Saturday, February 28, 2009

Camera Critters 47

Camera Critters

It's Saturday so it must be Camera Critters time!

Teddy is back and needs only a few words.

Everyone needs his own special space.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Journal Friday

It's Friday and it's time for another journal page. I've been proud of myself for getting one page done every week. Life is always interesting and I'm now on a deadline at the museum for some work I'm doing for the new Arts of India Gallery. I hope I can keep up with the journal page a week.

This was fun. I did things I don't normally do. I have some Fiskar Texture Plates and started with rubbings of the leaves. Then I rubbed some different green inks over the rubbing, cut some of the paper into squares and tore some of the paper. The background page was brown. Then I plopped (artistic term!) and glued the pieces of paper on the background page. (I sometimes use golden matte gel medium, but I have mod podge left over from a project I made ages ago and have been using the mod podge to glue.) Then added the two pictures (me) and the woodpecker. The right hand page I did separately. I used a sponge (ordinary household cut down to about 2"x2") to apply different green acrylic paint to the page and then stamped both pages with a feather stamp. Have I told you before that I love smushing (another technical term) paint around? The sponge was fun -- almost as much fun as fingers!

This is the finished journal page with the writing. I have to have a story -- no fun without a story! I found a book at half-prize books (you are going to think I spend my life there -- just a visit once a week) titled The Secret Language of Birds. It has all sorts of myths and stories about birds including signs of the zodiac with their assigned bird buddy. I'm a Gemini and my bird is the woodpecker. The writing is about Gemini and the bird and at the end of the page is a list of other birds that a Gemini might be drawn to and I thought it was very true for me -- Jay, Crane and Vulture. I love that a woodpecker (like the one in the picture) is pecking away at near by trees right now!

I normally post about The Next Chapter and The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women on Friday. It is time for Chapter 8: Selecting Empowering Partnerships and Alliances. When I went to look at my notes, I didn't have any!!! Not even a quote I particularly liked! I know I read the chapter, so I guess that's that! I do have some empowering alliances with friends who like my crafty side and a good buddy who is an art teacher and every now and then invites me to her class to paint along with the class! New techniques!

College baseball season has started and we have three days of baseball -- 3 games a day -- at the College Classic at Minute Maid Park starting today. Some of the top college baseball teams will be playing the next three days and the Dragons are ready for some baseball!

Have a wonderful weekend filled with only the things that make you smile!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Self-Esteem Exercise

The world must be coming to an end! This is my third post of the day. I finally had a chance to read my email and the DAILY OM was just too good again. I had to share. I think this little exercise would do us all good!

Daily OM

February 26, 2009
Five Things
A Self-Esteem Exercise

Our primary relationship in life is with our selves. No one else goes through every experience in life with us. We are our one permanent companion, yet we are often our worst critic. To remind ourselves of our magnificence, we can do this exercise: “Five Things I Like About Myself.”

Begin by writing down at least five things that you like about yourself. This is not the time to be modest. If you are having trouble coming up with a total of five items, you know that this exercise can really benefit you. Be sure to include more than your physical attributes on your list, since our bodies are only part of who we are. If you are still struggling with what to include on your list, think of what you like about your favorite people, because these traits are probably qualities that you possess too. Another way to complete your list is to think of five things you don’t like about yourself and find something about these traits that you can like.

Continue this process for a week, thinking of five new things you like about yourself everyday. At the end of the week, read the list aloud to yourself while standing in front of a mirror. Instead of looking for flaws to fix, allow the mirror to reflect your magnificence. You may feel silly about standing in front of a mirror and reading aloud a list of your admirable attributes, but it might just bring a smile to your face and change the way you see yourself. Remember, it is when you feel the most resistant that this exercise can benefit you the most. Because we are constantly looking at the world, instead of looking at ourselves, we don’t often see what’s magnificent about ourselves that others do. When we take the time to experience ourselves the way we would experience someone we love and admire, we become our best companion and supporter on life’s journey.

For more information visit


I've hit the jackpot!

I had visits from the post man and from the guy in the brown uniform of UPS.

Here are my prizes!

I'm an avid reader and can never have too many bookmarks.
Especially bookmarks this pretty.
Almost too pretty to use!
This was a One World One Heart prize from Pamela at Quilts N More.

I love my heart bracelet from Heather at Adagio Beadcrafters
and apologize to her for the less than perfect photo.
I've worn the bracelet twice already... both times to the museum.
It brought me luck. I was a hit!
This was also a One World One Heart prize.

My final prize is a digital subscription to one of my favorite magazines --
Cloth, Paper, Scissors.
Janet, at The Lavender Loft celebrated her THIRD Blogoversary
with a giveaway and the random number generator picked me!
Yippppeee, WooooHoooo, and a big YeeHawww!

I've been doing the happy dragon dance all week.
A big thank you to all the lovely ladies who really made my week extraordinary!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I'm A Winner!

Look what the post man brought me!

A wonderful pocket journal (4.5 x6) from Fran at Artsy Fran!

I was lucky to have Fran pick my post during the One World One Heart giveaway.

Isn't it wonderful?!!! Here's the info about Fran's journals.

Each journal is hand bound by Fran. The cover is created with vintage sewing patterns, upholstery fabric, and stitching. The papers inside this journal are smooth Bristol cardstock - easy to use for jotting ideas or drawing what you see. With more than 36 pages and some folding pages to hid my secrets (!!!!), I'm sure to find this journal useful from cover to cover. No two journals that Fran makes are exactly the same. Great care is taken by Fran to make each an individual and a treasure for the owner.

Thanks again, Fran. I love it!

And another big thank you to Lisa for putting One World One Heart together.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Lemonade Is On Me!

Heather (a wonderful beader) has given me the Lemonade Award! The Lemonade Award is awarded to sites that show a positive attitude and gratitude. Wow! Thanks so very much. I'll try to be worthy.

Here are the rules for the award:
1.Put the logo on your blog or post
2.Nominate at least 10 blogs that show great Gratitude and/or Attitude.
3.Be sure to list and link your nominees within your post.
4.Let them know they have received this award by leaving a comment on their blog.
5.Nominate your favorites and link to your post.

Well, now we get into problems. Ten blogs???!!!! I haven't been blogging long enough to do ten blogs! How about 3 to get things started and then I'll sleep on picking more!

Let's start with Sarah at Cottage Garden Studio. I know, she's already won the Lemonade Award, but there's no reason why she can't win two. She fits the positive gratitude/attitude and she has a new camera she's showing off! Go by and have a cup of tea (or a glass of lemonade).

How about Sarah's sister, Anne at Aging Lite. Anne has a master's in gerontology and is trying to help us *older but better* (my words) women stay healthy. That sure sounds like she fits the positive gratitude/attitude to me. Besides, I'm grateful that she is trying to help me and others like me. Go visit. She's an artist, too.

The third is my friend, Janet at The Lavender Loft. Now Janet's blog is a tag free zone, but I told her that wouldn't keep me from talking about her! She's an artist. She has the positive gratitude/attitude thing going on and she's fun!

That's three good Lemonade Award nominees. I'll do my best to dream about the other seven!

Then again, if I have the positive gratitude/attitude bug, then my dear readers do too! Consider yourselves tagged with the Lemonade Award!

I'm editing this post to add another blogger for the Lemonade Award: Kathryn, The Collage Diva. I check in with Kathryn every morning. She is artist, mother and keeper of the soul journal group at yahoo. Go for a visit and be sure to click on soul journal! She definitely has the positive gratitude/attitude going!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Camera Critters 46

Camera Critters

It's Camera Critters time!

Today, it's back to the zoo.

This is a picture Mr. Dragon took of a Black Crowned Crane.

