A Grateful Girl!

A couple of Sundays ago, Maddie told me on our way home, that in Children’s Church, the teacher asked them all a question:

What is something you are thankful for and why?

“Mom”, she said, “I’ve always felt thankful for insulin, and that is what I said.  But I don’t think it ever really hit me, because the reason I said I was thankful for it is ’cause…I wouldn’t be alive.”

I looked back at her in my rear-view mirror.  A sweet smile was on her face. No self-pity there. No desire to be dramatic. Just glad gratitude.

I was the one struggling with the self-pity…or the pity for her.  It  made me remember back to being at Brenner’s, when she was first diagnosed. We had been there a day or so; she was receiving regular shots of insulin. We were all learning the ins and outs of this new life called Living with Diabetes.  The nurses had given her a JDRF bear with a toy shot so she could practice giving him his insulin shots.  I remember her also practicing on us.  And before she would give us the “spot”, she would say, “When I give you this spot, you will never be thirsty again.”

She had realized even in those first hours of her new life, that insulin was what made her feel so so much better.  Her thirst was going away.  She was able to make it to the bathroom and not have to go so much.  She wasn’t hungry all the time.  Her energy was returning.

I am grateful too! I cannot tell you how thankful we are to JDRF and to the support we receive through this organization locally!! Won’t you join us in our gratitude and make a THANK YOU donation to Maddie’s Mission to find a Cure for Diabetes.  They are close! In the next decade we may see a cure for this disease! Wouldn’t that be amazing?

Maddie (and I) will be even more grateful!

And we are so very grateful to those of you who have already given to Maddie’s Mission!!! A big hug to you today!

Mr. Whicker & Maddie: A Diabetes Story

In early December of 2009, Mr. Whicker knocked on our front door.  My parents answered the door, as Randy and I and Maddie were not there.  My parents had come to stay with our two older children since we were at Brenner’s Children’s Hospital.  My parents told Mr. Whicker where we were and why. Maddie had been diagnosed with juvenile diabetes.  Mr. Whicker’s eyes filled up with tears and he stood in our doorway and wept.

When my parents recounted this to me, at first I marveled at his compassion. And as my dad continued to tell me that they reassured him things would be alright for Maddie, it dawned on me that in his generation, children who were diagnosed with juvenile diabetes often died, or at least were bound to develop all kinds of eyesight, heart, and nerve problems due to the disease.

We live in a grand time when insulin and so many other discoveries and technological advances have made it possible for children and adults who are diagnosed with this disease to LIVE!!  Not only that, but the efforts of JDRF and others, have made living with Type 1 Diabetes so much less cumbersome and allow for a greater degree of “managing” the blood sugar levels.  As blood sugar levels are maintained within a healthier range, the debilitating effects of diabetes are lessened.  It is still by no means an easy disease to live with.  Compared to “normal” kids, even today’s technology seems cumbersome.  But compared to what it used to be like…we have come a long way!

We celebrate today that our daughter LIVES!!  She enjoys the benefits of so many things that JDRF has played a vital role in providing for her.  Here are just a few:

Maddie’s Test Kits

Won’t you join us in celebrating the HUGE advances the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation has been a part of?  Consider donating a few dollars to this organization so that they can continue down the path of finding a cure!

Mr. Whicker and Maddie will be so glad you did!

So will I! 🙂

Maddie’s Pump and Inset

Remember! We Walk for the Cure on October 27th!! Come join us if you’d like!

Ready for a New School Year

Teacher work days start today for Genevieve! She is off to school with tons of ideas for fun art projects for her students, a grand vision for our Art Show in February, and some New Threads!!

Thanks to her family’s generosity on her Birthday, she’s now sporting some very Frenchy clothes (at least she thinks so!), like her new J.Jill outfit, a leather orange-flower purse, and some money for a pair of boots.  I haven’t actually purchased these yet, but I saw some the other day that looked oh-so-awesome!!!  But the price tag was NOT awesome, so I’m thinking of buying a less expensive pair of boots and possibly seeing if I can paint/stain the leather!!

If any of you out there know how this might be done…let me know! And yes, I know I should check out Pinterest…someone has prolly done this before!!

Thank you family, for getting me ready to start the school year in style!!

A Dreamy Gift

Recently, Genevieve was given a Dreamy Gift! It’s one of those gifts where it is obvious the giver has taken great care to make it especially for you. I am now the proud owner of this most fantabulous piggy bank!

