Tuesday, October 9, 2007

A Real Ghost Story ~ Part 1

I absolutely adore this time of year so I thought what better way to celebrate than to tell you a few ghost stories. Most of the stories I'll tell happened directly to me or to a member of my family. Stay tuned....I'll save the BEST story for last!

My love of history and all things old came from my mom. We moved alot when I was a child - mostly in the south. Anytime we moved to a new place we'd always explore the old Civil War mansions, cemetaries, battlefields, forts - anything old with a story to tell: Old Salem in Winston Salem, NC where we learned about the Moravians and Selma, AL where I met renowned writer Kathryn T. Windham. I even have a signed copy of one of her books 13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffery. The inscription reads 'For Jamie, to add to the TRUE ghost tales you already know - Hauntingly Yours, Kathryn T. Windham and Jeffery'. Jeffery was the live in ghost at the Windham home. Jeffery's presence stirred Kathryn's interest in the subject of ghosts and she began a collection of authentic ghost stories from throughout the South.

It was May 31, 1986 when I met Kathryn. I was 9 years old and in the 3rd grade. I had no idea at the time that I'd soon be living my own ghost story.....

One afternoon my mom and I were exploring a local cemetary. I often wondered whether I was the only child who enjoyed a walk through a graveyard - it's a bit macabre, I know. But our interest was not really in the dead but in the stories they had to tell. On these trips we often never visited the newer more recent graves. Just the ones who's stones had turned color over time and were inscribed in such a way as you don't see now. This particular cemetary was a small one. One lone dirt road seperated the newer part of the cemetary from the old. It was small enough that one could easily see from one side to the other without an obstructed view and the dirt road used to enter the cemetary was the same road used to exit it. Making our way past the stones we began to walk along the dirt road. We noticed a car parked alongside the road at one of the newer graves approximately 100 feet from where we were standing. The flowers and tent still stood from the graveside service. Next to the car stood an older couple silently looking down at what surely must have been a beloved relative. We knew that a 16 year old girl had been killed in a car accident earlier in the week and had recently been buried here. It made all the sense in the world that these two people were her loving grandparents come to pay their last respects. Not wanting to be rude and intrude my mom and I stood alongside the road and waited until they were done before we finished our walk to our car which was parked just past their car. We made ourselves seem busy and continued to look down - trying desperately to give them their privacy. Only a few moments had passed when I looked up. At first I was confused and just stared in the direction of our car....and then it hit me. They were gone....car and all. Completely disappeared. No sound of car doors closing, no sound of an engine turning over and here we were standing in the road they would have had to drive out! I looked over at my mom and could tell by her pale face she'd seen it too. I said 'Where'd they go?'. She was stunned. She looked down at me and said you saw it, too? She thought she was losing her mind. Well, you'd have thought we'd have gotten out of there like our pants were on fire but we were determined to figure out what had just happened. We looked that cemetary up one side and down the other. We finally realized there would have been no way they could have left the cemetary without driving down the road....the one we'd been standing in.

I often wondered who these people had been. We hadn't noticed a car come in that day. We assumed they'd done so when we'd been on the far side of the older section of the cemetary but still as small as it was we thought it odd that we hadn't noticed them driving through the entrance. How had they gotten there? Where did they go? We never found out. But one thing is for sure....they were there and then they were gone and they could NOT have driven out of there.

Monday, July 16, 2007

My Website......Coming Soon!

I am so excited to announce the opening of my new website in the coming weeks. After using a temp site for years the time has come for a full fledged website and I am so excited.

I commissioned a wonderful graphics artist, Eleasa of Designs by Eleasa, and I could not be more proud of the outcome. She did a beautiful job.

So in between moving and remodeling, I'll be getting my website ready to debut. I'm a nut....I know! But it's been a long time coming and I am thrilled.

I'm working on some new original designs that will be exclusive to the website and available for the debut. I hope you will join me in this new endeavour and tell me what you think.....

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Angels for Brianna Auction Update

The Angels for Brianna Auction is going well. I wanted to update everyone on it's progress so far. Please note all the kinks have been worked out and the site is fully operational. A new email address had been created to handle the vast emails : AngelsForBrianna@gmail.com .