If you have time, check out the YouTube of the Dancing Red Crowned Cranes.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Journal Friday & TNC

First, lets add some paint to the journal pages and then we'll talk!
One of my best buddies (one of the ladies I call sister by choice) was by the house yesterday
and took a look at the original journal pages.
Like you, she had just seen them on the blog.

She mentioned that she thought I was using the same
colors that a dear friend (and artist) used
in her work.
Unfortunately, cancer took our friend from this earth
many years ago.
She was much too young and we miss her. She was one of a kind!
Perhaps she is my guide now?

This is week seven in The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women by Gail McMeekin and Secret Seven is Consulting With Guides.

"As the creative path can be lonely and fraught with arduous challenges, help from guides can keep you centered and well-advised."

As Oprah Winfrey says, "Surround yourself with people who are going to lift you higher." Being part of this book group is one way to lift myself higher. Being part of Creative Everyday is another.

Gail McMeekin said many things that grabbed me by the tail (see earlier posts for being swung around by the tail reference!). Among them:

"It's amazing how the power of being heard and valued can clear the cobwebs and allow us to identify what we really want."


"We are all guides to someone in our lives and therefore we have opportunities to nurture and support others. It is not appropriate to condemn and devalue other people's innovations. We can express our honest opinion but with reverence for the person's courage to express herself. A world where each of us sees our chance to play guide as a sacred role will help to heal the scars of creative destruction that too many of us have already experienced."


Which leads me (finally) to the almost finished Friday Journal Page.

Somewhere out there in blog land, I read about Tarot Journaling.
I visited half price book store last week and found, lo and behold,
a book titled Tarot Journaling and next to it was The Runic Tarot.
Ok. Sometimes the big U does not have to hit me over the head.
I brought both the book and the cards home.

Then I decided to work with cards I already had, the new ones
and picked The Lovers from the major arcana to start with.
It was an experiment and, I must say, it was very successful.
I used the Lovers from my old Waite deck -- the deck I used 30+ years ago
almost daily for myself and for others.
The Japanese Deck is based on woodblock prints.
But the card I found that sounded the most like me today is one
from the Dragon deck and the new Runic Tarot. (Really!)

Enough! I could go on and on. I will try this again, but next time
I will pick a card at random and use all the decks again
and see what I learn about myself.

This came in my morning email -- my message from the universe.
I'd like to share it with you.

Whatever it is you want, however you want to have it, no matter why you want to have it, Snap, you can have it faster if you can first be happy without it.

Sneaky, clever, foxy, wry -
The Universe

Have a wonderful, peaceful, innovative, joyful, Friday!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Te of Tea

I had a wonderful surprise at the end of January. Vivian was in town. You might remember that she is a young colleague and friend of mine who went to study Chinese in Beijing. We temple treked together on more than one occasion. She called one morning with a surprise. We had been invited to a video taping of a puja at a local Hindu temple. The video will be used in the new Arts of India gallery at the museum.

This Hindu temple is very different from the one we visited during the summer.
This is the gateway into the courtyard.
Immaculate, beautiful and flowers everywhere.
Gorgeous in its' simplicity.

This is the outside of the temple.
The windows had been covered with paper to make the taping easier.
The water was beautiful and was on all sides of the temple.
The puja was for Shiva and was amazing.
The sound of the chanting by the priest, the ringing of the bell, the lighted candles --

After the taping it was off to the Te of Tea for some tea and lunch.

The tea shop is in the Montrose part of Houston.
A wonderful, interesting area with different shops hidden around every corner.

The day was very special.
I got to spend it with two people I consider friends.
Two very lovely ladies who I respect very much.
Christine is on the left and is the curator for Asian art.
Vivian on the right. She is back in Beijing. We miss you Vivian!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Staying Grounded

Sometimes I'm surprised by synchronicity. I don't know why. It seems to happen all the time. Well, duh! There's the big U hitting me over the head again. I've shared the Daily Om with you before, but the one I read in this morning's email grabbed me by the tail and got my attention. Here it is:

February 13, 2009
Staying Conscious
Staying Grounded in a Big City or Busy World

1. Live simply and live deliberately. By choosing not to get caught up in the details of this fast-paced world, you are doing your part to slow down. You will also discover that you have more time to enjoy being alive.

