Thursday, March 31, 2011

Not my favorite day........

Today it has been 20 years since Tucker sustained his injury. I won't be dwelling on it, but painted this picture last night to reflect my inner feelings. Feelings that are often kept well hidden.

Tucker is sick, so he will be home from school. We will have a cozy day watching tv and listening to music while i cuddle, love and care for him.


Congratulations to Patty, Barbe and Angela. It was hard to pick only 3 winners for the giveaway. I read each and every one and heard your stories and I wish all of you could be taking the workshop. I appreciate you playing along.

Fun with Jane

Last weekend, Jane came over to play. We also went to see Dillon perform as Kenicki in his high school's production of Grease. It was a great show and I was so proud of Dillon. He really gave it his all and it showed. It was fun to see it with Jane.

Jane and I had no idea what we would be creating. Neither one of us could come up with an idea. She brought along her basic tool kit (which for us, is filled with yummy treasures and tools). Before she left, I told her, "bring a doll head".

So after putting our heads together, we decided to use some paper mache torsos, adding our doll heads to the top, using a vintage glass footed lamp base to house the body (torso form) and then building a wire cage to go around them.

So that's how we spent our time, building our girls, painting, collaging the paper mache bodies, creating fun hats for them and then accessorizing them with fabric and decorating their wire skirts. As we worked, we decided to carve niches out of the front of the paper mache and made little bunnies to sit inside. I had a really bad sinus headache, so Jane was kind enough to fix my wire skirt which was a complete mess since i didn't measure my lengths very good!

here's a pic i took of our dolls together before Jane headed home.
Mine is done for the most part, just need to paint my bunny. When you have time, stop by to see how Jane's is coming along.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

digital fun

week 2

I'm playing along with Jen Osborn's "What are U up to today?" where we check in on Wednesdays to show what we are doing. So here's a picture of me playing in the virtual world as i work on my digital collage.

I've been taking an online course called digital magic with Marie Otero and really having fun. I'm getting to do all the things with my photos that i wanted to do digitally. it's been great to alter artwork as well. this session is almost over, but you can get on her email list and she'll contact you the next time she does it again. She is attentive, patient and didn't mind holding my hand a bit! i've found her lessons to be clear, concise and easy to follow. Anything i haven't understood, i just pop her a question about it and she lead me in the right direction! my review? well worth it!

This cute little bird, a Thrush, is from a picture my mom took a few days ago at her place (Bass Lake, CA). i thought he was so dang cute, he needed his own collage!


tomorrow i will post pics of the project that jane and i worked on this weekend! and don't forget, there's still a few more days to enter the giveaway for a chance (x3) for Melody Ross's next session of Soul Restoration.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I'm a Brave Girl are you?

In keeping with women supporting women, I wanted to share Melody Ross with you today:

the very sweet, Melody Ross, founder of the wildly popular, Brave Girls Club, is getting ready to begin a new session of Soul Restoration. There are two parts, Soul Restoration Part 1- Finding your Truth and Part 2 - Living Your Truth.

I'm going to type out what it says inside the photo above in case it is hard to read. it is a point not to be missed and one that many of us can relate to:

Imagine yourself as a house... a beautiful perfect house..... starting out with fresh paint and beautiful windows and lovely carpet.... filled with all your favorite things and your favorite music and everything that brings your comfort. This is the house where your soul lives. Things sometimes happen in life, sometimes quickly and sometimes over time that kick our doors in, break our windows and destroy our walls. We stop making boundaries for ourselves and find that others are actually LIVING in our soul house, leaving us nowhere to sleep, no food left to eat... moving our furniture to their liking and putting up their own art. Some of us aren't even living in our own soul houses anymore...feeling totally disconnected from our truest selves and beyond repair.

