Wednesday, April 29, 2009


I'm getting SO upset! I've been walking one hour per day for 5 - 6 days every week for almost 7 weeks and I've gained between 10 -12 pounds. Again I say, "What's up with that?" Frustrating, to say the least. I haven't felt 100% well for over a year now and the medical professionals still can't figure out why not. They agree there is something wrong, but after about 7 different tests and procedures I don't know anymore than I did over a year ago. I do not feel deathly ill, I just don't feel well. I keep plowing through the fatigue for the most part, but there are days that's more difficult than others. Up until the last while, I was one of those people that went non-stop and had energy to burn. Not now!
For now I just handle each day as it comes.
Today, I spent almost the entire day, except for my one hour walk, baking for my artists brunch on May 9th. I made four different kinds of scones, two different kinds of muffins and mini banana loaves. Other than making and freezing some mini quiches which I'll make on the weekend, everything else has to be done the night before the brunch.
I have an appointment after family breakfast tomorrow with a woman who may be interested in teaming up with me for event planning. She's been in business for almost ten years and her business provides all the props, equipment, and decor for events. Her major focus is weddings but we feel we may be able to help each other out. We'll see how it goes.
I've been working on and off all week, trying to figure out and set my pricing in order to do quotes...not an easy task!
I used an Etsy shop owner that I've used before to set up and cut a decal for my car. We got that sorted out today and she will ship it out to me within the next day or two. She lives in the USA and the last time I ordered from her, it took 8 days to get here.
I also designed and printed a few letterhead as I want to start in the next week or so (once pricing is fixed) to send letters to all the major companies here to let them know they now have an event planner locally, rather than going to Toronto, Apparently, this was the case prior. Of course, one never quits networking, networking. I'm very aware that to do this right, I need to take the proper time needed and not rush it. What is the saying," You only get one chance to make a first impression"!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

INSPIRATION # 9 ..................COTTON COLORS

I missed doing an inspiration piece this past Monday, so I'm going to do one today.

This is a wonderful Etsy artist and I'd suggest you take some time to visit both her shop and her own blog...
Here in her own words she tells of what inspires her...enjoy.

It’s hard to say exactly what I am inspired by. I notice color and pattern everywhere! From the orange, black and white of a butterfly’s wing to the multiple hues on each petal of the zinnias that bloom each summer outside my sunroom window, the right combination can take my breath away. I have a secret desire to be an artist and over the years, I have tried all kinds of art from watercolor to acrylic painting, but the fact is, I can’t paint.
But, my love of bright, vibrant color and pattern means I can create things using the textiles that I am always on the lookout for. I can never go anywhere, even on vacation, without checking out the fabrics that may be available. I know that quiet, subtle pastels and neutrals have their place in the world, but they don’t speak to me. I pass right by them without ever noticing and head straight for the bright oranges, cool aqua blues, chili pepper reds and mustard yellows in patterns and textures that I immediately visualize made up into something useful!
So, I guess you could say my inspiration comes from everyday life, and what a beautiful tapestry that is!

My favorite item is usually whatever I have just completed. But, overall, I think this bag I made for my daughter is my favorite. (photo included) She uses it constantly and that makes me happy!

Thank you, Mary .... I so appreciate your contribution to my 'inspiration series'.

