About Me

My photo
I LOVE to design and to paint whimsical items that will put a smile on your face. Each day I share my simple life with you as I try to encourage, to inspire and sometimes JUST to make you smile as I recount my life growing up on a dairy farm! I've never had many material items in my life, BUT I have been blessed beyond words with love and encouragement from WONDERFUL Parents who instilled in me WHAT was important. I have had EVERYTHING that I needed and WAY too much of what I wanted. I am slowly learning to be a better person each day through my interactions with my friends on Facebook. Some day I hope to be as good as people seem to THINK I am! I am BLESSED! Welcome to my little corner of the world...Please stop by and visit often!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Every Sunrise is a Gift from God, Sunday, December 28, 2014

This is ONE of my most favorite sayings.  As someone who has never been a morning person, that doesn’t mean that I don’t KNOW what a gift we are given each and every day…it just TAKES me a while longer to wake up and recognize the blessing!

I BELIEVE that each of us who WANTS to learn to do something, CAN do it, IF we are willing to put in the time to practice.  I’ve been PRACTICING painting for about 30 years now.  A friend posted on my fb wall a picture of a railroad spike that I had painted for her back in 1984!  She pulls it out every Christmas and thinks of me.

Where I went to college, the school was built beside the railroad tracks.  One day a friend and I went walking on the abandoned tracks and found several of the railroad spikes, so I spray painted them black and painted little flowers on them…it was my first attempt at decorative painting and the bug was lit! 

The apartments that I lived in were ON the railroad tracks and Cindy, my friend, lived catty-corned across from us, so it was a FITTING  reminder of the fun times we had at those Hamilton Street apartments!!  There was ALWAYS something going on!  ROFL…I STILL remember sitting on the floor of the apartment by the front door and painting those spikes for several of my friends~~I BET Cindy is the ONLY one who still has one!!

I HOPE to share several ideas for you this year to get your creative juices flowing…not just Painting, but some stitching and cooking, too!

This pattern is shared today to give you an idea of something to paint.  I painted it on an old book.  The rooster is a stencil that Laurie Speltz has on her website..  Stencils are a PERFECT start to painting IF you don’t think you have the skills.  She has a BUNCH of awesome stencils that are reasonably priced, so go to her website and take a look IF you are interested!

right click on your mouse and save image as

I have to admit, I am a HORRIBLE stenciler…I keep buying them and seldom do I use them…I just do so much better free-handing stuff (well, sometimes)…LOL…but I am getting better…Just make sure that you do NOT use much paint and if you will POUNCE your stencil brush and start in the middle, then the paint is less likely to RUN underneath the stencil…

I think this would make an GREAT multi-media piece…Cut the Sun, Rooster and Fence post out of scrapbook paper, use some AWESOME Sprays of different colors for the background or even use a stencil with modeling paste of a bird or stars in the background…SEE…it just gets those creative juices flowing!!  If ever you DO anything with the patterns I share, PLEASE send them to me so I can share them with others…I LOVE how we can all look at the same things and see something different!

If you WANT to be inspired, go visit DecoArt's website
to find MORE inspiration of how to use mixed media.

I wish you a day FILLED with the JOY of knowing that We have been GIVEN a GIFT in being able to awaken to this glorious LIFE…CELEBRATE it!...Blessings to you…~charlotte♥

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas, Thursday, December 25, 2014

For God SO LOVED the world, that HE GAVE HIS one and ONLY SON, that whoever believes in Him shall NOT perish, but have eternal life.  For God did NOT send HIS SON into the world to condemn the world, but to SAVE the world through HIM.  John 3: 16, 17 (NIV)

YOUR ONLY opportunity for Eternal Life

All of this is offered to you freely.  NOTHING you have done matters IF you accept Christ's offer.  He will FORGIVE you and greet you with OPEN ARMS, but the choice is YOURS...you must accept the offer and then CHANGE your life from this point forward...Yes, problems will still exist and you will make bad choices because that is just what we do, BUT GOD will PROVIDE everything that you need to get your through each problem and He will send the right people into your life, IF you allow it.

