Friday, August 29, 2008


The bestselling red snowflakes are back in stock. I have about six more if anyone is interested.
This is a medium size box. Inside it reads, "...We shall find peace. We shall hear the angels, we shall see the sky sparkling with diamonds. ~Anton Chekov" I also have the same box available in the largest size.

We are so excited about this cute person!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Candy Corns...

A new box for New Years!
Fall in Utah is so pretty.. I always think of it as a new year... and a new school year. I love that all the holidays are right around the corner.
On another topic... Do you ever notice grocery packaging? I love it! Well.. I love some of it. For instance it doesn't thrill me when the fun and lovely M&M's package is taken over by The Incredible Hulk. No one finds him appetizing!
Once I gave a Halloween Party and used plastic grocery containers as the serving dishes, candy bowls and flower containers. I thought it turned out fun, but I don't know if anyone in my book club got that it was sort of a fun joke. It was recycling however!
Find the new Candy Corn Box in...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

One of the most beautiful love letters ever written...

July the 14th, 1861
Washington DC
My very dear Sarah:
The indications are very strong that we shall move in a few days - perhaps tomorrow. Lest I should not be able to write you again, I feel impelled to write lines that may fall under your eye when I shall be no more.
Our movement may be one of a few days duration and full of pleasure - and it may be one of severe conflict and death to me. Not my will, but thine 0 God, be done. If it is necessary that I should fall on the battlefield for my country, I am ready. I have no misgivings about, or lack of confidence in, the cause in which I am engaged, and my courage does not halt or falter. I know how strongly American Civilization now leans upon the triumph of the Government, and how great a debt we owe to those who went before us through the blood and suffering of the Revolution. And I am willing - perfectly willing - to lay down all my joys in this life, to help maintain this Government, and to pay that debt.
But, my dear wife, when I know that with my own joys I lay down nearly all of yours, and replace them in this life with cares and sorrows - when, after having eaten for long years the bitter fruit of orphanage myself, I must offer it as their only sustenance to my dear little children - is it weak or dishonorable, while the banner of my purpose floats calmly and proudly in the breeze, that my unbounded love for you, my darling wife and children, should struggle in fierce, though useless, contest with my love of country?
I cannot describe to you my feelings on this calm summer night, when two thousand men are sleeping around me, many of them enjoying the last, perhaps, before that of death -- and I, suspicious that Death is creeping behind me with his fatal dart, am communing with God, my country, and thee.
I have sought most closely and diligently, and often in my breast, for a wrong motive in thus hazarding the happiness of those I loved and I could not find one. A pure love of my country and of the principles have often advocated before the people and "the name of honor that I love more than I fear death" have called upon me, and I have obeyed.
Sarah, my love for you is deathless, it seems to bind me to you with mighty cables that nothing but Omnipotence could break; and yet my love of Country comes over me like a strong wind and bears me irresistibly on with all these chains to the battlefield.
The memories of the blissful moments I have spent with you come creeping over me, and I feel most gratified to God and to you that I have enjoyed them so long. And hard it is for me to give them up and burn to ashes the hopes of future years, when God willing, we might still have lived and loved together and seen our sons grow up to honorable manhood around us. I have, I know, but few and small claims upon Divine Providence, but something whispers to me - perhaps it is the wafted prayer of my little Edgar -- that I shall return to my loved ones unharmed. If I do not, my dear Sarah, never forget how much I love you, and when my last breath escapes me on the battlefield, it will whisper your name.
Forgive my many faults, and the many pains I have caused you. How thoughtless and foolish I have oftentimes been! How gladly would I wash out with my tears every little spot upon your happiness, and struggle with all the misfortune of this world, to shield you and my children from harm. But I cannot. I must watch you from the spirit land and hover near you, while you buffet the storms with your precious little freight, and wait with sad patience till we meet to part no more.
But, O Sarah! If the dead can come back to this earth and flit unseen around those they loved, I shall always be near you; in the garish day and in the darkest night -- amidst your happiest scenes and gloomiest hours - always, always; and if there be a soft breeze upon your cheek, it shall be my breath; or the cool air fans your throbbing temple, it shall be my spirit passing by.
Sarah, do not mourn me dead; think I am gone and wait for thee, for we shall meet again.
As for my little boys, they will grow as I have done, and never know a father's love and care. Little Willie is too young to remember me long, and my blue eyed Edgar will keep my frolics with him among the dimmest memories of his childhood. Sarah, I have unlimited confidence in your maternal care and your development of their characters. Tell my two mothers his and hers I call God's blessing upon them. O Sarah, I wait for you there! Come to me, and lead thither my children.
Read about Sullivan Ballou here...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Good Manners Thursday... Why We Hate Us..

