When I work, I think in textures. I love to meld odd colors and textures. This is the front of a coat on one of my favorite 18th century inspired dolls I made. My shop will remain open thru the holiday season. Drop me a line if your looking for something specific. Cheers!
Hello! Just wanted to post that starting this evening Oct. 9th about 7pm EST thru the rest of the week, I will start loading some of my Halloween creations in my ETSY shop. Bear with me though - I have a new computer now and am shifting from old to new. Mavis pictured above will be available along with some of her friends like Pierre, Ollie and Good Witch Ethel, etc. Sooo stayed tuned..................
gorgeous fountain we were near at the Norcross Art Fest
Fabulous weekend at the Norcross Art Fest. Wonderful to meet lots of new customers and see people fall in love with a doll even if they are not " doll people."
I loved when one lady called my dolls infectious little characters(as she giggled).
It is so much fun to watch peoples reactions to my work. Even if they don't like it or don't get it - I'm OK with it. I grow from it all. It was sweltering HOT in the Atlanta area over the weekend and I think it put a "kibosh" on the Fall/Halloween spirit. Soooo I came home with a few of my Halloween works that I will be listing in my Etsy shop this week. Stay Tuned.....
It is just amazing to be back doing what I love after such a horrific year of surgery, pain, hospitals etc. I still have many challenges like eating, nutrition and keeping weight on, but it is starting to feel more manageable now. I feel so blessed to be here. Not only on this planet but right here -today- present in my life and full of joy. There was a time - not so long ago- that I didn't feel like I would or could ever get to this peace. One of my favorite memories from the weekend was watching my kids sleep in the hotel. I mean really just lay there and watch there angelic faces so at peace and still I see the newborn in them. They are 5 and 7 now-oh how time flies. They fully enjoyed the Norcross show too. Fabulous parks with awesome playgrounds and fountains. And of coarse, let's not forget my rock! my husband David. I'm speechless at times when it comes to him. Always there supporting my creative craziness. I really couldn't do it without him- my right hand man, partner in crime, best friend, supporter and my constant. Yes, I am fighting back tears right now. Oh - I'm a lucky lady.
Well, I am off to clean my studio before I gear up again for more creations.
Wanted to share with you my "wee witches" I just finished up some of the detailing this last week.
I made a few of these little crazy witches for the Country Living Show last year and they sold so fast the first day - I barely had time to enjoy their company. So this year, I made a few more to enjoy for a while. They will be "flying" to Norcross this weekend.
Shoot me an email for any special requests or interests.
Seems Mr. Potter found a few friends out in the pansy fields.
Meet sweet Miss Mavis and dear ole Pierre.
Lots of detail, love and warm fall colors went into these fine pumpkin folk -Oh how they tug at my heart strings. They will be heading to Norcross Art Fest next weekend. I am still working away and plan to list some Fall / Halloween creations in my Etsy shop in October. Any special requests??
Mr. Potter is finished and back from the garden with his fresh pickins of pansies.
He is such a warm and whimsical fellow.
I am busy, busy still creating more folk art and dolls for the upcoming Historic Norcross Art Fest in GA. The show is October 5-6th and I am very nervous - it will be my first show in GA and I haven't done a street fair in years. I really missed doing the show and seeing friends at the Country Living Fair in OH this year. But with all I have been thru this year - it was just too much to handle. I am considering the Country Living Show in Atlanta GA next year. It is much closer to home than OH now that we are in the gorgeous mountains of North Carolina. It is truly breathe taking here.
Autumn Blessing to all
Yes! My machine is up and running and I am back at it.
Meet Mr. Higginbottom, he demanded some breeches before I get back to working on Mr. Potter and friends. This poor old chap had been sitting around for some time with no pants or jacket - he said he felt rather " undignified"
Well, I had been working on all those fun pumpkin people when "kaboom!"
my sewing machine (Nellie) got jammed up and stopped working. I was in a panic but good ole Dr. Tim the sewing machine man has her in his shop and she'll be up and running again soon. I have had the same machine since the early 1980s. Nellie is a German PFAFF - they just don't make them like that anymore - she is worth the $135 bucks to get her stitching again. Ouch!
I have started a batch of my mixed media doll ornies while I wait for Nellie. Love the shot of all the silly heads above. Lots of found objects, beads and wire - they are so much fun to make.
Good News..... Just this last Tuesday I had my feeding tube removed from my abdomen! Wooo Hoooo It has been just about 6 months since my original surgery and 9 follow up procedures. I am finally progressing well. The big challenge for me now is getting in enough calories daily and stop losing weight. Life without a stomach is difficult and no walk in the park but it beats the alternative. Cancer is so evil.
The weather today was wonderfully cool and a tease for Fall that is around the corner. A little stroll around the garden surprised me with this big, beautiful Hibiscus bloom near the arbor. It is the size of a salad plate. I marvel at mother nature and God's handy work.
I'm working on some fun Halloween stuff here in the studio that I will post about soon. My little ones are anxious for school to start - my youngest will start Kindergarten this year. Both in school all day ??- whatever will I do with myself! Heavenly silence and uninterrupted time in the studio???
I was at Duke Hospital last week for another outpatient surgery and stopped at a fabric store for a little therapy. I found this great textured black fabric and it just screamed CAT to me soooo, here is the start of my "cat" doll. I haven't done any form of a cat doll in years so it will be very interesting to see what develops.
