Friday, December 4, 2009


Cursed winter (not really but) ... I know we need it for balance and because spring can't get here if we jump over it but sometimes I wish I could be like the bears who hiburnate. It's just a hard time of year for me ya know? Which is not to say I don't get up and put one foot in front of the other everyday cause I do. (I even washed the floors today so there!) :>) Thank God even in the midst of 'whatever' I am a pretty hopeful and positive person. I am blessed with a sisterhood of some brilliant, sensitive, fellow artists each day too on Cindi E's group. They help me to stay sane and out of self each day. We got each other's backs as the saying goes.

I have much to be grateful for too (even in winter!) ... pretty good health, a loving family, a wonderful man, an adorable grand daughter, my critters, my faith <---------- oh yes that's a biggie and I not being a smart #ss about that. Now if I could just find a job right now.

Peace to all who wander by ... even in cursed winter. Smiles to the hummingbirds who came by today and chittered at me. You cheered me and made me smile.
Psssstt ~ I love the tree picture above. A dance by Mother Nature in her fullness ... very NOT winter huh?

Jerry the Turkey ~ for Mom mostly

Awwwwwwwwwwwww ... ya gotta love the story of Jerry. Well I do anyway and have heard from others who do too. Those who could care less about a blind turkey, well let's just agree to disagree okay? :>)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Jerry the Blind Turkey

I saw a newscast about Jerry yesterday on Fox News and while some people have weighed in heavily against the wisdom of rescuers wanting to raise funds to remove his cataracts, it touched me lots. I hope Jerry's site is restored and he lives to ripe old age. Gobble, gobble.

Happy Thanksgiving all ~ you too Jerry.

REHOBOTH –– Lyndsey Medeiros knows she’s asking a lot with her Craigslist posting seeking money to help pay for cataract surgery for Jerry the Turkey –– particularly this week, as most people are preparing to eat a pretty large turkey meal on Thursday.
But she’s persevering because she’s an animal lover.
“There’s a story you see every once in a while that pulls at your heartstrings,” she explains. “I just wanted to see what could be done to help him — if nothing more, to give him a good home so he can live out his days in a comfortable environment, not having to worry about being eaten.”
Medeiros and her husband, Jason, run a hobby farm out of their Rehoboth home, with 10 Nigerian dwarf goats whose milk the family drinks and uses to make cheese. And as a veterinary technician for eight years, Lyndsey spends a lot of time around animals. She’s had a menagerie of animals with problems, including a three-legged cat.
Jason enjoys scanning Craigslist’s farm and garden section, and it was there he came across a post from a woman in Foster with health problems who could no longer care for an ailing turkey. A week ago, the Medeiroses drove to Foster and came home with two turkeys –– 3-year-old Jerry and Penelope, the companion who has been with him since they were small.
A Narragansett turkey, Jerry is a cross between a wild and domestic turkey and could live to be 15, Lyndsey said. The docile animal has quickly become one of the family’s pets, even allowing the couple’s 17-month-old son, Aidan, to pet him and hug him. He can’t fly up to roost in high places as Penelope does because he can’t see — and he needs help eating, Lyndsey says.
Instantly, Lyndsey began seeking care for Jerry.
Her work place didn’t have an avian specialist, so she turned to Ocean State Veterinary Specialists in East Greenwich, where the veterinary ophthalmologist examined Jerry and said his cataracts look operable. The bird will now see the practice’s exotic animals specialist, who will help determine if he can undergo surgery, according to Linda Adams, the client liaison at Ocean State.
Facing surgery that could cost between $2,000 and $2,600, Lyndsey posted Jerry’s story on Craigslist sites around the country, asking for donations for Jerry. In less than a week, people have donated about $500, and media outlets from around the country have picked up the story.
But Lyndsey has also gotten about 60 e-mails — many from angry naysayers e-mailing to say she’s wrong to have taken up the turkey’s cause, but the most recent have been more supportive, she says.
“I’m not trying to take food off the tables of people who can’t afford it,” she replies. “Obviously, feeding your children takes precedence over surgery for a turkey, but there are people out there looking for a place to donate.”
Lyndsey asks people to respect the fact that she’s trying to save an animal.
“And if this had been a dog or a cat or a horse,” she says, “maybe people would think differently.”