If you have not asked Jesus into your heart, why not do it today?  This is the day we CELEBRATE the Birth of Christ.  All you have to do is ask for forgiveness and then you will WANT to change your life.


I wish BLESSINGS to you~~more than you can count and that you will start to RECOGNIZE the many blessings that happen in your life every day!~charlotte♥

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

My 2014 Christmas Card to YOU...Tuesday, December 23, 2014

People come and go from our lives...it is just the natural order of things...this doesn't mean that the LOVE no longer exists, it just means that life goes on and so do people.  Finding NEW TRADITIONS is a tough thing to do when you have ALWAYS done something a certain way, and good grief, WE KNOW how most people do NOT LIKE CHANGE!

We've ALWAYS DONE IT THAT WAY has killed many good organizations and businesses.  Sometimes circumstances DICTATE change and sometimes, we just have to let go of how it used to be.

It has been a tough three years trying to walk that fine line of tradition by myself.  I've managed to keep some yearly tasks going and I've changed some and I still am searching for new ways to CELEBRATE.  No, I do NOT just sit around and bemoan what USED to be, but I LOVINGLY reflect on my past and look HOPEFULLY to the future.  We ALL struggle with our place in this world.  

I have tried to make holiday's days to CELEBRATE the lives of those I loved that are no longer with us.  I try to keep my heart TUNED to the needs of friends and have done what I can to help where I can.  I laugh at myself when I see a need and think IF ONLY I had MONEY, wouldn't I LOVE to just hand it over and help solve a problem, BUT you know, handing out MONEY is too easy sometimes...SOMETIMES when we invest our hearts, our hands and our BACK to help, THEN the true meaning of HELPING is realized and makes us more compassionate. 

This year I sent ornaments to friends in 6 different countries and I laughed because it was SO SOMETHING that Mother would have done.  She was the most thoughtful person and was always looking for ways to make people feel special.  She wrote cards so much that often, her gift was a ROLL of stamps!  She would tell people that she was NOT a flatterer, but a REALIST... ;)

I have managed to keep this tradition limping along because MOTHER was the one who struggled to get cards written, addressed and mailed.  During her last years, I did my best to get cards for her to send to her friends at the special events of the year.  It was during this time that I started "designing" our own Christmas cards and getting the labels printed.  She took JOY in having a part of peeling the labels and sticking them on the envelopes and adding the stamps...we would send around 200.  I LOST all the addresses when my computer crashed a few years ago, and sadly, I have made VERY little success in getting the address file updated, BUT I do have HOPE!

I BELIEVE that This YEAR, I will work harder on getting addresses for those who have become special to me...SO if you want to be on my list next year, PM me your address...ROFL!!

I did manage to get 65 cards mailed and I am patting myself on the back because I feel a sense of accomplishment that I did it in Mother's memory!  Sadly, I missed MORE than I wish to count, so I am posting my Christmas Card HERE for EACH of you to READ and I hope it will touch your heart in some way.  I snickered when a friend thanked me for the card and stated how much time I must have spent on the message...I am hanging my head in shame, because HONESTLY, the words came almost INSTANTLY to me and it took probably less than 30 minutes to write the message and I did very little tweeking...THAT is when I know that the words were given to me...

So HERE you go...My 2014 Christmas Card to YOU...

     Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.   James 1: 17 (NIV)

 I have copied the text after this pix so it will be easier for you to read...

Last year after I had sent my cards to my friends, I read a blog about CHOOSING a word for the year and I had NEVER thought of that before, but strangely enough, my card was HOPE and had a candle drawn on the front.  I’ve used that word MANY times during this year, but then, I always have.  I am forever saying statements like: I HOPE you have a good day, I HOPE you find what you are looking for, and I HOPE you are happy.

I NEVER realized the pressure I had put on myself in coming up with a word for THIS year.   SO many choices that fit my life…GRACE is granted to me daily, FAITH is what keeps me ticking, LOVE is the basis of life, WISH is a way to keep my goals in focus and renewed, HONOR is the kind of life I WANT to live and the possibilities could go on and on… BUT TODAY, I decided that I would choose BELIEVE.

