KpacoTa CnaceT Mup-Beauty Will Save the World

(Quote from Fyodor M. Dostoyevsky's THE IDIOT, 1869)

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Woo Hoo!!!Fafsa done!!!

Just me and my middle one(and she's working on her report). Time for some ART FUN!!!
OK- I must be on a roll, because it's afternoon, and the Fafsa's done ('til updated later), , the water's hot, the 'men' are out, and now I can have fun!!! Think I'll finish some little paintings on wrapped canvas:)

What are  you working on this weekend???

Later Alligator!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Ask and You Shall Receive:)

This is what is on my 13 year old's dresser right now. Things that were cool  to him that he's collected.Even the little kid's picture is just a vintage picture that he got at a sale... It's all displayed just so, as you can see. (Just click to enlarge).
Life is truly amazing. I often think that it's the little things that can bring me down. Big- I can handle-until all the little things pile up. Then one more little thing can topple me. Well, I'm proud to say that I didn't let it happen. Nope- Not a stitch!

So when my hot water heater went, I didn't go into a tiz-which could happen when you hang by a thread often. I looked up, and asked for help. I asked that it would cost nothing, or very little, and that it would be rectified as soon as possible .How was I to know that with this calm came an instant answer. We are blessed.

I told you in my last post how these wonderful neighbors of mine were so wonderful. Well, I just asked him to be able to check out the heater, to get a different opinion from the ridiculously priced one."You can get the heater for free because it's under 5 years, but it'll cost about $500- to install it. ??? Many people told me that this was just not legitimate.

The builder should have taken care of it day one when we did our walk-through, and at the very least when I complained that it just was never right a gazillion times. Even complained to the Attorney General's Off. about it because it was in the punch list.The Attorney General's Office told me that even though builders were supposed to abide by certain laws, that it was getting harder and harder to make them. Well things have a way of coming around for those who wait.

So our neighbor plumber installed the heater and refused any payment(which I asked to give a few times). My hubby offered tennis lessons for their daughter, or anyone else in the family. They may take us up on that. And I found out that he loves apple pie. Tried to give him a pumpkin pie, but he's an apple pie man. So he doesn't know it yet, but he's getting a great, big, yummy , homemade apple tart out of the Russian tea cake recipe, with a few cherries in the center. And it's oh so good! Only make them a few times a year, and mostly for the holidays.

He moved this with a hand truck, but when the water was stuck in the bottom because of a clog, he jimmied that thing across the basement to the back door,(way over 200 lbs.with the water in it), outside to the drain, unclogged it, and got sprayed all over with the clogged up milky white water(at this point). I am awestruck, and of course told my hubby how we are blessed.(He is also amazed). I like to show him, as I have more faith than him, and want to show the miracles of everyday life. My feeling is that when we are blessed, we have to help others in whatever way that we can. We must not waste this blessing. We must then share what we have.

For those possibly reading this, and not knowing the background---If you only knew what we have been through these last nearly 3 years(and earlier), you'd understand how these little blessings mean so much, and why they help to keep  us going.(Brain surgery and cancer for hubby, Lyme for me,  a horrible  death, other deaths, the kids not letting up being kids, the financial hardships because of the health and 2 college students, a son with acute asthma(who may have now grown out of a life -threatening disease-we almost lost him, but only found  this out years later), and life not letting up being life.(I'm leaving out an awful lot- and I know there are so many others who have gone through so much more, but it's all tough).

 I feel that it's God's way of saying, "Hang on. You'll get through this. I'm here.":) It gives me strength. We have been blessed not once, or twice, but many times over, just when you'd least expect it.In fact, we have always been blessed, but may not have always known it.(Well- I always saw it).

 The tears can come quickly out of a grateful heart. I wake up saying thank you, and I close my eyes saying thank you-no matter what has transpired. The more thankful I am, the more blessings are bestowed. Ok- I'm getting all shmaltzy now. But it's all true. And this body has cried so many fearful tears. They can just drop to my lap in an instant.

