wow, have i really reached day 30? where did the time go? In my opinion, tomorrow is officially the kick off day (for me anyway, i know it's started already....) for me to play Christmas music. I admit it, i love Christmas music! and i really tire of people complaining about having to listen to it during the holiday season (usually it's store clerks who have to listen to it constantly, so i might have to cut them some slack!) i like to put it on in my studio on my XM radio (the Holly station) or i carry Christmas CD's in my car. As soon as i get up in the morning, i like to turn on the stereo and play Christmas CD's while the kids are getting ready for school. I feel that music is key to memories (along with smells). I have fond memories when i hear certain holiday songs that my mom played when we were little. For years, i tracked down all the music we use to listen to (now happily on CD"s) and those songs are now incorporated into my children's memories. Here are some of the CD's we listen to (warning - some of these are old and maybe not familiar to you). Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass Band - Christmas Album, The Andy Williams Christmas Album, John Denver & The Muppets, Ray Conniff - We wish you a merry Christmas, A Patridge Family Christmas Album, Nat King Cole , Squirrel Nut Zippers - Christmas Caravan and the all time favorite - TSO (Transiberian Orchestra) - and luckily i've gotten to see them twice now!
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
today i am thankful for Jean! i have arrived here in Mechanicsburg, PA after a longer than expected ride due to rain and fog and we set right to work! Jean is a retired teacher and she is excellent at teaching! we are making soldered bezels for jewelry. it is a fun technique and very easy. there' s a lot of steps to it and it is nice to have Jean done all the experimenting, etc. and she knows how to save time by doing things in order. i've enjoyed it quite alot! she is very generous with her supplies telling me to bring nothing and has been giving me things left and right. she made me an awesome soldered charm with my name on it. i didn't arrive empty handed either. Jean got one of my cworky dolls on the letter "J", a paper mosaic mirror i made for her using the tim holtz class, a little pocket calendar that i collaged on and a homemade "Merry Christmas" banner, which she promptly hung up! I asked Jean if she would also be holding a vendor night for me - lol. i could go shopping in her studio, which HUGE! too bad i can't load any pictures, but will show you when i get home. her home is gorgeous and she has bird feeders outside everywhere. i loved watching the chickadees, finches and tufted titmouses flying in for seed and peanuts! what a nice day. tomorrow we are pouring resin into our bevels and then going supply shopping; since i want to have alot of the supplies on hand when i return home and not have to order stuff online (save for a few items). well, i am off to bed because i am exhausted. i wanted to tell my husband that i loved him and am grateful that he lets me just dart off to Pennsylvania to do art (especially after just returning from Nevada!) goodnight!
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Today i am thankful for my art friends! As i leave for Pennsyvlania tomorrow to visit yet another art friend, Jean; i am thankful for their generosity and welcoming arms. Jean was a member of the Artnsoul Charmsters group. We held a big swap (50 members) and she was one of them. She lives in Mechanicsville, PA, about 3 hours from here. So recently we were emailing and discussing Artnsoul in Hampton, Virginia, when we hatched a plan for me to drive and see her and do art things for 3 days (well, and some shopping)! We even get to take her golf cart out for a ride in the woods! But, my point is, is that how cool is it that i get to go see her. Like the time i got to go out and see Kim in Ohio for my birthday. That was so fun and great to see her again. I think it'd be fun to map out a fantasy trip to go visit all my blog/art friends and make my way across the country.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
only 4 people responded to the blog giveaway - so i 'm gonna mention it one more time to give people a second chance to enter. When i get back from Pennsylvania (on thurs. or fri.), i will pick the winner!
so the contest was about posting your favorite holiday tradition (either a current one, or one you did as a child).
I'll mention a few of our traditions to start off. Every year i buy all of us new PJ's to wear on Christmas morning. (and another viewer mentioned the same thing!). I like to get them from Old Navy so that i can get matching bottoms for all of us and then we wear the same colored top.