Who hasn't felt like this? Things happen to us that throw us off track. I personally, went through my own life altering experience 20 years ago with my child Tucker. You all know what a painful event that was for me and one, 20 years later that haunts me. It affects every waking moment of my being (and i'm sure while i am sleeping too). It is a wound never likely to heal, that I live with. That was not the life I had scripted for myself, yet here I am living it. How I am living through it? Sometimes I don't know. I take one day at a time and do the best I can; that's my soul house in a nutshell. I try to be a good person, create art that helps me heal and makes me happy and I try to spend my time with quality people.

After I met Melody, we discovered that we had something in common and that was we had loved ones that had suffered TBI's (traumatic brain injuries). My son, Tucker, who suffered his TBI due to medical negligence and her husband, Mark, who suffered a TBI while surfing. Happily, Mark has recovered almost 100%. But the experiences she shared of those times were horrendous and made me reflect heavily on the deeply, buried painful things we experienced with Tucker; things that I still cannot face.

So you see, while sometimes we feel so alone in our pain, there is in fact, others out there suffering as well. Maybe their story is different, but the common factors are still there.

Melody took a minute to answer a few questions for me :

1) What is Brave Girls Club?

"Brave Girls Club is a worldwide community of women who want to live the best, happiest, most productive and fabulously brave life they can possibly live…and that means something different to every single one of us".

2) Tell me what motivated you to start Brave Girls Club?

"We are doing this because we believe that there’s so much to celebrate in life, even when life is difficult. We are doing this because sometimes you can’t get through things alone….and we want to connect brave women to other brave women so that you never HAVE to do anything alone again". We are doing this because we believe there is a better way…where women can support, lift-up and help each other through life…show each other how to navigate through new and scary things. We We are doing this because we want to be part of that better way…"

here's a little youtube video I found (and there are plenty more if you search, Melody Ross or Brave Girls Club on youtube)

My friend, Sherry, told me that she took the last class, so I asked her for her input:

"Melody has a way of explaining and motivating that holds your attention. She talks about life and our experiences and how we view ourselves, let alone treat ourselves with caring, compassion and understanding. She's been there...she's not ...just talking the talk. She has walked this walk and she is sharing what she has learned. These may seem like "simple", "easy" things to acknowledge or to embrace, but for so many of us, it's the simple, easy way of looking at something that holds us back. We think there needs to be some "BIG" explanation or some "BIG" wonderous moment of "AHA". We know what ails us and we know how we are our own worst enemies. Melody makes it "okay" to say that out loud and to welcome it all as part of who we are. The art? It's just an extra. No skills are necessary because we are all artists ... we are all capable of holding a pencil or pen or a paint brush and stroking out and stroking in what we need to remind ourselves of".

Now for the fun part. Melody has graciously donated 3 spots to her next session of Soul Restoration. I will be hand picking the winners myself on Friday April 1st. This is the 20th anniversary of Tucker's injury and I would rather spend the day doing something fun like, informing 3 of you that you've won a spot, instead of feeling sad. I have not gotten to take the class yet, due to time constraints, but one of these days I will!

So all you have to do is leave a comment here and share why you feel you you'd be a good candidate to win a spot. **very important - you must supply me with an email address**



Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Artfest is almost here

I leave for Seattle in two weeks for Artfest, so i've been busy packing supplies, clothes, stuff for vendor night. I'm always so paranoid i'm going to forget something important. I put a message out in the yahoo group if someone locally would loan me a vintage suitcase for vendor night and i ended up hooking up with this sweet girl, Michelle, who is driving her camper to Artfest and is bringing me not only a suitcase or two, but a table top manikin (for vendor night) and some extension cords for my class. how cool is that? i made her a necklace to say thank you. I love how people are always so willing to pitch in. So that's what i have been up to.

here are some pictures of things i've created to sell vendor night, along with some jewelry and junk:

Tomorrow is Dillon's 18th birthday. I am almost speechless that he is turning 18. where has the time gone?

also, Jane is coming down on Friday and we are going to play and then go see Dillon perform as Kinicki in Wall High's version of Grease. can't wait to see his "Grease Lightening" number! i'm excited to share my sons talents with Jane!

