31 March 2013

New Jersey on the Train

Wow!  It's been a crazy world the last month or two!  I looked up and realized it had been quite awhile since we've visited!  

I tend to not discuss plans ahead of time when I'm traveling, but late January and all of February were spent on the road.  My husband has to travel occasionally with his job and when possible I like to join him.  So, this time he had to travel to New Jersey.  Looked into flying, but as I haven't flown since 9/11 I didn't really want to go through all the security issues.  It was a long way to drive and although I've done it before, I didn't really want to make a really LONG two day drive.  So....I looked into the train.  Having never traveled by train and since it was comparable by price to flying I purchased tickets and began preparations.

The time to leave approached and since the nearest train station was 2 hours from home some very dear friends drove me to the station.   The day started out dreary and snowy, but thankfully the roads were clear and we made it to Texarkana without incident.

After arrival I had my ticket printed and proceeded to wait since I was about an hour early. 

As the time to leave approached we went outside to wait trackside.  It was dark and seemed very surreal not knowing what to expect.  I hugged and thanked my friends as the the whistle blew and the train rolled into the station right on schedule.  Making an effort to relish the event I imagined myself in a 40's movie waiting for the train in a dramatic scene.  

Then reality set in.  Dragging a ukulele, rolling duffle with sleeping bag and pillow attached and a backpack loaded with computer, art supplies and papers, I was wishing I had paid more attention to learning weight lifting!   

But I found a conductor who put me on the correct car and while trying to stash the duffle the train slid away from the station and I was on my wayI learned real quick riding a train is kind of like trying to keep up with a moving floor.  It's like I imagine getting sea legs is like.  Feeling a little weird at first, I stumbled my way up the stairs and wobbled my way to my coach seat.  I must  tell you I have never been drunk but I have to wonder, "This MUST be what it's like!"  

And THIS is where the adventure began!

So, I'll end here and come back soon to add more...

I hope everyone has had a blessed Resurrection Day!  
He is risen!!   He is risen indeed!!!



04 March 2013

Hey World

Hey World!!
It's dreary and it's cold and it's a beautiful morning!  How can I say that?  Well, God is good for one thing and He's blessed me beyond measure.  
Many of those blessings are what some people 
would never consider a blessing, 
but for me they're huge. 
Another thing is, 
it feels SO good to realize where you're supposed to be in life and what you're supposed to do. 
 I've always wondered what I would be when I grew up 
and envied 
(I know, I'm not supposed to do that)
people who had it all figured out when they were young.  Oh, I think of the years gone by 
just trying to find my place, 
my little spot in the world.
 I can't say they were wasted 
because I've got the most loving family
and got to raise two wonderful kids.
I've been blessed with six grandchildren
and have one more coming in June!
Could I have utilized it a little better?
Probably.  But, that was yesterday.  Today is now.
Now is all I'm going to devote time to.

 These are a few more snapshots of
herbs drawn and painted
in the herb workdshop by 
Val Webb.
Val's lessons are so easy to understand
and she presents some really good
techniques for drawing and painting.
She is starting a new workshop for
watercolor lettering soon.
Check it out!!

Would also like to let you in on this fabulous workshop opportunity.  Check out the site below and
sign up for the "21 Secrets" workshop.
It's an unbelievable workshop at an unbelievable price!!!


23 February 2013

Over The Edge

Life takes on many different directions. Many twists and turns. The road goes up. The road goes down. Some days good, some days not so much. Changes at every direction. Isn't it grand? Isn't it exciting wondering what is next? Where do we go tomorrow? What is waiting for me around that riverbend? So glad I have the maker of the universe at the helm and leading the way! Flying high or pulling at the plow; up, down or somewhere in between, life is wonderful!! Can merely imagine how amazing heaven will be!!
My husband and I have spent most of the morning discussing the direction we've been taking.  Seems I've been spending a lot of time working at something that I truly did not like and truly did not want to do.  He has known this for awhile and knows me far better than I know myself.  
My entire life I have wanted to devote my life to art.  Whether it was drawing, painting, music, stitchery didn't matter.  I just knew it had to be something creative.  My very soul cries out for it.  I don't know why.  I can't explain it.  I only know that it must BE.  
For some reason I have never given myself permission to pursue creativity as a means of support.  I have always felt guilty for wanting to do something I adore as my life's work.  I have no idea why, but always felt if I was doing something fun (even if it provided income) it wasn't real work when others I knew and loved worked at jobs they didn't really like.  I mean, who was I to think I didn't have to toe that line just like everyone else.
But, my dear husband has convinced me I will be much happier (and so will he!) if I jump in with both feet and don't look back.  So, with great excitement and a touch of fear thrown in, I hold my head up, say a prayer for my dear heavenly Father to hold my hand and leap over the edge.
Blessings to all!