Well, I hope that you all have a great weekend. We're having fun filling out FAFSA-YUK!!! I do not like financial paperwork, but we must plow through it. Thank you for FAFSA, thank you, thank you...Goodnite:)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Baby it's cold outside!...and a broken hot water heater!!!EHHH!!!

Cute flowers from Ikea, warming up this blog post:) (albeit fake)
So Ken walked in a few minutes ago, from work, and said,"more drama, huh?" Meaning, no hot water and trying to take care of what should have been taken care of by the builder... It's under 5 years, so we can get a new hot water heater, the plumber who installed said, but it'll cost about $500.00 !(We really don't have it, after all we've been through w/my husband's cancer...). I've found out since, that it's a BIG rip-off. Hope they can get one to us immediately for free. I have a very nice neighbor , who's a plumber, who's willing to help us out. I asked how much , and he said to not worry about it/he'll work w/me.

We certainly are blessed. I just have to get this thing pronto, and NOT 3 wks. from now! And I don't really know this family much. His wife was the only one in the neighborhood to help out w/signs , etc. last year when I organized the community yard sale for the 3rd year! We'd only spoken by phone. How amazing is that!

Also, we have been having to reset the hot water heater about every 3 showers or so. It shouldn't have to be done more than about 5 x a year I found out. So my daughter went down to reset it before going to bed last night, and right before she touched the reset button, she got a shock, and it was HOT. My son tried again today, and he asked me, "Mom, why does the plastic have a hole in it?" I thought that my daughter just accidentally touched a wire, but the wire actually 'touched' her! So lucky, that she's ok and there was no fire. Thank you God:)

 Nothing like a little extra drama to take up more precious time. I'm relaxed. It's all good. This is small in comparison to so much that's gong on in the world. It's just cold outside!... and we're supposed to get snow this weekend! Brrrr!!! cold showers !!! Very cold!!!

Scanning in old doll Photos...from the 1990's

Little Bunny Guy Smoking hand carved pipe( pipe made by my hubby),needle-sculpted and embroidered in cloth,vintage doll clothing,jointed,antique silk floss for whiskers
Grandfather Frost w/Sac and Sleigh-also just about 5-6 inches, needle-sculpted and embroidered in cloth, jointed, vintage fabrics(from our old curtains, growing up)
I know- not such great shots, but you can click to enlarge to see a little more. The lining is the lining that was on the red curtains, making up his outfit. (Mongolian Tibetan Goatskin for hair and beard and eyebrows)
Sophia. I always loved this doll. She was sold with a sleigh. Her clothing is from the same curtains, and an old, old comforter. Her hands are from the lining of the curtains;antique lace, of course, needle-sculpted and embroidered in cloth,holding a vintage 'flower',(wool hair).
More of Sophia. She loved to pose-well, actually, I had my dolls come to life for my children, all the time, giving them voices, etc-remember, mother playing w/dolls...:)
So sorry that my posting is taking a bit, but I have all these old pictures of dolls that I made and sold. They are one-of-a-kind, mostly needle sculpted in cloth...and I have been scanning in these photos, which are not all that great, and 'watermarking' them, so it's been taking a bit of time. I have a slew on my desktop, before they go into Adobe, and then to Flikr, or here on the blog. I thought that I'd just show a few. REMEMBER, these are  from the 1990's.

I've always been known to do things a little differently than what others are doing-kind of eclectic , like the antiques I sold, and occasionally still sell.When my kids were younger, I made a cloth, Russian Matryoshka doll for my middle daughter. She loved it in her crib or stroller... I even sold internationally. Not that I sold so many, but I stayed up that night that I had finished her, and felt,' this is it'. I'll make dolls. I always dabbled in many artistic venues, and felt that I'd hit a niche.

Well, after my largest doll was made, my son Serge, at 11lbs. 12 oz., I kind of had lots less time, with 3 young children. I had founded an international doll organization(RADA-Russian & American Dollmakers Assoc.,(and Friends),Inc.), that w/his birth didn't go much anywhere. Suddenly, super Mom was meeting her match. And it was called TIME. Of course, my kids , hubby, pets, and home won out. But, when your soul needs to create, and you don't , it can get a little frustrating.

