Thursday, December 31, 2009

Word for 2010

As I have been thinking of my word for the NEW YEAR one has not jumped out at me like in the past several years. I was talking with a friend in sunny CA the other day via instant messagener(man computers are great) and as we were talking it occurred to me that instead of a word for 2010 I really want to have a different attitude. I use to really try and most of the time did find the positive in all situations and life occurrences. As most of you know this past couple of years has thrown me multiple bad things back to back and my attitude has taken a real shift to the negative. It seems that once you start down this path it is very hard to get back on the positive path. So instead of a word for 2010 I am going take an attitude change. I have several things that I am going to do to help with this along the way. I have them ready to go and will start on 01.01.10 to incorpate them. So, as those of you that cross my path in the coming year and see that ugly NEGATIVISM coming out, if you would gentle remind me to see the sliver lining, it would great be appreciated.

As I say good bye to 2009 the 43 year of my life I said good bye to my Daddy and Daddy T. These men played a very big part in my life and will be greatly missed for years to come. I also said good bye to alot of money that went on the house and hopefully the big stuff is done for awhile. Of cousre I still have small things left to do and many are non-money projects, just getting done projects. I did do more going green this past year and look forward to the challenge of doing more in 2010. As with most years people came into and left my life. Stepehenie did get through several sickness and will be able to go back to school on Jan 4th. I saw my first born Michael turn 21 and turning into a great young man loving life. Lived through Stephenie turning 16 and getting her license and experiencing that freedom. Learned how to go places by myself which is very hard for me, I am doing it enjoying it. Am learning what and who I am and boy at times that was scary.

GOODBYE TO 2009 and WELCOMING 2010 WITH OPEN ARMS. Ready to learn to embrace life!

Monday, December 21, 2009

21 years ago today......

I was blessed with this precious gift! Just in time for Christmas Michael arrived 4 weeks early to celebrate it. He has blessed my life in more ways than he will ever know. As I wonder where the past 21 years have gone I remember the good and bad times. I will be the first to admit he and I have faced a few trails over the past 21 years but not to an avail. I think he is finding his way in life. He may not be doing the way I had planned for him 21 years ago, when I first welcomed him into this world but he is doing it his way. As we all know we must do it on our own. He has turned into a wonderful young man with a love for live that makes me envious. He has the looks of the other most special man in my life my Dad. I look at this handsome young man and wonder how did I get so luck to be blessed with this most SPECIAL young man. I am honored to have him call me Mom. Happy Birthday my first born and FAVORITE son. I love you and am proud of you! So now go out and celebrate your life and keep doing for many more years!

**Photo taken by Marci Lambert.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Santa is Coming to Town

Here is a small shrine that I did for Rock Candy Studios. I used a preformed tri folded shrine on which I placed the vintage Santa image, added a couple of the metal snowflakes, stamped swirl and to finish it off white Dresden foil brocade trim.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Million of Things on Her Mind

be This piece is done on a lantern panel from RockCandy Studios. I printed out a image from the Girly Girls cd on a transparency. Then computer generated a list of things that needed to be done. Layered the picture of the woman then the words under the glass. I add labels with the title to the glass and antique brass picture corners .
To make a stand for this piece I took a piece of hardware from RockCandy studios and made it into a stand. Add a few buttons by the shot from RockCandy to add interest.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Another Goodbye

Most people are only blessed one set of parents that love them. I was lucky as I had two sets of parents. Many years ago when we started at a new church we met the Taylors. The Moms and Dads became friends and us kids became sisters. As to the names Daddy and Momma Taylor was the solution to as what to call them. Yes either one of the mothers could have had all five of us. Even in this extended family I was still oldest. We shared many holidays, events and life memories together. As even with real families there were times we didn't see each other for extended times but when we did the let the talking and catching begin. It gave me great comfort to know that if I ever need them all I had to do was pick up the phone and call. There were times I did and they were there.
So with a very sad and heavy heart I am now having to say good bye to my other Dad only about 3 very short months since I said good bye to my Dad. Daddy Taylor was a great person and cared very much for everyone. He touched so many lives who knows were to start counting. He just had a way with young people that they were drawn to him. He was a great inspiration to my son Michael and he loved his Dad Taylor time. I do know that now he will be able to expound on the questions when asked and will be able to not hurt any more in heaven. I just hope that both of my Dads will be up there looking out for me.
My love goes out to Momma Taylor, Alice, Christy, Buff, Craig, Nathan, Bryan, Taylor, Samuel and Caleb as I know that you have lost a great person and even though you know he is better off in heaven, the human side is hurting here on earth.
Daddy Taylor if you get an Internet connection up there and see this post: I love you and you meant more to me than I know I ever told you. You blessed my life and you will missed more than you will ever know. PS. Give my Daddy a hug and tell him I love him.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

No so Haunted House

My friend Cyndi and I went to Hobby Lobby one Saturday way back in the summer and both bought these really cool paper mach houses. Well then I got to looking through all my cool RockCandy stash and this is what you get. I covered the roof with Ten Second Studios metal that had been cuddled bugged and sanded, covered the walls with some paper that I have been waiting on the right project to use it on, add a spider web, glasses with eyes, ghost to the windows, happy moon, puzzle pieces for the broken brick on the chimney, arch way for the door and of course some of the great Dresden Foil trim. For more pictures of this house go to RockCandy Studios blog.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Witchy Woman

Here is a little piece to start off the Halloween season. I used the sliver tape embossed with the cuddle bug and then made a box, painted the inside black. On the front I used an archway that I cut the strips out of, then to finish off the edges I used two types of Dresden foil trim. Please keep checking out RockCandy's blog for more up dates.

Yes I know that the witch is naked. That is the charm of the stamp from Oxford Impressions' Wicked Collection. You need to check out their web site to see all of their new stamps that have been release in the last few months.

