November is a month of reflection for me. Recently, hubby and I took a walk thru the woods. I turned around to see what was behind me, I was surprised by what I saw. It was a whole different view. It occurred to me at that moment, that we shouldn’t be afraid of looking back at what happened in the past. You might be surprised at how far you’ve come. November is the month my boyo collapsed in front of me, I kneeled at his side doing cpr, talking to the 911 operator, praying. I stayed at his side thru ambulances, emergency rooms. He coded that day and survived. I stayed by his side thru a coma, thru years of pain and very little sleep. November is also the month of hope, he came out of the coma, he went into remission. He survived. It was 19 years ago. He has battled valiantly, he fought thru treatment, He fights thru conditions he has now, that were caused by the treatment. He continues to survive.

The important thing about looking back at what’s behind us is not to get stuck that way because then, we’ll never move forward. It’s been a strange year, so many feel stuck and frightened by what’s happening around us. I understand that fear. However, I also know what survival means, it comes from a great struggle. That word though, survivor, survival, survived, whatever the form, it has so much meaning. There is growth, joy and strength that comes from survival, many times there is trauma too.

The picture at the top of this page is special to me, it involves what it takes to survive. The earrings are a symbol of survival and healing. I found them thru @tiny_art1 she made them and explained the meaning behind them. It struck a chord with me. They are wings and a tear drop that have been bound up to heal. Since, it is a month of reflection for me, they hold a very special place in my heart. You see, when my boyo was going thru treatment, it was so very painful for him, I would hold him and his tears would stream down my back. Sometimes it felt as though they were etched forever into my back. And yet, we survived.

Really, it’s survival I’m writing about today. It seems fitting for this month and this year. Survival takes being strong when you think you have no strength. It’s not an easy thing to accomplish. The traumas become part of you. You must survive those too. Childhood trauma is a difficult beast to battle. the damage appears later in life. I look at my boyo now. I am so proud. He lost his joy a few years ago but he never stopped fighting to find it again. He’s been through so much, but he never stops fighting for his survival. It’s true I am an emotional being. I used to apologize for that, I do not anymore. If your child hurts you hurt, it means you are a parent. Isn’t it what we’re meant to do? We love, we guide, we help, we teach, we protect.

I have reflected on the past quite a bit the last few years. Did I do enough to protect him? Why couldn’t I stop the trauma that haunts him now? These are questions any parent would ask, when, they see their grown child in pain from the trauma he endured as a child. It took some time to find the right help, there are some wonderful people who specialize in childhood trauma, who also understand that there is damage done by the treatment itself, like the high dose methatrexate, the radiation to the brain, the coma and lack of oxygen. After much reflection, I know I did everything in my power to do what was best for him. There was so much that could not be stopped. And yet, there was so much I and his dad did stop. We gave him all the protection and love that we had. Survival means scars. Some scars take a long time to heal.

Little by little they are healing. When I paused to look back over the last few years, I saw how far we’ve come. We move in such small steps when we heal, sometimes we don’t realize what progress we’ve made. Scars will remain but they are fading. Survival means hard work, recovering does too. It’s a journey that is worth taking. Joy comes of it, love comes of it, gratitude comes of it. And those things are valuable to have. So, as we battle through this very strange year, let me tell you, survival is a badge of honor. We keep fighting to survive, to find joy in our day, to share love, to share some laughter. We are very grateful for what survival has taught us.

Take a moment and tell your loved ones you love them, you’ll never regret kindness. Don’t be afraid to look behind you once in awhile, you’ll be amazed at how far you’ve come. Sending love to you all.

Time in a Bottle

Soooooo, well,………you see…., let me put it this way….hmmmmm. Ok, how about this? It seems I’ve let so much time go by since I last wrote a blog, I may have forgotten how to do it. No, no, it’s not that(well, not completely at least). excuses excuses…,

It’s amazing how time can slip through your fingers isn’t it? Even when it feels like time slowed down to a painful crawl. The reality is, that time moves as it always has done. It’s our perception of it that changes. In my life I’ve noticed, that depending on what’s happening at the time influences how I perceive the movement of time. It will either feel like it’s flying by or slow as molasses. and yet… you will look back and wonder how did it all go by so fast? At this time, I find myself in such a quandary.