2. Stay in touch with yourself. Soul searching, meditation, and journaling are just a few of the many activities you can take part in to stay aware and learn as much as you can about your emotions, reactions, likes, dislikes, dreams, and fears. Having a solid sense of self gives you a firm foundation for living in this world.

3. Support or teach others as often as you can. This can help you form connections with people while also giving you an opportunity to make the world a better place.

4. Consciously choose what you will allow into your being. The media bombards us with visions of hate, war, and pain. Be judicious about what you read, watch, and listen to.

5. Acknowledge the beauty that resides around you. Whether you live in a sprawling metropolis or a stereotypical suburb, there are natural and man-made wonders just waiting to be discovered by you.

6. Nurture your ties to your tribe. If you don’t have one, create a community that you can belong to. Modern life can be isolating. When you have a tribe, you have a circle that you are a part of. Its members – loved ones, friends, or neighbors - can be a source of support, caring, guidance, and companionship.

7. See the larger picture. Remember that the way that you choose to live is not the only way to live. Widen your perspective by exploring other modes of being through research, travel, and discussion.

8. Embrace the challenges that life presents to you, and challenge yourself often. After a time, even the most exciting jobs or lifestyles can seem routine. Never stop assimilating new knowledge about whatever you are doing, and your life will never seem dull.

9. Move your body. In this busy world, it can be easy to live a sedentary life. Movement reacquaints us with our bodies and connects us to the earth in a visceral way. It also restores our vitality.

10. Make time for stillness, silence, and solitude. The world can be noisy, and we are subject to all kinds of noises nearly every waking hour. We are also often "on the go" and unable to relax. Being alone in a peaceful place and making time for quiet can help you stay in touch with yourself.

For more information visit

Camera Critters 45

Camera Critters

It's Time For Camera Critters!

I have a question for you.
What is magic?

For me, this is MAGIC.
Mother Nature in all her glory.

There is a little story about the blooming cosmos.
I have seed packets that are so old, I should be ashamed of myself.
The cosmos comes from one of those packets.
I put the seeds into a pot and said,
"If they come up - great -- if not -- at least I put them in soil ... late or not!"
And, look what came up.
These beautiful pink cosmos.

This picture of the pink cosmos and critter friend was taken
on February 5, 2009 by Mr. Dragon.


Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentine Journal Page

Happy Valentine's Day!

I know I'm a day early, but I was ready and I've been eating chocolate!

Today is Friday which means journal page day and I'd like you to meet
Mr. and Mrs. Dragon on their wedding day.

A few presents for you! (Thank you Dover!)

Cute little Valentine Putti is clip art for you.
Another clip art bouquet for you.

I think the swans are my favorite clip art.

The next chapter in The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women is titled Conquering Saboteurs. "In order to leverage your creative growth, you need to defend yourself from saboteurs, both internal and external". In order to do this McMeekin suggests that we value our natural abilities, overcome the fear of criticism and others, but it was these two that I *felt* the most. She talked about gremlins -- those persistent little voices of doubt. The gremlins suddenly turned into dragons that needed slaying. I laughed. Interesting what symbols mean to people. You see, my imaginary friend when I was a kid (a very long time ago) was a dragon. Sort of a dragon of the Puff the Magic Dragon type, with a nice big belly that made curling up easy and comfy with his wings draped around me. My dear Puff has changed over the years. Sometimes he was a fiery monster that kept all the bad *stuff* away, but he always was on my side.

