Monday, December 28, 2009


My uncle, my dear, dear beloved uncle died on December 2nd, 2004 also from cancer. While visiting the cemetery to leave him some flowers, I realized that I, and I think most people, read the dates of birth and death of every plot we go by... oh, she was so young...

And I realized that the dates aren't what's important. What's important is the DASH. ADALBERTO VIGIL July 12, 1935 - December 28, 2009. His date of birth and death are not what matters. What we did with that dash - with the time between our birth and our death.. that is what really matters. It could be a short life or a long life... What matters is the dash.

My dad was an unbelievable man... he was a wonderful father, brother, son, friend...And the saddest thing for me? That I know for a fact that nobody, not my children, my husband, NOBODY will ever love me as totally and as unconditionally as he did.

I will miss my father every day of my life; and I will be grateful that he was my father and that his blood runs through my veins.


I am so gratful to have been sitting at his side holding his hand when he took his last breath. I truly believe he is in a better place.. a place with no pain... a place where he is reunited with all those he has loved and lost.

He died at 2:24 pm.


He is still alive. He can hear everything we say. He reacts with anxiety when he hears the voice of any of his children. Tears roll down the sides of his face as we talk to him. And he is still alive.

I am tortured by the fact that we treat our animals with more humanity than we treat human beings. If we have a pet, a beloved pet, that is sick and suffering we don't just sit there watching him/her until she finally dies. We take this beloved animal to a vet who gives him/her a shot that ends its life humanely. Meanwhile, we are expected to sit by this man's side day after day, listening to his chest rattling with the liquid that is building up in his lungs; seeing him with open eyes and not knowing whether he can see us or not, waiting for his nails and feet to turn blue to determine whether or not the oxygen level is decreasing, taking his blood pressure to see if it is coming down ... all of this to see if he will die soon.

This is BARBARIC. NOBODY should die like this. Why can't we just bring a physician to end it? To stop the torture for him and for us? Why do we insist that euthanasia is "wrong"!!! THIS is wrong. It's absolutely horrific!

He can hear me. I whisper in his ear that I love him and he looks at me... he groans because he can't respond, he cries from what I imagine is impotence and fear. This is not acceptable. It's not acceptable.

Saturday, December 26, 2009


He is still holding on. Sittng by his bedside, the infamous "death rattle" getting louder and louder it feels like you just can't take it any more. You KNOW you will never forget that sound... the sound of death. But you sit there and you hold his hand and you continue to speak to him. The critical care nurses tell us that his hearing is the last to go. Yesterday he did not speak a word but he opened his eyes when he heard my voice or that of my brothers. We talk to him, tell him it's okay for him to go... that we are okay... that we will miss him but that we want him to go. Fearful that telling him those words will cause more anxiety in him, terrified that if we DON'T say those words he will feel alone. Just don't know what the right answer is.

Thursday, December 24, 2009


We brouught my father home to die yesterday. The trip from the hospital in the ambulance with him was surreal. It doesn't seem like it could possibly be happening.

What a humbling experience this has been. To love someone so much and to not be able to do anything but sit there and hold his hand... the feeling of desperations, impotency, rage, fear... it's all so tangled up and so totally overwhelming. The entire experience has been a life altering experience for me. From terror and disbelief on diagnosis... terror... anger - so much anger... resignation. From praying for a miracle... to praying for more time... to praying that God take him quickly.

I am with him... I just hold his hand. For the past few days he has been saying goodbye to us. Telling us how much he loves us.. how proud he's always been to be our father... how he has never regretted leaving his family behind to bring us to this country... When I was 16 years old I gave him one of those diplomas you find in a Hallmark Store that says "FATHER OF THE YEAR". My brothers and I signed it and gave it to him for Father's day back then. He has always had it in a frame in his bedroom. Today he asked me to take the "diploma" with me. That it is one of his "most prized possessions" and to promise him I would always keep it. It just about broke my heart.

He is saying goodbye. Words that are so wonderful and so awful to hear. My dad has never been an "emotional" or "mushy" man. He's always told us "I love you" but has never been comfortable with overt displays of emotion. To see him at his most vulnerable... to see how this disease has taken from him his last ounce of dignity...

I believe there is a God... I believe it to the bottom of my soul. I believe he will be reunited with those he loved and lost... that his mother will be at the gate with her arms open to him... that his Father will be there to hug him and welcome him home.

I HAVE to believe that. I have to believe this in order to have the courage to let him go to them.