BELIEVE seemed like a natural progression to HOPE, for IF we do not BELIEVE in our HOPE, what is the purpose.  We can hope all day to win the lottery, but when we fail to buy a ticket (AND I have NEVER bought a ticket), we CANNOT BELIEVE that we will win…the reality simply stays as an unfulfilled and impossible HOPE.

I LOVE the concept of Santa and so I say that I BELIEVE…I like the symbolism of a STRANGER leaving presents for people WITHOUT getting something in return…I LIKE the BRIGHT Jolly Ole Soul who laughs and shakes like a bowl full of jelly, because, WELL, that COULD be ME! (yep…sigh)

My FAITH in Christ and the story of the nativity is in NO WAY threatened by having Santa sharing the holiday, because I BELIEVE Santa is an extension of ALL the Nativity represents~~the anticipation and preparation of an EVENT…the CELEBRATION…AND yes, the GIFT, for that little tiny baby who cooed and cried was our GIFT!!  Those ten tiny fingers and toes were perfectly formed for US in a symbol that WE could understand…a BABY who was HUMAN like us.  GOD GAVE to us without expectation.  He sent HIS ONLY SON to SAVE us and NOT to condemn us in any way.  He taught us


It is OUR RESPONSIBILITY to teach and to reach others so they can KNOW that CHRISTMAS goes FAR DEEPER than simply having a Santa AND that CHRISTMAS is much more than ONE DAY.  We must BELIEVE in ourselves and in others for the story of Christmas to come full circle.  We receive blessings daily, but it is in PASSING it ON when TRUE JOY is realized!  We must live a life of HONOR and simply STATING that we BELIEVE is not acceptable.  Our lives MUST reflect our beliefs, and sadly, too often, they do!

I BELIEVE as I reach my hands to HEAVEN in PRAISE of the AWESOMENESS of a GOD who loved us SO MUCH that He gave to us FREELY and unselfishly.  I BELIEVE that I am LOVED UNCONDITIONALLY because of GRACE.  I BELIEVE in my FAITH as a way to get through those dark days when HOPE seems gone and I think it is impossible to pull myself from the depression that surrounds my soul.  I BELIEVE that JOY comes in the morning when the night has been long and scary.  I BELIEVE that PEACE passes ALL understandings of reality, but that it comes to us WHEN we let go of all the FEARS we hold tightly in our hearts and when ANGER is allowed to be replaced with HONOR and an acceptance that we ALL fall short of the glory of God…I BELIEVE!!

I HOPE you BELIEVE too! 

Happy Christmas to ALL and to ALL a good NIGHT!! *

…Blessings to YOU…charlotte

 Charcoal, Barney and Prince Charlie, TOO!

*(just a note of history…HAPPY was the original line written in A CHRISTMAS STORY!!)

Here is the picture of the FREE Pattern for you to enjoy as you wish...enlarge it...shrink it...use it for mixed media...stitch it...JUST do NOT claim it as your own!!  To copy, move your mouse (good luck finding it cause it IS Christmas and we KNOW a mouse was not stirring...ROFL) over the picture, right click and SAVE IMAGE AS...

Monday, December 22, 2014

On the TWELFTH Day of Christmas, Monday, December 22, 2014

I made it 12 days in a ROW…WHEW…thanks for the kind remarks and support…I’ve enjoyed taking a walk down memory lane and yet, there are more trails to follow, but TODAY, I have saved the REAL MEANING of Christmas for last.

I don’t know when it started, but it was a LONG time ago.  Our Church started having Come-and-go Christmas Eve Communion.  Families were invited to come to the church and take communion (The Lord’s Supper, The Eucharist).  The Sanctuary would be lit with the Chrismon Tree and Lights/Candles in the window and Christmas music  playing.

