And Now Introducing...



I mentioned in a previous post that my youngest daughter had adopted Maggie from a local PetSmart/Shelter partnership. They have developed quite a relationship. It's remarkable to me because my baby girl has never been a real animal person. Other then fish, and an occasional hermit crab (things you don't really touch or interact with) she has never really had a "pet". She has also never been one to talk to inanimate objects or anything that didn't talk back. This was a child who was HORRIFIED of the Wizard of Oz, for God's sake. Monkey's flying... and talking scarecrows and lions - NO WAY!! And Mr. Ed (the talking horse)- even in reruns these things were not cute. And believe me when I tell you, there could not possibly have been a large man (white or black) in a red suit coming to our house WHILE WE WERE ASLEEP, even if he was depositing presents. If he was really a friend he'd come to the front door and ring the bell like people do! No pictures sitting on Santa's lap or hanging out with the Easter Bunny. It was NOT HAPPENING! Fenix ALWAYS wanted to know what was REAL. (Like I knew!). I'm not sure how much that has changed either. Anyway, I've been thinking about all of those things since she adopted Maggie. How in the world was she going to relate to a dog? Let's not even talk about the fact that dogs can BITE YOU and "Rule of the Pack" and all. (We do watch Discovery Channel and read the newspaper - get the picture? Now I'm not sure how much of my own stuff played into this because I have my own healthy respect for animals, but for now I've decided not to go on that particular guilt trip. I'm already committed to another one anyway and haven't quite returned to normalcy. What I have found out is that I really don't have to worry about it at all. (Well, not too much.) She and Maggie are just fine. They're working it out. They may even be in love.

I got the following quote awhile ago and thought it was great. I took the liberty of changing the words a bit. I substituted the word adopt for buy. There are a lot of wonderful animals languishing in shelters and rescue sites across the country. So, before you buy that pet, check them out. You might find your own Maggie, or one for your kids.

If you want someone who will never touch the remote, doesn't care about football, and can sit next to you as you watch romantic movies then adopt a dog.

If you want someone who is content to get up on your bed just to warm your feet and whom you can push off if he snores ..... then adopt a dog !

If you want someone who never criticizes what you do
, doesn't care if you are pretty or ugly, fat or thin, young or old, who acts as if every word you say is especially worthy of listening to, and loves you unconditionally, perpetually then adopt a dog.

But, on the other hand, if you want someone who will never respond to you when you speak, ignores you when you come home, walks all over you, r
uns around all night, comes home only to eat and sleep, and acts as if you exist solely to ensure his happiness then buy a cat!

This is a photo of Maggie and one of my daughters friends. I think Maggie's in love! (My daughter calls him the dog whisperer.)

Resources for adoptions: PetSmart, A Place to Bark (This is a dog rescue that also has an extensive list of sites. It's worth a visit just to see what this artist is doing for at risk animals.)

Alexander the Great...One Year Old

As I mentioned in a previous post, Alexander turned 1 on August 15th. He had three, count them THREE celebrations. It was a treat for us all. Two were held in Virginia before the Bat Mitzvah. When we got back to Jersey, we had another with some of his play date fellows and the Northern Alexander fan club!! I decided to weed through all of my photos from this year and document his growth over the year. Boy was that a challenge and a great deal of fun. I think it's pretty cool. Have a look see... go ahead, treat yourself. You won't regret it. He is absolutely WONDERFUL.

See I told You...

What a Week!!

Last week was a pretty special one for me and the wonderful one (my husband David). Alexander, grandchild #3 turned 1, Imani, grandchild #1 had her Bat Mitzvah and Fenix, daughter #3 adopted a wonderful puppy through PetSmart's Adoption Program named Maggie. I am exhausted! AND, I am still feeling an overwhelming sense of joy (in spite of the fact that Fenix is now having car problems (Yet another test of her resolve...and mine). We now have 2 PetSmart adoptees in the family. That's another story for another time. Anyway, I'm posting pictures of Imani's Bat Mitzvah tonight so that I can post Alexander's Birthday tomorrow. Hopefully I'll get some of Maggie so that you can see her also. I had fun editing the pics of the Bat Mitzvah. It took me most of the day and I was able to relive the experience. What fun we all had. I did not caption any of the pictures. I will do that later, but for now you will have to just enjoy their beauty. I stand in awe of the unique way each one of our children has found their spiritual path, their way to God. I am so very fortunate to be able to experience him/her through each of them.

One of the gifts that Imani received was an incredible work of art that she can wear around her neck. I was moved by the thoughtfulness and incredible talent of this incredible artist, Josh Edelsteine. See for yourself. Here is a picture of the artist and the pendant.

This is how Josh Edelstein describes this piece of art.
For the occasion of the bat mitzvah of my friend Laura's daughter Imani, I thought "I'd design something special. Imani and I are pretty good friends as well, by which I mean that we tease each other mercilessly. Her Hebrew name is אמונה (Emunah) which means "faith"--exactly the same thing that her given name means in Swahili. I decided that I'd combine the two cultures whence come her names into one piece of jewelry.