My natural abilities were never nurtured at home. I had a chorus teacher in grade school who recognized my perfect pitch. I still kick myself for not continuing voice studies, but the finances weren't there -- the support wasn't either. I quit singing in high school. I hum a tune every now and then. I loved Barbara Sher's quote "A good teacher is the holiest of God's creatures." Amen. To all you teachers out there -- bless you!

My father had the most beautiful handwriting. He was taught in school the Spencerian Script. It was hard to read with all its flourishes, but what an art! He should have been an artist.

I've always been interested in *things*. I've always *crafted*. I don't think of myself as an artist -- craft person is ok with me. Is that a gremlin sneaking in and telling me I can't do it? Good question!

When this month is over, and all my talks and tours are given, I'm going to take a kid's art class. I have the books and I'm going to be a 5 year old going to my first art class with my crayons and pencils in tow. Don't worry, I'll share!

One more quote from this chapter: "To fear is one thing. To let fear grab you by the tail and swing you around is another." ~Katherine Paterson, writer.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Art Award and 100th Post!

My goodness! Lissa gave me an award for my art! I am delighted and I accept!
Thank you, Lissa!

I have to list 7 things I love.
Where do I begin?
  1. I'll start with Mr. Dragon. He is my soul mate, my friend and my love.
  2. I love my furbabies.
  3. I love nature, my garden.
  4. Books! Reading.
  5. College Baseball!
  6. Music
  7. Listening to the Universe. (I thought I better get a plug in for the big U.)
I'm supposed to pass this award on, but I am going to delay that for awhile.
I would probably pass it on to my friends who received the Marie Antoinette Award
so consider yourselves tagged again!

This is my 91st post! Number 100 is just around the corner and I'd like to do something special. I am going to have a giveaway and it will have to do with wildlife and conservation - a subject that is near and dear to my heart. You will have to leave a comment on my 100th post and will be asked to post and link to the project I'm going to talk about. Is your curiosity radar going? Good! Be watching!

Moon Over Reckling Park

The other title for this post could be: It's Time For Baseball!

This is a picture we took of the moon as we left baseball practice on Saturday. Yes, it's that time again. Time for college baseball. The Owls and all the other college teams started practice on February 1.

The Rice Owls play at Reckling Park.
The scoreboard was *new* last year.

The banner is up.

Bunting Practice

Batting practice.

Cool background for a baseball field, don't you think?
That's the Texas Medical Center
in the background. We may be the only team in college baseball that has to call
a 20 minute glare delay! The sun comes off the Hilton Hotel late in the season -
just enough of a glare to blind
the batters.

What do we think of the team so far (you baseball fans are wondering)? We will have the fastest outfield in college baseball and they all have guns for arms. We may have one of the best defensive teams we've ever had -- we hope. We've always had great defensive catchers and this year he is a work in progress. We can say he has a gun for an arm and every throw he's made to second has been right on the money. Lots of talent on this team. A couple of valedictorians included. And, they seem to like each other. They are very young. Lot's of freshmen and sophomores. We'll sit back and watch and enjoy. They will be exciting.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Journal Friday on Sunday!

Here's the journal page that I normally would have posted on Friday. One of my sticky fingers took Mr. Robin's head off and I had to repair him. Now that he has his head again, here's the page. All of these birds have visited our backyard -- some only once -- some everyday. This page is a continuation of the My Favorite Things list which I'm still adding to - the latest being Micky Mouse as the Sorcerer's Apprentice. I wanted to remember nature ... remember the visitors to our backyard that have given us so much pleasure and true joy with their beauty, their antics, and their *friendship* (birdship?).

I didn't post on Friday about The Next Chapter and The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women. As I read the last chapter, I kept thinking about the Metta Prayer that goes something like this:

May all beings be peaceful.
May all beings be happy.
May all beings be safe.
May all beings awaken to the
light of their true nature.
May all beings be free.

