Thursday, December 29, 2011

Planning the New Year?

I put this quote up in my "cover photo" space face book has newly created for us in the so-called "timeline" format. With 2012 racing this direction at the usual speed, I found great wisdom and comfort in what Spurgeon said. He also said this: "Do much, very much, all you can do, and a little more. “How is that?” says one. I do not think a man is doing all he can do if he is not attempting more than he will complete."
Intense. I love it.

He continued: "But, young friend, there is a difference, and more than a slight one, between intentions and accomplishments. We do not always perform what we think we shall, nor do we always reach where we hope to arrive. Failures are as numerous as successes, and even the most successful have failures to mourn over. Good intentions are not so rare that you may begin to crow about them; there is a road which is paved with them, but I would not have you travel it."

I have never been one to proclaim a list of resolutions -- I just never have been able to place any value on it. Let your yes be yes and your no be no... do it or don't do it. Better still "Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil." (Matthew 5:37 ESV)

Spurgeon said plenty about this topic. "A bushelful of resolutions is of small value; a single grain of practice, is worth the whole" and "You had great conceptions, and if they had but been embodied in action something good would have come of them; but where are the ideas now? Were they not smothered in their birth? You resolved to do great things, the plan was thoroughly arranged, and your whole heart was eager to carry it out, but delay chilled the goodly purpose till it died of cold, and it lies buried in forgetfulness. You dreamed well, but there you stopped. As for actual work for the Lord, you had other fish to fry, and therefore you cast out your net for him. You suffered the season for activity to go by, and so your excellent ideas and resolutions melted into thin air, and they are gone."

So where is the encouragement as 2012 continues to race towards us this very second? Spurgeon again answers us: "Hope as much as ever a man can hope; for when your hope is in God you cannot hope too much" .... "Is there nothing to sing about to-day? Then borrow a song from to-morrow; sing of what is yet to be. Is this world dreary? Then think of the next."

Amen. Happy New Year.

In the day of my trouble I call upon you, for you answer me. There is none like you among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like yours. All the nations you have made shall come and worship before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name. For you are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God. Teach me your way, O LORD, hat I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name. I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever. ~ Psalm 86:7-12

Just for Fun... HISTORY.COM asks and answers these burning questions:
What does “Auld Lang Syne” mean, and why do we sing the song at midnight on New Year’s Eve?
Who were the first to make resolutions for the new year?
When was the first New Year’s Eve ball dropped in New York’s Times Square?
Who made January 1 the first of the year?
What are some traditional New Year’s foods?
What do Paul Revere, J. Edgar Hoover, Lorenzo de Medici, Betsy Ross and Pope Alexander VI have in common?
~~Find the ANSWERS HERE!


Thursday, December 22, 2011

CeLeBRaTe - Christ the Savior is BoRN

Celebrate the season every day!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Soon it will be Christmas day !

Needle Felted Snowman (and more)

Silver Bells by Steven Curtis Chapman


Friday, November 04, 2011

Eternal Perspectives (Autumn in my favorite cemetery)

"Meadows of Heaven" by NIGHTWISH

Lake View Cemetery
 - where the views are eternal, death is alive, and Hope is victorious -

We had another glorious out-of-place weather week. It reached 70(F) and since we live in a micro-climate along Lake Erie the leaves are still on the trees here in November. My son and I knew it would be a great day at Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland, so off we went.

The winding drive down MLK Boulevard from the lake shore is always interesting, but yesterday the leaves were falling and it was like a confetti parade. This area of Cleveland (between University Hospitals/Cleveland Clinic) - the area called University Circle - is just such a beautiful place.

Upon arrival at Lake View my son headed straight for an area that has a small grove of thread leaf Japanese Maples. He has photographed them through the years and today we expected them to be ablaze… and they were. I wondered off to read headstones, but without much deliberation. I recognized one family right away; I had figured out some of their story a couple of years ago on a similar day. I could see that Harold lost his wife while she was only 28, and she left him a newborn. I wondered if she died giving birth; it was the late 1800’s. With no specific date other than the year it was impossible to tell if his birth date and her death date were the same (since his headstone was also there). Harold remarried and Edith also gave him a son. Harold died only 5 years later. Edith had her own son and this other son to raise alone (or so it seemed, she was, after all, buried on Harold‘s right, his first wife on his left, and no other man around that could be matched to her). Both of those boys died a year apart 9 and 10 years later. Edith lived until 1941; apparently unmarried and without any other children.