The doctor has suggested a morphine drip which will ultimately stop his heart. My poor brother - Julio - is fighting this. He wants me to feed him... even if he can't eat or hold anything down... He wants me to "make" him sit out in the living room even when he can barely move... He just can't let go. So I have made the decision for us. As of today my father will receive the morphine drip which will help him leave us sooner... will help him move on to the arms of the grandmother I never knew. Will release my father from the pain and indignity of this horrible disease. This wll be my last gift to my dad.

I know I am making the right decision ... I know I am... but it is the hardest decision I have ever had to make.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Karen is one of the wonderful friends participating in the I DREAM IN COLORS journal. Her colors are brown, orange and cream. She chose a theme for her journal - Circus. Not necessarily the Wringling Brothers type but the Circus of life. How do we juggle our lives as women? How do we walk a daily tightrope with all the demands that are placed on us?

I had a really really hard time with this. I don't know if it was the colors, the circus theme or just where I am in my life but I finally got them done today and am pleased with the result.


This morning I received a wonderful email from a friend, Sox. I will admit to waking up feeling unbelievably sad this morning. Wanting Christmas to just not happen this year - a real life Scrouge I know. But reading this email for some reason made me feel so much better. Sox is right, this is not the most awful Christmas of my life... it is the most beautiful one. Thank you Sox. You have no idea what your words have healed in me this morning:


You know, Christmas is relative. Christmas is a day. Christmas is about love and sharing and being true.
And you have that like you'll never have at other Christmases, I'm pretty sure.

All of you are raw, and open, and full of flowing love for this man.
It seems like an awesome Christmas to me.

I went to your blog and I read your entry about death.

I've attached a Photoshop montage I did about death. You 'get' death. It's only heartbreaking to US who are left behind. Out of selfishness, because we won't have that person around anymore.

Or we could focus on what is good, which is all these wonderful bittersweet days that you have with your Dad.

Mine was in France, he got to the hospital, was there 3 days, I was due to come over to France on the Thursday, he did on the Tuesday.

I know you're taking advantage of NOW. Appreciating NOW.

It's a long, painful, drawn out agony if you let it. Or it's a celebration of this wonderful man, your deep love for him, and the joy to be able to look after him, that somewhere (willing or not, aware or not), he gives you the opportunity to be of service to him.

I celebrate with you the most amazing Christmas of your life.
Big love.


I am always taken aback by the love and friendships of these wonderful wonderful women.

Friday, December 18, 2009


With the love and encouragement of my friend Tracy I made this to give my brothers for Christmas. I am going to frame it and give them each one. I love the idea of the Guardian Angel protecting my dad. Thanks for the love Tracy.


Still struggling to keep sadness at bay. So not ready for Christmas. Thank you all for your emails asking about my dad. He is hanging in there. This picture was taken last weekend. When you look at his picture which I posted in November and you look at him now... well, pictures are worth a thousand words aren't they? I just wanted to take a moment to thank you all for your love, prayers and concerns,

We are all trying to keep our spirits up. There are a lot of small children in this family that need and deserve a Christmas.

Saturday, December 5, 2009


My dad was released from the hospital Thursday. He was rushed to emergency again this morning because he was vomiting blood. Just not good. Part of the process... still horrible. Thank you so much for your emails and your prayers. We really need them. He is really scared. Funny, I would never have imagined my dad scared of anything. During his hospital stay last week we talked so much and despite the horror of this disease, I am so glad we are getting an opportunity to have these conversations.

On a happier note, this is my granddaughter Kaitlynn's very first school picture! She is 2 1/2 years old and attending Kiddie College. She loves it! She loves to have her picture taken (grandma got her used to it).

NEW TOY ALERT: I've been lax about posting new toys but this one is one that I can't wait to play with. (Yes, this one I actually WILL take out of the box!!!) The FLIP is really small (portable) and will let me post videos if I choose to. It can tape up to 120 minutes of video and that is really awesome. I really want it to just take videos of Kaitlynn and put them on DVDs. She is growing up so fast that and we do not have ONE SINGLE VIDEO of her. Can you believe that? Pictures I have enough to wallpaper the entire Empire State Building. But no videos. This new little handy dandy toy will solve that!

Also new this week.... drum roll please..... LYRA Aquacolor Watersoluable Crayons. They are really great crayons but still like the Caran de Ache better. PAN PASTELS ..... LOTS AND LOTS OF PAN PASTELS!!! Absolutely love these things. I got two new sets (20 each) the Shades and the Portraits. If you have never tried these go buy a couple! You will want them all!! I have over 60 of them and still don't have all the ones I want! Received the MicroGlaze everyone is raving about - will be trying that soon.

