Thursday, December 23, 2010

My Christmas Prayer

Lord, in this holy season of  prayer and song and laughter, we praise you for the great wonders you have sent us: for shining star and angel's song, for infant's cry in lowly manger. We praise you for the Word made flesh in a little Child. We behold His glory, and are bathed in its radiance.

Be with us as we sing the ironies of Christmas, the incomprehensible comprehended, the poetry made hard fact, the helpless Babe who cracks the world asunder. We kneel before you shepherds, innkeepers, wisemen. Help us to rise bigger than we are. Amen. ~ Http://

To my Friends and Family, this Christmas and New Year, may God bless you with health, prosperity & happiness. I am thankful for each and every one of you. You have all touched my life in some way or another and make my life richer & fuller.  I treasure your friendship and love.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Ghostly Image

Most of you know that I've been involved in restoring St. Vincent Cemetery in Baltimore, an abandoned cemetery. I've been up to my eyeballs in researching those buried there and cataloging tombstones. Other people have been photographing the stones as well but it's so hard to just transcribe the stones from photos so I like to go there to do it.

I haven't been able to get there for a while. It's been so cold. Recently someone uploaded some photos from our clean up day.  I was particularly interested in the stones because I wanted to see if she got some stones I hadn't photographed. As I scrolled through her photos I was astonished to see that one of the photos had the image of a person on it. However, if you click on it and drag it to a larger size you cannot see the image. 

I cannot read the name of the woman who's stone it is...but is says: ...beloved wife of Patrick Horan and she died in as you look at this photo of Mrs. Horan, remember her and say a prayer for her.

We beseech Thee, O Lord,
in Thy mercy,
to have pity on the soul of Thy handmaid;
do Thou, Who hast freed her
from the perils of this mortal life,
restore to her the portion of everlasting salvation.
Through Christ our Lord,

(Prayer from

Friday, December 17, 2010

Friday Feature

Today I'd like to feature Deborah O'Toole or Sunnyplainquilting as we know her on Etsy and in our Designing Artists Womens Group (DAWG Team). She joined Etsy this summer and then became a part of our Team.

She is a Nurse specialized in critical care.  Her stress reliever is her sewing machine.  She loves working with fabric on or off the machine. Very detailed oriented, you've got to see her work. It's beautiful.

I love her quilts but her shop is not just limited to quilts. You can find fabric wreaths and even glass blocks decorated with fabric.  The quilt pictured is one of my favorites in her shop.  So....grab your coffee and go check her out. Here's the link to her shop:

Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday Feature

Today's Friday Feature is Painted Prose by Patricia. Patricia is a long time friend. We met doing a craft show together and became fast friends.  She introduced me to painting ACEO's and encouraged me to be a part of the Ebay ACEO group for which she was a moderator. Later I invited her to join the Chesapeake Bay Decorative Painters & taught her china painting and encouraged her to become a part of the China Painting Artists of Maryland.

Patricia is a wonderful painter and crafts person. Her style goes from Prim to Cottage. And lately with her dabbling in lusters on porcelain, she's even done some more modern pieces.

The photo is some of her hand molded porcelain. So check out her shop:

Thursday, December 9, 2010


I'm thinking how much I am looking forward to going to St. Leo's in Little Italy this weekend to learn how to make Italian Cookies from a chef. I'm doing this with my daughter Jackie. Then we are going to find a day (ha ha are laughing if you know us and our schedules) to make more for Christmas. 

I'm hoping it's going to be nice Saturday so we can also have lunch while we are down there.

Oh and you are probably wondering why my post is called Took-ees -- that's because Mason, my grandson calls cookies took-ees. And he is quite possibly the cutest kid in the whole wide world...or as he would say 'out to outer space.'
The Santa bell ornament is available in my Etsy shop.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

And the WINNER is.....

.....ready to be announced! LOL  Well today is the day when I give away the hand painted porcelain place card holders! It's just in time for those upcoming Christmas or New Year's Day dinners!

This morning I didn't have anyone to draw it for me so I used a random number generator on  So by now you are saying, "Joann, hush up and tell us who it is."  Okay, the winner is: Liz of Seattle Washington.  Her blog profile says she has a love for fashion, makeup, and fabulous eats. Her blog is:

You should check it out. Her last blog post was on Lady Gaga Barbi' gotta see her creations! LOL Congratulations Liz.

I love doing these blog catalog's I meet the most interesting people. So you are wondering, "Joann, when's the next porcelain art give away?" Okay,'s February 1. Something of the heart...that's the only clue you get!

But while you are waiting drop by my Etsy shop! Http://

Friday, December 3, 2010

Friday Feature

So we go from craftsmen and artisans to music this week. This is someone I met on Twitter. Her business is Renagades of Music

Renagade's specializes in Indie music. She says "Every artist here has shown true talent and a drive to make every song, every performance better than the last. They also each have a unique sound and styling that sets them apart from the crowd. They are truly "Renagades of Music""

Renagade's also offers services in press releases, cd sales, bios, album liner authoring, reviews, image/branding, promotions & PR and DIY consultations.

Who is the REAL renagade? Her name is Susan Leak. She is an online dealer of music offering the best quaility vinyl at the best price.She and her husband have a DJ/Karaoke music service at They also offer a transfer service, where we can transfer your vinyl or cassette to CDs.