Thursday, November 12, 2009

AAOArtTV on Youtube

One of my favorite places to hang out and to learn in a really fun environment is Art Apprentice Online. Not only is the website a rich resource and super place for shopping for all Deco Art Traditions products (for yourself or for a friend), it's a wonderful venue for learning about art and how to create your own beautiful artwork. The following is a Youtube clip featuring the artwork of students of the Just Paint It challenge. Check it out and click to subscribe to the AAOArtTV. Share it with your friends and think of joining us in the monthly painting challenges too.

As always, thank you for dropping by. ~Amber aka mzchiclets

Sunday, November 1, 2009

November already? Yikes

How can this be? Only this month and next before we do that countdown 'til 2010? Time flies when you're having fun or is it that time waits for no one, that it rolls on and you can't get it back? Yep all those things and more when we dwell on time.

I am staying busy with my art journey, continuing to work through my Traditions Modules and painting the lessons at the Traditions Art School. Life is good and I feel blessed.

Blessed too because my sister Debbie came for an overnight last week. Sister time is always good and we've vowed to not let two years go by until our next face to face <---- there's that ol' time thing again.

Halloween was fun with Miss Chaeli bug dressed up as a lion, complete with painted whiskers and a red nose. Too cute! Time marches on here too I see. Time, time, time! It's our most precious personal resource so my advice is, make good use of it whatever you do each day.
As always, peace to you and thank you for dropping by to spend a little of your own time with me today.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Two Minutes For God

I've been starting or (re-charging my day) by reading through Reverend Peter B Panagore's wonderfully wise collection of 'stories' (each 300 words or less), from his book called Two Minutes For God. Sometimes in the busy-ness of life I forget to make time for a quiet spirit pause and then suddenly it's the end of the day, time to give thanks for all that was or promises to be in with a new dawn. For now I am trying to begin each day with spirit in my heart. Reverend Peter's book makes for a nice 'daily infusion of faith' that perfectly complements my email subscription to Thanks to my mom Bonnie T for forwarding an original Daily Devotion.

Peace and blessings all! ~ Amber

Monday, September 21, 2009

An Ordinance

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6
Den was baptized yesterday. Camera challenged I may be, but I love the look on his face here.
It was a blessing to stand with church family and witness his public declaration at the Lancaster, CA Vineyard Church. Thank you Pastor David and all. Thank you too for welcoming us exactly as we are. :>)
As always peace to all who drop here by to have a read. Today I add love to my usual peaceful closing. Love is everything indeed. ~ Amber

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Revisiting Ancient Man

Who knew art from 30,000 years ago could be fascinating enough that I'd try my hand at replicating it? Thankfully we have at our hands, ready made non toxic pigments and excellent tools, nonetheless our tools for this lesson were common everyday items and a 12 x 16 canvas.
This is my interpretation of the Second Chinese Horse after a fabulous on line class led by Neadeen Masters, CDA CTT, one of the instructors at the new Traditions Art School.
We were inspired by actual images via a remarkable virtual tour, of the art (yes indeed it is art!) of the exquisitely painted walls of the limestone caves in Lascaux, France. How simple and yet how elegant the horse is and how realistic too is the faux limestone background in my canvas.
This is part of a series of lessons presented on line with excellent resource material. Any home schooling groups out there looking to fill a required art component may wish to check the school out. In today's world of slashed budget cuts, many students aren't being introduced to the fine arts. and that is a shame. We all need exposure to art and creative pursuits in our lives.
Peace to all who visit my on line journal where I share bits and pieces of my life and interests.
From my artful heart to yours,
Amber :>)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Look Who's in my Sink

Yup tis Miss Chaeli-bug. She fits so perfectly in there just now and was cute as can be as I scrubbed her up for bed last night. :>) We splashed and had a good ol time while Papaw got photos of her antics. More to come later.

