Tuesday, May 16, 2017

T is for Tasty

Since Onz and D were home for a cooking holiday, I was placed on temporary hiatus from cooking, which I extended to all household duties.

The cook books came out, lots of perusals ensued, and fabulous meals and desserts were created.
some of our favorites
Pasta Bake with Mill River Wine

Followed up with dessert,  A hazelnut torte from Flour cookbook.
Every chef deserves a little lovin'
Practice for the big day!
And one of my favorite mugs....

from M& S, one of my favorite stores
so happy my baby still loves home...
No place like home
and surprise visitiors coming in through the back door are the best.
Flowers to welcome my family home.
Wishing you happy meals shared with family and friends.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Happy Mother's Day Mail

What an awesome Mother's Fortnight Surprise!....All the way from London, totally unexpected....
Look what came for Mother's Day!
My worker bees...who surprised us with a visit...and lots of cooking! Absolutely the best surprise I ever received! And to top it all off cards and flowers...

I am her favorite cat lover 

Two cards better than one...from Fi

Balloon and Roses from O
It's nice when your mother's day card has your name on it!
And of course, more flowers, yay!
Flowers from Onz and D

It was such a fun few weeks. I hated to send them on their way yesterday. I did send some home made chocolate chip cookies, Onz's request, right in time for Chocolate Chip Cookie Day! Hopefully, they will enjoy them for a while.
But always on Mother's Day, I will never forget my own incredible mom, who I miss every day, but she is always in my heart. Sending Mother's Day wishes up to heaven with all the love the world can hold.
Beebs...you're such great company!

Wishing you love, the gift of kindness, and a chocolate chip cookie!

Monday, May 1, 2017

What's in the your mailbox?

Outgoing mail for the Mail Me Some Art exchange
Here Comes the Sun
The theme made me think of the Beatles' song, so I added.."and I say it's all right.", and I shortened Beatles to Bee... I saw some funky decorations in a Hallmark store, so that's what I used as my inspiration.  I added some glitter, but you can't really see it in the photo.
I mailed the finished postcards off to Wanda, so she cans send them out to the other mail artists. I coordinated her envelope with the postcards, and tried to find a stamp that worked with the theme.
After I finished I had a few different ideas. Next time, I will start the challenge a little earlier.
It's in the mail!
And if you are interested in a cute, quick read on the power of letters, this is a good one..

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Testament to the power of a pen pal friendship


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Words on Wednesday...grief and memories

I am a firm believer that often what we need comes to us. The holidays can be particularly challenging especially if you have lost loved ones.  Last year, I had come across a piece of art by Jennifer Orkin Lewis. Through the magic of google, I saw that she did the cover art on Passed and Present...Keeping the Memories of Loved Ones Alive by Allison Gilbert. Allison writes about the grieving process. She also wrote Always Too Soon: Voices of Support Who Have Lost Both Parents. I had not even considered a book of this sort, but finding them was a gift to ease the sadness of the holidays. I cannot recommend these books highly enough.

Onz also suggested that we make a Pinterest page where we could pin memories. Often if one of us is feeling lonely or nostalgic, we will pin something or look at the page. Just thinking about it evokes the memories of fun times we shared together. 

Emptying the family home has also been a challenge, despite the lack of clutter.  No overwhelming distraction of the enormity of the situation, it is right to the heart of the matter.  My dad lost his parents before he was 30; my mom's father died when she was 11, and her mother, Annie, died when mom was 39.  I have only seen one picture of Annie, taken when she was 66. This was her passport picture, her one and only visit to America. There are no other pictures of my grandparents, or any pictures of my parents until their wedding.The void that I have in my own personal history has made it even more important to try to carefully curate my parents' belongs, so that my kids have a memory and link to the wonderful grandparents that they had. 

As we do this difficult task, I have thought back to some of what Allison wrote about in her book, as well as the kind words of family and friends. My sister, family, and close friends have shared so much love and support. Being able to talk about my parents and the memories of growing up, especially with Nish, has been the source of so much comfort. As we go through my parent's belongings, we think of the significance of all the items, and the good times we associate with them. Together we can keep their memory alive, beyond the mementos. As we move forward, and emulate all of their wonderful qualities, I believe they are still with us and bringing goodness to the world. 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