Renagades can be found on Twitter, Facebook, Ebay and Bonanzle (and likely a ton of other places I haven't discovered yet). Go check her out!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

St Vincent Cemetery

Well we have come a long way since my first blog. The grounds have been cleared. We have researched a number of new names of burials. Cataloging of the tombstones has begun. We have a photobucket site up that shows all the stones we've photographed and the transcriptions AND we have a new website.

Please take a moment to look at the site I just put together. Check out the names. If you are from the Baltimore and are Italian, Irish or German, you may have family buried there. Check out our new site: Http://

Want to get involved? Join our Yahoo group for information sharing of current research and upcoming meetings and clean up events:

There was no money set aside for maintenance of the cemetery. It now relies on the generousity of interested parties for periodic mowing and upkeep.
To make a donation please send it  to:

St. Vincent de Paul Church
Attention: Rev. Richard Lawrence
120 North Front Street
Baltimore, MD 21202

In the memo portion of your check please write:
St. Vincent Cemetery Renovation Fund.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

December Blog Give Away!

Time for another Give celebrate Christmas and the Birth of Christ. The give away this time are for placecard holders.  Use them for your Christmas dinner. Hand painted china bow shaped place card holders. Set of 8. Painted in blue and pink with raised enamel polka dots. Very versatile. Use it for place cards (blue for guys & pink for ladies), to display miniature art or even business cards.  Size 2 3/4 x 1 inch.

So here's the rules

 1)  Eligible to US Residents only.
2)  Time Period today until December 8th.
3)  One entry per person with the following exceptions.
4)  Two entries if you visit my Etsy Shop and post a link to your favorite item:
5) Three entries if you visit my Etsy Shop, Post a link to your favorite item: AND follow my blog.
6)  Must post your email address in comment box so that the winner can be contacted.

Good luck!

Monday, November 29, 2010


Today....visit my Etsy shop and get 25% off using coupon code: cybermondaysale  

The item pictured is one of the many pieces of porcelain available for sale.

Also check out for more awesome sales on CyberMonday!   Use coupon code EIOTD for 25% off in my shop and those listed on their website today!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Friday Feature

Today's Friday Feature is someone that has crossed my path several times in my online history. Melody Lea Lamb first crossed my path on Ebay. We were both ACEO artists there. Of course I think of her as a "big brush" and me a "little brush"! :)  Then I ran into her on Etsy. Later on Twitter. She's always tweeting away there! I can always find her generously promoting others on Follow Fridays!  And more recently I found her on Facebook. 

I  have always admired her work. Her animal art is incredible. They look as if they will jump off the page! Sp recently when she tweeted a blog give away, I was there! Much to my surprise I won the give away and was able to choose a beautiful porcelain ornament from her CafePress shop (see she IS everywhere!). It was so hard but I ended up choosing a cute chipmunk. I received it the other day and it is sooo beautiful. I cannot wait to put it on my tree!

So a little about Melody. Besides her beautiful animals, she also paints fairies & mermaids. Poking around her website I found out she also illustrates children's books! (who knew!).  She works primarily in mixed media of colored pencil, indian ink, watercolor and acrylic.

She also is a co-leader & supports an animal charity called Art For Critters,  a percentage of her sales go towards animals in need. Her art is very affordable in the form of small art & (ACEOs)

She sells from her  blog and on Etsy. She also sells archival prints  on Etsy, ArtFire, eBay, and in her website's seven virtual galleries   She also sells over 6000 art gifts in her Gift Shop and  Bonanzle shop. I told you she's everywhere!

Her prices range from under five dollars for prints and bookmarks, to over three hundred dollars for the original miniatures. 

So please go check out Melody at any of her sites and look for her on facebook and twitter as well.  Here's here webpage:

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Giving Thanks.....

Today I have so much for which to thank God:
  • My family: husband Glenn of 34 years, children Joe and Jackie, Mom and Dad, my brother Joe & all my extended family like my awesome cousins. I am also so fortunate to have an adorable little 4 year old grandson, Mason, who is the light of my life.
  • My friends. Some are long time friends back to my school days. Others I've met through work, church or hatting or painting.  Then there are the virtual friends that I've met online through Etsy teams, Ebay, Facebook, or Twitter and never met face to face but I feel as if I've know them for years and have become an important part of my life.
  • For retirement and the ability to enjoy life and to be available to help my elderly parents.  
  • My health. I'm so grateful that I have been for the most part had a healthy life. 
  •  Laughter. Thanks go up also for the fact that most of my life has been filled with lots of laughter. You know what they say about a spoonful of sugar!
  • Creation & Nature. I'm always in awe of God whether it's a landscape view, a bug on a flower or a beautiful sunset.

  • But my biggest thanks would be for LIFE. Thank you God for putting me on this Earth so that I am able to enjoy all these things and those who are important to me.
And so today I pray:

Father in Heaven, Creator of all and source of all goodness and love, please look kindly upon us and receive our heartfelt gratitude in this time of giving thanks.

Thank you for all the graces and blessings. You have bestowed upon us, spiritual and temporal: our faith and religious heritage. Our food and shelter, our health, the love we have for one another, our family and friends.

Dear Father, in Your infinite generosity, please grant us continued graces and blessings throughout the coming year.

This we ask in the Name of Jesus, Your Son and our Brother. Amen.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Cha-cha-cha changes.....