One of the reasons I stopped writing blog posts was that there were a lot of things going on involved in caring for my boyo’. Priorities had to be moved around and blogging had to be put aside for a time. Then, technology seemed to fight me, which can happen to a dinosaur brain like mine. Lastly, once I decided it was time to start writing again,….I DIDN’T KNOW WHAT to write!! OH!NO! Not writers block?!! So…once again I needed to take more time to figure out what EXACTLY was the problem! Was the writing bone in my brain broken? removed? never to be seen again? Oh dear, what to do, what to do? So…I did what any dinosaur brain would do….I went back to working in my gardens…. I thought and thought and planted and watered and grew things and talked to the camera in my vlogs, about art, gardens, dogs, painful things, happy things, plants grew, and life changed a bit. Then a pandemic came along…..That changed some things!

Time stopped again. We made adjustments, everyone made adjustments. We got scared, everyone got scared. We hunkered down and stayed in place, everyone hunkered down and stayed in place. We thought it would pass by quickly, it did not. Like I always do, I look at the challenge at hand, get frustrated by said challenge and then get to work on how to deal with it. So.. I did what any dinosaur brain would do….I went back to gardening, and built more gardening things, planted and watered and grew things. I talked to the camera about growing and planting and watering on my vlogs. I learned how to order groceries and many other necessities from home, I learned what zoom was and how to use it. The boyos’ dr.s told him for his health condition he must take all precautions and stay home until, we don’t know when. This also means me, I must protect his health with whatever I can, so again it was time to rethink how I do things. I paused shipping on my business because I had always gone out to the post office to ship. Then I purchased and had shipped to me a printer, my dinosaur brain could handle, labels and shipping supplies. I started shipping things to my friends using the pick up service the post office provides for practice, so I knew I could do it. Hubby helped me find a better camera to use, he gave me his hand me down computer since my old one was worn out and fighting me.

I rearranged my studio many many….many times.

and……I thought about what to write. This was the conclusion that I came to. There were actually several factors involved in why I couldn’t write. First, the technology I was using didn’t work anymore, second I had become overwhelmed with life in general, third my writing skills had atrophied. By not using them regularly they had weakened and I needed to exercise them again. Fourth and most importantly, I had too much to write about. I find that it’s the same whether I’m painting or writing, if too much time has gone by since I wrote or painted I have too much to write about or to paint. Once I had most of those problems figured out I was able to focus my dinosaur brain towards writing again! (As I just wrote that it made me smile.) What a relief! I’m grateful for the passing of time, it can heal, it can repair, it can refocus, it can change our priorities and it can capture beautiful memories and joys. As time passes you can see more clearly the laughter as the pain slowly slips away somewhere into time.

Now, it’s time to restart my business in a better, more efficient way, in a way that I still enjoy my work. This is the beautiful new web site my sweet hubby took the time to build for me. I am so grateful for him and the time that he gave me. I can now resume shipping. I can’t make any promises about being regular in my blogging, which is another thing that time has taught me. We never know what may be ahead, all we can do is try to be ready to face it with joy and strength. So, instead I will promise to write the blog when I can. It may be regularly you just never know! Molly and I are as always busy in the gardens and the studio, we still have mornings we hang out quietly. We’re so glad that you’re still here with us. We hope you enjoy all the new stuff on the web site and all the videos. Have a cup of tea and pull up a chair cause it’s going to be a great day!

The Whimsical World of Stacys Art Studio

I think my work space is getting a bit out of hand! I like to keep things around me that inspire me while I’m working. The tea cups, well,  because life without tea would be so sad! The steam punk hat that I made, because it makes me happy! I love my old palette full of dried up paint. The antique camera, it doesn’t work but it makes me happy! I also love to collect other peoples art. The large abstract piece on the wall is from a friend of mine. You can find his work on instagram under @epique_art and the beautiful print of the girl painting is done by another talented friend of mine who you can find on instagram under @raynedropart. Then of course scattered paints, cool things to hold my brushes and my own canvases laying around makes me feel like a real artist!


P1170007.JPGWelcome!  brew yourself a delightful cup of tea, pull up whatever velvet chair you can find and get comfortable!

What I try to accomplish with my paintings is to create a little world that I would like to disappear into for a little bit for a breather from real life! I hope that the paintings you find here will do that for you!

Here’s a painting that you will find for sale in my little etsy shop.

“Blue Frosting” 11×14