Another family, Carabelli I think it read, have a huge family monument with smaller stones surrounding it. It speaks of wealth and standing. They perhaps had money, but tragedy visited them often. On one end of the family monument flush to the ground is a stone with the names of 3 children. On the opposite end is another stone with 3 more children. Each child died between the ages of one and four, but not at the same time. Some terrible thing visited them; a genetic issue? an accident? or worse? In this day and age the immediate thought was that Children’s Services would have been all over that household, but such judgment needs to be put aside for we just don’t know. Heartbreak was no stranger to them; that we can be sure.

A short distance across a roadway I saw the names of two little girls on one stone, ages 3 and 6, who died together on December 14. Next to their stone was a brother who died 3 days later on the 17th; he was 4. It was the 1870’s - were they all sick and he lingered? Were they all in a fire or an accident and they thought the little guy was going to pull though? The stones never tell anything other than the cold hard facts; they died.

Walking through this enormous place does not make me sad. Perhaps because it is feels distant and historic, so antique. The newer section doesn’t have the grandeur or monumental architecture and we never walk through there; I suppose that would feel different anyway. The older sections have a notable amount of (Biblical) scripture on the stones; verses that look ahead to heaven and a promise to thjose still here that the Words are true. Occasionally there are new graves in the older sections. I came across a 2011 fresh date for a woman (almost 100!) who died this year and her shell was placed in this old family plot. Her ancestors went back to the mid 1800’s.

When I visit the modern cemetery where my parents' shells remain it is such a different experience. It is a vast open space covered in plastic flowers and artificial wreaths (nearly all the stones are flush to the ground for ease of mowing). It is situated on a slightly rolling hill with very few trees. It sits in stark contrast to the arboretum and architectural aspects of Lake View which is filled with color and texture - it is full of life - strangely. The residents lie in quiet repose with no message except for what their monuments have to say; they are no longer there having gone on to one of two places.

And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.
Hebrews 9:27-28

These photographs and may more in the "Eternal Perspectives" series are available at


Sunday, June 19, 2011

They're Back! Flippin' Flyin' FiSH!

Created with driftwood and wood slats -- a bit of wire and some paint whimsically applied... Oh What FUN!

HoTSPoTS ~ 27.5"

Green Meanie ~ 21"

FireCracker ~ 14.5"

Bubbles ~ 23.5"

Available at

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Fish are flying once again ~~~

Walks on the beach finding driftwood ... sorting the piles of treasures and knocking off the sand ... drying them thoroughly for the longest time while my imagination runs wild... THIS is the stuff of summer! I made (and sold) so many crazy, wacky, wild fish characters in the years before and up to 2008 ~ look at this funny guy... purple polka dots and such a grin!

As many of you know the last couple or so years have been plenty rough with so many funerals (three in my own family), hospitals, surgeries, and oh-so-many changes... and as a result my art slipped behind the curtain a tiny little bit as I focused on commissions and small-format projects. If there is one thing that remains constant throughout my life it is that I am adaptable; I shift into whatever zone I need to and go forward where I am at. Right now I am rather alert and a bit stunned after all that has transpired. I might even look that way ~~ deer-eyes in headlights ~~ but I am happily standing still for this moment because there have been no major traumas or necessary adjustments needed in the last few months or so. It feels a little strange after the long journey of the last few years... kind of like being thrown from the back of a farm truck after getting used to being in said farm truck. I can't yell "I'm back!" because I was never gone. I was just occupied with several other callings some of which are complete. I guess I'll yell "I'm done!" since several of those callings are retired, and "I'm ready!" as new ones rush in to give me more to adapt to... thrive in...    