Friday, October 9, 2009

It's My Month

to have some of my art work on RockCandy Studios blog. They have the most awesome items for the Mixed Media world. Check out their blog for great creative inspiration from many great artist. Then check out their web store for the items to make your your art come alive.
In the piece above I used their gold shallows and embossed them with black embossing powder.
Check back for other pieces through out this month.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

New Outlook

Man a whole month has past since I last posted and it seems that I have been stimulating the economy a lot. I am hoping that in 2010 everything is fixed and I can stimulate the economy for fun and not because something needs to be fixed.

Yes I have a new OUTLOOK that is from the new windows that we now have in the house. I figured that since the President is giving me back some of the money that I have paid in I might better take advantage of it. So I took the plunge and ordered all 16 of the windows. I thought that I was going to be helping the guy put them. Well his interruption was a little different and he thought that he was only going to show me how to do. So after he put in the 4 small ones in the front that flank the large picture windows, it was my turn to take over. As he left he made the comment that I would be lucky to get 2 or 3 of them done on Saturday. Well as many of you know that only got my dander up. So after a quick lunch with Stephenie. I headed home and to work I went. A mere 5 hours later I had all of the windows installed and my new OUTLOOK began. It is so nice to have clean windows to look out of and be able to open them to enjoy this wonderful fall weather we are having.

Well this big project was another of those first that I have had to face since Daddy's death. I am hoping that he is looking down on me and saying job well done and I am proud of you. He is one of the main reasons I am able to do all that I can do.

I will be posting art work soon as I am the featured designer for RockCandy Studios this month.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Wow it has been awhile since I last posted. I still look at that picture from a year ago and see my Dad and the past few weeks seem like a bad dream. The only problem is that I am a wake and know deep in my heart it is not. I still have moments of tears and sadness and probably will for a long time. Once again I would to thank all of you who are putting up with these moments.

Reconnection weekend! I am sure that you all are wondering what is up with that. Well through Face Book I reconnected with my Best Friend from High School Kecia. It has been many years(those of you wondering just how many about 25, yes now you stop wondering how young we are both 43) since we have talked and just hung out. I hopped in the car and went on a little road trip to Hendersonville. What a great town. Okay I know back to the subject. Well, yes it has been 25 years and we picked back up like no time had past. She is a wonderful mother two great girls Erica and Monica and a wonderful wife to Clark for 19 years. Man did we have a lot to talk about. Weddings, births of babies, babies, young childhood of children, teenager years for children, our brothers and sisters(she is the baby of 8), parents, good times, hard times, our GREAT times, churches and life in general. We sure did a lot of talking and looking at pictures. While we talked she show me around the great area she is now living in. Hey, I saw where Johnny Cash's house use to be before they burned it down while restoring it. We went and saw her parents where they were camping on Friday night and it turned into an adventure like we use to have back in HS, as they told us camp site 127 and it was only 27, so after we passed them a couple of times they called us and asked what we were doing. DUH looking for you...needless to say we were laughing about this. Then Sunday came and I will be the first to admit that saying GOODBYE was hard. We both have decided that we may have missed out on 25 years in the past, but we have 25 or more in the future that we can share and I am sure that we will. Of course I had my camera in the car and never thought to take it out to take pictures. I was really busy catching up. After I left her oldest daughter told her I know why you were friends in HS "You are just a like"! We do share the name of Michelle as that is her middle name.

Sunday I get a text(calling is like way to much for kids, I guess I can see how punching 2 buttons to call is way harder than typing it out:) from Stephenie to tell me that she is running a fever. So on the way home I am worried about her. Couldn't get into the Dr on Monday to many sick kids, so we went yesterday and she has Type A flu..yes that is the type the Swine Flu is. She will be out of school until Tuesday and please pray that she doesn't worsen.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

A Time to Say GOODBYE

Prelude: This a very special post. I am hoping that maybe on it's way through the internet my Dad will see it.

On Friday August 7th at 12:15 pm the first man of my life, My Dad went to heaven while all of those who LOVED him were at his bedside when he drew his last breath. I am so greatful for Dr Michael Smith who let him die with diginity and the way he wanted. He didn't play on our sympthies to keep doing things that was not going to really fix the problem. To the nurses of CVICU at Bapist Hospital who for the most of the last 30 days of his life took great care of him and made him as comfortable as possible. Especially Nichole the nusre who was on duty for his finial hours. I pray that she will find comfort too as this was her first time losing a patient. She did it with such grace and she shedded a few tears( which to me meant that she had compassion for her patients). While waiting that morning the housekeeper who had been cleaning his room came by and gave me a big hug and told me she really liked Mr Murphy. God places people where they need to be.

Durning the last few sleepless nights I have many thought and memories flooding back. Since I was to be a Michael but was a Michelle I got to share his middle name Ray.(now I was not real found of it as a young child now it means the world to me.) The fishing trips,(he was with me when I won the fising rodeo) camping trips, him being one of my scout leaders, playing jacks and cards,(he played to win and I played to talk) even the time that I sat on the front porach all afternoon waiting on him to spank me because I did what he told me not to. The Christmas that money was tight and he built my sister and I a kitchen set that our kids have gotten to play with. The pride he had when all the grandbaies were born. All the times he let me peddle along his side. Since he did let me do this I now have the ability to do fix things, create things and dream up projects to conquer and no fear too. I will miss having him to call to discuss on how to do things and this could take us hours to get them worked out. I really enjoyed my Dad days when he came over and spent the day just peddling(oh I mean fixing things). Him calling around Thanksgiving and having me pick up Mom's gifts for Christmas. The few gifts that he bought me himself. The Valentines cards that he sent just because I was his little girl even still in my 40's. Well I could go on for hours and those close to me over the next few weeks might just have to tell me that it enough Dad stories. I am not saying that all of the memories of the last 43 years were great but they are MY memories of the MOST SPECIAL MAN IN my life my DADDY!!

