Monday, December 31, 2007

Out With the Old..goodbye 2007

Last year Jill Badonsky sent out her newsletter with a great way to end the year. I took to it like peanut butter takes to jelly. I offer it up again this year, and this time I am posting it for all to see. It's all in good fun and forces you to think back a bit which is something I'm not so good at. I generally can't remember what I ate for breakfast today. For that matter I can't remember where I put the instructions to Jill's writing prompt. Off the cuff it goes like this, answer each of the following prompts:

man of the year-Danny. My son. I watched in full and complete angst as he would stumble and fall, stumble and fall, stumble and fall. I cried when he did. I smiled as he was able to smile. I prayed and begged for him to be whole again. Unfortunately, it consumed my year. But what do you do when you madly love that which you cared for all of his 19 years. You love and support and cry on their behalf. He will be my man of the year for 2008, too, but in a whole new context. This year, like the baby robin first taking flight he will leap, I will cover my eyes and turn away, and much to both of our suprise, his beautiful wings will catch the breath of God and he will be on his way.

woman of the year- Rhonda. This is a woman who at one point when I barely knew her, held me in her arms as I wept like a baby over my impending divorce. She is now a regular in my daily thoughts. She lifts me up, she laughs and cries when appropriate and more than anything she helps me care for my Spirit. We have big work to do together.

poignant moment of the year-January 11, 2007, 11:00. "You are now divorced. " How on Earth the Universe arranged for it to be just Martin and I and a judge in a huge courtroom with him on his side of the aisle and me on mine, not another soul to witness the dissolution of marriage, I will never know. Poignant, painful beyond words. It was done. His beautiful sad face, the river of tears that was heaving my chest and this perky little blonde judge who doesn't know us from Adam declared it done. It will stay with me forever, the day I divorced that man. The significance of the date and time indicate New Beginnings, it didn't feel it at the time but as I approach a new January 11 I can see my growth, and his. New beginnings, indeed.

movie-This is hard because I don't love movies so I will go with the one that has affected the entire world: The Secret. I have long been a believer in the law of attraction. I have known its power. The makers of this movie have done many people a great service in teaching the power of your personal thoughts.

book of the year-Two choices: Secrets of a Millionaire Mind by T Harv Eker...excellent for changing the way you handle your money thoughts and money actions. Fascinating and powerful, it affects every day now. Secondly, and I still have about 50 pages to read: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I know, I know, I was a little slow getting on the band wagon for this one and now that I have it in hand I stand ON TOP of the band wagon singing the praises for this book. See, I AM Liz Gilbert. She nailed it in the introduction when she discusses her marriage. From that point I was hooked. She nailed it when she discusses her views on religion/spirituality. She nailed ME when she was not letting go of her control issues. Se nailed me when she describes her miserable failings at meditation and how frustrated she became with it. And oh, when she described the pizza in Naples, well, that's just too personal to discuss here.

dining experience of the year-The Old Post Office Cafe, Mt. Vernon, Maine. A tiny converted postoffice on the shore of a serene lake. The specials are posted on the huge blackboard behind the counter. Grab a breakfast burrito, Carpe Diem coffee and sit on the screened-in porch while you mingle with the townies. Heaven in a wheat wrap.

vacation of the year-VAY-CAY-SHUN, heard of it before. Haven't done it in years however I did take a lovely day trip to Belfast which I posted about.

learning experience of the year-Letting Go seemed to be the theme for 2007. Can I just say I failed miserably?! I think I will take it on again for like, say, three months. I have released some things on the earthly level but my spirit has been gripping these same things with white knuckles saying "NOOOOOOOO, don't leave me" therefore keeping this heavy baggage shackled to my life. It is being whispered in my ear continuously, "Let go". And damn, I am trying!

acknowledge people I met-This is easier. Jes Berry, Leah, Heidi, Melba, Mindy, Angela, Tori, Lauri Gilcrest, Debba, Kat Logan, Jim, Heartwood College students (too numerous to mention, all wonderful people)

people I released-Have we discussed this already? Not good at this. How about if I say I did release at least a handful of people, I won't tell you their significance, I will just say their names so that it is written out of my soul: Sheri, Roland, Carrie, Denise, Reynald...