It all starts with us, doesn't it. Making time for ourselves. Knowing ourselves. I start with myself when I say the Metta Prayer. May I be peaceful. May I be happy. May I be safe. May I awaken to the light of my true nature. May I be free. Then I go on to my loved ones and then to all people.

May you all be peaceful, happy and safe this beautiful day.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Camera Critters 44

Camera Critters

It's Camera Critters time again!

I put the newly finished baby afghan on the floor to take a picture of it.
Along came Teddy (Theodorable).
In his mind, this was a nice, new, soft blankie for him!

He is The King of our kitties.
We are his lucky staff.

Friday, February 6, 2009


I'm running a little behind today. We live in a older neighborhood and the city is putting in new water lines. I'm thankful that the city has the money to upgrade and I'm glad they are working, but, golly -- what a pain! Some days we have water. Some days we have nice clear looking water. Some days we have brown water. Some days we have little water pressure. Today Twisty Lane looks like a mini-river. What water we have seems clear. We just don't have a lot of it. No water for cleaning paint brushes or brushing teeth! Normally, Friday is Journal day, but I took Mr. Robin's face off with a sticky finger this morning! Hopefully, I'll get the repairs done and have a journal page for you on Sunday.

I thought I'd tell you what I read while curled up with my cold. These are two very different books. One is science fiction on a series I've been following for 30 years (is that possible? Ack!). The other is a favorite mystery series.

I love dragons (as you already know). I've been reading the Pern books by Anne McCaffrey for what seems like forever. Her son, Todd, is now writing Pern books -- with his mom and on his own. Dragonsblood is Todd's first Pern book written on his own. It had been many years since I'd read a Pern book. I know I'm behind in the series. Just because I hadn't read any didn't mean Mrs. McCaffrey hadn't written any! Now I need to catch up.

In Dragonsblood a mysterious illness is killing the dragons. Lorana must find a cure with help from the past. I enjoyed every word of this book and went out (cold and all) and bought the three books Todd wrote with his mother. They are staring at me -- read me, read me, read me. I'm going to read slowly. I love the planet of Pern, it's dragons, its people, its fire lizards.

A Rule Against Murder: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel by Louise Penny was my second read. I did a little dance when I picked up the mail and there was A Rule Against Murder fresh off the press from Amazon! Armand and Reine-Marie are celebrating their wedding anniversary at Manor Bellechase, an isolated, luxurious inn not far from the village of Three Pines. The Finney family - rich, cultured and respectable - are also there for their own celebration of sorts. Secrets, hatreds, polite smiles abound along with murder. The Finney's think the murder must have been committed by the "housekeeper and her husband". Imagine their surprise when they find out *he* is the chief inspector. Too funny, but then Ms. Penny really has an amazing way of combining the absurd/strange/funny with the ordinary/correct/everyday. Her characters are quirky and wonderful. You'll have to read the book to find out what *doing your sums* means. Let's just say, I try to do my sums everyday. Everyone should.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Yarn Work and Links!

I've had a cold. I could hire myself out as a fog horn when I have a cold. I feel sorry for myself, too. I'm feeling much better now and thank all of you for your good wishes for a quick recovery. I put my *down time* to good use. Got some reading done (saving the books for another post) and finished the baby afghan for my niece. I used up all the yarn I had in my *baby* stash, too. That means I get to buy more yarn! You can't have enough yarn!

The baby afghan is ready to be washed and blocked.

Then I started another crochet project. (For those who may be wondering -- the lacey stole is still in the closet!) Mr. Dragon really likes how this one is going/looking. I'm making a lap afghan. Most folks make their lap afghans for football season. I'm making ours for baseball season! College baseball starts this month. They started practice on February 1 (that's also for another post) and we were there! It will be cold for awhile at the beginning of the season and we will be happy to have a little lap comfort! I just need to crochet faster! I have changed the pattern up a little since this picture was taken. I like the puffs or bobbles, but the triangular shaped *things* made my fingers hurt -- so listening to the old arthritis, I changed the pattern a little. I like how it looks and I think you will, too. I'll share when the afghan is a little further along. Anyway, it has passed the Mr. Dragon test with a *golly, that's cool looking*.

