Wednesday, November 26


This is an "unofficial" posting of a smattering of wedding pictures. DH and I are now heading southwest to spend thanksgiving with the grandbaby, son and daughter-in-love. :-) So we unpack...and then we pack. Again.

Meanwhile, I'd like you to meet Mr. and Mrs. Paul Clouse:

Aren't they radiant? And, the Reluctant Ring Bearer...oh there WILL be stories! Trust me!

And the Unity S'more. Oh yes. I'm serious. Details to come!

The wedding shoes and throw away bouquet...aren't they too die for?

And the reception tables...a few surprises upon our arrival: A) It was a gymnasium, NOT a low-ceilinged reception hall. B) There was a basketball court drawn on the floor C) IT WAS A GYMNASIUM...

However, NOT to be undone or delayed, I wrangled a few of the bridesmaids and hubby dear and we got the place set up in intimate, cozy little gatherings. More pictures of the OVER abundance of desserts and the happy bride and groom. (Oh, and a few of mom and we couldn't seem to get away from the camera that day.... :-(

Tuesday, November 18


Greetings, dear reader!

Wanted to show you a quick Christmas ornament...made with a favorite "recycled" product:

The STARBUCKS JINGLE CUP! Designer Wilna Furstenberg came up with this little treasure. It's super simple to make:

First, I suggest you purchase a holiday Mocha Peppermint Twist from Starbucks. Venti (XL) is great, but Tall works a bit better for this project!

1. Using red glitter glue, cover the red part of the cup.

2. Using white glitter glue, cover the white parts of the cup.

3. Cut a circle from Christmas paper to fit the top of the lid and glue.

4. Add a bell to the ribbons

5. Using a craft knife, make a slit in the lid and loop ribbon(s) through. Be sure to glue or tape ribbons to inside top of cup

6. Add some glitter to the rim of the lid

7. Drop or string 2 or 3 bells to the inside of the cup

8. Adhere the lid to the cup

9. Add a tag, ribbons, decorations, or more bells!

Add a Starbucks gift card and you've got a great little gift package that hints of what's inside!

Ornaments not your thing? How about a Starbucks Christmas Card?

Simply flatten the Starbucks Tall Cup. Trace cup onto cardstock. Fold both in half. Use brads, eyelets, staples, ribbons, or needle and thread to adhere cardstock to inside of cup. Crease fold with a bone folder. Now simply add a holiday greeting with rub-ons, a photo, or tape a Starbucks gift card to the cardstock! Voila! A wonderfully festive red and "green" way to recycle!

More soon!


Sunday, November 16


Greetings, dear reader!

I hope this finds you staying warm and getting used to the idea that winter is nearly upon us?! I am less than thrilled at the prospect, however, there ARE good things that happen during the winter months:

  • many of the bug-gy creatures go dormant and/or die off
  • many of the germs do likewise
  • Thanksgiving!
  • Christmas!
And now I add to the list, my youngest son's wedding! November 22 is the big day, and I am busy as a mad hatter getting things ready for the gala event:

Meanwhile, between bursts of wedding madness, I am still creating goodies for my shop. This little treasure has a much more practical use (which, ask anyone who knows me, is NOT my typical!). Behold the Holiday Planner:

It includes:

  • Travel Itinerary
  • Budget Worksheet
  • Christmas Card List
  • Craft Supply List
  • Gift Ideas
  • Black Friday Coupons & Ads
  • November & December Calendars
  • Master Task List
I also added lots of 9x12 and 6x9 envelopes, to hold ads, coupons, cards, photos, and other miscellany. I joined the SisTV's "30 Days to a Handmade Holiday Online Class" and so have my Master Supply List as well as Class Schedule.

I will be stamping and decorating and adding visual goodies to the planner up until and through the holiday season. I DO after all have the title of "Queen of Embellishments" to live up to!

What are YOU doing to prepare for the coming holidays?

More soon!


Paula Clare

Tuesday, November 11


Greetings, dear reader!

(You'll note there is no music for this post...I'd like for us to take a moment of silence in honor of those who have sacrificed and given so much for their country)

I wanted to take this opportunity, Veterans Day, to say "Thank You" to my eldest son who spent 8 years in the marines and 2 years in the Coast Guard fighting for, believing in, and defending the country he loves so much. You are loved and appreciated, Ian!

And I am equally proud of my son in this role:

Thank you, Ian, for who you are and what you've done and continue to do for God, family and country!

More soon!


Paula Clare

Monday, November 10


Greetings, dear readers!