We would enter the Sanctuary and sit and wait until it was our time to go to the Altar to take communion and to pray with our Pastor.  While the people who were with us changed from year to year, SOME things remained the same.  Mother would immediately begin to silently pray and CRY as I am sure she remembered the events of the past year~~the friends lost and gained, trials and tribulations, milestones, Praises…Daddy and I would sometimes look over at her as we both would look at the room and reflect on the year past.

 Mother was a woman of GREAT FAITH.  Her prayers were beautifully recited and VERY Specific.  I was blessed to have a praying Momma…I am SURE that many times when I was where I should not have been, or with people I should not have been with or doing things that I should not have done, it was BECAUSE of her prayers that I was safely returned home. 

In the early days of the Christmas Eve Communion, we would attend with good friends, David and Dana Moore, the former pastor of the Church (Central Christian) that was formed from where Daddy attended as a child, and their children.  We would go and pray and then on to my house for the Adults to have Oyster Stew, Daddy’s FAVORITE Christmas Eve treat, and LOTS of snacks for the kids.  I can remember hearing the Adults chattering and laughing as I and the other kids would sit in the front room, with the lights turned off as we just sat and looked at the lights on the Christmas Tree…THAT remains one of my most favorite past times EVER…to just BE STILL and listen and to reflect.

As I got older, it became only Daddy, Mother and Me and we would do our BEST to arrive BEFORE the Nicholson’s and the Earheart’s arrived with their HUGE families so that we could get back home and finish cooking, wrapping and cleaning BEFORE the family arrived for Christmas Breakfast.

When Daddy died, Mother and I still attended, but it was never the same.  Nothing has ever been the same.

Today, as I sit and reflect on memories, much of my heart is sad for what was and I miss it terribly, BUT that does not in any way remove any of the JOY I have for how I was raised and the values I was taught~~NOT by words, but by the actions of my Parents.  We were surrounded with GOOD people.  We were taught the importance of family and friends.  We were SHOWN that GOD was the head of our family and Church activities always took precedence over anything else.

AS an adult, it made me sad to realize that so many people did not get to experience the family that I had.  We had little money, but we were surrounded by friends and family to help us during the hard times.

Charcoal (my 10 month old black lab) and Barney(the stray cat) and I will spend the day as we always do~~letting the cat/dog in and out, throwing the rawhide bone, picking up pieces of paper that Charcoal shreds, possibly painting or sketching~~ BUT I will take time to REFLECT on the reason for the season and the GRACE that continues to cover my life.  I BELIEVE in the MAGIC of the Season and I will do my BEST to keep the magic alive through the New Year as I continue to search for my place in this world and HOW I can be a better person, friend and citizen.  I have no legacy to leave that will make a difference in the world as a whole, BUT I hope that somehow I have made a difference in the lives of those that I come into contact with and that I will BE A REFLECTION of the LOVE of Christ and the LOVE of my parents…

I wish you more BLESSINGS today than you can count…~charlotte♥

Oyster Stew

 2 pints (approximately 32 ounces) small to medium-sized raw shucked oysters with their liquor* (adjust amount according to taste)
4 tablespoons butter
3 cups milk (a little added cream may be added to make it richer)
1 or 2 dashes Tabasco, optional (Mother did not add any)
Salt and pepper to taste
Minced parsley, sliced chives, or sliced green onions (your choice) (Mother did not add any)

The most important factors in preparing Oyster Stew are do not boil the milk and do not overcook the oysters. Be careful to avoid overcooking oysters, which causes them to become tough.

 Drain the oysters, reserving their liquor. NOTE: I like to strain the oyster liquor with a fine strainer to remove any sand.

In a large pan over medium heat, melt butter. Add oysters and simmer very gently for about 2 to 4 minutes or until the edges of the oysters curl.

While the oysters are simmering, in a separate saucepan over low heat, slowly heat the milk, cream, and oyster liquor (do not boil).

When the oysters are cooked, slowly add the hot milk mixture to the oysters, stirring gently. Season with Tabasco, salt and pepper.

Remove from heat. Serve in warm soup bowls and garnish each bowl with parsley, chives, or green onions and a generous pat of butter.  Serve with oyster crackers!