Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Card Exchange

Even in a world of instant communication through emails, snap chats, twitter and more, I still appreciate the good old mail box. I love the walk down the road to it and the feel of opening the mailbox flap. I love to look inside in hopes of something special waiting for me.

Every Christmas, cards come wishing my family a Merry Holiday from loved ones all over the world. Ever since Mike and I have been married, I have saved these cards. Along with them, I have collected antique cards as well. Together the old and new greetings go up in my home as part of my holiday d├ęcor. I love the way it turns out, pretty little pieces of Christmas art all over my walls and doors!

Many of you know my love for Halloween, and that I’m an image junky. I can’t help but wish my Halloween walls had the same collection as my Christmas wall have. So to solve that problem, I decided to randomly select family and friends and invite them to participate in a Halloween card exchange.
The rules were simple. If one chose to take part, they would send me their address and I would send them mine. We then would send each other a Halloween card to celebrate the upcoming holiday.
So many cards and treats came! Day after day my mailbox brought me orange envelopes with Halloween cheer inside. I figured one door might hold the surprises, but the cards have branched out further and unto my walls!

I hope this might be a fun tradition! I’m so grateful for all those who took part and helped my collection to grow. You can bet your card will be treasured and up each year to help bring in the Halloween spirit. I hope you might join in again next year!

If you didn't get a message from me inviting you to join in and you’d like to, please let me know and I will add you to the list. Sadly a couple of my messages didn't go through as I had thought. Apparently, I attached too many people to it. It is very possible you were on a list but your invitation is still searching for you out in cyber space.  

I hope you all have a very Happy Halloween! Thanks again for all who brightening my smile and brought me spooky Halloween cheer! Already I can’t wait until next year!


Thursday, October 17, 2013

My Personal Graveyard

After a long week my husband, Mike, and I wanted to do something different for a date. Mike grimaced at my idea but because he loves to see me smile, he followed me to an old cemetery with a roll of paper and charcoal in hand. We hunted the grounds reading names on the stones and studying the dates, figuring out when the poor souls left this life. Some gravestones were just rocks to us but there where others that called out. When this happened, we’d place the paper over the stone and with the charcoal, rub it causing an imprint of the history of who was buried under our feet.

We nearly filled the back seat of our car with rubbings! So many wanted do come home with us. We imagined that night, when all the ghost came out from their plots, they’d all gather together and some would brag about how their stone got picked, rubbed and how a piece of them got taken home with a living couple.

Upon returning home, I unrolled each paper and picked out my favorites. I then picked out a wall and began making my very own graveyard. To add effect, I covered the wall with black poster board and added a white moon with weeds around each of the stones. It looks amazing. Each stone has its own personality just as I imagined each of the people the stones represented did.

I think my new friends like being part of our home. I think they like being remembered again. All these graves were barren in the graveyard, they seemed sad with no flowers and just stones sticking out of the earth. In our home, they are full of life again. My kids run around playing, music is blaring, food is being cooked and friends come to visit. They gaze up at the stones reading the names and wondering who these people were and what made them smile or even cry. It’s nice to see the connection.

Last night, I couldn't sleep. I gathered my pillow and sheet and went down in the living room where my graveyard is. I laid down on the couch that is up against my cemetery wall. Right before I fell asleep, the thought came to me; I was now lying under all these graves! My first inkling was a little frightening but instead of getting up from under these stones, I stayed down and told Lilly Edwards, Cora L. Sasher, Willie Shipley and many more, ‘good night’. My bones have never rested as well as they did last night when they were under my graveyard friends.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Sometimes Losers Don’t Lose After All

A few weeks ago, I noticed a contest hosted by Gallery Nucleus. A favorite artist, Mab Graves, had offered one of her original pieces up for the show in which her latest series ‘The Runaways’ was being unveiled. The rules stated that one of the girls remained nameless and along with naming her, she needed personality traits. The fan with the most ‘likes’ on the name and description would win the original piece of art work. My heart jumped and though I knew the chances of winning were slim, something told me to try anyway.

I looked at the picture and the little girl seemed familiar in some odd way but I couldn't place her. The more I thought about names, the clearer it came in my mind. Cora Wren, the name I was never able to use because she was never born. After typing in her name, I let my fingers take over. It’s how I write. It’s up to my characters to tell me the story. Before I knew it, I had finished and couldn't help but like the little person I created. She was familiar because she had little traits as I did when I was a little girl. Of course she would always be busy and of course she’d always be looking out for the bad guys. And yes, she’d be drawn to abandoned homes because there is such emotion embedded in the layers of wall paper and knotted wood.

I was touched with the reaction from so many of my friends, family and even strangers as they rallied behind me. The ‘likes’ came and I watched with great hope that maybe Cora Wren was her name! Maybe I would win! Maybe my lost little daughter’s portrait would hang in my home.

It came down to the finale seconds between me and another contestant. I lost by 26 votes but in my heart I didn't. I cried when I lost but they were not sad tears. Yes, I was sad this little girl's name would be different than what I chose for her and I was sad her portrait wouldn't be hung on my wall, but my heart was full because of all the support I received from so many. I cannot begin to count the emails and private messages I received from those who rallied for me and from those who regretted not seeing the contest until it was too late. Because of this contest, I made new friends and I grew closer to those who love and support me.
After the contest ended, I posted on my facebook wall a message of gratitude to all those who tried so hard for me. Heartfelt replies came. Among them was one from the artist. I was deeply touched by her messages, the one that came privately and the one that was made public. The gallery which hosted the contest contacted me with beautiful words too. My heart was full. I soon discovered that Mab Graves was doing something special for me. You will never understand my excitement!

From out of my mail box, I opened a beautiful piece of art signed by the artist. Tears still fill my eyes as I look at it. To me, the little girl in the original painting will always be Cora Wren but when I look at this new girl, my spirit is touched even more. More because of so many friends, family and strangers, because of new friends and because of a gallery who hosted a show and of an artist who was touched by a little name.

Sometimes losers don’t lose after all.

Thank you for all those who made this possible! I will never forget! OXOXOXO

Please vist Mab Graves website: to learn more about her and her art.
If you’re like me, you’ll visit her Etsy page often and find little treasures you just can’t live without :

Please visit Gallery Nucleus and support the artists they feature: