Monday, March 30, 2009

INSPIRATION # 6 ... Uneek Doll Designs

This woman has such creativity and a wonderful, wonderful sense of humour. She makes minature type dolls of famous people. I'm not sure how she does them, but they are so worth going to take a look at in her Etsy shop.
Quite often if I'm in need of a giggle or two, I only have to go read her blog and I often crack up.
Thank you again for taking time to contribute to my blog....all the best!

Here in her own words........thanks, Debbie.

I would be deeply honored, and I thank you for letting me do so!

My inspiration comes from the fact that I find classic literature and also well written history very interesting.( Nothing beats having a good book to sit and read, no matter how tight money is)!

The characters that are in my readings make me think of people I actually know who seem similar in their characteristics, and that gets me to wanting to get out my art supplies and create the characters that I see in my mind's eye. It's kind of fun to have little replicas sitting around from stories that take you on a fun and interesting journey !

Please visit her shop at

and for sure her blog at

If you read a few of her posts, you will definitely have a smile on your face when you are through!!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A PLEASANT DAY ...after a rough week

Started the day with a nice leisurely coffee,browsing the paper, and then after a nice long shower got dressed and went to town with my husband. We went to Home Depot to purchase a door, etc. to finally close in my craft room. We couldn't find pre-hung and we couldn't find prepainted as I wanted the french type door with all the panes of glass. My craft room is in the basement and I only have one small window so wanted light from inside the house to help add more light into the room. It's probably going to take a week or two to get it hung as it all has to be painted first. As we were getting ready to leave, we ran into my Dad. He invited us to join him for lunch at Red Lobster(he loves that place) so we agreed. I don't spend much time with my father so it was nice to spend a bit of time with him. He will be 90 years old this year and still is driving and living on his own....gosh, hope those genes bode well for me!
For the rest of the afternoon, we worked out in the yard and got most of the major gardens on our property cleaned off and it was so exciting to realize the crocuses were coming up and we can see the hostas just beginning to peak through.
We spent about 4 hours at it and by the time we were finished, neither one of us could barely move!
Just snacked tonight as we were both still stuffed from lunch. My husband did laundry on and off all day and I did some paperwork that needed doing.
I sure hope there's more weather like we had to day going to continue...wonderful.
I really do have to get making some more plates, but if the weather stays great, I'll only work on that type of thing in the evenings so I can also enjoy this amazing weather.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Had to get up pretty early for me and that's never a good thing. I'm definitely NOT a morning person!
Couldn't go to family breakfast because of the appointment but stopped by the restaurant to deliver some photocopies to one of my aunts. As I was getting out of the car, my uncle got out of his and he brought me a wee gift from his daughter(my cousin) of some of their home grown beef. What a nice surprise! Now there's another strong woman in the family but so thoughtful and funny. I just emailed to thank her. She wants me to try their beef as I'd asked some questions about what they charge for a 1/4 of beef and how they cut it, etc. etc. Still a really nice gesture.
I came home, did some errands here, talked with my husband, did some computer work, and then walked and walked again. Today, I walked alone as no one else was available and I was glad as I have a lot of thinking to do and do that type of thinking better alone.
Tonight went to photography class and learned a bit more. Sometimes, all the technical terminology used gets me a little overwhelmed...but we are a fun group.
Tired on so many levels and not very enthusiastic at the moment...ahh well, tomorrow is another day and thank goodness nothing definitive scheduled.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

INSPIRATION # 5......Linda Faigen

This is one of my favourite shops and people.........

Her jewellry is wonderfully made and so creative. I have my own favourite pieces and certainly at some point will hope to purchase a piece.
Aside from her amazing talents, she too, is very gracious about featuring really incredible artists she has either admired from afar or knows personally.

Linda's inspiration in her own words....
I thought about your request for info on what my inspiration is. I had never thought about it before. I started making hair sticks a few years ago as an attempt to do something to earn a living that didn't involve wearing pantyhose, suits and heels to an office. I wear hair sticks and think they're such a great invention. After a while, I decided I wanted to make necklaces, too so I began doing that as well.

I have always been a bit artistic and creative. I paint, sculpt, write, do needlework, bead weave, make stained glass windows, and other things, but I never found any art form or craft that I was satisfied with or was really all that great at. I have recently discovered that I am pretty good at making hair sticks, jewelry and jeweled magic wands and perhaps most importantly, I enjoy making them.

