Sunday, November 14, 2010

New Website and Blog Posts

Dear Ones-
Thanks for your continued support of my dream; to share my LoveLights with you. I now have an all new web presence and a new blog. From now on you can follow my journey at Kasia's Fiber Art Studio. I look forward to meeting with you there and hearing your comments on the new virtual gallery. It's a dream come true and another baby step forward on the path of this adventure.
I'll look for you there.
Until next time ~ Live your Light!


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Weekend Regroup

Dear Ones~
This past week brought many new insights on my path to inner wisdom. As I am learning to watch for the signs and sounds of 'Godwinks', the messages seem to be appearing all around me. Validations for my art in the form of new commission requests, guidance for the direction a new idea should take, as well as notes of  'Thanks' for something I said or did have been coming to me on an almost daily basis. I find it miraculous.

I subscribe to the daily messages from 'The Universe' in my email box. Reading the message each morning really helps me focus my attention on the positive side of life and that in turn seems to be bringing blessings my way and leading me on the path toward the fulfillment of my wildest dreams.

'Transformation' (c) 2010, Kasia
All Rights Reserved

Take for instance, the dream of one day having my work published in a national magazine. When I first whispered this wish in 1995, it was just that, a wish. Then somewhere along my journey, I learned to stop 'wishing' and start 'asking' for my dreams to come true. When you 'ASK', the Universe puts energy in motion, things start to happen without your knowing, and then one day a friend writes:

 "I was just sitting and reading my newly arrived copy of American Quilter's magazine when on page 52 I noticed something---hey, that looks like something done by someone I know.  I continued looking and then under that picture of a 36" square quilt I saw the name Kasia.  Did you win a first place award for Milwaukee Art Quilts--------called Connecting the Threads?  Right name, right look--and I am so proud to know you."

You can only guess at my surprise and amazement! This answer to my prayers is a 'baby step' along the path of my dreams. I am learning that the bigger I can DREAM, the grander are the miracles that keep coming my way. I am living proof that it works! And if it can work for me, it most certainly will work for you too. So I ask you, "What is your wildest dream?" Care to share?

Until next time ~ Live Your Light!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Theater group interviewed on ABC7

Dear Ones -
The month's of summer have flown by with the arduous task of relocating of my dear mother-in-law into an apartment nearer to our home. The details fell onto me and my guy to sort out. This came on the heels of my Solo Exhibit at the Envision Gallery of Flourish Studios. You will remember my excitement this spring. It was a wonderful experience for me personally to share my 'LoveLights' in this awesome space. An added bonus came today in the form of a newscast that was filmed in the gallery with my Art as a backdrop.
Theater group sheds light on mental illness aired on ABC7 earlier today. I thought that perhaps you would like to take a look at what the gallery looked like during that magical time for me. What do you think?

Until next time ~ Live your Light!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Quilt Expo in Madison, WI.

Dear Ones ~

I just wanted to let you know that the 'Line of Design' challenge quilts of the Milwaukee Art Quilter's (MArQ) of which I am a member, will be in Quilt Expo in Madison again this year. Our group is very lucky to be showcased at this ever growing show. The quilts are amazing and you won’t want to miss it. Quilt Expo starts on Thursday Sept. 9 and runs through Sept. 11… Some of our Marq members will be doing lectures. There’s many lectures and hands on classes to choose from. Visit their website

Sunday, September 5, 2010

September's New Adventure

'Sundance'                                          (c)  2001 Kasia

There is a new crispness in the air in Wisconsin, as the school buses reappear and seasonal transformation begins. Our Nolan started Kindergarten last week causing a change in routine and scheduling of time. Since the day he was born, I have shared my time with him on an average of two days a week. That is quite a bit of playing, reading, growing, loving, and sharing time. I am truly blessed to be a 'hands on' grandma with three other grandchildren living less than 4 miles from my home. It is a gift to have a unique relationship with each of them that I do not take for granted. With the new adventure of school starting, I realize that I too, am at a crossroads of adventure. The direction of my journey is changing.  A new schedule and new routine will allow me the ability to devote more time to my passionate pursuits in the studio. I am wondering what that will look like in terms of new Art created. I guess that time will tell and we will just have to wait and see what unfolds. With the visions that I currently have dancing in my mind's eye and the all new web site just days away from being launched, I am certain that it will be an  EXCITING ADVENTURE!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Some Like It Hot