...I'm consolidating by wares! Working on getting rid of the zibbet and bonanzle shop. I'm putting all the porcelain and ACEO's on the jywheeler shop on Etsy and the upcycled jewelry on my EclecticSpirit Etsy shop. EclecticSpirit was previously for vintage stuff and it may still have vintage from time to time.

It's easier for me just to have the 2 Etsy shops. This is my hobby not livelihood so I am going to make things easier for myself. Heaven forbid, I should make this like a job....I AM retired you know!

Also speaking of changes! Etsy now has COUPON CODES!  How cool is that! So on CyberMonday which is the Monday after Thanksgiving I will be having a 20% sale in my Etsy shop.  On Monday drop by and when you make a purchase enter coupon code - cybermonday
Oh and if you like the little china painted snowman ornament, you can follow this link to my Etsy shop:

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday Feature

Today's Friday Feature is not from any of my Etsy teams but someone who is a former co-worker. Someone that I had no idea was an artist. So what a wonderful surprise it was for me to find her art.  Today's feature is for Edith Thompson....Edie to me! We both worked for the Md Department of Natural Resources together in now what seems to be many moons ago. She was a wildlife biologist there. Edie has a very long history of working and volunteering for the benefit of preserving our natural resources. Now listen to would think she's an old woman but she's not! LOL

As you go through Edie's work you can feel her love for nature in her illustrations and watercolors of wildlife. In fact, wildlife, nature and landscapes are her specialty! She does portraits as well. There's an awesome pen and ink of  Hendrix on her website. She works primarily in pen and ink and watercolor and has had her technical illustrations of wildlife published in a number of technical publications and educational materials.

According to her bio she went to studied illustration and design in college...who knew?  It paid off because her work is beautiful. She had a creative way for funding her college. She used her art to pay her way , painting & designing wall murals on tile.

 Her website is:  She is a member of Artists for a Cure and a portion of her proceeds go to the Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma Research Foundation (  What a wonderful thing to do!  I read a little about Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma on her website. It's a very rare cancer that involves the head and neck.

She also sells at  So you can have a beautiful piece of art and contribute to helping find a cure too. I would say that's quite a deal! :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Bus to No Where

So Saturday, my daughter, me and a friend spent a lot of money to go to see Cirque du Soleil in Madison Square Garden. We were really excited about our trip!

I was the first to arrive at Gunther Charters in Harmans, Maryland. It was I walked up to the office and the man says, "where you going?" I told him New York. He said "Oh that trip was moved to next Saturday. Everyone's been called. But you are the third one who showed up."  So I said, "Well then I guess not everyone was called."

I grabbed my phone called my daughter & friend who were on their way. Neither one had any call and obviously the two other ladies who were not with me didn't get called. So I call Gunther Charters today and told them what happened and asked for a credit or refund. Nora kept saying....everyone was called. I told her she wasn't listening, I didn't get a call and neither did four other people!  But she insisted and said no refund no credit so I cancelled all my trips for 2011.

I'm madder than a hornet. I've posted every where, Facebook and Twitter and now on my wait to
I can't believe they wouldn't at least credit me. I've planned many many trips with lots of people with their lesson learned. NEVER USE GUNTHER CHARTERS of  Harmans, Maryland for your bustrips!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Found a cool site....

for my Christmas shopping!!! I saw this on one of those morning shows on TV and I started using it for my online purchases recently. Have you heard of Ebates?  I just got back a $10.98 check. I wasn't sure if it was for real or not but I figured what the heck I have to shop anyway . Here's the link if you want to check it out.

There are sites like Penney's & Home Depot and some smaller companies. When you shop online you get a certain percentage back. The bigger stores give you less back. Some of the smaller stores have huge savings! They have coupons and free shipping, sales, etc.

Anyway check it out. I'm also trying the site the morning show also recommended. I'll let you know how that one goes too!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Friday Feature

Today I'm doing 2 features from two of my Etsy teams. The first is
Becky of WVLuckyGirl on Etsy. She's one of the Old Farmhouse Gathering Team members. I love her primitive snowmen pictured. They are so cute.

Becky's profile on Etsy says "I have been crafting for several years now. I started making things to match my home. I enjoy the primtive stitchery the most. Recently I have expanded into making primitive dolls, grungy candles, wooden signs, and ragballs. I love decorating with mixing the old antiques with the new primitives." She has some adorable things in her shop. So if you are working on your Christmas shopping, check it out:

Next is Kathleen Golter Roeth of Paulden, AZ who is a member of the DAWG Team.  Her work features watercolor paintings, pen and ink, drawings, mixed media, and prints.

I absolutely love the pictured print of her watercolor horse. What movement and feeling it has!

In Kathleen's profile she says, "When I grow up I want to be a cowgirl. I wrote that when I was in grade school and some things never do change! I live in the country now and I have two lovely horses as well as a fun assortment of other critters who keep me company.  I have loved art as long as I have loved horses. Now I love to share paintings of my horses and paintings of some of the other critters that have wandered through my life. My artwork has always been inspired by the beauty of God’s creation and by memories from my past."

You can feel the love she has for God's creation in her paintings. Please check out her work. You won't be disappointed.   Her shop is:

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Right to Vote & Heros Who Died for It

Please  take a minute to read the obituaries from each American war and remember them in prayer. They gave their lives to preserve the American way of life and to give you the right to vote. God bless them.

