Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Poker nights............

The next three days, we have our former neighbours coming to visit from British Columbia.
They are our poker buddies. We play poker, have a few drinks, and laugh and laugh and laugh! They are both genuinely funny and both have that enviable ability to tell joke after joke.....hilarious!
I won't be doing much the next few days but just having a lot of fun. We have a couple of things planned but for sure will be playing poker in the evenings. We miss them as we haven't found any other people who play and enjoy it like these two.
I play free on-line poker but it's very different than real life people...can't wait.
Aside from just great fun to be around, they are so kind and generous and what I like to call 'good people'.

Monday, February 23, 2009


This is my first attempt at this so we can hope I don't mess it up.....

I began by asking my blog followers who was or is their inspiration and why. The first is Here is what he had to say....AND please go visit his shop!

I'm inspired by my mother, Zelda, and my grandmother, Rupie. They have been there to encourage me my whole life. My grandmother (I call her "Ma Ma") has been legally blind since well before I was born. She can see, but her eyesight tested out to something like 20/8,000 a few years ago. She loves bright colors and interesting shapes, and she appreciates anything which is useful in her home. She lives with my mother in Burleson, Texas, and their home is slowly becoming a showcase for things I have built.

My main inspiration, however, is from my son, Trevor, and my wife, Debra. They are here for me every day, as I am here for them. We may argue from time-to-time, but we always have each other's best interests at heart. My wife thought she didn't have a creative bone in her body before we met. Now I go to her and to my son for that critical opinion that lets me know if I'm onto something good with a new design or if I need to rethink the project before proceeding. I can't imagine what the last several years would have been like without both of them in my life.
Jay Neale III
jn3 Hand Crafted Woodworks

There is another photo of his wife and son, but for some reason I can't get the post to accept two photos...hmmm, darn it. There, I'm having another 'technical issue'. Sorry! I'll keep trying...

INSPIRATION.....Who was or is yours?

Each day I post an inspirational quote on my blog. I got thinking that it would be interesting and maybe inspirational to ask various people who was or is their inspiration.
I will post when I hear from the various people I plan to ask. Hopefully, they will be willing to share. I'm going to begin with the individuals that are my blog followers. I'm so looking forward to hearing who has helped them along the way.
I'm going to ask my two daughters, as I know there has been very special people that inspired them. Hopefully they'll share as well. As of now, I haven't asked them but will do so. Many times they were my inspiration and kept me going through some tough times. My oldest daughter is one of my blog followers as well. My youngest daughter isn't into 'blogging' but I'm hoping she'll share her inspiration.
Can't wait to hear all the different stories. Where would any of us be without that one particular person(s) that inspired us for reasons they may not even know.
What or who inspires you? ...go ahead, leave a comment.

Friday, February 20, 2009

T.G.I.F. !

My 'to do' list didn't get completed but I still feel pretty good. I spent a big portion of my day on the phone with both the provincial and federal governments trying to ensure that my business registration and the tax requirements that go along with that were correct and required.
It's funny how times have changed. Used to be when you called any government agency, you got some miserable person who had no desire to really help. Nowadays, my dealings have proved exactly the opposite. It's tedious trying to get through to the actual people you need to talk with, but when you do, it's so refreshing. I believe they really go out of their way now to answer all my stupid and not so stupid questions...whew, what a relief to have that segment of my plan over with!
Tomorrow, I'll tackle more computer work, but we're going to a friends for dinner and hiking a trail with them first....sure hope it warms up because it's really, really bitter cold here today.

