Monday, December 20, 2010

Holiday Greetings...



As we watch another year come to an end, I'm here at home enjoying just being 'Mommy' but I'm also gearing up for the New Year to come. Look forward to some new and exciting changes here at Peach Street Folk Art as well as some old favorites. I'll be back at the beginning of the New Year. Until then I wish you the very, merriest of Christmases and a New Year full of blessings too numerous to count!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Our New Arrival


Paxton
September 10, 2010
8lbs 21"



Mommy will be back to "arting" and Blogland as soon as she gets some sleep! See you then!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Something's Coming.....



Stay tuned for new Halloween creations.....Coming Soon!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Feathering the Nest



Back in the Spring, just after I'd planted the herb garden, peppers and tomatoes, I watched as two Eastern Blue Birds embarked on a search for the perfect nest. Unfortunately, the "perfect" spot for them was not the perfect spot as far as I was concerned. Of all the real estate available to them, the only thing that would do was my topsy turvy tomato planter. As I watched from my window they poked around in the hole at the top of planter and undoubtedly discussed the best options for their impending arrivals - anywhere from 3 to 7 eggs. Would there be enough room? Is it safe?

And while I knew I could not allow them to build their nest in my planter, lest my roma tomatoes be lost, or worse, the rain poured in on the poor little eggs until they floated right to the top, the irony of the situation was not lost on me. At the time I was about 4 months into my own pregnancy and I knew the importance of the perfect nest. In fact, I was anxious to begin feathering my own.

But, in what I thought was in the best interest of the birds, I decided to deter them from building their nest in my tomato planter with one of my child's fake snakes. I placed the snake in the top of the planter letting him stick out enough for the birds to see. I reasoned this would scare them away and they'd find a new, even better, location. Really, I should know better than to question an animal's intelligence.



Not only were they NOT afraid but they were completely undeterred. Mr. Bird repeatedly pecked at the "snake" until he'd moved him out of the hole and immediately hopped back in. Not satisfied, Mr. Bird would occasionally hop back out of the hole and begin to peck at the snake some more. Eventually, the snake dropped to the ground in total defeat and Mr. Bird was happy.



Mrs. Bird was always nearby looking on in approval and occasionally hopping down to take a closer look. She too was completely unafraid. Somehow I imagine these two birds had a conversation about MY intelligence....or lack thereof.

'Did she really think we wouldn't know it was rubber??'




We played this game for months. Me picking the snake back up and placing it in the hole only to find it laying on the ground the next time I looked. Finally, in a last ditch effort to save my tomatoes, and these birds from themselves, I placed a cup in the hole so they could not get in. Because our little game had taken up so much time, they hadn't had a chance to begin building their nest and once I placed that cup in the hole I didn't see my little friends anymore and that made me sad. I missed seeing them each day and I wondered where they'd gone and if their new place made them as happy. One day a storm came and blew the cup out of the planter hole. I didn't realize it until the next day when I discovered the happy couple was back trying to build their little nest in my tomatoes again. It broke my heart. I could not imagine how they'd managed to hold off for months and wait for that perfect place to be available again but I certainly understood why it was so important. (And yes I'm certain it was the same two birds. Don't ask me how I know, I just do!)

I immediately called my husband and told him he had to go by the store and pick up a birdhouse on the way home. As soon as he got home we switched the planter to a new location and put the new little home in its place. I anxiously waited to see if they'd like their new option. I didn't have to wait long. That day, and every day since, I see these two feathering their nest. Lately it's just Mr. Bird I see. Flying back and forth with groceries for the Mrs. I know that some day soon we'll be rewarded with the sight of new baby birds. And while the search for the perfect nest may not have gone the way they had planned, I know that they are happy.



It has been amazing to watch this little scenario play out in my backyard while something very similar was going on inside. Just last week we learned that our new arrival would be coming much sooner than expected (Sept 20th). The same complication, low amniotic fluid, that I endured during my first pregnancy, was inexplicably happening again and once it's too low the baby will need to be born. I had already been in nesting mode and now I was in overdrive, in a near panic that things would not be perfect in time for his arrival. And one of the first things I thought of were those two birds who patiently waited for the right time, for the perfect nest. And so I began to feather the perfect nest for baby Paxton.

Dear Paxton,

Inside we've painted you the perfect chest of drawers. A treasure we found that someone else was throwing away. Something we'd looked and looked for and then one day it was just there. Perfect.




Daddy built you a bookshelf, just like big brother's. And big brother has shared some of his books with you. Perfect.



All of your clothes are washed and waiting for you to wear. There's a spot for everything. Perfect.