American Revolution
: ALLEN, JOHN. Was born in Farmington, Connecticut, March 20, 1758, and died October 5, 1830, in Louisiana, Missouri. He enlisted in 1776 under Captain Scott (Col. Wylle's Regiment of Infantry, Huntington's Brigade), Connecticut State Line, as a private. At the expiration of his one year's enlistment, he entered the Continental Army for the period of the war. Early in the spring of 1777, he was attached to the New Jersey Line (Captain William Mills' Company of Artificers), and was promoted to sergeant. Near the conclusion of the war he was transferred to Captain Thomas Patten's Company of Artillery Artificers. After the war he married and removed to Lexington, Kentucky. Previous to the transfer of the Louisiana Purchase he removed to St. Louis County, and later settled in Louisiana, Pike County, Missouri. Missouri Republican (St. Louis), October 19, 1830.

Civil War: MUNSON, BUELL - Died January 2nd, 1863, in Lincoln Hospital, Washington, D. C., of wounds received at the battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia, Buell MUNSON, of Company C., 126th Regt. N. Y. S. V., aged 21 years, third son of Frederick MUNSON, of East Bloomfield, NY.

Spanish American War:  LOWE, IRWIN S.  - Mr. A. Lowe of Glen Easton has received a telegram stating that the body of his son, Irwin S. Lowe left San Francisco last Saturday evening. It will arrive probably Thursday. Interment will occur at Beelers Station about noon Sunday, leaving the home at 10 o'clock. The young man died at San Isidro, Phillipine Islands, August 15, 1900, aged 21 years 3 months and 10 days, and was a member of Co C 22d U. S. Inf. He enlisted at Wheeling in June 1898.

World War I: DAWSON, WILLIAM ATKINSON, Died 15 Sep 1916 Killed in Action, Private, Northumberland Fusiliers, 1/6th Battalion (Territorial)., Regiment number - 2335, Theatre of War:    Aldershot

World War II: AINSWORTH, ELLEN, a 24-year-old Army nurse from Glenwood City, Wisconsin, was killed during theBattle of Anzio in Italy. She was the only Wisconsin woman to die from enemy fire during World War II. On February 10, 1944, Lieutenant Ainsworth was on duty in a hospital ward near the Anzio beachhead. During an enemy artillery bombardment, a shell hit the hospital. Despite the severe damage to the hospital, the Wisconsin nurse calmly moved her patients to safety. According to an Army report: "by her disregard for her own safety and her calm assurance she instilled confidence in her assistants and her patients, thereby preventing serious panic and injury. Her courage under fire and her selfless devotion to duty were an inspiration to all who witnessed her actions." She was wounded in the attack and died six days later. She was awarded the Silver Star, the nation's third highest award for bravery, and the Purple Heart. In her honor, a nursing care building at the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King is named Ainsworth Hall. A dispensary at Fort Hamilton, New York, and a conference room in the Pentagon also are named in her honor.

Army Sgt. Samuel Thomas Baker, 20 Naches, was killed in action in Vietnam 14 May (1969). He was born in Yakima and had lived here most of his life. He attended Naches High School and enlisted in the Army in December 1967. Sgt. Baker had been overseas for a year and was due to return home later this month. He was a member of the 5th Air Cavalry Division. Survivors include his parents, Mrs. John (Alma) Wynn, Naches, and George Baker, Selah; two sisters, Mrs. Rita Watson and Mrs. Judeth Stephens, both of Naches; a half sister, Miss Peggy Wynn, Naches; two half brothers, Bobby and Douglas Wynn, both of Naches; and grandparents, Samuel Sims, Marble AR, Tom Baker, Patrick AR, and Mrs. Rosa Baughman, Selah. The body will be brought to Yakima for funeral services

 Korean War:  BRANDENBURG, CHARLES AUSTIN Killed In Action - Pfc. Charles Austin Brandenburg, of near Ellerton, was killed in the Korean war on September 3. The eighteen-year-old youth is the first from Frederick county to be listed as killed in action in the Korean fighting. Pfc. Brandenburg had enlisted in the Army last February and was with the Eighth Cavalry Division.

Desert Storm:  SPEICHER, MICHAEL SCOTT. That one MIA case, that of U.S. Lt. Cmdr. Michael Scott Speicher, became quite well known. He was reported as missing after his FA18 was shot down in northern Iraq on the first night of the war.Over the years his status was changed from missing to killed in action to missing-captured, a move that suggested he was alive and imprisoned in Iraq. In 2002, his possible situation became a more high-profile issue in the build-up to the Iraq War; The Washington Times ran five successive front-page articles about it in March 2002 and in September 2002, U.S. President George W. Bush mentioned Speicher in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly as part of his case for war. However, despite the 2003 invasion of Iraq and U.S. military control of the country, Speicher was not found and his status remained under debate.It was eventually resolved in August 2009 when his remains were found in the Iraq desert, where according to local civilians, he was buried following his crash in 1991.

Iraqi Freedom: STARR, JEFFREY , 22, a Marine corporal who graduated from Snohomish High School, Seattle Washington, was killed last Sunday while on patrol in Ramadi, Iraq.

Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan War) - BOARD, CODY A. Services for Army Pfc. Cody A. Board will be at 9 a.m. Saturday at Our Savior Lutheran Church in McKinney.His family will receive visitors from 6 to 8 tonight at Turrentine-Jackson-Morrow Funeral Home in Allen. Graveside services with military honors will be at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Fort Sill National Cemetery in Elgin, Okla.

