Tuesday, May 11, 2021

T stands for too many?

 Can you ever have too many....tulips? Impossible,  a short season, capturing the magic and beauty of tulips!

In the garden

On our walk

Pops of color
Procreate practice

I have enjoyed some great weather today, took a short walk in my neighborhood and strolled around my garden. Just finished listening to some great conversations about nature and psychology on http://thenaturesummit.com  My kind of day!

Home is where my garden is!

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

T stands for tulips

Tulips and springtime

Onz and I planted over 300 spring bulbs last year. When she and Deets bought their house, one of the many areas that needed a total overhaul was the garden. For flower lovers like us, this was a fun challenge. Even more fun is seeing how a neglected garden was transformed.

Room with a view

I increased my tulips by adding a new stretch of tulips in front of a row of hedge for a pop of color.

From a distance

Up close and personal

Lots of color framed by green
Out front, I added a few peony tulips. The blooms are a little more sturdy when the wind blows.

Pretty in pink.
Because the little things are really the big things.
Cheers to getting back to doing the things I love
With the people I love 💕 


Friday, April 30, 2021

Books...that’s a wrap

Procreate practice 
With number of books read.


January books included two CJ Box books, Badlands and Paradise Valley, because we were watching the show Big Sky based on the series. Another case of the books being better than the adaptation but if you like a quick, murder suspense series with a strong, smart female protagonist, this is a good choice. As far as the series goes, it was entertaining despite deviating from the book and a miscasting of the characters.

I listened to a podcast on Miranda’s Tea and Tattle podcast with Katherine May on her nonfiction book Wintering. I promptly ordered it from the library, a perfect choice for our COVID-19 environment. I preferred the podcast, as that seemed to cover my favorite parts of the book including the poem Prayer by Carol Ann Duffy. 

Another nonfiction book that I came across though a podcast was Gathering Moss by Robin Wall Kimmerer. 

There is a great review and synopsis of the book on Brain pickings. The book offers a poetic thorough explanation of mosses which I found fascinating, and entertaining enough to regale Eugene with information over the course of several walks. I have always loved the undulating, velvety texture of mosses, but I have a newfound appreciation of their magnitude.

Who is Elena Ferrante, the author of My Brilliant Friend? There is quite a mystery surrounding the identity of this author, fueled in part by the huge popularity of the series and the secrecy surrounding her identity. I really enjoyed this book, a series of essays written for The Guardian. I loved getting some insight into her thoughts. My use of exclamation points is forever changed, and while I won’t be stingy, I won’t throw them around with abandon either. Ha!

Rounding my reading in January, a fun calligraphy chick lit recommended by Fiona, Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn, The Shack by William P. Young which was recommended by Ann and sparked an interesting discussion about religion. Lastly, a book off the nightstand Annie Freeman’s Traveling Funeral by Kris Radish. That’s a quick wrap up of January’s reading.

Happy reading.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

T stands for treasures

 Counted among my treasures are books.  I have favorites that I keep in my bedroom and go back to regularly.  Among the oldest are gifts from Nish, tiny treasures by Joan Walsh Anglund. To me they contain pearls of wisdom, love and kindness. Her words are so poetic and her simple illustrations are filled with childlike wonder.

My procreate portrait 
of  Joan Walsh Anglund

Many people are familiar with the quote “ A bird doesn’t sing because he has the answers, he sings because he has a song”, which has been widely attributed to another favorite author Maya Angelou, although in fact Joan Walsh Anglund first penned these words. April is national poetry month, a perfect time to reflect on some of Anglund’s beautiful words. There have been many interesting articles -written about her life  after she passed away at 95 on March 9, 2021, noting her love of family, friends, nature, gardens and reading. Reading and a cup of tea sound perfect.

Tea and a cookie,
Plus some smart water
In vaccine preparation 
CJ mentioned to me to prepare for my vaccine by staying hydrated with smart water, and as they say around these parts, if CJ says,... For certain, it is advice to be followed.

Friday, April 2, 2021

2nd on the second


Four years ago, on April 12, 2016 in honor of Beverly Cleary’s 100 birthday and in support of  # equal pay for women and gender equality, I drew and posted this on Instagram.

With my procreate practice, and the passing of  Beverly Cleary, I thought I would do a procreate illustration of Ramona.
“All her life she had wanted to squeeze the toothpaste
really squeeze it...”

