Friday, December 23, 2011


Aren't these Santa soaps the cutest?  My Gram who is 98 gave them to me last year.  I don't know how old they are but Gram says that she's had them for years. They look vintage to me.   They are about 2 inches high by 1 1/2 inches wide. so, so, so cute...


Gram always collected little trinket toy like things as far back as I can remember. Some things were hanging from the ceiling and some were in the garden. She had a wide array of magnets that are just so cute.  She also cut out things from magazines and glue them on her cabinet..  The things she cut out were so cute and funny and they had a lot of detail to them.  Gram was good with a scissors.  Interestingly, my Dad was a awesome toy designer and maybe, Dad had some of Gram's 'toy making' and trinket genes.  Hmmm...

My Gram is baking a cheese cake today.  Believe it, she is 98!
She told me not to call her on Friday because she is baking her awesome cheese cake today and it will take her all day.  So, she said in a very serious way "don't call on Friday, all day".  Gram says it takes her a long to me to make the cake because she has to move around the kitchen to get things.  Gram tells me that she is putting in 6 eggs and 3 cream cheeses this time.  She says she thinks this is the last cake she will make.  I hope it is not.  We will have her yummy cake on Christmas Sunday.

Gram raised me and my siblings since we were young and it was really hard on her but she had a lot of courage and bravery to have us come live with her.  My Grandfather has just passed away and Gram was 50 years old and she was in a new house in a strange town.  After my Dad passed away, when I was 14 years old, she again had all four of us come to move back in with her.  I really don't know what would have become of me and my siblings if Gram did not take care of us.  I don't even want to think about it.  So I say, Hats off to Gram.  Hang in there Gram and I hope you make it to 100 years old!

I love my Gram and here's to the cheese cake on Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2011


It's official!  The new 2011 Annual Family/Friend Christmas Card has arrived at everyone's home!

I want to share some info about this card design and how it came about.   People often ask me how do I come up with my ideas?   I thought that I would like to give you a step by step, inside look at how I think up all my zany and kooky concepts?  I'd like to let you in on my little secret to see if you can also come up with your own ideas.   Let's go...

I had been getting a little worried because Christmas was quickly approaching and I had no idea in sight!  I've been feeling low since my Mom passed away in May, as I have mentioned and I began to think that it was just not going to happen. I wasn't up for the challenge.   I thought of ideas that were just not going to meet the expectations of the family/friend card getters. The pressure is always on!   I had all kinds of ideas that did not seem like viable options and I was seriously getting worried that possibly I was not going to get one done this year.  "Not get one done" I thought as I was mulling over my meager and sorry ideas.  "I have to get one done this year.  I do it every year".  Some years my designs have been better than others and I was beginning to think that this year it was going to be the 'others year'.  Well anyway, I sketched out this little drawing on a torn envelope one day and I thought , "Hmmm, I can create one of a Christmas tree that moves.  I'll attach it to jump rings (tiny little jewelry rings) and it will move.  Okay, now I'm making progress." Unfortunate as it was however,  I did not have a clear concept in my mind. "How was I going to link up the moving tree to a concept without an expression?" Each day passed and I did not know how I was going to tie in the moving tree with a sentiment. I had used 'Oh, Christmas tree, Oh, Christmas tree' two years ago , so I was still having a serious issue with the sentiment.   I was also anticipating the time factor. How long was it going to take me to make each one of these cards if I did not come up with a fully fleshed out idea and soon?   So, I mulled and I pondered and I searched my brain for a 'hook', a 'link' or a 'connection' but nothing was coming to fruition. What was I going to do?  Pressure, still on. "There will be no card design this year",  is what I began telling myself.  I had no other ideas in my pocket to pull out at the last minute to create the Annual 2011 Family/Friend Christmas Card Design.  I was disappointed and I had resigned myself , that there would be no card done this year and I went on living my day.

