Friday, May 30

Greetings, dear reader!

As promised, here is the video clip of our excursion to the top of Rocky Mountain National Park...I do not yet have a video camera, so I had to use the video option on my Kodak to get this footage. I AM, however, proud to announce that my DARLING family (my two sons and hubby dear) bought me this for Mother's Day:

It's fab, yes? They got me the coveted "orange" with the orange tripod and a (NOT MATCHING) red and black carrying case. (WHY would a company that obviously sees the value of a color coordinated set offer a carrying case in the wrong color? I just don't get it...) Anyhoo, better video footage to come. Meanwhile, enjoy with me the blizzard at 12,000 feet! The date is May 25th, the sun was shining, the wind was howling (at 65-70 mph!) and yours truly stepped out of the car long enough to film the blizzard (and have her hair frozen in a "locked and upright position" (sorry, too many airplanes in the past week!)

More soon!


Thursday, May 29


Hi, honey! I'm hoooooooooooome...

Greetings, dear reader! Did you miss me? I must confess I missed the world of blogdom...but was so utterly overwhelmed and mesmerized (do you know the etymology of that word? Fascinating...learned about it (him) while studying movies and psychology in undergrad. A French silent film entilted, "Le Baquet de Mesmer" discussed the work of one Franz Anton Mesmer...who discovered what he called "animal magnetism"...which came to be known as mesmerism...James Braid, a physician, later developed Mesmer's ideas and created hypnotism...thus the english derived root word: Mesmerized. Meaning, "to become like one hypnotized..." One never knows WHAT kind of odd-but-true trivia you will learn on my blog) I digress...

So overtaken by the beauty and peace found in the mountains and the fast-moving mountain streams...we spent a good deal of our time just driving around taking it all you can see from the above sign, our vacation spot was at a MUCH higher elevation than we are used to here in flatland (480 feet above sea level) Southern Illinois...the thinner air, (although FABulous from a "no pollution" standpoint) took some getting used to... Here we are in front of the mammoth rock at the entrance to the little town known as Estes Park, Colorado. Estes is the Colorado entrance to the Rocky Mountain National Park...(stay tuned for video!)

What you cannot see in the picture is that the wind is howling at about 50 miles per hour, and the temperature is a chilly 45 degrees! Brrrrr....(husband is convinced some people will endure ANYTHING for a photo...he's right! My tripod barely stood erect long enough to snap the shot!)

And this is the view from the road going into (I said that one word alot during our time there. I was actually rendered speechless a good part of the time, which you, gentle reader, might realize is a bit of a novelty for THIS intrepid traveler!)

And more views from the road...being one who loves the beach, sea and surf, this rugged mountain beauty certainly inspires a different kind of "awe stricken" verbage. I...oddly, lacked appropriate adjectives to describe what I was seeing. "Wow" was often all I could manage...

Our first day consisted of settling into the cozy, one room cabin:

The Big Thompson River runs right in front of the cabin...the mountains are just beginning their springtime, so the river is fast moving and freeeeeeeezing cold!

A duo of daring ducks brave the fast moving, frigid elements...

And a mama and baby mountain goat climb the mountain across the road (they are close enough that I caught this photo with the zoom lens of my camera!) It's amazing how well camouflaged they are...except for the movement, they are very nearly undetectable!

And preparing for a mountain, sight-seeing adventure the next day!

Stay tuned...more photos, videos, and high elevation surprises tomorrow!

Peace! Out!


Tuesday, May 20


Greetings, dear reader!

We are off to the mountains! I shall stay in touch (when I come down off the mountain) via text message and Twitter (which you can check out in my sidebar)...meanwhile, I give you photos taken when "in paradise" last year...

Monday, May 19


Greetings, dear reader!

I submit to you this evening my latest Photoshopped version of my grandson...

He's just learning to walk...he's gotten SO BIG so quickly! It's clear to me we just don't get to see this dear little face often enough!

More soon!


Sunday, May 18


Greetings, dear reader! Blessed Sunday to you!

