My dearest Bella

Bella boo I miss you.  I think about you every single day.  I feel like I had just gotten to know you and we finally had a relationship. Then poof!, its all gone.  Taken away while i was on a road trip with your Auntie Lexi.  I was so very sad.

Lexi and I did get to see you when we came to Missouri for a road trip in August. It was such a short visit but it was so nice to be able to wrap my arms around you and spend some time with you. I hope that we will be able to do that again next year.

I hope that you had an amazing 5th birthday. I’m sorry that i wasn’t able to be there for another birthday.  Someday baby girl we’ll be able to celebrate a birthday together. I hope you are having fun being 5! Its a big year my love. Take it all in and enjoy it.

Well i’m starting to get teary eyed so i need to go for now.

I love you very much




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I’m back!!

Hello!  Is this thing on?

ahem…lets see if it still works…

I always want to blog.  I even know what i want to say…

BUT I never make the time to do it.

A lot of things have happened and changed and evolved. Its been a wild ride.

I’ve decided that i’m going to try and do more here on my blog.

I don’t get to see my granddaughter anymore (long story that i will explain eventually) nor do i get any contact with her 🙁  so i’ve decided that i’m going to write her letters here on my blog.  At least here she’ll be able to someday read them.  There is no guarantee of that if i send them directly to her.

I will also be posting whatever else comes to mind, as usual!




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Let it go….

I read this somewhere today and it spoke to me. Like it was truly meant for me at this moment in time!
A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “half empty or half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she enquired: “How heavy is this glass of water?”

Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.”

She continued, “The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything.”

Remember to put the glass down.

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Friends and “friends”

This came to my email today…

so very true in this day and age

Nicki Koziarz April 7, 2014

I Just Unfriended My Friend
Nicki Koziarz

“My child, don’t lose sight of common sense and discernment. Hang on to them for they will refresh your soul.” Proverbs 3:21-22a (NLT)

“Women are ridiculous,” I said to my husband as I crawled into bed, tears dripping. He gave me an agreeable stare, since he had no words to console my aching heart.

I’d just learned a friend lied to me. It was about something senseless, which just made it worse. As the hours ticked by, I wrestled through troubling thoughts.

Why would she lie about THAT?

Were we ever really friends?

The combination of hurt and middle-of-the-night thinking was toxic, forming a very self-centered attitude in me. I decided I no longer had room in my life to deal with someone who had lied to me. So in my heart, I just unfriended this friend.

I have other people I can be friends with, I thought as I drifted off to sleep.

The next morning I realized how my emotions had distorted my perceptions. It concerned me how quickly I was willing to write off this friend, since we had been through a lot together. And I really did value our relationship.

So I pondered the emotions swirling in my heart.

In our cyber culture today, it’s easy to sit behind computer screens and smartphones while we reject the reality of many things, including friendships.

My profile on Facebook says I have 900 “friends.” Social media convinces me I have hundreds of people in my corner. But in reality, I don’t have 900 friends I could call in the midst of a crisis or even go meet for a cup of coffee.

And that “unfriend” button is mighty tempting when someone hurts me. But the truth is, ending a relationship is much more complex than the way social media convinces me it can happen — as easily as clicking an icon.

Social media is a relational tool, but it’s not a relational reality.

More than ever, I need to see my friendships through the lens of reality, and this verse helps me do this: “My child, don’t lose sight of common sense and discernment. Hang on to them for they will refresh your soul,” (Proverbs 3:21-22a).

God has given us two trustworthy filters to help us see things as what they really are: common sense and discernment.

In this situation with my friend, common sense, reminded me: You don’t really have 900 friends, but you do have one or two people you can really count on. And you need to cultivate those relationships through good times and bad.

When I wanted to reject our relationship because I was hurt, discernment said: Your friend is human. At the core of her heart she cares about you and didn’t mean to hurt you.