I've been trying to keep up with the gypsy caravan at One World One Heart. Lisa now has at least (when I last checked) 880 participants! WOW! I've tried to visit all of the blogs at least once - quickly. Now I am working my way through them again and this time really trying to stop awhile, visit, and read. In the process I've added a few blogs to Link Mania and would like to give you links on this post for a few of them.

A Scrapbook of Inspiration is the first one. You must go visit Karen Harvey Cox. You'll find beautiful pictures, wonderful words, artwork to knock your socks off and soothing music. A real treat!

Next is my new friend Sarah and her family at Cottage Garden Studio. They are sweet young things! Go have a cup of tea with Sarah, read her blog, look at her pretties and say hello. You'll be glad you did.

I love monsters and Nicole at Mealy Monster Land is the place to visit. You'll smile all the way through. What talented people these doll artists are!

Lastly, you must spend some time at Shibori Girl. You'll find a little bit of everything here. Art. Food. Sunday is What's Cooking Sunday with good recipes! Enjoy!

If you visit any of my new friends, please tell them you saw them here first!

Thank you. Come again.
Have a wonderful, germ free day!

Monday, February 2, 2009

My First Blog Award!

The Marie Antoinette,
Real Person, A Real Award

Wow! I received my first blog award from my buddy at The Bodhi Chicklet.

Here are the rules for the award:

1. Put the picture of Marie Antoinette on your blog.
2. Link to the person from whom you received the award.
3. Nominate at least 7 or more blogs.
4. Link to those blogs from your blog.
5. Leave a comment on their blogs to let them know you've shared the award with them.

Now comes the hard part, deciding on the 7 blogs that fit this award. These bloggers must be real people, with real lives, real colds, real pets -- you get the idea. In addition, I must enjoy reading their blogs and must want to let you know, dear reader, that it is worth your time to go and visit them.

I thought about sleeping on my list of 7 blogs, but after thinking about it (for all of 10 minutes), I've come up with seven blogs that meet my criteria -- they must be REAL! Here are the blogs I nominate for the Marie Antoinette Real Person, Real Award:

MariaTherese at Afiori. She was the first person to *follow* my blog and has become a friend in cyperspace. We met at Halloween. Go visit. She is beautiful as is her blog.

Christina at Crafty Christina. I found Christina from the Lion Brand website. They linked to her blog and I immediately liked what I saw. She loves to crochet and is learning to knit and is a REAL person.

Carolyn at 8GoldenPaws. I'm not sure how I found Carolyn, but it was from Carolyn's blog that I first heard about Paulette Insall and it was not long after that I took an online class from Paulette. Carolyn has been missing in blogland for awhile, but I am thrilled that she is back. Art teachers are special!

Julie at JulieItIs. Julie and I go way, way back. Before blogs. (Medieval ages) She is a digital scrapper and does beautiful work. She's also a writer who will have you rolling on the floor laughing and crying at the same time. A must stop for any blog lover.

Rosa at Living as Rosa. This is a blog I've been following for awhile -- lurking -- until she had a post and a giveaway about tea. Out I came! I think I first heard her mentioned on an aol message board along with Frenchless in France (another favorite). Rosa has just remodeled -- blog, bedroom and kitchen (although don't ask about the kitchen -- a continuing story). Go visit her! You won't be sorry.

Pat at Remembrances of An Arkansas Stamper. Pat and I go back like Julie and I do. Pat and I both love to read. We are both retired now. I'm in Texas and Pat is in Arkansas. I still have the Christmas card she made many years ago. A talented lady who doesn't show off her stamping like I think she should!

Verdigris Rose. I haven't been following this Australian lady very long -- long enough to know she loves roses and is a lady. Beautiful art can be found here.