Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year

5x7 Alcohol Ink on Yupo
Well it's New Year's Eve....I'm still up. Can't believe it. Usually I'm out by 9 pm but I've been working on my new Etsy shop putting up new things. So that's kept me awake.

This has been one bad year for me, burying both of my parents. I'm sure hoping that 2014 will be a better year. We still have to sell Mom & Dad's House. If you are the praying sort, pray that we get rid of it soon. It's just so sad to go there. I need closure.

Well on a happier note I think this alcohol ink art that I just fell in love with will bring me lots of satisfaction this year. I started this shop but I love this stuff so much that I don't care if I don't sell a lick of it. I'd keep it all. LOL....

And I'm travelling in 2014 which is always a good thing. In January I'm off to a China Painting Convention in Orlando, FL and the February I visit a friend in Key West and the big trip of the year is in April when I go to Rome for the canonization of Blessed John Paul II. I'm also going for a couple of days to Fiuggi, Italy where my grandparents were born. I'm so looking forward to the new year!

SO.......good bye 2013 and WELCOME 2014.

The piece of art shown is available in my Etsy shop:  http://InkcentricArt.etsy.com

Monday, December 30, 2013


....my newest shop  Inkcentric Art on Etsy: All Alcohol Ink items....ACEO's, jewelry, framed tiles, unframed  art, you name it. I am steady adding items to the shop.  Come visit.   It's loud, bright, eclectic, and eccentric. It's what I consider "happy art". I love creating with the alcohol inks. It has a mind of it's own. It's never predictable and it's hard to control. It's quite a challenge but I'm up for it.

So if you want to check it out visit me at http://InkcentricArt.etsy.com

Sunday, December 29, 2013

100% Handmade....

that's the name of the Scavenger Hunt Promotion for the Old Farmhouse Gathering!  It will run January 2 - 16, 2014.  Check out the About pages on some of our Team Members and look for coupon codes for special offers and sales.....participating shops will be announced on January 1, 2014...Happy New Year!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

My New Passion

Ink on clear glass ornaments.
Alcohol Inks!  Several years ago, I took a class at a painting conference. It was using alcohol inks on dominos to make into pendants. It was fun and I bought a few alcohol inks but I did nothing with it. Fast forward a few years and a facebook friend of mine Riv posted some of her work. One in particular really got my attention so I thought, "hey I've got those inks".

I had plenty of porcelain and glass being a china and decorative painter so I pulled out a few pieces, the inks and alcohol and gave it a whorl. They turned out beautiful. I was pulling out porcelain, antique

Inks on porcelain ornaments enhanced with gold leaf pen.
glass, glass vases, you name it I experimented on it. Alcohol inks are for nonporous surfaces but I pulled out bisc just for grins. That too had interesting results.

The freedom I find in letting the ink do it's abstracted thing is exhilarating.  I have learned this takes a bit of skill but more than that it takes patience. I'm not much of a patient person. I generally like to have immediate results but this is good because it's teaching me to wait and watch as I frequently just do it one drop at a time.

No now I'm obesessed. The next thing will be finding that yugo paper to do larger frameable art! Life is good especially with art....

Friday, November 22, 2013

Making a List....

That's about all. I cannot believe it is this close to Thanksgiving and I'm not done Christmas shopping. I generally start in August. I guess with everything that happened this year loosing Mom and then Dad,
 Handpainted Porcelain

I am happy to say I have 2 people on my list finished but I'm no where close with the others! I may take the easy way out with the DH and just give him a check. I keep asking what he wants for Christmas and he goes "I dunno". Well that's helpful! LOL. I can always come up with a list.

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Perhaps after that I will be more in the mood. In the meantime, I'm making a list.........

The Santa pictured is available in my Etsy Shop. Light him with a mini Christmas light string or put a candle in him..either way he's adorable especially when lit. The photo doesn't do it justice...I'm such a poor photographer.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Total Surrender

So yesterday I was waiting for Mass to start at the Irish Festival. A lady walked up with a therapy dog

in training. He was so beautiful. He was also very well behaved. She sat down. He sat down. She pet him on the head and then he rolled over on his back. She tried to move him out of the aisle but he just laid there with his feet straight up so she kind of pulled him under the seat and there he laid with all the people going around them.

Once I was told that when a dog rolls over like that, it means that it represents total trust & surrender.