Fall is just around the corner and I am getting things going in the studio for Halloween whimsies! I will be doing a show in Norcross GA. this October ( more details later) I am so sad to report that I will not be doing the Country Living Show in Columbus this year. The massive surgery I had in February and all the follow up procedures and slow recovery has robbed me of my energy and abilities this year. I am getting stronger all the time and the doctors and I are seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. I am adjusting to life without a stomach better and better every day. It is such a long journey of recovery to find my "new normal" and lifestyle being stomach-less. I am a slave to eating and I hate it. I have to be nibbling on something every half hour and there is no guarantee it's gonna go down well. I will be getting my feeding tube out in two weeks!!! Very excited about that milestone. Thanks again everyone for all your love, support and encouragement.
I was back in the hospital for a while with more complications the end of May but yet again I'm back on my feet and trying to move forward. I am working on some primitive mermaids for the summer - stay tuned...
Please don't forget to drop by and see all the primitive and folk art goodies just listed by many artist at -
Yes, I know it has been so long, but finally the update. On February 22nd I had my entire stomach removed along with several lymph nodes and a "scant" section of my esophagus were it attached to my stomach. What can I say - it was a horrible experience that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy but it was necessary and it is now done! I will never die from this hereditary form of stomach cancer the way 4 of my family members did. I am the lucky one!! I am still having to do tube feeds through the night to ensure I get proper nutrients. I hook up to the machine and the formula goes straight into my small intestine thru a small tube attached to my side. I HATE it for several side effect reasons but also am grateful because it literally is/has saved my life. It has been a very slow recovery with many "unexpected" problems. I was hospitalized for a week just before Easter in March for dehydration and an esophageal stricture. I was unable to eat any type of soft food orally and began spitting up any water or liquid I drank. My new connection site ( where they hooked my esophagus up to my lower intestine) developed really bad scar tissue that closed the opening up to about 4mm. Since that time I have had to return to Duke hospital (5hrs away)once a week to have dilation's and stretching to get my esophagus to open up so I can begin to eat real food. This is done as an out patient procedure with a GI and anesthesia team. I am now up to about 12mm and can eat mashed potatoes, soups, and other super squishable foods. The goal is 15-18mm but each time I go in, the scare tissue begins to take over again! Errrr, so frustrating. I head back for another stretching the end of this week and I meet with my main doctor on the 13th to evaluate this on going problem - I pray no more surgery. I was in the ER just this last Thurs. night for a kidney stone- OMG the pain was intense. I passed it this AM - thank you God! I was told I have a few more in my kidneys but not as large as this one was. This is a result of the surgery, dehydration, etc. Big sigh............ I am just trying to keep my spirits up these days and be grateful for all the little positive changes. My energy is getting better and I am getting stronger everyday. I am also beginning to adjust to all the weight loss. I miss making my art. I feel very disconnected from it and I can't believe how slow I am moving when I do putz around in the studio. Patience is so difficult for me - the docs tell me "all in due time" 6 months to a year from now, I will be comfortable in my "new normal" I just want control as to what that so called "new normal" is gonna look like!!!! Wow! there it all is. What a negative sounding post! Yuck... but it is my truth and my reality for today. I will get better, I am getting better every day. I am alive and not fighting cancer or undergoing chemo! Thank you God
Well, tomorrow eve we head off to Duke University for my big surgery. I am feeling really good and spiritually centered. Just a "bring it on" attitude! I just want this behind me so I can recover and get back to creating and living life in the now. I have had the fear monkey hanging around my neck for some time now and I am done with it. Sooooo, I will be back in the spring. Lots of new crazy whimsical creations are swimming in my head, I will be glad to get them out. I know, I know, be patient. I will be slow to recover and it will take me weeks to get back on my feet and understand how to manage my body and eating with no stomach. Thanks again to all for your loving words,
In early December, I had a genetics test and found out that I tested positive for CDH1 which is a gene mutation that causes HDGC - Hereditary Diffuse Gastric Cancer. The average age of onset of gastric cancer in HDGC is 38 years old. The estimated lifetime risk of developing gastric cancer by age 80 is 84% for women and a 50% lifetime chance of getting breast cancer. It is a very rare nasty cancer syndrome that is silent. Microscopic Signet Ring Cells weave in between the lining and mucosa of the stomach and it is nearly impossible to detect via Endoscopy, MRI, etc. It is A-symptomatic (no real outward symptoms) until it is late stage and usually untreatable or terminal. It took my father's life at age 46 when I was in high school and just this last July it claimed his sister too. After looking into family history - we found that it took my Grandfather and Great Grandfather at young ages as well.
I felt like I had been handed a death sentence. I watched this cancer's evil handy work first hand in watching the passing of both my father and my aunt. I vowed with the news of my gene mutation diagnosis that I would be a survivor and not another statistic. Because this type of cancer is so difficult to detect at and early stage and surveillance is not reliable, the medical recommendation is a Total Gastrectomy (stomach removal). Yes, I know! Your eyes just bulged out of your head and you are probably thinking things like: Can you live without a stomach? Isn't that a rather DRASTIC preventative measure!?? There must be a better way! I know, I know - I had all the same thoughts and reactions too.
Thanks to the support of my cousins (that tested negative for the mutation by the grace of God) family, and a fantastic organization called No Stomach For Cancer, I have come to peace with my diagnosis. Like others in the world with this genetic mutation that have not already succumbed to this horrid cancer, I will undergo a Total Gastrectomy in a few weeks
on February 22 2013
at Duke University Cancer Center in North Carolina.
I feel so blessed to have this awareness and a chance to beat this cancer!
Once again I am reminded how fragile and precious life is.
Well, I have a lot ahead of me in this New Year. I will be on a journey I never saw coming. It is a journey of many ups and downs and an unclear path at that. Emotions are on high and creativity at this point is feeling low. I just keep putting the next foot forward and keeping the faith that all will be well. Maybe in due time I will feel comfortable enough to express and share more but for now I feel raw and terror.
My New Years Resolution is to be a survivor and not a statistic.