When I don't have a good book on tape to entertain me during the hours I paint, I turn to NPR. Yesterday, I was listening when Dick Meyer was interviewed about this book. At first I thought, "What a terrible title. I'm not going to like this guy." However, he had a few really great points and I'm thinking of checking this out from the library.
The book is about the over-reach of the media... the very liberal (in the bad way) media if you ask me... the media of few and waining and almost no moral virtue. It's the media that idolizes the Paris Hiltons of the world and practically ignores the Mother Theresas. It's the angry and out of control tempers of political pundits on both sides of the debate. It's the cartoons like The Simpsons that get confused for children's fare and have our children acting and speaking like ignorant brats rather than kind and polite young people. It's the overly sexual and violent programing that we simply get used to instead of what we should do.. protest with feet, remote control and mouse. Dick Meyer made the case that too many of us are being controlled rather than controlling the media at our disposal. I couldn't agree more.
One of the things the media doesn't do that it should is to seek out and find the selfless, the kind, and the courageous in our society and put them forward to be admired. Let me tell you a story that went un-reported in the main stream media.

According the national media, our good soldiers are incredibly discouraged and military morale is at an all-time low. And yet, this photo taken on July 4, 2008 is a picture of the largest re-enlistment ceremony in U.S. Military History which took place at Al Faw Palace in Baghdad. A pizzeria in Chicago had 2,000 pizzas prepared by volunteers, frozen and flown over for what has to have been one of the largest pizza parties ever. Thank heavens for these brave men and women and for their commitment to liberty.

You know, if you look around just a little, you will find what the news does not report... the kindness, the generosity and even the greatness of everyday Americans. While I was waiting to pick up a pizza myself, the other day, a young man approached the counter asking for a job application. That's a tough thing to do, I think. I've done it many times and never felt very comfortable about it. Instead of tossing an application at the kid, the other young man behind the counter took a little time to tell him about the job, the manager and how to reach him. Then, he held out his hand to shake and told the applicant that he hoped he would be successful. I was so touched by this really small act of kindness. Who knew one could make pizza with such grace.

Lost and Found in Thought...

Little sister Jackie had her own blog. Go over just to see her beautiful banner.. a shot she took a few summers ago on a choir trip to China... beautiful. HERE.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Washington's Crossing...

This is possibly one of those books that ought to be required reading for high school and college students in this country. It is such a major departure from what you find written by modern historians the likes of Gore Vidal who have made a name and a career tearing down great men.
It is not that our founders were perfect men and women. But, they were men and women of extraordinary learning, wisdom, intelligence, magnanimity, faith and integrity. Together, they redefined the principle of liberty for the whole world.
It didn't happen at once, there were great debates where colossal minds and egos warred against each other, but in each heart they protected and preserved a union based on a cherished idea of freedom.
In this, Washington himself, was the greatest example. Trained in European style military strategy and leadership that were disasterous with American troupes, he had a steep learning curve and he quickly taught himself how to lead truly free men. He learned to fight a war not just of blood and numbers, but of principle and public opinion. He became such a beloved leader that he helped to mold a nation with good intentions into their better selves. When he asked the people to treat enemies and prisoners with humanity and kindness... they obeyed. For his service, he paid a terrific price in time, money and effort. Fischer points out that he paid a heartwrenching emotional toll as well. There are many great men among the founding fathers, George Washington stands among those that it can be said, there would be no United States of America without him.
Fischer ends his book with these words, "The story of Washington's Crossing tells us that Americans in an earlier generation were capable of acting in a higher spirit-- and so are we."
Read this book. :)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Bike Basket is a Lovely Thing...

