Monday, December 31, 2012


one of my "old" faves
This is an "old" altered book I made with matchbox drawers...
letter charms were sewn into the pages...
very sexy, yes???

And for 2013, I vow to complete some of the many altered book projects that I have started and pushed aside while dealing with everyday life...
and if you want to be inspired with "prosperity" incense for your own ritual,
visit Nina of Happy Herbs Soap.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Let It Snow, Man...

I'm loving it....
I see something in the woods...let me at it...
In the meadow we can build a snowman...
let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Snow For Christmas

Christmas Eve Dinner Table with Friends!

In town after church...candles and lights all around

Yes, they said there'd be snow at Christmas...
they were right!  It was a beautiful sight to wake up on Christmas morn to a nice , light white blanket of new fallen snow !  The beauty of Christmas, when we are all safely at home, with no place to go!!!  YAY!

In the meadow we can build a snowman...

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Fa la la...

Tis the season for snow...and we are ready!!!

Paper snowflake...

the snow falls softly, softly to the ground
© 2013
 My favorite time to walk in the snow is at night is ever so peaceful in the woods at night
when the pure white, icy flakes land on your eyelashes as you look up into the sky to catch them on your tongue.  Oh and the dog...he romps and plays in it for the gift that it is...and he loves to play catch, with snowballs.  We must keep him away from the snowman, however, for obvious reasons.

Peace to all...
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!!!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Friday Fill-Ins

And here we go....fa la la...
  1. Oh my, did you really just say that?
  2. Shouldn't we finalize all the dinner plans with the in-laws, sooner, rather than later?
  3. Buy one, hell, buy two, they're on sale!
  4. Yes, I will organize the craft stash,  positively...after Christmas!
  5. Soon, I'm going to have a "ME" day, because I deserve it!
  6. Doesn't everybody wish upon shooting stars?
  7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to a big glass of wine, tomorrow, my plans include shopping and a concert,  and Sunday, I will finish decorating the's been up for days with nothing but lights...where does the time go?  And where have all the little elves scattered to? 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Handmade Stockings

Look at these lovely handmade wool and felt stockings from Dear Andrea over at Indian Springs.  Her appliqued cardinals are so divine with incredible details.  I just had to have one for a special person who is located in the Pacific Ocean and does not experience the cold, snowy winter months like we do here in the Northeast United States.  I believe she has some more of these beauties for sale...Andrea's Cardinals.  Fa la la...
Woodland Spell Incense Crows
You can even fill up one of those fabulous stockings with the great Woodland Spell Incense from Nina at Happy Herbs Soap @ Two Crow Cottage and some of her wonderful herbal soaps.  My personal fave is the Lavender/Patchouli blend, along with her pulse point roll-on scented oils.  I always feel AB FAB, "ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS" after using one of those...I am a very "scentual" person!  So please visit my will be happy you did!  Fa la la...and all that jazz!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Paper Play

My favorite art supply...paper

Now, everyone knows that I have a thing for books.  They are like OLD FRIENDS.  And I have more than my share, for sure.  They are prominently displayed in every room of my home.  The vintage ones that have such great character are just beautiful to look at and make for great home decor.

And then there are those that I acquire at book sales, some of which are destined for the ones used for these wonderful paper stars.  For the binding is loose, and the pages are falling out, and they are just calling my name, pleading with me to give them an extended life.  So, here is their destiny...for now!

Paper Christmas Trees and delicate paper flowers.

I love these paper flowers.  They look great on some old spring pussy willow branches that the cat loved to play with, until all the soft fuzzy buds were off, leaving them bare just to make room for these paper beauties.   Aren't they sweet?

Yes, I love working with old discarded books and the tales they tell.  There is intrigue among these pages, especially now that they have a new life.  I think they smile at their destiny. They have a whole new story to tell, don't you think?

Love, love, love Altered Books...

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Incense For Inspiration

The Mixing Mirror © 2013

The first thing on the agenda today is to mix and roll some of my "passion" incense in order to awaken the  the inner spirit that influences my inspiration.  I burn incense constantly when I am home doing my "domestic" duty all the while sneaking in some of my creative chaos along the way.  On my vintage mirror that I use to gather my supplies, are the last of the Autumn mums and gourds, along with the dried herbs and resins to mix with the 2 year old homemade wine from the grapes at Two Crow Cottage that I use to 
create "passion".