when joy seemed prevalent-each and every time I drive/drove to Kennebunk to my school. My Happy Place. It washed over me like a thick, sweet honey. My whole being just relaxed and all of my "issues", as I will politely call them, sat in the back seat of my car strapped in with duct tape over their mouths. No problems, no worries, no nothing until I was done my day of art school. Without fail as I got in my car I could see him. Issues. There he was, wriggling and wrangling himself out of his carseat and peeling the duct tape off his big mouth, ready and eager to invade my thoughts. "DAMN YOU!" I protested right out loud, "next time you're riding in the trunk."

Okay, there it is. Now you do it. There is more to this writing prompt and I will offer it up next week. Go ahead and link to my post if you end up deciding to try this.

I wish you all a happy, healthy, beautiful 2008. Dance, my friends, just dance.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Happy Holidays from Sunflower Studio!

It's Nut Puff day here at the homestead. I've been making these delightful little melt-in-your-mouth treats since I was sixteen years old. I ripped the recipe out of a Seventeen magazine in 1984 and have been torturing my family with them ever since.

Nut Puffs

1 c. butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 c. confectionary sugar
2 c. flour
1 c. ground, minced or chopped walnuts (depends on your own fancy how fine you do this)

*You'll need one additional cup of the confectionary sugar for later...

Combine butter and sugar, beat by hand until well blended. Add nuts. Add vanilla. Beat in flour. Shape in to small balls (approximately 1 1/2" in size) and place on a baking sheet about 1" apart. Bake them for 20 minutes at 325 degrees. Remove from baking sheet and while the lil' buggers are still are still warm do this: Put that reserved one cup of confectionary sugar into a brown paper bag and throw the puffs into the bag and give it a good shake. Be gentle, you don't want them breaking up because then you'd have to eat all those small parts by yourself! (eeek!)Anyway, shake the nut puffs to coat them with the confectionary sugar, remove them from the bag by using a slotted spoon.

Tah-Dah....Holiday Delight! This recipe makes 72 little pieces of heaven. I dare you to eat just one. I generally make two or three batches right before Christmas, any more than that and my waistline explodes.

Thinking of you my bloggy buddies. Have a great holiday, see you when it's over. *hug*

Thursday, December 13, 2007


Hey, did you know it costs less in megawatt energy hours to use a dark screen? My younger brother introduced me to (Powered by just this week. He informed me of this energy saving tip. Being a lover of Mama Earth I jumped on board and switched my homepage to Blackle. Same information, dark screen. Click here if your're curious about seeing a pix of my handsome young brother, he looks like a young Randy Travis.

Upon reading the info provided by I thought I'd give darkening my blog a go. I try to be conscientious of my choices in order to preserve the Earth that I so love but I don't want to be a pest to those who do read my blog so the question is this:

1) Does it bother to you read against a dark background??
2) Will you consider using in an effort to conserve energy and therefore Mama Earth?

Here's the tag: energy one search at a time (THEY TOLD ME TO SAY THAT!)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Be Authentic...

This is a series titled Authenticity. Watercolor paper as my canvas. Acrylic, chalk, effy stuff, you know, mixed media. Two things happened that made me think about being authentic. It went like this.

I was thinking of how to gift my young teenage friends at Heartwood College of Art. There are four of them and they have made such an impression on my heart. I am den mother. That's what they call me. They ask my opinion. We have deep discussions, I buy them chocolate.

"What could I do" I kept asking myself "They are all so different." Take Anna for example. Her hair is pink, purple, green, blue and maybe even brown. I don't know what color her real hair is, she loves to add spark to her hair. She loves the movie the Labryinth and loves to swear.

JoAnna has hair that reaches her bum. She has huge brown eyes and a beautiful smile. She attends church faithfully, speaks softly and carefully. She's gentle and focused and accepts everyone.

