Our Latest Trip to California…

Posted in Main at 8:02 pm by carrie

It wasn’t under the best circumstances, unfortunately…

My grandma, most of you know her as “Nonee”, had been sick but was supposed to leave the hospital and be home by Easter. It wasn’t going to be a 100% recovery, but she’d be home none-the-less.

I got a call on March 30th that she wasn’t doing great, but there was hope of her getting better and there was some conflicting advice from the doctors. So… I decided that the best thing to do was just load up the van start driving on that Friday night, March the 30th.

We drove all Friday night, Saturday and Sunday and we were going to push it all the way through Sunday morning, but my Mom informed me that things were looking better… we can get some rest in Arizona. So, we stopped and rested for a while.

We got to Pasadena on Monday night, April the 2nd. I went straight to the hospital and got to see her. She couldn’t talk, because she was having a hard time breathing, but I shared dog pictures with her and told her of our driving adventure. She loves Meg… and I knew that she would love to see all my crazy dog pictures. She was sitting up and listening, but quickly, we could see that she was getting tired and needed some rest. So, we let her be and all went back to my Mom’s house.

My Mom’s dog, Barkley was there to greet us. Meg was his quiet, yet large, shadow while we were there. I think he liked that power… and the company.

On Tuesday night, they moved Nonee to a convalescent home. We were going back and forth on the idea but decided in-home care would be the best for her… so this setup at the convalescent home was going to be temporary. There was a scuffle, some red tape and paperwork… but we got her settled there. The nurses were fantastic.

In all the shuffle and stress, this tiny little flower caught my attention. There was a pretty large lawn in front of the convalescent home but this was the only flower… I thought she was lovely. I stopped a moment to get a picture.

And this… the happiest painting of an older gentleman I’ve EVER seen… he greeted you when you first entered the hallway to get to Nonee’s room… I love the tree behind him.

When Nonee needed to rest, we walked down to Jones Coffee Roasters to get a latte or twelve… they make the BEST coffee and roast on the premises… and my Uncle got a heart in his latte… which was awesome…

Wednesday rolled around and everyone was exhausted. We stayed most of the day at the convalescent home talking to hospice nurses and visiting with Nonee… who was clearly having more issues breathing. All we really could do was hold her hands and talk to her… she tried to talk to us, but couldn’t. It was heartbreaking. She finally fell asleep at 10 or 11pm. We then all scrambled to prepare for the next morning. The hospital bed and supplies were going to be delivered and we would move Nonee to her home. We could bring Barkley and Meg and get her set up with her favorite movies and be there with her in a comfortable space. Everyone was fairly optimistic.

With a burst of energy, we ran to Nonee’s house, rolled up our sleeves and cleaned out the living room. We got things set up just so, cleared out the clutter and the furniture and felt ready for the 9:00 am hospital bed delivery and then we could bring Nonee home at the end of the day.

We got back to my Mom’s house and the phone rang at 2:10 am. Nonee had passed.

The moon was the brightest I think I had ever seen it that night and it seemed to follow us, face first, on the drive to the convalescent home. We met my Uncle there and we just huddled together on that lawn near the little yellow flower. We cried together… in shock. We all held hands and went in to get her. It was the most surreal experience. It felt so real that it felt “fake”… it was a rollover experience to another world. Difficult. So so difficult.

That week, we had our ups and downs…

A junk food fest…

Some escapism…

The dogs knew something was up and Barkley was sleeping in Meg’s dog bed… which never happens…

Then… we got ready for the get together at my Mom’s scheduled for April 14th. I guess we called it a “Celebration of Life”? My grandma was the opposite of traditional or formal… so, we wanted to keep it as light and as nontraditional as possible.

We served food from Acapulco, her favorite Mexican food restaurant. I think she liked flirting with the waiters more than she liked the food!

We had a TON of sweets… which she would have very much appreciated…

We talked about her spunk, her “sauciness” and her words of wisdom with a hint of “barb” on the ends. The room was filled with people who loved her and they all “got” how she was… funny, no-nonsense… with that edge of hers. She was a strong lady… who had been through a lot… and her life was amazing… never a dull moment with her.

As the guests left, it all sort of sunk in. People were talking about her in the past-tense… but I refused to. I wanted to hold on to the idea that she was still around us. Another very very surreal day.

We put some pictures of her on the mantel for the celebration… gorgeous, isn’t she? ;)

The next day, we got up early to head to Santa Barbara, where we were going to spread her ashes off the coast. Santa Barbara is where she and her two kids (My Mom & Uncle) landed after her divorce from my grandfather. So, there’s a special place for SB in our hearts… it’s where our California roots started to take hold.

