Category Archives: Uncategorized

Diamond Ring and Christmas by Betty Mason Arthurs


Thanks to Betty Mason Arthurs for this story of love and loss and Christmas joy.

Doing Life Together

Ornament Wreath

Diamond Ring and Christmas


Betty Mason Arthurs

Christmas time brings both happy and painful memories. Today, I share one of a father’s love and his gift.

A father kept a memorable gift tucked away in the top drawer of his dresser. Among his extra keys, spare change, combs and handkerchiefs nestled, like delicate eggs in a nest, a small blue velvet box. David often touched the box and then opened it to gaze at the beautiful diamond ring, a gift for his lovely daughter.

His daughter was the sunshine in his life. It’s not often parents give birth to a selfless child who loved them “to the moon and back” even after she married. Marcy gave them a delicate granddaughter and handsome grandson. She and her family lived close by and every visit overflowed with her love and concern for her parents.

Marcy would turn 30 years in May…

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7 Things Creatives Should Do Before 9:00 AM

7 Things Creatives Should Do Before 9:00 AM

Full disclosure: The suggestions listed below may only work for full-time writers and artists or the unemployed. If you have a day job, you might find this article frustrating. Or, you could try utilizing the information below on your days off, or implementing only the tips that fit your situation or schedule.


  1. Get up. Yeah, I know, it sounds obvious; but if you’re not doing getting up before 9:00, maybe you should try it. Going to bed before midnight helps.
  2. Drink a glass of water. Your brain won’t work well if it’s under-hydrated.
  3. Reading biblePray, meditate, or read something inspiring. For me, it’s a chapter of scripture. I read, pick out a passage that speaks to me at that particular moment, and rephrase it in my own words in my journal. Then I pray and ask God what He has for me that day, and ask Him to guide me.
  4. Go to the gym. If you don’t belong to a gym, hop on your bike, work through an exercise video, jog, climb stairs, practice yoga, lift dumbbells, or take a walk. If you’re not doing something that requires total concentration, let your mind wander. Observe what’s going on around you. People-watch. Listen to birds sing. Free your brain to collect inspiration.
  5. Clear your mind with freewriting. Even three minutes of dumping your worries or just writing down whatever silly thoughts enter your consciousness will help your creativity emerge.writing
  6. Plan what you want to accomplish this day. Be reasonable. Writer Anne Lamott, in her book Bird by Bird, recommends giving yourself a small assignment, something that would fill a one-inch square picture frame, something that moves you forward without overwhelming you. Consider all the things you are obligated to do, and figure out a way to accomplish your daily chores while still giving you time to work on your art.
  7. Eat a healthy breakfast, preferably containing protein. I generally have a cup of coffee and some yogurt while I read my Bible (see #3). Hint—a donut or four cups of coffee do not constitute a healthy breakfast. Fuel yourself for productivity.

Oil_painting_palette wikipedia

Once you’ve done these seven things, you’ve already overcome some of the worst barriers to creativity: inertia, apathy, hunger, thirst, and lack of motivation. Now get out there and make something beautiful and amazing!


Artists & Writers in Their Studios


A great big ARHtistic License thank you to Deborah J. Brasket for this fabulous article. I love to see artists’ and authors’ workspaces. Don’t you? Too bad mine looks like #7. See more of Deborah’s thoughts on art and writing on her blog, Living on the Edge of Wild.

Deborah J. Brasket

"Calder at Home The Joyous Environment of Alexander Calder" by Pedro Guerreo Art studio of Alexander Calder

I’ve been collecting images of artist studios and writing spaces as inspiration for creating my own art/writing workspace. Some of these images are of famous artists and writers. It’s been so interesting to match the creative mind with the space that inspires it. Most of the creative spaces that have been most inspiring to me belong to people who are not famous, or at least unknown to me, and perhaps I’ll share those another time.

Here I’ve matched the spaces with famous quotes from the inhabitants. See if you can guess who they are. If you can’t, the names are listed below.

  1. “With age art and life grow together.” 

"With age art and life grow together."  ---George Braque

2. “I do not literally paint that table, but the emotion it produces upon me.”

Matisse, paper cutting. We both love Matisse, especially the cut paper works of his latter days. I actually made two quilts based on those artworks.

3. “My library is an archive of longings.”

40 Inspiring Workspaces Of The Famously Creative

4. “My fan mail is enormous. Everyone is under six.”

Alexander Calder in his studio. I want those rugs!

5. “All sorrows…

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In the Meme Time: Crazy

In the Meme Time: Crazy

CRAZY Steve-Jobs-Quotes-5-800x800

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: In the Distance

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: In the Distance

My offerings for CB&W, taken on a recent trip to the Gilbert Riparian Reserve. The white birds are snowy egrets; the dark one is a great blue heron; all taken from a distance.

Inktober Day 16: Facets

Inktober Day 16: Facets

I’m using the prompt from the Zentangle All Around Facebook group, facets:



Creative Juice #63

Creative Juice #63

Sharing twelve artsy articles to juice up your creativity:

  1. Street art.
  2. A sculptor turns a fallen tree into a sculpture.
  3. Super Converse kicks!
  4. The truth about corsets.
  5. What happens when Helen Keller goes to a dance studio? No, I’m not making a tasteless joke. Martha Graham was a friend of Keller’s.
  6. This one might make you cry. It’s about the death of a mother. Skip it if you must.
  7. Amazing award-winning quilts.
  8. If you have the ability to snap a picture of your pet doing something silly, you may want to enter this contest next year. If not, you can still enjoy this year’s finalists.
  9. Pages from a Zentangle sketchbook.
  10. Shipping containers never looked so good.
  11. How a unicorn makes music. (Because I’m dedicated to bringing you all the unicorn stories I can.)
  12. Quirky ceramics and a podcast.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Flowers

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Flowers

Cee is doing an “alphabet with a twist” series for her Fun Foto Challenge, and we’re up to F: Fun or Flowers. Here are my offerings, from a recent walk through the ‘hood.

Ocotillo blossoms:




Red bird of paradise:





My offering for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge with the prompt: Letter E – Needs to have two E’s in the topic word.




Ice cream by mark-cruz-334535


The best flavor of ice cream is vanilla.
It’s a well-known fact.
Vanilla is the flavor against which all others are judged.
Vanilla is the standard bearer, the brand prover.
If you have a fine vanilla, you have a fine ice cream, indeed.
Of course, if vanilla is too plain for you,
You can liven it up by mixing in some cherries,
Or put it between chocolate and strawberry for a Neapolitan vibe.

No, chocolate is the best flavor of ice cream.
It’s a well-known fact.
Chocolate is what everybody craves.
But if chocolate is too tame for you,
Mix it up with some nuts and marshmallows, reminiscent of rough roads.

No. The best flavor of ice cream is butter pecan.
Adventurous and refined.
You don’t need to add anything to it.
It’s perfect the way it is.
It’s a well-known fact.

My offering for The Daily Post prompt: flavorful.