If you haven't already participated in this auction, please consider doing so. I can't imagine anything worse than the loss of a child. This family has had to deal with so much and now on top of everything are the mounting medical bills. In just 8 short months Brianna's medical bills have totalled aprroximately $3 million dollars. Insurance only covered $2 million. Over $1 million dollars in medical bills...please do what you can to support this family! The auction ends on Saturday, 6:30 PST. At the end of the auction we will post final bids and leave them there.

Here are some exciting statistics:

Funds raised total: $ 11,164.00
including donations of $2,670

Stats are:
3334 unique visitors
7800 hits from all over the world.

Keep up the great work & help us spread the word!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Moving In.....

I promise to be back to blogging and creating very soon. We have been in our new home for just over a week now and we're slowly but surely getting settled in. I have a few posts to get caught up on and I'll do that really soon.
In the meantime, I'll be busy scrubbing floors (there's just something about other peoples' "dirt" that really throws me for a loop), hanging blinds, putting up pantry shelves, painting....you name it. And the best part is moving into my new studio space.....a whole room INSIDE the actual house ALL to myself!! I can hardly believe it. I'd love to show you some before and after pics of my new studio so stay tuned!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Angels for Brianna Benefit Auction ~ http://www.angelsforbrianna.blogspot.com/

Artists from several facets of the art community have come together to donate angel themed artwork that will be auctioned off as part of a silent auction starting on Sunday July 8th and ending on Saturday July 14th. This auction is being held to honor the memory of a lovely girl named Brianna, whose life was cut short from a disease called MDS. Brianna was diagnosed with MDS in October of 2006, and fought the battle of her life for 8 short months. Unfortunately she lost the battle on June 15th 2007, but her spirit lives on, and she is a reminder to us all to cherish each day that life brings, and to love those closest to us with all of our hearts.

Iva Wilcox, Brianna’s mom, is a talented part of the art community, and this is how we’ve all come to know and love Brianna….through Iva’s beautiful stories and photographs of her daughter. The money collected from the auction will be used to help cover the funeral and medical expenses incurred by the family, and to fund a wonderful program that Brianna started at her high school called the National Art Honor Society. This group, whose primary focus is to promote artists and their work at the high school level, was something that Brianna was passionate about, and she had so many plans for the group that she wasn’t able to put in place due to her illness. Our hope is that the proceeds will help get the group off to a wonderful start this fall, and that she will be an inspiration to other young artists to pursue their talent, and realize their dreams.

I am proud to help promote and support this fabulous event, and I hope you will join us in bidding on an angel or two of your choice, and bidding high to help raise some much needed money for this family, and to honor Brianna’s memory. All of the angel artwork you’ll see is completely handmade by each artist, signed and dated, and will come with a special tag as a reminder of this event. We were moved by Brianna’s story, and all of us felt compelled to do something to help her family in their time of need, in a way that Brianna would have loved. This is why the auction was formed, and we want her memory to live on, as she does now with the angels above.

Thank you!

Please visit http://www.angelsforbrianna.blogspot.com/ to view these wonderful auction items and support this extremely worthy cause!

To read more about Brianna please visit;

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Sneak Peek....

Here's a sneak peek at this month's TDIPT Mercantile offerings. Available on Friday, June 15th

I am still in the middle of "moving". Though at the moment things are stalled out on our closing. We are waiting on God, in his perfect wisdom, to make the crooked places straight on the path to our new home.

I hope you will join me in July when I am back and in my new studio. I have so much bottled up creativity - with my sewing machine in storage - I may never catch up!

Until then my friends I leave you with a little something I learned this week: The Lord says to celebrate the victory before the battle is over. See in you the new studio in July!

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Befores, Afters & some Reminders, too!

With so many exciting things going on this week, I hardly know where to begin!

First, my Halloween group began their big Halloween in June launch on eBay on Thursday. There are over 130 newly listed works of spooky art! How exciting.....I just love Halloween. Be sure to check out the amazing show of talent - from sculptures, jewelry, dolls and much more - by typing HYR into your eBay search bar. It will be well worth your time!

Second, TDIPT's A Fair to Remember group launch will begin on Sunday. With the excetptional folk art consistently offered by this group, it's SURE to be a Fair to Remember! Check it out by typing TDIPT into your eBay search bar beginning Sunday, June 3rd.