Dear Ones -
Some of you might know that I am a member of the 'Fiber Artists Coalition' that has about 20 members from the Midwest (WI, IL, MI, IN) area. We artists have come together to support each other and to find venues where we can show and share our art.

An upcoming new exhibit is 'Some Like It Hot' which opens on September 4th, 2010 at Simply Chicago Art, 1318 Oakton Street, Evanston, Il. The exhibit runs through Sept. 26, 2010. For more information:

I will be represented with 'Gaia ~ Fire & Water', which is 16" x 20" and retails for $1275. It is my hope that you will be moved to see this exhibit and that your spirit will be touched by the energy of this exciting art.

If you are interested in meeting some of my artist friends, you can check us out on our website at .

Until next time ~ Live your Light!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

'Jamie Believe' Tutorial

Dear Ones ~
Today is my baby sister Jamie's birthday. She is nine years younger than me and has always been my "baby" sister. We grew up together. I rocked her when she was a toddler, and she in turn babysat for my children when the time came. We have a bond that goes deep. We have always 'been there' for each other through thick and thin. She has my unconditional love. Since I am the 'first born' in our family, I always felt the pressure of being a good example to her and the rest of my siblings. Now that we are reaching our 'golden years', it is an honor to be referred to as the 'Wisest Sister' and not the oldest. It is our family tease.

A couple of years ago, as a Christmas gift, I created this LoveLight for Jamie.  Her favorite color is blue. She had always admired an earlier piece that I created called 'Believe ~ Think Outside the Box'. (view it here by scrolling down). So I decided to create an original design that is uniquely her own mandala.

This design began with a blue cotton hand dyed spiral that represents our life's search, the journey to our 'center' and was set into the background fabric.

Next came the stencil design for her name which was cut out of lame' fabric and later bonded to the background layer.

Before her name was bonded into place, organza "light rays" were attached using metallic threads to add sparkle and illumination to the design. The piece was then layered and quilted in a circular pattern to suggest the spiral movement. The word BELIEVE was added to the top section of the piece as a gentle reminder to the viewer that we are all 'spiritual beings having a human experience.'

She accepted this gift with squeals of delight. Hopefully, she can feel the Love and Light that went into it's design and creation. It hangs in her home in a prominent place where I know that she can see it daily.

 Happy Birthday Sis, you now have the distinction of having a blog written just for you!

Until next time~
Live Your Light!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Parents ~ Family Priorities

Dear Ones ~

It's been quite a month! A real emotional roller coaster ride as we encouraged and facilitated the move of my dear mother-in-law to a senior apartment complex after 40+ years in her home. It was my task to declutter and organize her belongings, select the "treasures" that would make the move with her, clean/wash these precious things and linens, pack the boxes, clean the messes, soothe her aching heart and encourage her each step of the way that she had made the right decision. It is a scary transition of stepping into the unknown, both for her and for us as we had no idea how she might adjust. An arduous task to say the least.

My life has literally been on hold for this past month. When I wasn't with her, I was still caring for my grandchildren on our weekly play date. And when I wasn't with any of them, I was asleep with exhaustion. I realize now, that my own emotions came into play as I packed up a lifetime of happy memories of holidays spent in her home and of all the good times that we have shared. I have been blessed with a wonderful relationship with "Oma". She treated me like the dear daughter that she had always longed for and never had until I married her only son. She has been a "dear one" all of my adult life and this work was all a labor of love.