On the question of inspiration for each piece I make, I design backwards. I don't think up a design and then go get the materials to make it. I collect materials that I like and then pick and choose from those materials to come up with a design. I have thousands of beads, gemstones, findings, metal rings, etc. and when I'm ready to make things, I start weeding through them picking out the ones that I think will make something pretty.

Sometimes I make something and think it's terrible when I'm finished. I take it apart and try something else. But usually I manage to come up with something pretty good. One thing I've learned is that everyone doesn't like the same things that I do. I try to make things in colors I don't even like but I think I do a better job with materials and colors I DO like.

Please visit her shop at
and if you wish to read some really interesting blog articles her blog is:

Friday, March 20, 2009


Tomorrow morning we leave for New Jersey to spend four days visiting our family. Sadly, my son-in-law from North Carolina can't make it, but my oldest daughter and my grandson are flying up to spend a couple of days as well. An added bonus is our friend from England will be there as well so it's like a little mini reunion.
Our lives are just that...our lives. Their lives are their lives. At times I get a bit sad that we all don't live closer, but that's the way it is...and all we can do is try to enjoy what time we do get together.
They are very blessed children and really don't want for a thing, but being their 'Grammie', I have to bring them something. In my opinion, you can never have enough books, so that's what I bring them. As my daughter's say," they don't NEED anything".
Aside from the 'little ones' I really miss my daughters as well. We used to be so close and I so enjoyed when we'd have days to just 'hang out'. Each is so different from the other and both bring such special things to our one on one relationship. They both have really, really busy lives. They both have incredibly responsible careers and then they have husbands to spend time with and then to balance the very important time the little ones need. At time I wish I was closer to help, but that isn't going to happen. We live in two different countries and lots of miles between us.
I tell myself all of these situations are for very special reasons, I just haven't figured out the reasons as yet.
We are all very strong women, so maybe if we lived close to each other, it wouldn't be as great as I imagine it could be.
For now, I'll appreciate every minute I get with each of them...they are all so special in their own right and I love them immensely.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

WALKING, WALKING, WALKING... Today was my 'hump' day!

About three weeks ago, along with a friend, my husband and I decided we needed to do something about our 'condition' which was honestly rather pitiful.
It varies who walks on any given day, but whomever can make it does.
We walk for between 45 minutes to one hour. The town we live in is nothing but hills and valleys and no real sidewalks to speak of, so it's a challenge to say the least.
I will honestly tell you that the first week I was SO exhausted and felt so lousy at the end of a walk, I almost packed it in.
Then 'myself' got a mental talking to and I decided I would persevere. Every day I'd go out and every day I'd tell myself to keep it up and my brain was saying this isn't fun in any way.
What made it worse is each week I've gained weight which has made the process even more depressing. My body is rebelling! I tell myself it has to turn around.
Well, today was my 'over the hump' day! I did a one hour walk, almost to the lake and back and when I got in the door of my home, I realized I wasn't as short of breath and not a single part of my body was aching. Hallelujah!
I am actually starting to really enjoy it and now that the weather is getting nicer, it's even more pleasant to get out and get some wonderful fresh air!
Anyone that knows me, knows what a stubborn streak I have so I hope I can use that attribute to do myself some good.
If I can conquer this, maybe next I'll try to stop challenge at a time....we'll see.
As far as the walking goes, I intend to keep on keepin'on!

Monday, March 16, 2009

INSPIRATION # 4.............


This man is not only an amazing artist, but he has done and continues to do so much to help other artists using both his Etsy, ArtFire, and Handmadeology sites to help and give advice to others. I strongly suggest that you visit each of his shops and see for yourself his benevolence at work. This is a person who truly believes in 'paying it forward' and many, many of us thank you for that.

Timothy's own blog is so interesting and informative on so many levels. For me, personally, I follow on a fairly regular basis. Unfortunately, I'm not nearly as technically minded and have a bit of trouble implementing some of his ideas, but I do keep trying.

Here, in his own words, are his thoughts on inspiration....

I am a self taught metal artist, and a certified Mig welder. I started designing modern metal furniture in 2004. I built my first piece in Baltimore with my sister-in-law who is a furniture designer. I found my passion in metal and kept on designing and building.

