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May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!
~Author Unknown

Our family has much to be grateful for this Thanksgiving.  We will all be together this year – plus our new family member.  We’ll eat too much, talk too much, make a big mess and maybe get started decorating the tree after supper.  Surely we’ll reminisce on Thanksgivings past and good times together.  We will laugh together, watch a bit of football and glory in LSU’s undefeated season as we head into the Battle for the Boot on Friday.  And we’ll give thanks for the blessings we enjoy throughout the year.

I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!

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Diva Challenge 48

“It’s a great thing when you realize you still have the ability to surprise yourself.  Makes you wonder what else you can do that you’ve forgotten about.”  ~Alan Ball, American Beauty, 1999

Today I taught a beginning Zentangle class followed by an advanced class.  I always like to start out by asking if I have any artists in the group.  No hands this morning.  “How many of you can’t draw a straight line?”  Thirteen hands this time.  “That’s good.  You don’t need to draw a straight line.”  I got some smiles and we were on our way. As we worked through the first tile, there were a few groans here and there followed by reminders from me that there are no mistakes in Zentangle.  After the first tile was finished, I had everyone put their tiles together in the class mosaic.  And the magic of every class was there once again.  Total silence as they study what they have done.  Stunned at the end result.  Finally, I remind them that they told me they weren’t artists when we started.  “What else do you THINK you can’t do?”

I love teaching Zentangle and this is my favorite part of every class.  That moment when my students surprise themselves with what they’ve done – and realize the possibilities.

Class Mosaic #1

Class Mosaic #2

“God is in the details.”  Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

This is one of my favorite quotes, first introduced to me in design school.  I often get caught up in details, but believe the extra effort always makes the difference.  We are still waiting for the “official” photos from the wedding, but I thought I would share a few captured by various friends and family along with the details that contributed to an absolutely perfect wedding.

The Zentangle inspired logo I created for the couple became a theme piece used on everything from invitations, to RSVP cards, to favor boxes and the program.  Favor boxes were filled with my homemade caramel and Tiger magnets (again made by me) with the couple’s name and the date.  I was even able to find paper to wrap the caramel that resembled the Mooka background on the logo (I usually use clear cellophane)  My candy wrappers hated the paper because it was difficult to use and hard on the fingers, but everyone agreed it was worth the end result.  Extras were used to fill clear glass serving bowls at the reception.  Lest you think I was the only “artist” contributing to this event, take a look at the Bride’s earrings and her sister’s Bridesmaid necklace.  I have a wonderful friend, Karen Firnberg, who is a very talented bead artist.  She took the belt worn with the wedding dress and designed these fabulous earrings especially for Katrina.  Light as a feather despite the way they look, they were not only gorgeous, but comfortable to wear as well.  Karen also made every bridesmaid necklace, Katrina’s gift to each of them and a big hit.  You can see more of Karen’s artistry on her blog.

Kim and I left the next day for a much-needed vacation – even before the ecstatic couple left for their honeymoon in Jamaica.  We didn’t go anywhere that exotic, but enjoyed every minute we spent in the Branson, Missouri area.  We lucked out and caught the leaves at the peak of their change.  The scenery was stunning.  The people were all so warm and friendly.  This was our first trip to the area but won’t be our last.  We were surprised to meet so many Louisiana folks – they were drawn to my LSU shirts.  I had to show my support since we were gearing up for the big Bama game that week.  This was our de-stress trip after the weeks of wedding prep and for me, the stress of my job change.  I did lots of tangling.  I am near completing nine-tile, prestrung set.  Just two more to go.  Plus a few others.

It’s amazing the difference it makes to commit yourself turning it all off.  I didn’t bring any work or even my work phone with me.  I had a big meeting a couple of days after I got back.  One of my new team mates was in town for the meeting and had been at the training meetings I attended just a couple of days before the wedding.  When I walked in, he told me I looked like I had shed 50 lbs. of stress since the last time he saw me.  I didn’t think it showed and lots of people who knew me better thought I appeared uncommonly calm in those days leading up to the wedding.  All things considered, I was.  But clearly the strain shows.  Yet another reason to keep on tangling – I need all the help I can get as I move further into my 50’s!

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