Mini scrapbook or journal
 While the washing machine is doing its thing, I have a slew of papers spread all over my work space in order to complete at least one of the mini altered book ~ scrapbook journals that I started before the storm blew into town and disrupted my inspirational flow.

I can also fit dishes and baking into this little scenario because everyone is out and about, and I have the whole place to myself in order to just LET LOOSE!

Watch out!!!  And if you want to get some incense to enhance your creativity, visit Nina of 
Happy Herbs Soap at Two Crow Cottage.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sandy's Aftermath

Tree still there...since Monday afternoon.

Power is still off. Electric company has taped off our out.

Around the neighborhood

We have made the best of the situation.  We are alive and well.  Still no power, yet my home is intact.
I was able to knit a scarf by the woodstove, until nightfall. While in the dark, by candlelight, I learned how to get beat at chess in 3 short moves!  Funny, when I asked my daughter where she learned to play chess like that, she told me it was I who taught her to play.
I don't ever remember those moves!


Monday, October 29, 2012

Autumn Ends

The leaves come falling, falling, falling...

Swirling to the ground on their final journey...happy to have given joy and smiles for many photographic opportunities that bring people to the region.  Autumn in all of its glory!

As we batten down the hatches and prepare for the worst, we savor the memory of a beautiful, colorful Autumn season in the Northeast.  Last year on this day, we had a freak snowstorm that took down power lines that left us in the dark for a couple days.  
This year, we had the best fall time ever, with a peak performance of color.  The rains did not destroy all the beauty, and the temperatures were very accommodating for many outdoor peeping events.

Today the winds are howling, the rains are coming, and the last of the leaves on the trees will make their final journey, sailing and singing in the wind.  Hopefully the trees will stand firm and hold their ground.

Yes, Autumn in New York is truly a beautiful sight!  Even as it meets a terrible storm for its end.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Autumn in New York

© 2012 hula~la

I wish that I could bottle up this view from only full day off in a very long time.  And the temperature was in the 60's...just right! This is the stuff that rendezvous are made of; picturesque and captivating.  Leaf peepers will surely enjoy the beauty of the season this year.  At full peak, the colors of the many different species of trees that are home in the northeast will provide inspiration for all types of art projects...not just photography.  For I have chosen the colors here to use on my next mini altered book/scrapbook.  With papers and paints and even a honey gold colored yarn, this little book will be transformed into a journal worthy of an Autumn Adventure in New York.

© 2012 hula~la
                                                        © 2012 hula~la

Perhaps that Autumn Adventure can be taken by train, or maybe by boat on the Hudson River! If you are in CT, there is the Essex Steam Train and Riverboat Cruise that is near and dear to my heart.  For 25 years ago this beautiful month, we took over the newly renovated parlor car on the train and the top deck of the riverboat for our family and friends who came to town for our wedding 'neath the cover of October skies.  A most memorable time for all. Oh to live in the Northeast, where the seasons offer a unique tale from within, where the natural beauty is abundantly clear....  Get out there and enjoy the beauty of your season...and LIVE IT UP!  TIME WAITS FOR NO ONE!!!

NYC bound train on the Hudson River Line
I'm in a New York State of Mind!
© 2012 hula~la

Monday, October 15, 2012

Autumn Inspiration with Clay

The mini clay tiles and incense burner for hippie Mary came out beautifully, and of course once fired I had to test the burner with my own "passion" just fine!  I am a scent-ual person.
Thank goodness for Nina who keeps me involved in the discovery and mystery of new scents.

Before the kiln
The clay stones are from Gen, the kiln owner, with her nicely written words to 
keep my mind focused and help me to breathe deep...the red wine helps!
I have a best friend, I smile, I have hope, I must practice patience, and I will learn to trust...again.

© 2012 hula~la
The smudge bowl is from the beautiful clay at Two Crow Cottage and the smudge stick is made from the lavender gardens that surround the property there.  Lavender is a calming agent used to reduce stress and promote relaxation.  The ritual of smudging can be defined as "spiritual house cleaning".  In theory, the smoke attaches itself to negative energy and as the smoke clears it takes the negative energy with it, releasing it into another space where it will be regenerated into positive energy. 