Mommy insisted on getting you an organic mattress and when it was on order and hadn't come when we thought you were going to, Mommy panicked, just a little. It came the next day. Perfect.



These are treasures from family that you'll never get to meet: a great aunt, a great-great aunt and your grandma, but they'll be here to love you just the same.



And when Mommy went back to the doctor and found out you got to stay in a little while longer she found comfort in knowing she could complete some last minute "feathering". Perfect.



And tonight, as Mommy sits here knowing that tomorrow might the last day you'll be in the one nest that truly is perfect, the one that God made, she rejoices in knowing that while the search for the perfect nest didn't go exactly according to plan, she knows you'll be happy. And that's what makes it truly perfect.




** A note about Eastern Blue Birds:
This shy, unobtrusive visitor has become a rare sight in most gardens around the country. Bright blue outer feathers will catch your eye and then your will notice a red breast. Take a long look at this Blue Bird because you may not see another during the entire season. Go figure!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Aunt Tee in My Garden



It was just three years ago when my mom passed away unexpectedly. I was 30 and losing my mom made me feel like I was 12. I felt too young to possibly go on without her. Just before my mom passed, my aunt, her sister, finally succumbed to her 3rd battle with cancer. She was both physically and mentally handicapped and chose, when she found out she had cancer for the 3rd time, not to treat it. I always worried she didn't fully understand the decision she was making but I knew she was tired of fighting. She'd been fighting since was 13. She was 49 when she died.

My mom took this loss hard. Her little sister had been more like her little baby doll and she had always taken care of her. Just 7 months later, my mom was gone.

Shortly after my mom passed away, my Great Aunt Tee was diagnosed with Leukemia. I've often wondered whether she was "diagnosed" then or whether she just couldn't hide it anymore. She and my Great Uncle Corny had been like my mother's second set of parents and very much like my second set of grandparents. Losing my mom was hard on the both of them. My Aunt Tee was spunky, even in her 80's. I remember going to K-Mart with her as a child and barely being able to keep up with her. She always walked so fast and could do most anything. She might've weighed 100 lbs.

Aunt Tee and Uncle Corny never had children. I have never known why and truly, until recently, I've never even wondered why. We were all their children and they took care of us as though we'd been their own. The had 50 acres in the country in Southeast Georgia. And I figure the term green thumb must've been coined after my Aunt Tee. I believe, as did everyone who knew her, she could grow plants in the air. My Uncle Corny used to tell her, "Tee, Plants don't grow in the air!". Referring to her constantly planting new ones or moving the ones she already had to another spot. But I think he might've been wrong. I truly believe plants can grow in the air. At least for her.

Just four months after losing my mom, my Great Uncle Corny was gone. He'd had heart troubles for years and one night he passed peacefully in his sleep. I knew my Aunt Tee wouldn't be long for this world after that. They'd been married about 65 years. They really only knew life with each other. Just 3 months after losing Uncle Corny and just 7 months after losing my mom, my Aunt Tee was gone. Passing on her sister's (my grandma's) 87th birthday and buried on my 31st. That was a tough year for me.

Just after my Great Uncle Corny and Great Aunt Tee were gone the family went in to claim precious possessions of their own as we prepared to sell "The Farm". Those luscious 50 acres with ponds, a vineyard and more trees, flowers, rose bushes and fruit than you could imagine. I got a kitchen table. The one we'd eaten Thanksgiving dinners at for more years than I can remember. But the most wonderful things I got were comprised of roots and dirt. My 4 year old and I spent an entire day digging up everything we could. I couldn't bare to leave any of it behind but I couldn't have possibly taken it all. No human could've. There was just too much of it. But I dug up daffodils, daylilies, gladiolas, irises, amaryllis, rose bushes, pecan trees, dogwoods, camellia bushes and a few other things I don't even know the name of. I lost the pecan trees and the camellia bushes, too. I can't keep camellia bushes alive fresh from the store much less in the air.

This was April of the following year. Maybe the worst time for transplanting some of that stuff, maybe the best. I don't really know. The truth is, at the time, I didn't really know anything about plants and flowers. I kept them out of the ground for too long, I probably didn't transplant them when I should have and I let them sit right where they were until they had grown leaves and began to bud again toward the end of spring. When the bulbs finally did get planted, we probably didn't plant them deep enough. Back then I didn't even know that could be an issue. I thought you just had to put them in the dirt. (See my original post from 2008: My Inheritance)

Now, two years later, I have more daffodils, gladiolas and amaryllis than I can count. The irises and daylilies need separating. And I hate to say it, Uncle Corny, but I think a few of them will have to be moved somewhere else by next year! The rose bushes have never been lovelier and the dogwood is about to bloom. And even though I've had to replace the camellias with 3 news ones (and only one of those finicky gals didn't make it) and we've put in new pecan trees this year, all of whom appear to be fine, my yard reminds me of "The Farm". It isn't quite 50 acres of lusciousness just yet, but it's a start!