My friend (who happens to be a “Jennifer” also) discovered that I have a Dream to one day visit France.  So her creative mind set to thinking how I could save toward such a grand dream.  She bought this totally awesome vintage travel (cosmetic?) case, and decorated it with all sorts of stickers with a France theme. It’s in my favorite blue color (notice how it matches Genevieve’s dress) and all the stickers make it look so Frenchy! It even came with a few dollars and coins already donated to my “dream”…HOW COOL IS THAT!!!  It’s a really awesome thing when friends hold onto, and encourage, a dream you have.  Thank you Jennifer!

So Genevieve has been tossing in “leftover” coinage and inviting her family to participate in the “the Dream” ;).

Un de ces jours…(means: one of these days…)

…je vais voyager en France!

Combo Awards!

A couple of weeks ago, Cathy, of the crazy-good-drawing blog Ziggyshortcrust, awarded me the Sunshine Award! I am so tickled to be granted this blog award and it got me to thinkin’…  Somebody gave me an award back in December, for which I remember being equally tickled to receive, but had neglected to acknowledge and pass on!  Francina of Season’s Poetry had graciously awarded me The Versatile Blogger award.  This was a real treat since she is an incredible poet and I felt honored to be listed among other painters and poets in her list of award winners.  A heart-felt thank you to BOTH OF YOU for thinking of my little blog when giving out these lovely awards.


The Sunshine Award is awarded to “bloggers who positively and creatively inspire others”.  This is one of the most wonderful compliments anyone could give me! My desire is to do exactly that: to positively and creatively inspire others to be creative!  I imagine the Versatile Blogger award is just what it says: someone who has a versatile approach to blogging, perhaps creating in a variety of ways.  Thank you Cathy and Francina…I’m humbled to be chosen.

The Sunshine Award requires that I answer 9 specific questions, while the Versatile Blogger award simply states that I’m to give some random facts about myself.  I’ve decided to merge these into one so that you get 9 random facts, specifically generated by the Sunshine questions…HA!  I realize I’m fudging a bit here, but I hope it’s ok. Here are the 9 questions/random facts:

My favorite color is…lime green!

My favorite number is…5! (Don’t know why…it’s always been 5 since I was a kid)

My favorite drink is…coffee with cream and sugar!

My favorite animal is… a sheep! (Collected them when I was little and I love knitting with their wool:).

Facebook? or Twitter?… Facebook! Love connecting with friends…besides, many people link their Tweets to Facebook, so I get to enjoy the tweets there as well.

Getting or Giving presents…Giving! Oh I do love receiving a present; but I love to give one even more, especially if I’m able to MAKE it!

My Favorite day…today! I can’t do anything about the past except learn from it.  I don’t want to fritter away today worrying about tomorrow (it will take care of itself).  Today has been given to me to live to the fullest, to receive it with joy, to draw it in some way in my sketchbook.

My Favorite flower… that’s a tough one, since I love so many!  But I’d have to say roses! All colors, all kinds!

My Passion… is to draw my life and encourage others to do so as well!

And now, I am to name 10 recipients for the Sunshine Award and 15 for the Versatile Blogger award.  I’m going to combine these two and award them BOTH to 15 hand-picked winners!  I tried to stay away from any whom I knew to have received these awards in the past.  I apologize if you’re receiving it again, but then perhaps you will feel doubly awarded!  It’s always nice to have someone say, “I see what wonderful work you do, and here’s a ribbon (badge) for your blog to wear!”  Here’s my list in no particular order:

Stew of StewCrotherArt.  His digital art, pen and pencil work makes you wonder…how in the world did he do that?

Cathy of Down a Dusty Lane.  She creates beautiful and sensitive colored pencil works of her life…as well as other stuff.

Hanneke of Hannekekoop.  She creates marvelous illustrations of thought and story…her work is a real treat!

Barbara of Drawing Breath.  Her exquisite watercolors and sketches will have you doing just that: drawing your breath and holding it for a few seconds.  Loveliness.

Alex of Weekly Art Assignment. His versatility and expertise in portraiture, illustration, cartoon..well, just about everything will delight you for hours!

Raena of Raena’s Sketch Journal. Her superb drawings and watercolors perfectly portray her life.  This blog is a Must-Visit.