Peace to all who drop by for a visit. I appreciate that you do. Remember life really is what we make of it. I wonder what Chaeli will make of this nekkid baby shot when we drag it out for review for her first boyfriend? Ha! Yes I will too as anyone who knows me is aware.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

For the Birds ~ ATC Collage

Yikes ... you have to know I have not done any collage work in years (well I confess to decades actually ~ LOL).
I recently joined a Yahoo group called Art for the Creative Mind. The poor owner bemoans (not really) the fact that I am primarily a paint and brush artist but continues to encourage all of us to think outside of self imposed creative boxes. She offers an amazing array of swaps to join in (or not) and I have to confess collaging once again was lots more enjoyable and successful than I figured it'd be. I am glad though my first foray back to this kind of art had a very specific size though.

My two ATC's have gone travelling to their new home in Canada. I really had fun doing something so different than my usual art. :>) I even used items that I had on hand and wonder of wonders, I have been exploring more collage art on the Web and even bought a wonderful book (second-hand of course because I am frugal by nature.) Oh ... the book you ask? Collage Discovery Workshop by Claudine Hellmuth. It's chock full of great basic collage techniques!

Peace to all who stop by and visit here. I appreciate your interest in my interests. Do something different to keep poking at your own creative muse. You never know what you might discover.
Amber AKA Mz Chiclets

Thursday, June 18, 2009


That title made you wonder didn't it? I planted beans in mid April, several different kinds and have harvested enough already for two meals. Yum! Full of good taste and good for you too. All that fiber don't you know? LOL Grow some beans and discover for yourself that the more you pick the more they produce. The humble seed is a mighty thing to ponder. Ahhhhhhh, life is good when we are enchanted by the simple things hmmmmmm?

Peace to all who stop by. Eat your beans!

Sunday, May 17, 2009


This was taken by my BFF Jeanne ~ honest she really is and has been since we were in the 6th grade and BFF was an acronym way off into the far future. Anyhoo it's a shot of our grand daughter Chaeli, taken in the backyard the first weekend in May. Isn't she a darling? We think so though of course we are a bit biased I suppose.

Yesterday Chaeli and her mama left our home as Casey heads towards a new life in northern California. We pray they go with God and know He has a plan for them we are yet to comprehend. Our home is very hollow and quiet this AM; we are all missing them beyond belief ... even the dogs are looking look bereft and my eyes leaked again this morning at about what would be the usual time for Miss Chaeli to come greet her Nonie and try to play with the keyboard. Now I understand how my mom must have felt.

Peace to all parents and grand parents who must come to terms with their young ones growing up and leaving the family nest.


Saturday, May 9, 2009

In Memory of Sue Mitchell aka Aunt Biddy Sue

I went looking at Susie's blogs and this entry in her very own words sums up Sue best I think. Rest in eternal peace good lady. You will be forever missed but always in our hearts so until we meet again one day, God's peace to all of us. We never know when He will beckon us towards home. Mend broken things with others this day for tomorrow it may be too late to hear a sweet voice or to read sage words written by those we have come to admire with fondness.
~ Amber aka mzchiclets

Susie Mitchell
I'm a Christian...saved by the grace of God through the shed blood of Jesus. I know where I'm bound and I like sharing Jesus with the folks I meet. I'm a decorative artist...I like painting country landscapes, animals, and occasional portraits. I enjoy writing family stories and just sharing my thoughts. I'm a sometimes poet and song writer...a lover of life. I enjoy trips to look at the scenery, taking in historical sites, visiting friends & family, and shopping in less crowded stores. I like epic movies and visiting quaint little towns off the beaten path. I enjoy good food shared with loved ones. I am a keeper of heart treasures...memories that bring a smile when I think of them. These days my steps are pretty slow...but, I love to walk down country fish from a river bank...secluded and sheltered from highway noise and from places where people live...a place where it seems you can be alone with God and nature. I like to watch at dawn as sunlight chases away the darkness...and in the evening twilight as darkness consumes the day. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Romans 10:13