So Daddy I know that you are in a better place and with your family that has gone on before you. I know that you are not laying in that most uncomfortable bed that you had to endure for the last 29 days and all the poking of needles. I am so glad that you can breath with out a struggle and your heart is beating in a regular beat again. As we prepare to say good bye to your earthly body on Wednesday with all your family and friends. Which I am sure will be many as you were so loved by many. Hey Uncle Jack is even coming. I want you to know that if you are watching you will see tears they will be sad tears for those left behind and joyous tears for you because are in a better place and waiting on us. I truly hope that while watch over me in years I have left on earth I still make you proud of your Hot Rod! I know that I have given some grief over the years but I hope that I gave you some proud moments too. As you can by the picture above you are were loved by us all and you will be in your hearts FOREVER! So Daddy now that you are at rest and with your Heavenly Father all I can say is: I LOVE YOU WITH ALL MY HEART AND I WILL NEVER FORGET YOU!!!

Michelle Raye Murphy(btw thanks for letting me have it back LOL)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Not the Next Top Model

The other day I reconnected with my word for the year, which by the way is DISCOVER and it has been awhile since I thought about it. With the sleepless night the last 3 weeks I have had time to think about it. Okay I am sure you are wondering what the heck that has to to with the title. So here goes!

As most of you know I have had a battle with my weight for years and heck I just want to win it. Let me tell you I have tried almost diet out there and well as you know they don't work. So I started trying a few years ago to do better and learn how to eat and not do the fade diet thing. Then about a year ago I REALLY started DISCOVERING a better way to eat and still enjoy life. I have drop some weight and need to drop some more. But I am wanting to DISCOVER a healthier way of eating and exercise along the way. I learned that you can make better choices and they don't have to be major ones. Simple things add up and can help make a difference. I am not trying to get model thin but just trying to be healthier. I still have a ways to go and boy I have days that I want things that are not what I need to eat. Like that wonderful piece of french silk pie. I do treat myself occasionally and when I do I have DISCOVERED I enjoy it so much more than when I indulged daily.

I am also trying to get myself in shape to be able to run a 5k by the 2010. That is one of those bucket list things. I have always thought it would be fun to do so what better time than the present. I do walk every morning but am thinking I need to move on up with the big girls.

With all this said I have DISCOVERED that I don't want to be a the NEXT TOP MODEL I just want to be healthier!

PS: If you have any suggestions please feel free leave a comment.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

What Season is it?

Over the past few weeks the passage from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 has kept coming to my mind. There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven. Boy over the past few weeks I have been reading and rereading this passage it is like comfort food for the soul. While I been reading it memories of the first time I had to recite it at Sunday school and then when I had to memorize it for school in the 7th grade. I know that everyone has their favorite passages in the Bible and I must say that this one of mine. When life happens as it seems to do this passage pops in my head. It just amazes me how something that was written hundreds of years ago still applies to life today.

Over the past few weeks tears have flown followed by laughter. Then thoughts that mourning was in the future followed by rejoicing occurred. We had times that silence was for the best and then when speaking was a blessing again. As I watched my children acting like adults and handling things with such grace and maturity. It is moments I know that I did something right. My heart was breaking the whole time because I was wanting the days back when I could kiss their boo boos and making them better, If that didn't work I could scoop them up in my arms and hug away the pain.

Seasons come and Seasons go but one thing is for sure that if you are in a hard season an easier one is on the way. Just remember THERE IS A TIME FOR EVERYTHING AND A SEASON FOR EVERY ACTIVITY UNDER HEAVEN!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Dreams R the Key to Life

This is a piece that I did for my art Friend Kathy in Portland for her birthday. It is a small collage piece on canvas. I used several of Tim Holtz elements that I have been saving for a special project and well this was it. The other things were found and collected objects. I was sitting one day in my studio and thinking about stuff (or should I say over thinking stuff) it can to me that "Dreams are the key to life". Well I wrote it on a little piece of paper and added it to the thought door.(it is a place I hang thoughts, pictures, projects I want to do and inspirational things to fuel the creative juices) Well as I was wondering what to do for Kathy I thought, Hey turn that saying in to art and the rest is history.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Facing Life Changes

I usually try and keep things posted on my blog upbeat and artful. But this past week life has thrown me some things that have been hard to shallow. So I am taking a little detour and pouring out some thoughts that I need to express for me.

As you might have already guesses this post is going to mainly be focused on the MOST SPECIAL man in my life my Dad. Over the past few days I have had to stomach some really hard news on more than one occasion. It all started on Monday with a heart cath which did come back with great result considering that he has been a smoker for over 50 years. He only had one artery with blockage at 70% and could be taken care of with a stint. On Wednesday things started a little down hill. He went in for a ROUTINE biopsy. While having the procedure his lung collapsed. Okay no big deal, will think again it is not sealing on it's own. We were told that he does have cancer and emphysema in the lung and the cancer was not contained to the lung. Then on Sunday the chest tube started leaking the air into his body. OMG never knew a human body could blow up like his did today. This has now landed him ICU to become stabilized. So as of last night it felt like we rolling down that hill and never going to stop until we hit a brick wall at the bottom. As of this morning for the moment looks like we did not slam into the brick wall at the bottom and are maybe heading back up the hill for a few days. We still have the three surgical procedures facing us but with everything cross that you could possibly cross this will be without indent.


Sleep has not come much since Wednesday. Tears have been flowing, fears have been faced, and memories have flooded back. I am one who has a tough time asking for help or even expressing my fears or emotions to those around me. As when your heart has been hurt a lot in life you will put up a wall and not let many on the side you are on. So as not to let your heart be hurt again. Then something likes this happens it makes you realize just how precious and short life is. How sometimes that wall holds you back from letting go and asking for help or just letting someone else see you valuable. Like the song on Bucket List says "Say what you need to say" and I think that making a bucket list is some thing we all should do. Not only that but to make the most of the EVERY DAY MOMENTS! The past few days have really gotten me to thinking and examining my life. Things that I have done, things I have not done, what I would love to change, how I can change for the better and find contentment and true happiness. One of the biggest things I need to improve on is living in the moment and not worrying about things I can't change and how many people don't like me or why I don't have this or that in material things or personality. I have for so many years of my life tried to be what others wanted me to be and being perfect at everyone of the many titles I hold. So you might be getting more bucket list up dates and hopefully more art, photos and more good times in future post. The one thing I have learned is that you have to make your life no one else will do it for you. So here goes to doing that.