As the autumn leaves continue to fall, we must take the time and notice all the beauty that this season brings.  The bright colors of the mums, the scarecrows popping up out of the cornfields with the brightly colored ears for decorating.  The gourds have such a unique style all their own with colors and shapes of all sizes.  And don't forget the pumpkins...for soon they will be transformed into jack-o-lanterns with unique personalities all their own.  Yes, let us rejoice in all the beauty of this colorful, bountiful season.

Friday, October 12, 2012



1.  If I had a thousand wishes, I'd give them all to you!
2.  When will I see Tuscany?
3.  Why is there never enough time?
4.  Soon the leaves will be gone and the snow will fall.
5.  WOW! Where did the time go???
6.  You said we've come this far........................
7.  And as for the weekend...tonight I'm looking forward to a nice warm fire; tomorrow my plans include writing and creating; and Sunday, I want to watch nephew Ryan learn to drive a 5 speed!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Autumn Activity

This year's Little World's Fair in Grahamsville was absolutely fantastic!  
We had such a great time! 
 Of course the burning of  "prosperity" incense brought us just that...prosperity.  
Along with that we made some new friends. As usual, our booth looked FABULOUS!!! 

And now we prepare for our next few shows, including the GIANT PUMPKIN PARTY. 
Altered Books/Mini Journals~Scrapbooks © 2012 hula~la
Meditation Journal© 2012 hula~la
Dream Journal © 2012 hula~la
These are my latest creations...
ready to take in some
wonderful secrets or pictures.
Or maybe they will expound on a deeper tale that is released from a place within the soul as you begin your journal journey!

Remember to burn incense for inspiration as you write your way to enlightened peace.
Patience © 2012 hula~la

Monday, September 17, 2012

Creative Chaos...again

Creative Chaos "IN HIGH GEAR" is apparent at the homestead.  
The evidence is strewn from one end of the house to the other...
and also upwards to my attic studio where the zillionz of buttons and beads reside...
and then down below in the basement where old blue jeans, if deemed worthy,
are cut and designated to the "upcycle" bin for use in the many artistic possibilities
that only good old fashioned denim can be relegated to.

I am painting, singing and dancing, cutting and pasting..
but more importantly...I am writing.  

The weekly batch of "passion" incense is rolled and drying.  The burning of incense, my own blend, or one of Nina's famous blends, is a constant companion when the creative juices are flowing at full tilt.  This ritual reminds me that the passion within me will fuel the flames so long as my soul resonates the beating of my heart...and my mind stays focused on my relentless pursuit of LIFE!!!

Outside, we have weathered yet more strange weather and while tornados, hail and high winds surrounded our location...we have "weathered the storm" unscathed...but for a few downed branches. Those branches, and the few trees that have been dedicated for winter use in the wood stove are currently being cut to size.  Yes, we are rednecks with a chainsaw! 
(I even learned how to file and grease that sucker)!

The full green trees, are preparing to change colors and display their beautiful
autumn transformation.  I can however, do without the knee deep clean up of those
wonderfully colored kidding...knee deep! Lots of trees~lots and lots of trees!

And so, while we can, we will enjoy the last days of riding the 1950 panhead 
through the mountains and countryside of our bit of the northeast. 
Oh, to live in the country!

And soon, it will be a marvelous night for a moondance 'neath the cover of October skies...There and then, he has made me his own...25 bumpy and wonderful years ago!
(thankfully, in spite of my flawed self)...

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


September 11...

We must remember that "passion" wields a double edged sword.
It has the ability to draw you in under the 
guise of love or lust,
yet, dangles love's opposite...powerful hate.

We must continue to fuel the flames of "red-hot" LOVE.
For there lies, on the cusp of joyful passion, 
a devil in the soul...poison! 


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

First Day of School ~ Senior Year

My Baby has just begun her senior year of high school...
and I am lost...good thing it is raining because it hides my tears as
I stand there with the dog and blow a kiss to her.

It's all good ~ bittersweet, I keep telling myself as my husband of 25 years smiles
and shakes his head.  The dog whines because the school bus didn't stop...he's used
to walking her to the bus, getting on for his morning treat, making his way down
the aisle to greet all the kids...for now she is a licensed driver with a school
parking permit. Which also means, that he no longer has to wait at the end of the
driveway in the afternoon for the bus to safely deliver her back home.

