Thursday, February 28, 2013


I wrote this last weekend . . .

On the road again!  This time, we’re on our way to Atlanta to visit my cousin, Stacy.  Originally, this was to be another gymnastics weekend, but the meet was cancelled.  As my cousin had rearranged some other plans to accommodate us for the weekend, it would have been rude to cancel on her—of course, we had no qualms about cancelling Hannah, though—she stayed home with big sister.

Aren’t cousins great?

There is a post going around on Facebook about cousins being your first friends and knowing all about your family and this couldn’t be more true!cousins quote

Mom is very good friends with her cousin, Sharon.  They spent some time together after Dad funeral service and you could just see how much they had missed each other.  They don’s see each other very frequently, but they’re still very good friends.

Growing-up I was very close with my cousin, Robin.  My mom and Aunt Billie would drive us back and forth all summer, we’d spend days/weeks together.  Back then, Stacy didn’t have much time for me; she’s a little older than me.  Robin is a little younger—between me and my sister, Nikki—in age. stacy and robin

Stacy and Robin

Anyhoo, like most things, age changes relations.  A few years seemed insurmountable in our youth, but now I think of us as all being “about the same age.”

When we moved to Richmond Hill, Georgia, Stace and her family moved to Atlanta—we were able to see them a couple times each year and we kept in touch much more regularly.  (Heck, I would hope for hurricane warnings so I had an excuse to make an unscheduled trip to Atlanta under the guise of “evacuation.”)

Since opening my business, I’ve been able to include a visit with her on all of my trips to the market—tightening our bonds with each trip.


I am able to see my other cousins less frequently, but am always grateful that when we do get together, we barely skip a beat.

Do you share similar relations?  Share this is you have the best cousins in the world . . .

thanks for your indulgence,


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

“that cilantro tzatziki-like sauce”

I made this sauce last summer and since then, my husband has requested it regularly.  I cannot remember what I served the first time I prepared it, but it seems to go with everything!

We call it “that cilantro tzatziki-like sauce.”

It requires:

32 ozs of plain yogurt

1/3 – 1/2 of a bunch of cilantro, chopped

the juice of  1 - 2 limes (about 1/2 cup)

4 cloves of garlic—pressed



I use the leaves and stems of the cilantro.


The limes exceptionally juicy—I only used 1 1/2.


Make sure the garlic cloves are a good size—mine nearly filled the the receptacle side of the press.


Combine all with the yogurt.  I prefer to do this a day in advance, but have used it as soon as 2 hours after I prepared it.



Tonight I served ground beef  browned with onions.  I added salt, pepper, marjoram and rosemary, then a can of stewed tomatoes (chopped).  I served the beef mixture over brown rice, then we topped it with chopped tomatoes, feta, olives (not me—can’t stand them), cucumbers and that cilantro tzatziki-like sauce.

I hope you try it—then let me know how you serve it.

Thanks for your indulgence,


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Creating a Creativity Journal

I am feeling compelled to start a creativity journal.  I envision a few different types of journals, but I am stuck even before I begin.

I have been keeping a mini-journal of sorts in my scheduling calendar.  I’ve been writing notes about where we’ve been, what we did, who we saw, but (other than the initial creation of my journal-style calendar) it’s not very creative.  I think I’ll step-up the game and start including more art and mixed-media components, but I also feel like I want to do more.


Perhaps it is because I’ve been spending more time with my Stampington & Company magazines.  Perhaps it is because I am face-to-face with the creative inspiration of Kimberly’s art e-v-e-r-y day; plus, her inventory of ephemera, paints and gesso tempting me e-v-e-r-y day.  (I don’t even know why I want gesso or what I’d do with it if I had some, but want it, I do!)  Perhaps it’s because I’ve stepped-up my creativity game and I feel overwhelmed by all of my ideas and need to make a record of them. 

art journaling

The other day I talked with a friend about the possibility of leading an art journaling class—more like an ongoing workshop—as a spirituality exercise.  (Is “exercise” the right word?)  But who am I to lead a spirituality “work-out workshop” when I can’t even get started on my own?  And why do I feel a spirituality journal sounds so contrived?

{And, here’s the real rub (as if I haven’t brought-up enough issues)—I am not an artist.  I know, I know—I’m not suppose to worry about that—I’m just suppose to create.  But I really, really want it to be cool and pretty-ish.  I want to look at it and be proud . . . I’m sounding really self-absorbed . . . I’ll be quiet now.}

So, here is my question for you . . . do you do this type of journaling?  If so, how did you get started?  Which media do you utilize—paint, markers, gesso?   Do you also write in your art journal?

I’d love to hear from you.

Thanks for your indulgence.


Monday, February 18, 2013

my traveling office

Our car.

We have been on the road a lot this year.  (I wrote this post on Friday, the 15th of February.)

Every other weekend in 2013 we have have been somewhere other than Clarksville, TN.

Most travel has been to the exotic locales afforded us by our daughter’s gymnastics competition schedule . . .

like Bloomington, IL



and Memphis, TN



but we have also interspersed a few pleasure trips in, as well.

Ft Walton Beach to visit our friends . . .

happy couple

Manassas, VA to visit my sister and brother-in-law for their Mardi Gras celebration . . .

mardi gras 2013


One thing I’ve discovered is how much I enjoy working on my blog posts while my husband confidently navigates our way to and from our destinations.

This laptop has a great battery and on my way to Ft. Walton beach, I was able to formulate the better part of three blogs!  I was on fire.

