December 24, 2010

important lessons from a 9 year old...

have you ever been asked a question that stops you in your tracks?
makes you wonder what in the big gigantic world you have been doing?
let me paint you a picture...
this beautiful blue eyed wonder is my youngest.
last week as we were all driving in the car, 
probably hurrying along to somewhere unimportant
i hear these words from the back of the car...
"mom?  mom, if christmas were on sunday, would you make us go to church?"
{if you are laughing right now, you are totally following me here...}
insert knife to heart and turn.
see....this time of year means many different things to many people.
for me, it is a time to reflect and give thanks 
for a child, born in humble circumstances many years ago.
{beautiful artwork found here...}
i love christmas.  i love the decorating.  the baking.  the twinkle lights.
getting out our nutcrackers.  the carols.  the wrapping paper.  
jingling my kids to bed.  gingerbread houses.  my neighbors fudge.  
i love all of it.
{artwork by my beautiful friend kelly lish...}
but when stockton asked me if i would make him go to church on christmas,
i had to wonder what about christmas was i not celebrating?
what kind of example was i being to my children?
{artwork by liz lemon swindle
i want my children to know how grateful i am for a savior.
i want them to know that christ is what i love most about christmas.

i hope that as christmas descends upon us tomorrow you have 
the most joyful day with loved ones.  i hope that you are able to celebrate 
what truly means the most to you about this season 
and "yes stockton!  if christmas were on sunday,
it would be a blessing to go to church my dear 
and we would most certainly be there!"

merry christmas to you all!

cul*ti*vate the true reason of the season for you!

{i will be taking my family skiing next week...i.ll see you back here next year!  muah!}

December 18, 2010

ginger"BOND" houses....

when i was a little girl my mom would have all the young girls in our church come over and she would teach them how to make gingerbread trains.
they were never as elaborate as this one i found here
but i always loved the little frosting bags and the ginger smell 
and the sound of little candies hitting the tile floor.
every year i say "we are going to make gingerbread houses together."
and every year passes with no sugary sweet cottages to display.
until this year!
 let the decorating mess begin...
i knew the little ones would love it....
and the girls for sure.
but i was surprised that the boys were the ones who really got into it.
especially my 18 yr. old.  {he.s an artist}
 look how darn clever he is...
his snowman is wearing an elks lodge hat.
they were proud of their architecture.
some a bit more obvious than others.
and in the end it was such a festive bonding experience.
a ginger"bond" party.
new christmas tradition?      check.

cul*ti*vate a new tradition with the ones you love.

December 15, 2010


hi friends....
something about me...
i have never been a cat lover!  
{sorry to all you feline fans..nothing personal}
just for today i have some kitty friends who need your love and attention...
one of the dearest friends i have met in this
  big old small wonderful blogging world
she is part of the most amazing creative art group around.
i am always green with envy when i hear each month 
what they have done together.
in october these sassy sweet ladies started with these blank kitty canvases
and ended up with a whole hip litter of saucy kitty kritters
 these are some cool cats i would not be allergic to!!!
you can read about the fun and a tutorial on

today...december 15th
these women are coming together for a charitable christmas kitty auction.
they have "special" holiday kitties for this event and 100% of the proceeds go to the 
rumor is this adorable kitty from guest contributor judy wise...
will be needing a new home along with her friends.

please please go to
to help support this wonderful cause today!

cul*ti*vate a warm place in your heart for a new christmas kitty

December 10, 2010

a new definition of soiree....

what is a soiree anyway?
i think it.s just a fancy name for a kickin party...
mr. webster told me this party needed to be getting it.s grove on when the sun goes down.  if that.s the case then we bent the rules at last weeks seaside soiree.
we soireed for three days straight.
{so take that mr webster and stick it in your new and expanded version}
liz hicks
taught a class using a mixed media kit that is new on the market.
it had EVERYTHING in it that we needed.
{more info to come about those}
 this particular kit was a sea based theme...
remember we were at the "seaside soiree" after all...

i didn.t finish mine..{not surprising} but the finishing touch
will be this mermaid which was drawn by suzi blu
michelle cummings
taught us how to make a crown out of chicken wire.
it was fun.  it brought me back to my wire bending days in my dad.s orthodontic office.  think how much fun i could have had if i would have been able to add beads and glitter to people.s braces!
my favorite class was hands down taught by this dear soul
 alisa burke
she taught us how to take blank canvas from this...
 to this....
to this.
it was a fun and get your hands messy kind of painting.
i loved it because messy is in my bones and the idea was to NOT think about
it too much and that is always good for my tired little brain.
most good students then took their canvas and sewed it into a clutch or purse,
here is my dear patrice helping my other dear kolleen get an "A" in class.
but i was always a "B" student and again...i didn.t get my work done.
it.s gonna turn into something cool though... i promise.
you can get alisa.s cool book on how to do this yourself right here...
shared her talents in our last project.
she had drawn an "elena" mermaid stamp for everyone who was at the soiree and we then stamped paper with her and added our own embellishments...mine was some sun and surf and again...didn.t finish.  
{maybe i should be more concerned that i have said that 
about EVERY single project we did???}

well before i get too worked up about it, i just want to say that although i didn.t finish even one art piece there, i was surrounded by friends old and new who i adore and the camaraderie {it.s spelled webster said so}
 was theee very best part of the whole darn party!

seaside + friends + art = the best new definition of soiree ever!

cultivate a new art project...even if you don.t finish it!

December 6, 2010

you don.t need to cut the apron strings here....

question:  what happens when a wonderful event planner goes crazy 
bidding on vintage apron lots on ebay?

answer:   happy artsy chica.s  have a free for all picking the one they want...
trying them on for size...
 showing their divine apron fashion sense...
and posing before the paint begins to splatter!!!

i thought this was one of the cutest ideas that i learned this past weekend
at the seaside soiree with some really dear women...
on your next art date with friends,
 or even your next "let.s all cook together" weekend...
take some time to gather some sassy vintage aprons from great aunt martha.s 
linen closet (or ebay or your local thrift shop...even better) and gift them to 
all those sweet brave creative wonderful souls that gathered near.

{elena did this for us...i.ll post mine later this week)

cul*ti*vate a clever hostess idea

December 3, 2010

find me by the seaside...

today i am blessed to be boarding a plane for
this wonderful event is being hosted by 

this beautiful brave girl.
i feel abundantly spoiled as i will get to go and soak in all sorts of
wonderful classes taught by several women whom i really admire.
just to name a few.

i feel extremely grateful to be meeting up with precious artful friends i have gathered into my circle along this creative journey i am cultivating.
 kathy wilkins from brave girls
 brave girls...marianne, camille, kelly and kolleen
 wise and wonderful brave girl patrice {hugging kelly}
melody, lara and elena...all brave girl sisters
the bravest girl EVER....jamie
{being smooched by kolleen and i}
 my talented "unearth" sister and photographer...patty
and i can.t tell you how excited i am to get my arms wrapped around
this "unearth" scarf sister of mine...the beautiful miss G...{gloria}

just writing these words and looking at these photos gives me goosebumps
and makes me recognize how incredibly privileged i am to be completely enveloped by such amazingly strong, courageous, creative, brave souls over the past year. i look forward to sharing some fun stories with you
and want to send huge hugs and kisses to all my girlfriends old and new
who won.t be finding themselves at the seaside this weekend.
i truly love you all!


cul*ti*vate a WONDERFUL circle of girlfriends!