Friday, June 12, 2009

New Digits

As most of you know I haven't been creating much lately in the art room. I have been doing a lot more of creating things for the home front. Here is one of the things I just finished up last Friday night. I have been needing house numbers and yes that is right just the boring old numbers wouldn't do. So I had the brainstorm of using an old platter and painting the numbers on it. So that is what I am did. I find this white platter at a second hand store for a buck, buck fifty for the paint(had a coupon of course) and a buck for the plate hanger and for less than one number I have this great piece. I really like the look and it just shows you that this is a place to come and be yourself.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Red Couch has a new mate

Well the picture doesn't do it justice. I couldn't get the colors to pop like they do in real life. I went to lunch the other day at Bosco on the Square and this was hanging by the table. The whole lunch I was looking at it and thinking that it would be so great by the red couch. So I took the plunge and bought my very first piece of original art work by SKY. It is a little funky and so artsy. It looks right at home with the colors in the room. So here is another first for me and I must say that I have really enjoyed getting to know myself and doing things for me.

Monday, June 8, 2009

My New Nephew

Well he has arrived and his name is Ryan. With the most wonderful big brown eyes, blond hair and the most gentle spirit you would ever want to see. He had been an answer to Sophia's prayer for several years. Katalina thinks that he is really great. Joseph is trying to warming up to him, but he does say that the best thing about him is it makes the household even now. That would be 3 girls and 3 boys. The first morning I meet him he took right to me and now we are walking buddies each morning at 5:30 and I must say he is so smart. He doesn't use the potty until he gets back to his yard and he knows when he is getting closer as his little pace picks up.

Okay as you might know my sister didn't have another baby. Because if that was so I would have 4 more children to raise because she would be in the mental hospital. The Reyna family how ever did get a wonderful 12 week old puppy. I put off posting as I was not for sure that he would be staying the family. Last week was a very trying one for all of them trying to get use to the new little one. I must say this for the world to know I REALLY admire my sister and she is the best MOM around. As she was attacked by a dog when she was little and is not very comfortable with dogs. She really is trying to put all those feelings behind her for the 3 most precious things in her life to have something they really wanted.

It has been a week and things are settling down and they are all learning to live, love and co-exist with one another.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Late Mother's Day

I finally got a piece of Michael's art that is on a REAL canvas. He brought this by the office the other day for my Mother's Day present. It is titled Self Portrait. I really like how he did the shilouette in white instead of the tradition black. The droplets of water could be either tears or sweat. I am really proud of this piece and have it hanging on the wall in my office. I did this for many reason the first is that I really needed some art in my office and the other is that I every time I look up at my wall I think of my first born.

On Mother's Day I always take a little time to myself to reflect on the 2 wonderful kids that I have been blessed with that lets me be able to celebrate this holiday. Micheal is 20 and finding his way in the world. He is not doing it the way I might have thought he would, but he is doing it his way. I am so proud of the man he is turning into. I really admire that he is pursuing and doing something that he loves. He has always been my creative child and he is doing this. I think that it is awesome that he is doing what he loves and not what the world thinks he should. Stephenie is 16 and trying her wings. I am not really sure that I am ready for this but it is here ready or not. She will be a Junior in the fall and is so full of life and able to speak her mind. I must say that I have 2 of the greats babies on this planet. I just pray that they find way their way in this life with a positive attitude , love for their fellow man and themselves.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Another Year has Past

Here is this year's graduate. Joseph will leave Barrett's Chapel that he has been at after 6 years plus. As his Mom has taught there for 17 years and he been attending things from birth. He is on his way to the middle school to join his oldest sister Katalina. He got many awards and achievements including the Presidential Award signed by President Obama. We went to lunch to celebrate.

Stephenie has finished up her sophomore year. Geometry has just about kicked her little butt but she was a trooper and stuck it out .With a B. English, computer, biology and Spanish are A's which is where she usually pulls. I am so proud of her.

Katalina is heading into her finial year at the middle school. She has big plans for a major Soccer camp where the scouts will be to start following the girls to college.

Sophia will be in second grade next year. It still just amazes me how that little preemie has grown into such a wonderful little girl.

Okay so there were tears of joy and sadness last Friday at the 5th grade program. I mean from all of us that attended. The big girls Stephenie and Katalina tried to hide it and acted tough. Susan and I just let the water flow. I didn't even make it through the Star Spangle Banner. Then when the time came for the kids to give the roses to their mothers really brought on the water works. Joseph was so sweet by giving the rose to his mom with a great big hug and I LOVE YOU. Sophia did well until after the program and finally realized that her Bubba wasn't going to be coming back to Barrett's next year.

Once again I wonder where this school has gone. I sit back in amazement at what they all have accomplished and how they have grown. Stephenie still amazes me at the wonderful little women she is turning into.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday Sneak Peek from AO

This nine patch sampler is from the new She-Roes plate from Artistic Outpost. I aged the paper with tea stain ink and then stamped the images in red and blue. I added the sayings stamped in dark brown. To finish is off I adhered the squares to chip board. I am pretty sure that I used everyone of the great images from this new plate.

The over size tag using the Cracker Jack plate from Artistic Outpost was done with an technique that my friend Cyndi came up with. By using white chalk ink on black paper it gives you the look of a photo negative. I thought that is was a really cool look so I used it on this tag. To add a little punch I did the same technqiue on red.
I hope that you all have been over to Artistic Outpost to view all new art work in the galleries and look at the AWESOME new web site.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Another Taste of AO's new Plates

Okay I know that this one is a little blurry but at 11 on a work night taking pictures to post I was a little blurry. This ATC was done with the new She-Roes plate from Artistic Outpost. I am so glad that Robyn designed a set of stamps honoring the women who serve this great nation in the arm forces.

When I saw the new Cracker Jack plate from Artistic Outpost I knew that I had to do a scrapbook page with Michael's T-ball picture. Yes he had a short lived baseball career but this plate made a great page for his one picture.
Please go to Artistic Outpost web site and see the special deals that they have on the new Cracker Jack and She-Roes plates.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Artist Oupost has 2 new plates...........