Today, as we travel to St. Charles, MO, I have worked on two.

Needless to say, travel time has been a huge factor in my ability to return to blog land in such a fierce manner.  

I normally don’t get away from the shop this much, but my husband’s new job has him traveling quite a bit, so I’ve made the commitment to spend time with him while he is home. 

Then there is the fact that I have off loaded a few  things that have been weighing me down at the shop; at the same time, recommitting myself to spending more time being creative.  Being creative just makes me happier and more chatty—I have more to share.

I hope you’re enjoying/relating to them as much as I am enjoying writing them!

Thanks for your indulgence,


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Pom Pom

A few months ago I quietly introduced the Pom Pom line of linens to Hodgepodge. 

The Belgian owners of this unique collection take pride in offering their beautiful line of 100% linen bedding for adults and babies.  They use embroidery, crushed velvet and hand-crocheted lace to embellish these certified organic linens.  They are made from  the purest of Belgian flax fibers.

I love this stuff!

It’s not just the bedding . . . I fell in love with their accessories, too.

audrey ruffle bag

small tote—white—100% cotton

The linens for the home speak of an easy, casual elegance . . .


Your Pom Pom table top will transport you to the European countryside.  “Bon Appetit”


It’s where I want to be.


the Charlie Collection has a 4” ruffle that surrounds the duvet and shams.

Draw these curtains at the end of a hard day and forget that you’re part of this century . . .


Well, the big news here is that I’ve decided to expand the line at Hodgepodge.

Here’s where I’ll be starting . . .


Mathilde—2 1/2”  frayed edge with a 1/4” velvet ribbon

So—what do you think?

I’m pretty excited.

Thanks for your indulgence.


Friday, February 8, 2013

Somerset Studio—The Art of Paper and Mixed Media

People are often commenting that they think it would be so much fun to have a shop like mine—especially when it comes to buying the inventory. 
They’re right.
But one of the more difficult decisions we have to make is when to let stuff go.  Sometimes, more often than I care to really consider, I buy stuff that just doesn’t resonate with others they way it did with me.  That is when I have to decide to put it on sale and/or stop re-ordering. 
I thought, in a moment of  “I need to cut-back in a few areas,” that I would look a the sales of my Stampington publications—some, honestly, move slower than others.  So I did what any responsible retailer would do—I looked at what was left on the shelf.
I only took a quick glance at the shelf and my decision was made, I would have to cut Somerset Studio.  I have to admit . . . it’s been months since I’ve even taken one home to peruse.  In fact, the real reason I carry this one is because my sister, Kendall asked me to stock it.
Wait a minute . . . you mean the sister, Kendall, that actually finds inspiration and the desire to create art—trying new techniques and exploring new media—that sister, Kendall???
Oh, alright, I’ll take the last issue home and . . .
studio front
. . . seriously?  Who thought it was a good idea to discontinue this fabulous magazine?   well, scratch that idea—we’re keeping it!
winter stuff 024
winter stuff 025
I flipped kind-of-right of-center and I was hooked!   The page I flipped to was part of the inspired by faith feature by Mary Beth Shaw.  It was a story about an artist who starts with paint by numbers kits and then proceeds to alter them in her own manner.

 winter stuff 026winter stuff 027
Then I was drawn to the Mèlange pages in the center; all I can think is “how do they just give this a away?”  They are free for the consumer to use in their own mixed media projects.  You can copy and manipulate it or just use it as you find it.

winter stuff 029
winter stuff 030
The Expressions pages were very inspiring.   There were a few to which I personally connected, but the others, I just enjoyed exploring the creativity of fellow readers.
winter stuff 031
In each issue, they provide information about how you can be included in future publications.  Their upcoming themes for reader submissions include Storybook Magic, Haunted and a Celebration of Winter.  Pick-up a current issue for more details.  Don’t forget to peruse Creative Corner while you’re here—Kimberly keeps it stocked with all of you mixed-media needs.
What will you create?
Thanks for your indulgence,
PS—stay tuned to Artful Origins for our creative workshops—in fact, I will be offering one inspired by one of the articles I just read!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Keeping Children Warm by the Fire

One of my recent project for winter sprucing-up around the house was this garland:



I have been collecting pictures of children all wrapped-up in their winter wear ever since Auntie Bliss introduced me to the two snow babies on the sled in the middle.  I have several in frames around the house, but I decided to use photocopies of them to make this festive garland for my dining room mantel.

Here’s what I did:

First, I gathered five of my burlap triangle (yes—I’ve got them pre-cut, ready and waiting, ‘cause you just never know when the urge will strike), then I cut slightly larger triangles out of my light blue card stock.

Then I printed off copies of my favorite snow kids, using a parchment-look card stock, and started cropping them to fit on the pennant triangles.


I then applied a thin smear of Mod Podge® (which you can find in The Creative Corner at Hodgepodge!) using a stiff, short bristled paintbrush.


Having dumped a little blue, glass glitter into a bowl, I began “scooping” the glitter onto the photo.


While the glitter dried, I used the Mod Podge® to apply the burlap to the card stock.



Then I attached the glitter-fied photos, as well as a little piece of brown trim, to kind of finish the look.


I measured a length of jute across my mantel, allowing for a little “drape,” then I attached the pennants to the jute using masking tape.


Another quick look at this crazy easy project.  Those happy faces just make me smile!


If you have any questions, please leave me a message here or drop me an email.

As ever, thanks for your indulgence!


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