An Art Exhibition

An Art Exhibition.

I was asked to share 20 -30 pieces of my art

at a local theater,

The Iron Horse Theater.

The Iron Horse Theater Company’s mission is to provide thought-provoking and entertaining theater that will enrich the cultural life in what is now known as the “rust belt” area of southwestern Pennsylvania.   The symbolic name, “Iron Horse” represents the hard-working and “iron-willed” people in this part of the world. It is in this spirit that they create theatrical experiences that celebrate the grit, determination, and strength of the human character.

I was asked to display (and/or sell) my art during their upcoming Mother’s Day Cabaret

and their Harps and Harmonicas show during the month of June after a patron of Berry Vine Gifts saw my art.

I’m quite humbled and excited to be given this honor, and I can’t wait to see the show!

If you are anywhere near the Pittsburgh area, I hope you will consider visiting and supporting this wonderful community and theater.

Cheers & Hugs,


The Best Mother’s Day Gift

Grandma’s Bleeding Heart – A Mother’s Day Flower

The Best Mother’s Day Gift.

When I was a young, extremely naive, stay-at-home mom
to two energetic and spirited little boys,

the perfect Mother’s Day “gift” would have been
an hour or two of peace and quiet all to myself to do whatever I pleased.

But now that I am an older, experienced, working-outside-the-home mom
to two amazing and independent young men,

and have gained two “daughters”
and a granddaughter too…

the perfect Mother’s Day “gift” has become
an hour or two of time together

to love and laugh and appreciate
the greatest gift of all…

The gift of
being a Mom!

Cheers & Hugs,



You may house their bodies, but not their souls…

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you.
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow…

-Kahlil Gibran

Next Sunday is Mother’s Day.
Last Saturday my youngest “child” got married.
My greatest honor in life has been being a mother.
But as this wise verse from Kahlil Gibran in The Prophet reminds me,
I may have housed their bodies, but I cannot house their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow.

I am so proud of the men my boys have become.
As I watched the youngest celebrate marriage, and the oldest toast his brother last weekend,
my heart swelled.
Somehow we managed to do a good job.
And I couldn’t have done it without my husband – their father – by my side.

As I look at this photo I took at Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh a few weeks ago of a Momma Duck (made of flowers by the way) and her little ducklings, I was once again reminded of the privilege I was bestowed in life to be a mother.  I am now also blessed with two beautiful “daughters”-in-law and the great privilege of being a “grand”mother.

I am so grateful.

Here’s to all the moms out there!
Cherish the moments.

Cheers & Hugs,


A Little Birdie to say Happy Mother’s Day

goldfinch watercolor drawabirdday

Goldfinch Watercolor Doodlewash for Draw A Bird Day

Some of you may remember the darling little goldfinch I captured in a photo recently as his family has become a regular in our backyard and at the feeders.

I decided to do a quick little watercolor and doodlewash him for today’s monthly #drawabirdday.

I am out of town today, but he is flying by to wish all the Moms out there the happiest of Mother’s Days!

Being a mom has unequivocally been the greatest privilege of my life and has provided me with such joy and love.

Thank you Jake and Nick for all you have given me.  My life would not be nearly as extraordinary if it weren’t for what each of you has given me since the days you were born.

Now that you are grown men with lives of your own, I thank you even more for still allowing me the honor of being a part of your lives and being your Mom.  And thank you for the beautiful ladies in Colleen and Liz that you have allowed me to “mother” too.

I am the luckiest Mom of all!

Cheers & Hugs,

Houston – We have a Baby Cardinal!

Baby Cardinal Day 1

The wait is over!

Remember I shared with you that we had a Momma Cardinal building a nest and then laying eggs right outside of our bedroom window?

Well – right on time – on Mother’s Day afternoon – the first baby cardinal was born.

You can barely make the little bugger out above, and he/she isn’t quite what you might call “cute” yet, but oh what a thrill!

And I wasn’t home when it happened!