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Deco Art Traditions Paints

Most of you know I am an artist and some of you know I happily endorse Deco Art Traditions Acrylic artist grade pigments and mediums, a product line that has always been manufactured and wholly owned by Deco Art in Stanford, Kentucky, USA. <----- yay! Made in America. I like that too. Lately I have read in a few on line places that this wonderful product line has been 'retired' so I have decided to use my personal blog, my place of peace and musing, to correct the blantantly inaccurate information, masquerading as 'fact' in some sectors of cyberspace. Let me state too, for the record that I support the pursuit of business success but with an expectation that business dealings really should be conducted with honor, integrity and simple truths. Suffice it to say that word-play, however clever, doesn't set well with me and quite honestly, it angers me plus it makes me suspicious of the veracity of the person using it. Deco Art Traditions, fomerly branded with the JansenArt logo (for which royalties were paid) has not ~ do let me repeat that ~ has not been 'retired' as is being bandied about in some circles. All formulas and the properties we have come to expect and admire will remain exactly the same as always. Do not be fooled by the glib innuendo you may read or hear about. Do your own research just like I have. Speak with respectable and respected artists and industry business people about this matter to ascertain what is fact and what is fiction. Some people will give ya 'spin' in an effort to self promote at any cost, while others quietly speak simple truths, knowing that ultimately those simple truths speak volumes.

Peace to all who come here. I am a live and let live person but when I read self serving lies that hurt the livelioods of others I feel convicted to speak up for truth and plain speak.

Blessings on This Day

I always count the simple things in my life as blessings and Mother Nature never fails to make me smile.

For all the years I have lived here in the high desert of southern California ~ 24 now! (how is that possible??) Time does fly as the saying goes but I digress. I started to say that I have been watching those amazing little jewels, hummingbirds or hummers as we call them but today I saw a scene I've never seen before.

As is my early morning habit, I hit the back patio where I have several raised beds, two newly planted with veggies, to begin my day. Because I don't have a solar timer yet for my gardens I must turn them on manually twice daily, a chore but one I enjoy. It gives me time to putter around, pluck out few weeds, tuck a straying bit of whatever here or there, count the beneficial ladybugs hard at work, doing their volunteer job on the pesky ashids and in general, have a look at the new life in my gardens.

This morning I was treated to a tiny hummer, landing on the ground to enjoy his morning bath in the overflow from the small sprinklers. I watched him do this three times. What a wonder! What a blessing. I have never seen a hummer land on the ground and walk around. I was charmed by the magic of this. Perhaps I won't shop for that solar timer after all. Life is good and small gifts are best!

Peace to all who stop by to pause and take in my rambles here. And oh ... plant a few things for the bees, hummers and butterflies. You'll quickly connect to that peaceful and profound place inside your own soul, that speaks to the joy of simple things too.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Falling in Love with a Tea Kettle and Hummingbirds

... say what? Well I am in love with my electric tea kettle, my Christmas present from Denny. It is sooooooooooooo very useful for things like quickly boiling water for my ceramic teapot (with the copper cozy to maintain a nice temp for a long time) to brew one of my two current favorite teas <---- those would be Constant Comment or PG Tips. They are also useful for a much needed evening hot chocolate fix, for having that hot water at the ready when making beans and homemade chicken soup and for quickly making new nectar for the many chittering hummingbirds who fight for their meals at the three feeders I keep full.

Hummers, aside from being quite magical, are territorial little critters. They are nesting just now too in my backyard so are even more eager to fill themselves and establish personal terrain ... well to be more specific, they are staking claims in the trees on the utility easement on the south side of our property so I've been studying them even more lately.

I know they are nesting because they follow the dogs, hovering and darting safely overhead,making that funny little 'chitter' over near the far fence that marks the propery line of our backyard They are enchanting to watch. Did you know they will play in a gentle sprinkler too? They will also come right up to your face, come to a sudden and eally quite dramatic stop to then hover if you have bright colored clothing on. Well mine do anyway. I think of them as mine though I know they are just seasonal gifts that help mark my life and the cyclic nature of my backyard gardens. Mother Nature is a charming gift giver isn't she? I believe in simple pleasures, don't you?

