This is a very timely treasure to find. I have been trying to figure out how I would approach this subject. And this morning I found this ... a perfect segue. :-)
You know, we bloggers are human beings. We always try to blog with a happy attitude and an open, loving heart. But sometimes, well ... there is life that reeks havoc and chaos on our way to learning the lessons of life. And that makes for some gaps in blogging, productivity and forward movement ... and some hard swallowing as we pull ourselves up by the bootstraps and carry on. My clouds have silver linings and I am so very grateful for being able to see the BEST in most everything. But honestly, there are times that the hurdles are too high to get over in a single leap ... and they require a step ladder or two! Or a superhero cape.
And so it goes ... personal growth at its finest.
And that is where I am right now.
And its voluntary (!) mostly.
So as I approach the crossing of a new bridge in this life I realize I've been holding my breath a lot, physically holding my breath. And I have some serious doubts about if I am ready, good enough, strong enough, smart enough, as good as someone who is already successful ... and on and on and on. Those crazy doubting voices in my head who I've been attempting to stifle for a year or more now. I have also been working toward this for a couple of years. Working toward the reality of being a full time artist of many mediums, my own way with my own style. Wondering how long it will take to starve after I totally embark. Fighting for the courage to jump in feet first and survive the abyss of the unknown and enjoy the journey enough to be blissfully happy. And figure out how to do it and not make my family miserable in the process, either by starvation or crazy impossible work hours.
I have asked everyone I come across in this business, "how did you do it"? There have been serious discussions and even crying in frustration. It has been a tug of war I have had with myself. How crazy is that?
My own worst enemy - ugh!
I pray, meditate, beg, trust, listen and start all over again.
Then, I stumbled (quite literally) onto this wonderfully vibrant, colorful and enthusiastic woman. And now I am suddenly equipped with a plan, encouragement and information to go forth with. And I am so very very grateful. This completely zany and wonderful woman is quite willing to share everything she knows to help all of us "out here" figure out how to be successful, wildly so if you desire that level of success. And I wanted to share her information with you all. I know just because I "click" with her doesn't mean you will. But, I am thrilled to have found her and you may really benefit from some of the oodles of free insight and info she gives out. So, please check her out!
For those of you who want help making your business work, I am totally amazed + inspired by the business + blog wisdom in this FREEEE ebook by
Those of you who know me will absolutely understand why I connected with her after you read about where she lives, how she sees things and what she does. You do not have to be creating a business to benefit from her words of wisdom or her enthusiastic spirit.
I am just saying, I am very grateful to have found her.
And now I hope to digest, incorporate and delight in every single thing she is teaching me!
For the past year I have been studying making my creative dreams and hopes for them to come true, preparing a business plans, refining my dreams and business desires, wondering when it will all happen for us. Now I have a blue print. And if I don't do it now, shame on me!
It's the same passion I've had for dance from the age of 5. But this is conducive to my age and desire now! How lucky and blessed am I to have 2 amazing professional dreams to live out in one life time?
So, that's my now story.
Also have been on a journal making mission that has my heart smiling wide open!
Wont be long before my next journal give-a-way is here!
What kind of material would you like to see the cover made out of?
Yep, you read that right! It's tourist season up here in the High Country (Mountains) of North Carolina. And this is one of the reasons why! Stunning, isn't it?
Paul and I were fortunate enough to work catering for a wedding this past weekend at the Blue Ridge Mountain Club. It was simply breathtaking. The service was set up to overlook the mountains and the entire event was spectacular. The catering was done by Grouse Moor Catering, owned by Buddy Fore. Amazingly talented caterer. The groom was a fireman. It made for some entertaining moments. Like this one!
**those sirens are very loud**
In other "'Tis the Season" news, Paul and I have begun the catering season with Eseeola Lodge now. It is a gorgeous and delightful place to be spending our time. Another magnificent venue with wonderfully nice people to work with, and the members are delightful. So, I'm feeling particularly blessed in this season of abundance. There are lots of country clubs around here and because the mountains are super spectacular in the summer, there are plenty of people to fill up our lives and actually bring us "back to life" after the winter of hibernation and the feat of staying warm! And if it comes to working in a cubicle or working out in the glorious splendor that Mother Nature provides, we choose the bliss of splendor, thank you very much. So! That's what's going on around here and why you haven't seen a post for a little bit.
However, I have also had an opportunity to be a bit creative, thank goodness!
My token mess amongst the creative madness! It seems I use every surface in the room (house). Cleaning that up as soon as the post is complete! Reclaiming the house for entertaining now that it's summer. All things change up here ... as I said, 'Tis the Season! We are once again alive.
This will be the last project in the dining room as it finally warm enough to move back into the art studio! Whoop! Can you feel me grinning? BIG HUGE SMILE!
I was asked to make a beach bag for a friend's daughter. I had a delightful time designing
and creating this one. There were zero, 0, nada, zip, NO parameters. I got to set them all myself. It was marvelous! So here is what I came up with.