i'm 20 followers away from hitting 500. i think i should do something special. what do you think?
any cause for celebration, i always say!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Speaking of classes - Wings of Love

This was one of my projects from Jen Cushman's book, Resinate. So come spend the day with me at Art in The Garden in West Chester, New York as we recreate these in our own fashion.

date: Sunday, July 17th

Monday, March 14, 2011

Soldered metal book class with Leslie Marsh

Next Month, Leslie is on her way to California to teach at Gilding the Lily and after staying with her a few weeks ago, I said, "well, while you're at it, why don't you come back to NJ, to my house to teach us more book binding". Happily she has agreed! We had a wonderful time with her last summer (despite of the rain), so if you missed out before, here's your chance!

The Art of Coptic Bound Metal Books Mixed-media artist Leslie Marsh will guide an intimate class through the process of coating (with solder) metal plates, then adding other elements (i.e. metal findings, chain, bezels) to create small (2”x3”), one-of-a-kind works of art, to be bound — using a timeless Coptic technique — as the covers of exquisite blank books. These little gems will constitute the basis of photo albums or journals. Or perhaps the book will stand alone as an object d’art!

• Supplied for the class are: metal for covers, solder, flux, antiquing solution, paper and waxed linen thread, needles, head pins, jump rings, chain and clasp for closure, eyelets and beads. • If you have them, please bring a butane (kitchen) torch, tile or solderite pad to solder on, eyelet setting tool, jewelers hammer, jewelry pliers and bench block. If you don’t have any of these items, don’t worry. I’ll bring some to share. *I will have available for purchase ($10) the exact filigree elements used in the sample. If you don’t want to purchase these two pieces, please bring your own embellishments, keeping in mind that they cannot be made from pewter and that the covers are 2” by 3”.

Bio: Mixed-media artist Leslie Marsh binds color, paper, metal, and well, anything into a framework of personal expression. Using centuries-old binding techniques, her books become repositories for memories, snapshots, and inner thoughts. Her passion for books includes an extensive personal collection of current and antique titles.


date: Saturday July 9th
time: 11:00-5:00
fee: $75
location: 1606 Oxford Lane
Wall, NJ 07719
**limited seating**

you can email me at :

Silver Sunday

Whoops, i'm a day behind for Silver Sunday, but that's okay. And actually i don't even have any silver to show you this week. But i have a couple of funny pictures to show you from when i met Beth (the host of Silver Sunday) at the flea market and we were fighting over a vintage goblet. We decided a little old vintage goblet wasn't worth fighting over.

**so who got the goblet? neither- we both decided to walk away. however, i went back a few minutes later and it was "gone" - hmmmmm, wonder who bought it?**

Saturday, March 12, 2011

new to blogging?

I appreciate those of you who take the time to comment or email me with your questions. I'm glad you feel that you can confide in me or that I have somehow inspired you. Frequently I am asked a lot of blogging questions, so today I thought i'd share some resources I found on the net. These resources are full of information, more sources, tips, secrets and tutorials.

You can either put together your blog by yourself or you can pay someone to help you add columns, with design and more. Originally when I started my blog, my blog was on yahoo. Then as my blogging skills grew and my blog got bigger, I realized that I needed to move it. The biggest choices are between Blogger and Typepad; although I know there are many other blogging platforms. I decided to go with Blogger as I felt it was a littler more user friendly.

So once you chose your platform, I suggest, as I did, to go to yahoo or google and start putting in all sort of search words and see what comes up. you can search things like: Blogger + tips and secrets, or Blogger Tips or Blogger Secrets. Even things like: free Blogger templates. You will be amazed at what you can find. Then start yourself a little notebook and jot down things that you like or copy/paste things into a file to reference later.

