inspiring me

“The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider’s web. ”― Pablo Picasso
{ancient scribbles on a castle wall in Prague}

The last few days…

…have been filled with creative goodness, only not in the art room messy paint brush kind of way. Here are seven things that have given me cause to smile.

1. Olivia made a second batch of carrot cake cupcakes. They are downstairs in the kitchen right now, calling to me. There’s pineapple and coconut mixed in, along with the carrot. Cream cheese frosting on top. Yum! 8366121012_1957c9d64c_b


8366121390_261588ba8b_b2. On Sunday, we had a family day at Snowshoe. What a pretty drive! I squealed when I saw the snow on the mountain tops! I am like a child when it comes to snow. I love it! But, oh my, I thought I was ready for the cold. I thought I was dressed warmly but the wind on top of the mountain was BRUTAL. It unwound our scarves, took our words, and reddened our eyes. There is a nice row of shops and restaurants, like a little village, at the tip top. I would have loved to take my time and enjoy meandering through, but instead the wind chased us into a pub where we had lunch and warmed up. I added a sweater layer and got some hot tea before heading back down a bit to the tubing area. Not as windy there, thankfully. We were able to relax and enjoy. How wonderful to put my hands in the snow, to kick up my heels, to let my eyes rest on the big stretches of white! Heaven, I tell you! Olivia and her friend tubed until they couldn’t tube anymore. It was a day trip that we plan on doing more often. The next visit will be in the spring, maybe when my hubby’s band plays (they played there twice last year in the village), to walk the nature trails and maybe, maybe, do some ziplining. Or most likely, I will stay rooted to the ground and take photos as they fly by. We will see. I may surprise myself with bravery. 2013 feels like it could be that sort of year. There is also an observatory nearby and a mineral springs that has to be checked out. And soon. “Taking the waters” is a big part of the book I am working on so I must see for myself what the fuss is all about.

8365173381_f7dd85aa0b_b (1)3. In homeschooling news, we have taken a detour from our purchased curriculum (Oak Meadow) and are reading about India for Geography Club. And reading Anne Frank’s diary for our mother/daughter bookclub. The latter has Olivia so inspired that she has been writing nonstop in her own diary. The sight of her scribbling furiously stops me in my tracks every time. I stand there beaming at her until she looks up and gives me either a smile or shoos me away. Let’s just hope she is not writing about me in the same way as Anne wrote about her own mother. My heart would break!

4. And while flipping through an old notebook, (old as in 1999) I ran across a copy of  The Desiderata. Do you know this poem? I used to read it daily. I’ve never read it and not felt good afterward. So, I taped it to the inside of my current sketchpad after I shared it with Olivia. It’s what a friend of mine would call a “soul vitamin.”

8365173853_0faf88247a_b (1)5. Some new colored pencils arrived in the mail and have made the morning sketch project even more fun.

6. Writing news: I’ve had a slow start to the novel revision but I’ve a bit of time tonight to work on it. I can’t wait!

7. Also reading: The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly? by Seth Godin. I found out about it at Lesley Riley’s blog. (thank you, Lesley!) I love the sharing of good information!

And now, I am off to make the most of my solitary hour and half. To Revison Land, I go.

Happy Creating!






Fantastic news to share!

Just as much as I hide from the computer and the internet in the hopes of finding balance in the real-life-day-to-day, I love it. I love it for the inspiration. I love it for the connections I have made over the years. I love the wonderful, sincere, creative souls that I been blessed to “meet”.

Adrienne Pierce is one of those souls. Amazingly talented songwriter and singer. Her music, her words inspire me. She is also SUPER nice. My whole family loves her! We talk about her like she lives next door though we have only shared a few emails and a phone call.

And guess what is making me grin from ear to ear right now? My Jacob’s Ladder piece is the CD cover art for her new musical offering titled, MY HEAVENS, and The Huntress is on the back!!! I shared on FB how one day I was in the kitchen, where The Huntress hangs over the fridge, and out of the blue, I said to my hubby and mother-in-law, “That will be an album cover one day.” Didn’t really know where the thought came from but I liked the sound of it. We laughed and talked for a minute about how cool that would be and then I promptly forgot all about it. A few weeks later, Adrienne emailed me. (Thank you, Adrienne!)

Ahh, life is the stuff of wonder!

This is Olivia’s favorite Adrienne song.

As soon as I have a link for where you can purchase one of her new CDs, I will put it here on the blog.




Yesterday in Richmond

This is how you write “Patricia” in hieroglyphs:

Yesterday started with a bang at 5 am. A big thud, actually, with the horrible sound of breaking glass mixed in. Not a fun sound to wake up to and I knew immediately what it was. Our Christmas tree. Toppled by playing cats is my best guess. Or maybe it was Krampus. We were lucky though. Only a few of the precious ornaments didn’t survive: a dear one from when Olivia was one and another that we had painted together a few years ago. Most that we swept into the trash were the generic colored balls that I can replace. We also have a big pile of santas and snowmen and angels in “surgery” as Olivia calls it, waiting for a touch of glue to repair a broken leg, arm or wing.

And while getting a lesson about the importance of deep breathing and the letting go of material things wasn’t the best way to begin a day, the rest of it was near to perfect. It started with a three hour drive east to Richmond. The first destination was the Museum of Fine Arts. Oh, I love this place! We went mainly for the mummies this time. There was a cool 3-D film and canopic jars and painted inner coffins, heart scarabs and amulets. I could have stared for hours at the hieroglyphs and the sparkle of the lapis lazuli paint. It’s one thing to see it all on TV or in books but another in person. We talked a lot about what the mummies in front of us might have been liked, about their loves and experiences. To look up close at the paintings on papyrus and see the brushstrokes and marvel at the hands that held the brushes was awe-making.

We ate lunch at Two Guys Pizza. Yummy. And made a Trader’s Joe’s run. (We don’t have one in Roanoke so we stock up when we can.) I went next to the mall, to the Apple store, to see about getting my Ipod fixed but it was crazy-packed with shoppers so we went to Pottery Barn instead and made big wish lists. We explored a bit more but the day zoomed by. Before we knew it, it was 7 pm and time for Richmond Ballet’s Nutcracker. It was wonderful, even from the way way back where we were. Thank goodness for the opera glasses Olivia brought with her. And, I was doing some counting during intermission. That show made the fifth time that I saw a Nutcracker performance this year. Fifth! First there were Olivia’s two performances (which were splendid!) and then there was the Netflix version, and the Royal Ballet’s Nutcracker which we saw in a movie theater, then Richmond’s. All had enough differences to make them unique and fun. Olivia’s ballet love has rubbed off on me, it seems.

As Though I Had Wings

“I feel my boots trying to leave the ground, I feel my heart pumping hard. I want to think again of dangerous and noble things. I want to be light and frolicsome. I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing, as though I had wings.” -Mary Oliver

I shared this quote on FB last week and I can’t seem to get it out of my mind so I thought I would share here too. Isn’t it wonderful? Doesn’t it make you feel brave? Me too.