It occurred to me as I thought about it that what better place to totally trust and surrender than at Mass in the presence of God.  It was a great start to my day.
Prayer:  Take, O Lord, and receive my entire liberty, my memory, my understanding and my whole will. All that I am and all that I possess You have given me: I surrender it all to You to be disposed of according to Your will. Give me only Your love and Your grace; with these I will be rich enough, and will desire nothing more.
Prayer Source: CatholicCulture.org

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Life Goes On......

So last night was Shuffle Bowl at the Club. I think this is the 4th year. We do it every Friday night from September to March. It's a lot of fun and something Dad really enjoyed. Mom never played but she would sit there and cheer us on. 

 I was looking around watching people play shuffle bowl last night thinking how much my parents, Dad especially loved the club and how much he loved playing shuffle bowl.  He'd laugh a hardy laugh when Leo (his partner) would say, "that's my partner" when he'd get a spare or occasional strike.    

It wasn't easy for Dad to play because he had problems with his shoulder and didn't have full extension of his arms. As a result he was always in last place, but Leo, who is so good natured and loved Dad, volunteered to be Dad's team mate. 

Tonight is the monthly dinner/dance at the club with the Monaldi Brothers. Mom and Dad always went to the parties. In fact, my Dad was the one who really started those parties. When he went to the club, they didn't have them until he jumped in as the sponsor. And with those parties came the Monaldi Brothers because, hey if it wasn't an Italian Band it wasn't worth much. LOL My Dad and Mom loved to dance.

Dad loved that song Gigolo and the Monaldi's would dedicate that song to him at every party they played at. Mom and Dad would take the floor and do his "2 step".  I used to think to myself, how lucky I was to have parents who were so fun and had such a love for life.   I would go to those parties with them just to spend time with them. This will be the first dinner/dance that I've gone to without them there. It's going to be sad to watch everyone dance to the Monaldi's...but in my mind's eye, I will see them dancing out there doing the 2 step...life goes on.....
There will come a day, when youth will pass away,
What will they say about me?
When the end comes I know, there was just a gigolo....Life goes on without me.

Dad, there isn't a day I don't think about you.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Having a Ball!

So for the past month or so I have been volunteering at Arlington Echo Outdoor Education Center in Millersville.  It's something I've always wanted to do since way back when my kids were in school and went there for class trips. My path has always crossed that place, from the kids, to my job of 35 years at DNR and even with 4-H as the volunteer coordinator and I are judges at county fair.

It was at the fair that I realized when I went on my phone browser that the other judge was the
volunteer coordinator for AEOE. Who knew? Not me and I've known Sheen a long time. Boy was I surprised. So I talked with her and here I am. Thursday is my day there.

Photo taken by staff at AE
It has been one of my biggest joys and the thing I look forward to most during the week (with the exception of Mass of course).  All the 4th Graders in the State visit there to learn about the effects of humans on the Chesapeake Bay. I'm having a wonderful time working with these kids and enjoy watching them enjoy nature and the great outdoors.  Not to mention the view is not too bad either as it sits on the Severn River.

And what a great bunch of people on the 4th Grade Team..pictured to the right. They are so much fun. I love being a part of the team even if it is only once a week.

For more information on Arlington Echo Outdoor Education Center http://arlingtonecho.net

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

10 Reasons I Love my Fur Baby

Luigi the Cockapoo

10. He brings me toys when I come in the door.
  9. He is always happy to see me.
  8. He wakes me up with puppy kisses.
  7. Sometimes he likes to sit on my head.
  6. He is a cuddler.
  5. He can play paddy cake.
  4. He plays soccer.
  3. He is such a little clown.
  2. When you say leash he goes to get it.

and the number one reason I love Luigi.....

1. He loves me back.

If you are on Facebook, look him up. He has his own page....


Luigi loves it when he gets new friends!

Craft Show Reflections

Well this year's Christmas Craft Show at Oakdale Circle Studios was a success. Interestingly enough, Friday (the work day) was busier than Saturday (the off day). Crazy stuff. But craft shows are always interesting. You can never figure them out or what sells from year to year.

This year I dabbled in Steam Punk. Now I'm a traditional kinda girl so Steam Punk was a little out of my comfort zone but you never grow if you don't push yourself do ya?

So I china painted a few pieces which are pictured here.  I did a mug, hand mirror, plate and vase. And I made 2 necklaces that I didn't photograph (shame on me).  Out of all that, all that remains is the luster vase with the gear on it.

