Friday, December 23, 2011

Joys of Christmas

To all our friends, Merry Christmas. May we all remember this special day and the change in all of us that the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, made in our lives. I think so often of the shepherds and their awe at seeing the star and seeking the birth of the Messiah...I wish for all of you that star and that discovery.

Christmas for us brings smiles of joy from Aubrey and Charlie. Their "Elf on the Shelf," name Calvin by Aubrey (no I don't know where that came from) has been a fun, fun thing. Every morning they find Calvin in so many different a stocking on the mantle, on top of the Christmas tree, in the kitchen window, in the bathroom, hanging off the living room may places. And, it is important to be nice...not naughty. We have had breakfast with Santa, made cookies with Mrs. Claus, visited the reindeer, sat on Santa's lap, andmade a Gingerbread House at Preschool. Went up to Farmer's Market at Malibu (celebrity sighting: David Spade, Rachael Zoe, Gary Busey) for a fun day and to the Skiball Museum for children's art fun! We have sung the "12 Days of Christmas," "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer," and "Jingle Bells" at least 10,000 times!

Tomorrow Christmas Eve family church service, then dinner at PF Chang's on the Promenade, then bed and the magic of Christmas morning as seen through the eyes of Aubrey and Charlie. It will be a "most wonderful time."

As Tiny Tim said, "God bless you each and everyone."

Friday, December 9, 2011

Christmas in Santa Monica

We are thrilled to be spending time in Santa Monica with our wonderful family, including our two adorable granddaughters, Aubrey 3+ and Charlie 18 months. They are very energetic, but so very sweet and kind. Aubrey told Santa she wanted a "Pinkalicious" book and a teddy bear for her and for Charlie. She never varies from that! We went to the pre-school Christmas program Sunday at the Baptist Church Aubrey attends. Each class sang a different song. Aubrey's class sang "Away in a Manager," and they did a great job. Here are photos of Charlie, all dressed up for the program.
We love having them spend the night with us in our condo....only 4 blocks from Ashley and Kevin's house. We go to the park, to the 3rd street Promenade, Disney Store, Pinkberry, Disneyland with the girls. MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL OUR FRIENDS!!!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Halloween Fun

What can be more fun for kids than Halloween? Not much unless they are your two adorable grandchildren, like Aubrey (3) and little sister, Charlie (16 months), dressed like Jessie from Toy Story and Tigger from Winnie the Pooh. It was a happy weekend in Santa Monica with loads of parties, pumpkin carving, and treat or treating.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Nothing better

Summer is flying by fast, but the memories will last a lifetime. And what better memories than 2 beautiful little girls, Charlie 1 year and Aubrey 3, playing on the beach at Ocean Isle Beach? They never tire of the sand, sand toys, and water. We dig a big hole - or better still is a tidal pool - and they will sit and play for hours. Aubrey's imagination runs wild & she loves to find other little girls to play with. She is definitely not shy about going up and talking to people. Good sunscreen and hats and happy little girls make it a summer to remember. Our beach house will be too, too quiet when they return to Santa Monica in the fall.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Great summer

Our summer fun continued with Charlie's big FIRST birthday. It is hard to believe how fast this year flew by. She was adorable in her balloon #1 dress and had so much fun. Mother Ashley had a beautiful cake for everyone, but the party was complete with Charlie's very own small cake with 'ALL MINE' written on it. You can see from this photo that she definitely enjoyed the cake, and her first real experience with SWEETS!!! She had cake on her face, hands, arms, legs, even her shoes!!! Her chuckle is infectious, and everyone loves hearing her cackle and smile. We will long remember this wonderful day with Charlie. And, how very blessed we are that she and sister Aubrey and their mom and dad are with us for the summer. It just doesn't get any better than that!