Friday, April 24, 2009


This day, five years ago, my Mom passed away very suddenly. She was 79 years old. Although, she had spent the majority of her life in a wheelchair, the end was very cruel. She died of blood poisoning due to negligence at the long term care home she was living. My Mom rarely let her disability keep her from doing many of the things she enjoyed. She developed osteoarthritis at the age of twenty seven and over the years her bones just kept deteriorating. She had five hip replacements in total. For as tough as it would get for her, she loved to have people for dinner, she loved to bake, she was an amazing sketch artist, an amazing poet and did some wonderful paintings. When we (my sister and brothers) were young, she dressed us impeccably, kept us so clean. I remember her washing shoe laces every night to have ready for the next day.
We didn't always get along and had some tough years, but we also had some wonderful times together, just the two of us. We loved to shop together and often would find something hilarious and laugh until tears were streaming down our cheeks.
As I've gotten older, I SO appreciate how difficult her life was and yet living with pain every single day, she kept going and did her absolute best! I miss her....lots!
I'm upset at our local paper. I called and booked to have a memoriam put in the paper, only to look today and realize the poem never went in today as was planned. I did buy flowers and go sit at her grave for about an hour. I know it's weird, but I talk to her and kind of feel her presence. Every now and then in my day to day life, I kind of get a feeling she's around. I can't really explain it.
Because it didn't get in the paper today, I'm adding it to this blog. Please appreciate every day you get with your loved ones.

This is for you MOM.....

God saw you getting tired
when a cure was not to be
He gently closed your eyes
and whispered come with me
You didn`t deserve what you
you went through and so
he gave you rest
God`s garden must be
beautiful for he only takes the best

She was so beautiful!!!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

WEATHER MEN.........quite the job!

Well, the weatherman was wrong! Not a beautiful day at all as it rained most of the day off and on. I didn't get any gardening done. It must be nice to have a job where you can be wrong 50% of the time and still get paid!
The upside is I took the opportunity to organize and sort and set up files for my office area.
My husband, our friend and myself got our one hour walk in even though we got a little damp.
I'm so frustrated at the moment as there are so many things I'd like to change about my blog and so much I need to understand about Google AdSense and really, really need someone to help me that's much more technically gifted......aaahhhh! In many ways, I envy my daughter's era as they seem so much better equipped to understand this stuff, although even my daughter said she can't figure out AdSense. I wish I could find someone that could help me out. I need to start searching out some help.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


At the moment,I'm definitely overwhelmed! I'm trying to do too much. I need to get some new plates made, need to post some new photos,trying to design a brochure for my event planning business, doing the final planning for my 'Meet and greet artists brunch' for May 9th, and so on and so on.
I'm having so much fun meeting the wonderful collection of artists in our community and hope to feature some in the near for them in mid May.
I had a meeting this morning pertaining pertaining to the brunch and possible event possibilities and then went to town to run some errands which took me all over the city.
My new car had a problem today with the right rear brake grinding so took it to our mechanic and discovered all the brakes need a really good cleaning but no major issues....whew..that's a relief!
Tomorrow I've planned to finish cleaning the scrub off my rock garden as the weather man has promised an amazing day. We'll see!

Sunday, April 19, 2009


They say if you learn one new thing a day, it's a good day! Well, today I learned a number of new things.
I spent the morning calling the rest of the local artisans to invite to my 'Keene artist get acquainted brunch' I'm holding on May 9th. It's fascinating how many artsy type there are in this little village!
I learned there is a business expo being held at the arena tomorrow to find out all the new business plans for the village. I learned there is a new local artisan's gallery opening May 5th in the little village beside us. That information turned into an invite to bring some of my plates and photography to their store in the next week or two and they will select possibly some items of mine to include in the store. The primary focus is interior decorating and local artisans to promote.
I've learned we have an amazing cross section of artists in this village from quilters, water colour artists, artists who paint in oil, graphic designers, gourmet cook and cooking school and writers and photographers and woodworkers, and floral designers and folk artists, and jewellry designers and weavers, etc. Pretty amazing for a little village of approximately 1400.
I learned that many people walk in this village at various times of the day and that many told me today, they admire our gardens and love to see what we'll do next.
I learned that someone is actually taking over the 'Village Tea Room' which has been open and closed a few times just since we moved here. The good news is the people who've taken it over are descendants of the original owners. When I was a kid the people who owned the tea room were friends of my parents. Once a month, we got treated to the tea room after church on a Sunday. These new owners intend to make it the classy tea room it used to be long ago....exciting!
The rest of the day I worked on my huge rock garden and now I can barely move! Oh yeah!, I learned I'm getting old!

Friday, April 17, 2009


Well,after a few glitches in the process to transfer ownership of the car, we finally got everything done! Yeah, I now have a car! It's certainly not very fancy and it' not very new, but it has given me back some freedom and flexibility to come and go when I want. I'm definitely doing the happy dance!


Well, if everything goes according to plan, I may have a car by the end of the day.
My girlfriends mother is suppose to sell me her car as she turns 85 years old the first of May and doesn't want to retake the driver's test. In Ontario. Canada after one turns 80 years old, they are required to retake the test and have an eye exam every two years.
This is tough, as she really doesn't want to let go of the car, but her family are insisting on it. Their reasoning is because she had a back injury a few months ago, her reaction times aren't good enough to be driving. I so understand where she's coming from though! It's that sense of freedom one has when you can get into a car and go when and where you want.
It's a 1999 Ford Escort wagon, which wouldn't be my first choice by any means, but it's only got 37,000 kms. on it and is in great shape. I drove it this week and although it's a pretty basic car, it drives quite well. No power key entry, no power windows, seats, etc. BUT it does have air conditioning. It only has a cassette tape player in it, but I think that can be changed out.
She's selling it to me at a really reasonable price, but I feel a bit guilty knowing she's being forced to sell it.
On the other side of this situation, I will finally have a car again. Omg! It's a sense of freedom for me and I'm sure happy about that! Since I can't afford a newer car, this is a blessing for me.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Since we purchased this home about four and a half years ago, we periodically end up with a bat inside the house. OMG, I hate them! Very few things creep me out, but bats are on the top of my list.
We have sealed all around the space between the roof and the main house structure, we've put a mesh up and around the chimney and yet these ugly, nasty, dirty bats seem to find their way into our home each year. It's a single bat at a time, but for some reason they only appear late in the evening and for some reason, I seem to be the one to discover they're in the house again.
For the first time, I woke up this morning to all the doors being closed and that's a real big clue we have another bat! This was the first time my husband had the privilege of discovering one in the house.
All day we watched and searched for it and no luck locating it. My husband had gone to find something to trap it and kept it close by in case it appeared. WELL, about an hour ago, it suddenly appeared. I, at my computer and my husband in his easy chair and it decided to dive bomb us. They get frantic and then they just fly at a crazy speed helter skelter everywhere.
My husband has a system where he has a cardboard box and while they fly in crazy patterns he waits until the right moment and slams the box overtop of it and then slides a thin piece of wood under the box and escorts them outside. He doesn't kill them as they eat mosquitoes etc.
In the past, I've had them dive bomb my head and I can tell you that all grace goes out the window and I FREAK!
It's become the great mystery as to how they are getting in and we are no further ahead figuring it out. I REALLY, REALLY HATE BATS! UGH!!!
That's it! My husband has just got to stop everything and build some bat houses. We've been told they won't come in if they have these houses to go to....better work!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


This morning I attended my first Chamber 'Breakfast'. Members that can make it meet, have breakfast, introduce themselves and the business they have, and then there's a featured speaker. I had taken thirty business cards and ran out, so note to self to bring more the next time.
It's a great networking opportunity and this morning there was such an amazing cross section of businesses. I'm in the 'infant' stage of mine and still have SO much work to do. Since I had no idea what to expect this morning, I could have been better prepared but overall it went pretty well.
This coming Thursday I'll attend the Chambers' Newcomers Reception which will be great. This function pertains strictly to the new business members so will get the chance to see who else is an up and coming star.
The whole point in joining the Chamber of Commerce is to network, learn what's going on in my city that may or may not affect my business and for that matter personal life issues as well. For instance, I learned this morning that in the relatively near future the government of Ontario is going to require a mandatory house inspection for eco purposes. I'm not sure what will happen if one's home doesn't meet the new standards but I suspect one will be given a time frame to get any particular energy and environmental issues resolved. This one issue could affect many homeowners in the not too distant future.
The rest of today, aside from my one hour walk, I'm reading a lot of business material and trying to get some files set up...boring stuff but necessary.
As for my Etsy shops, they will take a back seat for a little while until I have my event planning business ready to launch officially. I need more hours in a day and days in a week. I'm feeling a little overwhelmed at the, make that a lot overwhelmed!

Monday, April 13, 2009


I love, love this artists work! It has such a simplicity and yet, the visual impact is just so amazing!

Please go visit her shop and see many more beautiful pieces like the one featured here....... her shop is

My inspiration for these prints began when my sister moved home from spending a year in London, and she missed the city terribly. I wanted to make her something that would remind her of the happy memories she had of London. Then on a rainy day, I saw a couple walking down the street with red umbrellas, and I thought, what goes better with England than cheery red umbrellas? So the gold London print was born. The next print I made was Paris Love, which I made for my husband, with whom I shared our first kiss on top of the Eiffel Tower 11 years ago on a high school trip. It then struck me that many other couples had these kinds of experiences, and might like something to commemorate them just like my husband and sister did. I hear so many happy stories about why people buy them: for weddings, to remember honeymoons, engagements, anniversaries, as a reminder of a city where they fell in love, or just a city they love. I'm a romantic at heart, so hearing these stories is what motivates me to continue creating the City Love series.

Thank you, Megan...

Friday, April 10, 2009


On my one hour walk today, for some strange reason, I got thinking about an article I read quite some time ago where this woman got to thinking about her name and how many other women in the world held the same name. She decided to take it further and searched out others with the same name as her and discovered there were amazing similarities in their lives, their personalities and circumstances. In some cases, she discovered, if they had the same birth date, even more was similar. She wrote this article called, "What's in a name" and I'm sorry I've forgotten her name but it was a brilliant and fascinating article.
Walking today, I got thinking and wondering how many Margaret's there are in the world. Do you suppose the same would hold true for my name? sure would be fun to delve into this theory further. Where does one begin? For me, I feel my blog is the first step....let's see what I find out here and go from there.
So to all the Margaret's that may possibly read this, please leave a comment. If you wish to continue to communicate please email me. This has the potential of being a fascinating adventure!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

WARM EASTER WISHES................

This is a very quiet Easter this year. We're having my nephew and his little daughter tomorrow for dinner and that is it for the entire weekend as it stands right now....I'm actually kind of happy about that. I am getting quite comfortable with being alone and getting time to do what I want and it's kind of nice.
There's so much going on in my life right now on a personal level and also trying to run two Etsy shops AND trying to get the event planning business off the ground. It's definitely going to take some time for the event part, but I'm quite positve at the moment that I'm heading in the right direction.
I'm feeling very drained at the moment so am going to take this weekend to recoup.
Many of you will have your families around you, and I must say I remember Easter being such a fun time when my daughters were enjoy as the time passes so quickly!

Monday, April 6, 2009

INSPIRATION # 7.... Pfeiffer Photos

This weeks inspiration writer is another one of my favourites. Her photography is so wonderful and the creativity and variety in her blog makes me a bit envious at times. The anticipation of what will be on her blog and then the discovery of such great features always is so much fun.

It's obvious how much passion she has for life! Please go visit her Etsy shop and her blog..she has an amazing following!

Go to her Etsy shop ...
Go visit her blog .....

Tina asked me to compile a few questions pertaining to this subject of inspiration and here are her responses 'in her own words'. Thank you so much, Tina!