Fun fabric! With fun buttons!
Pockets for things .... cell phones, Ipod, Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, you know, the necessities! Also has a velcro strip at the top to keep it closed so you don't lose your sunscreen or whatevs...
More pockets, fully lined with durable heavy duty canvas (which my poor little sewing machine did not enjoy sewing upon).
An embroidered beach scene, which I cut out and sewed onto the bag (so fun, collage of sorts). Again, my poor little machine is not equipped for this stuff ... might be time to invest in a step or two up. Anyone have a good recommendation? I've asked before but no comments ... sigh*.
(This lady is a dog lover, obviously).
I chose nylon cord for handles and it worked out fabulously. But I must admit my Mr. had to help me put in the grommets and burn the rope. (He's a wonderful asset to my little business). I am really happy with this little beach bag.
I am sure there will modifications, but for a first or even forth one, I am very pleased.
Now, hopefully the customer will be also!
And what would a bag be without being monogrammed! Just in case she forgets...
Isn't it fun? (I almost wish it had my initials on it! HA!!)
A year ago this Mother's Day, my daughter gave me a handmade journal. This Mother's Day I began using it. I absolutely love it! Here are two of my favorite pages before being written upon.
Oh, and as usual, blogger won't let me post these properly .... so please turn your head 1/4 turn clockwise ;-)
Hand stitched pocket for treasures! all kinds of writing space AND
I AM AN ARTIST declaration, which I seem to desperately need from time to time.
(this one will need you to turn 1/4 of the way counter clockwise, thanks for the variety, blogger).
Hope your neck is stretched out now. ;-)
So, that's enough for this fine Monday morning! I have this to prepare for!
Outdoor dining - I LOVE it!
It's "girls' night on the veranda"! Oh how I love this time of year and the opportunities it brings. There is nothing like the friendship amongst women to complete life.
This is the view from my side screen porch. Isn't it lovely? It is NEVER the same view! But it's always the back side of Beech Mountain, the trees and the sky. They are just always arranged differently. BEAUTIFUL! Mother Nature is amazing.
I wish I could give all the moms in the world a purple iris for Mother's Day!
They are just so filled with love and joy!
As most of you already know, I have adult children now. And grandchildren too.
My grandson wrote "10 Things I Like Best About Mom" and gave it to his mom, my daughter. So she followed suit, and this is what she wrote (which you must know had me in simultaneous laughter and tears) to me.
Inspired by your grandson, these are the TOP 10 reasons of about a
billion why you are the BEST MOM EVER (in no particular order):
1. You played the acoustic guitar and sang "Christopher Robin" to me at bed-time. 2. You hand-made all of my clothes until that adorable little brother of mine arrived. 3. You let me take the "big kids" tap class. 4. I had my first ever back up dancer experience during yours and Bonnie's "Neutron Dance". 5. You made the best Magic Cookie Bars ever! 6. You taught me all about nutrition even if I was VERY reluctant to learn! 7. You taught me to love ALL PEOPLE no matter what their race, background or economic status and you love my "love" Victor C. Hall just like your own son. 8. You taught me to be myself no matter what everyone else was doing. 9. You gave me every skill I use in my "work" : Dance, Speech, Writing, Loving People 10. You loved me unconditionally even when I was an idiot teenager! Thank you for being the BEST MOM EVER! Happy Mother's Day! I love you!
My son and beautiful wife sent me a box filled with glorious handmade bath salts, lotions, sugars and bubbles along with this photo of Jon kissing Wilma, the dolphin!
It moved me to tears to see that little rambunctious red headed boy "still" enough to bask in the gentle spirited magic of a 600 pound, 25 year old momma dolphin! We moms never really quit feeling in our hearts that our children are still those little people we created and watered until they sprouted! I love that both of my children are unique and know me in ways no one else does. The way they both offer their love to me in what they know I would love to receive... I am so very impressed and proud of both of them!
I am so very grateful for being able to wear the crown of "mom" in this life of mine. I love being a mom. I love being "momma Cheri" to lots of children that are not my blood, as well as being mom to the ones who are! Both of my children gave me cards that thanked me for being their mom. Can you imagine? I am being thanked for something I was honored to have been blessed with! What a lovely thing. And in amongst the mix I get more children to love, as I was lucky enough to marry a man with a lovely daughter, Nina. And both of my children have married wonderful people, and then there are the grandchildren. Nope, the whole mom thing doesn't stop as far as I can see. Luckily, it just keeps on and gets bigger and better. How GREAT is that!? Priceless!
I do, of course, credit my own mom for any insight I've ever had to being a mom. She was the epitome of a wonderful parent, with the perfect mix of love and discipline, humor and devotion. My mom's been gone from earth for 20 years now and there isn't a day that goes by that I don't hear her say something to me that makes me a bigger/better person. Thanks, mom. I love you always.