Our summer kicked off at the beach with the annual 4th of July parade. More than 100 decorated golf carts along with some cars, trucks, etc. go along about 1/2 mile route, throwing out thousands of pieces of candy to the beach-goers that gather for the annual tradition. Last year we had a "Dora" cart and this year we had the Princess carts. Here is Aubrey, now 2 1/2 - will be 3 in August, with her tiara, necklace and earrings. She had a blast as did all of us. Sister Charlie joined us for part of the trip.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Mary Beth Baxter, in memory

It is with a very heavy heart that we learned today that Mary Beth Baxter died after a brave 5-week struggle after suffering a heart attack. Surrounded by her loving family and friends, Mary Beth is at rest and now surrounded by the love of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Everyone who ever knew Mary Beth is the better for it. She was one of the funniest people I have ever known, her laughter was infectious and her stories were never-ending. I shall never forget the love she shared with our daughter, Ashley, when she was undergoing surgery for an acoustic neuroma brain tumor. Mary Beth hand wrote Ashley lengthy letters, detailing all of the going-ons at her shop and daughter Heather's bakery next door, and about her beloved grandchildren. That was Mary Beth, though - always thoughtful, always doing for others. It meant so much to me and to Ashley. Mary Beth was not only one of the most talented artists we have ever known, but she was also a wonderful gift shop owner of primitive and Americana folk art on Cape Cod. I am sure all of her loyal customers and those at Heather's bakery will dearly miss Mary Beth. Her artwork, home and shop were featured in many national magazines. I remember Mary Beth saying that "as a six year old I excelled in everything artistic. It didn't matter the time or place, from large abstract paintings to an early bride's box, the use of color and shape came as second nature to me." She always said that love and family and reverence for America were central themes of her artwork. My thoughts today are how very fortunate my life has been to have known Mary Beth. I wish all of you could have known her. She truly made this world a better place, and she will be missed everyday of my life. Some people come into our lives and leave no trace; others come and leave footprints. Mary Beth left beautiful footprints.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

First Sky Diving, Now Flying!

Happy Birthday, Ashley & Kevin! It's a busy June with their birthdays + sweet Charlie, who will be one on June 25th. So, how does Ashley & Kevin celebrate their birthdays? Like the rest of us, go out to dinner and have a nice evening? Oh no! much too simple! These two decide not only to go up in a plane at the Santa Monica airport, but to actually fly the plane. They took turns at the controls. Years ago Ashley decided to sky dive. She had the wisdom NOT to tell us until AFTER the fact, knowing we would have tried to talk her out of it. But....I know they had a ball in the air over LA, Hollywood, Malibu, Beverly Hills...all over everywhere. See what happens when you get "older?" So HAPPY BIRTHDAY to both of you.

Friday, May 6, 2011

What a happy design

Sometimes a new design just makes you feel happy when you look at it. Is it because I have two beautiful granddaughters? or is it because Maureen has been working so hard? or does it make you think of "Mother's Day?" or is it just cool design.... all are correct. I feel confident that Maureen will get a great "deal" on this new collection (this is just one), but I know it will bring a smile to your face, too.

Enjoy...and to all my friends out there - HAVE A WONDERFUL MOTHER'S DAY. May it be relaxing, fun and reflective. Remember "life is too short not to smile."

Monday, April 25, 2011

Oops, Charlie, Oops!

Our adorable youngest granddaughter, Charlie, is now 10 months old & loves standing up at any chance. Bigger sister's Dora Playhouse is just the perfect height for Charlie. How our daughter captured these photos is amazing....and they will definitely bring a smile to your face (see the grin on Charlie's face in the middle photo - she is such a happy baby)....then you'll die laughing....OOPS! Note in the background that bigger sister, Aubrey (2 1/2), is not paying any attention to Charlie. True-to-form, Charlie was not bothered in the least by her misfortune.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Another post finally has been a long time since I posted. I had a wonderful time with my two beautiful granddaughters, Aubrey and Charlie, in Santa Monica. They are so very good it makes being a grandmother even more wonderful. I helped out my daughter, Ashley, and son-in-law, Kevin, for a few days, but then came down with the worst case of flu ever. It has stayed with me for 11 days, but some meds from my doc should finally call an end to this mess. I hope so...and I would not wish this crud on anyone. Bill has been a real trooper during my "in home" extended stay.

Here is a new photo of Aubrey waiting to go to her play school....she loves it so much. She has so much personality, and we have a ball together....going to the playground, eating pizza, picking out our favorites at Pinkberry, playing on the sidewalk, going on treasure hunts, visiting the Disney Store and watching endless hours of Nemo, Toy Story, Dora and Mickey. Makes me wish I were with she and Charlie again.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Ah....the luck of the Irish! Does this mean if I buy a lottery ticket on Thursday I'll win?? Don't I wish!!! But whatever you plan to do (and make sure eating is a part of your plans), have a wonderful, fun, happy day. And....if you win the lottery, I'll expect my share!