I am inspired by modern design and architecture... I also find inspiration through other artists and nature. I love incorporating modern industrial designs with more organic textures.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Last night I kept thinking of all the things I should do or could do. Then the local news came on and said a town about half hour away was holding a Maple Syrup Festival!
Why not? I just felt like I wanted a change of scenery so we decided to go. What fun!
It's a small, quaint Ontario town with some really beautiful old, well-maintained homes and some really quaint shops. The weather was perfect with a great mix of sun and that spring type crisp weather.
We walked into lots of really neat galleries, artsy fartsy type shops and saw some really incredible work by local artists. From my point of view, it was worth it from a sales perspective as well. I now have about four more shops to call and sell my photography..if I don't try, I'll never know. Also, found out I can enter a county wide juried show next year and got the application for that as well.
This little town had the most wonderful local bakery. My husband and I spoke to the baker and then proceeded to buy four different loaves of bread that looked so delicious. (We ate one small loaf ourselves tonight with some three-creme brie.)
We then drove out to the sugar bush farm and they were serving pancakes and sausages all day with hot drinks and of course, their own maple syrup. It was a very large operation...but for the sake of tourists, etc had an area where they were still boiling the sap in the old iron kettles over open wood fires. The smells of the wood burning, the smell of the woods was so enticing. They had horse drawn wagons driving people through the sugar bush and explaining the sugar process while adding little humerous quips in between. Children running around all excited, a local country and western band playing and singing and then an area where you could buy fresh maple taffy made over fresh delicious! We then went into the store and purchased some cooking grade syrup. I make maple chicken wings and the darker the syrup, the better.
All the walking and fresh air, I'm worn out tonight.
Glad we did it!

Friday, March 13, 2009


Networking is, I believe, one of the most vital parts to growing a business. Having said that, there are so many ways to network.

Some of the things that come to mind are joining various organizations, attending various private and corporate functions, holding smaller gatherings at one's home, hosting an event, community involvement and of course, the new trend of blogging and things like Facebook etc.

Networking is a process that isn't always immediately successful. It involves relationship building and finding those individuals who really want or need your service or product.

I don't pretend for one minute to have all the networking ideas and invite anyone who reads this blog to add a comment and suggest other ways they choose to network. We can all learn by helping each other out.

So let's go! I look forward to seeing your ideas.
Within the week, I'll post all comments and if you leave your name, your shop, or your blog site I'll give credit where credit is due.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Chamber of Commerce..........

My day started out with my computer guru coming to clean my computer up and to answer a bunch of questions I needed to get answered. A lot of computer 'geeks' aren't so great at explaining what they're doing and showing you so the next time an incident happens one might actually be able to correct on one's own. My girl is actually so patient and great at the explanations.
I had many little errands to get accomplished in town. Now that we're down to one vehicle, we have to be so good talking to each other and ensuring we don't overlap or double book. Today was my day for the car.
I finally signed to a one year membership to our local Chamber of Commerce. The word is this is one of the most organized and strong Chamber's in the area. There is approximately 1100 members which is really quite large. This allows for huge networking possibilities for my event planning business. This is a very enthusiastic group of people!

Monday, March 9, 2009


It's just barely Monday, but my day is full tomorrow so wanted to make sure I got this inspiration contribution posted.
This is Kim. Her shop is ... she does lovely jewellry so take the time to go visit her shop.

Here is her contribution...

I am inspired by everything from Nature, to books, to family, colors, light, beads. I have been beading for over 18 years, I have an endless supply of ideas, and never enough time to make them all. Here is an example of something that inspired me. I had been reading to my 7yr old daughter a series of fairy stories, she was going thru that phase. When in the moment, I was thinking how I can make something with that feel, what would it be like. I ended up making a fabulous new design of jewelry. Instead of a fairy ring of mushrooms, I made a flower ring and used over one hundred little beaded flowers and made a necklace out of it. So this shows you that the simple task of reading to your child can inspire you. I have many moments in life like this, as I think anyone can be inspired by just about anything if they keep their mind open to it.
Thanks again

Here is the link to the piece of jewellry she created....

Sunday, March 8, 2009

A weekend of nice weather....