I struggled briefly ~~ a tiny bit ~~ getting back into making larger, long-term art messes and looking too far ahead (or so I thought). That didn't last long though and when my son went looking for something in the attic just last week he unearthed my last great beach combing box of super-dried driftwood from the summer of 2008. I immediately recognized fish bodies and potential signs --- all my previous intentions and ideas came flooding back like there had been no loss, or cancer, or death, or hospitals. Here are some pieces of driftwood that will become FISH (and a sign [sold] tossed in at the same time - by special request for an ETSY customer).

Here I have added wood FINS and TAILS ~~ you can see them GETTING THEIR WHIMSY ON already!

Next I added the wacky SMILES and place the EYES...

I will be "playing" with them all week - making them seriously FUN... painted details will cover them as the shapes and textures direct...
The largest ones in this group are over THREE FEET long!

... and when they are finished there are more waiting to be born ...

It is already shaping up to be a fabulous summer!

My Art - check it out at


Remembering my Dad here: Waitin' on a woman ...
and here:

Friday, June 03, 2011

stash your cash in whimsical style ~~

what a cutie ... a needle felted wallet / clutch
with a wool applique (needle felted) flower & leaf
measuring 6.5" x 4.25" - and lined (black cloth) ~~ closes with a zipper

... a tiny bit of beading on the center of the flower and a wool ball dangle on the zipper completes the cute factor!

magenta on teal
For more of my needle felted items check here

And for a discussion on THIS blog about how I create my needle felted critters - go to this post: Poke Poke Poke - an adventure in needle felting as well as Leaving 99 ...
Free Gift Wrapping all of JUNE on NEEDLE FELTED items ~upon request~ when you mention this blog :)

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

I love New York

I love New York -- it is true.
I'm hooked. After a quick visit last October I am headed back to move slower and absorb more.


Inspired, I painted three folk art pieces on cherry wood - whimsical, happy city skylines...

Approx 8 " x 5-7/8" ( 1/2" thick) reclaimed CHERRY hardwood
Original acrylic painting.
Painted BLACK edges - do not frame! :D
Lovely! Fun! Highly HAPPY!

Find them at

QUIET STRENGTH (Little Church Big City)



Wednesday, April 13, 2011

THey aRE sOme waCKy FiSh iNDeeD

"Chillin' in a Purple Sea"
Approx 8" x 5" ( 3/4" thick) reclaimed (mahoghany or cherry) hardwood
Sit it on a shelf or hang on the wall - (hanging hardware furnished upon request)
Check out the ADORABLE Painted edge - do not frame!


"Google Eyed"Approx 7 1/8 " x 6 5/8" ( 3/4" thick) reclaimed (mahoghany or cherry) hardwood
"Polka Dots & Plaid"

Approx 13" x 5 1/4" ( 3/4" thick) reclaimed (mahoghany or cherry) hardwood

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Hypo-Allergenic CATS

These funny little guys will not make your eyes water nor will you sneeze!

Created from reclaimed hardwood - I've used my comical kitty prints to create wood comic strips... darling hung on the wall or as a shelf-sitter!





Saturday, February 26, 2011

Leaving 99 ...

... to find you

I'm lost and broken - All alone on this road...
The wheels keep turnin', but the feelin' is gone.
When I fear I'm on my own You remind me
I am not alone...When You said...

I'd leave ninety-nine... Leave them all behind
To find you - For you alone I'd leave ninety-nine
Leave them all behind  to find you

It's dark and lonely and the path is unclear
Can't move my feet because I'm frozen with fear
Then you say, "My child, my child I am always here,
I'm by your side"

I'd leave ninety-nine... Leave them all behind
To find you - For you alone I'd leave ninety-nine
Leave them all behind to find you

You're never too far down
I promise you'll be found
I'll reach into the mud and mirely clay
...Pursue you to the end like a faithful friend
Nothing in this world can keep me away

~Audio Adrenaline ~

To read more about my needle felting adventures click HERE

To see some of my current needle felted items for sale visit my etsy shop HERE



Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Poke Poke Poke - an adventure in needle felting

Needle felting -- either you know what it is or you look at the result and think "Oh ... stuffed animal" ... but have no clue how it came to be. A stuffed animal it is not. It makes (seemingly) no sense that taking a pile of raw wool (or roving) - this fluff that looks like cotton candy - and then poking it thousands upon thousands of times (and thousands and thousands more times) until it gets pushed and formed into a semi-solid shape... would become a rabbit or a lamb ... or any number of things.

