Thursday, May 23, 2013


Introducing Emery Jane Williams
Grandchild #4
Granddaughter #2
and on and on and on!
Today a special letter came from Emery!  She drew a picture of she and Poppo and me.  It is perfect!  She loves us!  It made my day and since this is Friday Intro day I am introducing you to...
This is special attention to the smile because it never changes!  This smile is ever present on Emery

Emery has her own sense of style.  She knows just who she is and at the great age of 6 she will tell you exactly what looks best on her!

Emery loves being outdoors.  She is like bottled sunshine!

Emery loves to draw...she is getting better and better at it and has made me promise we will have lots of art days while she is here for the summer.

Emery is helpful although on this day she said she could do her job faster than Isa with one arm tied behind her back.

Emery Quote of the Year
Emery: I want to mow lawns this year.
Liam: You are too little to mow...who do you think you are Alexander the Great?
Emery: No, but I am Emery the Almost Great!
(see Gramachele rolling around on the floor laughing her head off!)

This is Emery's poopy face.  It doesn't show itself often...only when she really wants something badly and the answer is no...this day it was pierced ears.

This is Emery's best friends and sister Isabelle

Emery isn't afraid to see life from the highest point!

Emery loves dress up

Emery with Colin, Liam and Isa

Emery learned to quilt this year and she did a very good job.

Emery and Mommy giggle-fest

Emery wants to be a rock star like Taylor Swift when she grows up.  I think she is already a rock star!

Remember what I told you about style?  She is rockin' mom's boots!

Emery is generous.  This year she donated her hair to locks of love.  She is cute with short hair too!

This was Emery at a day old.  Those eyes are wiser than her age belies


1st Christmas
Emery and Daddy

Emery and me
In a little less than two weeks Emery will come to spend the summer with us.  She will bring with her her brothers and her sister and her mommy and daddy.  I cannot wait.  Time spent with these priceless loved ones means more to me than any other thing. Because they live so far away from us we have never had so much time to spend with them.  I am so is Dennis.
I get to be a grandma. He gets to be a grandpa
I get to be a friend. He does too
I get to share my summer with those I love. Ditto.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sometimes there was a storm in her brain

Some years ago Lisa...if you don't know Lisa I will have to tell you about her later on this blog.  She is my sister of choice and she knows me well...any way some years ago Lisa gave a me sweet little Sally Jean pennant that said, "sometimes she has a storm in her brain."  She said it was me.  She said I always have a storm brewing in my brain.  She is right.  Many nights I lay awake until the wee hours of the morning because I cannot quiet my monkey brain (that is what Patti calls the way our brains work).
I have been wanting to do something with my art to be a physical manifestation of the storm in my brain. Almost a year ago Wendy Vecchi came to Twin Falls to teach at our shop.  Wendy has become a dear friend and she is very good to share her love of all things inky.  She is also one of life's cheerleaders.  By that I mean Wendy knows what so many artists in my world do takes nothing from them when they encourage and celebrate those who are learning and growing.
While at the shop Wendy taught a class using a stamp I love...It is a womans head but it is created in an almost anitomical that I mean she is uniquely represented with a "monkey brain"....lots of little places for thoughts to roam and interupt other thoughts...that is my interpretation of her.
This is her in the lower left hand corner as I stamped her onto a piece of grunge board.
In Wendy's workshop we took her and created an art angel....I cannot tell you how much I love this piece!  She is happy-ness for me.
That is this favorite head stamped and executed to make a funky art angel.  Now as much as I love this piece and I truly do she does not reflect the storm in my brain so yesterday I began to create the storm.
I stamped the head on grunge board (I have no idea what it is I just know I love it).  Then using grunge paper (same thing just a paper weight and I still don't know what it is) I went to work stamping and cutting flowers, leaves, hearts and all the little bits and pieces of my brain storm.
The stamps come from stampers annonymous (Wendy Vecchi) the ink is Ranger Archival Jet Black
Next I gave her color.
Using Tim Holtz Distress Stains I colored her skin (tattered rose)...this took two coats.
Just a little tip here, dry completely between coats.
To add detail I used Tim Holtz Distress Pens.  I darkened her eyelids with two more coats of tattered rose but this time I used the pens.  I colored the whites of her eyes with Picket Fence.
(Here is a little tip from a past life.  When Dennis and I were first married I would color his black and white prints to create softly colored color pictures.  It was popular at the time and I learned a lot about adding color where there wasn't any.  One of the things I learned was that when coloring eyes you do not add a stroke of add color with tiny dots.  For this image I added the picket fence by making many tiny dots of color with the fine tip of the pen.  It looks more subtle and never looks forced.)
I added broken china blue to the iris of each eye the same way I added the white.  I made a small white dot on the blue for a reflection spot.
For her cheeks I spritzed the area with a light mist of water then added a daub of worn lipstick stain.  I let it spread with the water  and blotted with a tissue to keep it right where I wanted it.  I did this twice.
Her mouth is Worn Lipstick distress pen.  The lower lip is a stroke of color but the upper lip is dots...I also added a little bit of the worn lipstick to the shadow under the nose.
Last I spritzed the whole face with a fine mist of water to soften everything and leave no hard lines.  I let it air dry at this point.
I love this face.  It is soft.  It is peaceful.  It belies the storm in her brain. 
To illustrate the storm in her brain I created flowers cut and stamped on grunge paper.  Color for all this comes from Tim Holtz Distress Stains and Pens.  I added yellows , oranges, reds, blues, greens and even a little purple.
I stacked and layered the  pieces to make the top of her head seem to explode in color. I cut and stacked dozens of pieces...butterflies with tiny light bulb bodies, buttons, glossy hearts and an overload of color.
I love her...she is now part of a book I am teaching at the shop next weekend.
I will tell you this, she isn't finished.  I will have another version of her sometime soon.  You see to understand the storm in my brain you have to see into my heart and that is where she will go next. 
This girl looks nothing like me but she reflects me...not perfectly because art is not perfect...but she does reflect me in some ways and that gives me peace.