One day, about three weeks ago, in the evening, I was driving home from A.C.Moore after a couple hours there (love this store) and for one day I was unusually feeling on top of the world. "Why?", you might ask. Well, I did not know but I was certainly feeling awfully joyful.  At the same time.  I began to also think about my sentiment for my Christmas tree design. I was toying with the idea in my mind. It was not a stressful type of thought, but an inner calmness that came over me as the idea slipped right out of my head.  I was pulling up to a traffic light and it was as if I had known the idea all along and it innocently lit up in my mind. Bingo!!   The light bulb had gone off. 'Rockin' around the Christmas tree' popped right into my head.   Could there be a better sentiment/expression?  "I will make the tree 'rock" is what I thought as I continued my drive home.  And the rest they say is "history"!

I  wanted to tell this story to illustrate how you don't have to be a genius to come up with a great idea.  You just have to think about it when you are relaxed.  When you force an idea to come about , it does not allow for the mind to actively search through the enormous vault of thoughts, images, memories, etc..  As I have expressed above, I was demanding ideas to come out of my mind that I was not opening up to let the connections happen, smoothly and naturally.  It was when I was calm and also joyful, that I really made progress. I might also note that it was as if I was getting in my own way.  I said above,  "Let's go..." so just  'let go' and ideas will happen.

On Monday evening, my brother called me to tell me he received the card and it was 'the bomb'!   He said it made him feel so happy and it was awesome.  Can you get any better than that?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Oh, my gosh!  I'm so excited about my new family/friend Christmas card that I can hardly contain myself!  This year's design is so much fun and I can't wait until I can give you a sneak peek at it.  I really made a mess of my living room and tracked papers throughout my house! I figure that's the price I pay for fun.

I hung all of the completed cards (24) up on my shelving unit and I became so overwhelmed by how many I made so far and how they looked.  Unfortunately, they are still not entirely done yet.  As I have mentioned, every year I create a special Christmas card for my family and friends.  Some times, during the year I feel as though I might not make one or that I don't have the energy or idea for a special card. In the end around three to four weeks before the holidays, I come up with an idea that even amazes myself since I never feel that I have the stamina or creativity to create something unique from every other card I have made the previous years.  This year was extra special design since I suffered the loss of my beloved Mom.  I really did not think I would make it through to the end from idea to completion, however, like every year, I always come through with a different design that delights my family and friends.  My brother Ken says, " It's not Christmas until I get Loren's new card!  It's like waiting for the windows to be presented at Macys in New York City!"   Well, that's a little bit too much for me to take in, but you get the point.  This card design is anxiously waited for every year.  The pressure is on and I hope it will meet everyone's expectations?  I cross my fingers.  Cross yours, too.  Stay tuned...
Cheers and sweetness,

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


I just have to share these photos of some decoupage collage Christmas ornaments that I made for my friend Donna.  They are such little gems and they look so sweet together.  Donna loves pink so I really took it up a notch and used mostly pink with a little bit of green.  They look so cute hanging on her tree.  I just love the colors and I think these are my favorites of all the designs I made this season and listed in my shop Dabbling Delights.

These ornaments hang so nicely from a ribbon and they have a pretty ribbon tied in a bow.  so, so cute...

I really enjoyed making these for my friend.  It's such a joy to give something I made to my friends and family.  Nothing beats giving!  I just love to see the excitement on my getters face that just lights up when they see their gift.  Donna loved her Christmas ornaments and I know she really appreciated the time and effort I put into these little gems...  That makes it all worthwhile...

If you have a moment click on over to my shop Dabbling Delights and take a look at the other designs that I have created.  It's worth the time to have a peek at them!

Cheers and sweetness,

P.S.  My Annual Christmas Card Design will be featured soon.  Every year for the last say 15 years I have been making a one of a kind Christmas card for my friends and family.  Each year they wait anxiously to see what I have been frantically working on.   I will be posting this year's design on this blog when I have completed the 30, yes 30 handmade cards.   Once they are in the mail to my family and friends, I will post the design.

