Wednesday, December 17, 2014

ONE Year Anniversary: Dec. 17

Every story begins with: Once Upon a Time.........December 17, 2013/2014

Oh how to begin this this is the 4th time deleting & beginning yet again.  Our beautiful little long haired chihuahua, Subria, passed away after 14 loving years of friendship. Sammy, our handsome male dog we've had since he was a pup, mourned Subria death terribly. I never realized just how deep dogs can mourn until I saw it in person.  We knew he needed a playmate.

My precious Subria
I had always heard about Bernie Berlin, but never thought I'd actually meet this angel in person. She's uber talented in areas from writing books, beautiful Faberge eggs, Artist Trading Cards, mixed media artist, etc.  Like I said, Bernie is uber talented!  While at an Art is You Retreat in Nashville I had the pleasure of meeting Bernie and touring her rescue sanctuary, A Place to Bark.  As we toured the grounds, met the dogs & cats, saw the medical room, the compassion flowed out of Bernie as she cares & loves on the animals. I knew that day, I would support Bernie in any way I can.

Sammy helped pick out his playmate.
Shortly after Subria died I contacted Bernie to see about adopting one of her rescues. I checked around our area but couldn't find just the right one to join our family.  We didn't want a puppy as we wanted Sammy to have someone to play with right away.  After connecting with Bernie (takes a while as she's a very, very busy woman) we drove to meet up with Bernie.  At a vets office we met several dogs. Sammy met them as well, after all, it was going to be his playmate so he had a big part in helping pick out a mate.  We met several dogs but one stood out above the rest.  A funny striped face little girl. She was approx. 4-6 yrs old and would be fully able to handle Sammy at play.  

Meeting up with Bernie during a vet visit.
 Bernie selected Viva from a high kill animal shelter a day or so before she was to be put to death. She found out later after testing Viva tested positive for heartworms. You see, Bernie doesn't just select healthy young puppies all the time, she saves those who look to her to be saved. This is hard on Bernie's heart, to pick some knowing those she leaves behind will die. But one person can only do so much. It's donations from everyone that add up to pay the vet bills, etc.

Viva in my arms for the 2.5 hour drive home.
Viva was nervous. She was taken away from what she had learned to be home by total strangers. Bernie kept trying to tell me that Viva had this really cute little prairie dog stance...

Viva prairie doggin it.
Yes!!!  Bernie said as she saw this picture of Viva doing just what she said she could do but wouldn't in front of us at the vets office.  I might add, she KNOWS this works for so many good tasty treats!

Modeling one of my doggy ties.
Yes, again & again this stance gains her treats
As I stated before, Viva uses this stance on a regular basis.  ha

This little gem is a cuddle bug & a half!  It's very hard to get up when this is what you see laying next to you. But alas, we to get up.......with a groan or two (from us both).

Viva officially is heartworm free!  Heartworm can be easily prevented but due to neglect sadly heartworms exist and is a slow death to animals who are not treated.  All due to an infected mosquito bite. One preventative tablet once a month is all it takes to prevent this from happening.  I don't know what Viva's past was like but dogs, thankfully, live in the present.  They are able to forgive the unforgivable in most cases.  They love with all their body.  Sadly due to animal owners not spay & neutering their dogs/cats, unwanted litters of animals are born to suffer, many times at human hands. I deeply admire people like Bernie Berlin who takes it upon herself to make a DIFFERENCE in the lives of animals who would have been put to death simply because no one cared.

If you get a chance, please support an animal rescue. They need help badly as most are not funded except by those who care enough to donate.  If you would like to donate to "A Place to Bark" please do so. Your donations makes it possible for Bernie to save lives.  It's best way we can help.

From this day until Dec. 31, whatever you donate will be matched!
Whether a little or a lot, every amount matters to the lives without a voice.

I'll love my little rescued Viva & give her the best life possible until her time with us is done. I can't picture a life without this precious creature. Bernie, you have a piece of my heart always.....with every beat of Viva's heart, I thank you. Without YOU it would indeed be a sadder world to live in.

Friday, September 26, 2014

A Queen Bee is Among Us!

Ever walk by and see something that reminded you of someone?  
Well that's what happened to me recently.  
I found three projects I'm currently working on for these friends.  
I'm sure you'll agree when I'm done just WHY I bought these projects.  
Each one will be given to them when I finish.  
Here's a peek at the first one!