This is a fun website if you are a big spender in need of a bike. Who wouldn't want a Crownie Townie in Tangerine? They also have lots of fun bike accessories...

John Adams...

I'm not sure what to say about this film. It was certainly well acted and I loved the music in it. However, the characters of Washington, Franklin, Hamilton and even Adams to some extent were characatures of themselves. Hamilton was a great and wise man responsible for the genius of our federal banking system. He was a renaissance man who was right and brilliant in many things, but is only portrayed in this film where his purposes are crossed with Adams, which happened, but it doesn't really do either man justice.
I do get bugged at the constant portrayal of Franklin as a rake, he was not. I do think he gave women more credit than many of his generation. He knew they had information. He found women in France who were sympathetic to the American cause and he played a brilliant role in France for his country. Just as Adams was the right man in Holland, Franklin was brilliant in France. (It is important to know that Franklin's wife passed away in 1774.)
Wikipedia has listed just a few of the inaccuracies in the film, but I found many more. I'm not saying that HBO did a poor job here, they just may have had an impossible task. John Adams was right in the middle of so many of the most important pieces of American History that a six hour film can at it's best be only a glimpse into the life and activities of this man. This film is historical fiction and I would recommend extensive reading before seeing the film. The film is marketed as being based on David McCullough's book John Adams... I would say very loosely based. So, if you've done your reading... I recommend seeing it, if not do your homework first. Knowing the truth is important.

Here are a few recommendations:
Angel in the Whirlwind by Benson Bobrick
Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
Dearest Friend by Lynne Withey
Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson
Our Sacred Honor by William Bennett
John Adams by Davic McCullough

Monday, August 18, 2008

New Photo Cards in the Shop...

Wasatch Christmas...
in the..

Vacation to Midway...

It's nice to sometimes get away to a not too far away spot.
We took a mini vacation to Park City and Midway over the past weekend. My dear sweet patient C spent much of it tossing our child into the pool/ per her request ofcourse.. "Dad! AGAIN!"

AGAIN!!! That was fun! Thanks C!

Pull Toy...

I love pull toys. They are so granny chic cute. This version by Cookiedough on Etsy is adorable... see her shop here.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Beijing Bonanza...

We seem to be having a Beijing Bonanza at our house. We can't wait until 7 when the Olympics coverage begins. All of us seem to love the swimming best of all. c likes Rebecca Soni who has lots of freckles, "and kind of looks like me." I like Natalie Coughlin who likes cooking and photography and can't seem to swim straight in the pool, but takes down world records anyway. How cool is that!?!? C is just happy if they are NOT showing synchronized diving or beach volleyball... Track and Field is almost here. There is enough drama for everyone. How about the wrestler who threw down his Bronze Medal and left the podium. He may be the next subject of Good Manners Thursday... That's bad form Mr. Wrestler. However, we've seen lots of great sportsmanship too and amazing stories and scenery. Who wants to go to China? I do!!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Thank you Mr. Russell...

Thanks to my brother, or I never would have known that Mr. Russell passed away Saturday, July 12, 2008.
You know how when you don't see people for a long while how you just picture them doing what they always were. I still had Mr. Russell pictured in his classroom teaching kids history and political science. Yesterday, before I knew about Mr. Russell's passing, I was reading a book about politics... I think that would have made him happy. In the book, Ben Stein wrote about some of his favorite teachers, "I had great teachers in the public schools of Montgomery County, Maryland, in the 1950's and 1960's. To these fine men and women, it came naturally to praise America and to teach their students that love of their country was an integral part of mental health. In those long-forgotten days, teachers believed it was their job to build moral character and that patriotism was a major part of that character-- and I'm grateful for it. I don't have anywhere near the strength of character of many people around me, but what little I do have is owed largely to my teachers." Unlike Ben Stein, I had only a handful of teachers who were true scholars AND patriots. Mr. Russell was a stand out. He loved America deeply. The Founding Fathers and other great men and women in American history were real people who came alive in his classroom. I looked forward to his class and sat spellbound when he taught. I loved his class and was grateful to be one of his students even when I was young and had little experience. I knew Mr. Russell was a teacher with unique gifts. Now, as an adult, I am both thankful for the hours he spent in the classroom and even more thankful for the many hours of preparation that he must have spent outside the classroom. The only way I know to really become an American Patriot is to know history and to really know it and then to share it like he did was a great labor of love. Mr. Russell, you were just one of those teachers who can never be replaced. Thank you.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Summer Flowers at Temple Square...

