Wednesday, December 31, 2008


This is Dixie. She was, in my opinion, abused by being kept in a cage 23 hours a day!! She is 10 months old and a beautiful pure bred Afghan. I tried to find a home for her but was unable to do so. So what choice did I have but to keep her!!!???

With Dixie I now have NINE dogs!! UGGHHH!!! Oh well, I still think I like dogs more than most people!! LOL!! She is a handful though - a REAL handful.


I hope the New Year will be one of health and progress for everyone! I can't believe the year is over!! Lord tims is going by so fast!

Anyway, in a previous post I had told you about a project I wanted to do for my dad. He gave me all the letters he had received from his parent since 1965 when we left Cuba until they died.

I knew how hard it was for him to give them up but he says he is afraid that if something happens to him they will be tossed and he just can't stand that idea. He knows I will always treasure them.

I bought a large (16x20) shadow box and decorated it with vintage paper and dried roses. I then make color copies of the letters and tore off the most touching parts of the letters. I added pictures of my grandparents (who I never met) and wrote a note to my dad that said:

"I can't even start to imagine the pain you felt in leaving your family behind to give us a better life. I hope the pride you feel in your children somehow compensates for the hurt suffered by you and your parents. Always know that I am forever grateful for your sacrifice and love and respect you more than you know."

I expected him to get a little emotional (my dad is not the overly emotional type). What I did not expect was for him to break down sobbing. It killed me to see him sobbing like that but I am still very glad I did this for him.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


This is the most amazing thing I have seen in a very long time. It made me cry when I saw it, not of sadness, but of awe at God's magic. In awe of His gift to this young man - the testimonials of strength. PLEASE take the time to view it and whenever you think you have it bad, whenever you are overwhelmed by economic stress, whenever you feel depressed..... Thank God for his love for you.

(highlight the url and right click to be taken to this amazing video)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


I look at the calendar and grimace.... December 16th!!! UGGHHH!! Mind you, I am never "early" for Christmas like some of my more OCD friends, but I have NEVER been this late!!! I had a trial scheduled for December 23rd (how awful is that?) but it was continued until January so at least I don't have that to worry about but how the HELL can it possibly be 9 days until Christmas????

I had SUCH good intentions!! Was going to do SO many things!!! But can I wrap good intentions and put a bow on it? NOT!! So here I am .... in a funk.... refusing to stress! I marvel at the fact that I have not bought ONE SINGLE PRESENT.... have not made ONE SINGLE decision on the menu for our Christmas Eve "Pachanga" (after all we ARE Cuban and Christmas Eve has to be an all out party!) which I am hosting as I have for the past 15 years! Think maybe hot dogs and hamburgers??? Don't think so! We MUST have a whole pig (head and all) which MUST be made in a pit (which takes 13 hours to cook - hey! it's 60 pounds of pork okay!?) There MUST be all the traditional foods and desserts.... Can anyone say CATERERS?

The only thing I AM going to do regardless of HOW and WHEN is a present for my Dad that I have had on my mind for months now. I was at my dad's house a few months ago (he had just had a stroke) and he was coming to grips with his mortality I guess and he gave me a whole BAG full of letters he had received from his father (his mother couldn't write) from 1965 when we left Cuba until he died in November of 1975. My dad has taken care of and protected these letters all these years and the importance of him giving them to me for safekeeping was not lost on me. I bought a 16x20 shadow box frame (it opens from left to right. I want to copy some of these letters (I SWEAR reading them makes me cry each time I pick them up) and collaging them in this frame with scattered pictures of my grandfather and my grandmother (who I never met). You have to read these letters to understand but I will translate a short snippet of one of these letters:

Mother's Day 1966

My son:

As I write you these lines, my heart is heavy with your mother's sadness.
Last night while we were laying in bed, she cried out to the God she has
so much faith in and asked him to open the skies so that she could see
your face. She cried and told me she doesn't understand a world where
she can't see or speak to her child.....

Just translating that puts a lump in my throat. What kind of love did my Father feel for us that he left his ENTIRE family behind to get us out of that condemned island? So you see.... I HAVE to find the time to make this for him.

Monday, December 15, 2008


One of my very favorite groups (actually the very first ATC group I joined!) is having a give away to celebrate the owners' 4 year blog anniversary! The give away is for some wonderful new collage sheets scheduled to be released on January 1st. They are beautiful Valentine's images which I KNOW you will all love. It's easy to win too! All you have to do is visit Mel's blog ( and leave her a comment as to which ATC posted there you like the most! (The one shown here is my favorite!).