So I started to do smaller things w/my time.I got out of the dolls, making them more sporadically. (Have done lots of vintage style decorations w/doll type figures also). I started to make one-of-a-kind magnets, and called them Magnetic Scrap Art. I would find unique vintage photos ,magnetize,laminate,and cut them out(it was the cutting that was different, as they weren't all square or rectangular.)I would then mount them on card stock and cellophane wrap them up all pretty, and would sell tons of them, because no one really had anything like that at the time.

This was the early- mid 90's. We'd go to Border's and they started to sell some magnets in their cafe. My kids would say that they stole my idea. I must say that I hadn't seen any 'til after I started making them. But, you know how it goes, things meet critical mass and a few people from different places, start having similar ideas that take off.

The Magnetic Scrap Art led to collage art, which I'd basically done my whole life. And since I'd always been a bit different from the crowd, it actually has been appreciated more in our present day collage/altered art world, that's so popular today. The more different, the better.

So please bear with the doll photos. Needle-sculpted in cloth was way cool at the time. I studied under Akira Blount and Elinor Peace Bailey, who were very hot at the time. Akira still continues to astound others w/her art, and Elinor's book, Mother Plays with Dolls, aided in my inspiration in the beginning. (Although I had made dolls when a child).

So, thank you for your patience. I promise more art and photos to come. I'm still working on about 8+ small canvases that I'm painting up. Gearing up toward some Spring shows, and an Etsy shop. I also have some workshops coming up in the collage art/3-D field at our local community college in April, May, and June.(Journals, wedding/Shower/Gift Toppers, and 3-D collage Art) .

The summer also holds a workshop of paper/fabric dolls/puppets/3-DArt for youngsters also through the community college program. The fall will bring hopefully, other art workshops, and Russian for Travelers. Sorry, I'm getting ahead of myself. Except that, I do have to plan ahead. I'm constantly organizing, and re-organizing in my notebooks/journals... And of course, I have a number of shows lined up, and will finally take my artwork to some local shops. Government, please stop spending what we do not have, and  economy, please hold out:) 

Friday, February 20, 2009

Some Finished New Work...

Little Blondie
(click to enlarge)

Blue Girl
Magic is in the Air
Red Circle Folkart Angel
So I've been trying to work in lots, to keep me focused. These last 2 weeks I've been working on about 14-15 or so. The rest are also nearing completion. Magic  is in the Air, Blue Girl, and Red Folkart Angel are all on wood-(7x7 and around 7"diameter). Little Blondie is on wrapped canvas(about 5"x5"). Except for Little Blondie, they have multiple layers of paint, tissue paper patterns, artist papers, maps, etc..Then they were distressed/aged /sealed.  Little Blondie is painted, not collaged.

I think that next week I want to work w/my fabric. Some great finds at local thrift stores...all washed up nicely and shrunk when woolen. Then maybe my jewelry cache, or miscellaneous finds to collage/alter...

I also decided to let the family deal with my painting in the kitchen, 'til my studio is done(we haven't even started). Because, if I keep on waiting for the perfect chunk of time, it just won't happen. Don't worry I keep it all clean-organized little piles when necessary. Luckily, for the painting, my kitchen is big.

There just isn't enough light in our basement yet(has to be wired).

Hand sewing is done in my bedroom on my bed. Machine sewing is done on my dining room table. All this is make shift 'til I can have my studio. The house is plenty big. Have just had a few 'things' on the plate for quite a while. Hubby's ongoing Lung Cancer, my Lyme Disease, 3 kids(2 in college, 1 in middle school)...3 kitties...

The acute Lyme disease was very difficult before, but I have so much of my energy back at this point. When you've had untreated Lyme Disease, and get a bull's eye, it comes on very acutely. Just that, all 3 bull's eyes, were right outside my front door/yard. Have to put out these Tick Tubes by Damminix 2x a year. Not all  of my energy is back, and I can get wacked out tired, so have to watch the late night candles.