This past weekend I attended a 24 hour crop while in KY. This crop gives me time to: visit old friends, make new friends, eat, listen to a "spot on" devotion put on by Jill Rogers, visit a new store in down town Paducah called: Ephemera Paducah (AWESOME MIXED MEDIA MECCA), buy new art tools, try out new techniques with said new tools (cause ONE tool is never enough), and well, lets just face it: SHOP!  There were new vendors there this year as well, one of them being: Mia's Madness.  Great for the old hard to find items!  I found this little project calling my name.  I have a dear friend by the name of Roxi Phillips who is a bee keeper for the first time.....thus the name: A Queen is Among Us.  When I finish this piece, it will be shipped to Roxi as an art piece in honor of her bees.  I might add that her husband, Bob, is very into this new found 'honey' hobby!

Queen Bee Art Doll Kit

Here's the laser cut pieces with the title paper removed.

I carefully removed each piece which is cut to perfection; no sanding required.  
The wood is dark and even darker around the cut areas.

Pieces removed from wood background.

Light layer of gesso.
 For paint to be seen in it's true vibrant color,
I coated each piece with a light coat of white gesso.

Pieces painted yellow.
Worked great!  The yellow is very bright, mission accomplished!

Adding the dark blue with a light touch of white for dimension.

All pieces painted.

 Now I have all my pieces painted.  I left the arms the natural color of the wood. 
The wings and crown I left painted with white gesso.  I added
KOOL TAK's gold glitter to the doll's upper body and bee masks since I'm
not sure yet what I'll be using to finish her up. I didn't glitter the head as I'll be
putting a face there later.  The wings and crown were glittered with a fine |
opalescence pretty the pieces sparkle!  Me too I might add.
Anytime you mess with glitter you usually end up with more on you than
on the item you're putting it on.


Now the puzzle begins. Using E6000 adhesive, the hive is pieced on the doll.  
Arms are fastened with brads and cut down so the brad's back pieces didn't show too much.

Coming together.

This tape forms a permanent bond yet gives the arms freedom to move.  
Should anyone peer between the wings the bee doll's body, 
the wings look to be suspended magically as the tape is virtually 
invisible making the wings awesome!

Crown attached.

What a lovely Queen Bee Roxi makes!
Roxi's face attached.

Now to add the bee mask!

The Queen Bee is almost complete!
 Now to embellish her and make her presentable
to her new home.  I'll post a picture of the FINAL piece later......
can't have everyone seeing her done before the Queen Bee herself!

Leave a comment & let me know what you think!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Castle Wall Tutorial

Castle Wall

Architectural structures has always been of interest to me. During my travels abroad while others looked at the obvious, I'm looking at the floor tiles, columns, building structure details, etc. When I saw this stencil by Stencil Girl Products, I knew I had to have it. The following is the step by step tutorial how I created this frame-able piece.


burlap canvas board
Wood Icing
paint brushes (detail, stipple, large bristle)
A stencil from Stencil Girl Product
Glimmer Mist spray (I used copper)
acrylic paints: I used shades three of brown, cream & black
large non-stick mat
paper towels
sanding block


Place stencil on burlap canvas board.  Place some Wood Icing on your work surface. 

With your spreader ice your stencil with the Wood Icing being very careful NOT to let your stencil move.

Totally iced canvas. Carefully lift stencil revealing the beautiful design. Place canvas to the side to dry.

Immediately wipe down your stencil on your non-stick mat with paper towels.
This is very important as the Wood Icing drys fairly quickly and will be almost impossible
to removed from your stencil if it's left to dry on it.

Rinse off any existing Wood Icing on the stencil with water. Let dry.

Now wipe your mat off.

When Wood Icing is dry, it's time to paint!  I usually let my pieces dry overnight.

Wood Icing drys very hard. In order to knock off all the jagged edges left when removing the stencil,
use your sanding block & sand vigorously. Dust with large brush to remove all debris.

On your non-stick surface make four puddles of the browns, black and cream paint. To create a blend, I puddle the paint close together and brush on covering the entire surface of the canvas. Castle walls are never just one color but a combination of colors creating an aged appearance. Let dry.

When your Wood Icing is dry, it's got a rough texture. To bring the Castle Wall to life, it's time to sand the surface of the canvas. Use a little elbow grease to remove the paint from the surface of the Wood Icing.

When done sanding it's time to get the dust out of nooks & crannies.
Brush vigorously to remove the Wood Icing dust from the canvas.

The castle wall didn't pop enough so some detailed shading using
black paint and a detailing brush did the trick.