Sally Keszler did this great St Pat's design....we all love it. So, if you see Sally, be sure to "Kiss" her as her design says!!! thanks Sally for all you do! You always make us smile!

Monday, March 14, 2011


We can feel it in the air -- Spring is arriving and none-too-fast. The daffodils are up, the Lady Banks roses are bursting out (such a beautiful sight), the temperatures are rising, and smiles are on everyone's face. Life is grand. No need to worry, no need to fret. Spring is proof enough of God. It is a true time to rejoice of all our blessings. Bonnie Young just sent in this wonderful chick and eggs design & it just brings such happiness to all of us & I had to share. Bonnie is a beautiful person outside and in; what a wonderful part of our licensing family. ENJOY!

Monday, March 7, 2011

God Bless America

Lainey Daniels always continues to dazzle and encourage us with her wonderful artwork. She is such a hard worker and has a beautiful heart. It is hard to believe how long I have know her -- we go back to "old days" in the textile arena --- and that we have worked with her. This new Hearts and Stars layout makes all of us think about our great country, our dedicated men and women in the service to whom we owe so much, and the pride we have in the USA. Lainey has two daughters, and I think about Ashley and two baby girls that will grow up so fast (even though I'm sure she doesn't think so at this moment) just like Lainey's. Our day brightens whenever we get new artwork, and Lainey's always brings a big smile to us. As teenagers text - BFF - best friends forever.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

My heart is in California

We just returned from a wonderful visit with our two adorable granddaughters, Aubrey 2 1/2 and Charlie 8 months (and their parents). They kept us on the go, and we loved it. Santa Monica is beautiful (except this trip it was rainy and cold). Aubrey goes to play school 4 days a week at a Baptist Church (yeah) and loves it. We enjoyed taking them to the Promenade, the ocean park for soccer ball kicking, Carousel at the Santa Monica pier, yogurt at Pinkberry, park for swing, slides, the restaurant at Santa Monica airport to watch the planes, and many, many fun lunches and dinners. Our Christmas gift from Ashley and Kevin was "breakfast" with Disney characters at the Disney hotel in Anaheim. It was "Goofy" as the host, and Pluto, Aladdin and the Genie, Bo Bear, Chip and Dale. Aubrey was shy at first with all the characters - when you're small, they all seem large. Bo Bear was really, really big, but broke into the "twist" at our table & it warmed Aubrey up. She even put her hand in his huge paw. It was a wonderful day with memories for a lifetime. How fast they grow!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Day by Day

It's cold here today (yuck), and we're expecting some rain/ice tomorrow. Makes staying inside really nice. The flu is making its rounds in Charlotte. I've missed that bullet so far and hope it continues, especially because we get to visit our family (our 2 precious granddaughters) in Santa Monica next week. Can't wait. I know they have grown like weeds since we saw them in November. I'll be sure to take photos and know how terrible grandparents can be about photos!!!

Thanks to Maureen Costello for this new, uplifting Day by Day design. Makes me smile every time I see it. I like the idea of making "it new." Great way to look at every day. Maureen is used to this cold (sorry Maureen) being up in Michigan. I have told her repeatedly that we appreciate her sharing, but she really doesn't have to share this frigid weather (LOL :) Enjoy your week.

Monday, February 7, 2011

After the Super Bowl

After a great Super Bowl party, I felt just like Vicki Schreiner''s fun, happy "Goodnight Lester." Tired but happy, wanting nothing but sleep, precious sleep. We had so much fun with our neighbors - lots of laughs & hoots. Carol was the ONLY one to pick the Steelers to win so she "lost." Every family had reason to smile as they took money home from our "betting pool." Too much food, but husband Bill is happy to have lots to munch on this week. Love the Packers - sad for Christina messing up our National Anthem. Even big stars get "star struck" with 100,000+ in the stadium and millions watching! Enjoy your day....remember it takes fewer muscles to smile, many, many more to frown. Life is too short to frown (and to fret). What's better in life than smiles, joy and happiness. Don't let anyone bring you down on such a wonderful day (even those that try extra hard)!!!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Teresa's wonderful Primtive Folk Art

We are so thrilled with the marvelous new Folk Art collection that Teresa has been developing. This is such a "love" of hers and reconnecting with friends at folk art trade shows is so much fun for her. We all wish her loads of good luck at the Valley Forge show this weekend - we know she will sell out. Here is a new one from her talented hands! ENJOY - and thank you, Teresa, for all of your hard work. Can't wait to see what's coming next. All of our vendors are thrilled with this entire collection!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Putting a smile on my face