While you're at it visit our group and the Paper Imagery store at!

Friday, December 12, 2008


I have gotten a few comments on my blog about how great my Tim Holtz tags look!!! LADIES, THEY ARE NOT MADE BY ME!!!! LOL!!!! I copy them from Tim's Blog so everyone can see them when they come on my blog!!! I have not done ANY of them yet!!! THANK you for even THINKING I did them though!!! LOL!!!! I will post mine when I do them and I definitely will!!! ALL the ones on my blog right now are TIM'S tags!!!!



I just couldn't find time to get on the computer yesterday so I saw these two tags today. Yesterday's tag, Day 11 is okay - not my favorite. But Day 12 is absolutely spectacular!!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


I am a HUGE James Patterson fan. I have read all of his books and always feel that the latest one is the "best". But this last book, Cross Country, tops every other one of his books. It is simply fantastic. The background to his novel is Africa, with it's internal warfare, abuse and poverty. This book TRULY made a huge impact on me and I recommend it to everyone. If you have never read James Patterson, you are missing out on an amazing writer - and if you read CROSS COUNTRY you will be hooked.

(I am now ready Black Friday by James Patterson and, again, he outdoes himself in this fast moving story about a terrorist attack on Wall Street.)


Claudine Hellmuth ( has this beautiful Christmas Village project on her blog. She gives you step my step instructions which are truly easy to follow and I can attest to the fact that her products are spectacular!


This is so gorgeous! Got to try it! Coincidentally on some of my groups we've been playing with the mini-misters and the distress ink "mists". It's addictive!!! If you add more than one color of the perfect pearls you can come up with a great color!! I have over 40 misters with all different colors in them!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Despite being totally and completely exhausted as I sit here and write this (just got home from the office since 8 this morning!), I had to take a moment to share with you how truly blessed I feel.

As I had already mentioned, I spent the whole day Saturday with 3 wonderful ladies. We spent the day making Xmas cards and just "playing' and it was so great! Patty brought me a present on Saturday "just because" and those are always the special ones aren't they? There was no reason for it - not for my birthday (which, unfortunately is December 21) or for Xmas - just because! How awesome is that!!?

On Monday I won a blog give away on my friend Eileen's blog (you have to go check her out, she is FABULOUS: http://artsaveslive s-paperqueen. She made this absolutely fabulous Christmas tag and I won it!!

Now today I win the give away on Tim's Blog. AND this afternoon I get a beautiful Xmas bouquet of flowers (WITH candy canes!) from Patty and Linda! Can life POSSIBLY get any better? I will go to bed tonight thanking God for these wonderful ladies and for soooooooooo many others I have me through this marvelous hobby!!!




CONGRATS TO YESTERDAY'S WINNERS.(please email me your contact info)
Okay, I know I say it all the time but this is DEFINITELY my favorite! Maybe as complicated or technique intensive as others, but it s my favorite!!!
Posted by: Elena Vigil-Farinas - December 08, 2008 at 4:48 PM

WOO HOO!!!! I won the give-away in Tim's blog yesterday!!! How very COOL is that!!! I hadn't even gone on his site yet and one of my online buddies sent me an email congratulating me!! Love it! Gotta love this guy!

Take a look at today's tag! It just keeps getting better!

Monday, December 8, 2008


Okay, this is DEFINITELY my favorite. Much more simple than some of the rest and much less convoluted techniques but it is absolutely my favorite!

Sunday, December 7, 2008


Very cool right? The technique Tim uses for the snow on this card is the same technique he taught in Ft. Lauderdale in May but with sand for a beach theme. I've used the technique with sand several times since then but it would not have occurred to me to use it for snow!

Saturday, December 6, 2008


Jodi, Patty and Linda came over today to play! I thought we would do the Tim Holtz tags but we ended up doing Christmas Cards instead! Jodi made the prettiest card - I just had to copy it! Can't think of a better way to spend my day than with these three wonderful women! (When I get one of the Christmas cards done I will post it here.)


They just keep getting better and better! At least this one is much easier to do than yesterday's!!! Love the Prima Printables. They are very inexpensive and look amazing. Marisol (my daughter in law to be) and I took classes with Tim in Ft. Lauderdale in May and he introduced us (at least the two of us) to these printables. You paint them with the alcohol inks and they look amazing. Of course the one he used in this tag is the ONLY one I don't have!!!