Keep a look out for the awesome 2011 Annual Christmas Card!!!


Thursday, November 24, 2011


They are finally done!  I haven't been posting any products on this blog, however, I just had to show you these little gems.   These are awesome Christmas balls that I just listed on etsy today.  I am just in love with them!  They are decoupage and collage over acrylic balls.  Each one is made with patteren paper and then embellished with paper punches.  Each ball is adorned with a beautiful coordinating ribbon.  There is also a stain ribbon for hanging.

If you are in need of a gift for the holidays an ornament is a great inexpensive gift.  Each ball is 2 1/2 inches wide.  They are $10.00 each and they will surely make an inexpensive present. There are quite a few patterns and colors to choose from and I can also do special orders for changes in color.  Get them while you can because there is a short amount of time before the tree goes up and it is decorated!

Take a peek on etsy for all the color selections and patterns.  Let me know what you think of these little gems?

Love and sweetness,

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Hello there...
Recently,  I have been posting on this blog about the loss of my precious Mom, Marilyn and how I am trying to emotionally cope with her passing. For some reason, the intense emotion I have from her passing has been getting in the way of me being able to write. I was so stuck in one place that I couldn't express anything else that was on my mind.  Although I have been consistently creating and making art, I have been bogged down whenever I was trying to write.  The sadness about my Mom kept me locked in one place and I have been learning that the written word is much more powerful than I ever imagined.  Thoughts and ideas can come out like a flood or they can become stifled and stuck on a thought or emotion. I have never thought of myself as a writer, although my husband Paul believes I am (but he doesn't count). Blogging has been pulling out feelings and emotions deep inside my heart and forcing me to confront a form of communication that is still new to me.   I have so much to say and then I have nothing to say... so,  I will try to carry on and try to embrace the written word.  I will embrace my sadness and feelings and realize that I can do all three.  I can feel, I can write and I can create.  Go figure!!

For now, I wanted to let you know that my Mom's blog My Mom Matters, is up on the web and I have published the first post. Yeah!!! her story has a home now.  Any other information about my Mom and our extraordinary relationship can be found at here.  Thank you to everyone who has been following my posts about my Mom and for having an interest in her story because My Mom Matters.   If you have any experiences or insights through the loss of a loved one or has a mental or neurological illness touched your life, please fly on over to my Mom's blog and share with the readers, your unique story, because your loved one matters, too.  My Mom Matters will feature stories, memories and my lessons about how my Mom and I developed our strong and unique bond of love.   It had withstood the test of separation during my entire childhood and my Mom's long illness and hospitalization.  Sometimes our stories are sad, sometimes they are funny but always, they are thought provoking and meaningful.   I hope to see you there.

Friday, October 7, 2011


This is a wonderful photo of my Mom and Dad on their honeymoon in Florida.  They looked so sweet and happy and at the most joyous part of their lives.  No one knew, not even them, that their fate and genetics would effect so many lives and those lives would be impacted and shattered by their love.
It's been 5 months since my Mom passed away and I still have so much inside of my heart relating to my experience of that time,  so I have decided that I am going to start a blog about my MOM and my relationship with her.  I've been so bogged down by emotions and sadness that it has been effecting my ability to think clearly, create and to write.  The blog will be called MY MOM MATTERS and it will speak to my feelings that my Mom does and did matter to me and if you knew her, I think she would matter to you.  This new blog will be a place for comfort for me and I hope it will be for others as well.  I will share the things that I remember about my Mom and the things I don't want to remember.  It will be about Mother and daughter relationships and how much genetics effect our lives.  It will be about loving and loss. There will be intense stories about our interaction and emotionally saddening experiences that I have trouble thinking about still.  This new blog will free me up to be able to write and create which I surely need.