You know the expression - "Kodak" moment.  For grandparents those moments turn into memories.  Here is a photo of our "oldest" granddaughter, Aubrey, now 29 months old, on Christmas morning with an apron she received as a gift.  What a cool idea - to have her name on the front of the apron.  She loves to "cook" and make "smoothies" with her Daddy. She had so much fun at Christmas.....and expected Santa to come every day....I agree with her - that would be a great idea - but might bankrupt the parents (and, of course, the grandparents).  How fast they grow!  Sister Charlie is already 7 months old & crawling everywhere.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

New Hits Just Keep coming

A new day is like the cheesecake in our office ' yummy with great new art. Here are two companion pieces from Desiree Habicht. Desiree is known with consumers for her wonderfully selling fabric programs. She is expanding her portfolio to appeal to all types of products with our vendors. I know you will love Peace and Hope shown here. Stayed tuned for more surprises everyday. Enjoy this day & remember "You don't stop laughing because you grow old; you grow old because you stop laughing."

Monday, January 24, 2011

Fun New Art from Maureen

All of our artists are busy getting new art to us. We always tell them we love new art as much as chocolate ( VP, Beth Fields, would question that)!!! Here's some new ones from Maureen Costello, who is very, very chilly up in Michigan (where Teresa Kogut also lives). Burrrr chilly.
Thanks, Maureen!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Atlanta Gift Show

What a great show! Atlanta continues to be the "granddaddy" of all shows! Beth, Ashley & I spent 5 days at the show, each of us had dozens of appointments everyday, and had tremendous response to all the great art from our mega-talented artists and great ideas we shared with our vendors. We were equally thrilled to connect with new vendors. The future is blazing bright! We took photos of products and trends to share with our artists! Beth and Ashley loved having their new IPads to showcase artwork. I did it the "old fashion" way. I'm going to let them learn all the ins and outs of the IPad so they can show me quickly and easily!! We have a lot of work, which we love, love, love, and look forward to seeing new products in the marketplace this year and next. Kudos to all our artists for giving us such wonderful work to share with our vendors.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Glad it's gone

It was magical to have snow last week - such a rare occurrence for Charlotte - and it stopped us in our tracks for two days! Here is a photo of our backyard showing a wonderful old birdhouse we bought some 20 years ago from Alabama Folk Art (whom we used to represent in the gift market under our old, former wholesale company, The Linda Mc. Company). Alabama Folk Art was a true creative genius and had the very best primitive bird houses, signs, etc. We miss them. The snow is gone, the sun will be out today and it is going to be a beautiful day in the Queen City.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Fun for Bill

Boy oh boy! did Bill and son-in-law Kevin have a blast. They played Augusta National (I think they plan to play in the Masters - ha!!!). They were invited by a friend of Bill's, played the 9-hole course, dinner in the Club, and were invited to visit the Champions Locker Room (lots of Green jackets), go up into the Crow's nest, spent the night in the Butler Cabin (definitely NOT a cabin - more like a 5-star resort), then played the course the next day. Both Kevin and Bill played well....surprisingly well considering the course. To put it simply - they had the time of their lives.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Fun in Mexico

Here we all are on the Malecon in Puerto Vallarta. So few photos of all of us together and all of us smiling! Kudos to the man who took the picture. Wonderful memories of a wonderful trip. Can't wait for the next one!

Aubrey and Charlie

Who wouldn't love these two beautiful faces! Aubrey (there's the Georgia hat)is a wonderful big sister and Charlie just follows her everywhere with her eyes. It won't be long before she will be walking and keeping up with big sister. Aubrey always wanted to wear one of my necklaces, and here she is sporting one for our night out on the town. She always wanted to take a taxi, saying "I love taxis!!"

Georgia girl

Aubrey had the best time "stealing" Grendie's (that's "Granddaddy") Georgia hat and wearing it. Usually it ended up being thrown in the pool. It became a game between the two of them. (she'll probably have a big collection of Wisconsin Badgers and UNC Tar Heel hats, too). But, as Aubrey says, " Goooooooo Georgia!"

Our beautiful granddaughters

Her is Aubrey loving her float! She could spend all day in it!