Sunday, August 24, 2008


Tom and I meeting for lunch, August 2006

I learned on Saturday, that my friend Tom has died.
It was strange, I was just thinking a lot about him, during the week. Thinking that I needed to call, and see how he was doing. Thinking about the last time I talked to him in May, and our conversation. He was still being his ornery self, even though his voice was weak, he was still the same old Tom. He said he and his wife Cynthia, would come to see my new apartment, and that he was going to Golf again in August. I didn't doubt for a minute that he would find a way to get back out on the Golf course.

On my ride home from work yesterday, As I passed the "Welcome to Strongsville" sign where Tom lived, again he popped in my head. I was thinking that I should go visit him and Cynthia, and that I'd bring Cynthia flowers, and that I would give Tom a dead flower....he would find that very funny. When I got home, and saw there was a call from "Tsmith" on my phone. I was amazed that I was just thinking about him, and there he was. I listened to the message, and it was Cynthia. In a very teary voice, telling me that Tom died on Thursday. I called her, and we talked awhile. I couldn't fight back the tears. She told me how his health rapidly declined, and that they (she and her family) were "pleased" that he had passed, and was no longer suffering.
I'm glad that he is in "a better place"...but I'll miss him terribly.
Tom was 85 years old.

Tom was my "Oldest" friend. We met back in 1995, when I started working at Pagenet. my seat was next to his, and I remember thinking, "why do I have to sit next to the old guy" Little did I know, that he and I would become good friends. Tom was the guy that everyone loved, and everyone missed, if he wasn't at the office party.
Tom loved to dress up for our office Halloween parties. He'd always find something hysterical to wear. One year he was a Clown in full make up, that he made his wife apply. He sat slouched in the corner of the conference room, wearing this over the top Clown outfit, pretending to be depressed. He dressed in drag for our "Lets make a Deal" sales kick off. He jumped in the hotel pool on a dare, served Bloody Marys in his hotel room at 8 a.m. at another sales conference. Once, our boss Linda, came out with a coffee can and said there was too much talking going on and if we got caught talking, we would have to put a quarter in the can. Tom promptly got up, and dropped a dollar in the can! Linda wasn't very happy, but we were cracking up!

He loved to play practical jokes, and I was usually the target. Once, he told me I was his "Melancoly Baby"... I said "Oh really."... then he said "Do you want to know why?".. "ok," I said, "why?"... "Because you have a head like a Melon, and a face like a Collie!!!".... WHAT A BRAT!!!!! He laughed himself silly!! and actually, so did I!

When I'd get to work each morning, I never knew what I might find. He was always taking the ball out of my mouse, taking the wheels off of my office chair. Once he took every phone book, binder and folder he could find and piled them on my desk, then hid to watch my reaction.

One of the best pranks was one I pulled on him. He was on vacation, and when I went into his desk drawer to "steal" a piece of gum as I always did, he had the pack of gum in a mouse trap!!! even when he was not at work, he found a way to prank me! So I decided to get him back and "kidnap" the little "characters" that decorated his desk. Little Troll dolls, Golf ball guy, and a little black Cat. I took them home, made a "set" complete with a "brick wall." I proceeded to gag, tie and blindfold each little character, and photograph them. Each looking like they were being held captive. I created a real ransom note, and put the photos and note in a Fedex envelope, and had a co-worker deliver it to him on his first day back from vacation. He opened the envelope, and as he read, he turned his back to me. His shoulders were shaking, as he tried to not laugh out loud. He turned back to me, and trying to be serious, he said "someone has kidnapped my little friends!" I played along, and acted concerned, and there it began. The next day there were "wanted posters" (that he made his poor wife Cynthia make) plastered all over the office. The "kidnapping," even made the company news letter. His "little friends" were eventually returned unharmed. We had a office wide 75th. birthday party, and the GM declared it: "Tom Smith Day" We covered his cubicle in tons of shredded paper, Had is name up in lights and there was a big potluck lunch. I presented him with a (made up) "This is your Life," complete with "photos" of Tom as a young boy, standing next to his childhood "pet" T-Rex...on a leash, and he and his wife taking the wagon (a Conestoga wagon) on vacation. The GM presented him with his "long lost" first Golf club (I made "Flintstone" style, a rock "putter" tied to a stick.) There are many, many more stories that I will remember, and laugh about. This is just a little hint of what it was like to work with my partner-in-crime, Mr Smith.

We eventually worked at 2 other jobs together, and would always tell him that I was being punished for doing something bad in a previous life. Cynthia said I was his babysitter, I said she locked him out of the house everyday, and that he wasn't allowed to go home till after noon, so she could have some peace.