Our other tradition is our stockings. Jeff fills my stocking, I fill Jeff, Dillon and Tucker's stocking. When Dillon wakes up in the morning, he gathers all of our stockings and brings them upstairs to my room. we make our coffee and then open up our stockings. Dillon's stocking is huge - about 2 1/2 feet long! i found it one year at thrift store in California when we were visiting my family. i find dillon a basket to put all his goodies in after he's unwrapped his stocking. When he was younger, i use to hide his stocking. he would wake up to find a clue next to his pillow. that clue would send him to another clue and so on and so on until he eventually found his stocking. throughout the years he found his stocking in the dishwasher, dryer, shower, basement, my closet, dillon's own closet, under the beds in various rooms. Santa even hid his stocking when we were in California for Christmas one year. That was the year that Furby was so hot and i put one in his stocking. Well, if you remember, some of the furbbies would start talking on their own. and i could hear the furbie talking in the dishwasher. it was so funny, although, it freaked dillon out a little bit!
one last thing we use to do (and you should try this if you still have young ones.....) is we would take a pair of boots and some baking powder. We slightly wet the boots and then dipped them into the powder and then "walked" them coming out of the fireplace around various rooms. so, in effect, it looked like "snow" and that Santa had been walking around the house.
so tell me your traditions, i loved to hear them!
Today i am thankful that the Black Friday show is over! and that it was pretty successful. Doing shows are a lot of work! Between setting up my booth on Wed. before Thanksgiving and then manning it Fri. and Sat., i logged a lot of hours! Yesterday was much busier than today and i know a lot of vendors were frustrated by the lack of business. my guess is that they were all at the mall, Circuit City or Walmart! I had a great day Friday and a so-so day today, but added together, made for a nice weekend. Met some nice booth mates and might do an open house with one of them the second week in December. My husband helped me dismantle the booth and we were out of there in no time!
Friday, November 23, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Happy Thanksgiving! Today i am thankful for family and friends! Best wishes to all my online friends and readers and to my family out on the west coast! I know my father is having thanksgiving with my stepbrother, Andy and his family while my mother was heading into Yosemite National Park (she lives real close to it) to spend the day there taking pictures with her dog, Muppet. I've been creating a blog for my mother as a Christmas gift, so i've given her homework to post her first blog (i gave it to her early!) when she returns from the park. i will post her blog address after she posts (cross your fingers she can understand all my instructions as this is all very new to her!)it'd be nice if you all would stop by and say hello. Her blog is called "Ageless Adventures". it will be stories of her travels now and of her travels as a navy wife for 25 years! She loves taking bird photos as much as i do, so i am sure there will be some spectacular photos to see!
update: my mom blogged! stop by and say hi at http://muppandme.blogspot.com/
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
are you bored with your stuffing? have i got a receipe for you!
Kecia's Thanksgiving Stuffing:
bag of stuffing (follow directions on bag)
5-6 celery diced
2-3 yellow onion - diced
can cashews - crushed
2-3 granny smith apple - diced
*the night before Thanksgiving, I diced up my onions, cashews,apples and celery. And by dicing, i diced them quite thin. I put them all in a bowl and then add olive oil, chicken broth, salt, pepper, minced garlic, a dash or two of cayenne pepper, a tiny splash of vinegar (apple or cider - doesn't matter). Basically i flavor the heck out of it!
*in the morning, the first thing i do is start cooking the bacon. it is tradition in this house to smell bacon the second you wake up on Thanksgiving morning. save a little bit of bacon grease.
next sautee the goodies you diced the evening before. i sautee in olive oil and butter. sautee them til they are no longer crunchy, but soft.
next, add the bacon and a teaspoon of bacon grease to the sautee items.
cook up stuffing according to directions and then add all ingredients.
put in a casserole dish and bake (do not add to turkey). i like to bake the stuffing at 350 and wait until the top of the stuffing gets really pretty brown.
give it a try and let me know what you think!
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Clam dip receipe by my grandmother, Helen Stark:
this is a yummy dip! you have to make it - but be warned,it is addictive!