Lastly, We are in the final stages of moving to our new home. We will begin taking the first of an exponential number of loads to storage this weekend. Our closing is a week from Monday so there's not much time. I have refused to pack up my studio til last.....I don't know how long I can hold out!

But in the meantime, I am excited to share some of my latest creations with you. I have three new pieces available at http://www.rantingraven.com and my exclusive TDIPT Mercantile pieces will be available June 15th at http://www.tdiptmercantile.com .

Above is a picture of me painting the eye on Dumbo - available now at Ranting Raven. I usually prefer using my artist pencils as opposed to paint for eyes. I think it gives a more muted look that works better for primitives. But this case called for paint! Mostly because he's made from wool and there just is no drawing with pencils on wool but also because he's Dumbo and he wouldn't be Dumbo without those signature eyes. Dumbo the Elephant and Timothy the Mouse Americana set is only available on Ranting Raven.

The second photo is a sneak peek of the paper clay dolls that I have sculpted for my offerings on TDIPT Mercantile. Be sure to check out the finished dolls on the Merc June 15th.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

A Blank Canvas...

"I feel such creative power in myself that I know for sure that the time will arrive when, so to speak, I shall regularly make something good every day. But very rarely a day passes that I do not make something, though it is not yet the real thing I want to make."(Letter to Theo van Gogh, 9 September 1882)

All of Peach*Street*Primitives Original dolls are created without patterns. I do not draw up a pattern prior to creating any of my dolls. They are all drawn free hand onto the fabric making each one an original one of a kind. Many times what is present in my mind's eye does not translate onto the fabric as a result of using this technique. But when looking at the final product I enjoy feeling that the doll helped to create itself and ultimately became what it was really intended to be in the first place.

I choose not to offer patterns of my work. Although from time to time I do enjoy using the patterns of other designers. There are some that I just can't pass up making. I don't use patterns often because I tend to want to change this that or the other and some pattern restrictions prevent me from being able to do that.

I got my start with paper clay sculpting when Penny McAllister provided a pattern of one of her Santa's in a magazine. I had never tried it before but I had always wanted to. Her Santa was the very first paper clay sculpture I made. I enjoyed it so much that I new I'd found my niche. My clay head dolls are extremely enjoyable to make. Many times I enjoy making them even more than my fabric dolls. They are created using only my hands. No molds or sculpting tools are used.
I have many works in progress at the moment. The picture above is just a few of the pieces I have started recently. I'll post more pics as I move along with each of these pieces.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

"A Fair to Remember"

I belong to an awesome group of folk artists - To Dwell in Primitive Thymes (TDIPT). In March, TDIPT debuted it's very own website The TDIPT Mercantile (http://www.tdiptmercantile.com). Many of these talented artists from eBay also joined the Merc to showcase their wares on the 1st & 15th of each month. TDIPT also has it's very own blog - http://www.todwellinprimitivethymes.typepad.com - where you can read a profile on each artist and be updated on special TDIPT events. When you visit the Merc or TDIPT's blog be sure to sign up for the newsletter. You'll be notified when the Merc updates and of special events like the one coming up in June.
"A Fair to Remember" - TDIPT's June Group Lauch will debut on eBay Sunday, June 3rd. It's a country fair theme that is sure to please every lover of primitive and folk art. Find us on eBay by typing TDIPT into your eBay search bar. Be sure to join us!
I have so many pieces planned and I am very excited to share them with you. Check my blog often for updates and these works in progress and also for my exclusive Ranting Raven pieces that will debut on the Raven (http://www.RantingRaven.com) on Friday, June the 1st. I plan on sharing pics of these pieces in different stages of developement. It will be interesting to see them come to life in pictures. I hope you'll join me!

Halloween comes early...

It's been a while since my last post. I have been busy getting ready for some exciting group launches. The first is with my Halloween Year Round (HYR) group. I love Halloween. I could create seasonal art all year round. That's why I'm excited about the upcoming HYR group launch on May 31st. Some of the greatest Halloween artists will be listing their Halloween best on eBay - Thursday, May 31st. If you love Halloween half as much as I do, you won't want to miss this special event. To find us on eBay just type HYR into your eBay search bar. You can also visit HYR at http://www.halloweenyearround.com. You'll be amazed at the awesome talent! See you there!
Need a Laugh? I love the holidays so much I go ALL OUT when decorating. One year I got a "shock" when one of my pumpkins rotted on top the electric halloween lights it was sitting on. A friend of mine was kind enough to document it for me in this special little video. I hope you enjoy the laugh at my expense! http://www.489cars.com/dapunkin.htm

Monday, April 30, 2007

I missed Podunk...