Tom was hysterically funny, extremely youthful and always interesting. I loved hearing about his life. I loved that he and his lovely wife(as I always refered to here)Cynthia knew each other since Kindergarten. He was a WWII Veteran and VP, at a Wire company. He was always full of insights, and made me see things differently.

He didn't like being around "old people" and said they complained too much.

There will be a memorial service for Tom, on September 7Th. The irony is that when Tom called me back in March, to tell me about the Cancer and surgery, he said he knew I would want to know, and...well..."ya know......Chuckles".....I KNEW HE WAS GOING TO SAY THAT!! and I knew instantly what he meant.
He was trying to say, in case he died, he wanted to say Good bye, and he loved me, but the reference to "Chuckles" was all he needed to say. Years back, at Pagenet, he told me about his favorite episode of the "Mary Tyler Moore" show, (Click link to see clip of that show) "Chuckles bites the dust" where the fictional TV station Clown named Chuckles, is killed by an Elephant. During his memorial service, Mary Tyler Moore, has an uncontrollable case of the giggles. Tom thought it was the funniest thing, and always made reference to it. So now, I will be at Tom's memorial service, with all the people who love him. I know a hundred stories will be told, and laughter will be inevitable...just the way he'd want it.

I love you Tom, enjoy your endless driving range.

Friday, August 22, 2008


This is my daughter Allison's friend Agnes' new Website...BLOSSOMACCENTS.COM
She designs amazingly beautiful invitations!
What's so unique, is that she draws the beautiful Blossoms herself!
The invitations are so gorgeous and so original!
I love the color, and boldness of each Blossom.
so... if you or someone you know is looking for something unique! it is!
Please visit BLOSSOM ACCENTS...and tell Agnes, "Allison's mom sent ya!"

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Nothing much to say.
Just posting some fun photos.

It's funny, how you can tell it's late Summer. The sky is different, the Sun sets earlier. The late Summer sound of the Cicadas resonating in the trees. Crickets are louder at night. Much welcomed cool spells, when the humidity takes a little break, and the days are breezy. And the trees. Dark green, Full and lush. Not for long though. Soon, they'll start changing colors, and losing their leaves. I love the colors and feel Fall, but it makes me sad when the trees get bare, and it starts getting dark at 5 o'clock. Then the Winter sets in, and it seem like it will never end.

Monday, August 18, 2008


Where did the weekend go?
One minute I'm relaxing doing art, enjoying the weather, and POOF.... It's Monday. Darn.
Oh well.

I had lunch with friends at our favorite restaurant "Fiesta Jalapeno" on Saturday, and then started organizing my art room on Sunday. I've got a big pile of "mess" in the middle of the room, but my desk is cleared off, the shelves are stocked and organized. Another few months or years, and I'll have it all done.. LOL.

Daughter Jamie came over on Sunday, and I made us Meatloaf for dinner. She got busy working on her friend's Bachelorette party invites.
She worked on the computer.. my usual spot. So I decided to make some little Halloween pillows. I got a couple sheets of Felt, and started working. I forgot how fun it was to work with felt. It reminded me of being a kid again. I was always going to Woolworths and buying sheets of it, in all different colors. I'd make little Barbie pillows, blankets and drapes. So I whipped up two little pillows in no time. I used an old pillow to stuff the Jamie kept calling it "Wilson" pillow.. she said it reminded her of the Volley ball in the movie "Cast Away"...She's right lol..
For the 2nd pillow, I took all my favorite Halloween ribbons, and just glued strips of them to the felt. It's ready for sewing and stuffing.
I could only scan images of them for now, as I've finally packed up my camera, to send off for repair. I miss my camera! : (

Nothing else happening for now.
My daughter Allison is organizing a weekend "camping" trip at her little Camper in near Pymatuning. It's actually a fully stocked stationary Mobile home, complete with wide screen TV. Ahhh so much for "roughing it" I'm stuck working this weekend, but desperately trying to find someone to work for me, so I can go. A lot of my family will be there, and it will be fun!

Monday is done.. yay.
I do have Memorial weekend off.. ahhh 3 whole days off! September is just around the corner.

OOPS!... I just remembered I have a Calender project I'm supposed to have finished and the end of the month!

Enjoy your week!

Friday, August 15, 2008



That's one of my favorite lines from the movie "The Jerk" Starring Steve Martin.
His character "Navin R. Johnson, is excited because the New phone book has arrived, and his name is in it!...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz....
SORRY.. lol..