The CRACKER JACK plate honors America's favorite past time. While you dream of hot dogs, peanuts, the crack of the ball against the bat and the seventh ending stretch. You can capture the spirit of the game with this plate of vintage baseball images from Artist Outpost.

She-roes honors those women past and present that serve our great Country in the service. If you have someone special to you that has served or is serving in the arm forces this plate will help you to honor them. It is a perfect compliment to last years Hero plate. Go to Artist Outpost's web site to see all of the great images on both of these wonderful plates honoring our unsung hero's.

Artist Outpost has specials on both of their new releases. So go on over to their site and check them out. You will not want to miss their blog either that is full of great examples of what all you can do with these great new plates.

Friday, April 24, 2009

We Got High.......

in ALTITUDE that is. Here is a sneak peek of what I have been up to the last few days. We were here on Wednesday. This is just one of the great sites that we saw on the tour up to the mountains. Stephenie, Dad and Mom left yesterday to go home and I stayed behind to work.Got to get ready for a day of classes. Will post more once I get home with many more of the pictures that I have taken.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Day of Reflection

This post has been running in my head for the last few days. Last Saturday was a day of many emotions, thoughts, feelings and self discovery. As you will notice by the slide show the military is involved and especially my oldest Nephew Josh.

I was invited to attend the parade that the Town of Hernando put on for the 2-189th Combined Arms Battalion. My first thought was of pride as Josh serves in this Battalion and will be deploying with them. Then I began think about how his Mom and Dad must be feeling sending off their first born to war and how I think I would feel if it were me.

One of the first sights I saw on this clear and pleasant spring day was the American Flag flying high over the Armory where we were to eat lunch. For the first time in a long time I really thought about what the flag meant to me. It symbolizes FREEDOM and many lives lost to maintain this for all of us here in this great country. I realized that I have take this for grant it way too much. As I was snapping pictures many thoughts and emotions began to flood in my heart and head. Watching Dads holding their babies and playing with their children savoring every second of this time knowing that there will be many of these moments lost over the next 13 months. That by the time they will come back some be will be walking, talking, completed another year of school, had a broken heart or two, many first, hurts and there were even some little ones that haven't made their appearance in this world yet and will do so while they are away. Wives getting ready to be Mom and Dad, knowing that they will the only one to handle all of the household responsibilities, making all the choices that will effect their children's lives and not having anyone to help with them. Uncles savoring nieces and nephews and hoping that they remember them when they return. Grandsons sharing moments with their Grandfather hoping that there will be more when they get back. Parents showing pride and hiding the fears that their sons are going off to war. While taking in all these sites I begin to really realize just what all MEN are giving up for ME, so that I can live this life that I live, have the freedoms that I have. It also gave me a wake up call on what is important in life. That you need to speak those unspoken words of love and give those hugs. I learned that there are not words to express the GRATEFULNESS, THANKFULNESS and APPRECIATION I have for each and every one of these men putting their lives on the line for me,my freedom and the memories I get to have with my children in a free county.

I will now share with you a few of the most emotional moments of the day for me: 1) The Color Guard from the fire department, 2) The Bagpipers, 3) The young man that was a Honoree Solider for the day by having his wish granted from Make a Wish, 4) Seeing the troops marching in perfect formation, 5) Hearing Josh's name in the roll call, 5) Watching everyone of these young men stand attention from the first note of the National Anthem and through the Pledge with such great pride, 6) Learning not to judge a book by the cover, meaning that just because they ride motorcycles doesn't mean they don't have pride and respect for this country and soldiers as they stood Honor Guard around the perimeter of the ceremonies.

I challenge everyone that might read my blog to THANK at least one soldier who is serving this GREAT COUNTRY(aka you). Take a few minutes to REALLY think about what they have given up so that you can live the life you live. Then think would you do it for people who you don't know and might not even appreciate it.

I want to take this moment to say THANK YOU JOSH and I LOVE YOU, you will be in my thoughts and prayers over the next 13 months. I want to THANK DREW KING who will be leaving soon to server this County too.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Hands of Love

This a photo I took on Saturday at the birthday party. Every once in a while you get that million dollar shot and this is one of them.The hands belong to my friend Renee and the little cutie is her great niece Abby. As you noticed I title the photo Hands of Love and that is for many reasons. As I told Renee last night when I gave her the picture sometimes pictures need a little explaining and this is one of them so that you get the whole meaning of it. The hands in this picture are attached to one of the most LOVING people you will ever meet. The loving look on Abby's face is saying to her Aunt Nene I know you love me more than I can understand at 3 or probably ever will. I am so blessed to have them both in my life.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


Stephenie is 16 and full of life. She amazes me each day as I watch her grow in today a wonderful person. She loves life and wants to enjoy every minute of it. Loves her family, friends and herself.

Yesterday was her day and it was all about her for 24 hours.(truth be known it is that way most days). It start at about 6:45 for me getting ready for a Surprise Lunch Party for her.(I am sure that it was not a surprise as she and her 2 friends come home looking cute). With all the actives for the weekend we had to do lunch. There were about 35 people on hand to wish her HAPPY BIRTHDAY. I decorated the dinning room with pink and green, made cheese dip, Grandma got meats and cheese for sandwiches, made a strawberry cake(which she has had strawberry something since the age of 2), soft drinks and you have a party. Susan can over and helped me for about an hour to help me get things together. (yes an hour is a lot time for her,as she really doesn't have time to spare with 3 kids, working full time, house, husband) The first order of business was for Princess Stephenie to receive her Princess Tara, blinking Princess Pin and basket of pamper supplies. Of course even at 16 year old birthday parties you have goodie bags complete with candy, bubbles, pin wheels and water guns. Which were the hit. But when Stephenie decided to squirt Aunt Jessica the fun was on, as Aunt Jessica borrowed a water gun and was out for revenge and got it.(btw we maybe old but we still have a little child in us)

Then it was time for a little shopping with the gift certificates from the local shops here in Arlington.(just love to support the small shops here in town) Back home and ward robe change for the big night out on the town. We all looked cute and my outfit was approved. Hooters here we come for fried dill pickles, wings and crab legs. Someone over heard that is was her birthday and they put her on a chair, gave her a cup for a beck and menus for wings and sang Happy Birthday to her. Off to the mall for desert. Bowling was the next adventure on the list for the night. We went to Billy Hardwicks for Cosmic Bowling and a lot of laughs.

