January 31

Inspiration Results – January 31


Every Monday, I’m posting a painting “inspiration.” Every Thursday, I’m posting how I interpreted that inspiration. I decided to do this to keep myself painting, to strengthen how I go from an idea to a painting, and to give myself permission to play and try new things.

This week’s inspiration was FUR. That put me in mind of a painting I started in November.

AEDM 2012 Day 12

I decided to make her hat, scarf and muff furry.

Fur Girl

I’m going to let her “rest” for a few days, then consider if I want to do anything else to her.

Fur Girl 2

She’s close to done.

How to be HAPPY!


Every Thursday, I’m also participating in How to be HAPPY! a challenge hosted by Jay of The Depp Effect. This is a great challenge because it really makes you consider the things that make life good, and often those things are small but powerful. Here’s something that makes me happy…MY SLOW COOKER.

Slow Cooker

I remember I “earned” my first slow cooker from a Tupperware party I hosted as a young woman. This is my current slow cooker. I’ve had it for 8 or 9 years. I love the food that comes out of a slow cooker and how easy they are to use. I think about replacing my current slow cooker whenever I see a particularly pretty new one, but my old Somersize slow cooker does the job, so it stays and keeps making me happy.

Posted by lori . Filed under Inspiration | 9 Comments

January 30

TCM Classic Cruise 2013


On Monday, I hinted that I just returned from a cruise, but it wasn’t just any cruise, it was the TCM Classic Cruise!

TCM Cruise 2013 Banner

TCM stands for Turner Classic Movies and was the focus of a “Love This” post in 2012. This was my husband’s and my first cruise.

TCM Cruise 2013 Miami

We flew to Miami on Sunday. When we booked the cruise, we didn’t know what the weather was going to be like in January, so we wanted to get there the day before boarding. It was nice because we had time to relax and not be hurried.

TCM Cruise 2013 Setting Off From Miami

Monday, we boarded the ship and set sail. Bye-bye, Miami.

TCM Cruise 2013 Stairway

We sailed on the Celebrity Constellation. It was a beautiful ship.

TCM Cruise 2013 Celebrity Theatre

Being the TCM Classic Cruise, the activities centered around movies.

TCM Cruise 2013 Ben Mankiewicz

On board…Robert Osborne, Ben Mankiewicz, Debbie Reynolds, Mickey Rooney, Arlene Dahl, Sally Anne Howe, Norman Lloyd, Alex Trebek, Rich Little and Casey LaLonde (Joan Crawford’s grandson).

TCM Cruise 2013 Cayman Islands Welcome

Tuesday, was a day at sea. Wednesday, we stopped at Grand Cayman.

TCM Cruise 2013 Cayman Islands

Grand Cayman is a tender port, which means that the ship anchors offshore and you disembark to a smaller boat (a tender) that takes you to the island.

TCM Cruise 2013 Catamaran

The shore excursion we chose was the “Catamaran Sail & Stingray City.” We set sail onboard the 60-foot “Cockatoo” and headed to Stingray City.

TCM Cruise 2013 Sting Ray Swimming

At Stingray City, we had the chance to get off the catamaran and touch and feed the southern Atlantic stingrays. It was very cool.

TCM Cruise 2013 Cozumel Dock

On Thursday, we docked in Cozumel. The shore excursion we chose in Cozumel was “San Gervasio Ruins and Beach Break.”

TCM Cruise 2013 San Gervasio Arch

We got to explore the Mayan ruins of San Gervasio, enjoy a scenic ride around the island and spend a little time at a beach club.

TCM Cruise 2013 Cozumel's Best Tour Guide Alex

We had the best guide ever…Alex. He was wonderful.

TCM Cruise 2013 Between Ships Cozumel

All too soon, it was time to board the ship.

TCM Cruise 2013 Miami Congress Hotel

Friday was a day at sea, and we arrived back in Miami on Saturday morning. Our flight wasn’t until Saturday evening, so we used the day to tour Miami. I was excited about that because I’d always wanted to see the Art Deco District of South Beach.

The cruise was WONDERFUL, and I hope I get to cruise again in the future.

Want more? Check in on Thursday, February 14th and I’ll let you in on the adventures (the ones I know about) of two special guests we took along with us.

TCM Cruise 2013 Pip & Puddles Teaser

That’s right…Pip & Puddles joined us as part of Pip and Puddles’ BUCKET World Tour, and “yes” alcohol was involved.

P&P Bucket World Tour Badge

Posted by lori . Filed under Want to Talk About (Whatever) | 21 Comments

January 29

BarkBox & doogyLoot


Demanding Hound

“We are spoiled and overindulged hounds. Now use that computer and order us something.”

Ahhh…the things I do for the pups.

BarkBox Box

BarkBox is a monthly service where every month you receive a box in the mail with four or more carefully selected products and presents for your dog – anything from bones and treats to shampoos, leashes and innovative new gadgets. And don’t worry…they come in 3 sizes, so you get the right products for your particular pup.

BarkBox Inside

We thought we’d give it a try. Our first box arrived in December.

BarkBox Fun

Look how fun! It even has festive crinkle paper. A party in a box!