But that's what I felt like shouting, when I went to my mailbox today!
There it was, the Somerset Studio "Vintage Halloween" issue! OMG.. I was so excited!
On my drive home from work today, I remember thinking, "Wow, I have to wait two more weeks, before the magazine arrives."..... and there it was! Actually, there were two. One was my subscription, the other was my free copy I received, for having my artwork selected. So... I couldn't get in my apartment fast enough! I put the magazine on my art room desk, then changed my clothes. ( something I do before I do anything... gotta lose the bra!) I put on something comfortable, grabbed a nice cold Pepsi, lit a cigarette.. (I know .. I know... I know... )..sat down, And carefully removed the plastic sleeve. Ahhh the cover is beautiful! I went through, page by page, wide eyed with anticipation. Finally.. there it was! I felt so giddy! It was also very humbling. After seeing all the other artwork that is so amazingly beautiful, it made me wonder how the hell did they pick mine? Seriously, I'm not being modest, just honest! Ok, my piece is cute, but very "safe" and conservative, compared to some of the very intricate pieces. But I guess this is my style, and I know I shouldn't compare my art with others. Sooo anyway, It's very cool to see my art in this very cool magazine.

... (click on the photos, to see larger image)

I have to say one thing......but it makes me think of something my best friend told me not too long ago... she said, "You're not happy unless you can find something to bitch about!" She was laughing when she said it, but sadly she's right!...... with that said, I was just a little disappointed with the quality of the image. The colors are very "washed out" compared to the actual colors, which are warmer, richer and more vibrant. But no one will know that... except you and me right? LOL
The truth is, I REALLY AM HAPPY! and very tickled!

I just picked up a few new Halloween decorations at Pat Catan's (our local arts & crafts store) the other day. It was great seeing all that Black and Orange! And I can't wait to decorate!

So that's my big excitement!
Thanks for all the well wishes along the way, and for indulging me during my 15 minutes of "fame." xoxo

Enjoy your weekend!!

Sunday, August 10, 2008



NewHALLOWEEN collage designs!

I've transformed my ETSY Shoppe into:


And listing nothing but
Check them out at:

There's more on the way!!!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


Wow... I've been in my apartment now, for 3 months already!
I still love my apartment, and it feels like home.
The only small problems are the very loud A/C units right outside my bedroom window. On cool nights, I like to sleep with the window open, and apparently, the upstairs neighbor prefers the A/C..... darn.
The other thing... BUGS! EWWH.. I don't even want to talk about them, for fear one will show up. I'm sure it has something to do with the fact that the apartment is on a slab, and all the mulch etc....
Creepy looking Centipede types, from very tiny, to 2 inches long.... BBBBWWWAAHHHH!!!
Then came the flying ants. One evening, I look over to my art table, and their they were! 6... 8... 12...and more. Oddly, they would only show up in the evening. It took about 2 weeks worth of spraying, and picking up dead ants ever day before they were finally gone. I had even covered every air duct with Tulle, thinking that must be how they were all getting in. It appears they prefer coming in under the baseboards. Of course they do.. I can't put any Tulle on those!!
So.. it's been two days... and I haven't seen "any." Paranoid me can't stop looking around. I will be ready next Spring.. I will start spraying in February!!... and I'm not kidding! I did this at my last place, to prevent the Centipedes coming in, which... I thought...the 2 or three I'd see all Summer, were a problem. I was actually excited at the thought that, once I moved.. no more Centipedes.... !!! HA!!!..
Anyway, no more bug talk!

The Summer is quickly fading. I'm actually looking forward to the Fall. I'm anxious to see what color the little Maple tree outside my art room window will turn.
Unfortunately, With Fall, comes Winter... omg. It seems like it was just snowing a month ago!
I'm jumping way ahead, and I have to stop, and enjoy what's here now.. Summer! Breezy, warm and beautiful. I love the changing of Seasons. Although, I would prefer if Autumn lasted longer, clear into the Spring!

I was all excited thinking that the The Somerset Studio issue that I'm being published in, would be arriving in the beginning of August. I went to the mailbox, hoping to find it there. Then I went online to their website, and realized it wouldn't be out till September 1st. Yikes!! I can't wait that long!
Inspired by my small accomplishment, I actually made and sent in, another Collage. This one is for their "Black & White" theme, for their January/February 2009 issue.
I made a pair of Saddle shoes! The shoes were created with layers of card stock.. and magic.. LOL. I used an image I found online as my template and reference.
The picture is poor I got my camera to work.. but barely.... no.. I haven't sent it in yet.
The collage is simple but bold. It looks better in person!
I hope they like it. As much as it would be amazing to have another piece published, I'm still more impressed with the fact that I sent it in. Also, how inspired I've become.
I get the next 2 weekends off!!! And hopefully, I'll get more Halloween art finished, and listed on Etsy.
Work...... not worth mentioning.. so I won't.
It's officially Wednesday again. Time really is flying.