1 or 2 cans of drained,minced clams (i like a lot of clams, so i use 2 cans)
8 oz. package of cream cheese
1 tsp. of worchestire sauce
1 tsp. of lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
take cream cheese out of package and slightly melt in microwave (maybe 20 seconds- just enough to make it easy to stir). add clams, worch sauce, lemon juice, salt & pepper. mix well and refrigerate.
when chilled eat with fritoes or ruffled chips. Yum Yum!!!!
continuing on about art retreats........ i am extremely thankful that i am in a position to get to go to these retreats and take classes. i realized how lucky i am, as alot of women (or men) can only dream of getting to go.
Last May i attended Artiscape in Ohio. There is took 3 classes with my friend, Karyn Gartel of The Altered Diva. i just love her work and whimsy. i met so many wonderful people and made some awesome friends that i have since had a chance to see again. (kim and julie in ohio, shar and Lennea).
Then this summer i drove to Boston and spent 3 days with Tim Holtz at Absolutely Everything. what a great time that was! so much fun. his classes are busy and very hands on, so you are constantly creating and then walking away with a fabulous project!
In October i attended Artnsoul in Portland (where i hooked up with Lennea again) and got to meet some great women who had come together and formed "The Charmsters". we each made 50 charms and then held a swap. We have another swap cooking for Valentine's day, which i am hosting. can't wait for the mail to start pouring in at the end of January! might have to make the mail lady a gift! I finally got to meet my good friend, Jan, at Artnsoul after emailing each other for months. we will reconnect again in April and then again in May. I also met my newest best bud, Zhulia. i told her that i felt like i was looking at my future self with her!
Now, it's not a formal retreat, but Jean and I are getting together next week for 3 days in Pennsylvania. we met thru the Charmsters group and she is 3 hours from me. We are getting together for some project sharing, shopping, etc. I am so excited to be doing this. Jean is very generous to have me come just like that and open her home to me. In turn, i have promised to make her my famous tacos (don't be jealous, Kim!). we are going to be creating some resin jewelry and who knows what!
In feb. i leave for Utah to attend Artnest with Anahata Katkin, Pam Garrison and Amy Hanna! i'm tickled pink about getting to go to this one!
In April, i leave for Washington state to attend Artfest hosted by Teesha Moore. Here i will hook up with Kim and Julie, Andrew, Jan (and meet Frank the tank - yippeee!) and finally meet my online friend, Lindsay. again, can't wait! I'll be seeing some other familiar faces like Michelle and Lauren from the Charmsters group. and i get to meet Layla (Ms. Mod!) for the first time. There i am taking 2 classes with Nina Bagley and wall paper people with Anahata Katkin.
Then in May, i leave for Hampton, Virginia. i will be driving there and probably picking up some people along the way. I get to see Jan and Zhulia again, Leeann and Jean and Layla! (plus others i am forgetting about!) there i am taking uber portraits with traci bunkers, girls got gothic with Sally Jean, Junk Drawer Metalsmithing with Stephanie Lee, transparency collage with Michael deMeng and butterfly boxes with stephanie rubanio.
I have so many fun things to look forward to. The anticipation is just as much fun as going!
Monday, November 19, 2007
today i am thankful for the exciting news i received! earlier i had tried to sign up for the art retreat "The artnest" only to find out that they were full. I was hugely disappointed about not getting to go and kept thinking about it over the next few days, feeling bummed. finally i said, "ok, enough! time to let it go, it will work out the way it should" - so i did.
and sure enough, yesterday i received an email from The Artnest saying that there was an opening and that was i still interested in attending? WELL OF COURSE!!!!! So needless to say, i am quite excited.
there are only 20 people going, so it will be a small intimate venue. it is held in Park City, Utah, which i love! it is gorgeous there! i have friends in the area, so hopefully will get to see some of them. and here 's the best part - guess who is teaching?
how about that?
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Today i am thankful to be home safe and sound. it was a long day of flying; we left the hotel at 6:30am and finally arrived home at home around 9:00pm! it is always great to be back home and since i 'm a tad afraid of flying, it's makes it oh so much better to have landed safely!