At this stage of winter you really do start to get 'cabin fever'...well, I do, anyway. Where's a tropical island when you need one?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Got the ball rolling for....

my new event planning business. I met with the business development agency for our area and was helped with a lot of the legal and tax issues and what I need to get done in that area.
In the afternoon, met with a banker who is very up on the business and social networks in our city and he was very helpful with contact names, tips, and feedback from events he's planned within the bank. His bank would not have any use for my service, most likely, as they handle the events and marketing within the local bank and support from the Head Office. He also suggested I look at just doing segments of particular events where someone needs specific help.. good idea to go after that type of business as well.
Both of my contacts yesterday highly recommended joining the Chamber of Commerce which is something I will definitely do shortly. It serves many purposes to do so for all the businesses I'm involved in and this city has a really active Chamber.
I'm SO excited as I sold four photos yesterday on my Etsy, Maggie's Studio site and will get those shipped out today. I had a conversation with another really successful photographer on Etsy who also is Canadian and she encouraged me to stick with it and don't give up. That was her number one tip was perseverance and patience.
She's doing so well, she was able to quit a full-time job to follow her passion. I say,"Hooray, for her"!
I registered with two more websites who feature photographers and different artists types. One is US Trendy and the other is a Team within Etsy called Design Style Guide. Each of these I hope will assist me moving forward to some degree and I hope to learn even more.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Having fun with.........

Wordle...One of the blogs I follow showed this on her blog today and if nothing else it arouses curiosity to see what happens put your own blog site in and it certainly adds some fun and imagination... Go to and have your own fun.Once I figure out how to get my 'wordle' image into my blog...I will put it there for all to see...promise.

Today, I really, really hope to start the learning process of Adobe Photoshop Elements....wish me luck! I so envy the techno geeks that get it! At 61 years old, I will not give up however. I may be a slow learner but I'm at least willing to learn!

Friday, February 13, 2009

An early Valentine's Day .......

A good day..... I got to sleep in until 9 am.,had a leizurely coffee time, made some phone calls and then spent time on google doing some event research. I finally got into the shower and got dressed up to take my husband to the 'Magic Rolling Pin' for lunch. It was AMAZING! The atmosphere is wonderful and since we know the owners somewhat, it makes it even more fun. We were served a coffee for me and my husband had a very special green tea. He said it was really good! They also make some of the best coffee. The presentation is so great.... beautiful china mug with my own crystal cream and sugar and silver spoon. My husband got his tea in a bone china cup and saucer, an individual teapot with strainer...and then, a little sand timer to time the steeping of his tea. On the side of his saucer was a home made ginger cookie in the shape of a teapot. We then ordered. I ordered one of the daily specials which was portobello mushroon and havarti cheese quiche with a mixed greens salad and homemade poppy seed dressing........absolutely delicious. My husband picked an item off the regular menu and had a seafood crepe with homemade butternut and apple soup. He loved it! For dessert, I ordered a homemade butter tart and he ordered pineapple upside down cake. We hardly ever eat out which makes this type of experience more special.
My husband took me home. After he made a few phone calls he said he had to go back into town for some of his own errands.
When he came home he brought me a beautiful Valentine's bouquet of various 'red' flowers..stunning! For our dinner, since we'd eaten big at lunch, we had a couple of alcoholic beverages and then I made pastry covered baked brie with fig topping and served it with fresh slices of asian pear and anjou pears....yummy!
Tonight is just quiet.

We did get some sad news today that we were expecting. My cousin (only 36 years old) died today. He was one of two cousins I've had that suffered from Cystic Fibrosis. Both lived longer than expected, but without ongoing research monies there will be more cystic fibrosis people die. It's a very tough disease to live with. No cure has been found yet, but medications and treatments have come along that have enabled their life expectancies to get a bit extended. Better, but not good enough. So unfair and so sad. We can't give up hope...ever!