The very thing that makes wool feel itchy to some of us - little micro 'barbs' (scales) on the fibers - are what makes this all possible. The poky needles used in the process also have barbs -- and poking the wool causes it to mat (entangle) together. As the driver of the needle it helps to have a vision in mind as to where the needle is poking and why -- what the desired shape will be, etc... I "see" what I want in 3D (in my mind) so it comes naturally for me to turn cotton candy fluff into an animal. I don't find it that different from putting paint where I want it to go when I am working with acrylic on canvas or wood.

I often begin with a big glob of the cotton candy stuff that I gentle curl into a ball of sorts (left alone it would unfurl and remain a wispy pile of fluff) - I, however, hold onto that loosely formed ball of fluff and begin poking it to smithereens (trying so hard NOT to poke myself - the needles are wicked wicked nasty sharp). I sometimes "poke" up in the air and I sometimes "poke" with the fluff against a foam cushion.

I am self taught and use my own designs with only one exception* ... I make up all my own animals (usually as I go). I start with an initial "ball" or oval shape and then decide what (or who) it will become. When I first tried this whole needle felting thing I looked at a pattern for a *duck -- (of course, a duck) and not one to follow instructions easily or obediently I altered it to fit my own ability and the duck became my own duck (though I won't call him an original like I do my other creations since his genealogy is traceable to a pattern).

Here I am attaching the gangly-long legs (which are bendable since there are pipe cleaners inside of them). The foam block shown here is my favorite kind. I have also used a grey utility foam - but it doesn't hold up as well the the abusive poking and pieces of foam can get tangled into the wool that have to be fished out - meh.

A reminder of where he came from - or as I like to say "pictured with his parents")

He is my very own. Two others were sold a few years ago -- and I do have plans to 'birth' more ducks soon. I am on a leaping-flying rabbit kick right now -- and a few lambs are in the works as well!

Simon (a teeny baby lamb)
Sweet Dreams (smaller winged baby bunny)
Looking for Alice (larger winged rabbit)
Tiny Dancer (smaller winged baby bunny)
Hershey (brown winged winged rabbit)

(click on their names to see them)

Look around my entire ETSY shop for original paintings, assemblage jewelry dolls, art cards, and more whimsy than you can hardly stand!


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Marcy Has a Visitor

I found an old 1800's book with the most perfectly browned pages - very dark around the edges and in solid condition (but of no collector-value). The pages were thick and strong enough for paint and so was born the series My Funny Valentine. I love how the page headers (chapter titles) have ironically fit each character.

Also on my blog are two more sets for sale in my ETSY shop: BLUEYEDUCKSTUDIOS.


SET OF TWO - HIS & HER xo xo
2 Acrylic Paintings
1800's antique book pages - naturally aged/brown
Page Size 4 3/4" x 7 3/8"
(irregular/torn edge on left)
Title (his)
"Marcy Has a Visitor"
Title (hers)
"Beardsley Betrays Himself"

To see the others in the series 
(listed for sale on this blog)
CLICK on these Titles



Thursday, January 13, 2011

Clowning Around in LoVE

For Sale

2 Acrylic Paintings
1800's antique book pages - naturally aged/brown
Page Size 4 3/4" x 7 3/8"
(irregular/torn edge on left)

Title (hers)
"Marcy Has a Visitor"
Title (his)
"Conflicting Reports"


My Funny Valentine - for your funny valentine

2 Acrylic Paintings
1800's antique book pages - naturally aged/brown

Page Size 4 3/4" x 7 3/8"
(irregular/torn edge on left)

Title (hers)
"An Unexpected Meeting"
Title (his)
"Julius is Trouble"