Here’s Nutmeg at the harbor… and then on the boat (Meg was allowed to join us, which was awesome!)

We got out to where we were going to spread the ashes. We brought rose petals, champagne and had to have our sea legs on tight because the ocean was very very choppy that day.

We all said a few things about Nonee and then my Mom and Uncle dropped the ashes into the water. My aunt then scattered rose petals and they made an almost perfect circle around the ashes, that were slowly trickling down into the ocean. The water was bright blue-green that day. Very clear and bright. We were slowly circling the circle of rose petals in the boat… the waves were huge and seemed to get bigger. It was difficult to stand upright.

Then, the captain of the ship spotted a humpback whale… then another, then another, then another then another… with a calf! We were surrounded by 6 humpback whales! The boat was listing in circles, there was so much emotion… rose petals bobbing up and down on one side, whale tails, blow hole spouts, more waves… the dog was excited about the whales… there was SO much going on. It’s hard to explain, but… it was such an intense emotional and spiritual experience. Completely overwhelming. Just like her… excitement, beautiful roses, making waves, trying to shock us a bit, showing off… just like her.

We were told that seeing that many humpback whales, especially that close to shore, was incredibly rare. As we made our way back into the harbor to dock, the captain and his first mate were telling everyone “SIX whales out by the green buoy!” The look on the faces of the others told the story… it was something that didn’t happen often.

I was hoping to get a ton of closure from that day, but I think it comes with time. All I know is that I got to see her, she left us quickly and then there were a lot of whales. She loves the ocean… it was perfect.

We left southern California on Wednesday, the 18th. Here’s Barkley, helping us pack the car… (He’s guarding the door… mostly)

We drove up North, then took Highway 80 home… I think I want to live here, with the perfect weather (I think Nonee would approve!)…

Stopped in the Middle of San Francisco, so Meg could stretch her legs…

More of the West Coast Beaches… this is Half Moon Bay.

Then we blinked, and we were in Reno, Nevada. Having to get car repairs, unfortunately… but it was beautiful!

On the road again…

Stopped at Smokin’ Chick’s BBQ in Columbia, Missouri for some Kansas City BBQ…these are “rib tips”. Meaty little blocks of… meat.

Meg got our leftovers…

And then, as luck would have it, as we were driving back through West Virginia on our last day, I realized that our friends were staying in Ohio! So we stopped at their family home to visit with them for a couple of hours. Here is their house, built in 1823, and some of the decor…

We got home at 3am that night… with this waiting for us from our neighbor. I totally cried…

Still in shock. Still don’t know where the last month went. Nothing feels normal, but I’m sure it will again, soon.



Posted in Art Glitter Design Team, Main at 10:49 pm by carrie

I’ve been accepted into the Art Glitter design team! Yay! :)

You can see the post on their site here or read below…

We are so excited for the changes going on at Art Glitter! We not only have wonderful glitter and glue we have become famous for but we have many other products and to help show off our product line is our NEW design team! This talented group of artists will be posting on their personal blogs, but also creating special projects for the Art Glitter Blog! Help me to welcome…

Design Team Lead: Kristi Parker Van Doren

Kristi Parker Van Doren has been creating since age 12 when her parents gave her a rubber stamp and ink for Christmas. 37 years later she is still creating, designing, writing, teaching and more! Kristi loves to create and has been on several design teams including: Spellbinders,Northwoods, Worldwin Papers, Luminarte, Coronado Island and several others.She served three years as a writer for Scrap& Stamp Magazine, as well as having articles published in books and magazines, most recently in Zentangle 6. Kristi is currently serving on design teams for USArtQuest, The Robins Nest, Dreamweaver Stencil, and is the lead for Art Institute Glitter and Connie Crystal design teams.When Kristi is not creating she is hanging out with her family. Check out her blog at www.kristiscreativecafe.blogspot.com!

Now For The Team:

Carrie Hannegan

Carrie Hannegan is a Southern California native who grew up near the glitz and glamor of Hollywood, but managed to avoid it (mostly). She has a degree in Animation from the California Institute of the Arts where she learned to appreciate the tedious side of art, one hand drawn frame at a time. After graduation, a bit of panic and a plunge, came the grand opening of her retail gift shop in the Los Angeles area called Violets are Blue. Partnered with her Mother, they filled the store with their handmade creations, hand painted furniture, hand picked vintage items and other fun stuff sprinkled in. Five years later, new chapter, they (very) reluctantly closed the store and Carrie moved to the other coast and launched a new online adventure called Violet Cottage. Violet Cottage started out as a “Violets are Blue, light” web store with lots of various inventory, but slowly morphed into a greeting card business. Inspired by vintage wrapping paper, fabrics and wallpaper, each card design is hand painted by Ms. Hannegan, who describes her card line as “sweetly sensitive, yet colorfully chaotic”. The card line is still in its infancy, but has been well received and is growing daily. Violet Cottage cards can be found in many stores throughout the country or online at www.violetcottage.com.


