I don’t wanna be a Debby Downer!!

Good morning everyone! I decided to post while I am waiting for the home care nurse to arrive. Saturday night Brian had the feelings that another seizure was coming on. He was scared and miserable but thankfully the meds stopped it before it became full blown. Naturally he was down about it and nervous about going to sleep. He laid down on the sofa in the family room and I sat up to watch him, hoping he would feel with me there, he could sleep. And he did!! YAY!! I sincerely believe I read EVERY SINGLE BLOGPOST EVER WRITTEN. For 6 hours I read blogs just to keep myself awake. At 5 AM Al came down and I went to bed.  Last night, everything was going well, when the feelings started up again. This time it was not as bad and the meds stopped it faster. I talked him into going up to bed upstairs. During the night he came in to get me and I stayed with him in his room so he could sleep. He slept until 10. I just got a call from the home care nurse—she has been calling his doctors and they are adjusting one of his meds. Hopefully they can get it to the right level soon. I really believe his VERY high rate of metabolism is the problem.

I need to get back to work as I have a show fast approaching. Al has been busy cutting and sanding wood for me. Our big saw died this spring and we had to get a new one. Al LOVES his new saw—it cuts like butter and leaves a smooth cut—much less sanding. Last night I prepped signs. There are 9 layers of painting on my signs and we sell them like gangbusters!!                            100_1028  There are 60 signs here—my usual size batch. I need to do 2 batches this size before my first show. See the doors behind the signs? I bought the paint to do all my upstairs doors a rich prim red, but have been seriously delayed. At the end of the year,I take any signs I have leftover to a store near us and she sells them for me. It cleans up my house for Christmas! Smile I am hoping to get back up to her store soon to restock certain pieces. It’s a beautiful store. When we go there I will take photos and post them.

I have been trying to work on my snowman pieces but with Brian’s troubles I didn’t get them finished. I needed to put them aside to get signs done. Here is the cheesebox I was working on—it is not finished yet, but you can see what a great design it is.100_1025All the pieces are this far along—probably only one day of work to get all of them done before staining.The chairs are going to be gorgeous.

Our first show is down in Virginia this year—Right now we are not sure if I will be able to go– Al may have to do it alone. Last year I was happy to trade with the only antique dealer there. I always paint at my shows to demonstrate and she wanted 2 pieces I did there. They were not stained, but she wanted them anyway. This is what I got from her.     

                                                                               100_1026Snoopy kitty Stryker had to examine everything. I got a lidded milk pail, a wonderful egg crate WITH paper egg cartons, and a lard bucket. ( Why do I always giggle when I say lard bucket!?!? ) I wanted an egg crate for a looong time—I love it!! Every photo I took this morning was deleted because a certain kitty had to stick his pink nose in it. Smile I wonder why he was doing this….

                                                                                100_1023his head is under the fridge. CRAZY KITTY!! Before Brian got up this morning I was playing with Stryker—he was being “Halloween Kitty”—arching his back and hopping around, bouncing like a spring!! Hopefully my blog will be a bit more fun than it has been lately—thank you all for sticking with me!   Love you all, Jan



Hi everyone. It seems like we are always on the way TO Pittsburgh or getting HOME from Pittsburgh. Soon after we got back home after the seizure related hospital stay, we got the call that the biopsy results were in. My stomach instantly flipped, Brian fell apart, and Al looked like he was hit by a truck. We hurried to get ready to go and had a very long, quiet, scared, somber trip. We were meeting the surgeon at his office. Originally he wasn’t going to be able to meet us until Monday, but I think he sensed how fragile we all were at that point. He kindly fit us in between surgeries. We were about the last to enter his waiting room, but about the first to be called in.

It IS a tumor. But, it is a low-grade, #2 tumor. That means it is one level above the type usually found in a child. #3 and #4 are far more dangerous. At this time, it is NOT malignant…but is a type that COULD in the future change to a malignancy. It is EXTREMELY slow-growing—he may have had it since birth. It has NOT infiltrated the brain. The surgeon and the neurologist recommended the same specialist to us—he is considered the BEST of the best in Pittsburgh. It is difficult to get an appointment with him, but the surgeon sent an email requesting he take Brian. Brian got his appointment this afternoon. The surgeon believes he will be treated with chemo—surgery is too risky because the tumor is situated behind the motor (movement ) area of the brain and close to the speech center. A tumor of any kind is not a good thing, but Brian is young,extremely healthy, and fit. He has been training to run the Pittsburgh marathon. He has now cancelled out of that, but his fitness will serve him well. The tumor was found by accident really! He had an MRI because of soreness in his neck and his PCP saw the spot…so it was found very early—no symptoms. As bad as a tumor sounds, there are many positives to Brian’s situation. Many people have it worse. Brian will not be able to drive for 6 months. Luckily there is a bus stop down the hill from his apartment. There is still a possibility of more seizures, but he is doing well now on his new meds. We are praying for the best outcome and have been flooded with best wishes from many, many people—friends as well as strangers. Our small family will stick together to see Brian through this. I keep thanking all of you that expressed concern, but I could never thank you enough. Love you all–Jan

