said it had been a while since he had not had to offer a single suggestion for improvement!!! Snap! Then he wanted too see my artwork..Looove it!! I feel like a new woman. Not only am I official for the next year..I have my organized house back.. Whooo hoo!! I feel like a new woman!! Whoot!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Quilting Bee #31

This lovely quilt is by Tonya

Good morning all!! As you can see I have decorated for the holidays! Whoo hoo!! I thought some festive food would be fun. Although what we all consider holiday food is different! So I will offer up one of our family favorites to kick off the season. We have delicious home baked know the yeasty delicious kind. Can ya smell them just out of the oven? Several types of cheese to put upon the rolls and fresh squeezed orange juice. I also have fresh fruit, melon, apple, pears, bananas. Deliciousness!! Kona coffee of course and teas...oh and several juices..right out of the juicer!! You choose. Delicious yogurt and granola for topping!! I have racked a festive quilt today! Please pull up a chair and join me!! Thank you for coming again today!! I love it when you visit!

I was thinking about the holidays and expectations this week. I feel Christmasy sooner than normal this year. At the beginning of the season - Fall..we had several very deep frosts. Sadly it killed all of the leaves just as they were beginning to turn. They fell off..mostly green. The oaks hung in there and gave us a bit of color..but seriously..we had no Fall at all this year. Kinda went from September to November! It depressed me, it really did. I adore the fall..I look forward to it..expect it to be glorious! This year..not glorious..just sad really. So after I got over heart started craving Christmas!! Hitting Target this weekend didn't help. Christmas everywhere..whoo hoo!

But here is the thing..this is about the time the expectations start..those hopes and wishes for the season. Whether it is for some wonderful gift or to feel that joy you did as a child. Often, come the end of December we are sad and depressed,as our expectations have not been met. We have been let down by someone or just never caught the joy of the season. Some years it's just hard to get into the spirit. Sometimes life happens instead and we just want to skip the whole thing!

I have a hard time with the gift receiving thing..I love, love, love to get just the very perfect gift..I listen all year to what folks love and keep it in my head. I love to give fun, thought filled gifts. Gifts of thought. Yeah I am one of those people. I love gift giving. I think this is why when someone gives me a gift of little thought..I get hurt. Honestly I would rather not get something than to receive a gift of no thought. You know the kind I mean..that OMG stop at the drug store on the way over kind of gift. That said....I am also aware that I am overly sensitive about this subject..expectations about gifts.

But there was more to this than just people forgetting me at important times or giving me something of little expectations were based on what I saw society doing. Sometimes that is a catch 22. We are overwhelmed by information these days..what everyone else is doing for the holidays, birthdays, vacations..etc. etc. We often base how our marriage is doing by what others say.."What do you mean your not having sex 8 times a week and twice on Sunday..there must be something wrong with your marriage." No not so much...we spend alot of time looking outside of ourselves for reassurance that our lives are "normal".

You all know how I feel about normal. Here it comes, ya ready....normal isn't always what you are looking for in life!! Sometimes uncommon is wonderful, strange is fun, quirky can crack you up. Sometimes when you box yourself into expectations of what will happen in a marriage, friendship or well..Christmas..what you miss is that chance to experience the new and different. If you are stuck in the holiday rut and are not experiencing the joy of the season..step outside of the box. Step away from your traditions and make some new ones..or just add something new this year. Something fun, crazy, silly..wonderfully not normal!!

So this post is a reminder to myself to breathe new life into the holidays..let go of expectations and find new wonderful things that give me joy every day this holiday season. My motto this and different is good. So maybe if you struggle with this might try some "not normal" things for the season. Just a thought...give it a try and see what joy you find!! I will be stepping aside and letting my husband Fly in the kitchen. He loves to make I am buying up all of the ingredients to his delights. Now if I could just get him to clean up afterwards..giggle!! We shall see if I can stay out of the kitchen as he Lets Fly with the flour and powdered sugar..whoo hoo!! I think I will sit in the living room with hot cocoa alone, as the kids will be helping Jim..and watch the first Harry Potter!! Whoo hoo. May your holidays be filled with wonder and joy and lots of blissful not normal. Please share with us today something you do during the holidays that brings you joy! Or maybe something you would like to try this year.

Ok I would like a nice hot roll, some mild cheddar and a glass of that wonderful fresh squeezed orange juice..yummmm. Can I get something for you? Thank you for being here bless me with your presence. Namaste, Sarah

Saturday, November 14, 2009

It is Complete.. Maple Hill #1

Here it is all done...the first shop in my new Town.. Maple Hill..."Sullivan Gifts". Click on the pic to see the big version. It is 5" x 10". I will be listing it tomorrow. I'm thinkin' the next one will be a tea shop. Have a wonderful Sunday!! Namaste, Sarah

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A New Series..Wip #1

So I decided to start a new Town for the Holidays.... here is the very first look at the sweet township of Maple Hill. This piece is about half done, I hope to have it completed by Friday. It is not to very far from the witchy town of Moon Hollow! Just a sleigh ride away. Please click on the picture for a bigger view! Hope your week is going well!! Namaste, Sarah

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Magical Holiday Artists First Big Giveaway

I am very proud to report..that our wonderful Team of Etsy 86 strong, are hosting their very first Holiday giveaway!! Six of our wonderful artists have offered up sweet treats for someone to snag..just in time for Christmas!! As a leader in this group..I cannot tell you how amazed I am by the huge amount of talent there is in this Team of artists!! Please head on over and put your name in the pot to win a sweet Holiday treat!! Whoo hoo, Sarah

Oooo one day left!!

