You Can Let the Art in Your Heart Lead the Way. Meet My Friend, Shannon.

You Can Let the Art in Your Heart Lead the Way. Meet My Friend, Shannon.
Shannon in front of one of her new paintings in progress posing with the She Shed book she won from me!

I want to tell you about a dear lady, my friend, Shannon who has grown by leaps and bounds right before my eyes the past few years. She is living from that place in her heart, that so many want to find the courage to do so also. She is letting art be the balm for her soul that fills her with joy and purpose.

She is also the lucky lady who won the book giveaway of She Sheds – A Treasure Trove of Women’s Creative Spaces.  I always use when I pick a winner and while I wish everyone could win, I was very tickled that Shannon did. Not only does she live five minutes from me and I could get a picture of her with the book I signed for her (and it’s why it took me a bit to announce the winner), but I really think she was meant to win this copy! Like those that left a comment, Shannon would love a She Shed of her own to keep pursuing her art.

You see, I’ve known Shannon for a little over 25 years now. I first knew her mom when I worked at Kohl’s Department Store which was like, um, eons ago and this is how I met Shannon. Then John and I wanted to buy our first home a couple years after we’d been married. We ended up buying a spec home that Shannon’s husband, Bradd, and her father-in-law built. And over the years our friendship has grown, and ebbed and flowed.

She went on to have two children and as with most friends, being we didn’t have any, or lives drifted apart for awhile as she raised her kids. Shannon’s daughter will be in her third year of art school come this fall and her son will head to college in the fall also.

When her daughter was getting ready to graduate high school Shannon had the upheaval of emotions so many mom’s go through. She wondered, Now what? Who am I as my children to go out into the world on their own? And she was asking herself, what’s my purpose?

And with a little searching and being open to possibility, along with giving herself permission to follow her heart, Shannon began to paint and realized how much she loves it. And might I add here, she is really good at it!!

Shannon’s art table of supplies. One happy corner of her world.

It’s truly been a joy watching Shannon spread her art wings! And how lovely its been to support her by encouraging her and seeing so many others who stop by her personal page to “like” and comment on her work. Check out these two squirrels she recently painted.


And she keeps putting one foot in front of the other, sometimes her knees knocking and her nerves jumping, but she continues to paint. And this week, she will be taking a few pieces of her work to a shop to sell, which as many of you know, is a big, big step. I’m SO proud of her!!

Shannon would love a “She Shed” of her own someday, but the cool thing is, she hasn’t let that stop her from doing her art as often as she can. She has set up a little corner for herself in the lower level of her home. She has a beautiful view of trees outside the window, and where her sweet, dear, dog Molly is resting in peace with a marked grave.

And I think this quote on the back of this chair she painted below says it best. Because I believe too that when we answer that inner calling that is there nudging us along, can we then begin to walk peacefully on this earth.

Keep painting Shannon — you are creating your own special miracles just by letting that inner light in you shine and move out into the world.

shannon 3

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What is Art?

What is Art?

Just about everything my friend Miss Marie does is an art form. It’s one of the reasons I love to be around her. The photo above is of the side of her darling garage.

The potted plants, as they are placed here, I consider a form of art. I love walking by it, which I do most mornings. When the weather starts to turn colder later in the fall, it’s as if they grow legs, climb down off the wall, and make a slow, reluctant march toward Miss Marie’s 900 square foot house.

Just like little kids who never want to go in after playing outside all summer long, I think the plants hope for a few more warm days before the snow flies.

I’ve seen the potted plants lined up on the sidewalk leading to the steps of her back porch as the days grow shorter. Then the next time I come by, I notice that they have magically made it up the stairs and onto the back porch.

It’s only when there is the threat of cold days on end that they finally find their way inside where they take up residence in the sunny pantry on the west side of the house.

And I’m sure they dream of the day they will begin the march back out to the side of the garage to soak in the sun and makes passerby’s smile once again.

But it’s reminders such as this, and time spent with Miss Marie, that I continue to strive to weave creativity into every aspect of my life, seeing even simple pleasures as a form of art.

The ordinary arts we practice everyday at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest. -Thomas Moore

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Miss Marie and Her One-of-a-Kind Pillows, Handbags, and Purses Now on Etsy

Miss Marie and Her One-of-a-Kind Pillows, Handbags, and Purses Now on Etsy
Marie with her dog Indy surrounded by her pillows and tons of fun fabric in her home

My artistic and lovely friend, Miss Marie, who lives in the big two-story white house on the corner, one block down from the post office in our quaint town of 947, shared some exciting news with me today.

I like to think I had a little to do with this as I bugged her gently on and off about this for awhile now. But over tea for me and coffee for her, she told me she finally has an Etsy shop. I’m so excited for her!

And I’m excited for so many others who can now buy her beautiful handmade one-of-a-kind pillows, handbags and purses. She has just a few things up in her store right now at Marie Monica Designs. But I’m sure she will be adding to it as she can. And I was lucky because I got to see her new style of handbags this morning which are very, very fun!

You might recall that last year I shared a photo of my gorgeous dragonfly pillow that I just had to have. It resides in honor on my peach wicker chair in my writing cottage where Gidget often keeps it company like she is today.


If Gigets looks a bit tired here it’s because when I got home from tea with Marie I found the rug in the kitchen chewed up with a long fiber thread trailing it. I’m not sure what all went on when I was gone, which isn’t like her or Kylie. I don’t know if they were in this together or what in the world happened.

I’m praying like all heck though that none of the chewed up rug fiber ended up in her belly! Please say a little prayer. I’d hate to have a repeat of this as this very similar thing happened to Frankie ten years ago. She ended up having to have emergency surgery… and just in the nick of time.

Holding my breath here this won’t be the case for Gidget, while also trying not to worry as that does not help anything. No sense worrying unless there is truly something to worry about, right?  At least I know the signs to watch for.

But I digress… back to Marie’s exquisite, whimsical, finely sewn works for art…

This is a new design on Marie’s Etsy site of a bee hive pillow. What I especially love is that all her piece’s are one of a kind, so you won’t see it anywhere else and it means it’s the only one like it she will make.

It’s always such a treat to spend time with Miss Marie. To be surrounded by all her art, petting her dog Indy, and catching up on what’s new for each of us always leaves me inspired…and grateful to call her friend.

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