I live in a relatively small town. Okay, so it's bigger than the one I grew up in but that ain't sayin much. With a population of just over 20,000, I'd call it small. Anyway, over the weekend we had to travel to "the big city". I've gone there all of my life for shopping, etc. as we don't have certain luxuries here in Podunk. After the tournament was over I took the little one out shopping. Hey! this place has TWO malls - what's a girl to do.

The first thing we see is a lady holding a plastic pet habitat with one hand and pulling along a small boy with the other. Both of whom looked like they could use a time out. A few stores down I see a large sign that reads - FREE HERMIT CRABS with purchase of a habitat. Well, being the animal lovers that we are and since I was more than impressed with my 3 year old for getting up in front of a crowd and competing, I trotted on in. At this point I've forgotten all about the woman and the child we met coming into the mall - Foreshadowing at its finest!

Now I probably don't have to tell you that my plan to purchase the cheapest habitat (14.95) and get a free crab turned into getting a larger habitat - because it came with TWO free crabs and as the sales lady kindly explained to me they are happiest when living in pairs or colonies. Well she didn't manage to talk me into a colony but I couldn't very well sleep in house with a sad crab as a pet. So one larger habitat, TWO crabs, some hermit crab food and $30.00 later my kid and I walked out two proud hermit crab owners. I've already taken him to one mall earlier that morning, he's been up since 6:30 am and didn't get to bed til midnight the night before. So other than seeing that I won't be winning 'Mom of the Year' you can probably see the disaster that's playing out. I couldn't - I was blinded by all the shopping there was to do and couldn't be done once I returned to Podunk!

Since I idiotically purchased our new pets at the first store we came to, I was forced to carry the poor creatures into the store with one hand while holding a very tired, very rowdy and very LOUD little boy in the other. But I HAD a coupon for 15% off for the store just down from the crab shop - I COULDN'T let it go to waste. After all, I have a growing little boy to clothe.

Upon entering the store I knew immediately I couldn't hold my child with one hand and the crabs with the other and shop. So I very kindly requested to place my 5" x 7" crab home behind the front counter. To which the very put-out looking young lady replied you can put it up there.......at the front. The point in my asking to put the crabs down was to keep them safe while allowing me to shop. What this lady is suggesting is not only for me to place them on the front counter but to place them on the FRONT of the front counter. There are approximately 8 children in line with their moms. Many of which are holding a child in one hand and something else in the other - I felt for them. It would have been a veritable crab buffet. So I very politely proceeded to place my baggage on the BACK of the front counter. Not out of downright rebelliousness but just because I knew that she couldn't have possibly thought through what she'd suggested. I had turned around for what had to have been less than a minute only to find our new pets had been shoved to the front of the front counter and are at the moment teetering on the edge! Okay, I admit I wanted to yell and scream but I did not. I very calmly (on the outside) took my child in one hand and our endangered crabs in the other and gave up on the coupon. We walked out of the mall both looking as though we needed a time out!

I wish my story ended there, I do. But being the brave woman I am I ventured over to the local WalMart of which there are also TWO! Not because I don't have one in Podunk but because my Walmart is out of something important. I was in dire need of an item of decor for my newly renovated bedroom. I am stopped at the doors by the greeter lady and was made to wait for a CSM only to be told I could NOT shop at this Walmart because I had crabs!

I couldn't wait to get back home.....where the WalMart greeter knows me by name and if an employee at the local clothing shop treats me badly I can call her momma!

