Friday, December 31, 2010

Welcoming 2011

Today is the last day of 2010. For our family, it has been, as always, a chaotic year. Deaths, births, many changes, both good and bad. But so much growth this year. My girls have grown up so much and I have grown as well. Internal changes in me have been as dramatic as the changes in my 12 year old's height! (And she grew like six inches!) I feel so much more confident, ready for change, driven to change, determined to change. I was reading another blog the other morning and she had chosen the word "soften" for her 2011 mantra. That really got me to thinking... so what will my mantra be this year? One word is really hard. I might be able to narrow it down as I go, but for now, here is my list.

"Embrace Change"

"Empty what's full and fill what's empty"

"Have Faith"

"Be Fearless"

I'll figure it out as I go and as the Good Lord leads me. For now, once again, "It's time to move on.... It's time to get going.... What lies ahead I have no way of knowing.... but under my feet baby.... grass is growin... it's time to move on... it's time to get going... Thanks Tom Petty for these words that have pushed me on year after year and whenever complacency encases me.

In honor of the new year I finally got my art supplies back out (glorious!) and started a journal page. This is what I have so far after furiously stamping, coloring and pasting. We'll see where it goes. Just like me it could go in so many different directions. Potential is a heady thing... and fear is what blocks it. Wishing you all the very best of 2011!

Monday, December 27, 2010

The end of Christmas Vacation

Here I am with my girls in the midst of the hussle and bussle of Christmas vacation. Such a special time of year and one that I look forward to. My girls are growing and maturing. No more cuddling, no more toys to buy. Now it's all electronics and money, but I am so thankful for their health and their progress. They are three strongly independant young ladies, which was my goal. Oh, don't misunderstand me, my husband and I screwed them up plenty, just like our parents did us and just like they will do with theirs. But all in all, I'm satisfied. I feel over the past year a shift. A massive turn of the earth under my feet that will uproot us and take us in new directions. I feel the second phase of my life moving away and the third pouring in on me at the speed of light. It's a scary feeling, but somewhat welcome as I am ready for a new challenge. As long as my family is happy and healthy and growing and evolving, then I'm up for anything. So with the end of Christmas vacation and the beginning of 2011 just days away, I am ready. Bring it!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Summer's end

You can hear the squirrels cutting away on the acorns in the tree in our backyard. That old familiar crunch as you walk across the lawn as you step on the fallen ones is so welcome. We have had such a long, hot summer and we are ready for fall's cool breezes and colorful leaves. Soon.... very soon....

Sunday, August 1, 2010

In Memory

Painted these sunflowers this weekend because Erin loved sunflowers. She passed away on Thursday and will be very sharply missed by the family. Her smile and laughter will remain with us in our memories. We loved you more than you ever knew...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Finished Piece

added more ... movement and it's much better now! More paint, more shading and some stamping and Wha la... Done :) Shame there is still all of that real laundry waiting for me!
So here it is after some more paint, shading, etc.

Saturday, June 19, 2010


Saturday morning art. It's what I live for as of late. So this morning I was looking around and thought about Laundry. To me Laundry is not a chore, but something that I find comfort in. I thought about our clothes line and decided to recreate it. So this is just the first rough paint and paste. I'll post pictures as the piece progresses. Enjoy! And Happy Summer Laundry!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Pumpkins... in June?

I used to do craft shows. I picked up decorative painting about 10 years ago and knew someone who did shows. I convinced her to let me bring a few of my things and that lead to a few years of producing cute little painted odds and ends for those shows. I loved doing it, but could not justify the expense. Plus, you can buy hand painted stuff in any dollar store nowadays, and no one seemed to appreciate all of the love I put into my products. So I quit doing them. But to this day, come summer, my artful brain turns towards fall. In July I'll start thinking about Santa's and Snowmen. Seems so wrong when my garden hasn't even reached it's full bloom yet... Regardless, when I sat down to work on something... anything... I had no intention. But pumpkins I got. Enjoy... even though it's a little early :)

"A Blank Canvas" for Graduation

My very best friend in the whole world has a daughter that graduated from High School this month. We traveled to Chicago to attend a wonderful party that she threw for her. I wanted to take the perfect gift, but money is the norm. I began to think about my own daughter and what I felt on her graduation day (which was only 2 years ago).

I went to our local craft store looking for something that spoke to me and I happened upon the blank canvases. So here is what I came up with:

"A Blank Canvas"
Well, here it is. You waited a long time for this. The time when you can make your own decisions and go in any direction that you feel lead. Many people have worked hard to get you to this point. They love you and have always wanted nothing more than to give you a solid foundation on which to build your own life. The border and background of this canvas represents all of their hard work, and yours, that lead you to this important point.

So here is where you start your story... your painting. This very special moment in your life is a blank canvas. We don't get many opportunities to start fresh, but this is one of them. So what will you paint? And how will you choose to paint it? These are questions that only you can answer. Like fine art, your life is a journey. It isn't something you will paint in a day, a month, or a year. As you travel down the path you choose, and paint your masterpiece, there will be many choices to be made. What colors will you use? Heavy, bold brush strokes, or light and fine? It's up to you. You will make mistakes, and you will experience difficult times. But once you recover you will see that the process enriched the painting, the experience, and helped to make the final product unique and amazing.

This Canvas represents your journey. It is meant to remind you that anything is possible and that you have the ability, the creativity, and the moxie to make it happen.

