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!!!