Another thing to consider is what you want to call your blog. It can be your business name, your name or something that catches your fancy. In hindsight now, I wish I had called my blog with my name. But for now it will remain as is as I feel consistency is extremely important and Lemoncholy's is definitely associated immediately with my name.

To me one of the biggest things that I enjoy in a blog are the photos and in big size. If photos are tiny and the font is tiny, I feel like I can't really appreciate what it is I am looking at (remember at our age, for the eyes, bigger is indeed better!) I think most people are more visual and grabbing them with a pretty or interesting photo is key. If you aren't sure how to bring a photo into your blog, again, hit the net and search: uploading a photo into Blogger. trust me the information is out there. Another key resource is Youtube. whenever I need to figure out how to do something, I search youtube for a video and usually there is a few out there. So take advantage of these resources!

** another thing I recommend is that if you see a blog that you like, take a second to figure out what is it that you find appealing. Is it her graphics, her layout, her template, photography, 3 columns, 2 columns, etc. often times if it was designed by someone, the designer will have a button somewhere on the blog. this might help you formulate a starting place for your ideas.


here are some cool resources i found for you:

Blogger Tips -

this one even has a great section on the right side for FAQ's.

Building Beautiful Blogs-

Karen Valentine, who hosts, "Where Bloggers Create" also does blog design. I've had her do a couple of things for me and she does great work. She's also created a wonderful book that shares all her tips, tricks and information to help the new blogger navigate through Blogger. I'm looking forward to receiving my copy because I bet you anything there are things in there that i didn't even know!

Cozy Little House-
blog tips on Mondays and tutorials

Jodie R. LeJeune
starting a blog 101

photo blogging tips

Gail Schmidt -
custom graphics. Gail is a friend of mine and is amazing to work with (and very patient!). She helps you get your idea into words!

fun and funky free backgrounds- great eye candy!

so that's a start! also, if anyone has any super great blogging tips, why don't you share them with a comment here for us to read!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

News Flash!

being positive and supportive is the new black! take a minute and encourage someone today:

this message is for YOU!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Learning how to Play

Recently I was asked how did I know that I wanted to take my art from a hobby to earning a few dollars from it. Honestly, I'm not sure how that evolved, probably with friends and family encouraging me to sell at shows and then people suggesting I teach classes. However, I do remember saying that I hope it never gets to a point where it was no longer fun. That's the pitfalls of taking your hobby to the next level. Besides creating the art, there is the whole business end of it: promoting, blogging, social networking, submissions, deadlines, teaching, traveling and more. It can be extremely rewarding and you meet many amazing people. And no doubt, it is always a thrill to have someone say, "oh, I know you from your blog" or a stranger shares with you that she "just loves my jewelry".

Maybe after such a long winter, but I'm feeling sort of challenged in my direction. Where am I headed with all this? Am I getting anywhere? Am I just spinning my wheels? Granted, I've got some new changes coming up in the next year (Dillon leaves for college and Tucker leaves the school system and enters the world of the "adult program") I don't like change and I'm not ready to send my little baby boy off to school as I will miss him terribly. These are factors that I incorporate when trying to understand, why the melancholy feeling?

It's also not uncommon for other women my age to feel this way, so I know I am not alone with these feelings. We give so much of ourselves as wives and mothers, that we lose a bit ourselves and I think we start to get this stirring feeling as we approach the time our kids are growing up and leaving the nest. We begin to question, "who am I", or "where is the girl I use to be?" I'm still here, I just need to bring her to the surface again.

I'm not saying I'm not having fun anymore, but where I use to have so much time to sit and play, now it's deadlines and more. I'm spending so much time getting ready for the next thing I have to do (the future), that I'm missing out on present. A lot of it is self induced, I like things organized and planned out. You want your classes to be a positive experience for your students, so you try to get everything perfect. Well, we all know what happens when we try to make things perfect! Perfectionism gets in the way and causes a lot of stress!