Meegan Parkee of Scratchyas. Cruise around on all the sections of this artist’s website…you’ll have to pick your jaw up off the floor!

Liz of Art, the Beautiful Metaphor. Her embroidered works on silk based on her original designs are exquisite.

Chris of Chris Murray Art. Beautiful art and wonderful sketches make Chris’ blog a spot of heaven.

Deborah of Making a Splash…  You can’t help but leave Deb’s blog with a smile on your face…happy, sunshine colors, joyful art!

Ann of BlueBird Hill.  A fellow mountain girl who still lives there and paints her life in multi-mediums…gorgeous artwork.

Carrie Holst of Portland Plein Air.  A recent find…her watercolors of plein air excursions in and around Portland, Oregon are simply lovely.

Sandra of Sandras Mixed Bag. The header image of her blog says it all…she is truly proficient in NUMEROUS art forms!  Go see what she might be stitching, drawing, mandala-ing, etc.

Stacey of Creativesqueblog. Stacey’s work is rich and colorful with a touch of whimsy.  Be sure to check out her Etsy shop too!

Dan of Dan’s Canvas.  A Must-visit blog! Dan’s life (and blog) is, like the Danny Kaye quote in the header, a great big canvas on which he has beautifully thrown a lot of paint!

Revelle of Imagemaker. Revelle’s artwork is the epitomy of versatile: fantastically realistic animals, wonderfully humerous illustration and everything in between!

**So here’s what you do if you are receiving this award and passing it on:

These are the rules for the Versatile Blogger Awards:
Nominate 15 fellow bloggers
Inform the bloggers of their nomination.
Share 7 random things about yourself.
Thank the blogger who nominated you.
Add the Versatile Blogger Award picture on your blog post.

The rules for the Sunshine Award are the same except that you can choose just 10 other bloggers to pass the award on to.  And you only have to answer the 9 questions I answered above.  Plus, all the rest:). And here’s the button for the Sunshine Award:

Thank you, thank you, Cathy and Francina, and to all who make a blogging a delight!

P.S. Ok…so I chose 16…so I can’t count! But I’m not changing it! You all deserve both of these awards!

Petal Showers

“Hey mom! It’s snowing or hailing outside! Did you know this?” my freshman-in-high-school son hollers to me from the living room.  Dashing to the window, we all said in response to him, “That’s not snow! Those are petals!”  It was raining petals from all the pear and plum trees in our neighborhood.  It looked something like snow! Maybe not hail, but like pink and white snow!

I’m guessing we just didn’t have enough real snow this winter to remind him of what that stuff looks like. 🙂

I don’t think I was very clear about WHY my kids have cheshire grins…my oldest daughter, after postponing getting her license for a while, was able to get it back in February; the soon-to-turn fifteen year old boy has just finished the written part of drivers’ ed and can’t wait to get his permit in May; and my youngest just got braces.  Though she was so excited to get braces at first, her enthusiasm has since diminished due to a very sore mouth! Poor girl…so much to manage with Type 1 diabetes, braces, and growing into a young lady.  In approximately two months time, our oldest daughter will graduate from high school.  So many rich and wonderful landmark events going on in our house.

With all this happening, I’m so grateful for drawing.  It’s as if my pen or paintbrush becomes a straw through which I can drink in my life and the lives of my children. Drawing enables me to taste and savor these moments.  And I’m so thankful for many of you who have plunged in to these mini-lessons with me.  I can’t wait to post Friday’s lesson…and next Friday…and the next…:)

Life is there for the drawing! Let’s have at it!

Drawn2Zine!

A Zine…what is such a thing? From Wikipedia here’s a definition:

“A zine (play /ˈzn/ ZEEN; an abbreviation of fanzine, or magazine) is most commonly a small circulation publication of original or appropriated texts and images. More broadly, the term encompasses any self-published work of minority interest usually reproduced via photocopier.

A popular definition includes that circulation must be 5,000 or less, although in practice the significant majority are produced in editions of less than 1,000, and profit is not the primary intent of publication.”

The only Zines I had seen (hm, no rhyme intended:) were those of Andrea Joseph and Dan Price.  I own two of Andrea’s Zines and they are terrific!!! You should treat yourself sometime to one of her zines…her mad drawing skills will delight you to no end!  Though I do not own one of his zines, I have read one of his books, How to Make a Journal of your Life, and can imagine the zines being just as wonderful.