Finally, a new art book which I am really enjoying. It's called CREATIVE TIME AND SPACE (Making Room for Making Art) and has articles by different artists and their struggles for TIME!!! Sound familiar? Really good read.

Friday, December 4, 2009


Okay, so here's the deal. I have never been a "depressed" or "negative" person. Quite the contrary. I always try to be grateful for what I have and not stress the things I can't change. Obviously my father's illness has rocked the very foundations of my life. I have been drowning in sadness and negativity over the past two months and I've had it. This is not ME and it's not who I want to be. I am also not honoring my father or using my time with him in a positive way by allowing myself to drown in a situation I can not change.

Yes, it truly SUCKS for him to be dying of cancer. Yes, it truly SUCKS that I will lose my father much sooner than I am ready to. But how does this constant state of "mourning" make it any better???? It doesn't. And, frankly, it's selfish. I hate to see my dad suffer and basically wither away to nothing but the reality is that I hurt for ME - for MY loss.

There is no way to describe this situation as anything but tragic - there just isn't. But the real issue here is that I am so LUCKY to have had him as my dad. And to have had him for as long as I have (I will be 49 this month). Many people don't have their parents this long. He has raised three kids that have not given him one second of worry or heartache, he has 7 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren. The day we put our dad to rest NONE of us will have one single regret. Isn't that a blessing in and of itself?

This is the way I have chosen to now deal with my dad's illness. To stop mourning and to just be grateful.

Please take a moment to view this video where the song takes you into the frame of mind we should all live in.


A friend of mine sent me this video today. It's by Tony Robbins. It's a little over 17 minutes and probably the best, most positive and productive 17 minutes you will spend today.

I am not much of a "guru" follower but I am so glad I took the time to view this. Life is hard right now. For me for obvious reasons and for so many others for a myriad of reasons from health issues to economic crisis. This video should be everyone's New Year resolution.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


This made me smile in an otherwise horrible day. Hope it does the same for you. Maybe this exemplifies what I've always believed "LIFE ISN'T ABOUT WAITING FOR THE STORM TO PASS... IT'S ABOUT LEARNING TO DANCE IN THE RAIN". Well, it's "raining" very hard in my life right now.... I need to figure out how to dance.


It's been a rough week. My dad had his 2nd chemo on Wednesday. He has been steadily degenerating and losing so much weight. He no longer has any muscle tone in his arms or legs; he has difficulty walking. It is staggering to see what this disease has done to him in so short a time. There are still many things to give thanks for - I haven't forgotten that - but with my dad on his way to the emergency room as I write this... it's hard to think about anything else.

I am posting a picture of my father taken about a year ago. He looks nothing like this now. He looks like he is 100 years old. But this man that you see here is my father. A wonderful father. A man who left everyone he every knew or loved - his ENTIRE family - without exception - to bring my brothers and I to the United States knowing he would never see his family again (he was never able to see his father again but when the flights to Cuba opened he did get to see his mother before she died). He spent his first sunrise in the United States washing plates in a kitchen in New Jersey. What a sacrifice he made for us! Only now as an adult, when I think about what he did do I realize the magnitude of his sacrifice.

My dad was always very strict. Edwardian strict!! I was not allowed to drive (women do not need to drive -men will take them where they need to go) and only got my driver's license after I got married! I was not allowed to wear jeans, ankle bracelets, makeup.... you name it. I was not allowed to go to movie theaters or "out' with friends. No such thing in my household! There were two telephones in my house, one in the kitchen and one in my parent's room. I was not allowed to sit down while I was on the phone because I would not be on the phone long enough to need to!

It was tough being his daughter in the 70's when everyone else got to do anything they wanted. It was TOUGH to take my MOTHER to my high school prom as my chaperone because that was the only way he would let me go. It was RIDICULOUS when my former husband and I had to take my grandmother with me THE DAY BEFORE MY WEDDING to make changes to the flower arrangements for the wedding (even though we had been married civilly for days!) because I was not allowed to be alone with him until AFTER the wedding! Yep! It was tough and I admit there were days I wanted to STRANGLE him! But from him I learned about loyalty and love for your family, about decency and self respect. About protecting those you love even against themselves.

I know that everyone feels their dad was the "best" dad in the world. Allow me this moment to share with you that this man, this very humble man who worked as a mechanic since he was 10 years old, who gave everything he ever had to his children is the best man I have ever known.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


I had a play date today with Patty and Linda - my scrapbooking buddies. I love these play dates and totally enjoy their company. They are both fantastic ladies and it's my privilege to call them my friends.

I actually did got some scrapbook layouts done today!! Woo HOO!! I'm about a year and half behind on my scrapbooking. It seems like journals and mixed media art take up all my time now.

