easter greetings


art heals

the sadness of letting go our beloved TJ still lingers… but, as they say, life (must) goes on.  we have to take comfort knowing that we did the right,  most loving and kind thing for him.  he’s not suffering any longer now and i’d like to think that he is still with us in spirit.  it will take some time getting used to not seeing him around… but time heals…

and for me, art does too.  i have been more than ever wanting to draw and paint what i am feeling/ experiencing.  i just have to make a more concerted effort to do so.  otherwise, i will continue to be the stressed out, uber cranky yiatch that i’ve been lately.  & omg, i so do not want to live my life like that.  no friggin way.

lately, i’ve been admiring the fabulous works of teesha moore and tessa mcsorley.  i revisited teesha moore’s work when i recently stumbled upon many of her youtube vids on art journaling.  i had forgotten that she really pioneered many techniques/trends that you often see (& perhaps take for granted) now in the world of art journalling.  i have an even better appreciation for her work after viewing her videos.  

i came across tessa mcsorley’s work also by accident.  and her wonderful sketches of girls and forest animals really struck a chord with me.  i really love that she takes her artwork straight from her sketchbooks & then turns them into functional art via  silkprinting onto tee-shirts, bags, small posters, etc.  i totally LOVE that.

another bit of news that is lighting a spark under me to create more  is that i just learned that my sketchbook for the sketchbook project is being viewed! wow, how’s that for a boost to the ol’ morale, eh? 

so, i am hoping that in the days to come, i will be more diligent in my art-making & i’ll be sharing more of creations here… & i am really loving the idea of functional art… so who knows, i might dream up something along those lines 🙂

slowly but surely, i will get out of this funk i’m finding myself in and make the art that i know is within me…

& is waiting ever so patiently to come out.

OWOH winners and sad farewell

(a digi-collage that i made a while ago for a challenge in a flickr group i’m in)

sorry for the huge delay but it’s been a ROUGH week  both at school and at home. 

(this snap was taken in spring 2008)

my hub & i have made the very painful decision to put down our beloved TJ.  he is our “patriarch” of our kitty tribe.  He is 18 years old and for feline years, that is pretty old.   and for the past year or two,  we have seen TJ deteriorate.   it’s been tortuous to see our TJ, who was once a big, strong, bear of a cat, become so weak, frail and senile.  we have put down two beloved cats before and both the hub & i have decided “no heoric measures”…TJ has lost his appetite, lost so much weight, barely gets out of his cat bed and sleeps all the time, and he even has stopped purring.  the last week has been brutal trying to put off the inevitable… the vet will be paying us a housecall (as we want to spare TJ any further trauma with taking him in the pet carrier & go for a bumpy car ride to the vet’s)  this weekend and we’re both a wreck over this whole business.  but we have to keep telling ourselves that  we are doing the right thing for TJ, and that he has had a beautiful, full life with us and the other cats and that he won’t be suffering any longer.   TJ has to know that he has received unconditional love from us and that he gave us his, plus so much joy & more as well.   

while i still have the composure, i thought i’d better announce the winners of the OWOH giveaway NOW… because LORD knows, i will not be any shape soon…

sorry that i had to combine a happy event like OWOH with the extreme sadness that is happening with us right now, but i am forcing myself to do this because i don’t want to disappoint anybody or keep anyone waiting…

so without further ado, here are the randomly picked winners:

#1.  micki butler, #33, wins the secret garden itty bitty book.

#2.  carmen, #110, wins the atc block.

#3. gale varland, #58, wins the 4×4 mixed media canvas.

#4. pat, #6, wins recipe book w/ polka dots.

#5.  sylvia smiser, #48, wins the recipe book w/ wavy stripes.

#6.  holly j., #88, wins the set of magnets.

#7. michelle remy, #78, wins the set of pin-back buttons.

#8.  gracie, #54, wins the crotcheted cuff.

#9.  wendy w., #90, wins the owl brooch.

and last but not least,

#10.  carolyn knight, #66, wins the handbound mini-zine book.

CONGRANTULATIONS you lucky winners!!  i sincerely hope you will enjoy your goodies 🙂

and many thanks to lisa swifka for organizing and hosting OWOH as well as EVERYONE who has kindly dropped by and visited my humble blog!!! xoxo

to the 10 lucky winners:  i will be in touch shortly via your blog or private email to notify you that you have won!  i will need to get your particulars, so if you would kindly drop me an email of your full name & address to follow_your_bliss07@hotmail.com that would be greatly appreciated!   i will plan to mail out your goodies tuesday 2/22 (as 2/21/11 is a holiday and so no mail service)… 

to everyone else, have a good day and please send us some wishes of  peace, healing and strength.

thank you for your patience and kind understanding,  mary ann xoxo


to my dear beautiful sis and brother-in-law…

my private speech practice is picking up now that school is back into full swing.  & yesterday i met for the first time the principals of the 3 buildings i will be working in this year & i totally forgot to wish my sissy jo wedding anniversary greetings (& we talked on the phone too!!)! aaaack…i feel like an complete idiot.


anyhoo, i made this photo collage to hopefully redeem myself with them…it was so unintentional. seriously….

 i was her maid of honor at their wedding & it was one of the most beautifulweddings that i ever had the pleasure to stand up in. aren’t they a gorgeous couple? (omg, their two kids now are even more gorgeous!) we can’t wait to par-tay very soon & hey, since we’ll be all together, we can do a combo anniversary celebration…yay (theirs & ours, which if you may recall was last week)! woot, we can’t wait! 🙂
xoxo reya & joe

remembering bernie

this time last year, we were at my late father-in-law’s wake when my brother-in-law, bernie, had his fatal collapse…right there, among a mass of friends and family in the funeral home.  it was a surreal, horribly shocking moment…a memory not easily forgotten.   we were already mourning the loss of our beloved patriarch and then hours later, my husband’s eldest brother drops dead.  literally.  my nephew, who is an emt, and some other family members tried furtively to revive bernie. but after 3 attempts with cpr, nothing.  the emts who arrived moments later weren’t successful either.  it was, as you might imagine, a traumatic tragedy for all who bore witness to it. 

i couldn’t help remembering this when i was going about my day today.  it’s still incredulous that he is no longer with us.  my memories of him are so vivid…i hear his voice in my head and he sounds so real, so alive, you know?  freaky, i know…but i guess that is my brain trying to remember & make some kind of sense from his passing. 

i know that my dh, his brother, feels the same as i do.  bernie was a uniquely eccentric sort of person, who loved to talk a person’s ear off and most definitely followed the beat of his own drum when he was alive.   but deep down, he loved his family and i know that he would be happy to know that we loved him right back too.

in loving memory

not a day goes by that you aren’t ever in our thoughts and prayers. it’s hard to believe that you are not with us any longer, even though there are many times when we still think you are here. well, i guess in a way, you are…in our hearts, minds & all our wonderful memories of you. you must know that we love you dad.  we honor your memory and will forever cherish all the times we were privilleged to spend with you. xoxo joe & mary ann

happy anniversary to us

(photo courtesy of @Carol Miller photography, rockland, me…our dear friend & fave wedding photographer, taken on 9/7/2002).

can’t believe that it’s been 8 years today that we were married high above the sea on mount battie. i remember that special day with great joy & treasured fondness. it was truly a beautiful, glorious day & one that will always hold a special, cherished place in my heart. i love you my darling husband, always & forever. xoxo