Just a quick post to show you what I've been up to today...I'm finally using the fab little Maya Road chipboard birdies I purchased a month or two's my first creation with said birdies:

I used the wrong side of a wooden plaque, and then glued cardboard and paper to it. I then added Tim Holtz's distress Crackle Paint in Tattered Rose. I used several coats to get the cracking effect I wanted. I used a Hambly transparency as a pocket for the photo, and used a Rhonna Farrer rub on (heart). I used Basic Grey's Wholy Cow Rub Ons (Flowers) . I painted the little bird with the tattered rose paint, and then stamped it with Stampendous Perfectly Clear Pattern Trio. I used Tsukineko Brilliance inks in Pearlescent Sky Blue and Pearlescent Pink. I then just added vintage millinery flowers, buttons and baby pom pom trim in pink.l I just love the way it turned out...although I'm not sure where I'll hang a "pink" anything! (It's a fairly new fave color...)

Anyway, it was great fun...only 2 days til Colorado! Woohoodlyhoo!

More soon!


Saturday, May 17


Greetings, dear reader! This will be a "quickie post" because I am going to TRY and get to bed early tonight so I can be up early(ish) to travel with dear friend Dusty to St. Louis for a regional Franciscan meeting. These regional get togethers with other tree hugging, peace loving types, are ALWAYS nourishing for the soul...I NEED to see some folks with similar mentality when it comes to such things as war, politics and all the other trappings therein.

Here is a layout I made tonight using one of my favorite quotes from Gandhi..."Be the peace you want to see in the world." Also, some of my "new" favorite papers, stamps, etc. Basic Grey's tree paper, Sassafrass Lass clear stamps: Oliver and Friends. The blue hearts are snaps from Heidi Grace...

More soon!


Friday, May 16


ScrappySue from Wellington, New Zealand! HIP HIP HOORAY! HIP HIP HOORAY! HIP HIP HOORAY!

Congrats, Scrappy! Send me your snail mail and I'll get your T-shirt to you post haste!

Thanks to all who entered and shared with us your heroes!

Keep your eyes peeled for more fab RAK giveaways! WOOT!

More soon!


Wednesday, May 14


Greetings, dear reader!

First of all thank you for your overwhelming response to the 7 Gypsies Deal-o-roonie. It has found a happy home so I will be taking that post off the blog. Woohoo! Thanks for your enthusiastic response!

I write to you today to play "show and tell." Remember that little game from elementary school? I used to LOVE to find bizarre things around the house to "wow" my classmates. I today received one of those "wow" kind of fabulous prize from Casa Bella and Teresa McFayden!

Behold the glittering goodness...

It of course came beautifully wrapped and with this lovely little greeting card/container! I haven't made up my mind yet, but I think I'll put it on my front door. You must admit there probably aren't many doors in Southern Illinois with "Bon Jour" greeting folks!

I also couldn't resist this sweet little bouquet...the metal, polka dot container as well as the little jingle chick stole my heart! And the flowers are just ... springy!

More soon!


Tuesday, May 13

An Amazing Artist...

Well hello there, oh bloggy friends o'mine!

I have found the most amazing artist...behold his incredibly FAST altered art style!(I'm not even sure WHAT he's painting ON, but...well, just watch and see...

More soon!


Sunday, May 11


Greetings dear reader!

As promised here is the flower bouquet created from Hambly's new ATC Overlay. I saw a video on Scrap In Style TV and just HAD to make one! I just love the different patterns and the 3 dimensional look!:

And here are the scrapbook layouts/wall art using some of the most popular Sassafrass Lass papers. I glued them (using a Uhu Glue Stick and Beacon's 3 in 1 Glue) to an 11 x 14 canvas and voila! Wall Art!

The dimensional flower is a tiny version of the above Hambly ATC Overlay method! And here's the owl wall hanging I did using the same method:

There you have it! Hope you have a crafty-relaxing day!

More soon!


Saturday, May 10


Greetings dear reader...and happy mother's day to you!