I would have never imagined that the steampunk would have gone. Now if I do more for next year, it likely won't sell. But I might do one or two more just for grins.  I definitely will do more of the necklaces.  My philosophy is to paint or make things that I really like so that if they don't sell it can be an excuse to be mine!  It was sad the necklaces were sold because I really liked those necklaces.  Oh well that's the great thing about being someone who can make things. You can always make another one for you!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Happy Birthday Mom...Misty for You

My Mom, Theresa Yori,  passed away December 28, 2012. We buried her after New Year this year.  Today is her birthday. October 28th...It would have been her 85th birthday.."Misty" was her favorite song. She could belt this song out just as well as any professional singer. She had such a beautiful deep vibrant voice. I vividly remember hearing Mom sing that song all during my childhood.  After she died, we found an audio tape with her on it. It was taped during a New Year's Party with her family. She was singing it. It was so beautiful.

After we discovered it, Dad kept listening to it over and over again. At one point, he called me upset because he inadvertently recorded over part of it. I knew I should have taped over the record button so he couldn't do that. But at any rate, maybe Mom just wanted to keep that song private for her and Dad. Who can blame her?

Mom, I know we didn't always see eye to eye on things and our relationship was always rocky but today I'm misty for you. I hope you are singing this to Dad today on the otherside. I know he really missed hearing you sing it and he would have preferred to have you sing it to him in person and now that is possible ...... Happy Birthday Mom.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Winter's Coming...Fall is Here!

Well it's Fall. It feels like it here. For a long while it was an extended summer which was okay by me but it didn't make me want to get my butt in gear for the craft shows and events.  I did manage to come through as I generally do.

There will be new porcelain and lots of new decorative painted items. Like this cute little nutcracker snowman ornament.  I've also made more jewelry, cards and painted 6 canvas Christmas stockings to just name a few things.

My crafty friends have worked hard on having an incredible variety for this season. I'm excited to go just as a shopper! I plan to starting my Christmas shopping there.

So drop by for the craft show this coming weekend. Here's the flyer!

I would love to see you there.....oh and my Etsy team is hosting their Winter's Coming Celebration.  If you are in love with Prim or Cottage, you really need to check out my team.

It's called Old Farmhouse Gathering Team. Search everyday for OFG Team on Etsy. But if you want to see some awesome crafts just for the winter season, search on Monday for WCCOFG on Etsy.  I had the pleasure of checking out the new items when I uploaded my photos. There are some beautiful pieces on there and I plan to do some Christmas shopping here too!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Weekend Words

ice cream

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Today's Observation and Thought

The other day I was saying to our Pastor that it makes me crazy that parents bring the kids to church and give them toys and snacks in an attempt to keep them quiet. When I was a child, even a very small child, I was expected to pay attention to Mass. I expected my children to pay attention to Mass. I never came with toys and snacks.

Today at Easter Mass there was a man who came with 4 children who I'd never seen before. There were no snacks and no toys and he expected them to pay attention, kneel, stand and sit at the appropriate times. It was refreshing to see. The little boy had to be talked to several times. He must be ADD or something. When going up to Communion he would walk intentionally into people going the other way. I gently put my hands on his shoulders and guided him back into line. He looked up at me surprised but he was better after that. I thought to myself, that's exactly the way it was when I was a child with adults in our congregation. I think when another adult says something, it makes more of an impact. Like they say it takes a village to raise a child.

They were really a lovely family and the Dad was doing a good job alone without a Mom to help. The children were very reverent when they went to Communion (2 were too young for communion & received blessings).  On the way to Communion one of the older girls said to me, ' you have a pretty singing voice.'  I always say, if you sing at church you will get a good singing voice too. LOL Happy Easter

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

My Heart Was Touched

Last night went with our High School Church Youth Group to the Archdiocese of Baltimore Chrism Mass at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen The Chrism Mass serves 2 purposes;

 1) to bless the 3 oils:

The Oil of Catechumens used in Baptism along with water, in the consecration of churches, in the blessing of Altars, in the ordination of priests, and, sometimes, in the crowning of Catholic kings and queens.

The Holy Chrism used in Confirmation, Baptism, in the consecration of a Bishop, the consecration of a various things such as churches, chalices, patens, and bells.

The Oil of the Sick which is used in anointing the sick & in last rights.

2) for the Priest to reaffirm their commitment to God and the church.