Anyway, I worked on two of the JOURNAL OF DREAMS. I have Sue's here and finished hers. I also did a page for Gina even though I have not yet received her journal. Might as well get a head start right??

These are the two pages for the journals.

I also did 4 "mini cards" for a swap on The Sum of All ATCs group. They are the size of atc cards. They were quick and easy. They will be on their way to Lori on Monday.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Tracy and I are participating in the round robin journal JOURNAL OF DREAMS. Basically each artist makes one page in each person's handmade journal of dreams!

This is the page I made for Tracy. It's just fun and humorous and knowing Tracy she will get a kick out of it. I drew the woman ( be NICE now!! I'm NOT an artist!! LOL!!!) and used acrylic paints, sharpies, pan pastels, oil pastels and jelly roll pens on it so it was a lot of fun.

The pages is very large and didn't fit in the scanner so the bottom (which is cut off) says:

Look at it this way.... if you HAVE the chance to ride around in a new MERCEDES BENZ or your old reliable Honda...


(And I'm not talking about cars!!)

The Journal will now travel to Heather in the UK!!

A blog award!

My friend Tracy gave me this award on Monday. Tracy is not only a great artist but a great friend. I meet tons and tons of people in my profession and my life. Very rarely do I "connect" with someone the way I did with Trac. Although we had been on-line buddies for a long time, we actually "met" in July at Teesha Moore's PLAY retreat. I am so glad she went. Tracy is more of a vintage/dreamy artist - Zetti is not really her thing. She went because I asked her to and I am so glad she did. From the moment we met it was like we had known each other all of our lives. She is an incredible person and you guys should stop by and "meet her" on her blog at You will love her as much as I do.

Anyway, the idea behind this award is to pass it on to five other fun blogs and to write 5 things about yourself. So here goes:

1. I am blessed with a great husband, 4 children and a beautiful granddaughter who has me wrapped around her finger. Anyone who knows me at all knows my family comes before anything.

2. I am not really an "artist". I don't have any real talent and have to work hard to accomplish what I want. I just love art and love to play. I am always amazed at the wonderful work my friends do and learn from them every day.

3. I absolutely hate pettiness, bigotry and biasness. I have absoltuely no tolerance for it.

4. I am quite outspoken when I need to be. Nobody who has any contact with me can ever say they don't know where I stand on something. I make myself pretty clear!

5. I love the ocean... being near it... looking at it... smelling it... it relaxes me and makes me feel whole... but I can't get on a boat without getting TOTALLY seasick!!!

Now to go pass this fun award to five other bloggers!!!

Monday, November 9, 2009


I have always been enthralled by Zentangles. They are just so very cool. Last year I ordered a Zentangle Kit to learn how to make them. Well, after a year of the kit sitting on my shelf I finally decided to try it yesterday. I wanted to do SOMETHING but wasn't feeling very artistic so figured I'd try my hand at them.

These are my very first zentangles! I loved it. It was really fun and relaxing. I wasn't sure I could do them but there you go!

Sunday, November 8, 2009


I belong to several online art groups. I have enjoyed the friendships I've gained in these groups and have learned so much from all the talented women I come in contact with daily. But I am truly humbled by the love and kindness of all these women. I am amazed at the amount of "hugs" I have received from my online friends. I don't have the words to express how it has helped me in the past few weeks - and if you know me at all, you know I am never short on words.

I have had weeks to process my father's imminent death. Weeks to tamper down panic that has prevailed since my father's diagnosis on October 12th. My brother said something to me last week that really hit me. He said, "you know what we are doing right? We are already mourning him". And then it hit me. Like a truckload of concrete blocks. I am so busy mourning my father that I am losing sight of the time I have with him. Whether it's 2 months, 6 months or a year, I have made a conscience decision not to mourn him until I have to. I want to be able to use my time with him to let him know how loved he is. How proud I am to be his daughter. Time to ask him all the questions that I have never asked him before. To journal and write about all the family stories that he will take with him. I know it's easier said than done but I owe him that. I owe myself that.

And to all of you who drop by to say "hi" and to ask how he is.. thank you. Thank you so much. I have received dozens and dozens of cards, letters and emails from my "art community" family and they have made me realize that losing one single day with my dad will be such a waste.

I will also sit down in my studio this week and do what has always made me feel better... play with paper, paint, glue... well, I KNOW you guys understand me.


Monday, November 2, 2009


My father had his first chemo today. I have no words to express the fear we felt last night anticipating the worst today. They did not give him a full dose of the chemo because of the concerns they had of him not being able to tolerate it. But he did exceptionally well. He's had no negative reaction as of yet to the treatment and was talkative and in good spirits all day today.