Pfc. Board, 19, was killed Oct. 4 in Mirwais, Afghanistan, by an improvised explosive device while he was returning from a patrol. A 2009 graduate of McKinney North High School, Pfc. Board received a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart posthumously.

Pfc. Board is survived by his father, Chris Board of McKinney; his mother, Melissa Board of McKinney; two brothers, Aaron, a senior at McKinney North High School, and Tyler, a freshman at the school; and his grandfathers, retired Army Command Sgt. Maj. Al Daley of Grove, Okla., and Robert Board of Coon Rapids, Minn. Memorials may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, woundedwarriorproject .org, or to the Patriot Guard Riders,


Friday, October 29, 2010

Friday Feature

Today's Friday's Feature is one of my Designing Artists Women's Group on Etsy (DAWG Team), Elisa Chong aka SexyMermaid on Etsy. I picked her because she does faeries and Mermaids and with Halloween around the corner I thought it was appropriate. I love her whimsical!  I had a hard time picking just one of them for this blog so I picked TWO!

Elisa Chong is a full time artist who loves to paint fantasy art, mostly of mermaids, faeries and other cute and fantastic creatures in vibrant, fun, colorful watercolors.She also creates illustrations, custom tattoo design and conceptual art.

Besides painting, she loves to grow and collect roses, listen to great music, cook delicious international recipes, and draws almost 24 hours a day.

So go visit Elisa's Etsy shop. Here's the link:

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Bring on the Ghouls, Ghosts & Goblins

It will soon be Halloween...ghosts & goblins...pumpkins & halloween candy...trick or treat.

I so enjoy handing out the candy and seeing all the costumes and talking to the kids. And then watching the kids who come back for a second time, once with a mask and once without thinking you wouldn't know they were just there. LOL

If it's a pleasant evening  my neighbors and I will sit outside on folding chairs handing candy out to the kids walking by. So bring on the ghouls, ghosts and goblins and the little princesses, fairies and witches!
The  watercolor ACEO pictured above is available in my Etsy's the link:

Monday, October 25, 2010

What a couple of days!

Well what a couple of days. I went to VA Beach but before I left my kiln malfunctioned and didn't shut off. It fired so hot it burned through the fire brick. Something woke me up at 5 am. I went into the garage and everything was hot to the touch... It's a wonder my house didn't ignite. I threw open the garage door & manually shut off the kiln.  Later I went out to buy a new kiln. When I came home I thought I'd try to salvage some of the porcelain but most of it was fired so hot it stuck to the kiln & kiln furniture.

That is with 2 exceptions... .2 cross "rosary" boxes similiar to the one pictured which I had painted the Blessed Mother on!  All the other china paints were fired completely out of the other porcelain but these 2 pieces had the faint image of Mary on them.  I personally believe that she protected me & my house. My bedroom sits right over the garage.  She woke me I'm sure.  I store gasoline, paints, denatured alcohol  & other flammable chemicals in the garage and nothing ignited!

Well then in trying to save the china, I cut my hand...with only 3 hours before I left for Virginia Beach. It wouldn't stop bleeding so I went to the Urgent Care and they put 2 stitches in my left index finger.  I'm left handed! And then they gave me a tetanus shot. So for the weekend with my cousins I had a sore finger, sore arm and then from the reaction to the shot had flu like symptoms, a headache and couldn't stay awake!  We went to Mass Sunday before we left and I was getting sick in Mass & even started having a panic attack. My daughter drove home because I was so drowsy.  What a weekend!

Today I feel much better but it's so hard to type. It takes me forever. Now I have a new kiln and I'm $1500 in the hole. I have to do a hot fire to cure it and I'm a little bit nervous .  It is programmable so it will be safer than the old 25 year old kiln. But I'm still nervous.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

How Lucky I Am!

Waking up early at my cousin's beach house, I can't help think how lucky I am to have the family I do. From the time we were kids to now when we have our own kids (and some grand kids) we have kept that family connection and love.  My cousins in Virginia Beach had a father who was in the Navy and so they lived many places but yet we all managed to stay close.

It's been a while since I've been here because of my parent's health problems but when we get together it is like we have never been separated and haven't aged a day. I know the mirror will argue with that but my eyes see something different.  It's wonderful to get those big hugs and spend time together up until the wee hours of the morning telling stories, laughing, eating and having cocktails. 

I know this trip will be over too soon and it will be like when I was a kid and would come with my parents to their parent's house out by Lake Smith. We will hug and cry and I will feel like there is a hole left in my heart until I get those big Polish hugs again.

The ACEO pictured is a water color called "Waiting for Daddy". When I painted it, it was inspired by my cousins whose Dad was in the's the link on Etsy:

Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday Feature

DollsandBunnies is my feature today.  Ella is a member of my Old Farmhouse Gathering team.  She is  a wife and mother of 9 children and 6 grandchildren.

Ella has been a doll maker for many years making a variety of dolls and other crafts. She tries  to make each one unique with a special character.  Carefully and lovingly made by hand they will make a wonderful gift or even as  a treat for you!

Ella says, "These are dolls that will make your heart melt. They have endearing charm and are a sure treasure for young and old." So drop by Ella's shop on Etsy. Here is the link: Pictured here is my personal favorite, Dorothy. Here's the link to Dorothy:

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Something to Crow About

Crows are fascinating little critters. There are lots of them in my yard these days.  Did you know?