The church is always packed the faithful representing a good part of the 153 parishes in the Archdiocese. Part of the Mass is the procession in with all the Priests from the Archdiocese, the Bishops, the Archbishop, the Deacons and Seminarians. It is quite impressive and it's cute how the Priests look around the pews to look for their "sheep". And also how the "sheep" look for their "shepherd" waving, smiling and sometimes reaching out to shake their hand or to hug them. I always look forward to seeing Priests who have served our Parish over the years and have moved on to other assignments. 

This was an especially joyful year. We have a new Pope (Francis) and a new Archbishop (Lori). And last night was the first Chrism Mass for each of them. 

The Mass was beautiful. The Bible readings were in English and Spanish. Many parts of the Mass were sung in Latin.  As I was singing the Pater Noster (Our Father in Latin), I was taken back to when I was in Rome at the Vatican where we also sang it...all the people from many countries..The Universal Church.

And the sentimental fool that I am, my heart was touched thinking about how many many generations of my family did the same and how this Mass follows the traditions of the early church. I could almost see one of my ancestors in the catacombs participating in the Mass. It makes me feel so connected to Jesus and the Apostles and so thankful for my Church and the men who heard their calling from God and said yes to the Priesthood. 

On the back of our program was a quote from Blessed John Paul II, "The priestly vocation is essentially a call to holiness, in the form that derives from the Sacrament of Holy Orders. Holiness is intimacy with God, it is the imitation of Christ, poor, chase and humble. It is unserved love for souls an self-giving to their true good. It is love for the Church which is holy and wants us to be holy, because such is the mission that Christ has entrusted to it. Each of you must be holy also in order to help your brothers and sisters pursue their vocation to holiness."

                            Have a Blessed Holy Week!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Yummy Apple Chips!

So my grandson's doctor said he was overweight and he should stay away from fattening food and sugar and be more  active.  We have a Family Game Night once a month at my house and both my kids and their families come. Tonight is one of those nights. My grandson remarked last night that he looks forward to the game night because of all the snack food I have.

I told him I'd have health things for him to eat and he said he would really miss the chips and dip. So it got me thinking. I had bought 2 microwave chip makers some time ago but hadn't really used them so I decided to make some apple chips. Of course, I forgot how to do it so I found a video online to refresh my memory.

First I used my pampered chef slicer. to slice up some thin slices. I set it to number 1.

Then I put them on paper towels and pressed out the extra moisture.

Next I microwaved them for 8 minutes and 15 seconds (sometimes a little longer if they were thicker slices.

They turned out pretty good and tasty I might add.

I only had one disaster.

 Now to get some low fat greek yogurt for dip!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Ramblings of Spring & Strange Dreams

Hand Painted Porcelain Tray
Spring is on it's way and so is Easter. Things that come to mind resurrection and new life, flowers, green, warm rays of the sun.

I was thinking the other day we had a mild winter and I was hoping for that early Spring that the Groundhog said we'd get but wait, the weather man says we are having a snow storm tomorrow....well that puts a crimp in things

Speaking of new life and resurrection  I had this dream the other night. I was at some painting seminar and was going to bed. We had bunks (for some strange reason) in the hotel. I climbed in the bottom bunk and I saw my Mom's face (she passed away on Dec 28, 2012).

She was saying that she could see her Mother (my Grandmother) and she was surrounded by colorful radiant light. That doesn't surprise me because Busha was faithful to the Lord. Well anyway, I remember saying to Mom, "Mom, I REALLY don't want to see dead people." and I up and left the bunk bed...strange dream. Hope if she was coming to me in the dream that I didn't hurt her feelings. I wonder if you get hurt feelings in the afterlife?

The piece of porcelain above is available in my Etsy shop. Here is the link: http://www.etsy.com/listing/102662783/china-painted-dogwood-and-cross-dresser?

Saturday, February 23, 2013

My Goofy Dog

This is my pup Luigi. He is a 5 month old Cockapoo.

Some times I wonder what he's thinking or what he thinks he is. Luigi's favorite snack is cat poop. He likes to play with the cats toys over his toys if given a choice. He loves car rides but vomits when I take him in the car.

Luigi loves to go outside but doesn't like to go out alone. He will eat only if you are close by otherwise he will bring his dish to your feet. The typical Italian Male...he doesn't like to eat or be alone. I can say that because I am 2nd Generation Italian American so I know a few  Italian males!

Luigi doesn't like to get brushed, that is, unless you give him a treat. He will sit still as can be if he's munching on a Pupperoni..