I am happy to report that last night (after only 2 nights and 11/2 days in her new place) she called to say good-night and tell us "don't worry about me kids. I am not lonely and I am NOT bored!" There is so much to do in her new environment that after living alone for over a decade, she is making new friends and finding a new lease on life. I couldn't be happier for her. It came as an answer to my prayers. I knew in my heart that this was the right decision, I am just very pleased that the confirmation came along so soon in the process.  Happy Days are here again and I am pleased to have my life back to begin playing in my studio once again.

Until next time ~
Live your Light!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Simple Pleasures

Dear Ones ~
I was reading a blog this morning that got me to thinking about the simple pleasures of life. The many little things that we do throughout the day that bring us JOY without our consciously thinking about it. So I've decided to start a list of mine:

* Being greeted by the birds singing when I get the morning paper.
* The ability to operate this pc and reach out to friends and family on the internet.
* As a grandmother, watching the children playing in the yard - so carefree and happy.
* The sparkle in the children's eyes when they realize that "Kasia's here!!!".
* Visiting my Studio in the wee hours when the world is asleep.
* Working with colorful fabrics, textures, and threads to create the 'Colorful Art that Lifts the Spirit.'
* The steady companionship of my husband of 40 years. He is my rock.
* Picking up the phone and talking with my daughter whenever the mood hits me.
* Being greeted, cheerfully, by my son's wife when I drop by unexpectedly. (Her face lights up and I know that I am welcomed and not an intrusion.)
* Looking at photos of 'Dear Ones' who are no longer walking this planet.
* The ability to SEE the world as I wish it to be.
* The TASTE of a bit of the bubbly with a good dinner that I didn't have to cook myself.
* HEARING our piano being played by my guy. His music warms my heart and I appreciate it.
* TOUCHING the soft skin of our babies.
* Watching with PRIDE, our adult children and their spouses interacting.
* The ability to watch the changing moon and the stars from our deck each night.
* Bubbles in a bathtub.
* Warm, compfy bed to rest in at night.

I guess that I'm on a roll now - - - what are some of your simple pleasures?? Want to share?

Until next time ~
Live your Light!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Opening Night - Envision Gallery at Flourish Studios, Chicago

Dear Ones-
Opening Night was a dream come true!! The gallery was ALIVE with the energy of the 'LoveLights' that were being shown.

As I stood back to look at the space, I was filled with pride in the accomplishment of my wildest dreams come true. A solo show of the work of my hands. I learned that night that the 'baby steps' really do add up and the body of work comes together almost without realizing what is happening.

The evening was magical with the entertaining performance of the Imagination Theater group.

I was very blessed to have family and dear friends brave the stormy weather to be present for me at this important event. Some drove for nearly three hours to attend the gala that was an 'out of body' experience that I will not soon forget. THRILLING!


Cathy Hennessy Price, a Family Therapist at Flourish Studios, planted the seed last fall for this exhibit to take place and was very instrumental in making the necessary introductions with exhibit curator Meredith. With a grateful heart for the opportunity and vote of confidence, I created this 'Price Family LoveLight' for Cathy and Mark.

The exhibit will hang until July 17th. It is my hope that if you are able to experience it for yourself, you will please sign the guest book near the entrance of the gallery. Your comments mean so much.

Until next time ~
Live your Light!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Zippidy doo daa, Zippidy yaay

My oh my, what a wonderful day!!                                       

Dear One,
Thank you for your patience with me and this blogging exercise. I am so relieved to be back online and all systems up and running again. It's been torture not being able to keep up. I still have some software to upload and a huge learning curve, but I am confident that I will be able to cope in time.

I have picked up two new frames from The Artist's Reward and will shortly be framing the last of the new pieces for the Flourish Studio Exhibit. I will be delivering the art pieces on Tues. and am more than excited about this adventure. I feel nothing but JOY these days at the prospect of being able to share my LoveLights in a venue that will appreciate their focus. The opening is next week. Pinch me, am I dreaming?