Thank you so much for your thoughts and your prayers. I know he can't be cured of this insidious disease, but if we can just have him for a little while longer in relatively good health and quality of life we are very grateful.

Angels held his hand today and I thank God for this.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


First, thank you so very very much for all your support during this nightmare. I truly truly appreciate your prayers and thoughts.

My brothers and I received a call from my dad's doctor today. He suggested that the 3 of us be there on Monday for his first chemo treatment because he doesn't believe my father will survive it. I don't understand any of this. I just don't understand how a man can go from perfectly healthy one day to literally dying in 3 weeks. This is so unbelievable.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


I feel like I'm stuck in a nightmare. Yesterday I had to take my dad to the emergency room. He was in alot of pain and disoriented and just overall looking very scary. While I sat there looking at him lying in the emergency room it hit me like a ton of bricks that this is only the first of what will be many vigils. They gave him a stronger pain medication and sent us home. Like the doctor said - "given his situation, there is nothing we can do for him".

"The cancer has spread to your liver ,,,," . As the doctor gave my father his death sentence all I could do was watch his face. And that of my youngest brother. I already knew this but this time I was watching my father's face as he found out about it for the first time. The words made me feel cold all over... I thought I was going to faint. An interesting reaction given the fact I already knew. But now HE knows. Will he give up? Will he believe us when we act so positive that he will be around for a while yet?

As the doctor said this to him I wanted to get up and hug him. I wanted to hold him and tell him that we were going to wake up any minute... that this is not really happening. But had I gotten up and hugged him I could just see myself breaking into a million little pieces. Falling apart and knowing that they could not put me back together again. And my poor brother. The look of anguish, of pain on his face was more than I could take. He was working so HARD to keep it together, so hard to act like this was no more than a mechanic telling my dad he needed new tires for his car.

OMG. OMG. I have to get myself together. My father and my brothers need me. But I am grieving him already. I don't want to do that. I don't want to spend one minute of his life mourning him - I will have time to do that at his death. Everyone tells me to take strength and satisfaction from the fact that I've been a good daughter, that my brothers have been wonderful sons; that none of us have ever given him one day of pain. But I can't. I can't. All I can think about is that I will miss him every single day of my life.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I went to work today not because I wanted or needed to really but because if I stayed here all day just thinking about everything I was going to go nuts. I had several packages I received in the mail... things I bought.... swaps that I am hosting. And then I opened one from my friend Valerie Brincheck (owner of In that envelope was this beautiful bracelet! All the charms on it were made by Valerie and another friend from that group, Nancy Allen. Each and every charm was handmade by them. It made me want to cry. What a beautiful gift; how heartfelt and sincere!

The group had hosted a charms swap and Valerie made bracelets for everyone. I did not participate in the swap because, frankly, I have never made charms and was a little intimidated by it! I kept seeing all these gorgeous charms being made and was in awe of all the wonderful ideas these talented women had! I have to admit I had regretted NOT joining the swap! LOL!!!

And to receive these wonderful charms from these two ladies just made my day. It's like I told them earlier today, wearing it I realize that no matter how painful a day is, there are always wonderful generous people to reach out to you and say "I'm here and I love you".

Thank you Val and Nancy!!! I will treasure this always!


Thank you everyone for all your wonderful emails, thoughts and prayers. I am sorry if I am not responding to everyone - I just can't right now. But as I was sitting here today feeling angry at God.... a thought floated into my heart.... a thought that I truly believe He sent me... My daughter is pregnant with my second grandchild and she is due at the end of April. God is taking my father but giving me a new child to love. Coincidence? I really don't thik so.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


The doctors have handed down my father's death sentence today. The cancer has spread in to his liver, his lymph nodes, his neck.... everywhere. The speculation, the wishing and the hope is over. It's over for him. I just can't get my head around it.

Monday, October 19, 2009


So this is what it feels like. This is what it feels like to have absolutely no control over something. I don't like it. No, actually I HATE it. The shock is still there but now it's mixed with rage - but who to direct it to? It's mixed with fear - but how to calm it? It's mixed with guilt. How could we not have seen something was wrong? I see my dad today and I look at his picture of just a year ago and he's aged 10 years. How did we not see it? How could we not have seen that there was something very wrong with him? Would it have made a difference? I don't know. And it really doesn't matter. The answer to that question cannot be rational because the question itself is not rational. On one level I KNOW this.