This has been an above average warm weekend...what a pleasure after all the cold, snow, sleet, ice, etc. Having said that, we're back to normal tonight with a freezing sleet hitting the windows as I write this...oh well, nice while it lasted. I suspect we'll get at least one more snow storm before we see the end of winter..hopefully, only one.
It's so less stressful now that my husband is participating in the mundane duties of the house. He chose to change the bedding once a week, do the laundry and do the vacuuming as his tasks and that has helped a lot.
It allows us more time (well, me anyway)and I certainly don't feel as stressed or as resentful.
We took the time today to take a one hour walk together. We are trying to get better about walking for both our sakes. We have a local friend we try to walk with a few days a week as well. Sometimes all three of us walk, sometimes just my husband and her, and sometimes it's the girls only. Tomorrow is 'girls only' as my husband has to go to the Toronto area and get some engraving done on some pens he's turned and a couple of wooden boxes. My husband has just finished turning a pen order that is to be engraved and given to the Prime Minister of Canada...that's pretty cool! He hopes he gets a photo of the presentation when it happens.
Tonight, I spent the night baking. My girlfriend and her husband have returned from Mexico and are coming for dinner this week. I also want to take some baking and cooking down to my daughter's in two weeks. She lives in New Jersey and can't wait to see both of our grandchildren as my oldest daughter is coming from North Carolina for a visit as well. I love spending time with my daughter's. I feel we aren't as close as I'd like, but I don't believe it's anything other than the distance that is the reason. I hope that's the case. At times, we have disagreements but I'm proud that they are so intelligent and dynamic in their own right. I hope they feel the same of their mother.
We did manage to get on webcam with our grandaughter today. She is getting just so darn cute! I see so much of my daughter in her...both in looks and temperment. Omg, lots of challenges ahead, I think!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Photography Class...........

I've known for a while that I had a natural eye for photography but didn't understand all the technical 'stuff' about cameras, etc. So, I signed on at our local college to take some night classes in photography. Tonight was the first. Omg, there is so much more to learn about my camera and I'm really looking forward to my next class. I hope by the end I have the technical skills to enhance even more that 'eye' I've had all along. It's really fascinating! Can't wait to learn more.
There's part of me though that wonders when you learn all the possible settings, functions, etc. to get that 'perfect' picture, there's a possibility you miss the ideal shot while setting your camera with the various functions.Hmm...???

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Retirement.....I don't think so!

My life is wonderful but crazy at the moment. Retirement for me means putting in an average of 8 - 14 hours a day, depending on what I'm up to on a given day. I'm trying to make plates ( at least a couple per week), doing my photography(camera goes almost everywhere with me), editing my photography, maintaining two web stores, trying to develop a new event planning business, cooking, baking, cleaning(now with the help of my husband). I'm currently looking at another 4 - 5 sites to post my work which will add more maintenance time. That's the basic days I put in. Along with that, we have guests from time to time for two - seven days at a time and I love doing that as well when the opportunity presents itself. We also manage to host friends and family for dinners. I try to have someone at least once or twice a month.
This year I already am committed to a trip to my youngest daughter's in mid March(yeah! my oldest daughter and my grandson are coming too), a coffee morning with other women artists in the area, an Artisan Meet n' Greet I'm planning and hosting for my local area in May, a trip to Ohio in June, doing photography for a wedding in August,and have already committed to two Christmas show and sales in November and early December and doing a tree for our Festival of Trees in November as well. That's just what I'm already committed to and who knows what else will come along.
RETIREMENT.....I don't think so! The difference is I'm doing what I love for the most part.
I'm not complaining as I'm so grateful for my life. Many facets of it could be better but when you look around and you hear what others are going through...shame on me if I complain!

Monday, March 2, 2009

INSPIRATION # 2 ......

This is Audrey's Country Crafts inspirational person. Audrey has a wonderful 'country' theme to her Etsy shop and is a very busy lady. I thank you Audrey for taking the time to contribute to my blog. Go see her shop at It's definitely worth the visit!

My Grandma inspires me! On January 1/09 Grandma turned 93 years old. When I was quite young, they lived on a farm. She started having trouble with her eyes, had many surgeries but became completely blind before the last grandchild was born. Didn't slow her down at all. She continued to cook for everyone, do all the household chores, and anything else she could do to help out. She had learned to knit at a young age and tried to teach me (after she lost her sight) but I don't think I was meant to knit. After they retired to town, Grandma had time to knit a lot more and would do mittens, scarves, hats and slippers for all the grandchildren and anyone else who might need some. People started bring her wool to knit items for the local self-help store and she is still knitting now. Only it's the great-grandchildren getting the mitts and slippers. I hope that when I'm 93, I can still do something I love, still have the energy and drive to do what I can even though I'm not quite as fast as I used to be.

On a personal note, I had a great sales week. I sold 9 photos between my Etsy shop and locally..... doing the happy dance!