I'm off to the Studio ~ Until next time ~ Live your Light!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

After the Crash!

Dear Ones,
It has now been 3+ weeks since this pc crashed and burned. It has been refitted with a new operating system and files have been restored (Thank God!), but the time-consuming tasks now include re-installing drivers and software. As Tim at Meathead Computers has explained to me, "you have a brand new computer." That's a yeah  ;-) for a new toy and a ;-(  for a new learning curve.  Yesterday, I discovered that the printer was no longer "talking" to this pc and it took extra time to correct that situation.        

I am still learning how dependent I have become on this little machine and it surprises me everyday! Also, I am surprising myself by how much I have learned in these past few years while using this device. The blessings lie in the realization that I am capable of learning and doing new things. Being pushed out of ones comfort zone really does lead to new adventures, knowledge, and self esteem.

So I ask you, "What new adventures are waiting for you at this very moment? How can your thinking turn your tides of distress into thoughts of well being?"

Until next time ~
Live your Light!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Meathead Computers

It's been a week since Tim, the Tech guy, put my pc back together and got me up and running again. There still have been some challenges however. I'm realizing that a whole new calendar is in place on Outlook, the BlackBerry is not syncing,  and I'm learning how to deal with that.  And to add insult to injury, the Contact list that I spent literally HOURS updating and color coding for easy access, has disappeared! Where did it go? The only address book visible at this time is from the hotmail account that I have been using for over 10 years. I am headed back to meet with Tim this morning to see if he will "find" the missing information and get this time-saving equipment upgraded to it's newer, more efficient version. Cross your fingers. I am saying a prayer that it all comes together seamlessly today. I have postcards and emails to get out for the Flourish Studios Exhibit on the 18th. The clock is ticking and my deadlines are coming due. Why do I always feel like I am playing "Beat the Clock"?   Universe - - - HELP!  PLEASE!!

Until next time ~ Live your Light!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Flourish Studios Exhibit Countdown Has Begun!

KASIA’s LoveLights

Please join us in celebrating ‘Colorful art that lifts the Spirit!’
 Using a conventional sewing machine, fabric, specialty threads and paint,
 Kasia creates breathtaking, one-of-a-kind
Mandalas—symbols for healing, prayer, and meditation.

Opening Reception

Friday, June 18, 6:00-8:00 PM

Free and open to all!

Exhibit Dates

June 18—July 17, 2010

Mon - Thur: 10 am – 7 pm

Fri & Sat: 10 am – 5 pm

Flourish Studios’ Envision Gallery

3020 N. Lincoln Chicago, IL 60657

10% of the proceeds from all Gallery and retail sales during the Opening Reception will be donated to Imagination Theater, a local touring company offering interactive theatre programming to address social issues, educate communities and improve life quality for participants of all ages.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Technology CRASH!

Dear Ones,

Nobody knows the trouble I've found - - - - la de da da  da- - -
It's been almost two weeks since my pc developed a virus and all came crashing down on me. Whew! Who knew how much I have grown to depend on this little device? I realized too late that my entire life is housed in the files on this computer. After all the productivity classes and get organized classes that I have taken in the past few months and years, I was amazed at how challenged my life became without the electronic task list and contact lists to keep me on task. It's been one AHA! moment after another.

The good news is that now that my pc is back home, it has a whole new hard drive and operating system to keep things very up to date and state of the art. Now the task at hand is learning to use the new programs and upload all the information that has been stored on the exterior hard drive which was my back up. And thanks to my pal Tim at Meathead Computers in beautiful downtown Delafield, I now have a new lease on life.The difficult news is that there is just so much to learn with the newly uploaded programs and features of Windows 7. With the Flourish Studios Exhibit coming up in a few short weeks, I could get very overwhelmed if I allowed myself to go there in my thoughts.