What's Inside BarkBox

Each box comes with a card describing the products in that month’s BarkBox. In December we received…

Bocce's Bakery

Treats from Bocce’s Bakery.

Oatmeal Shampoo

Fresh Dog Oatmeal Shampoo. Freedom, Casper & Nikki were horrified that this came in a “treat” box.

Simply Fido Reindeer

Simply Fido Organic Pet Toy…a cute reindeer.


Puppy Cake . I must admit that Red Velvet has me a little concerned. We’re saving this for spring so the pups can eat it outdoors.

Another nice thing…A portion of proceeds from each box goes to help doggies-in-need. If you use this link to start your BarkBox service (https://barkbox.com/r/auAa1kDbui/), Freedom, Casper & Nikki get a free BarkBox and you’ll get $5 off your first subscription.

doggyLoot Logo

My friend, Amy, let me know about this cool site…doggyLoot. doggyLoot offers products at up to 75% off regular prices and delivers them straight to your door. My favorite part…all shipping is completely free. Last time we were with the Cross hounds (our friends), they received a package from doggyLoot. It was the Kygen Ginormous Invincible Snake. Nikki snagged it and wouldn’t let it go, so I ordered her one. It is her favorite toy. Since her favorite thing to do with Mr. Snake is squeak him, he’s not our favorite toy.

If you use this link (https://doggyloot.com/invite/29cbbc57) to place your first order, Freedom, Casper & Nikki get a $10 credit and you get $5 off.

Special Note…We’re not telling you about BarkBox or doggyLoot so we can get free stuff, but the programs are there so we figured, why not mention it.

My Snake

“I love Mr. Snake.”

Posted by lori . Filed under Greyt Hounds (Greyhounds) | 23 Comments

January 28

In My Studio – January 28


Here’s what’s been happening in my studio…


Why? Here’s a hint.


More to come on Wednesday.

This Week’s Inspiration

Something new I’m doing in 2013…Inspiration Mondays and Results Thursdays. Every Monday, I’ll post a painting “inspiration” and then on Thursdays, I’ll post how I’m interpreting that inspiration.

Last week’s inspiration was TUESDAY, and here is my interpretation.

Tuesday Girl

This week’s inspiration is FUR. Check back on Thursday to see where that goes.

Posted by lori . Filed under In My Studio, Inspiration | 10 Comments

January 27

Creating A Life Worth Living – Part 4


I’m reading Creating A Life Worth Living by Carol Lloyd. I picked this book because I’m trying to figure out the place I want painting to play in my life.

This week…Chapter 3, “Excavating the Future,” leads you through an exploration of yourself by examining memories that involve beauty, strength, and inspiration.

Creating a Life Worth Living Book

I must say that I didn’t spend a lot of time on the exercises, not because I didn’t think they were important, but rather because I’ve done exercises like this before, so I feel I know myself in this regard. I will say that reviewing the things you loved to do as a child, teen and young adult can be very revealing in regards to your talents and passions.

CLWL Part 4

Here’s what I know about myself…

I am most productive in a structured schedule. I need a day job.

I create best in private, and I need a lot of time. I process and work slowly.

The career I’m looking for now is different than a career I might have been looking for when I was in my 20’s. I’m in a position to do more things on my terms (thank you, husband and day job).

I’m comfortable with myself so, in some regards, it’s easier for me to overcome fear and disregard nay-sayers.

I have to continually be learning, growing and changing.

Posted by lori . Filed under Creating the Creator (Creativity) | 12 Comments

January 26

Barnes & Noble


Every Saturday, I’m going to take you on an Artist Date with me. The Artist Date comes from the book The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. I imagine I’ll take many of my Artist Dates here…

B&N Exterior

…at my local Barnes & Noble Booksellers.

Local Mural

I love Barnes & Noble. With so few brick & mortar bookstores able to survive, I appreciate what Barnes & Noble brings to our community.

Book Rows

Inspiration abounds.

Journal Rows

I love how Barnes & Noble supports a “literate” lifestyle.

Jigsaw Puzzles

Offering a beautiful array of books, puzzles, games, stationery and journals.


Once you have all the things you want to look at…

Cafe View

…you can sit down in the cafe and look to your heart’s content.

Posted by lori . Filed under Artist Date | 12 Comments

January 25

Poetry & Kindness 3.0


For years I’ve wanted to read more poetry, so this year I’m going to share a poem every Friday.

I’m also hosting a kindness challenge every Friday called Kind is Kool. Each week, I’ll post a prompt of something you can do to make the world a kinder place.

I want to offer both the poem and the kindness challenge without any obligation, so I’ll turn off “Comments” every Friday. Enjoy.

Poetry 3


Buried Love

I have come to bury Love
Beneath a tree,
In the forest tall and black
Where none can see.

I shall put no flowers at his head,
Nor stone at his feet,
For the mouth I loved so much
Was bittersweet.

I shall go no more to his grave,
For the woods are cold.
I shall gather as much of joy
As my hands can hold.

I shall stay all day in the sun
Where the wide winds blow,
But oh, I shall cry at night
When none will know.

Sara Teasdale


Kind is Kool Challenge

Kind Is Kool 500x200

Week 3 Challenge – Write someone a thank you note.