Copyright 2012


Hi everyone!! I hope everyone is doing well. My Brian asked me to keep working—that it would help him if I kept myself busy. Soooo…I have tried my best. I just sprayed (clearcoated) a batch of work this morning. I thought you may be interested in seeing the progression of my work. Here we go….both patterns are by Terrye French……………

Raw wood, just starting to paint…..


notice the masking tape? I use 2-3 rolls per week—FOREVER buying more!!


Painting is finished..notice how light the pumpkins are. I hope you can tell the difference from the next one.


Whoops! Not as clear of a photo…this is after antiquing and clearcoating. Now the chairs…..before….


before antiquing…….              100_0985now after and clearcoated.

                                                   100_0993I think here you can see the difference.I’m REALLY happy how they all came out. The antiquing gives a really beautiful richness to them and the clearcoat makes the colors pop as well as protects the piece. Here are a couple of peeks at what I am working on now…

                                                  100_0988a snowman design…yes,snowman—I start selling winter/Christmas with my very first show of the year!!  By the time Christmas comes around I am sorta sick of seeing the chubby guy in the red suit!!………………………………….100_09892 more chairs……and

                                                  100_0991plates, a peek at the pattern, and a cheesebox. This is a very large batch—16 pieces-usually I don’t do that many at a time of a published pattern because it takes FOREVER!!!  I try to use the same pattern on a wide variety of sizes , shapes, and odd pieces. You have to be prepared because you never know what size your customers will be looking for. It is snowing today and very cold so I am going to paint all day and start to get things ready for Brian’s appointment on Monday.Thank you all so very much for your support. We all really appreciate it. Have a happy day!–Jan

Yawn !!!…I need a break!!!

Boy, am I tired!!! This has been a week of “hurry up…faster…faster!!!! “  Tuesday , Al and I got up early (for me…I’m NOT a morning person ) to get to my brother’s house. We decided it would be best if we took him to his appointment to see what the mass was behind his knee. We were not sure what they would do at the doctor’s, and a bit worried he wouldn’t be able to drive home .( an hour + trip)  There were a few road construction delays, but we got there on time. It was a long wait before filling out papers, then a long wait before he was called in. Good news/bad news. It is NOT a tumor—it is a collection of cartilage from his knee. He has NO cartilage left—therefore he needs a knee replacement. 4 days in the hospital, 10 days in a skilled care facility, then 4-6 weeks with NO driving. It will be tough because of our show schedule, but we’ll make sure he is ok. Thank you to everyone who kept him in their thoughts-it means the world to me.


The day after, we left early (will I never get to sleep in again??? ) to get another load of lumber. Yes, the load I previously posted about is gone. This time we had to go much farther away because we have cleaned out all the local places of good wood. Luckily we found it all in one place an hour away. We then had to stop at Michael’s for sealer, Sam’s Club for groceries, and an Italian market we like that is in the area that we don’t get to very often. This market runs incredible lead in sales. Huge tomatoes @ .79/#, raspberries @.99 ,green peppers @.79/# ,strawberries @.79/#. Then we scoured EVERY WALMART  for miles around for a clearcoat I use on my paintings. FINALLY we found 5 cans and scooped them up. At last we were home and we crashed.

Today,I woke up early (I can’t get a break!!! ) and clearcoated a lot of work that had been waiting to be sprayed. Wanna see the before and after???          Before……..


and after………..


As I said in a previous post—this design is by Terrye French. It is a tedious one to do, but very pretty. I will probably do 2 more batches of this before the year is out. Now, here is what I am working on now….


This is another design by Terrye French. It is really one of my favorites. I have NEVER had any of these left by the time fall is here. I don’t use many patterns, but these are a couple I love. I also put this pattern on chairs like these……


I can NEVER find enough of these firehall chairs. Last year we were lucky that we found a stack for this year’s painting—we were at a show so a good friend went and picked them up for us. Thanks Ron!!!

I’ve been trying to find time to post but there just hasn’t been enough time so I am catching up now! Here is another batch of work I finished—the roosters and these were sprayed this morning………


I am so pleased how things are coming along so far this year—we have our first show in about 6 weeks. We have 3 shows back to back to back—10 actual show days. It’s time to step it up!!

I have just completed my first month of blogging and I want to thank everyone for making me feel welcome. Special thanks to those who have followed me and thanks to those who have visited my blog. I’m anxious to start my shows and post photos on my blog of the people, places, and beautiful art and crafts we see. Thanks again—have a sunny day!!