Time to get back to work playing with the new programs and finding my way around here. Hopefully, I will feel technically saavy soon. Stay tuned for more insights and hopefully blessings coming this way.

Until next time ~ Live your Light,

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Michelle's LoveLight

I was recently commissioned to create a memorial LoveLight. The project consisted of creating a mandala featuring the name Michelle. It was to be presented to her parents, so their hand prints were embedded into the design. Then as a special gift, her eight siblings were to be presented with a 'limited edition'. I was given tracings of the siblings along with the parents hand prints and a batik 'tie dyed' effect fabric was selected. Then my work began.

I started by making a stencil of the name Michelle. I do this on folded freezer paper. When the stencil is unfolded, snowflake style, it reveals a design that is unique to the name. The stencil is then pressed into place on the fabric and the design painted. Colors are selected intuitively. When the stencil is removed from the fabric, I am always completely surprised by the design that is revealed. After drying for a day or two, the design is ready to be layered and stitched with decorative metallic threads. Again, I intuitively work with the color selection and placement of the stitches in the design. I can't really explain how this is done. It is a leap of faith, every time a new LoveLight is created. I simply give myself over to the project and do the next step that presents itself. Not much thinking goes into this practice as I allow the piece to speak to me and tell me what it next wants for it's completion.

To create a 'limited edition', a photo image is taken of the completed piece before the hand prints are stitched into place. Then I print the image on fabric, layer it with batting and backing fabric, and stitch over the quilting lines of the original design. I was then able to trace and stitch each individual hand print of the siblings to give each their own unique mandala of the original design. This technique makes a truly personalized, unique gift for the recipient. The pieces are then signed, dated, and framed.

I delivered the commission this week and am waiting for the comments from the family and friends. Hopefully, they will be touched by the work of my hands and their spirits lifted with the healing color mandalas. At least, that is my prayer.

Until next time ~ Live your Light.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Technology Today

Dear Ones -
It's difficult for me to realize that I have had a web site for four years. Who could have guessed that computer illiterate me would have taken on such a challenge. But here I am, still learning, growing, blogging, and plugging away at these computer skills that have become a part of my everyday life.
With the transformation in my art focus on the circular form (mandalas), the time now seems appropriate to give the site a new look as well. Something that will reflect the illuminated circular name designs that are spinning in my creative mind's eye. Perhaps using the 'Kasia' logo that now graces my brochure, notepad and business cards, creating a personal brand.
I'm also thinking of adding a shopping cart page where framed prints of my designs could be purchased. It has occurred to me on numerous occasions that I, alone, cannot possibly supply the demand for my designs. I do currently make limited editions of commissioned LoveLights(c) for family members when a special occasion demands duplicate pieces. These "prints" are done on fabric and then stitched to reflect the intention of the original. It's a great gift idea.
Today I will be meeting with my webmaster to discuss these changes and to hear Judy's suggestions for updating the site. I'll report my findings and hopefully you will be able to view them yourself in the near future.

Until next time ~ Live your Light.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

International Quilt Festival - Rosemont, IL.

Dear Ones ~
I spent last weekend in 'Heaven'. Traveling with my friend Casey, we ventured to the Douglas E. Stevens    Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois where we exhausted ourselves with 'eye candy' for the quilter. The 2010 International Quilt Festival is home to hundreds of quilts and art quilts on display along with an exhibitors floor that we walked for miles!
UNBELIEVABLE, AWESOME, EXQUISITE - are just some of the words that could describe the experience. There is just so much talent out there! It was exciting to see so many familiar names attached to the beautiful works. And of course, IQF is like a reunion when we get to reconnect with our peers and exchange stories, photos, postcards, and techniques. It's just the best time ever!
Equally thrilling for me is the exhibitors section. You must know what a gadget girl I am! Seeing all the latest notions and beautiful embellishments and threads are enough to make me weak in the knees. But I managed to stay on my feet and walk the miles of booths 'window shopping' for the perfect notions to use in my LoveLights. My first stop was to Laura Murray's booth where I purchased Paintstiks and more small
brushes. Next, I was on the hunt for the crystals that are a central focus feature of my art pieces. I found a source that will be able to supply me with the difficult to find larger crystals.