I like the Blue Girl. She seems to be the favorite out of the latest. What do you think?

Some almost Finished Artwork...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Jason Making things easier...

*Do you Notice the Gallon Size 'milk bottle'? Dad making life easier for baby and mom-TeHe...

So this is my great niece, baby N. , soon after her birth in Jan..

 Her dad likes making life easier for my niece Christine, baby N's. mom.

(  cellphone pic. )...the other is her first pic. in hospital.

*yes, he is the eternal joker:)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Message from my Daughter....

Mike & Alex in HS-good friends
Alex & Dad
My newly graduated daughter , Alexandra, is a team captain this year from Towson Univ. for the American Cancer Society's  Relay for Life. She says...

"I want to invite you to join me in the fight against cancer by making a donation in support of my efforts."   ............

"My Reason to Relay

I relay for my dad, who was diagnosed with lung cancer back in 2006.At that point it had spread to his brain and he had to have surgery. For a long time he went through the standard radiation and chemo sessions. He had been in remission once, but the cancer came back. As of right now he is off radiation and chemo treatments and is on a natural medicine that has drastically improved his condition, although he still battles with the lung cancer.

Along with my father and many family members who have passed, I relay for my friend Michael P. who passed away in 2005 from brain cancer. Mike was one of my good friends in high school and an all around great guy who will always be missed.

I am joining people around the world....

Here is the link to my page:

Here is the link to my team's page:        "

Thursday, February 12, 2009

...And the Winners are...

I used the Random Number Generator for the first time- Neat- and here are the winners of my 3 giveaways.:)

First Giveaway- Vintage Domino Necklace Art- and the winner is:                                                                            Trisha Too at Easily Amused-Hard to Offend

Second Giveaway- ABC's of Life Address Book- and the winner is:                                                                                Laurie at Indulge your Shelf

Third Giveaway-Original Canvas Painting-UR Heart- All Mine-and the winner is:                                            Michelle at My Journey to Hope

Hope you enjoy the giveaways ladies. I will be contacting/have contacted the winners. But if you're reading this first just send me your snail mail.

PS-OWOH has been a lot of fun.Thanks to Lisa for Hosting it !!! And thank you all for your very nice Comments. Aw, Shucks:) Love meeting so many of you, and look forward to meeting more of you. There are so many talented individuals out there. Thanks for stopping by my blog, and hope you come back again !     xo Lydia

PPS- I've already won a few things and will be posting about them soon- YOO-Hoo!!! I'm a Lucky Cat:)

OWOH is now officially closed on this blog

Thank you so much for all your kind words ,and participation! I will be picking 3 winners later on today, Thurs., 12 February, 2009.

Now we can all leisurely peruse each others blogs, and get to know one another. I finished looking  at everyone's tonight (went thru 760 just this evening alone), (to enter a lot of giveaways)- and my hand is in a very stiffened position.Ehhh!

Unfortunately, since I finished a little after midnight EST, I missed a few good ones that were already closed. I thought I did well, for the very little time  that I had in general, to check out the whole kit-and-kaboodle caravan:)(only jumped on the caravan at the beginning of the month).

Goodnite.I'll pick the winners after subbing for a HS Art class. Maybe , they'll help to pick out the winners:)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Hummm- How to pick the winners- OWOH closing tonight.

So I am exhausted, but having so much FUN. But, alas, do not think that I can finish viewing or entering all the giveaways. Although , I'm trying that tonite.

I am #908, so I entered not too long ago. And you know, there's that 'Life gets in the way' thing :)

I will be closing the post late tonite.The latest will be by 3:00amEST on 12 Feb.-if I stay up that late! 

I will randomly choose the 3 winners tomorrow, with the help of my family .I may even use a vintage bingo device!

OK- I'm getting wordy, because I'm way too tired. But I am SSSOOO excited!!! I can't wait to finish browsing around all the blogs at leisure, and making new friends!

And I will acknowledge  all the people in the draw, but it will not be by tonite.