Crows are considered to be one of  the most adaptable and intelligent birds in the world. They have their own little language which is very evolved and varied. They can mimic animal sounds. They are pretty smart! They can even associate the noises with distribution of food! You can find them all over north America and they will live successfully in cities or suburban areas with humans.

Night time is the favorite time for crows to roost and in the winter they'll roost in flocks of thousands. Smaller groups will fly during the day to fifty miles to find food.
Crows will eat just about anything available: insects, small amphibians and snakes, earthworms, eggs and nestling birds, and clams, mussels, and other salt-water invertebrates. They will eat carrion, garbage, and wild and cultivated fruit and vegetables.

Crows prefer coniferous trees and will build their nests of branches in twigs in woods or isolated trees at least sixty feet above ground. That's probably why there are so many in my yard....good habitat for them.

Crows have quite the good little family life going on. They lay 4-6 eggs. Both parents share in the care of the eggs. Of those hatchlings one young bird will hang around to help the parents through the next nesting season in caring for the new babies. They'll bring them food and guard the nest.
The wooden hang tag pictured above is painted in acrylic and is available in my Etsy shop. Here's the link:

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Some facts you may not know...

..and neither did I until recently when I was watching a program which reminded me about this watercolor ACEO I painted a while ago.

Chief Sitting Bull was a fascinating person. He was Lakota chief and holy man. He also had nerves of steel & was a visionary. In the middle of a battle in1872 he led four warriors out between the battle lines, sat down & shared a pipe with them as bullets flew. He he put out the pipe and nonchalantly walked away.

Another time he was doing a dance ritual, offering prayers to the Great Spirit, and he slashed his arms one hundred times as a sacrifice.  While all this was going on he had a vision where he saw soldiers falling into the Lakota camp like grasshoppers falling from the sky. Turns out that came true when Custer...remember him....charged Sitting Bull's camp. Of course Custer was outnumbered, took his "last stand" and was slaughtered.

After a few years, he couldn't feed his people anymore. Seems the buffalo was nearly extinct so he surrendered.  he was sent to a reservation where he wasn't welcomed and as a result he was then sent to Ft. Randall to be kept like a prisoner of war for a couple years.

 In 1883, Sitting Bull was sent back to rejoined his tribe. The Indian agent in charge of the reservation,wasn't too fond of him and forced him to work in the fields. Later he was permitted to join Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show for a few months before returning back to his home.  But that didn't end it.

He had another one of his visions  this time of  a meadowlark and heard it say, "Your own people, Lakotas, will kill you."  Sitting Bull went to join another group of Indians in some kind of dance to rid the world of white people. People were still afraid of his power and 43 lakota policeman came to put him in custody but a gunfight broke out and he was hit in the head with a bullet.

What a brave man. 

If you are interested in the ACEO here's the link from my shop.

Friday, October 15, 2010

My Friday Feature

So  you all know I'm a painter and I love to look at other people's work.  That's why I so enjoy my Friday Features. Today I am featuring a new member of my Old Farmhouse Gathering Team. Her name is Lorretta from Port St Lucie and her shop is PumpkinPatch on Etsy. Here's the link

But don't be fooled by the shop name. She's got much more than pumpkins in that patch. You can find some tigers and dragonflies in the way of fine art as well hiding along side them.

Loretta is very talented. She is a color pencil & batik artist with incredible skill. The photo shown is my favorite from her shop. Please drop by and take a look. I promise you won't be disappointed.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Shedding A Few...

Well a friend tipped me off to a website I thought I'd share with you. It's . Got a few pounds to loose. It will help you. I haven't used the whole site but I have been using the nutrition tracker (calorie counter).It's helped me shed about 5 pounds.

There are lots of other parts to it too but I haven't taken advantage of it. There's a exercise tracker, community support, articles, you name it. Maybe I'd loose more if I did more but I just don't have the time to do it.  Feeling like Santa with a few pounds to shed too? You might want to check it out.
Speaking of checking it out. The handpainted china Santa bell ornament is available in my Etsy shop Painted Panache by Joann Y Wheeler . Here's the direct link

Saturday, October 9, 2010

And the winner is....

....drum roll please.....the winner is...........Patricia/Painted Prose. Thank you all for participating. I hope to have another give away during December! Keep checking back.

Fall is here. The other day a friend of mine and I went to Larriland. It's a farm up north of where I live. I went there to pick apples but I never got to the apples. I got lazy. The have a store there and all the fruit and veggies were already picked so guess what I did? LOL 

They had the cutest little gourds and I bought a bunch of them for a basket on my kitchen table.I bought some peppers and the end of the seasons tomatoes.  They had flowers for picking so I paid for my cup and I filled it up with beautiful flowers. I ended up with 3 vases of flowers out of it. They are so lovely. I remember to get straw bales for my son and pumpkins. And guess what I forgot? THE APPLES!
If you like the ACEO on the right side. It's an original watercolor. It is available in my Zibbet Shop. Here's the link

Friday, October 8, 2010

Friday's Feature

...better late than never! I have been so busy today that I just got the time to write my blog.  Today's feature comes from my blog give away list......See it pays to participate in my give aways! Who knows you too can be featured.

Anyway today I'm featuring Valerie aka Yorkie's Primitives on Etsy  
She happens also to be one of my Old Farmhouse Gathering Team mates. Gosh we have such talent on OFG from primitive to cottage. It's all so beautiful. And Yorkie is one of those talented people. She's been crafting for most of her life. She started with sewing, then macrame,quilting, cross stitching, ceramics, woodworking and then she stumbled onto primitives and she found her niche.