T stands for Tchotchkes

My friend CJ encouraged me to start blogging, and I have really enjoyed it. It is another creative outlet and provides a connection to so many creative people to learn from. As I have added blogs that I am following, I have also been inspired. I was oohing and aahing over Susan Branch's Easter decorations, and decided to add a bit to mine.
Easter decorations.
Although Easter is over, looking at the display makes me happy, so I will leave it up a little longer.
Taste the Magic of Every Moment of Every day.
Always on display are a picture of my kids when they were little. I bought the frame when I was in Belfast.  I thought it was perfect caption for the photo of little ones devouring a huge slice of watermelon. Nish bought the demitasse cup  for Fi when we went to An American in Paris.  What I night! Out to dinner and followed up by sipping champagne at the show. The little ceramic art studio was a gift from Onz. It was made by Beth S Macre, who I found on instagram. Onz said it way passed the hint stage because I kept mentioning it, but it was still an awesome surprise when it came!
Some bunny loves you!
I just picked up the bunny and ceramic egg. The egg lights up and gives a nice reflection on the wall. The silver hand holds 5 hearts, symbolizing the 5 people in my family.  I always say that I hold these hearts in my hands, so be kind, be gentle.  I like to think most days, it works.
W.B. Yeats
my favorite Irish poet
And for my kids, I say dream big...you got this, and I am always in your corner.  And for you on Bluebeard and Elizabeth, dream big, taste the magic. Happy T day!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Mailbox Monday

Some outgoing mail for envelope exchanges

Happy Birthdays and Spring

Love is..love is...receiving mail!
Card received from Jean and some more outgoing mail
And some postcards for the MMSA Quilt postcard exchange..
Watercolor quilts

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Happy Earth Day

Fi and I enjoyed some outdoor yoga at our local golf club!
A five Mile Walk, and a view of Boston on one side, Revere Beach on the other was how we celebrated Earth Day.
View of Boston

Hope you enjoyed the great outdoors too!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Words on Wednesday..

I love books that make you think, especially about complicated issues. We are All Completely Beside Ourselves A Novel by Karen Joy Fowler was based on a scientific experiment from the 1930's. It was not a book I would normally read, but Onz gave it high marks for being unexpected and thought provoking.
                                Thoughtful Primate                        

There is so much to think about in this book, from human/animal interaction, family relationships and scientific testing. I read this book years ago, several years after seeing an art installation  at the DeCordova Museum. The museum had lifesize 3d fabric monkeys hanging on vines. The exhibition was about animal testing and included a photographs of the monkeys. Their faces looked so human like and expressive. From this room, you entered another room, where there were photographs of the ravaged faces and bodies of AIDS vicitms.  it left me wondering about the costs and benefits of animal testing. I still don't know the answer. 


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

T stands for Treats and Time

Patriots Day is a holiday here...a funny sort of holiday, because some people have off and others don't. Fortunately for me, Fi had off, so that meant some quality time together. I am a firm believer if there is an opportunity for fun together, you need to go for it and make it special in some small way.

We started our day with a trip to Swiss Bakers, whose motto is "our food makes you feel good". No false advertising there, they are right.
swiss bakers, store front

ham and cheese croissant
We were fortunate enough to find Swiss Bakers through a groupon deal a few years ago, and it was a find. It's not a big place, but it has a variety of savory and sweet croissants, freshly baked breads, and rolls.  So that we would make the most of our visit, we grabbed a raspberry almond croissant for that evening. From there it was time to head to the beach.
My happy place.
A little windy, so we had the whole beach to ourselves...after our visit, we admired the flowers at some local garden centers.

Mahoney's Garden Center
It was still early, so I felt inspired to go home and do some gardening of my own. Fi made western scrambled eggs for us. It's always nice to have someone else do the cooking and it was scrumptious. Now for my own garden..

Spring flowers
I love nature and springtime especially when everything is coming back to life. In celebration of earth day coming up, some of my favorite mugs....
Mug from Kew Gardens
Gifts from Onz after our visit there

John Muir Quote
another present from Onz
When the city feels like it's closing in
Wishing you all a happy week, and a chance to get out to enjoy this beautiful world of ours.

Monday, April 17, 2017

What's in your mailbox?

Tell me why I don't like Mondays....I love them, especially if there is a mail delivery! At 74 degrees, it was a beach day and a mail day! What's not to love!
Life's just a beach and
I've got mail!
I received the following hand constructed envelope from Janet.
From Janet
That is my blue bird of happiness sitting on top of it, and it's arrival certainly made me happy. I am going to try to figure out how she did it, and return a similar version to her. It's really bright and fun. It's a collage of all different images which she has affixed with some sort of super glue. Inside is a sticker, A good rule of thumb...Start slow and taper off... so funny, I've already started slow, so the tapering off may be just around the corner. It looks like a Susan Branch design; I love her whimsical style,, so I am pretty certain I recognize it.  The next envelope was from Cathy.
Pretty in Pink
I love the lettering. The white on the pink really pops, and the Oscar delaRenta stamp is a perfect match to the envelope. She took an on line class Flowers, Foliates and Flourished Envelopes. Just looking at the envelope makes me think that she learned a lot. The next one was from Jannie
Zentangle Flowers
Jannie used the fun purple orange combination with a variety of type sizes and styles.  The colors really pulled out the purple and orange in the stamp.
And also the postcards from Mail Me Some Art.

The theme was spring...it was fun to receive such a variety. Spring was definitely in the mail. Now I am off to get my envelopes done? Are you on my list?