And while you might think that all of this is evidence than I can, like my Great Aunt Tee, grow plants in the air. I assure you it isn't me. It's Aunt Tee in my garden.




Wednesday, April 14, 2010

IT'S A.....



Snakes, snails and puppy dog tails. These are the things little boys are made of. That, and a whole lotta cuteness...

I was excited, and not at all surprised, to find out that we are expecting our second boy in September. My own Boys Club with me smack dab in the middle. I love my boys!

Isn't it amazing the little baby you see in the picture is only about 4" long and has only been in my tummy for 3 short months! Truly a little miracle. I am anxious to know what he will look like. We knew from a profile pic of our first, when he was a little further along, that he was going to look like me. Same long forehead, nose and pouty lips. I was NOT prepared for my child, who has a Korean grandmother, to have blond hair, blue eyes and light skin like me, however. I wonder if this little boy will look more like daddy. Chiseled nose, jawline, dark skin and black hair? Daddy says if this one doesn't look like him, he gives up! LOL

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Pickles & Ice Cream



So it turns out that I'm the stereotypical pregnant person...at least, this time around. Yes! It's true. I ate pickles and ice cream. Byers and Claussen. And it was good.

My first pregnancy I had no strange cravings. I enjoyed drinking Kool-Aid, and jello was very appealing, but I mostly ate like a normal person. My second pregnancy, not the case. My uterus is already giving my boobs a run for their money in the growth department and yet I haven't gained a pound. I'd love to tell you that this is because I have been diligent about my healthy eating habits but the truth is, I find that difficult on an average day. These days, food's not even all that appealing and when it is, it's strange. I'm sleepy a good bit of the time so I fit eating in when I have to and if I don't I feel strange.

When I was pregnant with my first child, I remember being queasy 24/7 and maybe a little sleepy in the beginning but once I got over that hump I actually referred to it 'as the best I've ever felt in my life'. I had more energy than the energizer bunny. I tried re-doing the whole house. This time around, I'm finding it difficult to even clean the house, just the way it is.

I'm not sure why this time is different. My husband likes to think it's because we're having a girl, we'll find out for sure the end of this month. My child says don't worry momma, just lay on the couch, that way the baby will come sooner, God forbid! My dad reminded me that I AM 7 years older this time around....hadn't thought of that dad....thanks.

So here I am. Plugging away. Got the laundry on. Ate my pickles and ice cream. I'm in the studio trying to prepare for the Dunwoody Art Fest, I've gotta lot of time to make up for. And for dinner, I'm thinking nachos...the homemade kind with real shredded cheese, salsa, sour cream and maybe some M&Ms on the side!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Got the luck O' the Irish? It's a Giveaway!



The Halloween Queen's are celebrating the Castle Bootique's April premier with a giveaway! The Bootique updates on the 1st of each month but if you can't wait that long, and I know I can't!, then head on over to the Queen's blog to win the awesome prize above. I actually own one of these awesome bat ornies by the Queen Madame K herself, and I gotta tell ya, it's one of my favorite things!!

Click on the banner above and enter yourself to win...then be sure to come by and visit with the Queens on April 1st where you'll find new goodies on the Bootique and the winner of this dapper lil bat!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Halloween Queens Castle Bootique Grand Opening



The Grand Opening is finally here!! My offerings are pictured below. Don't miss all of the wonderful Halloween art now available at the Halloween Queen's Castle Bootique!
Click the banner in this post above to visit the Castle Bootique....if you dare!



Thursday, February 25, 2010

To Renee, My Athena


Copyright ©2007 Susan Eleanor Boulet Trust


In 2009 I discovered the One World, One Heart Blog Event. When I first stumbled upon it I naturally thought 'what a great way to generate business'. But I wasn't all selfish in my thinking. I knew how much my blog friends meant to me. How each comment they left brightened my day and how sometimes they got me moving and creating even if I didn't feel like it. I figured this event had it all: promote your business, meet new people from around the world and win prizes. How much better could it get. I could not know then that the greatest gift I would get would have nothing to do with prizes or business promotion.

As is natural, when you visit one blog you often stumble from one to another until 4 hours have passed and you're not really sure how. That's what happened to me during last year's OWOH event. From one blog I went to the next and the next until finally I wound up on one that wasn't even a participant. No matter, I knew it was golden from the first moment I laid eyes on it.