I hope you have Mother's Day goodness of your very own!
This man! Scooter Paul. He is back home and smiling. Perfect!
And yesterday we cleaned up that crazy front porch salvage station. It has been an amazing transition. Photos to follow. I was too tired at the end of the "tidy up"! We also cleaned the screened porch on the back side of the house. It was just a great day for it!
One of my mosaic stepping stones. With all the cleaning outside getting ready for summer, this little Prince just made me giggle. :-)
Paul had the good fortune to help a very generous man dismantle an old (1900) building in Johnson City before it was to be bulldozed by the city. He has been the recipient of so many fun things for our 1924 house! (remember all those tin ceiling tiles? Same building -- and they will go up in our kitchen this month) This light fixture is an early 1900 one that he scored and hung in our little office area. It used to have an ugly fixture with ducks (ducks!?!). Although there isn't much for scale here, it's huge and perfect! And of course, Einstein is a hero of mine ...
The mountain laurel and rhododendron are out in FULL BEAUTY around here! I love having fresh live flowers on the tables around the house. One of our neighbors has unfortunately had their mountain home go into foreclosure. They have beautiful rhodos --- so I've been loving them in their absence. The colors are amazing.
This little shelf has all of Paul's odd little hand made dolls on it! He is such a wonderful artist. I love his take on things. They are of an interesting variety made of corks, spring & screws, dried up apple, and etc. He is very creative ... obviously.
This little gal hangs off of a curtain road. She is made from felted materials SO adorable! This was a gift from a friend, so wish I could take credit for it!
My friend, Patti Connor Greene's beautiful pottery. I just LOVE her work. This is my afternoon tea cup and I use it daily. The little vase is what she calls the "tall vase for short spaces". And the bowl is my very favorite to use for guacamole, hummus, sugared walnuts, yogurt and fruit and/or grapes!
My little red headed kitchen angel, given to me years ago by a sweet friend, who hangs on my pot rack and watches over the most important room in my house. Most of these photos are taken in my kitchen.
This, my most favorite recent piece of art. Painted by Tammy Brinkley, this happy little bird makes me smile EVERY SINGLE TIME I look at it! So cute! Tammy is brilliant.
And the mandatory chalk board to play on and put up reminders that are important! Also, a happy brightly colored sign and a beautiful water color of the Robert Mondavi winery.
And of course, last but certainly NOT LEAST ... a lot of you have been asking about our grandson, Christian. I guess since he is doing so very well he hasn't had center stage on the blog lately. So without further delay, here is the most recent shot of our sweet, HEALTHY, happy little boy!
And his afro! :-)
These are just a few things (and people) I love on this Monday in May!
So .... My husband and I went to an auction with Tammy and we scored this really old and ratty dining room table for $2.50!
Two dollars and fifty cents! Yes, we did!
Poor thing was beaten to a pulp ... it was probably very nice in its day. It weighs a ton! Paul used it for a work table for a while when we first got it home ... but that is not what I was thinking it was for. I came home one day to find his scooter atop the table being worked on. Boys and girls do not think alike! NO THEY DO NOT!
So, as you can see, it's getting a coat of chalk paint - Emile to be precise. That was my plan --- a scooter on top? GAAAAHHHH!
So while it was drying I took pictures of my beautiful azaleas! I LOVE the color of the blooms! The locals call these honeysuckle azaleas. I just call them orange. :-)
So this morning I began something I've wanted to do for about 15 years! I began painting this $2.50 table with the brightest funkiest colors I could find. I have had the best time EVER today ... just me on the front porch with my paints, MAC, music and fresh air! FABULOUS!!
This crazy blue tape kept peeling off the original layer of paint. Crazy stuff! But who cares! There is plenty of paint, right? So fun ...
Pandora is truly my friend! Good times!
I wonder if the neighbors had ear plugs in? HA! I sang along, loud! How else can you sing along?
And I made a fabulous mess. That is my favorite things to do. When my children we young the best times we ever had were making messes!
A mess I tell you! Delicious abandonment. Been a long time!
But this table is going to be one happy place to have dinner! We usually have dinner on the veranda during the summer here. It's delightful outside in the mountains most of the summer. This porch is covered and since winter is over, we clean it off, plant flowers, make food, invite friend and life is good!
But first I have to finish this! I have barely scratched the surface ... but I had more fun painting this today than I've had in ages! Such a wild life I lead~yeah!
So, while this was drying and I was preparing for the clean up mission, I took more pictures, this time of the front garden ... iris and more iris. I love them!
Japanese iris ... so petite and precious!
Big Purple gorgeous Iris. Scrumptious!
I really enjoy the flowers and plants. This year everything is up and out so early. We are in bliss around here!
And every day includes a gift. I thought mine was spending an entire day doing art --- but my friend Janine brought me these. Do you know what they are?
Asparagus plants! Holy smokes! What a fabulous gift!!!