Shading done.

I love adding a subtle glimmer so using your Glimmer Mist, spray the entire canvas.
Go lightly with the spray, it won't take much. When wet it's hard to see the result you want.

Blot lightly with a paper towel to remove any excess puddles of Glimmer Mist.

I get impatient so out comes my heat tool. In no time, it's dry.


A close up of the subtle glimmer.

I feel the canvas is begging for something else....but it's not coming to me at the moment. I'll open frame it so the detail is not lost behind glass. I'm loving the way this piece has gone from burlap canvas to a wall you can feel the texture come off the canvas. The burlap added that extra POP of textile I was seeking. If you get a chance to play with Wood Icing, you'll have the time of your life creating!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

90th Birthday Celebration

There are some moments in time I wish I could hold time still.  Today was one of those moments.  My precious father-in-law is turning 90 years old November 13, 2013.  We had a party for him at Barnhill's Buffet House in Jackson.  In the private room, 30+ family & friends gathered to celebrate this milestone birthday for James Dewey Goff, Sr. 

This is just a short version of today's birthday celebration.  As with all celebrations, some things don't go as planned.....and yes I had a little set back.  I used my good camera to take pictures of everyone who attended today's event.  But apparently the SD card I used had some corrupt areas on it.  I lost 20 precious pictures that I can't possibly replace.  I will be asking everyone there if they took pictures in an effort to replace what I lost.  Even with this loss.....the event was captured in time and so here goes!
My neighbor, Stephanie McMurry, goes to visit Mr. Goff once a week to get him out of the room & attend events in Maplewood Nursing Home that he wouldn't ordinarily attend. Steph had to be out of town during Mr. Goff's birthday, but her presence there was felt & her gift to him was a smashing success.  As with us all....there are just times when we eat that the food doesn't always hit our mouths.....yes, I said it.....and you know it!  haha.  In order to have her friend attend his 90th birthday in style, she created a TUX BIB for him to wear.  Complete with silk tie & pocket hankie!  Thank you Stephanie!  You rocked this party!!

Mr. Goff's Tux Bib caught more than a few spills.  haha..... and he was very grateful as he was wearing a new shirt!  Mr. Goff was surrounded with his grandchildren & even great grandchildren!

This family with Mr. Goff is so precious to us.  Pat are a living doll!  Her brother & sister, Ricky & Dianne are seen here with Pat's daughter, Georgia.  Pat & Georgia drove from Atlanta, GA just for this that just some AWESOME FOLKS!!  We love you all.

Mr. Goff was so fortunate to find love the first time around with Mrs. Willie Mae Tucker.  She passed away about 10 years ago.....  When JD was in the third grade he grew up with a little girl named Louise.  I'd love to hear the whole story!  (pssssttt, Pat....when you're ready to tell me, I'm ready to listen!)  Ms. Louise's husband passed away too.  JD & Louise's paths crossed and a new love formed.  You're blessed to find love once.....but twice?  Doubly BLESSED!  Here JD & Louise shared a kiss (we kids always make a big fuss about them doing which they will look at us & say we're jealous... :-) ......  This brought tears to more than a few of us in attendance. 

JD & Louise


Louise & Carlton:  my lovely parents.

My son, Jason, photo bombing this picture.  haha. 
Mr. Goff sharing a tender moment with Caroline Cantrell.
My second sister, Teisa Cambell Womack.  Teisa was a valued employee of Goff's Lock & Key for years.  She is a precious soul & I count her as one of God's blessings to my life.  I love ya girl.

The tears came on as Teisa & mom (Louise) met & hugged again after so many years apart.  Her beautiful daughter Lisa is on the right.  Lisa was born when Teisa worked for us and we watched her grow up for awhile.  Lisa will be graduating high school May of 2014!  Suddenly I'm feeling very old!!

These two lovely ladies are my pride & joy.  Aren't they just beautiful?
On the left is my son's girlfriend, Kim Howell......loving this picture of her!
To the right is my beautiful daughter, Jamie Cantrell......who without her help I couldn't have pulled this event off! 
Another beautiful couple I'd like to thank are Pastors, Linda & Joel Pledge. With their help we were able to transport Mr. Goff to & from this event with such ease.  THANK YOU! 
Thank you to all our family who attended and the dear friends who went out of their way to come & support us.  We love you all.  Thanks to Dawn Lenard for creating the most beautiful cake... it was perfect for the occasion & surpassed my every expectation!