I’ve read a lot of articles about Beverly over the past week and it reminded me of the humor and kindness with which she wrote. 
Inspiration and Joy

I finished off with a portrait of her on procreate, which is my first attempt at a procreate portrait. It was fun to practice this while thinking of her. Beverly said it best, “children should learn that reading is pleasure” and she certainly made it so.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

T stands for Thankful

A beautiful card from my friend Jo
She is right...there is beauty in everything.
Enjoyed this library book so much, I bought a copy for my bookshelf 
So much inspiration,
Listening for beauty

Some flourishing outgoing 

Blooming in the garden
Nature’s beauty

Enjoying tea and a biscuit 
In the family room

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

T stands for tasty

Since breaking my ankle, I have made use of my time doing some reading and learning procreate on you tube. One of my favorite sites is Bardot brush. She does a great job explaining how to create procreate art. I have been enjoying drawing dogs. For St. Patrick’s day, an Irish Setter was the obvious choice. We had Irish Setters growing up, so it brought back happy memories. We have moved on from animals to people on bardot brush, so I added an Irish Colleen as practice.
Cailin (Irish for Colleen/girl)

After my art work, it was nice to celebrate with a Ferrero Rocher cupcake (beautifully made and decorated by Fiona) and a cuppa. I am now in a brace and walking,  after a “good break” just in time for Spring. Cheers to that.

Monday, March 22, 2021

Spring is here

A beautiful card from Karen

 In the garden, the crocuses are blooming. Hyacinths, Tulips and Daffodils are starting to peek through. I planted a lot of bulbs in the fall, so I am excited to see the results. Spring, happy mail, and flowers make me smile. Wishing you sunshine and smiles too. 






Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Happy St. Patrick’s Day...some happy mail

CJ’s St. Patrick’s day card has me smiling for days. It’s just so cute! And I am so lucky to have met her many years ago, and we have had some great times together. She is a wealth of inspiration and her opinion is always highly valued, and as my family likes to tease when I offer a comment on anything , “well, what does CJ think?’ That’s the Irish sense of  humor for you.


I am lucky to have become friends with Maggie through an envelope exchange. Maggie and I are kindred spirits to be sure, and we have bonded over our love of Ireland, Ballykissangel, and Snoopy....not to mention calligraphy.
Procreate lettering practice
Health and happiness to you.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

T stands for tender hearted

Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, many sacrifices and changes to daily life have been required.  In person socialization has become so much more difficult, but I have been really grateful for the benefits of technology. The ability to get together with distant friends and on line friends has been a saving grace. These friendships have sustained me over the last year. One of these very special people was Eileen who recently passed away after open heart surgery.  I was so lucky to have become friends with her in blogland. She was so generous in spirit and kind in her words; I will miss her. I think of her optimism and her 2021 word of the year.

Eileen chose wanderlust, and was looking forward to getting together with people and giving a hug. She was great with advice, and said it was good to be prepared because you would never know what life would throw at you. She sang in the choir at her church, and loved the song Purple Rain. She made great mixed media pieces in her art journals, and loved making art. After a friend of hers died, she made a beautiful piece to honor her, and as Eileen said, Art heals. It inspired me to create a piece to honor Eileen’s memory.
Kintsugi piece of procreate art
Monarch butterflies and Hope

I had just finished the piece, when I inexplicably received an update from cyberspace directing me to #theheartangel.  Like me, Eileen believed in synchronicity.  The site theheartangel.com is dedicated to Beibhinn O’Connor, a 9 year old girl born with CHD, who passed away on September 16, 2020 after a routine post op procedure following an open heart surgery.  The family’s hope is to keep Beibhinn’s memory alive by having people undertake random acts of kindness, and pay it forward. You can tag #theheartangel_b on Instagram. Sometimes, it really is those little acts of kindness that can make the biggest difference. Stay safe, stay well, spread kindness like B.

A piece from 2016 on my Instagram page
For CHD awareness


Tuesday, February 16, 2021

T stands for Treats made with love

February, the month of Valentines...what better time to send a little love out into the world, and maybe save a little for yourself too. Indulge a bit, do something you love. For me, that’s reading, learning something new 
and being creative with some sort of art. 

Procreate love,
💕Calligraphy sans pens and paper💕 

Cookies and milk
    💕And some fun mail💕

💕Love a beautiful sunset 💕
Landscape via Procreate

Home made Oreo cookies 
Made with love from Onz and Deets
And mail friend greetings

Taking a minute to send a little love from my heart to yours.💕

Friday, February 12, 2021

Happy Valentines Weekend

 with some procreate practice 

Wishing you a warm cuppa

Blue skies

And a chance to sparkle!

Thursday, February 4, 2021

T stands for thoughts

Procreate practice
Including calligraphy and flourishing 

6 Word Memoir
Head over heels,
Cast, my lot.

 My word of the year is challenge. COVID certainly has posed numerous challenges in 2020, and hopefully the vaccine and social precautions are going to begin a resumption to prepandemic life. So one challenge is to remain patient; another is to remain hopeful.  I started 2021 with enthusiasm to meet my first challenge. January is a month for recommitting to exercise with a boost! Things were going great until I broke my ankle.  I am going to have to be flexible with my fitness challenge and push most exercise back until I am cast free. It can still happen; it’s just going to take a little longer than expected.

My January/February challenge: be Pro-creative. I am going to use this opportunity to learn more about procreate, an easy way to be creative from the couch without needing art supplies.

Yes, snow was in the forecast.
5’’ here, 20” 7 miles away.
Learning how to incorporate text into procreate.

Keeping it Zen-
Tangling and calligraphy with procreate 

Staying flexible and creative, better days ahead.