Mommy thoughts on the day: I am so blessed to have been given this WONDERFUL, FUNNY, BEAUTIFUL person. I still wonder where the first 16 years for her life went so quickly. How did she turn in this wonderful young women. My nerves are on edge about the driving. She is a good driver, but has a little bit too much confidence with out much experience. Wonder what the future has in store for her and what opportunities will be out there for her,

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Spring has Sprung

Well, last night as I was sitting and working on the computer all of a sudden I hear someone knocking at the door. Well when I get there and peek out what do I see. It sure was not anyone but instead this brandy sniffer full of the wonderful Daffodils. (As today I found out that the culprit had parked on the street and ran back there before I could get to the door)It took me a few moments, but I figured out who let them. Yes my WONDERFUL friend Renee. Once again I am remind to live in the moment and not in the PAST or FUTURE. This is one of those gifts that keep on giving. Tonight when I walked into the house tonight after work it was filled with the smell of these wonderful flowers,

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Through My Daughters Eyes

Yes it is Spring Break Week here in the south. Since the boss is out of town I can't take the whole week off but I did take some time yesterday to go with Stephenie, Emily and Nathalie to do one of their favorite things. SHOP!! They all went to the zoo for a few hours until I could get out of the office. After the nightmare of trying to get them picked at the zoo. You would have thought that they were giving the animals for free with all the traffic there. We took the new car for a mini road trip to the Factory Outlet Mall in Tunica, MS. Since they shut ours down in Lakeland. So I had a great trip with the windows down and listening to the music, as all my passengers in the car were asleep. Boy they came to life when I mentioned food, so after a little snack we hit the stores. We had a dual mission today. The first being to find the girls some great looking clothes for the summer and yes that included several pairs of flip flops in a variety of colors. When you shop with these 3 we all must go into the same dressing room as we all need to see how the clothes fit. Since they will be passed around the group. Now on to the second part of the mission to get Mom some cute clothes. This is where through my daughters eyes comes in to play. As I am trying on clothes and look in the mirror I see a fat, middle age, very unattractive person with clothes that are cute. As my WONDERFUL, SWEET daughter says "Mom hush you are cute, pretty and not fat". So after I try and hold back the tears. I am thinking why can't I see ME as she sees ME. I love that kid.

BTW-She and the girls did do a good job on getting me cute clothes!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Car Discovery

Okay I have discovered many things while looking for a car. The first is that if you want an American car you can get a steal. If you want a foreign car they are not wanting to deal. I did a lot of reading and research on the Internet and narrowed it down to 5 cars. The Toyota Camry, Corella or Prius and Honda Accord or Civic. I really wanted to get a hybrid, but the insurance and prices were a little much for right now. Then once I test drove the cars I ruled out the Camry and Accord as they felt like big cars and I wanted something a little more sporty. (Some day I will get the car I really want) After going to several Toyota dealerships and being treated like a second class citizen, stupid woman and some one that only buys a car because she looks good in it. One of the salesmen even had enough nerve to tell me that I need to bring my husband in to see if I could qualify for the car. So after the stupidness at the Toyota dealerships I went to the Honda dealership and was treated like a human. The next discovery was that their are salesman who will treat a woman like they have a brain and could actually buy a car with out a man. I also found out that there are cars out there that are not white and gray. The next dicovery was that I could do the negation process, credit process and choice process by myself. SO I AM( and Stpehenie too, only when I am in the car) NOW A PROUD OF A RED 2009 HONDA CIVIC.

Now if I could just find a road that had no cops on it so that I could see what it can do. I know one thing I will have to watch it. I am having trouble not speeding in it. The last discovery was that I am a stronger person than I thought I was and I handled all the nervousness, concerns and sleepless by my self. Yes there were sleepless nights and many days of nerves over this purchase.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Read the Palm

I must admit that at times having a creative mind can make you get excited over some of the strangest things in others eyes. My sister gave me some really nice brown leather gloves for Christmas. But when I pulled out the cool card board hand I saw the Gypsy plate from Artistic Outpost. I painted the hand with gold, stamped the back ground images with brown stazon, then stamped the Gypsy in red and aged her with distress inks add a feather and pearl and to finish it off I add her to the hand with pop dots. This plate was in the last release from AO and I love it from the first time I saw it. Go here and see all of their great plates. BTW new releases will be out next week, so check back to see what they have in stored next.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Dave's Visit

This is my friend Dave Kemp from Portland, OR. He runs DST which is our software provider for most of the Johnstones. So when the regional meeting was held in Memphis this past week I was able to show him around a bit. Not to mention that I got a day out of the office to enjoy a wonderful spring like day. Well when most people come to Memphis you show them the usual, Graceland, Beale ST, Gibson Guitar, Fed Ex Forum, Mississippi River, etc.... Well I decided to do a little something different for Dave, he is really not that kind of guy. He and his wife have the most precious and wonderful English Springer Spaniels that they show and raise. (You can see his dogs(should I say second set of children here)here. So I took is upon myself to take him somewhere that would mean more to him. So off to the National Bird Dog Museum. It only takes about an hour to get there. It was worth the drive. When we got there one of the first things we saw was a bronze statue that the artist did 300 smaller replicas and Dave got on of the first one made. So I got his picture by it. Clue number one that I made a good choice. Then once we got inside he saw the picture of the lady that sold him his first dog and saw some of the ancestors of his dogs that have won the field trails. He also got to see some of the country side of the South and in this region of the south there is a lot of history about the Civil War so along the way I filled him in on some of it. We went through Lagrange Tn and Ame's Plantation. He did get to see some of the local sites in Memphis too. We had ribs at the Rendezvous,(Thanks Dave) Beale Street, Fed Ex Forum, Gibson Guitar (someday I will have to hear you play) and some of Main St. Well, I didn't have to show him the Peabody has there is where the meetings were be held and they were staying there.

