Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Charity Wings 2nd Annual Seaside Soiree


The 2nd annual Seaside Soiree was even better than the first.  If you attended last year, you know how fun it was.  If you attended this year…lucky you! 


Here we all.  I love this picture.  What a great group of ladies.  They are all so special and so talented. 


IMG_0973Once again, we were at the Oceanside Marina Suites where we had an exquisite view of not only the marina, but also the jetty.



I could sit at the point of the property, right on the water, and watch boats of all sizes and shapes going out to sea, or coming back in the evening.  In the early morning, the kayakers were plentiful and fun to watch, as I said good morning to my husband on the phone and drank my first cup of coffee.  It was truly heaven.



The minute we got there, we began making things.  We actually made an adorable badge pouch out of duck tape.  The pouch was so we could carry our room key.  You didn’t need to carry money because everything was inclusive, including the food, the suite and all the classes.



Here she is…

Miss Vicky!  She was one of our class instructors.  She taught us how to make an embellished bottle to add to our already cute mermaid necklace.



All of our food was excellent.  There was not one thing I didn’t like, from the fabulous Italian food from Villa Capri, to the unbelievably yummy French Toast and Egg Casserole that Sheila made.  In fact, Sheila made many of our meals.  There’s nothing like an especially good tuna sandwich and a hot cup of soup when you’re in the middle of a creativity surge and don’t want to stop…particularity when it was made and served to you by someone else.


Did I mention PAMPERED!  Oh yes!  Thanks to Elena and Sheila and their incredibly caring staff, Glenna, Sarah, Ally, Lisa and Camille, we were pampered and loved all weekend.



It’s all in the details!



Here’s my roommate and new friend, Nadine who was a wonderful hoot!  She made that darling apron.



We were so privileged to have Jen Cushman, mixed media artist and author of the book, Create, Resinate and Explore, as one of our teachers.  She became friends immediately with everyone because that’s how she is… So loving and friendly!



We learned how to make Resin paper.  All these ladies are so talented.



Jen is carefully stirring the ICE Resin

We made a fabulous pendant that consisted of sand, shells, pearls and ICE Resin.  After adding charms, sari fibers and a closure, we created a beautiful bracelet with the pendant.


Here is my resin paper. 



We turned this resin paper into this necklace. 










Meet the Diane’s.  That’s what we called them because they are good friends and always together.  “Where are the Diane’s?”  Here they are in front of the room where everything happens…classes, meals, coffee, everything!



It was early December in San Diego. 



We had beautiful weather.



Michelle Cummings is a returning instructor who taught how to make a beautiful beaded wand.



My sweet friends, Glenna and Nadine


IMG_0991Lovely lady, Cheryl Waters, Lead Fiskateer with Fiskars, taught us some painting and collage techniques. 



Here is the beautiful collage painting that we each made in our class with Cheryl. It’s always amazing how, even with the same materials, each one is different.



Our fabulous volunteers served us an extraordinarily wonderful lunch in these cute sand pails.



Another wonderful returning teacher is Liz Hicks.  She taught us how to do a journal cover using lots of interesting new techniques.  Or, at least new to me.








I must tell you about the Giving Tree!  Every morning and evening there were gifts for each of us on the Giving Tree.  How special is that!  These are beautiful ornaments that were handmade by Sheila.



We invited guests to our Dinner and Silent Auction on Saturday night.  It was a blast!  I won several items at the auction that I’ll treasure.


I wish I would have taken pictures of our suite.  It was two bedroom, two bath, with a living room, dining room and full kitchen.  We had five ladies in our suite and we had the best time together.  At night, we would sit on our round couch and talk and laugh and enjoy each other.  It was such a pleasure to bond with these ladies.

There is so much more that I wish I could tell you, but that might ruin it for next year.  It’s all in the details!

Plans are already being made for the 3rd Annual Seaside Soiree.  It will be the first weekend in December.  Go to Charity Wings and get on the email list so that you get the information as it unfolds.  You will be given the opportunity to make payments if you like, which is what I did this year.  It’s so much easier on my budget. 

I can’t wait to go again.  It’s one of my most favorite events.  I hope you’ll think about joining me in 2012

Friday, October 28, 2011

Being a YaYa is Fun!


The babies were over on Monday.  Matty likes to touch Alex.  She's very intrigued by him.


Alex isn't sure how to handle her.  Typical boy huh!

These two babies are cousins and they are only three weeks apart.  Matty is 15 lbs. and Alex is 25 lbs.  Big difference.  Matty is in the 50 percentile and Alex is in the 96 percentile.  Both of their scores are in height and weight.

I am really enjoying these little grandbabies. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Are You Going to Seaside Soiree Art Retreat?

seasidesoiree2011weblogoYou simply must!  I am!  I absolutely can't wait!  I had such a fabulous time last year.  It is one of my favorite events because it's not only charity, but also class oriented.  I came home with a wealth of knowledge and ideas, not to mention some neat projects.  And, it was for Charity. 

It's small and cozy...only 35 people.  I like that.  I spent time with friends and made some new ones. 

The price is very reasonable considering everything...a gorgeous suite on the harbor, your own bed, all the food, and ALL the classes and supplies are included.  Oh and, of course, a goody bag and goodies all weekend. 

Go read about last year.

I blogged a lot about it last year.  Go here for pics and my blog post.

Here are the details for this year:

December 2-4th, 2011

Oceanside Harbor, which is in San Diego County.

Go to Charity Wings to learn more and register.  While you're there, be sure to check out this year's amazing artists.  There's a list of them...including, Cheryl Waters, Traci Bautista, Jen Cushman, Paulette Adams.  You get to take all the classes. 