Friday, December 5, 2008


What else can you say but WOW!!! I'm not sure I like the pearl fringe at the bottom but the rest of the tag is definitely over the top! Lots of technique too!

Thursday, December 4, 2008


I spend 80% of my "studio time" on the computer or "organizing and re-organizing what just can not be organized!!!! Too much stuff for one room. Oh well... I love it here!

It's been a tough month and I NEED to create something! Anything!!! I have a major creative block right now and it's really annoying the heck out of me! Tim's tags will be a great start to recharge and my two partners in crime, Patty and Linda are coming over on Saturday to make them!! I can't wait. Patty and Linda actually work in the courthouse where I practice and weeks will go by when I don't have a minute to stop in and just say HI. I enjoy their company so much and I know they feel the same.

My husband put up the first Christmas decorations today. He's really into Christmas all of a sudden ... probably because of our granddaughter. It's so wonderful to see Christmas through the eyes of a child - it makes you realize that despite all the problems and all the pressure there is something so wonderful about Christmas... So as of tomorrow (today I am way too tired!! LOL!!) I WILL get with the program! Stay tuned for things to come!!!


I have not been able to get to my computer all day today and just went on Tim's site to see the new tag. I love the vintage look of it! It's whimsical and just gorgeous. I am familiar with Hellmuth's new line and love everything about it but this can be done without it... I love the whole musical sheet over the numbers... if you don't have the metal numerals you can also use the grunge numbers which have beautiful shapes - after all your covering it up anyway!! And when you mist it, instead of the metal showing, what will show is whatever color you tint the grunge (I would imagine that if you tint the grunge with the Silver Dauber paint from his line it should give a quite similar look). I LOVE the grungeboard! I have tons and tons of it and use it all the time with the Sizzix. Now to go find some beautiful Santa & Me pictures!!! My granddaughter has not taken a picture with Santa yet.... I guess he's not so adorable to a 2 year old because she flees in panic when she sees him!! From a safe distance she yells at him "hohoho"!!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Wow! Every time I look at the calendar.......

I am amazed that we are so close to Christmas!!! Where did this year go???!!!!


This is one of my favorite Santa Stamps!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Isn't this gorgeous!!!??? I think I like these even more than last year's tags!!!

Monday, December 1, 2008


DAY ONE!!!! How great is this tag!? The best part is I have all the materials needed to do it!!! I am going to try to do them quickly so I dont' fall behind! Don't miss out on this great project!!! Tim's step by step instructions are on his typepad site!

Sunday, November 30, 2008


I have purchased and devoured Kelly Rae Robert's book TAKING FLIGHT.

What an unbelievably inspirational work! I recommend it to everyone - artist or not! You have to read about the Whispers Journal! We all need one and I am going to start mine right after the holidays. Her work is so beautiful..............


I just read that Tim Holtz will be starting his 12 Tags of Christmas 2008 tomorrow! Last year's tags were so great! I only did 4 mind you!!!LOL!! No time! They are very time-consuming and I started too late into it. He teaches some great techniques with these tags and I recommend them to everyone who loves his work as much as I do!

If I can actually get them done I will post them as we go along!


Well, tomorrow will be the services for Nick. I will attend and say goodbye to my friend. He would be there to say goodbye to me if it was the other way around.

You know, I am truly so blessed. I have such great friends. I have a family that although has its' share of problems like every other family, is wonderful. I have a profession that I love even after all these years. I'm certainly lucker than most.

I refuse to start a New Year sad or depressed. It will just set the tone for the rest of the year! My grandmother always said that instead of mourning a person we lost we should thank God that we had them in the first place. My grandmother was totally uneducated, could not read or write. But she was the wisest person I've ever known. I miss her every single day of my life.

I joined a MAJOR project on one of my swap groups, ArtTechniques. It's called a FAT BOOK and it is just too cool. There are 120 people in the "swap". Each person picks a technique to "teach" and creates a sample and instructions on a 4x4 card. Since there are 120 people in the group, you have to do the same card 120 times! I chose the Spirelli technique. I learned it from a good friend in Canada, Pam Barnes, and I love it so much it was easy to choose this technique as my contribution. At the end of the project we each have 120 technique "how to" cards! It's not due until February but given my schedule and my life style, I am starting them this week!!!!

Give everyone you love a hug and a kiss. Say hello to people you don't know on the street... you may make their day.