The hummers we think we have identified as common to our area are Allen's, Rufous and Anna's. An interesting bit of trivia: the males always turn to the sun to more proudly display those glorious metallic colors in their plumage.

To attract these busy and fascinating little jewels to your own backyard, make a solution of four parts water to one part sugar. Boil water to a rolling boil (using your own electric kettle of course), turn off heat and add sugar slowly while stirring until it melts and goes into solution. Cool to room temp. Make extra and keep refrigerated. Change nectar every 3-4 days to keep it fresh. Never add any red dye ~ it's not needed but do plant some colorful flowers for your hummers to enjoy. Butterflies will visit too. I scrub my feeders when I refill them, using a vinegar water solution and a very good rinse of water as hot as it can get from my tap. Enjoy, dream and hey ... make yourself a pot of tea too while watching the vivid dance of all creatures who may come to visit you in your garden

Peace and blessings to all who happen by my blog. I thank you for reading and following my simple musings.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Happy Easter!

Gracious but it's been far too long since I've had time to do any blogging. My goodness but times flies doesn't it? Ah well I shall try to be more faithfull and show my face more often.

I have traveled since I was here last, a trip that furthered my own personal art journey. Oh my but it was great to finally meet Gaby Hunter of I've been taking some on line classes with her at the site referenced above and have nothing but praise for this gracious and knowledgeable artist. Her AAO partners are equally amazing so click away on the above site and find out for yourselves ~ LOL. You will drool and while away a good part of your day I'm guessing. Be warned too that you may do considerable damage to your credit card and blow the family grocery budget into the bargain. Bookmark the site too cause you're gonna be seeing some incredible stuff in the decorative painting world from these ladies and their team. Oh my! The places we can go as artists!

Another great lady and friend, whom I think fondly of, as my own personal mentor, Cindi Estes offers on line classes too. She is a fully certified DecoArt Traditions Teacher for Modules A thru D. Visit her for more information at I invite you to join our on line classes. You'll wonder what took ya so long and you'll also find a great place to call home on her exclusive Yahoo group, where Traditions Artists gather to learn and grow, support and encourage each other. It's my 'home group' and I am proud to share about it. You'll find no pretense here, no ego, no controversy ~ nothing but a huge welcome all sign hung at the door. I will never regret my decision to join her Deco Art Traditions on line classes. With Cindi I am enjoying greater personal accountibility and growth as an artist. See my latest breakthrough above, of a lovely and tranquil rural cottage landscape on canvas. Original design by Neadeen Masters CDA as part of the Deco Art Traditions Educational Teacher Certification Program ~ you can find her work and classes too at I have a few teensy touches left on my canvas but I'm sharing it simply because ... well I just grew so much working through it, kicking and nashing my teeth all the way through it too because it forced me to rely on my own gut and instinct instead of simply telling me what pigments to place where. The emphasis is on lesson oriented learning that builds on excellent foundational skills instead of the more usual project copying step by steps many of us got accustomed to seeing in the last few decades of the decorative painting industry. I threatened to feed this work in progress to the dogs so many times. Thankfully I am also stubborn and like to compete when my mind says 'give up girl'. This one will get matted and framed and humbly hung as my break-through work.

As for me ... well I continue on. I am designing some (watch for that soon!) and feel content and solid ~ well as much as my chattery, creative mind will allow in any case. Soon it will be time to plant my gardens and before we know it, I'll be writing here about the yummy tomatoes, squash, artichokes and goodness knows what. Just now in the garden I have roses, irises, batchelor buttons and wisteria in bloom and of course the faithful herbs are surging forth. I found one lone beet and some carrots that over-wintered under the safety of some large artichoke leaves and a few spring onions as well. The chard has shot up and is begging to be sauteed in EVOO (thanks Rachel Ray!) and some garlic. Geeze, that even sounds good enough to have for breakfast instead of my usual oats or quinoa.

