Category Archives: Inspiration

Just a Number

Just a Number

I am turning 60 this week.  How the heck did that happen?

I’ve always thought bucket lists were an indulgent waste of time.  But I am having second thoughts as I turn this milestone.  Time goes by,  its running out quickly!  Why not have a little plan…..

So here I go, celebrating that number 60 with a bucket list of 60 things!  Mixed up in no particular order…some are big crazy dreams, some I can carry out this summer.  There are so many ways to look at a bucket list.  I could have made a list of things to experience over the summer, over the next year, or the next 5 years.  This list tries to encompass it all.

1.  Read 100 books

2. Complete 100 watercolor paintings

3.  Complete 100 mosaics

4.  Complete 100 embroideries or quilts

5.  Work as an accountant until I’m no longer able to account

6.  Still be planting and digging in the dirt when I’m 80

7.  Travel the US with Jeff in a motor home

8.  Have a picnic in Central Park

9.  Travel down the Mississippi River in a houseboat with Jeff

10.  Participate in an artist residency

11.  Visit the Grand Canyon

12.  See the redwood forests

13.  Explore the Porcupine Mountains

14.  Spend some time in Savannah, GA

15.  Spend some time in Charleston, SC

16.  Go whale watching

17.  See the “green flash” when the sun sets over the ocean

18.  See the northern lights at least one more time.

19.  Record sightings of 100 different bird species

20.  Walk at least 10,000 steps a day.   This might require a hip replacement, or maybe just consistent training

21.  Be successful at hunting for morels

22.  Visit the wineries in Northern Michigan

23.  Go to Ireland with my daughters

24.  Go to New York City with my daughters

25.  Go to New Zealand with Jeff

26.  Become proficient at adjusting the manual controls on my camera

27.  Buy local produce, visit farmer’s markets during the summer

28.  Bake a perfect lemon cake…easy to put together, moist and very lemony

29.  Drink a $100 bottle of wine

30.  Fly first class, just once

31.  Grow a vegetable garden again

32.  Clean out the attic

33.  Stay up north for an extended time during the summer, maybe one month

34.  Find and identify 100 different wildflowers I did not know

35.  Wow my grandchildren with hula hoop skills

36.  Jeff and I ride bicycles around various Michigan cities to explore

37.  Visit my friend, Kat, at her Florida home

38,  Photograph 100 mosaics from cities in the US

39.  Pass that enrolled agent exam

40.  Visit the Florida Keys

41.  Stay one winter in Florida

42.  Teach my grandchildren to sew

43.  Draw and paint with my grandchildren

44.  Teach my grandchildren a love of plants and gardening

45.  Make alphabet books for all of my grandchildren

46.  Keep up my illustrated journals

47.  Continue with this “blob” to write about all of these adventures

48.  Finish strong in faith, charity and love

49.  Have a chickadee eat out of my hand

50.  No gray hair until it is completely gray (Kelly, I will keep you busy).  Then I will cut it short and go gray.

51.  Do something fun with my children and grandchildren about once a month

52. Enjoy a morning walk most everyday

53.  Master a half dozen yoga poses

54.  Cut back on my art “stashes”, use up, recycle, divest

55.  Visit Barcelona, Spain and the Gaudi architecture

56.  Visit the Japanese Garden at Meijer’s Gardens

57.  Visit Dow Gardens in Midland, Michigan

58.  Live in a way that in the end I will be remembered as giving person who made a difference in a few lives

59.  Lose 20 pounds, and keep it off

60.  Keep the tradition of Friday night-date night with Jeff

There, that was a stretch.   It initiated some good conversation between Jeff and I, we talked about our future…we looked ahead.  We will have some adventures together!

Writing this list was a great experience.  I would love to read your list, too.  Please link in the comments to your own bucket list.

Hello April

Hello April


It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want — oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so! ~Mark Twain

march 02

Time flies, sometimes we fly with it, and sometimes it just drags us along.  Lately I’ve been flying on the wings of much to accomplish, plan for, and loved ones to help and be with.  Each day has an agenda of stuff to accomplish and a list to check off.  I must admit, I find it exhilarating to be so busy once again.  It’s a happy time around here….tax season, spring, a shower and wedding to plan, and time with my favorite peoples, with a few snatched moments to work at art projects.

march 02Indoors or out, no one relaxes in March, that month of wind and taxes, the wind will presently disappear, the taxes last us all the year. ~Ogden Nash

I love watching the trees bud out each day, the snow melt away and the greening of our Mitten.  The birds are singing once again, and we’ve had days with the windows open.

Every April, God rewrites the Book of Genesis. ~Author Unknown


I am watching a sweet dog for a few days, Maggie, and we are enjoying a morning walk together.  She’s sending me mental telepathy here….walk, walk, walk…..this is what I miss about having a dog.  She accepts no excuses!


We enjoyed a few outings in March, the urge to escape these walls was great.  We went to the new aquarium that opened at Great Lakes Crossing, and to the zoo….all were interesting distractions and I especially enjoyed watching little eyes take in the new sights and sounds.






The aquarium deserves a blob post all its own, as Jeff captured some beautiful images.