What a diffence a week makes

Last weekend we had one of our BIGGEST snows in years. It started Saturday afternoon and continued most of the night. On Sunday we woke up to this peaceful winter wonder land. There is just something about the snow that fills my soul with HAPPINESS and PEACE. So I spent the day cooking. Even though I love the snow I think the good Lord didn't put where is snows a lot due to the fact I would be as big as the house due to the cooking fever that takes over me when the wonderful white stuff is on the ground. This did not last long as this weekend we have the most incredible SPRING weather. It has been in the low 70's since Thursday. So the car shopping I put off last weekend happened on Saturday.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Terri's Birthday

Last week my friend Terri at DST celebrated a birthday. Well thanks to UPS she got to wait until Friday to get her gift from me. I got the inspiration from my friend Cyndi and her sister Shelby a few weeks back. I was one of the lucky ones to get one of the metal Valentines from her. This piece is embossed metal, colored with alcohol inks, the Dresden foil strips are from Rock Candy Studios. I saw the saying a few months back and thought of Terri and know that was what her present would be designed around. She told that it is hung in her new office. That means a lot to know.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Discovery of my Niece

This is Katalina an AWESOME soccer player! She has been playing competitive soccer for over 2 years now. I am sorry to say that this is the first time I seen her play. Now that I am back in charge of what I do I went to see her on Saturday for the first time. It was so cold, but at least the rain held off until the end of the game. That I might add they won!!!! I felt so sorry for the girls standing out there on the field in shorts and all of us sitting on the sidelines in coats, covered with blankets and drinking hot beverages.
This is how I saw her most of the game running and man can she run. I am sure that is way she stays so small. After running this whole game she only ate a pbj sandwich. MMMMMMM maybe I should take up soccer for seniors and maybe I could lose all my weight. On the other hand I think I will stay with walking.
Not only did I discover that she is an awesome soccer player but that she is turning into a wonderful young lady. She has a heart full of love and smile that shines for miles.Especially now that she had braces taken off last week. She has a natural beauty that girls and women alike would die for. Discovering how wonderful this blessing from God made my weekend.
I see soccer being added to my spring time schedule. Watching her was great fun, but also taking photos of her and her team was lets say was another discovery that I made this weekend. I have spent years wanting to learn how to take photos and be one of those photo hounds that always has their camera with them. Taking snap shots of life as it pass by way too fast.
This was a weekend of moments. I even slowed down and noticed them. I went to a soccer game, lunch with great friends, shopping with another friend, created a couple of art pieces, got hugs from friends that I haven't seen in a while, (yes I love hugs), spent time with my sister, attend Sophia's birthday party, laughed and spent time with my wonderful daughter. AHHHHH the everyday MOMENTS!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Soul Sisters

Well here is a piece that I did tonight. It has been in my head for months.(yes there is something up there other than air) Every since the day Candice and Roxi showed me the Sisterhood College Sheet from RockCandy Studios and told me to design something using it. Well the Muse can home with me tonight and we got to work after Sophia's birthday party. I had a little fun with the nuns. (Roxi I hope you don't hold it against me, I am sure that since they were your aunts that they had a sense of humor, I hope) I just had to add glasses to the one and the bingo numbers were a must also. The church in the back ground is actually the church that my Grandmother Murphy attended as a child. I am giving this piece to a special art friend for a late gift. Yes that I was to give her back in December. Sorry it is so late Robyn, hope you understand.

Also, I must say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Joseph who turned 11 on Thursday and Sophia who is turning 7 today. I LOVE YOU BOTH!!!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Life compared to a Tree

I have always loved seeing trees in the the winter. This is one that I have looked at many times and wondered what all it has seen in it life time. It stands in the middle of a field and has several burial sites under it that date back to the 1800's. When Michael was little he always wanted to go and clean up around the tombs.

But what I wonder the most is what is it like to have to show your inter self each year to those who are looking and not being ashamed of who you are. Those looking are either looking and seeing the beauty in the unleafed tree with all the imperfections and the true self showing or they see something that is in a dormant stage of it's life and will be lush and green in a few months. I know that myself it is very hard to show the inter self with the imperfections, the broken hearts, the hurt feelings, wishes, dreams, fears, strengths etc... If I were a tree I would have to bear this to everyone each year and not really for sure if I could or would want to. As with a tree I think that we need to show these things to others even if it hurts and is uncomfortable so that we too can bloom into a majestic wonderful thing of beauty. We all have emotions, dreams, hurts, etc that need to be share with someone with out judgment and the fear of rejection. So be a naked tree to someone today and see how it goes.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Carol's Birthday Present

This piece I did for my friend Carol for her birthday. I was a little late getting it to her with all the things going on at work and having to ship it to the otherside of the US. I did think of her on her Special Day and let her know that I was thinking for her and my other friend Kathleen that shares the same birthday. I sent Kathleen a piece as well with trying to get it to her I didn't get a picture, but it turned out really cool too. I saw this saying and though of Carol and so the process began. I did a background in red(her favorite color and mine too), added some flourishes, RockCandy Studios and you got the finish project.

Small bit of Wniter Wonder Land

On Wednesday we got up to a little snow and ice. But in the south this last most of the time for just few hours. I stayed at home and work. Which I must say I got more done in the 5 hours than I do some day in the 10 I am in the office. They waited until almost 6:30 to call the schools. It makes you wonder who is running the school system. As the High Schools start at 7 and I was on the way out the door to take Stephenie and to pick up a couple of her friends to take them to school.