On that note, I am off to fuel the bod. Who knows what great things may come my way today that will surely require me to fuel up with healthy foods to meet whatever challenge this cool but also soft and pretty desert day may bring? We are expecting some rain this evening so the wildflowers and wild critters will be happy too.

Peace and blessings to all who find their way to this page. :>)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

EDM # 7 Draw a shell

So okay ... it took me long enough but I did it ... several in fact. I count as my excuse, I didn't feel well a few days this week. No that didn't stop me from doodling and sketching or reading Danny Gregory's two books that came in the mail but it did stop me from blogging or spending too much time on this machine.

In my bathroom, on the window-sill lives a very tiny re-purposed jam jar that holds a small amount of Biddeford Pool beach sand, some smooth water rounded pebbles plus a few shells. I collected them during my last trip home to Maine on one of several beach combing strolls. It seems so long ago (1 1/2 years!). I am awfully happy to be here in southern CA today though as Maine is under an ice assault. Brrrrrrrrrr! Such tough souls live there. I used to be tough but I'm not anymore. :>)
Peace and blessings to all who stop by.

Friday, January 16, 2009

EDM First Sketch

To sketch or not to sketch. I have forgotten how I think but I will improve with time, perseverence and challenge. Ha! This one is from a group I belong to called Everyday Matters. I am new there so just finding my way about. I will learn how to add their logo (?) here. So much to do, so much to learn. They say that's good for the ol' gray matter so I keep pushing and pulling to encourage continued firing ~ LOL. This is rough, very rough and my waterproof pen smeared but that may have been the watercolor medium I used in my paint too. I resisted futzing and fretting and worked very quickly so I would not chicken out. The talent at EDM is amazing so I've decided to simply post my first efforts here instead of there. Be kind now please.

Anyhoo this week's challenge at EDM was one about what they call it/ what we call it. You know ... different names in various parts of the world for things. I chose molasses and gingerbread (here in the USA) but in the UK, I believe that would be treacle and treacle sponge though on my gingerbread box I found this quote. "Had I but one penny in the world, thou shouldst have it for gingerbread." William Shakespeare. Perhaps it was updated for modern sales through Trader Joe's.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Chaeli-bug Christmas Week 2008

Introducing Miss Chaeli in her Christmas finery ~ LOL. Her other grandmother bought it for her so she was a cutie patootie for the holiday. Amazing that she'll be five months old in a few days. She's sitting in the corner of the couch in our living room looking up at her Nonie (me). I'm grateful she's a good natured lil thing and tell her Mama she has no idea just how lucky she is about that aspect of things. Being a single mom is hard enough at the best of times but having a 'good' baby makes things easier than they might otherwise be.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

No excuses for not adding to mah blog except life, sweet life

I have been mulling through lots of things, trying to find a suitable topic to muse on. It's 2009 and that's noteworthy to be sure but I seem a tad late to be commenting on the newest turn of time. I made no grand resolutions ~ not new as I generally don't. :>) Mostly I am just happy to mark the change and date be grateful to be alive.

I always seem to rise early these days. Does this happen more as one ages do you think? I don't seem to require so many hours of sleep and I relish my first cup of coffee alone in the quiet of a new day ... that of course after dealing with the feeding of two squalling cats who one might think from their sounds of starving insistence, that they had not eaten in days. So not true as they are free fed dry food and always have a full bowl ~ LOL. The furry cannibals want their wet food of a morning though and woe to me if I stop to pee or make the coffee first. Then it's out to fetch the paper that I sometimes hear slap the drive at o'dark o'clock (between 3 and 4AM) as the carrier heaves it from his vehicle.

The days grow longer and I've already commented on how much I like that. The birds must be like me (or I like them) as they are rising earlier too. Sometimes I sit out back, sipping my fresh ground, dark roast coffee and listen as the world awakens. Sometimes I am lucky enough to hear the whoosh-whoosh of a raven or two as they wing over my head. Nice!

Peace to the earth, peace to the days, peace to the people I love.