Thursday, December 29, 2011


I love taking classes. I love learning new things. Once a week, I take a painting class which I believe is a great replacement to therapy. It is relaxing and I am spending time with positive, encouraging, and artistic people. I love my Tuesdays because I know that no matter what I paint or how I paint, I am going to leave class feeling great.

My skill as a painter is definitely improving. The biggest problem I have right now is determining what I am going to paint next. I am a massing a file of things I want to paint. Mostly this file contains things I see online. 

Currently, I have two painting in various stages of completion. Next Tuesday, I am starting on a completely new painting even though I have not yet finished the other two. I think it is good to have multiples, it gives me time to plan my next move. It is also helpful to let certain things dry before you move on. So much of it, is a layering process and there is nothing worse than going too far and muddying your canvas because you didn't allow the color underneath the time it needed to dry.

The continuation of the Peacock Dress

I think she is turning out nicely. She is far from finished. I don't know how much longer she will take but honestly, I am not at all concerned with that. In this case, the journey is definitely part of the reward.

January 7th I am taking a "Soap Making" class. It is through the University of Missouri extension and costs only $15.00. We will be working with glycerin but learning about goat milk soap. I am curious about this. Who knows what this new skill will bring me or where it will take me next.

Not only am I taking classes, I will be teaching a series of jewelry making classes at Creative Concepts located here in Springfield, Missouri.

The January Schedule is as follows:

Necklace Design, tools and techniques - January 5, 2012 at 6 pm
Bracelet Design, tools and techniques - January 12, 2012 at 6 pm
The Art of Pearl Knotting - January 19, 2012 at 6 pm
Everything Earrings - January 26, 2012 at 6 pm

Each class is $25 plus the cost of supplies. The classes are two hours long and the students will leave with a finished piece of jewelry and the know how. Years ago, I took a class on Jewelry making and that skill has served me very well. It will be fun to pass on what I know to someone else.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

¡Feliz Navidad Amigos!

Years ago my college Spanish teacher read this poem to the class. I thought it was really clever and funny.  I re-typed it so please excuse the mistakes with the accents and punctuation, I am sure there are many.  I hope you enjoy this. Merry Christmas!

¡Feliz Navidad Amigos!

’Tis the night before Christmas, and all through the casa,
Not a creature is stirring ¡Caramba¡ ¿Qué pasa?
The stockings are hanging con mucho caidado
In hopes that San Nicolás will feel obligado,
To leave a few cosas aquí and allí,
Para Chico and Chica, (y something para mí)!
Los Niños are snuggled all safe in their camas,
Some in vestidios and some in pajamas,
Their little cabezas all full of good things,
They esperan que old Santa will brings,
Santa is down at the corner saloon,
Muy borracho since mid-afternoon,
Mama is sitting beside la ventana,
Shining her rolling pin para mañana,
When Santa will come in a manner extraña,
All lit-up, like the Star-Spangled Banner, cantando,
And Mama will send him to bed con los coches.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all Buenas Noches!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Old Photos

Kristen (Langley) Haskell

Jennifer (Harris) Mulvihill

Kristen (Langley) Haskell

These Photos were taken of me and my best friend Jenny in the 80s. We were 20 years old. Our friend, a photographer Gregg Curtis took them at Presidio Park in Old Town San Diego. Gregg recently posted them on Facebook, before that I had not seen these pictures in over 20 years. It is fun to look back to a time when we were not concerned about the economy, world affairs or any of the things we think about now. Our biggest issue back then was having as much fun, as often as possible. 

Youth is wasted on the young.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Angel Food - a very short story

Looking longingly outside she knew it just wasn't going to be an ideal day for going out. She wanted to attend her Tuesday painting class but the weather lured her away from her normal activities and blessed her with a bit of indoor spontaneity. There was a feather dusting from the first snow of the season and the cold sent a chill down her spine at the thought of leaving her warm home. There was plenty to occupy her time indoors.

Her furry friends were lazing around her feet. Earlier in the day, she scolded them for pilfering a Kleenex from the wastebasket. Now they lay around contrite and waiting for anything to happen that could pull them from their hundredth nap of the day. It had been more than week since she was able to sit and write. The holiday season always kept her busy. She loved to create and today was the perfect day for creating. She might make earrings or paint leaves or even do some creative writing. Before she could start any of it, she felt moved to pamper herself a bit.
The kettle whistled and her water was hot. She would take the boiling water and pour it into her French press where she had measured exactly two tablespoons of Sumatra roasted coffee and a small sprinkle of Stevia. Four minutes later, she would stir her concoction and press the grinds down, straining the hot liquid into a favorite mug. The smell was divine and today she'd been given the perfect gift to complete her pampering. 

Hours before, her lovely neighbor delivered homemade biscotti. These were no ordinary biscotti. These biscotti were made with love by her neighbor's husband. This automatically transcended these biscotti from a delicious confection to Angel Food.

Years ago she had learned about Angel Food from another dear friend. '"Angel Food" is that which is prepared for people we love and by people who love us." The philosophy behind Angel Food is that it will nourish us both physically and spiritually. Anything you do in love is ultimately directed by the greatest source of love. In this case, these biscotti were truly Angel Food, as her friend's husband had taken it upon himself to make for his wife some delicious biscotti. She, in turn, generously shared his gift to her with others she cared about. The love was moved from home to home as if delivered by the angels themselves.
Images borrowed from Google Images

Quote taken from Angel Food: A Heavenly Inspired Cookbook by Diane Scalia

Many thanks to the Sweet family for sharing so much with us. It was your family that inspired this story.