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Friday, November 16, 2007
i think i am going to have to cheat and repeat yesterday's subject. Dillon and i are having a great time here in Fallon; spending time with my father and step-mom, Angie. I am thankful that dillon is getting to spend some quality time with his grandpa. his other grandfather isn't a part of his life and with my dad so far away, he really doens't have a lot of time with grandfigures. so i am really happy about this.
today we took a drive up to Virginia City which is about an hour or so away. We stopped for some pictures at the Gold Hill Saloon, where Jeff and i were married 17 years ago on Dec. 1st. the saloon dates back to 1859. for the ceremony i came down these rickety old stairs with my father at my side. we took some reenactment photos today, which was fun (but of course, sans Jeff!)
we walked around Virginia city for a bit, which is an old mining town. there's the "bucket of blood" saloon and we went in and checked out the "suicide table" which is an old gaming table for cards that apparently has caused 3 previous owners (from way back when....) to kill themselves as they couldn't come up with the monies owed on bets placed at the table...... slot machines at every turn. we ate lunch at The Bonanza, with its 100 mile view. afterwards we drove the cementary where i took some time taking pictures while Angie and Dillon beebopped about. (dad chose to stay in the car since it was getting cold and windy.
back home to Fallon for a spaghetti dinner and then looking at old family pictures.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
today i am thankful to be here in Nevada visiting my father, whom i haven't seen in 3 years. we stopped for ice cream on the way to his home in Fallon, Nevada (outside of Reno), stopped for an eggnog latte at Starbuck's (he's been reading my blog!), went for a walk around his property so i could take pictures and look for junk (found a really cool vintage nevada license plate that i promptly announced i was taking...)
we just had a nice dinner of fajitas, chitchatted and i even got a crash course on how to do Soduko! (don't think i'll be very good at it!)
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Monday, November 12, 2007
I've decided that it's time for another giveaway. i'm starting to get into that Christmas spirit by starting the giving early!
i'd like to hear about your favorite holiday tradition. whether it is something you do now or when you were a child - tell me all about it!
i leave thurs. morning for Nevada to celebrate my father's 70th birthday, so sometime next week i'll have a drawing for a prize.
i think i'll save my favorite tradition for tomorrow's 30 days of thanks.
today i am thankful for birds! i have loved birds for such a long time. i love to call myself a bird nerd. i want to have a tshirt made that says "bird nerd" along with a cute photo of a bird. i really enjoy photographing them. it is always a thrill when i see a bird i don't have a photo of. here i am sharing with you some of my favorite bird photos that i have taken.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Today i am thankful for COURAGE. As in the courage to try new things and have the confidence to do it. As i head into Brooklyn today to check out a new venue, i can't help but think, "what am i getting myself in for?, is this place going to be lame? is it going to be cold inside (it's in an old warehouse), will there be food, will i sell anything?" etc. so many unanswered questions could easily make it simple to say, "oh, forget it, i'm not going". The venue is called "Artists and Fleas" and it is a place that artists and up and coming designers go to sell their goodies. (check it out at www.artistsandfleas.com) it looks funky and edgy,which is totally my style. i usually worry about if i'll sell anything and will it be worth my time. my husband on the other hand, told me, stop worrying about "THE SALE" and just do it for the experience. hand out cards and meet people (all the while, freezing my bum off! called the lady running the venue and she said it will be cold in there. ugh).
So that is what i am doing today. i am driving into Brooklyn and dragging Dillon as my copilot. it's a long day 12-7 and we have to leave NJ at 9:15. i've brought plenty of layers and my camera.
so wish us luck and remember - you gotta be in it to win it!
Saturday, November 10, 2007
well, tucker had a nice day and a wonderful party. it was a small intimate gathering with my mother-in-law Janet, my sister-in-law, Gayle, her boyfriend, John and then, me, jeff, dillon and the guest of honor, Tucker. we had pizza, macncheese, chicken fingers and chicken wings. for dessert we had cupcakes and icecream!
Friday, November 9, 2007
Today i am thankful for my health. Around my birthday (right as i came home from Ohio), I was sick with some really odd symptoms. i finally went to the doctor on my birthday and he ran some tests. about a week later, the tests came back that i had some virus - but this virus actually had a name - CMV; part of the mononuclosis family, (not the usual, oh, its just a virus). so i looked it up on the internet and yep, sure enough i had all the symptoms but one.