Circling My Head was the first thing I read. At the time, the blog header was a beautiful painting of a black haired girl with birds circling her head. In reading the profile, I found what made this image so significant. This woman, Renee, was battling stage 4 Inflammatory Breast Cancer and in her words she was "learning to live with birds circling {her} head". I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Once I got to know this woman who was living with those pesky birds, I soon realized I'd do both.

I tried to imagine myself in her position. I wondered whether I'd feel like a wounded animal, birds circling, waiting for the inevitable. And then if I did feel that way, could I be so frank about it? could I say it out loud? You see, I'm an avoider. I figure if I pretend it's not there, it'll go away. Or at the very least, it won't scare me so much. Not a good way to deal with life by my own admission. But here was woman who said it out loud. She made it real, brought it to life and then shared it with everyone. She is the bravest person I have ever had the pleasure of knowing and I love her so much!

It seems strange to me that, until this past December I had never seen her, and yet I felt so close to her. I had never heard her voice, I had never met her in real life and I had no idea what she looked like. I had a great laugh when she shared the first photograph with us. I had imagined her as though she were Athena. Strong, bold and larger than life and the precious woman who was staring back at me from the photo was tiny and petite. It was then I realized that your soul, your spirit, doesn't necessarily match your body.

Just a couple of weeks ago her daughter would post to let us know she was in the hospital. I just felt myself sinking. But I reminded myself of the time when she was going in for some bi-annual test results and she, like anyone, was hoping for the best but bracing for the worst. It might have been the first time I realized that she got scared too. Silly I know. We all get scared. But this was Renee. So I reminded her of that. I told her that Cancer was a bitch but my bet was on her. It fascinated me to know that these few little words had an impact. Renee said she was able to go into her appointment that day and remember that Jamie was betting on her and, somehow, that made it easier. Wow. I had made a difference to her. Which was so fitting because she had made all the difference in the world to me. She always took the time to send me a comment on my work. Tell me how great I was. Stand up for me when people were mean and tell me that she loved me (and somehow she always knew when I needed it most) and then she'd leave me with her xxoo's. And the most fascinating thing is, she did this for about 500 other people, too. I stubbornly told myself that cancer would not get her....

Several days after her initial post, her daughter had the difficult task of letting us know that, our dear Renee, her sweet mom, was near the end. My heart was literally crushed. I could barely make out the keys on the keyboard to type the words...my heart is breaking. I honestly don't know what I will do without her. Without her uplifting, tell it like it is and make everyone stronger in the process posts. Without her xxoo's.

Selfishly, I visit her blog everyday. Several times everyday, actually. If I'm honest with myself, I go there to make sure she's still here. I need her to be. If there's no news she's still here. I keeping hoping it was all a mistake, the cancer hasn't spread or better yet she's miraculously cured because heaven knows we still need her here. And then I think of her family. Having to say goodbye or maybe, getting to, is the best way to put it. And I think if I'm feeling this much pain, how must they be feeling. Then I think of Renee. My Athena. And she's in pain. I can't stand that. And while I'm not ready to say goodbye to you, Dear Renee, I will say Au Revoir. Vous voir dans le Ciel. Je t'aime....

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Halloween Queens Grand Opening Giveaway!




Have you heard? The Artistic Halloween Queens, AHQU on eBay, are debuting a all Halloween, all the time, Bootique - the Halloween Queens Castle Bootique!
And to celebrate, we're having a spooktacular giveaway! Click my prize picture below to see more ghoulish giveaways and find how you can be a winner!

Monday, February 15, 2010

My Newest Project ~ 9 Months to Completion



Maybe you've wondered where I've been. Maybe you're a follower of my blog and have noticed that I haven't keep it upated like I usually do. Perhaps you follow my work and wonder what in the world is going on - you haven't seen anything new since the holidays! Well, believe me, I've been working on a new project....

Meet Baby Butterbean, my newest project. I had a little help on this one! 9 weeks old today with a heartrate of 176 bpm and I'm only about the size of a butterbean!

I have to tell you, this new project has taken it all out of me. I've been quite sick and sleepier than I thought possible. I've invested in Sea Bands, motion sickness bands worn on my wrists to help with the nausea. They are helping so I am getting back into the studio this week and hoping to get back into the swing of things.

We are truly thrilled with the news that our family will have a new addition, scheduled to arrive sometime in September, and we just wanted to share the news with you. Hopefully I'll stay well enough to introduce you to some smaller-scale projects between now and then

See You Soon,

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