 However, on this first day of school, the motocross racer boyfriend
picks her up in his pickup truck, giving me yet another gray hair, for sure.
And as I try not to read him the riot act about carrying precious cargo, I send them
off with good wishes to enjoy their first day of their last year of high school!
Of course, with a juice box and goldfish crackers and a special note tucked inside
her little lunch bag...she is still the Baby, after all.

Milestones...roots and wings....and all that jazz!
I guess it is time for me to heed my own advice to my 3 beautiful daughters ~

Thursday, August 30, 2012


Off to Two Crow Cottage to play in the wonderful organic clay, and Dear Sweet Nina presented me a very thoughtful gift that she acquired at the Cragsmoor Library Sale...I love them...~  dominos...I ignored the clay while I just dumped them out to play with them, and since I am a LOVER OF PASSION...well here you have it!!! 
A fun gift from Nina...

Fun clay tiles and buttons and an incense burner for my "passion" incense...
The large tiles will be bisque fired, then painted and fired again...
minis will fire just once! 


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Play Day

It's a very productive Sunday!
The sheets are drying on the line, (for there is nothing finer than air dried bed sheets)...the kitchen sink is empty and shining bright (which makes me smile), and it is relatively quiet.

Thankfully, that is, after a Saturday morning rush to URGENT CARE with our oldest daughter for what looked to be Anaphalactic Shock... We are breathing a big sigh of relief, as she is on the mends from a severe allergic reaction to something, that is yet to be determined. Up all night with worry gave me the opportunity to plan a Sunday at home instead of at Long Beach Island with some close friends...

So, born today is a new batch of "Passion" incense which is drying along side the mini clay incense burner I made for Mary, a true HIPPIE friend at work.  There are 3 mini clay tiles drying, too, that will adorn the 3 lucky herbal soaps that Nina has made for a new friend we made at the 
Little World's Fair in Grahamsville.

The clay, is not quite leatherhard in order to file the edges...but, soon...then the glazing, which always turns out to be an experiment in its own right.  Next week, we'll take a batch of glazed items to Gen's to fire in her kiln.  A very nice arrangement, indeed!

I am continuing the "relentless" pursuit of inner peace and enlightenment as
my husband of 25 years, and I, give in to the harsh reality of our
3rd and youngest child entering her senior year of high school!
Where does the time go?  It is truly BITTERSWEET
So, as I, the MOM, try to figure out what comes next, I'm keeping busy with plenty 
of my favorite items on hand with which to create...chaos...



Monday, August 20, 2012

I Love My Job...

And who doesn't love Dennis???  Except for maybe, Mr. Wilson...
Local artist, and Dennis the Menace illustrator visits the local library!
And HOORAY for me!  My very own picture of Dennis reading a book!
You can also find Dennis on a US Postage stamp.  We were lucky enough to have the 
first day of issue at our local post office with the artist in hand to autograph.

Thank you Ron Ferdinand!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Into the Woods...

It is peaceful living in the woods, that is once you get used to the night noises of the owls, and of course the serenade of the summer peepers.  The first time I heard a pileated woodpecker, I was waiting for something to come flying out at me swinging from vine to vine.  The cicadas song is a constant buzz, a seemingly distant sound, of which you don't even hear, unless you really listen.  For it is ever present.  There is nothing more peaceful than to awaken with the sun and the songs of so many different birds.  And of course, the black crows, or ravens who visit me, carrying a message from Nina, remind me of how to adjust my own life flight plans, when the winds blow into my life.   There truly is magic in everyday, and we must be ever watchful, lest we miss the opportunity to respond with creativity, and yes, PASSION!!!

Now this one must be a "passion" mushroom, heart shaped dual caps, MELD INTO ONE!

Sunday was a time for reflection.  I even walked barefoot in the light rain through the grass.  And walking through the woods always produces some thought provoking inspiration from which to draw on for yet another project.  For after all the rains, the tornado, hail, crazy weather of late, topped off by the 90 - 100 degree temperatures, there lies on the mossy woodland floor an array of beautiful mushrooms.  Yes, fungi...some so teeny tiny they are smaller than the smallest of acorns.  They are red in color, same color of "passion".  Some are yellow, and brown, some are spotted and there are white ones with the most amazing patterns under their CAPS.



They are beautiful in their own right, and some are even poisonous but yet, they sit undisturbed, reaching up out of the ground for me to capture
and share with you. 
  I think they smile at this destiny.  ENJOY!