Then it's on to the next deadline of some art pieces, etc:) Later Alligator! xo Lydia

Thursday, February 5, 2009

ETSY & FLICKR coming Soon!

PLease come back to check out my new Etsy store and Flickr photostream, coming soon!

 Have to work out some kinks(can't get my badge on my blog, or find my flickr site-yeah, I'm a novice:) ) w/ Flickr.

 I would love to hear from any knowledgeable bloggers w/shareable experience.(Those emails from Flickr take so long:)  )la


(All rights reserved)                                                                                    My Mom & Dad in Germany
yummy homemade tart made w/my Russian tea cake recipe- Melts in your mouth!
Delicious, and addictive apricot bars made w/my Russian tea cake recipe-Scrumscious!

I'm getting so distracted checking on everyone's blog- this is so much FUN! Glad to meet so many new people:) But, alas, my oldest is having her graduation party this Sat., so I'll be back to posting and viewing right after this weekend!

Don't get me wrong- I love having Parties. And it looks to be about 50-70, with the potential of higher. We tend to have a 'few' people, so I am Soooo busy- you don't want to hear the list- it's way to long:) See you soon, and I hope that you enjoy your visit here! xo Lydia

PS- Boo-Hoo! I must clean up my artsy mess in the kitchen with about 10-15 collages/paintings going on. Later Alligator.

PPS- Today it's 29 years since by Dad passed away. He was only 52. I took the call at 4:15am, and it was , oh, so very hard. The tears drop to my lap, and not a day goes by that I don't think of him. I always knew I had the best Pop in all the world. I am so blessed. 

In honor of my Dad, I've added 2 little additions of 59 sec. balalaika music . My Dad's 'Hobby' was playing  balalaika w/a professional group in NYC. He would go into the city(from L.I.) every Fri. nite, after a long commute, for rehearsals. They played in Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Centre...were on TV, and the prima balalaika player did the soundtrack for Dr. Zhivago.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

2009 One World-One Heart


I'm so excited! I've joined Lisa Swifka's( of A Whimsical Bohemian ) One World-One Heart event. She started it in 2007 and it has been growing stronger each year. One World-One Heart is a special and fun giveaway event connecting bloggers  from around the world  who might otherwise not meet. What a great way to make new friends in this crazy, hectic world:)

It's so terrific to be introduced to so many talented and wonderful artists. The creativity of this exciting event is astounding. To read more about this, just click here. To view the list of participants, just click on the sidebar badge- "One World-One Heart".

I have 3 Giveaways for this event, which are pictured below. It's my first giveaway ever!

( Sorry, but I'm having troubles with my camera, and so have to be satisfied w/ pictures from my scanner. So please excuse lack of perfect photo clarity.)

1st Item-Vintage Domino Necklace Art- It's a vintage domino with 2 sweet kitty vintage pictures (one on either side)(1 and1/2"H x3/4"W x1/4"thick) . I drilled through the domino, then grommeted both sides for the leather cording to slide through. There's an ample 18" of cording on each side, totalling 36". So you can adjust it any way you want, or add it as a charm or pendant to another chain. The underside kitty has a tiny bit of glitter embedded over the picture. The domino is then glazed for an added finishing touch( and sealer).

2nd item-ABC's of Life Address Book- This is a darling, collaged, embossed, leatherette address book  (6 "Wx 81/4"H x 1/2"thick) with  smooth graph paper type pages- very European.

3rd item-Original Canvas Painting-"UR Heart-All Mine"-This painting is on canvas, wrapped over wood (6"W x6"H x5/8"thick), using acrylics, charcoal, and pencil, and then distressed/antiqued. The darling girl wears a red heart necklace. Her dress is pink and yellow  w/ polka dots, and 'strips' of blue. She wears green w/black stripes stockings and little black shoes. The bottom tip of the larger heart wraps around the bottom side of the canvas.

I will pick 3 winners on the 12th of February. I thank you all for visiting my little blog, and hope you enjoy your time here. 'Dobro Pozhalovat' ' -Welcome.....

Just click to enlarge any picture for a better look.