The Karate Kid

So my blogging took a break over the weekend. I have a very good excuse. My little man competed in his very first Taekwondo tournament this weekend. He's a Tiny Tiger and competed in forms and one-steps (which are "steps" toward self-defense). I'm a proud momma! He's pictured above with his Mema and Daddy (yes, both are biological!) ;)

My husband - (as well as his mom, myself and now our child) are martial artists. He has been training for 21 years and has had his own martial arts school since 1993. He's now a 5th degree black belt. I met him when I began taking lessons at his school and then became his secretary....you know how those secretaries can be! We've been married for almost 7 years. I am NO LONGER his secretary!! ;)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

House for Sale....AGAIN

Well it's that time of year again. We tried selling our house for the first time well over a year ago. We had outgrown our house before my husband and I ever moved into it....and that was 7 years ago. Now that there are three of us - well 6 of us if you count the 3 inside dogs. Heck my dogs think they're people. I'm lucky I can get them to go outside to potty. And NO ONE EVER told me how much stuff a child comes with. We had to take a few of his toys to storage yesterday to clean up what our realtor referred to as "clutter"! Nice, huh? Anyway, he was a trooper about it - especially for a 3 year old. He even helped. But I did overhear him on the phone with his Poppy telling him that Mommy & Daddy had taken ALL of his toys to storage. LOL

I never knew how stressful selling a house could be. The first time we tried it our child was young enough that he had a regular nap time and I was a stay at home mom so truth be told, I had a regular naptime, too. Which meant that the both of us regularly stayed in our pjs for most of the day...okay all day except on grocery store days. And they actually expected us to get out of the house without so much as a heads up. I spent most of my days driving around the neighborhood in my pjs with a half naked toddler in the back. Eventually I asked our neighbor across the street if we couldn't just park our car and sit in her driveway. Gas is expensive! We finally gave up....well it was more like our realtor, who is also a friend of ours, gave up on us! Now that he's in preschool and I've gone back to teaching we aren't holed up in the house in that generally vegetative state anymore. This time we might actually gitrdone!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

What I'm working on

I get my creativity from my mother. She could do anything. She was an expert seamstress who once made a Vera Wang wedding dress for one of her customers just from looking at a picture. She also had the greatest knack for interior design. I always wondered why she wasn't famous...

When I was going through my mom's house shortly after her passing, I found a clown doll she had made for me a long time ago. It had a stryofoam head and block body covered in awhite clown suit with little red hearts all over it. I loved that thing. It brought back many memories.

I have begun working on circus collection that I am very excited about. Many of the dolls will be mixed mediums - paper clay & fabric and some fabric dolls. My first piece will be based on the clown doll my mom made for me.

Stay tuned...

Goodbye Mom

You'll hear...er read...me talk about my mom alot. She was my best friend. I lost her recently. Very suddenly and unexpectedly. I am devestated. It's funny though because now that she's gone I find that I am more determined to live than ever. She gave me life and I feel I owe it to her to live it to the fullest. I read once where someone said 'Life shouldn't be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather, to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly shouting, "Wow! What a ride! Thank You, Lord!" '

I hope you enjoyed the ride, Mom! I love you!

Momma Always Said...

.....You can write and you should keep doing it! I used to write poetry when I was in elementary school and that lasted until sometime in high school. I don't know whether I was any good at it. Mom's can be biased.

I have toyed with the idea of writing to Stephen King. I love his books! I have a story I want to share with him and I am convinced that if he'd just read my letter he and I would be working on a book deal by the end of the year.

When I was younger and would have friends over for the night my mom always told the story of the ghoul - it's a true story. When she was growing up there was a creature who would dig up fresh graves of young women and consume parts of their bodies. I kid you not!! It was even in the local papers. No one could figure out how the thing got into the graves without equipment and there was no evidence any had been used. Then there's the problem of consuming the bodies when they contained embalming fluid.....and living. And since the marks on the bodies were determined to be teeth marks, something was defying all odds and living to do it again. Eventually the thing went away. Mom always said she thought it had returned to the sea from where she believed it came. Police had tried tracking it on horseback or with dogs. The animals would not follow the inches deep footprints the thing left behind. So noone really knows where it came from or better yet.....where it went to. I wouldn't believe it either if I were you but my mother never lied.

To Blog or Not to Blog...

For the longest time I had no idea what a blog was. Having not yet approached 30 I never considered asking someone. I considered my self tech savy....I couldn't let anyone know that I didn't know! So I just went with the flow and followed along. Eventually I figured it out. I said to myself 'so a blog is like an online diary.....hmmmm......why on earth would anyone want to publish their diary online??? Then I began reading blogs and I must admit I quickly became addicted. Afterall, reading someone else's diary has been fun since I was in grade school! But let someone read mine?! I don't think so.....

Then I realized that I have so many stories to tell. Every time I create something new, there's a reason. Everyone of my creations has a story. So here I sit......blogging away!
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