When I start this new blog MY MOM MATTERS, I will post on this blog to let you know.   Take a peek at it and let me know how it effects you.

Soon I will begin to post content on this blog without the weight of grieving and sadness.   I'm looking forward to this lightness of being!


Tuesday, August 23, 2011


This day is a very sad day for me.  It is my beloved Mom's birthday today and tomorrow it is my birthday.  My Mom would be 74 years old today.  As I have mentioned, she passed away on May 6th 2011.   I've been thinking and pondering about  how to honor her and I am going over my thoughts and memories about her through all these years.  There is a story I need to tell, but not yet.  Not while I am finding it difficult to express my thoughts and feelings about my life with her and challenges she endured, But soon, I will make the creative journey into her life and her world.  For now, I wait and remember.

Today most likely, I would have picked up my Mom from the nursing home and we would celebrate our birthdays together, along with my husband Paul.  We would go to Old Country Buffet.  My Mom loved "Ol' Country" as she called it, and one of her favorites was fried chicken.  But most of all it was the beef ribs that she could hardly wait to dive into.
My Mom and Me on our August birthday's.
I love this picture of us together.

Possibly, she would stay with us a few days and then I would take her back to the nursing home in north New Jersey where I lived until I was 7.  It was always a long ride for me to make by myself to pick up my Mom however, I was getting better at making the long trip so I could see her more often.  Boy, now I miss those long difficult drives.  I miss the anticipation I would feel making the drive to New Jersey and seeing her sitting on the steps at the home she lived at before she had to go into a nursing home in February of 2010.   She would be sitting anxiously waiting with her two bags of clothes (always too many).  When she would see me pulling up, her eyes would light up and she would bounce herself up to standing position in one second flat. She really looked forward to those visits. As I would be driving up to her house, I would think of the things we were going to do while she was at my house and the places we would go.  I'd go over the whole itinerary with her and she would respond, "okay, swell" and "good, that's good".

In February of 2010 my Mom fell and fractured her wrist at the home where she lived.  She had to go to a nursing home for rehab. Unfortunately, it was Winter 2011 that my Mom became very sick and went into the hospital.  Sadly, in April it was discovered that she had end stage liver cancer.  During the last three weeks of her life, I made the drive everyday from my home or my brother's, up to north New Jersey.  To this day, I still don't know how I did it.  I just knew I had to.
My Mom and me blowing out our candles.  Paul 
had gotten the cake.  How thoughtful he is.

For now, I long to see my Mom again and on our birthday's, I can only hope that she is in a beautiful place, without pain or sorrow as she felt on earth.  I hope she is happy, peaceful and without pain and I wish that she has endless plates of juicy beef ribs.

   Happy Birthday, Momma
       I Love You.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Beginning life and living without my Mom

It’s been quite a while since I have posted anything on my blog and I want to fill you in on what’s been happening over here at Loren Fidalgo mind giggles TM.

I've wanted to write on my blog and let you know that for some reason, I am finding that I am at a total loss for words that make some sense lately.  I have not mentioned on this blog or my other blog  Loren Fidalgo Designsthat I am mourning the loss of my beloved Mom.   She passed away on May 6th of this year. It's only been less than three months and I’m really having a hard time writing about how I feel about anything very deep or painful. I have been having a block about organizing my thoughts about this loss. I do not feel ready to write about my Mom right now, and I hope I will be sometime soon. It's as if I am stuck in this mode verbally, and I can't write about anything else and move forward, until I express my grieving and honor her life.  (I am tearing up just writing this post). I miss my Mom terribly and I want to share my story about her and my relationship with her. Her name was Marilyn and she was a very unique and extraordinary person.  Her story is a fascinating and an extremely interesting one, and one that will have you thinking deeply about your own ”life” and what exactly makes up a “life”on this earth.
somewnere around 1996
So, please be patient with me while I find and navigate my way to telling Marilyn’s story. 
I Love You, Mom.