Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Can we just skip Christmas, just this one year?

Christmas is just in two days and yet there is STILL so much that I have to do. . . among trying to keep it together, when everything about the holiday season makes me think of my Mom. After all, she was my main shopping buddy, person to call about recipes, what gift to get this person and that, you name it. My heart is just not in it, as much as I'm trying for it to be.
My beautiful Mom

It's really true about what is said about all the things grief does to you around the holidays when missing a loved one. And both of my parents have passed recently. I don't like to blog about this stuff, but I just feel the need to, it's such a part of my life in this particular moment. I guess this post is meant mostly for the people who know me personally, because they sometimes don't know how to handle me or what to say, or know how I am feeling. I don't even know sometimes myself, but I would like to think that I am maintaining a healthy attitude, as much as I can.

So here come the holidays rushing in. Upon pulling out all of my decorations, I start finding special little things she gave me. A good deal of my Christmas stuff my Mom bought me or made herself. Some things I forgot about, and more than likely I would have a good cry upon discovering them. I even saved Christmas cards she sent with loving little notes written before she was sick. I am such a sap when it comes to those things, and I save all of it. Most of the time it gives me comfort, but sometimes it evokes a sadness that is so overwhelming. Today was one of those days. So. . . I decided to pack it up. Yep, two days before Christmas. I don't want to do it this year.
Some of my Mom's handmade ornaments

I have cried and cried so much in dealing with the various stages of sickness and loss, twice. And it just hurts so much to cry more. I really don't want to, and most of my close friends and family expect me to. They will even come over my house bearing big bottles of wine I like, so we can drink and have a good healthy cry. When I do have those kinds of cries, I am almost always alone and they don't get to see that. So maybe with this blog post and getting all of my emotions out for the world to see (eeek!) everyone who may be concerned will know where I am coming from. Because people do ask all the time, and especially now.

In dealing with cancer these past two years with my Parents, all I want to do is heal. I've carried such pain with me since then, and I can't imagine holding onto it for the rest of my life. Although it will certainly always be there. I know that kind of pain can really consume a person. At the same time, I don't ever want to forget them. I want to honor their legacy, remembering what they have taught me and displaying their little special things in prominent places in my home, always. I want to remember them with love, and not the pain of loosing them. But wow, right now it's really hard.

My Mom and her beautiful hair.
That's how I will always remember her.

I don't expect anybody to leave any comments on this post. Finding the words for something like this is just too heavy. And I truly want you all to be happy and thoroughly enjoy your Christmas.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A choir of stained glass angels and decorated snowflake cookies

Shewww. . . I've been busy! Today is my family's 9th annual ornament/dessert exchange and I thought I'd share what I have made. Below is a close-up of my ornament, a stained glass angel. I was going to do ornaments of my Mom as an angel, but I changed my mind at the 11th hour because it was too heartbreaking. Once the painting of her started to come together, it was just too difficult for me to handle.
The stained glass angels were more time consuming than I thought. I may make some more for Christmas presents since after all, I cut and grinded extra glass with this in mind. Luckily I had everything I needed in stock in my studio. And plenty of Neosporin for all the tiny little cuts on my hands after the fact!

10 more angels to go. I have exhausted my supplies! Here's a picture of them in their early stages.

And the cookies. These guys took a while to make and decorate! It was my first time using royal icing, and the recipe I went by didn't call for cream of tartar, which later I found out gives the glaze an even, smooth consistency. They didn't turn out half bad though, I'm just a freak about details.
Can't wait for our ornament exchange, it's sure to be a blast!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Photo Friday: Weathered

This photo was taken in Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota, FL.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

IF: Similar

These Chanel handbags may look similar, but one retails at $1,150.00 and the other was found in Chinatown, New York and was haggled at $30.00. Can you tell the difference? I chose this specific Chanel bag, because I know I've seen the knockoff dozens of times.

Check out this article from the NY Times to read more about the epidemic of knockoff designer handbags. Crazy stuff!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Inspire me Thursday: Handmade gift (second post)

Tomorrow is my best friend's birthday, and I made her a trio of stretchy bracelets, chandelier earrings and necklace. The earrings are hammered wire, that I bent myself. She absolutely loves the color orange, it makes her feel inspired. Lately she's been combining it with turquoise, so I made her a whole set of stuff to make her feel more inspired! The pieces are made with real turquoise, orange jade, Austrian crystal and seed beads. Butterflies are also her favorite, so I worked it into the design of the necklace. Can't wait to give them to her tomorrow!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Inspire me Thursday: Handmade gift

A handmade gift for my Allison! Black and white striped scarf with pockets on the ends! She likes to pretend they are her puppets. She already knows about it, so I had her pose with it. Gotta do some last minute finishing touches and it's all hers.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Photo Friday: Dusk

Staring at such a vast infinite space across the Ocean and watching the sun disappear on the horizon always mesmerizes me and makes me realize how small I really am. I wonder if this lone beach walker is thinking the same thing.

Lucky winner of Deborah Mori's Thanksgiving give away!

I just wanted to show off my print that recently arrived at my house from Deborah Mori aka "Life without Novocaine". Thank you Deborah, I will treasure it always! And just in time for decorating for the holiday season.

If you haven't seen her work, be sure to stop by her blog and her Etsy shop. I love her gratitude prints, they are absolute gems and are vibrantly colorful and beautiful. She is also a phenomenal illustrator.

Thank you Deborah!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

IF: Balloon - one luftballon

I don't have time to do new illos lately. . . got lots of work to do, gifts to make and a holiday party to plan. So, here is my lonely single red balloon I just whipped up. Maybe I should start doing the least complicated ideas I have so I can churn out more blog prompts! I wanted to do a cool steampunk hot air balloon with lots of detail, but that would take way too long.

Inspire me Thursday: Table

Here's an oil painting of still life I did a few years ago that is perfect for the theme! I haven't posted much of my paintings, as I've been doing more digital illustration lately.