Thursday, February 12, 2009


I just can't believe it, but I've picked up another head cold....darn it all! Apparently, this cold going around is nasty that keeps coming back...kind of like a bad penny.
Oh well, unless I get really brutal, I don't have time right now to stop. The next few days, I'm going to network, network, network to get some appointments regarding my event planning business I'm just getting off the ground.
Since Saturday is Valentine's Day, I'm taking my husband tomorrow to a tea room here in town called the MAGIC ROLLING PIN........just a wonderful experience! It turns out that the couple that run it, he is also in the woodturner's club with my husband. It should be fun as both he and his wife will be there tomorrow. Aside from having a nice lunch, I hope to network and hand out a few cards and my husband will get a chance to get caught up with his woodturning buddy. This particular man has won all kinds of awards for his woodturning and gets very good money for his pieces. His wife is amazing as well and for sure will win some food and restaurant awards. Both have been working so hard since they opened this place earlier last year. She was telling me they work about 16 - 18 hours per that's dedication!..and it shows. They also do catering and custom orders for corporate people as well. You would think they have a whole team but it's just her and her husband that do all the baking and cooking. This couple are only a couple of years younger than my husband and I......whew! I thought I was busy!
Lastly, I want to wish my son-in-law in North Carolina a Happy 38th Birthday! He's one of the good guys.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Gotta get back to work..........

Well, I've picked my husband up from his trip to Reno, Nevada for some business he had and I've taken a day off and now have to begin moving forward with my Maggiemags, Maggies Studio and my newest venture which is my beginning of an event planning business. There is still some preliminary stuff to get done but do have a couple of appointments and will begin heavily networking. I finally have my business card finished and I'm really happy with it. I'm including a copy of it in my blog but for obvious reasons have taken the phone number off. Here it is! Wish me luck!
The logo design and artwork for this business card was by an AMAZING Etsy shop owner who was so wonderful to work with in more ways the one, but particularly her creativity and her patience. I'm so NOT technical and although each week I manage to learn a bit's really difficult for me to comprehend. PLEASE go visit her shop at!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Took a break...........

I've been going at a crazy pace, so decided to take a break from everything yesterday. One of my cousins came out in the afternoon and we talked and talked and talked... oh, yeah had a few giggles as well. I made dinner and dessert and then we talked some more. We both then watched 'The Bachelor' (Yes, I'm admitting it) and then went to bed.
Up real early this morning to go to family breakfast and after I do a couple of things here, I am leaving for Toronto to pick up my husband at the airport.
We're spending the night with some friends in that area and home after my doctor's appointment tomorrow.
I guess I'll actually get back to doing some work on my shops and my new event planning business on Thursday.
At the moment, I already could use a nap!
Sometimes you just have to walk away from what you're doing in order to appreciate what you're doing!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Time alone....

Although I'm a very social person, I find as I get older, that I really treasure alone time. It allows for calm, clearer thinking, and peace and quiet. Somehow, it's a rejuvenating process just being with one's own mind.
My husband has been away since Thursday and although it's different when we're together, I so love having no one else's schedule to worry about, not having to make dinner if I don't want and just eating what I feel like, and having a complete day to it!
The coffee chat that I went to yesterday was so enjoyable. I had the opportunity to meet some new women who are exploring some of their own passions. It is so uplifting and morale boosting to speak with other women that want to succeed in what they are doing as well. Enthusiasm was rampant! It was held at a B&B that is run by an amazing woman. Aside from running the B&B, she is an actress, a singer and is doing production work as well. She's also really upfront, honest and funny. The other women were an animal therapist for horses and dogs and cats. She also draws in pencil from photos peoples pets that are SO realistic. There was a writer, an artist that does dream catchers and paints botanicals, and another woman that ties intricate art flies that are stunning. We are planning to keep this up on a fairly regular basis. I think I'll hold the next one.
This week I have two meetings in regards to my start up event planning business. Although it will take a while, I feel pretty optimistic that there will be some opportunities come along. I need to find those opportunities though. I'm excited to see what's around the corner!

Friday, February 6, 2009

A Fun day ahead........

I've been printing photos of my plates and some of my photography this morning. The purpose being to put together two separate albums of some of my works for a 'Networking' function I'm going to tomorrow. It's various women in business and we're getting together at a B&B run by a terrific gal about 40 minutes away. The B&B is called "Aye Lighthouse" and is located at Gore's Landing near Cobourg, Ontario,Canada. If you're ever up this way check it out. They have a website. It's a fun coffee chat time to spread the word of what each of us do so we can tell's always lots of fun and we definitely have a few giggles.

This afternoon I go for a one on one photography lesson to learn more about what I can do with my camera...I'm so excited about this! I'll update in a few days if it was worth it.

I'm then going to see my girlfriend's Mom who has had a rough time the past few months after taking a nasty fall. My girlfriend is in Mexico, so I try and touch base with my 'second' Mom especially while she's away. She will be 84 years old in May and just an amazing woman for so, so many reasons!

Lastly, I want to show a picture of the "Kochanie LOVE Baskets" I referred to in a earlier blog. More are now ready to be taken to various hospice groups in the area. This woman in California is so giving with the help of donations from many Etsy shop owners and she deserves all the recognition she can get.
Aside from this woman, so many Etsy shop owners are helping where they can in their own communities and again I say, I'm so proud to be part of a network of people who work hard but give back as well. Three cheers to Etsy shop owners.!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Getting ready to launch...........

my event planning business. Over the years, I've organized so many events pertaining to my employment and on a volunteer basis.
With the help of a special person here in town who used to be a pivotal part of business development for our city it's been determined that this is something I could definitely do. Why, you ask? Well, even though my husband and I have retired, we're finding it difficult to live the way we'd like to live. We are a shining example of people who didn't plan for the future well enough.
I wanted something that would generate decent income and yet give me the flexibility to still do the photography and plates which are my absolute passion. If I can get three or four contracts per year it would help our financial situation. There so many things I still want to do, so many places I still want to go, and especially have the money and time to go see my daughter's, their husbands, and my little grandchildren before the grandchildren get too old to care about 'Grammie'....I miss them.
I just got my business card today and the same etsy shop owner (FlashwithClass) that helped me with the card is designing me a 'brand' or 'logo' to put on various items. My business is called "iMAGine Events". I'm almost finished two more plates so will complete my goal this week...yeah!
I already have two appointments so we'll see what happens.

Monday, February 2, 2009


Family breakfast which is always enjoyable. My husband has to go to a local electric store to get something and then on the way home I'm taking my computer back to the computer repair place that put my new hard drive in to get more ram added...apparently, I've used up most of what I have....don't need more computer problems.
I spent some of today going back and forth with my Etsy designer choice for my new business card and new logo related to the event planning venture I'm about to embark on. I'm looking forward to see the end result. As if I don't have enough to I nuts? Think so. When do you get to relax once you've retired???
I sold another photo so will print and get in the mail. I bought some better quality photo paper today and also purchased an archival pen to sign my photos.
Tomorrow I hope to being learning the Adobe Photoshop...wish me luck.
If any of my Etsy friends read this and have tips or suggestions to speed up the learning curve..........I'm all ears and eyes! Why does all this 'stuff' intimidate me??? Where's that psychiatrist when you need them?? Not much else has ever intimitdated me........why this?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

New Plates......

Finally, I have the three new plates posted on my 'Maggiemags' Etsy shop! I'm hoping to get a new schedule planned such that I can make at least two plates a week. We'll see out it goes!

I just purchased Adobe Photoshop Elements so will begin to learn how it works. Everyone tells me it's an amazing software once you know how to use it. Should be interesting. Normally, I love change but when it comes to all this computer technical stuff, not so! This is one time being stubborn may be a help for me to stick with it until I get it figured out.

I've mentioned the 'Creative Ladies' blog before but these beautiful baskets they are doing for various Hospice Homes are so great. They are called 'Kochanie Love Baskets. They continually need help with donations to enable them to keep bringing some cheer to individuals going through some tough stuff. Many Etsians are helping where they can so take a look and see if you might be able to help in some small way. The Etsy community in general is so willing to give on so many levels...proud to be a part of it. Others are encouraged to help where they can as's not just an 'Etsy' thing.