Posted by lori . Filed under Poetry & Kindness | No Comments

January 24

Inspiration Results – January 24


Something new I’m doing in 2013…Inspiration Mondays and Results Thursdays. Every Monday, I’ll post a painting “inspiration” and then on Thursdays, I’ll post how I’m interpreting that inspiration. I think this will be a fun exercise for me and keep me painting. It will also allow me to discover and share my “process.”

This week’s inspiration came from a list of ideas I wrote down during my Artist Date at Down To Earth. I wrote down “day of the week.” To pick the day of the week, I wrote the days on slips of paper and drew one from a jar. The winner was TUESDAY. That made me think of the rhyme…

Monday’s child is fair of face,

Tuesday’s child is full of grace,

Wednesday’s child is full of woe,

Thursday’s child has far to go,

Friday’s child is loving and giving,

Saturday’s child works hard for a living,

But the child who is born on the Sabbath Day

Is bonny and blithe, and good and gay.

So this is my Tuesday child…

Tuesday Girl

I didn’t get very far.

How to be HAPPY!


Every Thursday, I’m participating in How to be HAPPY! a weekly challenge from Jay of The Depp Effect. It’s easy to participate…

Take a picture and write about one thing that makes you happy in some small way. Then, head on over to The Depp Effect and link your post.


I love the beauty and intricacy of matryoshka dolls. My collection is actually my daughter’s collection, but I’m watching them until she tells me I have to give them back.

Posted by lori . Filed under Inspiration | 10 Comments

January 23

New Etsy Favorites


Here are some of my newest Etsy finds.

Greyhound Charm Clip


My friend, Michelle, made this for me! I love little charms like this because you can hang them off a zipper or on a bag…or anywhere you can clip something. Michelle also makes lovely earrings.

Crochet Cactus

Handmade Gifts By L

My friend, Lynne, who writes the blog Dip-Dip and The Bridge, has opened a new Etsy shop. Lynn makes the most amazing 3-dimensional creations. I have one of her crocheted cacti and it is perfection!

Window Stars 1

Harvest Moon by Hand

I’ve read Ann’s blog Harvest Moon by Hand for about a year. Recently, I ordered one of her window stars. It appears opaque. The magic happens when you put it on window glass. I am crazy for these.

Window Stars 2

Posted by lori . Filed under Want to Talk About (Whatever) | 11 Comments

January 22

Introductions – Nikki


Every Tuesday in 2013, I’ll post something about the houndies. To start, I’d like to introduce Freedom, Casper and Nikki. This week, it’s Nikki’s turn.

Intro Nikki 1

Nikki is a retired racing greyhound, and she’s 5 years old. Her racing name was Silver Nikita. Nikki is our champion greyhound. She ran 75 races and placed 1st in 8 races. The funny thing…Nikki hardly ever runs in the backyard. Freedom and Casper will be racing around the yard, and Nikki just walks around and lays in the grass.

A little note…I said Freedom and Casper had less than 10 races each. That is true, but a little misleading. Freedom had TWO races and Casper had ZERO. I don’t even know if I can classify Casper as a retired racing greyhound (ha).

Intro Nikki 2

Back to Nikki…We adopted Freedom and Casper in April 2010 shortly after we lost our beloved Paloma. We never planned on being a 3 dog family. 2 seemed just the right amount…then came Nikki. Nikki was fostered by our friends. They got her in March 2011, and I first got the feeling that Nikki maybe should be ours in May 2011 during our Greyhound group’s annual Spring Fling get-together. A lady who was interested in adopting Nikki came to see her and I kept thinking, “I don’t want her to have Nikki.” The lady didn’t end up taking Nikki and as the next few months passed, whenever I heard that Nikki had a home visit, I’d find myself hoping that she wouldn’t be picked, and she never was.

 Intro Nikki 3

My girlfriend and I speculate that Nikki was never chosen because first, she was meant to come to our home and second, she never “showed” well. Most folks look for a big personality and a special spark. Nikki doesn’t have those.  Nikki is a VERY reserved dog. Nikki had a traumatic past. Her trainer, when his racing license wasn’t renewed, decided to starve his greyhounds. He was discovered when he turned in 8 malnourished greyhounds to a greyhound adoption group. At the track, authorities discovered 32 dead greyhounds and 5 still clinging to life.

5 Years - Nikki

Nikki has made some big strides, but she is still very cautious. We’ve celebrated victories with Nikki, like the first time she roached out and the first time she play bowed with my husband and did some spins in the living room. Nikki was the perfect pup to add to our pack. Where Freedom and Casper are all about playing and arguing with each other, Nikki takes it all in stride.

I Look Like A Lab

Nikki is the complete opposite of Freedom when it comes to her coat. Nikki is the furriest greyhound I’ve ever met. I like to say that if it weren’t for her pointy snout, you’d think she was a Black Lab.

Nikki Face

Nikki is the best and sweetest dog. I love this gentle spirit so much, it hurts at times. She is my little baby and my fuzzy bear.

Posted by lori . Filed under Greyt Hounds (Greyhounds) | 24 Comments