I have no idea why Andrea or Dan create Zines, but I just thought it would be fun!  Fun to create, fun to offer, fun to see a bit of my blog stuff in a little booklet.  I thought my kids might like them one day to add to all the paintings and sketchbooks they will eventually have dumped on them!

But the other reason, was just for myself.  When I started this blog, I really didn’t know the specific direction it would go.  I just wanted to share drawings, paintings and other things I like to do creatively.  Now that a few years have gone by, I am able to see some overarching themes that pop up fairly often.  A Zine was the perfect way to highlight just one aspect of what gets covered here in Drawn2Life and in my other blogs.  So there are plans for more Zines on different topics, of course with artwork!

Thank you to those of you who have ordered one of my Zines thus far! You’ve really made my day! And that’s the icing on the cake: when something that I enjoy, is in turn enjoyed by others.  I know there are many of you who enjoy visiting my blog…and I am so grateful for each of your visits! Drawn2Life is getting close to having 100 followers! Can you believe that?  When it hits 100 followers, I plan on having a little giveaway! No, maybe a BIG giveaway of several goodies made by me!  Keep popping by to see when that will happen so you can add your name in the hat!  If you’d like to subscribe to my blog, please do so! It’s always free!!!

Touch of Color

Though this sketch was made in the Fall, it reminds me of what’s going on right now in our neck of the woods.  Color is peeking out of the winter grays here and there! And it’s only the beginning of March!  Daffodils dapple the gray-brown landscape like watercolor splashes, and cherry, plum, and even some pear trees are blooming like torches in a murky world.

This drawing is of my back yard, with the water feature in the bottom right-hand corner.  Autumn light, as the sun was setting, tipped only portions of the bushes lining the yard between us and our neighbor.  Long shadows crept into our yard from tall cryptomeria (sp?) trees off to the right, undrawn.

I’ll make a drawing (or two or three) of the lovely touches of spring color happening in my neighborhood.  I’ve been working on a REALLY, REALLY exciting Baby Step which I hope to reveal to you very soon!!!  Oh, I do hope you like it!  It has quite a few little Baby Steps within it, but I’m having so so much fun with each one.  Today was THE MOST FUN part of the project:  spending time with a dear friend whose computer skills are astronomical and who so graciously teaches me the elementary stuff.  Our working lunch was just what I needed today…friendship, great conversation, shared lives (our daughters are besties and will be graduating from high school in a couple of months!!!), PLUS the ability to learn what I needed for the next step in this awesome project.  Well, I think it will be.

Thank you Amy!!!  And to all of you who visit here.  May your weekend be full of touches of color, whether it’s in spring blooms or white fluffy snow or indoor beauty!

P.S. I just realized I have posted this sketch before, here.  Oh well.  I had it in a folder of sketches I had labeled “unblogged”.  Might be time to go through that file and weed out the ones that have been posted.  Well…you can enjoy once it again!

Un Grand Merci!

At the end of 2011 I was delighted to receive from WordPress, the year-end review of statistics and what-not about this blog, Drawn2Life.  When I clicked on the link they sent, there were fireworks and all kinds of delightful and amazing stats that I had no idea this little blog had garnered.

If you’d like to see the fireworks too, click here. (This will take you to another blog post of mine, and you can click the link there for the report.)

But the most amazing stat, was the list of top commenters.  WOW. Alex Tan logged in 88 comments last year! Timaree posted 62, Raena and Nancy 52, with Sandra close behind at 49.  WWWOOOWWW!!! What a gift these folks are.   And I know for a fact these dear ones post comments all over our EDM friends’ blogs!  They are so faithful to encourage us, to send a note of praise, or just their thoughts.  They are amazing!!  And I do not know how to thank them other than to say…Merci.  Merci de mon coeur!!

As a gift to Alex, I have drawn his portrait here.  And I’ll be sending him the original by mail. Thank you Alex, for all you do in our EDM community to 1) lead the way with your own wonderful drawings and 2) cheer us all on in our drawings and paintings!  You are dear to us all!!  If you have benefitted by Alex’s comments on your blog, why not send him a note via email or comment on his blog your thanks for his faithful viewing and commenting. His kind words have meant so much to me, and I know to many of you as well!!

And to ALL of you who took time out from your busy lives to send a few words…I am truly grateful!

Un grand merci a tout le monde!