And then thrill of thrills, I rediscovered Hula Hoops hand dyed cotton fabrics by Stacy Michell of Shades Textiles. Years ago, I purchased some pieces from this artist that were the perfect foundations of my labyrinth series. I had lost the contact information, so am very pleased to have reconnected with her for future LoveLight foundations. Score!
Now it's time to roll up my sleeves and get into the studio to PLAY with my "finds". Yippee!

Until next time~
Live your Light.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Clean Spice Cabinet - Check

Dear Ones,
This week I cleaned out the spice cabinet. All the outdated spices and empty jars were tossed in the garbage.  The activity was very freeing and it allowed me to check another task off the list. What does this have to do with ART? I am reporting this to you as a way of explaining how delicate the creative ego can be. When my "things" are in chaos, or there are too many details on my mind, I find that I become immobilized. I simply cannot go into the studio and be creative. Tasks become creative blockages. It's as simple as that. But I am happy to report that I found the answer to this problem and am now more productive than ever before.

I met Leslie Shreve on the internet nearly a year ago through my association with Alyson Stanfield's classes. Leslie offered a 'Productivity - Get in the Driver's Seat' workshop online that taught me how to use electronic task lists, otherwise known as the Outlook program on my computer. That class was a revelation to me. I have always been a "to do list" maker, but like Leslie predicted, my lists were scattered on the nightstand, in my purse, on the desk, etc. By using her methods of organizing and prioritizing the things that I must do in a day, I have learned to relax a little and to rely on the reminders that pop up on my pc. No matter what your occupation, I just can't help but believe that you will benefit from the stress free reliance on electronic lists. Trusting the system to keep you on track is very liberating. I am wondering how I managed all these years without it?
Let's see, 'Write Blog Post', check. Now I can go play in the studio. How do you manage your day?
Love & Light,

Friday, April 2, 2010

Flourish Studios Exhibit

Dear Ones,
The excitement is building. The dates have been set for the upcoming, 'Kasia's LoveLights' exhibit. Mark your calendars. Opening night gala is Friday, June 18th, 6-8pm. The Envision Gallery is located inside Flourish Studios,  3020 N. Lincoln, Chicago, Illinois 60657.  As I have explained in a previous post, the invitation to exhibit here was a bit of a 'Godwink' to me.  I am counting the blessings! Thank you.

                                                                                     'Hamsa' (c)  2009 Kasia

The  exhibit will be a retrospective taken from the past few years work.  This is the time period where the 'LoveLights' really found their form with the hidden names and words designs. These personalized mandalas are being collected from private collections for this exclusive exhibit. And I am busy working on creating new pieces that will be seen for the first time on opening night. 'Transformation' is the inspiration for some of these new works. Several pieces will be available for purchase. The exhibit will run from June 18th thru July 17th.

Spring is in the air. The birds are singing. Enjoy your day. I'm off to the studio to play with my fabrics.

Love & Light,

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Meeting Alyson Stanfield

Dear Ones,
I first met Alyson in the pages of her book, "I'd rather be in the studio!"  The information that she so generously shared was invaluable to me in setting up my 'trusted systems' of organization and self-promotion.  I found it so interesting in fact, that I subscribed to her weekly newsletter and blog and began putting into practice as many of the principles that she suggested that my limited time would allow.  These baby steps have resulted in my website and this blog.  In time, I signed up for her online classes and met like-minded artists via the internet.  It's been an amazing journey.