Friday, May 17, 2013


My dad held me holding my baby sister, Patti, the day she came to live at our house.
I think if you know me at all you know I am the eldest of two.
I don't remember a time without her and I know she would tell you the same. 
We were always "Patti and Michele".  She got top billing and I can't remember ever minding that.
She is two years younger.
I am 22 months older.
(Isn't it funny how that works)
I wanted to introduce my friends who may follow me on this blog and most certainly my children and grandchildren and generations to come to my those most important in my my friends and to the people I most admire.  Patti falls into all those categories
I have decided Fridays are the perfect day of the week to introduce you to someone new and Patti is the first of many.
This picture was taken 58 years ago. 
We are as closely connected as ever.  That is the way with us.  Although not all sisters are as connected I know some who are and they will understand (Joyce and Jo) that a day without your sister is a day without sunshine.
Here are a few of our growing up pictures with a more current one thrown in for good measure.
If you hadn't guessed I love Patti...she is the other side of me.  Someday we will grow old together...I will cook and she will gather eggs for breakfast.
 My dad's favorite picture of us

Junior High School in a photo booth at Woolworths

 High School...Senior Year for me Junior year for Patti

Love you little sister...see you in two weeks

Thursday, May 16, 2013

What I would tell this girl...

I am starting my own blog.
In time I am sure it will be full of the most interesting things.
Artsy things
Thought-provoking things
Funny things
Family things
Food things
All kinds of things...
but tonight as I start this blog {and assuming I will be one of the only ones to read it} I have something I want to tell my younger self.

  1.  You are always have been and you always will be.  There will be days {too many of them} when you will doubt this but it will be true every day of your life.  You are enough.  And to the people in your life who make you feel like less I suggest you surgically remove them so they will never have the power to make you doubt yourself again.
  2. Don't compare yourself to anyone.  No one else has the same exact qualities, talents, and experiences you have so it is silly to compare yourself.  You are unique.  You are perfectly you.
  3. Don't be afraid.  Fear stops us.  It sets our feet in cement. Be BRAVE every day.

 4.          Do what you know is right...all the time.  Don't waiver in what you know you should do.  Don't sell yourself cheap.  You are great and you can be an example by doing what's right.
5.            Choose good friends.  You will need them throughout your life.  Choose true friends not friends of convienence.  True friends will always tell you when you are out of line...they will love you that much.  They will let you be sad but they won't let you wallow in it.  They will tell you to pull up your socks and get on with it.
6.          When you find someone to spend your life with be sure you look for someone who has more than good looks.  They are important but they are not everything.  Pick someone you will still like to have dinner with in 40 years.  Pick someone you will will still like and respect.  And be careful because break ups only get worse the older you are.  Oh and it is important to pick someone who can make you laugh...even at yourself.
7.          Find something to believe in.  Something greater than yourself.  Something greater than anything you ever thought could be.  That is important too.
8.          Do what you love.  You are going to have lots of carreers in your life.  Make sure you love every one of them.
Last and most important.  Love yourself.  Be gentle with yourself.  Take care of yourself.  Be your own best friend.  You have to live with the woman you create so be the best you can be and know it is enough.