Swahili has no written language; it’s represented today by the same Latin letters we use in English--so I wasn't going to be using two languages in the design. However, among the Adinkra symbols of West Africa (where Swahili is spoken) is a symbol called the "Nyame Nti" that represents faith. I've shown that symbol here with the negative space of the two sterling silver halves of this star. The tree-like design is also appropriate to the occasion because our synagogue's name, Etz Hayim, means "Tree of Life." Her name in Hebrew, done in 18K yellow gold, is the only thing holding the two halves of the star together, showing how faith can be what keeps us together in trying times as well as how important her presence can be to the growth of Etz Hayim."

You really should follow this link to Josh's Web Site, there you will find some of his other wonderful work. I would call it eye candy but it is so much more. It is both food for the heart and soul because it comes from such a strong deep place within him.

After the wonderful service at the Synagogue we all shared in a wonderful and festive feast. Traditional folk dancing, and some very non-traditional games. As you can see from the photos, WE HAD A BLAST! And, Imani, well she was beautiful and charming and we all got to be warmed by her glow.

It Really is Nice to be Nice

"This award will be awarded to those that are just nice people, good blog friends; and to those that inspire good feelings and are an inspiration! Those that care about others that are there to lend support, or those that are just a positive influence in our blogging world!" I just was nominated for this award from by friend and fellow blogger Venus at Handmade by Venus. Venus is a very talented artist. She creates the most fantastic dolls. What I LOVE about Venus's dolls is that they are not only unique and beautiful, but her craftsmanship is perfection. What I LLOVE about Venus is her big heart. When you visit her blog make sure you read Here comes the Bride and She started as a Fairy. Anyway, Venus nominated me and I get to nominate 5 other bloggers. Thank You, Venus for thinking of me.

I have run across a many very kind and generous people here in the blogging world. People who share their time and talents to support and connect our very large communities. This makes nominating fun and easy The hard part is limiting it to 5 people. But here goes:

Sprite at "Sprite"

Belinda Spiwak
at "Crazy Art Girl's Musings"

Marva Plummer-Brun
at "Purple Thoughts-Purple Paint"

Sherre Hulbert
at "Sherre's Art Zone"

Judi Wellnitz
at "Art Dolls:A Journey in Fiber"

Jackie Jolles... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... Documenting the Negro Leagues in Portraits

Two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of spending time with an incredibly talented portrait artist. She asked me to sit for her. Geez. Anyway, it provided me with the opportunity to share a morning with her just talking and sitting. The portrait process is fascinating to me in that way.

Jackie Jolles is her name. She asked me to sit because she is actually documenting the Negro Leagues in portrait. If you read my previous postings, then you know my father played in the Negro Leagues. And guess what... I have my father's face!

This portrait is of Geraldine Day, wife of Hall of Fame, pitcher Leon Day. What I like most about this portrait, is that it truly captures her. Not just her image, but her essence. It is so incredibly strong. The other portraits are equally as powerful. Jackie has done some incredible work here and I hope that some of you will be fortunate enough to see it. Maybe she will share some of HERstory with you. I was fortunate enough to hear some of it. I hope one day that you will be as fortunate.

Paper Dolls & PhotoShop

I have continued making paper dolls. I really enjoy the and I'm feeling more comfortable working with the thicker board. Cutting through the board with an utility knife can be pretty scary sometimes. Trying to get the shape you want makes it even more difficult. I've added another tool to help make it easier. It's an heated knife! It moves through the board nice and easy!

And, I've finished up some PhotoShop Projects. I don't quite know what I'm going to do with them, but I like them.

These are my nephews. Aren't they gorgeous. The images of them are from a trip to Jamaica. I think that children make the best subjects. Especially when they aren't aware that they are. I printed and framed this one for my daughter. The room that this went in is a chocolate color.

This is called "Lucy in the Sky". My grandmother's name is/was Lucy. That's here up there. As I looked at this in the preview, it looks like it needs more work. We'll see how it prints. What do you think? It's amazing how long these things take. Maybe this isn't finished.

These are two more pieces that I did with my gorgeous nephews. I have to pull out the original photos. All these wew from our trip to Jamaica. The Doctor Bird would perch in the tree outside our porch every morning. By the way the trip was for my sister's wedding.

Slightly New Look

I have changed a few things around here. Most importantly for me is that I removed the dates. It makes me feel less guilty about not posting more frequently. I've joined 3(count them), THREE new yahoo groups. I'm really enjoying them, and as soon as I get more organized, I'll be more present in them. I've been working on a mermaid. It all began with Jean Bernard's Mermaid Tail class. If you take the opportunity to follow this link you'll get to see some of Jean's fantastic work. You'll have to scroll down to see the fish tail but you'll also get a chance to look at Jean's incredible art. Well back to the mermaid. I was taking this class with Jean and decided that before I made the tail, I should make a body. HA!! As I was creating the body, this particular mermaid decided that she wanted quite a different tail. She's not your classic mermaid, but rather an ice maid. A creature of the cold Arctic waters I really had to think about materials to use so that you could see the impact that the cold water has on her body. Using modeling past and various glitters really helped. She's not quite finished, but I thought I would share my progress with you. I'm really growing quite fond of her.

One day I'll get a light box. But for now my back yard work table will do. My sweetheart built it for me. It's really great, but that's another story.

I really like the effect of the modeling paste corset, as well as the depth that it gives her skin. By the way the body is polymer over a wire armature.

And this is her tail. Fabric, angelina fiber, fine glitter and a heat gun! It was like using the heat gun like a paint brush. Oh there is a wire armature underneath all that.