He is the strangest little dog but I love him so much and I wonder how I could have lived for all these years without him and his comical escapades.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

It Touched My Heart

Over the past year, I have been volunteering for both Kindergarten and 1st Grade at my Grandson's school. Today in the Kindergarten something happened that touched my heart and I'd like to share.

Every day the teacher pulls the name for a Mystery Student. She picks a name in the morning and no one else knows who it is until later in the day. They all want to be good so when she calls the name they get the award which is a little toy that sits on their shoulder that designates them as the Mystery Student. The little boy chosen today from time to time has problems staying focused and being good. He's come a long way since the beginning of the year but he still needs a little work.

Well today when the teacher said who it was, not only he was excited  to be chosen but the whole class was as well.  All the kindergartners were coming up and hugging him and congratulating him. It was so sweet...it touched my heart. These special moments are the reason I volunteer. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Our Visit to Cedar Key

So I'm back from my trip to Florida to visit my cousin Anna (Annie to me).  It was a great visit. She and her husband are clammers on the Gulf. They have a great set up and a retiree of the MD Department of Natural Resources, I was anxious to see their operation.

The weather wasn't cooperating though. It was blowing the 2 days we were to go out and I couldn't take my 85 year old father on that boat. I'd have been okay but I was worried about him slipping on the boat in the blowing spray. We did get to see the workshop where they repair and assemble the nets and the boat. Mike explained the process to me and they even sent a text message to me with a video showing some of their on water work.

Dad loves clams and each night he was able to have fresh clams. He was happy as a clam! LOL Annie and Mike live off the land and the sea. One night we had a ham from a wild pig they raised, fresh clams they harvested that day and greens from their garden. It was awesome.

One of the nights we went to dinner at the Island Room at Cedar Key which is owned by their friends Gina and Peter Stefani. It was beautiful. The food was awesome and the service was as well. I had the Linguini Alle Vongole which is Cedar Key Littleneck clams sauteed in wine, olive oil, garlic and fresh herbs. .  And I have got to tell you, the linguini was homemade & to die for!  If you are ever in that neck of the woods, check it out. http://www.islandroom.com/

Dad was ready to move down there. He loved the area and the people (especially Annie & Mike-Mike was so good with him).  It did him good to be away. Over the past couple years as my mother's health declined, she didn't want to travel anymore. He is a very social person and was so excited to be going to see Annie. Our next trip? May to see my cousins, Cece, Toots & Liz in Virginia Beach. Stay tuned for our adventures!.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Tomorrow is the Big Day!

Annie (L) and Me (R). I always stood out with my Italian Cousins.
My cousin Annie and I were so close when we were young. She was the little sister I never had but always wanted.  As she got older she moved away and we had not seen each other in years.

Then one day she found me on the internet from my Fotki photo web page. I had a bunch of old family photos in it. We would occasionally email each other. Then came Facebook and it all changed. Suddenly we could share photos and talk in real time. We found our other cousins and could talk with them and play games together.

We had a cousin reunion and spent some time talking and sharing old stories and laughs.
It was wonderful.

But the most wonderful thing is that tomorrow, Dad and I are flying down to Cedar Key Florida to spend 5 days with her and her husband. It will be so good to spend quality time with my little sister/cousin.

Dad needs this trip (and me too). He has been away from his family for quite a while. Mom got more and more antisocial as she aged and had health problems and she never wanted to go anywhere...no trips locally, let alone out of state. Dad is so excited. Annie has planned an awesome couple of days for us. But aside from fishing, clamming and seafood, the best part of this is spending time with her.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A Little Over a Month Has Past....

Picture of Mom taken by my grandson
....since my Mom passed away. Sometimes I  find myself thinking she's still here.  I think I have to talk to Mom. But I can't call.

Shopping today  there was a lady with the same color hair and the same hairdo. I did a double take. She didn't look like Mom but she reminded me of her. I stared. I hope she wasn't offended.

Sometimes I get a whiff of cigarette smoke and I think she's here but she's not and there's no one around.

Two days ago it was my parents 63rd Wedding Anniversary. I don't think Dad remembered. He was always bad at remembering that date. This year I was thinking it's a good thing he didn't. Or at least he didn't say he did.  I hope Mom didn't mind too much.

A Prayer for a Deceased Mother

O God, who hast commanded us to honor our father and our mother; in Thy mercy have pity on the soul of my mother, and forgive her her trespasses; and make me to see her again in the joy of everlasting brightness. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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...