We wish you the very, very best of everything and we have every confidence that you will end up with a Masterpiece, something that couldn't have possibly been created by anyone but you. And it will be amazing. We know it. We look forward to watching your painting emerge, become defined and blossom into the Masterpiece we all know it will be. We Love you.
Julia Culbreth

(Please do not reprint or use without permission:

I typed this and printed it in a script font on Parchment and put it with, literally, a blank canvas as pictured above. Of course I tucked in some money :) I really wasn't expecting much of a response from an 18 year old, I mean, common, I wouldn't have "gotten it" at that age. However, she really, really loved it. Cried at the end as did her parents. It turned out so much better than I thought. And we had such a wonderful time that weekend!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

My life in pictures

So I wanted to do a little art project and I knew just the picture I wanted to use. Problem is I have all of my pictures mixed up in photo boxes. I have pictures of my Mom when she was a little girl mixed in with pictures of me and my brothers when we were little mixed in with pictures of my kids. No rhyme or reason. So I'm flipping through them fast to find this one picture. I went through 2 boxes and had to stop because it was like seeing my life flash in front of me. Bombarded with memories, some great, some not so great. Pictures of my Mother who has been gone for 10 years brought tears just as did pictures of my brother, gone for 5 years. Then seeing pictures of my children as babies and remembering the smells, the feel of their little bodies in my arms. My kids are now 11, 18 and 20, well past the cuddling stage. I remember precious moments with my husband... I remember the ugly green ashtray my Mom used to use in our old house on Statton road. I remember Christmas mornings opening gifts in front of our Christmas tree in the same house. I see myself in pictures as a teenager, so thin and so worried about being fat. I was beautiful, but never, ever thought I was. So much wasted time thinking about how thin I needed to be and if I would ever find someone to love me. Such self loathing and all for nothing. Pictures of my parents before "the divorce" when they were miserable with each other. Pictures of my grandparents looking young and vibrant, bouncing my Mother and my uncles on their knees. Stiff Christmas smiles with the grandparents and sleepy Mommy and Daddy Christmas smiles with that first cup of Christmas coffee. Vacations with special friends. My brothers first ... and second weddings. My daughter during her "blonde" phase in which she dyed her long black hair a stark white. My third daughter, as an infant, sucking her thumb... all of us thankful she finally found it. Thanksgiving turkeys, Easter egg hunting, birthday cakes with candles, gifts being opened, flashing in front of me. At the age of 46 I feel I have lived a very, very long time and yet, it's all represented in 4 or 5 boxes. how can that be? Totally overwhelmed with the fullness of my life represented in those pictures as well as the losses we have suffered and the future calling... I am off to bed...

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Baby Bird Update

We now have 3 baby birds instead of 3 eggs. Momma and Daddy cardinal have been working so hard to keep their family fed. Kerry and I know how that goes! Spring and summer are slim times for the Culbreth family. But we always manage :)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Birds Nest update

It turns out that this nest is a cardinal nest! Very exciting! My husband saw Mom sitting on the nest this morning. Happy mother's day momma!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Birds Nest

Was working in the back yard yesterday evening and was prunning our Lilac. The previous owners of the house planted a climbing rose bush right next to the lilac and over time the two have intertwined. As I was trimming, I noticed a birds nest woven into the rose bush. I tried my best to snap these pictures, but the thorns were pretty thick. After this pics and showing the kids, we left it alone so Mom could come back and sit on those eggs!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Beauty in the Backyard

What a georgous evening! Couldn't help but get out and do some work in the garden (even though I really should have been working :) As the sun moved into it's evening position, I snapped some pictures. Such solitude can be found in the garden this time of year. And the beauty! Amazing!

4 pounds of Love!

This is Olive. She is our little dog. We love her just as much as we do the kids. She was just busy being loved while we watched TV the other night. How cute is this?!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Rain Rain Go Away!

It's raining again today. The garden needs the rain, but it's supposed to be pretty all week... while I'm working and unable to play in the dirt :( Awell, shouldn't complain. We had such a beautiful day on Friday... Anyway, I made this several months ago when I was trying to get into art journaling. I was taking a class by Pam Carriker and was inspired by this picture of my older brother. As I was looking through my pictures I came across it and thought it would be an appropriate post for the day. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Topiary

This has been swirling around in my mind for the past week. So this morning I made it. Rainy this Saturday morning. The flowers are loving it, but so are the weeds... but nothing I can do about it right now, so I'll play with my art supplies.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Faded Daffodils

The Daffodils are faded away... all that remains is the leaves, which are slowly drooping lower and lower. The Love-in-the-mist is just about to bloom and cover up all evidence of the daffodils. I made this when they first came into bloom. Pure spring-time joy! As spring moves into summer don't forget to stop and smell the flowers! Or take pictures of them!... or paint them :)

Sunday, April 25, 2010


Here is the inspiration for my painted daisy. The colors were so beautiful I couldn't help but be inspired!

Spring Garden

I love the garden in the spring. It is emerging, growing and is mostly green. Over the weekend we had a good soaking rain and the plants grew inches overnight. They are a joy and an inspiration! The bee balm is just coming up in this picture, taken a few weeks ago. Yesterday the little fairy was totally engulfed and had to be moved!


Welcome to the Green Queen Garden. Someday this will be an actual physical place, but for now it is a place that exists here. Here you will find many things... words, images, art. Enjoy!