Last week, I had the opportunity to meet her in person.  She is a delight.  Very knowledgeable about her subject matter and very articulate at conveying the ideas and techniques that the members of PAQA came to Racine, WI. to learn and share.  We met at the Siena Center on the shores of Lake Michigan.  The two days were filled with information and could be overwhelming if I let it.  It has taken me several days to digest the information and begin to implement some of the action items into my own venues.  Hopefully you will notice an improvement in my technique and internet presence.  

Knowing me like you do, I'm sure that you realize what a thrill it was for me when Alyson asked to have her picture taken with me!!  And of course, I am over the top to have appeared in her newsletter this week!  I think that it's another 'Godwink'.  Until next time~

Love & Light,

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Amazing Grace

Dear Ones,
I'm ba a ck ~ with great news of a new focus for my art and energy.  An opportunity has presented itself.  It is a dream come true and a leap of faith all rolled together.  A solo exhibit in the Chicago area!  WOW!!  Pinch me. The miracle of this new venture is that it came to me from a referral by Cathy, one of my Dearest Ones.
The dates have been set for an opening on June 18th.  Now the work begins; creating new art, deciding which current pieces to include, finishing the new brochure that has been in the works for months, and keeping my efforts focused on the end goal; Showing and Sharing my LoveLights.

'Kasia I Am' (c) 2009 Kasia

This mandala  'Kasia, I Am', is my new logo.  I intend to use it on my business cards and notepads, etc.  If you'll look closely, you will find my name in purple around the center red/purple 'I AM'.  I used the green background color for it's healing energy and fresh spring-like appeal.  Embedding names and words into the LoveLights is the focus of my newest work.  What do you think?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Family Vacation

Dear Ones ~
The days (weeks) flew by since my last post.  The bonspiel at Alpine Curling Club with Jerry and Chris was a lot of fun.  We played our best and had some really great games, but in the end we came home without any trophies.  Sorry about that Skip, maybe next time.  One of the best features of bonspieling is the socializing with the friends that we have made through the years.  Chatting with my friend Darcie, who I only see once a year at this event, was a highlight.  The week after our curling weekend was spent in a frenzy of  last minute details in preparation for our family vacation.

Several years ago, Ron and I decided that instead of a party to celebrate our 40th Anniversary, we would like to make a family memory by taking a vacation together.  At the time we first made this pledge, we did not have any grandchildren and were thinking of a European vacation with our adult children and their spouses.  As the years went by, our little ones arrived to fill out the family tree and changed our travel plans.  Now we were considering traveling with a 5, 3, and 2 year old and a 7 month old!  What could we possibly do that would accommodate everyone?  After a month of research, we decided on a Western Caribbean Cruise aboard the Disney Magic!  We made the grand announcement of this plan at Christmas.  That gave everyone several weeks of happy anticipation.


Even though our anniversary is actually in August, the winter snows of Wisconsin made the thought of sunshine and beaches even more appealing in the month of February.  So it was decided that we set sail on Feb. 6th from Port Canaveral.  We then visited Key West, Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Castaway Cay with a couple of days at Sea thrown in for relaxation.  

The kids were enthralled with the Disney characters, the stage shows, and especially the Mickey Mouse Pool.  We agreed prior to leaving home that we wouldn't try to stay together every minute.  Each family could do their own thing,  but we were to meet at dinner to share our events of the day.  As it turned out, we usually found each other around the pool deck and spent a good deal of time together taking turns watching the children and running for snacks.  We shared a lot of laughs and made some memories for which we will have stories to last my lifetime.  It was GRAND!  The whole week exceeded my wildest expectations.

The children were very well behaved.  We are proud  not only of them, but of their parents as well.  The youngest, Gavin, was especially easy going and adapted to sleeping in his stroller in the middle of all the noise.  Precious!                                                   

One night, in the dining room, we were surprised with a cake to celebrate our special occasion.  Served shortly after we had finished our dessert, we took it back to our stateroom and ate it for breakfast the next day.  Mmmmm - - - yunmmy!