We will always be susceptible to flawed perceptions in our friendships. But when we hang on to the realities God offers us through common sense and discernment I believe we will be much wiser with our perceptions.

Using God’s Word as my filter, rather than my emotions, allowed me to work through the hurtful issue with my friend. That experience made me a more compassionate friend and it strengthened our friendship, so that when I mess up (and I’m sure I will), hopefully she’ll forgive me.

God, we are so grateful for Your gifts of common sense and discernment. Give us the grace to use these filters when things get foggy. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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Some upcoming classes…

I’m out on the road again. Feels like a song.  Maybe i should take up singing 🙂   OR NOT.

Anyway, I’m here on the East Coast working on CHA stuff and teaching some classes.

I’m very excited to be teaching at some new stores as well as some of the ones i love coming back to!

I’ll be at Kept Creations tomorrow.  Excited to meet Kim. I’ve talked to her several times but never had the pleasure of meeting her.  Teaching a fun Mixed Media Canvas class there…  If you’re in the area of Whitman Massachusetts…come join us!!!

Then i’m also at Eclectic Paperie.  Cannot wait to meet another Kim 🙂  Talked to her on the phone also but never had the chance to meet her YET. She sounds like a hoot!!  I’m teaching two classes there.  She is located in New Hampshire

Come join us….
If you are in New Jersey and want to play with me (well you know what i mean) then come to Scrappers Cove and do some fun christmas projects!!!
hope to see you at some of these stores!!!
Keep checking back for more updates with additional stores that i will be teaching at.

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Blogger I am not

I try hard to blog.

I mean well.

 I just always set it aside to do later. later never comes.

 So many things have happened that i wouldn’t even know where to start at this point. Lets just start with the one thing that is keeping me crazy busy…. well ok there are 2 things.

My amazing grandson Reef

He was born on May 17th. He was perfect and my beautiful daughter did amazing.  She is such a good mama! But i always knew she would be.
My Companies


They are both doing awesome.  Art Anthology has grown beyond my wildest dreams and Basically Bare has been rebranded and we’re getting that up and going.  I’m very blessed to have been given the opportunities that i’ve been given.  So grateful.

Then of course there is the rest of life.

Ups and downs, good and bad.

Recently I was allowed to see my granddaughter after 3 years.  She is the sweetest little girl and i LOVED spending time with her.

I was hesitant to let her into my heart. She was taken away from us once before and that was deeply heartbreaking.  Her mother promised it would never ever happen again.  That made me happy.  We spent a lot of time together and had a ton of fun. 
But once again, we don’t get to see her. 🙁 
Taken away again abruptly
Totally broke my heart.
Someday maybe I will understand.
But for now… I don’t.
We are her family.
We love her.
We would NEVER do anything to hurt her.
She deserves to know us just as much as we deserve to know her.
I put my faith in God that things will change someday.  Until then i just look at the memories we had those short 6 weeks and know that someday we will make more.

peace and love…


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Sharing Time…

yes…i’m blogging.  Holy cow!  I keep saying i’m going to do it but something always gets in my way and I’m too busy.  I received and email today that really stuck with me.  So I felt the need to share it.

I do this sometimes but find i’m not doing it as much recently…once again…because i’m so busy.
So its time to step back, take a deep breath and relax a little.  Spread a little joy, give a little love and share a little time!