Wow. What a horrible feeling to be totally helpless. What a humbling experience to realize that there are times in your life when no matter how desperately you want to control something ... how desperately you want to CHANGE something... there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. A new experience for me. Totally overwhelming.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


I used the altered photos in my Soul Journal today and these are the pages I completed.


The only thing that distracts me right now is art. I spent the entire day Friday with my friend Jacquie Valdespino - a fabulous artist and an even more fabulous lawyer. We spent the whole day in my "play room". It was great. I wasn't dwelling on my dad's illness and the results that we are waiting for with our hearts in a vise. The tests that will tell us if the cancer has spread.

Today I have my daughter and granddaughter here and they are like rays of sunshine. I joined an on-line workgroup SOUL JOURNALING ADVANCED TECHNIQUES. They are on week 4 and I started yesterday but am now almost caught up. The first class was just making your journal and adding pages to it for a really cool effect. The second class was about altering photos which I had fun doing; and the third class was about opening windows in our journal pages. That's as far as I got. Next on the agenda is making some cool tags to add to our journal. The Journal is what it sounds like - SOUL JOURNALING - journaling about feelings and things that we would probably not choose to journal about. I think it will be a great experience - especially now that my family is going through this crisis.

These are the altered pictures I did. The last three pictures are just regular pictures that I altered. They are all of my granddaughter Kaitlynn because her face makes me happy. The first 3 are pictures printed on my wonderful POGO Printer that Lee sent me!! They are 2x3 and self adhesive so they are absolutely perfect for journaling! You can take it wherever you go and print out your pictures while journaling! I LOVE it!! (Take a look at earlier post of this wonderful new toy!).

Thursday, October 15, 2009


I finished Lil's pages today. These are for our project THROUGH THE EYES OF AN ARTIST.


It's confirmed. My father has cancer and it doesn't look good for him. Tomorrow afternoon they are doing a scan to determine whether or not the cancer has metastasized. If it has not then there is a chance for a few years of decent life with chemo and radiation to shrink the tumor and remove it. If it has spread, then the options are much bleaker.

I am angry. I don't know why but I am so VERY angry. My father is such a good man. He has sacrificed his entire life for my brothers and I. He left his parents in Cuba for us - his siblings, his entire family. And to think that he will die like this makes me angry. Angry at life - angry at God. I don't want to feel anger, I want to accept God's will - whatever it is.

My father's illness will be a true test of my faith.

Monday, October 12, 2009


I have just finished the second page for Gina's I Dream in Color Journal. I got this quote from Teesha Moore during the retreat I attended and love it's simplicity and truth.

It is so much easier now that I have a scanner! I bought the HP Photosmart Touch Screen all in one and it is awesome. There are a few things that aren't working properly and it probably has to do with my not knowing how to properly install it on a Mac but I'll get there!

TIM HOLTZ Video Demos

Tim Holtz is probably the most talented mixed media artists out there. He is kind enough to prepare demo videos to show us how to do the things he does!!! Gotta love this guy! You can see all his video demos HERE.

Most of us either have all his products or are on our way to acquiring them so drop in and see all the great things you can do with his products!

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Yesterday I was told that my father, the strongest, most honest man I have ever known may have terminal cancer. He has a mass in his stomach which is growing more and more every day. His doctors fear for him. The look in their eyes, the sound of their voice more than their actual words crush me where it's hard to breath.

I haven't cried. Can't do that yet because to do so means that I have accepted this as TRUTH, as FACT. That my father will die a painful, agonizing death brought on by an insidious disease that takes the lives not only of those it claims, but of those who have to watch a loved one die. See, I've been there before. December 2nd will be the 5th anniversary of my uncle's death from liver cancer. A man who was more like a big brother, a dear friend, then my mother's brother. A man who died a death I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.

If I cry out loud it will confirm that this is really happening... that we now have to take our father's hand and hold him through this in the way he held us all our lives. If I cry I have to look at my brothers and say the words out loud .... I'm not ready to do that. Not yet.

My father does not know ... he is being told he has an ulcer which needs to be surgically removed. Why tell him now? Why cause the pain and the worry? There is always the chance that when they open him, when the surgeon takes my father's life into his hands, he will be able to remove it all - to excavate the demon that wants to take my dad from us. If he can't, if the disease has spread, there will be time enough for tears - time enough to tell him - time enough to..... is there really ever time enough to find acceptance? How? How do you accept losing the one man you can't replace in your life? My father is 74 years old... I'm not ready to lose him yet. And I am certainly not ready to watch him suffer.

So until the day we know whether or not it has spread... until the day we know whether or not my father will be taken from me by this awful disease, I will not cry. I will not cry and my tears will be the Elephant in the room.