I'll bet you thought I've fallen off the planet? Well, no, not really. I have just been very busy both with counseling AND with getting my shop ready for the holidays! I am hoping to have everything loaded into my shop by the weekend...I'll keep you posted!

Meanwhile, here's a sneaky peeky of what will await you at Art In Season:

The images are so sweet they'll make your teeth hurt! Stay tuned for more crafting madness and inexpensive gift ideas for the holidays!

More soon!


Paula Clare

Saturday, November 8


Greetings, dear reader!

Perhaps some of you remember that I am a robe-wearing, card carrying member of a merry band of Franciscans called the OEF? (Order of Ecumenical Franciscans) As you may or may not know, we are a real community, not a virtual one, and we meet together regionally to have fellowship and check in with one another. Today we had such a meeting here in "the Vern." One of our dear brothers entrusted his life (and directions) to Tom Tom and headed our way. After a few wild goose chases and a couple of pig paths later, he showed up at the door, grinning ear to ear.

Gathered today were myself, Michael Vosler of St. Louis, and my dear friend Dusty, who lives semi-locally. Dusty is an amazing cook. Add that to an incredible gift of hospitality, and we can always know that if SHE is volunteering to bring the food, we will eat well. And eat well we did! She brought a delicious baked potato soup, and a hearty chicken tortellini. Both were beyond fabulous. As per her fashion, she also brought a vat-0-chex-mix...for she knows a certain Franciscan sister loves the stuff. (She even adds extra cashews, and leaves out the wheat chex, and has a perfect blend of spices and seasonings she entitles the "Paula Clare mix.") She also made (I told you we'd eat well) a yummy cranberry orange bundt cake...heaven, I tell you! TOTAL heaven!

After checking in with one another and discussing how we were doing in our Franciscan vocations, we spent some time in the sanctuary, singing, praying, and reading liturgies that centered around the subject of poverty. We are incredibly blessed to have some wonderfully gifted writers in our little order, and the incomparable Katie Cook created the "Room at the Table" packet of services and liturgical materials. It's an incredible mix of traditional liturgy and Bible readings, contemporary dramatic readings, and thought provoking exercises and activities meant to "spur us on to good deeds."

I presided over the eucharist (communion, Lord's supper) and we shared a common loaf and a common cup in remembrance of our Lord's DECISION to become impoverished so that we could find solace in our spiritual poverty. As always, the breaking of bread and drinking of wine (grape juice) together is very bonding and humbling. I'm often amazed at the power in this simple act of service and obedience. We in OEF share around an open table, meaning anyone, ANYONE, who is a member of the family of Christ is welcome to come to the table with us. It's one of the first things that drew me to this little Order. Inclusion for ALL is truly an act of love and comittment to our Lord's mandate to "Remember Me."

All in all, a wonderful, inspiring day! I am SO grateful to have found this little, rag tag group of "wacky monks!"

More soon!


Paula Clare

Thursday, November 6


Greetings, dear readers!

As many of you may know who follow me on Twitter, I was able to spend the day with my sister and her family (the fam that's moving out of the country in January :-( ) in St. Louis. They were visiting several churches in the area and had a few hours to spare, so my friend Debbie and I drove to Chesterfield to meet them.

We decided to eat here:

I thought it apropos since they are moving to Africa! The decor was fabulous...behold the elephant that greets you at the door:

And the ceiling was amazing...

And it is ALWAYS wonderful to see my dear nieces, Emileigh and Aria:

And my longsuffering brother in law who endures all the cackling and carrying on:

And it's ALWAYS good to have my sistuhs with me...

Because after all, WE ARE FAM-I-LY!

(Thanks to Deb for having the presence of mind to bring a camera...I was so excited I ran out of the house without mine! ARGH!)

More soon!


Paula Clare

Tuesday, November 4


Today a great privilege is afforded us...VOTE!

The StoryPeople sent this today...I felt it appropriate:


"I promise you, not a moment will be lost as long as I have voice to speak and we will walk together with a thousand others and a thousand more and on and on until there is no one among us who does not know the Truth: there is no future without love."

More soon!


Paula Clare

Saturday, November 1


Greetings, dear readers!

I am currently in the process of updating and reloading my shop, Art In Season. I will put the link back on this page when it is complete and ready for Holiday viewing!

There aren't many times during the year that you'll hear me "Woohoo"ing about living in the midwest. However, autumn is one of my "woohoo" seasons. Indeed it would appear that autumn is upon us in Southern Illinois...Behold the amazing, colorful foliage:

All untouched by Photoshop...all amazingly vibrant. Only a remarkable Creator could pull off such splendor with such incredible vibrancy!

More soon!


Paula Clare