A few images from our visit to the Detroit Zoo:


It was CCCChilly, still. And the Littles were most interested in exploring the environment.




The zoo deserves its own post too!

The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month. ~Henry Van Dyke

The month ahead promises to be a memorable one.  We have Jackie’s bridal shower, mid month.  Also I have this house and yard to whip into shape for the upcoming wedding reception in our backyard on May 30.   Spring cleaning, sprucing up, and various projects will be on the agenda.   But in the end, the wedding will happen regardless of how much I manage to finish.  Nothing like a party deadline to open one’s eyes about the less than lovely aspects of your home.  It’s a way to get things in shape and be able to enjoy the rewards long past the event.


We wish you a happy and blessed Easter!

My word for 2015



Last year my word was LOVE !!!    And Love filled the year to the brim.  Love graced me with plenty, Love challenged me by with its meaning and practice.  It really was a perfect word for the year 2014.

This year I have chosen to get more specific.  My word is MOVE!  As in:  walk those steps, use your body, or lose it!  But I have a feeling that this word has many layers and nuances to uncover.  I’ll write the word, MOVE, on the title page of my journal, where I’ll see it everyday.  Lets see where it leads.

Move forward

Get a move on

Make a move

I’m ready….let’s go.

Spin a web


The difference between utility and utility plus beauty is the difference between telephone wires and the spider web.  -Edwin Way Teale


The means to gain happiness is to throw out from oneself like a spider in all directions an adhesive web of love, and to catch in it all that comes.  – Leo Tolstoy


A pleasant Sunday afternoon….


Spent with like-minded, impassioned people.  Those who love to work with color, fabric and stitches…

I worked with my Running with Scissors group, a day of picking Kat’s brain, and being inspired by her creative mind.  She has made a series of art quilts called “Secret Life Quilts”.  They ooze with the sensibilities, personality and humor of my friend, Kat.  I have a smile from the heart when I see these quilts.  I think the group felt the same and wanted to have a go at trying out Kat’s idea.  So we all made our own Secret Life quilt.

Many many piles of fabric, all willing to share what they had:


Took and Ruth working away:


Jane’s black cat quilt was my absolute favorite:


There’s Leann….undoubtedly cooking up some trouble….with Barb out of the photo, but you can see her shark jumping out of the water:


Well, maybe Johanna’s pipe smoking dog is my favorite:


And here is my lady, who has a hibiscus in her hair and is ready to fly away from snow, and winter, and ice for sandy beaches and palm trees…..


Thank you Kat, I have learned so much from you…today and every other day, you are a light!.  And RWS friends…you are all wonderful,  creative friends and inspirations!

You can see many of Kat’s Secret Life quilts on her blog, here.

January business


The year ended with a glitch….computer problems. So I am posting from Jackie’s computer, which is great, but unfortunately all my photos are on said broken ‘puter. Trust me, its hard for me to post without sharing a photo or two or twenty!

Looking back, 2011 was a busy year, a productive year for making. I feel I put my abilities and talents to good use. I used my brain creatively. I met a major goal for the year 2011, specifically….quantity!. I set a goal of making 10 items a week, and I did just that! My final count is 530. That includes everything….brooches, mosaics,quilting, and everything else!  I put into practice….”worry about the quantity, let God see to the quality”…from Julia Cameron’s book The Artists Way.

In 2011, I found my groove, artistically. I’ve noticed a difference in my habits.  I take part in less over-thinking and pre-judging.   What a relief this is. I do the work and see what happens. Then the next “thing” takes off from the previous. Perhaps the biggest reason this has happened is the focus that required  by participating in a gallery/store and art exhibits. Commitments are good.  Setting a number goal to produce is good too.

So, what’s ahead for 2012.

-I will continue….participating in the local retail stores I have my things in:  Art Is In Market, and the Northville Art House…outlets for my efforts.  These  places keep me making things daily.   -I will continue to make brooches and mosaics.  Progressing, changing,  growing verses staying stagnant with the same styles and techniques.  But I will probably drop in the numbers….because of my next goal!

-I want to produce a body of work that I can put in a solo show in 2013.  I need to find a gallery and make the art this year.  Hopefully a chance to commit, and an idea for a subject and focus of the exhibit will come along early in the year.   I fear being considered an artistic dilettante,  mostly in my own mind.    I will need about 50 pieces… a week!  With this in mind, my number-of- pieces goal for the year will be 350.  8 pieces a week, with one or two of the items being mosaiced or stitched.

-I also want to find the balance…have time for relationships:  The Lord, my husband and  family, friends, accounting work,  blogging, the groups I belong to, home and garden, health, making a contribution to help others and the community.  All the artistic output in the world would not matter if these people and things were absent.

I know I have set my sights high!  But why not, better than aiming low.  After having a satisfying artistic year in 2011 I feel energized!  How about you, I’d love to read about your creative goals…..



Thinking about…..


mosaics  today. 

I need a path, a plan, a direction….or else I just wander all over the place. 

So sitting here, working on an excel spreadsheet…..

looking out the horizontal window blinds, at the floorboards, the brickwork, the plaid pattern on the pillow…..

the common thread I see is grids…..


I think I can hang out for a while between the lines and have some fun.