When did you discover your interest and talent for photography?
Like many casual photographers, I’ve always enjoyed taking a camera along on a vacation or day trip. My interest in capturing images in a more artistic fashion blossomed when my husband, Chris and I became engaged. In 2004, we purchased our first digital camera and visited Walt Disney World. I spent a good deal of time photographing the architecture, especially at the EPCOT World Showcase. Unfortunately, I did not have experience with digital processing and I got a bit zealous with the crop tool in my editing software program. Most of the photos from that trip are too small now to even produce a decent 4 x 6 print. In the years since that trip we have graduated in levels with three more cameras, and acquired our first DSLR earlier this year. We’ve also taken a handful of photography classes, and I have spent uncountable hours learning how to edit with multiple programs—simple to more complex. Beyond editing, however, I understand now how to better use the functions built into the camera that make it possible for me to take a great shot from the get-go, and as a result spend far less time on the post processing work.

What is your favorite thing, place or gendre to photograph?
I have a wide field of interests and training in design which leads me to create compositions out of even things that may seem mundane. The bulk of our photo collection is focused on landscapes and scenic images. Chris and I have been exploring our home state of Oregon, and with so many beautiful natural areas to visit we are never lacking for subject matter in that genre. I have a strong interest in history and enjoy photographing places and things with historical connections. I am also a Disney fan and like to photograph our visits to the parks and resorts (which isn't as often as I'd like!) Due to experimenting more with Photoshop, I have started to try different styles of photography--HDR, Ttv and Lomography and plan to continue learning about other techniques as well.

Is photography your major focus?
Photography is my major focus at present. I have dabbled in other fine arts over the years including drawing, painting, collage and three dimensional design. I also enjoy writing, interior design, architecture, art history and music.

Who has been your biggest influence and encouragement for your photography?
I don’t believe I have been influenced to become a photographer. I love art, I created art in other forms, and now I create photographs as my art. The strongest encouragement in my pursuit to become a better photographer has been my husband, Chris. He was interested in photography before we met and has developed his interest since we discovered we both enjoy it. We are very different people with different interests and abilities so once we married we decided on photography as the hobby that we could share.

What or who inspires you?
I am strongly inspired by both nature and architecture—nature for the organic forms and architecture for its geometry and line. I realize these two subjects are very much in contrast but I find beauty in both and so I enjoy shooting both.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years--what dream or goal have you yet to fulfill?
In five years my plan is to have earned my BA in Art History from Portland State University and be exploring career possibilities. Right now I am not sure where that will lead me but I do know I want to do something creative, with meaning, and enjoy what I do everyday.

Who,if any, other photographer do you admire?
I admire the work of many famous photographers but I am also inspired and amazed by scores of amateur photographers. I have met dozens of these folks in the online community of Flickr, and enjoy following their work regularly via their photo streams.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Slow learner.......

We all get these emails that begin with 'I've learned.....' or ' I believe' and we are all so willing to share these little gems of wisdom. I wonder if we really have learned or if we really do believe........hmmm!
What I SHOULD have learned is nobody really cares what 'you've learned' and nobody really cares what 'you believe' and nobody really wants or needs your opinion even if they ask for it.
My father-in-law once said," It is better to keep one's mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt.
I should have taken heed. I hope the saying 'it's never too late' holds true.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Event Planning.......taking a lot of my time

As I've already posted, I'm trying to get a new event planning business off the ground. I'm finally making some concrete steps toward getting this up and running.
I spoke with a woman today who has had a successful business doing the decor side of local events and has a great reputation. We talked for quite some time today and have decided it's worthwhile for us to meet. She's actually looking for someone she feels comfortable with to work in tandem with her and her business....maybe opportune timing! She does a lot of weddings and corporate type events and has had clients ask her to do more of the planning. At this point, she'd rather focus on the core of her business which is the design,supply and setup of the decor part of events.
She is also in the Chamber of Commerce and has many names of people I should both meet and speak with so it's looking positive.
My focus now, I believe, is writing a set business plan and deciding if I should get some minimal financing. I will call and set up with the local Business Development Corporation to assist me in moving this whole process further along.
I felt really positive after the conversation today.
The next step for me is to purchase a vehicle as I can't possibly run this business without my own car. Gosh, it will be great to have the freedom having one's own vehicle brings! Freedom...what a wonderful word!