By Amy Carroll

“Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12 (NIV)
“How are you doing?” she asked. “I heard about the death of your grandmother and have been thinking about you.” My eyes widened in surprise and pleasure as I recognized my friend Melanie’s voice on the phone. She’s a friend I dearly love, but we live long-distance and don’t stay in close touch.
I told her about my sadness, but also my joy over the fullness of my grandmother’s life. We chatted about old friends, kids and church with the ease that a long-time friendship brings. However, I started to wonder when we’d get to the reason for her call. Finally, there was a pause, and she explained that she needed to go back to her work.
I was stunned. That was it?
There was no other agenda or hidden need? No. Melanie had just carved out the time in her day to call and check on me.
A phone call from a friend is always appreciated. But for Melanie to call meant even more, because she is a young widow whose husband died suddenly. She is dealing with raising children, running a business they used to manage as a couple and all the other curve-balls life inevitably throws her way. Yet she made time in her day just to check in with me. I told her how grateful I was she had been so intentional and kind.
That’s when Melanie shared what happened after her husband’s death. Worship time at church was when the floodgates of her grief opened. She would often stand and cry throughout the service, pouring out her heart to God and receiving comfort from Him. And there was one woman who often sat by Melanie and silently held her hand.
One woman.
In silence.
Offering the ministry of presence.
A profound gift.
Melanie continued, describing the impact this gesture made on her. “I’ve learned how much sharing time means. If I can only run by and take a cake to someone who is hurting, I do it. All of life’s busyness can be overwhelming, but I make time for people now. People are the most important thing.”
I thought of how my friend reflects Jesus—of how Jesus made people more important than His to-do list. There were so many He stopped for. Countless faces in the crowds who made Him pause, just because.
The woman rejected by others for her many husbands.
The despised tax collector.
The woman who had despaired of ever being healed.
The men who gave up everything to follow Him.
The list could go on and on.
I think about the day’s to-do list. A long list. There are lines and lines of things to do that aren’t checked off yet, calling for my attention and time. They’re all important, but how do I process my list through today’s key verse, “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12)? How do I become more like Jesus, numbering my days aright so that I might gain a heart of wisdom?
I think I’ll start a fresh to-do list and take a lesson from Melanie. My new first line on my checklist: “Be more like Jesus. Make people important today.”
Dear Lord, I need Your help to plan my day with Your priorities. You know how task-driven I can be. Will You teach me to put people first? Sensitize my spirit to listen to Yours and to pause for people like You would. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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Art Anthology Cruise!

So excited we can call it by its real name now.

Come join Art Anthology for our first cruise!  Join Jen Starr, Stayce DeWid and the Art Anthology Team sailing through the Caribbean and crafting the nights away!!!

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I can’t believe my trip to Italy is right around the corner.  I’m so excited!!

I’m nervous to be debuting my new company but i know it is going to be amazing.  I have the best business partner in the world.


Art Anthology…WOW!

so many wows.

Its crazy how many things happen and how fast they happen.

I feel a little overwhelmed at the amount of stuff we need to get done but i have faith that we will get through this. There are always going to be bumps but we are put together for a reason and all things will work out as they are meant to be.

Its amazing the amounts of well wishes we’ve received regarding Art Anthology. We are incredibly blessed to have so many wonderful people in our corner. I feel bad for some of them because they feel put in the middle. I’m sorry that they have to feel that way. I wish they felt comfortable enough to have to not sneak around to talk to us out of fear of childless retaliation. 🙁  boo

well there is no bursting my bubble.

Life rocks!!!

as a good friend of mine always used to say…

Living the dream!

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Here i am…in Hawaii for vacation with my family.  We’re used to seeing several different places so this is a bit different for us. Jimmy has never been here so he is in absolute heaven.  It is beautiful here. We have a great condo on the beach on the north shore.  We spent the whole day yesterday on the beach. Got a bit sunburned. eek. But that always happens.  Today we are headed out to Waimea Falls for a nice hike.  I’ll be glad to not lay out.

The sad thing is that i have such a hard time just relaxing. My friends keep telling me to relax and enjoy. I enjoy being busy. I don’t like to lay around and do nothing. It makes me absolutely insane. I’m trying really hard though.
I’ve found my happy place this morning. YES i brought some products with me. I couldn’t resist. Playing on the lanai overlooking the ocean with a beautiful breeze…THAT is relaxing to me.
so poo on trying to relax. i’m going to do what makes me feel good.

So do what makes you feel good!!!
ps….September 1st….good news…stay tuned
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