Nathaniel is a spark! He's done every drug known to man and is a walking pharmacologist. He admits to his downfalls and he is stressed out a LOT for someone his age. He is convinced of his short time here on earth and he is a DOLL!! He won my heart almost in the first hour I met him. His pain reminds me of someone close to me. And I can't forget that he's a poet, too.

Desaraie is just so sweet, the face of a little fairy. "I'm not gonna lie" she said on the first day "I can't draw." She is going to school for photography but her heart is with her many pets. The dog, the fish, the cat. Oh her tender heart and her lazy boyfriend have taught me tons.

See, they're different these kids, and I want them to know that different is good. I want them to stay different, keep their qualities even when the world says they shouldn't. It's hard sometimes because you just want to fit in but really now, how do you put a square peg in a round hole? I wish someone had told me how to keep my authenticity. I am just now returning to myself.

In honor of my friends in color and design. I love you.

11 x 14...different is good.

The next two came to be in this way:

I've had a few days off now and am still absorbing the new energy from my spiritual retreat. Yesterday I spent a little bit of time on the net checking my horoscope etc. I went to check Celia Fenn's monthly report of the energies for this month as well. She had a message about the request to be authentic. It was a detailed account of how good it is for your soul and how to go about it. The words touched me. It was what I needed to hear.

Living in small town America can really squelch a persons growth. When people glance at you sideways and then lift their hand to cover their whispers it cuts deep and steals from you. I have always felt different and finally when I decided to just be me the whispering began. It's a struggle that I want to win.

Below are two paintings based on the information from the message of Celia Fenn.

Don't Resist the Flow, 10" x 10", mixed media

You Don't Need to Fit In, 10" x 10", mixed media

Then it was on to fimo fun. I made covered bobby pins, earrings, necklaces, pendants, and MORE! Now I just have to package them.

And then....
Okay, so I don't generally end my entries with a giNORMOUS picture of my face, but here I am in all my authentic glory. Heh heh. I woke up happy and willing to just go with the flow.

I slipped out of my pink polka dot jammies (did you have any doubt about my bed attire?) into some jeans a smart black t-shirt and my favorite denim-go-to-studio overshirt. I donned the new earrings I made and embellished the overshirt with a pink fimo pin. The hair, she called for ponytails and I was thrilled to discover my hair has gr0wn enough to comply.

HERE I AM WORLD! Authentically me. Silly. Quirky. Unusually happy (considering). Still sporting blue eyes and adding crows feet and laugh lines daily.

Tam I am. Huh, whooda thunk it?

Learn your place in the dance of life and go with the flow. Be authentic.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Attach Yourself to Joy

This art titled Stand Tall, 16 x 20" is acrylic mixed media piece on canvas, it is one of a series of three. I did this during AEDM and it took a really long time to complete for some silly reason. But it is done now. It made me happy as I worked on it. I love the background swirls.I love that trees aren't yellow but this one is. I love that dirt isn't red but my dirt is. I love the swirl leaves in the trees. I love that leaves aren't blue but mine are. Going up the trunk of the tree is the words "realize your importance". In the leaves of the tree it says " give a good quality", "Try to do good" and "love yourself". Ground yourself....Stand Tall. JOY!

I spent the weekend at a spiritual retreat in New Jersey. I went with a really special girlfriend. I feel rejuvenated, refreshed and full of love and life. I promised God I would live joyfully (among other things), he has promised to walk with me always. Ahhhh, I needed time with like-minded people. I needed to dig deep into my soul and I did. I came away empowered and wanting to empower others. Joy!This handsome dude was playing Brazilian music, maybe Mexican...anyway, on the streets of Salem Mass last month when I did a brief visit there. I am such a sucker for street musicians. I was swept away by his music, the romantic staccato beat and (he he) the lovely dark hair. I bought his CD as my daughter stood down street rolling her eyes and covering her face groaning, "Mom, not again." Now I listen to this music as I create. JOY!

What doors will open for you when you own your joy? Another group hug? I thought so....