The other thing I wanted to add is that in these days and times, we women need to be supporting each other. I've seen alot of what I like to refer to as "the dark side of art" lately; just nastiness, pettiness, jealousy, betrayals and more and it's draining. I don't like that sort of stuff, I can't stand drama and I feel there is no place for it in the art realm. It's taking the beauty away from creating and replacing it with shallowness. I don't need to be a rock star or someone famous and I don't want to have to "watch my back". I don't have those sort of goals. I just want to create, educate and have fun.
We need to be reaching out to each other; keep an eye on one another. We all could use a guardian angel looking after us. Wouldn't it be nice to see our forces as nurturing and caring women come together in a positive way? I was so taken back by all the internet art drama lately, that I had to visually put something in words:

A friend recently professed frustration that certain art girls seem to get all the attention, have successful art careers, while others seem to languish in the background, unappreciated and unnoticed. I'm not sure why this is. Being in the right place at the time? Do they have more finances to back themselves? Luck? Good old fashioned hard work? I try not to get caught up comparing myself to others. It is self defeating and I'll never accomplish anything if I am a green eyed monster! Sometimes, monetarily, I feel I can't accomplish things I'd like to do or give back. But what I can offer, FOR FREE, is encouragement, support and loyalty. I think this is a better gift than money any day.

So my point, (yes, there is one!) is that all the feelings are being stirred and after reading a post by my friend, Kristen Robinson, about playing- it hit me. I'm just not playing enough anymore. I need to get back to the main reason that I started creating things and that was, for fun, for me. If something good comes out of it in the meantime, that's great; but otherwise, I'm removing the pressure I place on myself.

So with that said, I wanted to share with you, Kristen's new online class, "Project Play". I'm here to offer my support and encouragements of her endeavors and I'm sure in the meantime, there is much I can learn. Stop by and take a peek. Maybe you could use a play date as well?

I leave you with one of my most favorite quotes, from "Kung Fu Panda". I just love it. It always makes me reflect:

Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery. Today? Today is a gift. That's why we call it the present.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Hot Glue Gun Helper

a few months back i did a product review for Plaid's Hot Glue Gun Helper created by Cathie and Steve. Well, I just wanted to share that Cathie will be on HSN tomorrow, Live, promoting the items. I'm very excited for her and she is traveling right now, a long day of travel, to get ready for the show. I wish her the best!

Some of you keep mentioning that you really want to get one, so i'll post the etsy shop again:

Hot Glue Gun Helper

Also, if you stop by their new blog, become a follower and leave a comment, you will be entered in a chance to win a kit. i've been trying to get my hands on another kit too, so that i can do a blog giveaway here.

Friday, March 4, 2011

boho bathroom curtain

in the upstairs part of the house is a tiny little bathroom which i use. I always tend to think that it was an illegal bathroom, not up to code, etc. It's a bit outdated although i replaced the toilet and sink (and the sink i hate because it's a weird type of material that stains easily, so it always looks dirty from when i'm cleaning my paint brushes!) But i've done the best i can do with it given their is no money in the budget to renovate it.

so it's always had the brown, floral valance, but i never put in a mini blind, because i really don't like them and i like the light that comes in. It was after i had some house guests that i thought, well maybe i should cover the window a bit to make them more comfortable! (the side of the yard the window faces is lined with trees and i know the layout of my neighbors house and they live towards the other side, so the "open ness" never bothered me!)

So i got out some of my vintage linens, lace, scraps and more and started designing a curtain. it's a no frills get up. i didn't want to buy or add another curtain rod, so i sewed it long enough to just staple the curtain underneath the valance. (or is that just being lazy?).

i love how it turned out. it has a funky element to it, very freestyle, recycled, etc. and also during the day after my shower, i just put the curtain up over the valance to let that light shine in.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

look for the new Belle Amoire Jewelry

If you come across the spring 2011 issue of Belle Amoire Jewelry, my friend, Shari and I have an article in there when we did a swap after meeting each other at The Country Living Fair a few years ago.

slide show!