My Mother’s Day started out with a trip to the gym in the morning with my youngest son, Nick.  When we got back home, I was surprised to find my oldest son, Jake and his wife, Colleen in the kitchen with hubby, Marty preparing a beautiful surprise Mother’s Day brunch.  What a sweet way to start the day – eh?  It began with a Mother’s day toast of orange pineapple mimosas, homemade chocolate-covered strawberries, pastries, bacon-wrapped filet Mignon, cheesy potatoes and luscious miniature spinach and brie quiches.  And as if that wasn’t enough, there was fresh flowers, cards, and a bunch of fun watercolor art supplies.  Am I the luckiest or what?!?

After stuffing ourselves and relaxing and visiting a bit, the kids asked if I wanted to go play tennis (which I haven’t done for years!),  so off we went, leaving Marty and Mikey home to enjoy some much deserved and coveted quiet R&R time.  After about two hours of sunshine and tiring, sweaty, but oh so joyous running around the court and hitting the ball to racket a few times, I got a text from Marty with this photo:

baby cardinal just born

We had been watching diligently as this was Day 12 after Momma laid her eggs, so this little baby can’t be more than two hours old here, and likely less.

As the day grew dark, still only one baby and one egg remain, and Momma is keeping them both warm.

Is that the icing on the cake for my Mother’s Day or what?

Happy Monday friends.

Wishing you joy in cherished moments.

Cheers & Hugs,


PS – I thought this photo would be a perfect submission for this week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge Forces of Nature.  What greater display of nature than this?!  A brand new birth – the most extraordinary force of nature.

A Perfect Mother

good mom

Those of us with grown children can look back and know this is true.  But if there is anything I can say to young moms out there struggling to be a “perfect mother,”  I would say:

Cherish the moments.

Many of the days are long, but the years are short.

Even on your worst days, I’ll bet your children still think you are THE Best!

Your children will become what you are, so be what you want them to be.

Be their sunshine when their clouds are gray.

Embrace the gift you are given in your children…

and just LOVE them!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Cheers & Hugs,

The Important Places – A Mother’s Day Message to my Sons

home mothers day

Growing up,
when people would ask me:
“What do you want to be
when you grow up?”
I would say,
“a Mom, of course.”

So imagine my joy
when my dream came true,
and I was blessed
with the two of you.

There is no greater joy
I could ever compare
to the love and the happiness
you brought to my life.

Now that you are grown,
your lives are your own.
You have things to do
and places to go.

But please remember,
of all the important places
life will take you,
the road to important places
can also lead you home.

My hubby (Marty) recently shared a beautiful video with me (and our boys) that totally struck a chord with me this weekend with Mother’s Day approaching.  If you have 10 minutes and are ready for a few tears of joy and gratitude and contemplation, watch the video here:

It inspired me to share this message of gratitude for the honor and joy I have as the mom of my two amazing sons.

Love you guys,

May Flowers

CYCI 68 Flower Punch Mothers Day Card

There is ONE single joke I can remember to retell, and it is my favorite….

If April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring?


Pilgrims of course!

We have lots to celebrate in May, so I’ll be busy making special cards for a lot of very special people this month, including this  May”flowery” card for a special Mom in my life I fondly refer to as “Mom II.”

Sunday is Mother’s Day – a very special day for those of us who have been blessed with the privilege and honor to be called a “Mom” or “Mum” or “Mother” or “Momma” or “Mommy” or “Mummy” or “Mom II”…

Carole (aka Mom II) is my Dad’s wife.  When I reunited with my (birthfather) Dad five years ago in July, the first thing she said to me after I said “Hello” was, “Your Dad always promised me a daughter.  Now I have one.”  That was followed by a big tight hug from a beautiful, petite woman.  A pretty warm welcome – eh?!

I will never forget that moment.

So this fussy, frilly Mother’s Day card is for Mom II.

The design was inspired by the CanYouCaseIt #68 Sketch Challenge.


And I’m also sharing this card on the Paper Plunge #32 Mother’s Day Theme challenge.

For the card, I used a variety of Stampin Up flower paper punches, Best Day Ever Designer Series Paper, and lots of buttons, pearls, and linen thread.  It was fun to create and flower up!

So Happy Mother’s Day this coming Sunday Mom II!  I hope your day is as special as you!

Cheers & Hugs and Motherly Love,