It occurred to me earlier today that those dear ones I'd be spending my day with tomorrow are ALL going to be spending THEIR "day" with each I'd love to be part of THAT party! As it is, I am going to plant a rose bush in honor of those three mother, Mary Lou, my mother-in-law, Pat, and my dear friend Deb.

My mom: a self-made, self-educated woman who was strong & independent...and helped make me that way. Here are the articles written about her at the time of her death:

Beloved Former City Clerk Dies

OZARK--An icon. The one person who knew more about Ozark than anyone else. The one person who cared more about Ozark than anyone else. Those were just some of the comments made by friends of Mary Lou Erhart, retired Ozark city clerk, who died suddenly Aug. 10.

Mayor Donna McQuay said she fielded the same question over again when folks called to express their regret and sympathy:

Erhart became city clerk in 1982 and retired in 1999. During those 17 years she kept the city running through different mayoral administrations, ran a household and buried her husband.

"Her husband, Kenny, developed cancer," Grubaugh said. "She took care of her job and of him and never missed a beat."

Grubaugh, who was mayor from 1983 to 1991 said Erhart combined honesty with loyalty-qualities that endeared her to the Ozark community.

"I think she was a very loyal person-to her job, to the community and to me as mayor," he said. "She was city clerk the whole time I was there. Nobody is any better than the people working for them. If I was any good at all, it was because of her.

"If she told you something that was exactly what she meant; there was never any question. She said it and that was it. She was honest and forthright with everybody. And if she made a mistake she expected to be told but she didn't make many.

"I'm going to miss her-miss her a lot."

Grubaugh's wife, Betty, a local political force in her own right, also remembers Erhart with fondness.

"She was quite a lady," she said. "This town will certainly miss Mary Lou. There's no doubt about that. She knew what was going on in this city when no one else began to understand. She was sharp. She was Neal's very close worker when he was mayor and she has been a very dear friend to me. I feel sorry for Ozark that we've lost a friend like Mary Lou. She will be greatly missed. "

City Clerk Lana Calley and Treasurer Alice Edwards, reflecting through their tears, expressed their sadness at losing a friend.

Mary Lou was like everybody's mother or grandma," Calley said. "Everybody really relied on her knowledge and her pep talks.

I called her every once awhile for reassurance. It is like losing your mother-you're going to pick up that phone to call her and she's not going to be there."

"Mary Lou was city clerk when I started," Edwards said. "She was a wonderful lady. She loved the city of Ozark and she always tried to do what was right for the city. She lover her Lord and she loved her family. I don't think a day went buy when she didn't share a story about her grandchildren. She was a wonderful friend to me and I will miss her."

Even after Erhart retired, she consulted for the city to keep things running smoother, McQuay said. And not only will the folks in Ozark miss Erhart but many outside the are who benefited from her kindness will miss her too.

"She was here at City Hall last week," McQuay said. "She was getting ready to go on a missionary trip to Arizona. She was always involved in church work and dedicated even more time with church after she retired. Her dedication and loyalty was just overwhelming. That is hard to find in this day and age-to find someone who cares that much. There's no doubt in our mind where Mary Lou is."

And about my dear mother in law who just passed away this February:

Mrs. Patsy Clouse of Okawville, IL departed this life in the Friendship Manor Health Center at Nashville, IL on Wednesday, February 27, 2008 at 12:45 A.M. She had attained the age of 74 years, 5 months and 5 days.

Patsy was born to Marvin and Flossie (nee Gilmore) Gorman in St. Louis on September 22, 1933. She was united in marriage to the love of her life, Edwin “Boots” Clouse in Wellston, MO on February 15, 1952 and he preceded her in death on May 12, 2001.

“Boots” and Pat began their life together in St. Louis, but moved to Okawville to raise their children in 1972. She loved her warm home very much and especially appreciated spending time outdoors on warm sunny days. Pat’s major occupation was that of a homemaker, but she did work at Carter Carburetor in the mid 1970’s. In addition, she held several part- time occupations through the years. Pat was a devoted Christian who enjoyed reading her Bible on a daily basis. She also enjoyed listening to hymns and reading inspirational materials. She had an excellent memory for details and could easily remember information about old movies and historic events. She was a terrific Trivial Pursuit partner.