It started when we were descending on the airplane on my way home from Ohio. my quads started cramping up horribly. by the time i got off the airplane, i could hardly walk. (i'm not exaggerating here.....) i grabbed a luggage cart and had to use it for support. i got my luggage and sat down to call my husband. i said to him, "something is wrong with my legs". i am not a dramatic person by any means, so he took this to be alarming. my shuttle finally arrived and i felt nauseaous the whole way home. by the time i got home i was white as a sheet and very shakey. my legs were quite painful so i took a hot shower and layed down. i felt so horrible not only physically, but mentally as well because jeff had been taking care of the kids while i was gone and dillon had had a very high fever (another reason to feel stressed). i wanted to help him out but i couldn't. i guess i felt guilty.
the next day my legs felt better, but then i was walloped by extreme exhaustion and fatigue. i could hardly walk a foot without being out of breath. then my body started aching in weird spots, like the back of my knees and then my elbows, and then my shoulder blade, back of my neck, etc.
I was put on an antibotic, but the whole time waiting for the tests results, internally i was freaking out. what was wrong? is this something serious? i can't be sick - i have kids to take care of. it was killing me that i had no energy, no drive, couldn't even go to my studio. it was scary.
the virus i had is actually quite common. 3/4 of adults have been exposed to it, but just don't become symptomatic. eventually i started feeling better day by day. by the time i went to Artnsoul, i was still fatigued, but standing on much better ground.
i also had a breast scare too that turned out to be fine. i am lucky. i am feeling well and healthy. i know so many people with chronic ailments (my son being #1 on the list) - so i know how hard it is to feel ill all the time. it's draining, it's depressing, etc.
so today i am thankful that my little virus episode was just that, a minor blurb. i am lucky to be healthy. my thoughts are with those who are dealing with illnesses, recent diagnosises, chronic ailments.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
I am so glad that so many of you are enjoying the 30days of thanks! and i'm enjoying all of you who are also participating! it really is fun to read the different things we are thankful for, be it strong and powerful like FAITH or daydreaming like me about a house that i would love to buy. again it just shows me how unique and different people are and that is what makes it interesting. how boring would it be if we all discussed the same things?
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Today i am thankful for the ability to dream about things. not dream as in sleeping, mind you, but dreaming/hoping/wishing, etc. Like some people dream of winning the lottery. Ever since my husband showed me this property for sale, i've been dreaming about this house. I find myself thinking about it and thinking of how awesome it would be to have this property and all the space that comes with (i think it's like 12 acres or something!) this property is chocked full awesomeness! i don't want to describe it too much, because i want you to take a second and look at it. look at the pictures and dream with me! take a look at the second picture - that would be my studio! okay, now that you're curiousity is maxed out, here is the link: http://www.landandfarm.com/lf/s/63/116190.asp - and also notice the guest cottage where i would put all my friends up! wouldn't this place make an awesome art retreat? so since artfest is taken, artnsoul is taken, artunraveled is taken, artiscape is taken, artnest is taken - what shall we call this fantasy art retreat? how about Deveney's Divinities? (wow, that should be my next business name!) i want your input here!
Jessica of Funky Finds has featured my etsy shoppe on her "go to" blog. Her blog picks out all kinds of funky little stores and helps give them some attention by talking a little about them. So today is my turn - yay! go take a peek at her blog and leave a comment that i sent you!
p.s. i feel a blog giveaway coming soon!
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
for those of you who have been missing my art, have no fear! i've been posting something to be thankful for every day during the 30days of thanks, so haven't really been showing my latest creations - but trust me, i am still working! this is a childs guitar that i picked up at a flea market. last week, i got the crazy idea to collage it and then embellish it with bottle caps! i love how it looks! this is the 3rd guitar i have altered and i have to say, they always look so cool. now if i could only get the rock world to take notice! visit my etsy store at: http://www.keeshagirl4.etsy.com
Today i am thankful for - my room or as i like to call it, my sanctuary! When we originally bought this house in 1995, it was 2 separate rooms with very low ceilings. We decided to knock the wall down that separated both rooms and turn it into one big room! We raised the ceilings which helped tremendously. I found some empty space in the walls and had some built- in's created (some bookshelves and a place to put my t.v.