My name is Cherie. I was born and raised in Minnesota, and went to Iowa State University. I married my husband in 2008 and we have a lab/border collie mix, Lucie, who is 3 years old. I have lived on both the east and west coast since being married, and will be moving to Hawaii this summer! I love to travel, geocache, craft, dabble in photography, and most importantly, play with glitter!

Karen Taylor

Hello! My name is Karen Taylor.

I am lucky to have two children Jessie and Douglas. I have been blessed with two grandson’s, a granddaughter and another
on the way. I have been a paper craftier for six years but creating has always been a part of my life.

I was raised by my grandmother who taught me the love of creating. Inspired by her 1930’s scrapbooks. I love all things vintage and old. When I am at home you can find me in my studaio.I love to create very special layouts, cards and altered items my mini pieces of art.

I have been lucky to have work with major paper craft companies including Spellbinders Paper Arts,Best Creations, Inc, Nikki Sivils Scrapbooker to name a few and in magazines, on TV (Local TV segments, Creative Memories TV Show, Terri O Show, QVC, Home Shopping Network US and Canada and was published in a book last year as well as work in catalogues and at the Craft and Hobby Association Show for the last six shows. For the past two years I have been a VIP speaker at Midland Memory Expo speaking along side Cardmaker magazines Editor Tanja Fox, Creating Keepsakes Creative Editor, Megan Hoeppner and NikkiSivlis, Scrapbook Paper Company owner just to name a few.

I currently am the Design Team and Social Media Coordinator for Want2Scrap and a Spellblogger for Spellbinders Paper Arts

KC Eddy

Hi! My name is KC Eddy and I live in Central Missouri, with my husband, two daughters and our collection of furry friends – too numerous to mention. By day I am an accountant, by night I am a craft-a-holic. I also enjoy boating and camping with my family and am a huge Chicago Bears fan! I have crafted in almost every medium imaginable; including paper, ceramics, porcelain and glass. I am especially fond of jewelry, mixed media and anything that glitters and shines. Though I often get lost in a project and make things more involved than they need to be, I try to streamline my projects for teaching and tutorials so that others can learn from my experimentation (mistakes). I am a Design Team newbie so this is a very exciting new adventure for me. I hope you’ll join me for the ride!

Laura Drahozal

Laura Drahozal cannot remember a time when she was not creating. As a former art teacher, she has tried almost every traditional medium. She looks for inspiration all around her and loves to combine various products and techniques to achieve what she had previously thought of as impossible. Laura is currently serving on design teams for DreamweaverStencils, Twisted Sketches and Connie Crystal and has formerly served as a Guest Designer for Art Glitter. She is thrilled to be joining the Art Glitter Design Team as she loves all things glittery! Check out her blog at www.rememberinglifesmoments.blogspot.com

Linda Neff

I discovered through my first attempt at scrapbooking I could create art – my way. With rubber stamps, inks, paints, paper, fabric and other mediums, I create a soft, vintage look that is sometimes natural and sometimes a bit more romantic, but always evolving. I enjoy making mini albums, scrapbook pages and wall art to capture my little scrapped treasures.

The mother of three adult children, I live with my retired husband in Michigan and spend my time teaching classes at independent scrapbook and quilt stores. I am Ranger certified and always on the lookout for new techniques. I encourage others to dive head-first into the art of paper crafting, whether it be scrapbooking, stamping or altered art.


Hi! My name is Trudy but friends call me True.

My husband, Robert and I were high school sweethearts and are still very happily married today. I am the mother of a wonderful 26 year old son Kurt and MIL to a beautiful DIL Kristin. I am also super excited that I will be a grandma in October! :)

Since I started making cards a few of years ago, I have been blessed with many new card making friends, been asked to speak and teach at major craft events, and have been lucky enough to have my cards published and featured in magazines and books.

I love sharing my craft with others and following other artists for inspiration and fun! I will soon be teaching online classes, so keep an eye out! :)

I am a freelance illustrator, and I also design for: Want2Scrap, Inky Antics, Discount Card Stock, Really Reasonable Ribbon and Helmar. I am also very honored to be on the CardMaker Magazine blog design team.

I can hardly wait to be covered in sparkles with the rest of my new Art Glitter team members!

What an amazing team! We can’t wait to see what wonderful creations they have in store for us. It will be a very sparkling year! Welcome one and all to Art Glitter!