 We did incur a bit of an adventure on our return home.  I'll save those details for another post after I have an opportunity to upload more of my photos.  (Sometimes one look is worth a thousand words.)  Let me just say that DREAMS really DO come true if your heart is in your dream!  And for that fact, I am eternally grateful~

Until next time,
Love & Light ~

Thursday, January 28, 2010

It's a Fresh Start

Dear Ones-
The realization hit me today that I am giving too much anxious energy to this whole idea of blogging and am making no entries.  What is that about??  So I have decided to drop the whole "professionalism" thing and talk to you as I know you would want me to.  Since I have been journaling for more than 15 years, I think that I am pretty good at just writing down what is on my mind.  Those of you who really KNOW me and want to know more about what makes me tick will enjoy these posts.  If you have stumbled here and are wondering "What the heck?!?!", I simply say - - oops, sorry that I wasted your time.  And THANK YOU for stopping by.

Now then, since this is a new year and a fresh start for me, I will take a new approach to this blogging task and use it as I had intended, a place to update you, my dear ones, on my creative endeavors, my loves, and my dreams.  Hopefully, some of this will be inspiring to you as well. 

Uppermost on my mind today is Curling.  Ron & I will be attending a Mixed Bonspiel at the Alpine Curling Club in Monroe, WI this weekend.  That means laundry, preparing snacks and packing up our things. Now that curling has become an Olympic sport, I don't suppose that I need to explain to everyone what exactly it is that we do.  I will tell you that I am the Lead on our team, which means that I throw the first rocks.  These rocks are 40#'s each, so for a grandma my age it's a fun workout.  Three days of curling can either build you up or tire you out.  I'll let you know on Monday how we did.

Also on my mind to share with you, is the report on the Christmas gift mandala that we gave my parents last month.  Since they are living in Florida for the winter, I was not able to see their faces when they unwrapped the art work, but from the delight in mom's voice when she called, I could tell that it was deeply appreciated. This piece was on my design wall since before their 60th Anniversary celebration some 18 months ago.  I had every intention of finishing it to gift to them at that time but as my good friend Kathie tells me "Art takes as long as it takes."  No guilt here.  Apparently, it just wasn't ready to be 'born'.  After finishing Kevin's LoveLight, I was on a creative roll that kept me going to finish this piece.

As you can see, my dad's name is Jim and my mom is Colleen.  The colors that were used are colors that they picked years ago when I was tracing their hand prints for a 'future project'.  So I thought that if you mixed blue (dad's favorite) with red (mom's) you get purple (family).  That's how the design process went.  The yellow batik background was chosen because it represented sunshine (light).  Their hand prints were stitched into the design which was a total surprise to them since they couldn't remember when we traced them.  It's been about five years since I started collecting tracings from my dear ones;  do I have yours yet?

Here is a snapshot of the finished piece.  I guess that one of the most inspiring aspects of this LoveLight is the poem that came to me in the wee hours one morning.  I jotted it down and printed it on fabric along with a photo of our family at their celebration party and attached  it to the back of the piece.  Well, mom likes it so much that when she took it to be professionally framed, she insisted that it be matted so that both sides are visible.  I'll be anxious to see what the professional framer came up with for that challenge.  Glass on both sides?

Here is the poem:

Jim & Colleen ~
You started out separate, but along the way,
Love brought you together and taught you to pray.
The family that grew out of your faiths
is encircled in Love, the Light of God's Grace.

The years have been many, the blessings are great.
Your little family has grown well past the first eight.
The Love that encircles this family today,
is the same Love that lights the path on your way.

Thank you for the memories Mom & Dad ~
God bless you with Love & Light ~

 So, what do you think?

Well, that's about all that I have time for today.  The laundry is calling and I want to spend a few precious hours in the Studio where I am currently working on a MArQ Challenge piece.  More about that next time ~~
Be Well -