13 February 2013

Art Awakening!

God is so good to me!  He's provided a way of salvation and a wonderful life.  Many times I have not recognized just how good and have failed to thank Him for loving me.  Not that everything has always been sunshine and roses.  Far from it.  So many times I've been my own worst enemy and missed what He has tried to give me.  I've wasted many years always looking for that "perfect time" to do something, learn something, try something new.

I'm now 54 years old and would like to say much wiser.  Artistically, it's time to get on with my life.  I choose to not dwell on what I haven't done (did I say I have been known to do this?).  I've learned that Satan has used that to keep me where I am.  God has given me a love and desire for a life of art and I publicly choose to FINALLY act on it!!!!
With thanks, I'm loving where I am at this point in my life.  My children are grown and it's looking like my husband and I didn't destroy them.  Granted, we weren't perfect parents, but we're thrilled with how they've grown into adults.

We have six adorable grandchildren with one on the way.  I must admit I never thought I would get this many grandchildren with only two children...I mean... I was the one who was NEVER going to be foolish enough to get married!  And, heaven forbid, if I DID do something that stupid, children were out of the question!  Hahaha!   Silly me!

But, my daughter has four boys ages 7-14 and my son has two girls ages 2 and 7 and another girl due in June.  And they are all perfect.  Do not dispute this...I will not listen.  LOL!

Another good thing going on is that my best friend and I attended a soap-making class a few years ago.  We piddled around with it making a few batches here and there.  We signed up for a couple of craft shows and have developed a local following.  Recently, we've done a lot of soul-searching and decision-making.  Do we continue to play with this and TOTALLY LOVE our product and basically keep it to ourselves and a select few or do we kick this thing in the can and get off our duff and treat it like the business it is?

We've chosen to get off our duff and be big girls about it.  So, although the web address is only parked for now, we have lined up several BIG, BIG shows to attend.  I'll passing on information on where our soap can be ordered soon.  SO totally love this stuff, I just have to share it.

One more great thing happening is art related.  I've had an interest in all things art since childhood and never thought my work was good enough to put "out there".  No more.  Right now I'm taking an herb drawing class online. Check out the website for this class.  I think you'll love her website.  Explore it.  Check out all of her posts.  Spend some time there.  It'll be a nice trip.

He's a few pics of the stuff we've been working on:

It's time to learn and grow and build up a body of workNo, it's PAST time.  What's around the corner?  Is that a bend in the road?  I certainly hope so!!

See 'round the next curve!


09 February 2013

Hey everybody!  

I know.  It's been a long time since I've visited with you.  I've been busy, yes, but so is the rest of the world. 
 I've gotten lazy, had internet problems, and just plain have had issues about keeping up with the blog.

Am I the only person that seems to have a hard time 
settling on one thing?  

I've designed cross stitch for years and years and LOVE it.  
I always worked under the name  
Laughing Moose Design Works.  

Laughing:  because I feel that even though life gets serious, if we keep laughter in it, it will definitely be better. 
Moose:  in memory of my high school basketball coach.  It was the nickname he game me in 10th grade. 
Works:  it just sounded good. 

Then, go figure,  I went off on a different tangent. 
Not necessarily a new one, just less cross stitch.

Watercolor, pen and ink, and colored pencils have pulled me for years too.  I'd never felt like I was good enough,
 but I've decided, "Good enough for who?"  
Will my work  ever hang in a great museum?  
Likely not.  
Can it add joy and happiness to someones life? 
 Yes and frankly, isn't that what it's all about?  
That's when I decided to work under the name 
Zion Mountain Studio.