 Check out some of her gorgeous work.

She also has a selling blog. I didn't know that until I started doing this research. How cool is that. Here's the link to it.  She's so creative. Check out her Pear Pin Keep.

Tonight is the last night to enter my blog give away. It's a couple entries back. I draw the winner tomorrow Oct 9.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

More from the Sketchbook

Two more pages from my sketchbook. Remember my theme is Make Mine a Double.

"Two" Colored Pencil
This page was fun to do. I just doodled some twos and filled them in with colored pencil. The page to the left is some scrapbooking paper glued to the page. I like that way that turned out. It looks nice. I was a little disappointed because when I sprayed the arrow the spray glue got a little thick in one area. I should have just redone it but I thought the glue would dry away. No luck. So I'm stuck with a wet looking mark but I learned a valuable lesson from it! Next time just redo it!
"Mirror Mirror" watercolor pencils

The mirror, mirror page is watercolor pencils. I was trying to be so frugal with the water and paint so that it didn't go through. I'm no so crazy about how this turned out. I may work a little more on it. In fact the first page I did, the Double Cheeseburger I went back and put more detail and then a red and blue line at the bottom. I replaced the scan on the last blog about the sketchbook. It needed something it was up too far and I guess I didn't plan the page out well enough. The lines help fill the page.

Well this sketchbook is not so easy to work with because the pages are so thin. If I stick to colored pencil I think I'll be okay. I had to glue a couple pages together because you could see the art from the other side. I kind of like the 2 pages together because it gives it some substance. Stay tuned for more pages from the book.

Monday, October 4, 2010

One Good Turn Deserves Another

Well, Rose, one of my OFG Team Members on Etsy, featured me on her blog. Here's the link:

So I thought I'd show you some of the BEAUTIFUL work she does. I just love her baskets. AND they are so reasonably priced. They'd make wonderful Christmas gifts, filled or not!  I hope you enjoy watching her work displayed on this widget

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The SKETCHBOOK has arrived!

Well yesterday I received me Sketchbook. I have been thinking about it since I sent for it and I was so excited I worked on it right away.

My theme is Make Mine a Double. I have finished one of the pages.  In reading about this sketchbook project I had heard the pages were very thin and boy are they!  So rather than glue the pages together and loosing pages as others have done, I think what I'll do is do a piece of art on the right and then on the left glue a piece of artpaper on it with a quote, line from a song or some other thing that might relate to my artwork.  I haven't begun working on that as yet but it's coming. I was thinking for the cheeseburger to have the nutritional content! I'll post photos when I finish it. But the art first!

I had wanted to do watercolor but the pages are so thin so I am going to work lightly with watercolor pencils and control the amount of water I use on the brush.
Colored pencils seem to work the best so far for me. The Double Cheeseburger is colored pencil. The cover is Delta Acrylic paints sprayed with a matt finish.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Hand Painted Porcelain Blog Give Away

It's been a while since I've done a give away and I think it would be a good time to do it. So for this new give away, I offer a china painted faux leather vase.

It's 4 1/2 inches high 4 inches wide. Painted with a flower design as faux leather...back has a country scene in a circle. Paints are an overglaze and fired into the glaze so they are permanent and dishwasher safe.

So here's the rules

 1)  Eligible to US Residents only.
2)  Time Period today until October 8th.
3)  One entry per person.
4)  Two entries if you visit my Etsy Shop and post a link to your favorite item:
5) Three entries if you visit my Etsy Shop, Post a link to your favorite item: AND follow my blog.
6)  Must post your email address in comment box so that the winner can be contacted.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sketchbook Project 2011

The Sketchbook Project: 
2011Inspired by a friend, I decided to sign up for the Sketchbook Project 2011 sponsored by . They send you a sketchbook, you choose a theme which you either stick to or branch out, your decision. But you "make art" in the pages from the day you receive it until January at which time you return it to them. Each book receives a barcode so you can track it as it goes on an art tour around the country.

One of the stops is Washington DC so I'll be able to go see it. In between the pages you can use any medium you want. This will be so much fun. I am not sure if I have time to do this but I will make time even if I have to dedicate an hour a day to working on it.

The theme I chose was Make Mine a Double.........I have all kind of ideas!

Artists may sell their books and they can also have a digitized copy made of the book for a fee. I have chosen to have a good digitized copy made.  I'm pretty excited by all of this. It's my intent to post the completed pages as I work on it on my blog from time to time.  If you go to the site and search by artist, you can find me under JYWheeler.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

It's Fall....

Available on on photo
 ...but in many ways it still feels like Summer to me. That's fine with me as Summer IS my favorite season. But you can tell that Nature knows it's Fall. The trees are changing even though the temperature has not been cool. Then there's all the pine cones in my yard. Well actually reminants of pine cones are there. I have these 40 ft. scrub pines in my yard and there are lots of squirrels who live at the top of those trees.

In Fall they all go crazy chomping on the pine cones. The pieces are all over the place, my patio is covered and every other day I have to go out there and sweep. I hate those little pieces because you can't go in the yard barefoot. They have little sharp edges which end up in your foot! Ouch! But I know those little squirrels are happy to have those tasty pinecones....they must be good as I haven't seen any whole ones laying around!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

News Truth Stranger Than Fiction

So this morning I'm watching the news and checking email and I hear something that gets my attention. The UN is appointing someone to be a contact for aliens. Now I don't mean the illegal kind that come over the border. No I mean the ET PHONE HOME type.