This is one art retreat you absolutely won't want to miss.  I know you'll have a great time.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Here Piggy Piggy

I just have to tell you about my best friend, MB's brood.  Yes, that is a pet piggy.


She has a pig, a Rottweiler, and two blind kitty's.


Ruben is the pig.  He has only recently been adopted, but has had no trouble making himself quite at home.  He sleeps indoors. He loves to go outside and nap, play and root around, but he's white so he can easily get sunburned.

Pigs have the mentality of a 3 year old so they must be watched and they require lots of attention.  However, they also sleep about 18 hours a day.


When it becomes dark at night, it's like a trigger.  Ruben immediately lays down on his bed, pulls his covers over himself and doesn't wake up for anything until about 8:00 the next morning.  In this pic, he is napping beside his bed.  See his little feet curled up under his big body.

Yes, Ruben is considerably over weight.  His other family kept him inside all the time because they lived in the city where you are not suppose to have pigs.  Now he has a nice yard to run, play, nap and graze in. You should see him run.  It's a crack-up.


This is Abby the Rotty.  She and Ruben have let each other know that they are not interested.  She is an unbelievably submissive, sweet dog, but only to a point.  You don't want to make her mad.  Pigs have a bad trait in that they will push and push until they get themselves in trouble and then don't know how to get out.  Another reason why Ruben has to be watched.


This is little Stevie Wonder.  Stevie was born without eyeballs...hence the name.  He truly is a wonder and one of the sweetest, most loving cats I've ever met.  Being blind hasn't bothered him a bit.  He literally plays fetch with a crinkle ball.


Last but certainly not least is Blind Kitty.  There were lots of names, but that's the one that stuck.  We also call her Mommasita.  I don't know why.  She doesn't have eyeballs either.  She's a full grown, tiny kitty.  She was there first and not particularly happy about the others.

Everyone of these animals are rescues.  Thanks to people like my friend who open their hearts to provide these beautiful babies with their forever home.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Fairy Class with Suzi Blu

Suzi Fairy Class 072211My friend Suzi Blu is going home to New Jersey.

Before she goes, we had to fit in one last class.  We created a pretty fairy painting.

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We started by drawing our faces in pencil.  Then we added a couple of different textures, such as molding paste.

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We used stencils for some of the design.  The rest of the textures were added with a knife. 

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Suzi, Christine, Gina and Anna

Here's our little group of students.  At this point we have completed the first day.  Need to let the texture elements dry completely.

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The next day, we began adding color with sprays, paints and powders.  It was an awesome process.

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Proud of my painting.

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Gina and Anna with their beautiful paintings.

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Suzi caught a few moments in between helping her students and not only created the painting above, but also worked on several of her unfinished projects.

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This was our inspiration piece that Suzi actually created for the class.

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It was a super informative class because of all the techniques we learned.  It was a wonderful, rich class because of the pretty face we learned to draw.  It was a fabulous experience because I learned to paint a beautiful fairy and gained so much more confidence in my art.  Suzi is not only a fabulous artist and teacher, but she also has a unique ability to reinforce confidence that one doesn't even realize they already possess.

Well, now that my Suzi is leaving, it will be online classes for me for awhile.  Rest assured, I'll be saving my pennies to visit my Jersey girl very soon. 

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Friday, July 8, 2011



Here they are!  My first tomatoes this year.  What's cool about the small cluster of tomatoes is that they came from a rogue plant that just showed up in my yard.  Plus, this particular plant is growing in the shade, which unusual for tomatoes.  I couldn't wait for the last green one to ripen.  I had to pick them.

I have my first illness of the year.  Hope it's my last for years to come.  I've been sick for three weeks.  My poor husband has had a fever for three days.  He's taking antibiotics.  Being the rebel, I never went to the doctor, so still struggling a bit.  Getting better though!

GG 060711 (27)Last night, I managed to drag myself to

    Kat & Elena

Book Club.  I'm so glad I did because we had lots of fun and it was the shot in the arm that I needed.  It was good to laugh and be with friends. 

Can't think of anymore firsts because I haven't done anything in three weeks.

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Monday, June 20, 2011

Cancer Coping Center Pastry Class Fundraiser

Saturday was a beautiful, summer day and I was one of the lucky ladies invited to spend it at Maryam's lovely, comfortable home in San Diego. We were there in support of her charity, Cancer Coping Center

Maryam provided an incredible, gourmet luncheon, a pastry class and a creative, fun swag bag.


Chef Yves

The luncheon started with the most delicious chilled cucumber soup I've ever tasted.  It continued with an incredible, delicately made salad, including vegetables, chicken, mouthwatering pork tenderloin and apricots, pate', biscuits and more.  Dessert was an authentic, seven layer, French, chocolate cake.  (I know there is an absolutely fabulous name for this cake and I wish I knew it.)  Suffice it to say, my pallet was in heaven. 

My descriptions of Chef Yves cuisine are rudimentary. I wish I could convey this exquisite luncheon in better terms.   It was awesome!


The class was presented by Executive French Pastry Chef Yves Fournier.  He is a fifth generation French Pastry Chef.  Check out his website for further information on booking a pastry class for your friends, a dinner party or private lessons.  You won't be disappointed!


Chef Yves not only taught us, but also provided us with the ingredients to make French Macaroons.  We learned how to make an easy, yet phenomenal Chocolate Mousse and Crème Mousseline.  All of these recipes are so versatile.  Chef Yves gave us many different ideas and ways to use these wonderful dishes. IMG_0151

Of course, it wasn't enough to learn how to make them.  We happily sampled everything. 


Maryam is a natural born, wonderful hostess and friend.


I was delighted to be invited to share this time with her.