Zion, because of the Christian aspect of my life.  
Mountain because I live on a mountaintop and 
Studio....again, self-explanitory.

Then, I jumped in with both feet and decided to do a blog.  Did I think first?  
Not much! LOL!
Is that common for me?  Unfortunately, yes!

Well, after a long absence, I'm having to 
make some decisions. 
 Simplifying life seems to be a big deal right now.  
It's like the older I get
the more streamlined I want (NEED) things to be.

So....It's looking like this is what I will do.  
  I'm going back to my original name with the exception of the Works part.
"Laughing Moose Design"

I will be starting a new blog soon 
when I decide exactly which system I want to use.  

I sincerely hope I'm not the only person in this here ole' world that has the 
"get it together and get it done" problem!!

In the meantime my best friend and I work together making some of the best, sweetest smelling, 
"good for your skin" soap in the world!!!!!   
We've been selling locally and at craft fairs, 
and are working on an Etsy shop and web site.

So, as they say,
"Life ain't easy, but it sure is worth the ride"!!

As soon as I know which way this is all going, I'll be sure and let you know too!   

You know, I've learned not to pray for patience 'cause things tend to happen to develop patience.  
SO.....I'll NOT be praying to get it together......
I don't need more stuff to organize!

Take care all and blessings to 'ya!!!  

25 May 2012

With a Heavy Heart

My heart is heavy tonight.  After coming home from dinner in town we found our dear, dear Dudley lying by the deck.  We immediately knew he had passed away.

Although he was getting old, we had chosen to believe he would be with us always.  Certainly he had that kind of attitude.  He was kind of fat, lazy when he wanted to be and aloof when he thought you needed to be ignored.

But, he always came and sat with us anytime we were outside.  He was my escort when hanging out the laundry.  Keeping my legs wrapped up with cattail was his mission and he did it well.  He loved to be rolled on his back and have his belly rubbed and when I rubbed his ears, he became almost ecstatic!

His full name was Dudley Dooright, although we often called him Duds.  I fondly called him Studley Dudley even though he'd been neutered years ago.

I've had many cats through the years and some of them for many years.  But, I've never had a cat that was so much a friend.  Even my non-cat-person husband adored him.  Nobody better mess with Dudley.  Joe would line you out if you did. 

I've cried like a baby and although I also know that time will heal, I will always fondly remember that chunk of yellow tabby called Dudley.

Dudley Dooright 1999-2012

15 May 2012

Renaissance Festival and Blooms

 It's been quite some time since I've had the chance to visit.   To say it's been busy around here would be an understatement.  Of course, with that being said, I know everyone is busy.  Seems like we meet ourselves coming around the bend and frankly, I just don't know how to slow things down.  Seems like I'm just too tired after everything that needed to get done got done to stop long enough to take a few moments to breath and visit with you.

If any of you have any suggestions for time management, please, don't be shy about sharing!  It seems that I'm not the only one that feels like a hamster on a wheel.  My art has almost slowed to a stop and because of that, I'm a little grouchy with those that deserve it least.  Am I the only one that gets in a not so stellar attitude when creative time is snatched away?  Somehow, I think a lot of creative people are the same way. 
(At least, I hope so!  I'd hate to be the only creative-time-starved curmudgeon!)

My roses have been a bright spot though and the Joseph's Coat bloom above is an example.  It's amazing to watch how the colors change from bud to bloom!

Got this shot of a swallowtail butterfly on my lilac earlier in the spring.  I miss the delightful smell of the lilacs on the breeze.  Spring was entirely too short!!

My hubby and I did take out time to go to the Renaissance Festival at the Castle at Muskogee, OK. It was quite an experience!! I'd never been to one and there were people that were so totally in character, it was amazing. There were also people dressed in things I just don't think they wore then. Some really strange stuff. But overall, it was a lot of fun and if you live near the Muskogee area take the time to go. It runs every weekend in May.

This lady was so delightful to watch.  She was totally in character and having a great time!

I think this "lady" embarassed my hubby just a little!!  She winked at me behind his back and started flirting with him.  His reaction was priceless!

Gotta' run for now and hope it won't be quite so long 'till next time!!