Left to mourn her passing are 5 children; Terry Cornwell and husband Ed of Granite City, Kim Hudson of Florissant, MO, Kerry Clouse and wife Paula of Mt. Vernon, Kevin Clouse and wife Lori of Nashville and Cara Schmidt and husband Troy of Green Valley; 1 sister, Fern Schriefer and 1 brother, Bob Gorman and wife Beverly all of St. Louis. Nothing made Patsy happier than spending time with her family. She gave a never- ending supply of love and generosity to all of her family, especially her grandchildren, Bill, Steven, Alison, Ian, Paul, Jay, Jeff, Bradley, Bailey, Madilyn, Teegan and great grandson, Mason, who will all miss her very much. She always put the needs of her family before her own.

And, finally, in memory of my dear friend Deb:

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Deb Smith was born in Cincinnati and lived here until she was 41, when she and my dad moved back to the farm where he had grown up in southern Illinois.

Born and raised in Cincinnati, she graduated from Princeton High School. She attended Cincinnati Bible College, then took time off to raise two daughters and a son. She was a person who enjoyed "being," not simply doing.

All her life, Deb created art. She worked with paint, clay, fabrics, stained glass, pastels and all types of found objects.

Later in life, she took the role of a nontraditional student and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Miami University-Oxford with a degree in Fine Arts. She then earned a Master of Fine Arts from Eastern Illinois University. After this, she taught painting, art appreciation, drawing and sculpture at Frontier Community College in Fairfield, Illinois. She was also a sought-after Judge of fine art for several Illinois art shows and competitions.

Deb was wholly devoted to her faith. She and her husband Tom co-pastored for 35 years at both Fellowship Christian Church in Monfort Heights and Grace Community Church in Mt. Vernon, Illinois. She brought her artistic gifts to serve people in and out of the church her whole life.

As a team, Tom & Deb operated Smith Family Farms, where they raised and sold beef cattle. Deb was active in all areas of the farm, from bottle-feeding orphaned calves to feeding the team of farmers to even naming some of the cows.

She was a woman who was loved by so many people in her short time on Earth.
(above article written by Deb's daughter Charity...edited)

So dear friend, allow me to remind you: If you are fortunate enough to HAVE your mother with you this holiday, DO make the best of your time together. Get photographs. Laugh. Tell stories. As for me...well, *I* will be planting rose bushes!

New art projects using Sassafrass Lass papers and goodies next post! Meanwhile, see where my inspiration came from...the amazing (once again) Ngaire Bartlam!

Friday, May 9


Greetings, gentle reader! I am wondering after the long (I admit) and rather rambling (I confess) post about my heroes, I was wondering if per chance YOU might have heroes who help to inspire YOU? You don't need to list 10 (unless you want to) but list a few of them and I will put all the names of those who comment into a hat and draw a winner for a Paula's Palace of AltAred Art T-shirt! The T-shirts were a great hit in the Spring Giveaway, and so here's another chance for you to win this FABulous T-shirt (again being modeled by our uh-hmm "Merchandise Model.") Again, it's a size XL and is made of wonderfully soft brushed t-shirt knit.

Your heroes can be living or dead, real or fictional. The main thing is that they have lived lives that inspire you!

Oh LOOK! I purchased these FABulous Love, Elsie embroidery designs. This is the collection entitled "Neverland." She loaded her Etsy shop the other night at midnight, and I stayed up to see what was going in...I'm so glad I did! The tree and the Native Girl are my faves...

I also got this gorgeous little treasure from Artsy Mama's Etsy Shop:

Isn't it yummy? I haven't used it yet because I keep staring at it thinking, how adorable it looks in the little seed containers! The little vintage mushrooms "sealed the deal..." aren't they the sweetest?

By the way, if you think of it, please say a prayer for me this Sunday. As you know it's mother's day and I am (5 years) without MY mom and we just lost my husband's mother recently, Also I won't get to spend the day with either (any) of MY babies...I don't expect it to be an easy day...

Thanks so much,

More soon!