Thursday, November 27, 2008


I've lost a friend, and Monroe County has lost a wonderful and caring deputy. Deputy Sheriff Nick Pham died yesterday, November 26th, 2008, the day before Thanksgiving, in the line of duty as a result of a traffic accident. Nick died a little after noon time on a beautiful day in Islamorada doing what he loved. Nick was 38 years old.

Nick was one of the first friends I made when I came to live in Key Largo. He had a heart of gold. He was kind to everyone he came across and was a loyal and loving friend to me. I am out of town at the moment and only found out about his death late last night. I still can't get my head around it. What a horrible loss for me, for all his friends, for our community and especially for his family.

I've never met Nick's wife or children but he loved them so much. He had been devastated when his wife left him and he was just starting to breath again. We spoke about it often. He had the children and his death is made so much more sad because of it.

Wow.... what an epiphany when this happens. The realization that we truly are here only until God wants us to be. I truly felt love for Nick and will miss him. I hope that God has him in his arms and that He is able to give his family the strength to get through this. If I am so affected by the death of this dear man.... I can only imagine the pain of his family.

I'll miss you Nick.

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Moment to Give Thanks

I haven't been able to really work on my art lately - I just HATE it when real life, work and responsibility get in the way of what I really want to do!! LOL!!

But I do have the time to be thankful - at least once a day! Things are tough right now for everyone in this great country - things are not easy. But if things were always easy we wouldn't know how to appreciate what we have!

As a foreigner welcomed into this country with open arms and given the opportunities that I've been given, I am so appreciative of this country. I go back to Cuba once in a while to visit my family and every time I come back I want to the kiss the ground (and my father!!). For those born here, I can honestly tell you that we, as foreigners do not take anything for granted.

Are times tough? Sure! Are people losing their homes every day of the week? Unfortunately yes. But we can go out and rent a place to live - this country still gives us that opportunity where in other countries, like Cuba, you do not have that choice. You can not just "rent" a home or even less "buy" one. We live in a country where we will have a home again - we just need to live through a crisis which, although more serious for some than for others, is nevertheless a crisis this country has lived through and conquered before.

No matter what our political affiliations, we have to be positive about our country and the man that was elected to represent it. Our prayers have to be with him and his family - for God to give him the wisdom and strength to lead us into better times. Time and faith will lead us out of this mess and PLEASE BELIEVE ME when I tell you that despite our problems, this is the greatest, most open, most accepting country in the world.

So on Thanksgiving - for at least that one day of the year - take a look around at your children, your grandchildren, your family and friends and thank God over and over again for what you have and for being American.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A new member of the family!

My brother's son Eric and his girlfriend Lucy had a baby boy on Monday! Elias Vigil. The ONLY Vigil boy to carry on the name !!! Woo HOO!!! He weighed a hefty 9lbs 12oz and looks exactly like my nephew! Now I am not only a grandmother but a great aunt twice over!! Very cool!!! Welcome Elias!! Love you already!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Quote for the day.......... (Love these!!)

"People will forget what you said, people will for get what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." (author unknown)

Be careful with your words said in a moment of frustration or anger - you can't take them back.

Friday, November 14, 2008

A great quote to share...........

"Dreaming permits each and everyone one of us to be quietly and safely insane every night of our lives." William Dement

Great quote huh? It's those of us that continue to be insance when we wake up that are the problem!!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

It's that time of year AGAIN!

Wow! Two weeks until Thanksgiving - blink - it's Christmas and another year has gone. I am still amazed to wake up and see November on my calendar! I'm usually "mother christmas" - I love Christmas and enjoy decorating our house for the holidays. Our family decorates during the Thanksgiving weekend. It's always a huge event at our house. I'm not really into the christmas mode yet and thought I'd jumpstart it with a Christmas ATC. Now how can anyone look at this kid and not think "brat"?!!! He reminds me of my brother Julio at that age!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Button Fairies!

I guess the silver lining to having pneumonia is the time off from work and the fact that everyone leaves you alone! If you can just stay awake between the codeine and the prednizone you can actually create something! One of my on-line friends, and a wonderful artist named Di turned me on to these button fairies weeks ago. I was having trouble with the wings though because I wanted a semi-transparent, etheral look to the wings but I didn't want vellum. I wanted them to stand and look beautiful but I didn't want cardstock. You know how it is.