Chris is having a wonderful giveaway of her amazing gift basket..but there is only one day click here to enter here contest for these sweet treats.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Some New Work and a Whip

Here are a couple of new pieces I completed this weekend. A new Bonzai piece, a few Christmas items....remember to click on the pictures to see them in full size.

and a wip..almost done this sweet hound dog...almost done.

Quilting Bee # 30

"The Voice Of You and Me 2006" by Karen Watts

Good morning all!! I am feeling better this week..not 100% but better. I missed you last week..I really did. So pleased to have you here again. I have put out some simple treats this week. Muffins of every kind!! Lemon Poppy seed, almond, banana nut, blueberry, chocolate chip, apple, pumpkin spice, maple nut...yummm! I have also set out several delicious cider, fresh squeezed orange, cranberry, tomato, grape, pineapple mango...oooo I love juice! Kona coffee of course and delicious teas too!

I have racked a complicated quilt today full of twists and turns. Thank you for joining me here today..I have the fire burning and it's all cozy in here! Please pull up a chair!!

I will have to say, not writing last week drove me a bit batty all week. LOL..I resisted the urge to muse aloud and waited till today. Lots of things have been rolling around in my head..had to narrow it down to one for this morning. I have been thinking about success, what it means to society, what it means to the individual, what it means to me. I had one of those light bulb moments this last week..well it was more of one of those light bulb puzzles. You know the 50 pieces that when you put the last one in you go..OMG now I get it. Yeah one of those.

I like so many others, I have suffered from a fear of success. Now that term makes little sense, because seriously who is afraid of success as defined by society. That means money and lots of it. For years I struggled with this one. Why am I afraid of being well I sabotaging myself...but why..I needed money!! But sabotage myself I did! Over and over again. I allowed others to determine my path, my interests, my wants and needs. Anger and guilt kept me from success. Others anger and guilt and my own. I was well off most of my life...that kept me from being was easier to go with the flow. I had excuse after excuse and roadblock after roadblock I placed in front of myself. Still it made me deeply frustrated that I could not wrap my head around the reason behind why I did these things. With out the root I could not pull out the weed and move on toward the success I wanted.

So what changed? Well I divorced my first husband and was thrown into poverty. By choice, although truly I am not at all sure I understood what that meant at the time..poverty. Don't care what the songs say..there is nothing romantic about the whole thing. But it is enlightening! It was something I needed to understand so many things in life. It was also a major motivator. It lit a major fire under my butt!! Ok it was a slow burning fire and took several years of "poor" before I jumped and went "OUCH". But I did. I found the root to my weed, my fear of success.

It was not fear of success, but fear of responsibility. I had a fear of commitment to an idea, to my me!! I could commit as a wife, as a parent, as a teacher etc...but I was not committed to myself!! To what I wanted & needed, to find my own true North. I was terrified of what would happen if my wildest hearts desire came to me..if I was successful in my artwork! That it would mean being self sufficient, bread winner, ultimate provider, captain of my ship, the big dog, the one in charge. More than this..the one responsible if it all failed.

I had grown up with the idea that I would be a mom, someone else would provide for me. My job was to be a parent! I have discovered that that is not the reality in my life, that someone will provide all for me. When I quit fighting the universe on this and took the reigns to my wagon and Let Fly..well things started happening. I started to find myself..yes Sarah..the real me under all of the other labels..some I adore, but are only parts of me. I needed the true me to be whole. So when I quit fighting the concepts of old..someone else will take care of me. When I quit being angry about it and just let go..the things I dreamed of began to come to me. Am I there I am walking in that direction. On step in front of another..slow and steady wins the race. I am getting there! So my question today..what has kept you, or is keeping you from your own personal success? Please share with us if you would like to!!

I need coffee and a banana muffin, no nuts please! Can I get you something?Thank you for coming today. As always what you have to say touches my heart!!

Namaste, Sarah

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A New Little Project..

Ree Drummond

One of my favorite places to visit during the week is Ree Drummond's blog Pioneer Woman. She is having a photography/ photo book contest this week.."Faces". I am being brave and threw my little book into the pot in hopes she might find my work interesting. There will be hundreds of entries. So I thought I would share it with you and see what ya thought of my little book of faces.

Wishcast Wednesday...

Our darling Jamie has asked us today..."What do we wish to experience?" Well..honestly today..I just want to feel better again..I still am not myself. It isn't helping that I have kiddos here all day, every day. There has been no time to rest. But I know I will feel better I guess I will look for something deeper here.

I wish to experience more balance between the stress that seems huge right now in every area of my life and the fun relaxed time. I feel like I am running from one thing to the next..never quite finishing what I was doing, before I rush to the next fire. My platter is too full and I wish to experience a plate again. I would like to do that without loosing the things I enjoy doing. Because as women..isn't that what we always do..let go of the things that give us pleasure first? I don't mind a full plate..honestly I like it! Just not disorganized like it is at present. I can go with the flow pretty well when it all goes to hell..but when this happens makes me crazy. I just can't seem to get my feet under me for more than a day or two. So..I am thinking I need to stop and breathe and organize my thoughts and figure out what to say no to and quit being so hard on myself when things are not the dishes or the laundry or the paperwork or....well you know what I mean. So I wish to experience some breathing room and more balance in my life. What do you wish to experience? Namaste, Sarah

Sunday, November 1, 2009

My Apologies....

Hi all. I am going to cancel our Quilting Bee for today. I am sorry head is so painful, I can't imagine anything I write would be worth reading. I have the flu...yes the lovely flu. After a week of fighting it has caught up with me. I'm guessing it was the holiday parties most of the day on Friday at the kid's school. Then the four eleven year old boys who spent the night for Fox's birthday that evening..not sleeping. Pretty much just did me in. It has gone right to my head and left ear. I feel...well basically wicked horrid!! So I am begging off today. Would you kindly come by and see me next week? Thanks guys!
Hugs, Sarah