I love feeding the birds this time of year. It is so nice to look out the window and see them eating. I know that they could survive with out me feeding them,but hey if I can make someone or some animal's life a little easier. It doesn't take but a few minutes out of my day to feed them.
Well, I know that it is not much for all my Northern friends, but here in the south this was enough to cause great distress. But have no fear we are back up in the 60's already. It does wonders for helping your sinuses and making you feel sluggish.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Going Back to where it all began..

well that is where my LIFE began in Denver Co over 40 years ago. I will be traveling here for work in the end of April, so I figured that I should take Stephenie and show where my life started. Once I suggested this my parents decided that they wanted to go back there too. So the trip has turned into a small family vacation and a work trip for me. I was able to get us all on the same flight going out and they will be coming back before me as I will be staying for DST training(getting updated on our computer software package and seeing some great friends that I have made through work). This will be a great trip for me as I have not been back to see where I was born or lived as an infant since becoming an adult. I will be glad to be able to document this on film and hey all of my blogging friends better get ready as I will be boring you all with the photos. Of course we will travel up the mountain to see snow. This will be the highlight for Stephenie and I has both of LOVE the snow. We had to buy her a new coat today just for the trip as they are on clearance already for the season.(BTW the high today was in the 20's)

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Well, I have not posted in a few days due to the fact I have been getting ready for the CPA. You have heard of hell week in sororities, well January is that for me in my job. You close out one year and have to be ready for the next with in about 24 hours. After you do that small feat you start doing a months worth of work in about 3 weeks. Of course you have all the quarterly tax things, getting payroll ready for a new year, of course everything has changed from last year, getting w-2's ready,daily things and getting everything ready for the CPA. The CPA left yesterday and only had a few journal entries that needed to be done, so I guess that is a good thing. Now time to play catch up with the things I had to push to the back burner. Oh did I also mention that I had a birthday in all this mix. I am hoping that by Monday I will be back to sort of regular schedule.

So I will be back to posting soon again with photos and short little snippets of my life.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


You can click on the link here or in the side bar of my blog to see all the wonderful instructors we have coming to this event and the AWESOME class descriptions that will be offered. There is also a registration package available on the site for you to use.
We look forward to seeing you in the fall for this first ANNUAL Mixed Media Advent here in the south.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


I slept in late 6:30 am that is. I got up and took myself to breakfast. Read a little and enjoyed a couple cups of tea and breakfast. Went back home for a long hot bubble bath which is such a pleasure and treat. Especially this time of year for me. But since I took the day from work I indulged. Went by the post office box and found a card from my DST buddies with a great happy. I also checked the my emails. had many warm wishes and ecards.
Okay I was going to spend the whole day by myself but who could resist this great smile and wonderful daughter. As it was raining, she couldn't go do what she wanted and under that great smile her teeth were killing her(she just had a orthodontist appointment on Friday and had a ton done to her braces). I invited her to hang out with her old Mom. Of course her take on it was: it's your birthday and I need to drive you and keep you company and there is food and you are buying. So off we went to Collierville a small town about 30 minutes away with a great town square, one of a kind shops and great family owned restaurants that serve food other than burgers and GREAT service. Found a couple of little treasures. Yes I have a problem with spending money on myself.
This is where we had lunch at the Silver Caboose. I really enjoy eating here. The atmosphere is relaxing and very enjoyable. Yes I had great company. I do love having time to just talk with Stephenie. She is so funny and full of life. I like to hear the stories of what is going on in her life. Which just makes me realize that not has much as changed everyone thinks. I am very blessed with a wonderful daughter. Then went to a couple of shops in Arlington to look and I did get a small piece of pottery that matched a tray that I got for Christmas of course Stephenie a treat as she calls it. My friends Renee, Steffen and I went to Macaroni Grill for dinner. Lets just say that the service was not there but the great conversation and friendship was. Steffen got me a really cool set of drill bits and a ratching screw set. I just love my handy woman tools. We had a great time just talking and getting caught up. Then is was to home and bed. Got to work on Sunday, but my birthday was all mine.
Well the birthday treats did start out on Friday. One of my co-workers took me to lunch and had them bring me a piece of cake with a candle. NO SINGING! I am not the one to have the whole restaurant to be looking at me. Then I got a cheese cake and necklace from a couple of my other co-workers. The biggest surprise was the tool box with my name on it and all the tools inside. My god-sister Christy, husband Nathan and Taylor, Samuel and Caleb(which shares my birthday) brought me by the office on Friday. I do know that it is very weird to hear a woman get excited about tools but I do know how to use them and will. My Mom, Susan(sister) and I went out to eat on Friday and had great time just talking uninterrupted.
This is picture of how I would really like to celebrate my birthday. Yes I know it is snow. It is on the list to just go and play in the great white stuff, drink warm drinks by a big fire and relax. You must have dreams! Thanks Lisa S for the great picture of your back yard!

Friday, January 9, 2009


Okay I have been teasing you with here are some pictures of what great things are in stored for you with Mixed Media Melange on Sept 10th - 13th, 2009. Watch for a link to where you can sign up for this great event on January 15th I will have it posted to my blog on that day. This will be the place that you can release the inter child and all your creative muses with fellow artist.

Look forward to seeing you there!

Sunday, January 4, 2009


M3 is on the way. I am still pinching myself after the big meeting yesterday. Candice, Robyn, Roxi and I met yesterday for about 9 hours to iron out(just some of the) details for the Mixed Media Event that we are hosting in September. Who would have ever thought that there were so many details to consider. This is something that we have so been wanting here in the south and since one has not come, we are bring it here. It was so hard to chose what classes to offer from all the amazing instructors who prsented us with RFP. So please watch my blog on January 15th for the big reveal of the details and the AWESOME classes available.

So as the old saying goes we are bring it and hope that they will come.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Word for 2009

is DISCOVER see, get knowledge of, learn of, find, or find out; gain sight or knowledge of (something previously unseen or unknown) notice or realize
3.Archaic. to make known; reveal; disclose.

I chose this word for 2009 for many reason. As many of you know the last several years has brought many life changing situations to me. Through these difficult situations I have lost pieces of me. I want for 2009 to be a year of discovery of who I am, what I want for me and my life. I know that this sounds selfish but it has come to the time for me to discover what I want and not what others want for me. So let's see what I discover through out the year.

I chose SIMPLICITY for 2008. I did make some changes that helped simplify my life, home, job and world around me.

HERE IS WISHING YOU A GREAT 2009 the year to DICOVER!!!!!!!!!!!!