Anyway, last night in between feeling miserable and feeling awful I started thinking about this wonderful material I had used about 2 years ago called Fantasy Film. I had used it in a crop in Lafayette, Louisiana at my favorite store in all the world, Treasured Memories, and of course, me being me, had bought tons of it but had never used it again. So today I made my wings using the fantasy film and am thrilled with the results! Tell me what you think! Of course the first one is Kaitlynn and the other three are images from Paper Imagery Designs.

Friday, November 7, 2008

A looooooooong and Exhausting Day at Disney

Disney is my favorite place in the world... and it now is so much more fun with Kaitlynn! We spent an entire day at Disney recently (10:00 am to CLOSING)and in these pictures you can see how she starts out excited and energized picture on the right); can't decide what she wants so I buy her everything; and in the last picture she is literally walking while sleeping!!!! Too funny!

Halloween Lady Bug

My poor granddaughter had 103 temperature on Halloween! Bummer! My daughter, however, insisted on dressing her up and taking her out. At every house she would say "twick or tweet" but she said it so sadly!!! Poor thing. She was still a beautiful "bug" though!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Taking Flight

What an amazing book by artist Kelly Rae Roberts! I have only just started reading it and it has already made such an impact on me. Wow! This is not a "how to" book, it's more like a "find yourself" book which speaks not only to me, but I am sure to many many women.

She writes about having the outwardly "perfect life" - a college education, a career she enjoys, a wonderful marriage to a wonderful man, the all important "house with a white picket fence" - and feeling like something is missing. Come on, we've all been there haven't we?

She speaks of a journal she creatd "The Journal of Whispers". Isn't that an incredible name? It's a journal about the "whispers" in our soul, in our hearts ... that little voice that whispers "if only I could....".

That really touched a cord in me. I have a very good life.. a career I've always loved (although lately I really haven't enjoyed), an income which allows for a lot of extras in life, a husband who loves me to death, wonderful children, a wonderful home, motorhome, BMW... all the trappings of "success"... but those whispers........... wow...... they are so there.

What are my "whispers" about? If only I could go to Tuscany and rent a villa for 3 months - 90 days to just create art, read books and disconnect. No TV, no radio, no email - nothing. If only I could .... be more daring in the things I try... If only I could.............

Well, you get the drift. I've worked so hard all my life that I just want to STOP. Know what I mean? Just stop and breathe. I've never been able to do that. To not wear a watch any more because there is nowhere I need to be.... to not talk if I don't want to..... To not be responsible for anything or anyone but myself. Wow.

Monday, November 3, 2008

More Flappers!

I usually take pretty decent picture. Tonight it's just not working for me! These are some more Flappers I did tonight. As you can see glitter, feathers, sexy ladies... it must have been a wonderful era in our history!


These are 4 of the 9 cards I made for the swap: Flappers of the Roaring 20's! It was such a feminine, sexy time for women. Despite the great depression that followed, these women were adventurous, sexy, smart and sassy! I had such a great time making these. Maybe I will post some others when I get them done. The pictures didn't come out as clear as I would have liked but I am quite happy with the cards. Let me know what you think!

There is always something new!!!!!

Every time I feel like I've done "enough" different things and that I'm DONE with my curiousity, along comes a new challenge!!! Today I was introduced to Dotees! Little handmade dolls (sizes range from 3" to 6") which are all the rage and absolutely ADORABLE!! Think about it!! The possibilities are endless!!!!

I MUST find some discipline though! I have a couple of swaps pending (some that I will admit I totally forgot about!) and have to finish them TODAY. I have the xmas exchange for PID for which I MUST make the "goodies" (Can't say what I'm going to make yet because my PID buddies read my blog and I don't want to ruin the surprise!). I KNOW what I want to do which I guess is good.... just have to find the time to do it!!

I finished 5 of my Flapper cards yesterday. Five to go. I'm quite happy with them and will be positing them this evening.

There are soooooooo many things I want to do but this pesky "working" thing just gets in the way! WHERE IS THE LOTTO!!!?? Would God think me unreasonable if I were to pray for the lotto so I can sit at home and play???? YOU THINK!?

Oh well, I guess I will just have to continue to take "sick" days when I can get away with it!

Hope everyone's holidays are starting off with a "bang" of creativity! I'm ALREADY in holiday mode and that is not good..................

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Vintage Coca Cola Swap

I am hosting a Vintage Coca Cola swap in both ATC World and Advanced ATC UK. I love the theme and had fun making the cards. These are some of the ones I finished today.