I found an article online. It said "
Ms Othman, currently the head of the UN's Office for Outer Space Affairs (Unoosa), recently told fellow scientists that mankind needed to be ready to deal with alien contact." Click the blog title for the article.

Now the UN can't deal with affairs on Earth and they want to have an Office for Outer Space Affairs. Maybe they think it will be easier!  I have an idea. They should appoint Stephen Colbert. Maybe he can restore Sanity to the Universe.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Friday Feature-Sierra Winter Designs

So today's Friday feature is not one from one of my Etsy teams or someone who I just happened to find online but someone, extremely talented in my own family!

It is Sierra Winter of Sierra Winter Designs. She is a jewelry designer with some awesome things in her Etsy shop. She recently graduated from the University of Kansas with a BFA in metalsmithing and jewelry designs. Her inspiration comes from her doodles, native american jewelry, and just admiring her surroundings. She says, "The more I play with metal, the more I fall in love with it"
Drop by her etsy shop to see her delightful designs. The one pictured here is her most recent item in her shop and one of my favorites.
I know this is Saturday....I forgot to post it yesterday! :)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday Feature

My Friday Feature today are members of two of my Etsy Teams.  The first one is from Old Farmhouse Gathering Team (OFG Team). What wonderful things you can find from cottage to primitive with this awesome team.

Signs of Patriotism by JaNae Manley

Her shop name, Signs of Patriotism, came from her son. He came up with this name when hercrafts business evolved into a sign biz with a heavy emphasis on military signs. Her inspiration are those who serve in the military and sacrifice for their country so that we can enjoy our freedom. JaNae has been on Etsy for a year. She has some awesome patriotic signs as well as some more humorous like my personal favorite that is pictured here. Her favorite item in her shop is a sign that says  Home is Where the Military sends us - because it creates conversation between new and old friends and sparks great memories from different duty stations we have served. She also sells on Ebay, has a website and is in several brick & mortar stores around the country.

Next is someone from the Designing Artists Womens Group (DAWG Team) LeePierce 

Lee has been working on watercolors since 1998 and she says it's still an adventure. She does beautiful work. I especially like her new series of shells. Of course I'm partial to anything having to do with the ocean.

This one is one of my favorites. I have one of her starfish framed in my home. It was on the front of a card for one of our DAWG Team swaps and it was so beautiful that I framed it. Everytime I look at it I think of her! Most of her work is in small format or ACEO's (always 2.5 x 3.5 inches).

Drop by these ladies etsy shops. I made it easy for you and made a link above. I promise you won't be disappointed.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Small World of the Seafood Festival

Today Glenn and I went to the Maryland Seafood Festival at Sandy Point State Park. It's funny how things happen. I was walking pass the Verizon Wireless stand and some lady says, "the first 5 people who show me their Verizon phones...' So I pull it out and she hands me a bag, lanyard and some other stuff in it. I had no idea what I was winning. Luckily I'm good on the draw! Shoulda been an outlaw!

Then after eating, we are walking through a tent and see some of my former co-workers working an exhibit I created. It was nice to see them. Walked a little further and ran into another former co-worker working at the Fish Mobile.

Giant was passing out samples of Phillips new seafood dip....yummmm....I can highly recommend it! For lunch I had the fried rockfish platter. It too was very yummy. The day was very pleasant. Sunshining, cool, breezy. The perfect day to stroll by the Chesapeake Bay. Tomorrow I'm there again, this time to volunteer to work the Diamond Jim Fishing Tournament.

Available On Etsy Click Here

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Work In Progress - China Painting

It's time to repost this as I have been getting questions again. I hope you enjoy it.
Inspiration Piece
Blank China

So people always ask me how I do this. This time I took some pictures at each stage. Each piece of china is painted and fired in a kiln to a temperature of 1800 degrees multiple times. Here's some pictures of how it progresses:

Design Sketched in
The paints used are powdered paint pigments, mixed with oil for a painting medium.  Some people buy special mixtures of oils, however, you can use anything from mineral oil to motor oil!

Brushes used are very soft.  Unlike other types of painting very little paint is loaded on the brush. Your brush "kisses" the porcelain as you paint.

TheFirst Painting & Firing
Second Painting & Firing
Each piece is painted multiple times as you build up your color from light to dark. There is no white on the palette, the white seen is actually the porcelain showing through. At each firing the glaze opens up and the paint goes into the glaze. As it cools the glaze closes and the paints become permanent. They will never wash off. They are dishwasher & microwave safe.

Third Painting & Firing
The only exception to this is if the porcelain artist uses gold or lusters on the piece. Gold is actually 24kt. liquid gold. When fired it doesn't go into the glaze. It sits on top of the glaze. Lusters like mother of pearl also sit on the top of the glaze. For that reason should you have gold or lusters, handwashing is advised.  Gold should never be put into the microwave as it is a metal and might give you a fireworks show!

So, if you are interested in porcelain art (a gift to treasure for generations to come), please visit the porcelain section of my Etsy shop:

A Day in the Past

Facebook reminded me that  8 years ago I was at the coliseum in Rome. The most amazing observation I made was that it was so quiet. People s...