c and I had a fun morning taking photos. If you get there around 9:30 you can almost have the place to yourself, which is so peaceful and amazing. I love this garden.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Gone to the Dogs...

After fiddling around for sometime on this design.. I believe this is the final. Now, what to say inside? Well, being NOT an animal lover... I really liked some of these... however, c would just kill me:
I loathe people who keep dogs. They are cowards who haven't got the guts to bite people themselves. Author Unknown (talk about cowardice)
When a man's best friend is his dog, that dog has a problem. ~Edward Abbey
Fox-terriers are born with about four times as much original sin in them as other dogs. ~Jerome K. Jerome, Three Men in a Boat (Hilarious book, by the way...)
Dogs feel very strongly that they should always go with you in the car, in case the need should arise for them to bark violently at nothing right in your ear. ~Dave Barry
c, who loves dogs, will never go with any of these. So, I'll have to think of something else...

Kinetic Sculpture...

We had a special visitor this week.
He traveled a long way to get here. In fact, when he'd about had it.. and was ready to be done with that airplane... he still had 6 shows more to go. Do you gauge your time in shows? Well, it makes a lot of sense if you're an Elementary School age kinda guy.
I never did get a good photo though. He wouldn't look at me. The kinetic sculpture at the Clark Planetarium was just too wonderful and he couldn't take his eyes off it for more than 20 minutes. We had to bribe him away with popcorn.

Then we went to see a new 3D cartoon called Fly Me to the Moon. I forgot that 3D movies make me really motion sick for some reason... (NOw I REMEMBER!) and it was about flies and maggots... some of the flies go to space. Yuck. I'm still recovering. I hope the nephews liked it. One really small nephew said it was "a really good bug show". If you intend to see this one think 3-7 year old boys. I wish I had spent the whole time watching this cute guy and the amazing kinetic sculpture instead. Now that.. was fun. :)

Friday, August 08, 2008

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The Bucket List...

I loved this film. It was very sweet. It also made me think about the things I should maybe list on my own bucket list.

1. Live in a de-junked house for a month.
2. Plant small trees and help the grow into big shade trees.
3. Paint every wall in my house a bright color and live in a rainbow.

These are 3 of mine. What about you?

Monday, August 04, 2008

A Sewing Travel Pillows Day...

I can't take any credit for Michelle's "Love" pillow... those would be great in your shop Michelle.. I love mine.
But, we did make covers for these little 9X12 travel pillows. I don't remember where I found the pillow forms, but I see them around so I don't think they are rare. They make a great TV/Movie/Napping pillow. Oh, and they are great for travel too. :)
c. made a dog for hers.
This is one that she sleeps with.
These are the little tiny pillows that c made for Pancake.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Monet to Picasso...

Fabulous exhibit comes to Utah... Read here. I'm hoping to take c very soon.
*** We went to this exhibit and it is wonderful! I was so thrilled to be able to stand and gaze at these beautiful and amazing works of art in UTAH!!! The exhibit was much larger than I expected and really well done. c loved it!

Bleak House...

Bleak House was bleak indeed until the very end, but what a story. I loved it! My only criticism is that Dickens does take some time with a good ending and the BBC folks put you through 6 hours of tragedy and then drop you happily ever after in the ending just like that. Many, many films have that problem... it leaves you a little less than satisfied with how things have turned out... But, still if you didn't get to see this one... don't miss. :)