Another Page For the Day

Constructive day. So many things whirling through my head that I don't want to think about. I lock myself in my studio when I feel like that ... alone but not lonely. Busy playing and surrounded by things that make me happy.

This is one of two pages I am doing for GINA GOODING for our I Dream In Colors project. I absolutely love this quote. It is so much fun to watch a page come together.


This is yet another awesome project hosted by Ali Brandist. Ali has become a zetti fan like me!!! ZettiZine (like MagaZine - get it?) is a fun project with six artists. Each of us makes 12 pages (5 1/2 x 8). Ali followed Teesha Moore's steps in creating zetti pages and the final step is journaling. We are each actually cutting 6 pages but we do them front and back. Once the pages are done we send one to each of the six artists. Al my pages are done but for the journaling. I started journaling today and this is my first of 12 pages for ZettiZine.

Hope you like it!

My frustration knows no bounds today!!! UGGHHH!! I have a new scanner - yes, SHOULD be a good thing!! It is some fancy HP touch screen thing (HP Photosmart C320n) which does everything but make me coffee in the morning! I somehow did something wrong in installing it and have been on hold with HP all day long!! Great products!! Lousy customer support.

Anyway, add to that the fact that I have decided to use only the MAC now and it makes for some real frustration!! Okay, this is one of the pages I did for Val's Through the Eyes of an Artist Journal. There is a second page which I scanned but now can't find in the MAC Stratosphere!!

Oh well, it will get better!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


There are so many MANY things I want to do and I just can't seem to find the time to do any of it! It is so frustrating! But I guess it could be worse - a lot worse - I could be unemployed! So thank God for the fact that I'm so busy!

Anyway, I received my Cricut Gypsy on Monday! It took two days to receive it! I haven't even opened the box yet but I will get to it and let you know how it works!

I have joined Sarah Whitmore's Soul Journaling and Advanced Soul Journaling classes. They are FANTASTIC! If any of you want to start to journal or are even experienced "art journalists" you should really look into her classes. She is amazing! She provides prompts for journaling which is sometimes all you need to get motivated. Well, they are on week 2 and I have not been able to do week 1 yet but I'm hoping I can catch up.

I was involved in a chunky book swap in the Advanced Artist Trading Cards Group with boudoir as a theme and these are a few of the 10 cards that I did for that. The zetti pages were done for two separate art journals with the theme Meditate and Create being sponsored by my friend Ali Brandist in my very favorite group, The Sum of All ATCs.

I'm hoping to get a lot done this week so I'll be back in a day or two!

Monday, October 5, 2009


My sister-in-art Lee Hynes from Australia sent me the most wonderful gift last week! I consider myself pretty up to date on new "gadgets" but this one was a new one on me. Lee sent me a POLAROID POGO (Click HERE to see it).

I had never seen this before. It is a portable printer that prints picture in a 2x3 size - perfect for journals!!! It doesn't require any ink cartridges because the paper brings the ink on it!! (Remember the old polaroids?). You can attach it to your camera or your phone! Basically, with this wonderful toy, wherever you are you can print a picture and put it in your journal! (Did I tell you that the pictures are adhesive!!!). It's the best gift I've ever gotten and I can't tell you how flattered I am that Lee sent it to me! She even said it's something she wants desperately - and instead of ordering it for herself she ordered it for me! Can I tell you how wonderful that makes me feel?????

I am blessed to have the friends I have!

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Hi guys, I tend to buy everything that looks cool and today I found a REALLY cool toy which I just ordered. It's called the CRICUT GYPSY. I have several Cricuts and this just seems like a MUST HAVE if you use the Cricut. I will be honest and tell you I really don't use the Cricut very much but I want this for when I DO use it!!!

Click HERE to see the CRICUT GYPSY and then click on the take a tour button to really want to run out and get it!!!!


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Hi everyone!!

It's been a while since I've written (again)! I need to keep up better. Just not enough hours in the day.

As I had already told you guys, I am taking some wonderful online classes with SUZI BLU. I am doing her Petit Doll classes and her Goddess and Poet classes. I have only done class 1 in each class (there are 3 parts to each class) and am thrilled. I am one of those people who can't draw a straight line so the fact that I can draw something that even RESEMBLES a face is amazing!!!

I did the two zetti pages for one of the journals in the Through the Eyes of An Artist project but I can't remember who I did them FOR!!! UGGHH!!!

We kick off our THIRD collaborative art journal project DREAMS JOURNAL tomorrow!!! September 11th. wOO hoo!!!! I wanted to mark the anniversary of that horrific day with something beautiful. Everyone has raised the bar with this journal so it will no doubt be an incredible journey!

I also have some new products/toys to tell you about! Be back soon!

Sunday, August 23, 2009


I buy just about EVERYTHING I hear about!!! Sometimes I am ecstatic about what I purchased, other times not so much.... These are the new toys for this week:

RAPIDOGRAPH PENS!! They are absolutely wonderful! Pricey but well worth it! They are pens used for detailing (before CAD I think). They use this wonderful India Ink (which comes in various colors). The ink flows dark and even and writes over just about everything! I have yet to find something it doesn't write over perfectly with an even and gorgeous ink flow.

If you are doing any type of journaling at all this is the pen to get!

SHIVA OIL PAINT STICKS: Wonderful flow, wonderful colors. I am using them on my journal pages and in my moleskin journal and I adore the way they look and feel. The colors are "dreamy" - smooth and gorgeous.

SENNELIER EXTRA SOFT PASTELS AND OIL PASTELS: The oil pastels are wonderful, it feels like you are drawing/painting with a lipstick!!! Beautiful sheen to the colors, easy to spread. The Soft Pastels are creamy and silky and the colors are wonderful!!! I think I like the oil pastels the best of the two.... have to play with them some more first.


I've been working on so many new things lately! I have pictures taken but haven't had the time to post them yet. Will do it in the next few days. I am going to be doing less and less ATCs though. I love them and they are fun but it's just not doing it for me any more!

I am really into the journals right now. I am enjoying them so much. I also have started a Moleskin Journal with different things I'm learning to do. I really love my Moleskin. Take it with me everywhere! You can draw in it, paint it, use oil pastels, colored pencils, markers, anything you want. I have some zetti pages (still my number one love), journal pages, portraits. Some pages have buttons, some have lace... Every time I see something I want to try I experiment in my moleskin. Sometimes they come out awesome, sometimes not so much but the overall effect of the journal is wonderful.

That's going to be my next circle project I think... a moleskin.... I am thinking that we can do a circle where everyone works on each other's moleskins but making pages so that the owner can journal on later. In other words, by the time the owner gets the moleskin back, she will have tons of pages already made for her to journal on.... have to get the details clearer in my head but I am smelling the scent of another round robin project!


I was turned on to SUZI BLU by my friend Lillian in Canada. Suzi Blu is HILARIOUSLY funny and unbelievably talented! I got turned onto her just in time to sign up for two of her on-line classes THE GODDDESS AND THE POET and LET PETIT DOLLS. The Goddess and the Poet is a portrait class. She combines beautiful portrait faces with poetry. The Petit Dolls are stylistic "cute" dolls. They are really adorable and I would love to make some of them for my granddaughter's room.

If you don't know who SUZI BLU is... and I didn't until Lillian told me about her... google her and check her out. She is very talented which is awesome, but on top of that she is just very very cool. She is down to earth and funny and just a joy to watch. Check her out!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I just realized I had not put in the text to my Meditate and Create Journal!!!!

This is my adventure:

Imagine yourself on a balmy summer night walking on the beach
when you trip on what appears to be a bottle. You pick up the bottle and laugh to yourself wondering “could it be a magic bottle? Yeah! Right!” But hey, there’s nobody around so just humor yourself and rub the lamp…… see what happens.

Within seconds of rubbing the lamp, an attractive middle-aged genie appears (well, we can’t have her be younger than you!!! That would just be depressing!).

Her name is Zelda and she is a mixed media artist!!! Go figure!!! Well, Zelda is so grateful for your releasing her from this bottle that she grants you one power:

You can paint the world in any one color of your choice.
What color would that be and why?

How's THAT for a challenge!!!


I am participating in a "mini-journal" in one of my groups (The Sum of All ATCs) called 'Meditate and Create". It's a 5x5 journal. There are 5 artists in each group who work on all the journals in a circle. The journal owner chooses a topic for the artists to "meditate" on and create a work of art from. I have chosen the following topic:

You are walking along the sand and find a lamp. (Yep! You guessed it!! It's a MAGIC lamp). The genie that comes from this lamp is a mixed media artist at heart and gives you this one wish: If you could make the world primarily one color, what color would that be and why?

Yep!!! Meditate my friends................. and create!

Oh yea, these are the pictures of my mini journal. The front, the side and the binding which I'm quite proud of!

I am hosting another circle journal called JOURNAL OF DREAMS. It is going to be so cool! Each artist (there are 16 of us) will create a journal page based on her dreams. I decided to do a hardcover journal for this. I have not been able to bind it yet because I have not received the binding cloth yet but this is the front cover. This journal will be 8 1/2 x 11.

Can you tell I love purple???