Sunday, July 25

a celebration!

Today is a day I mark for celebration.
Tibetan prayer flags I added to a tree in our back yard
that was wounded by a large fallen oak limb
First of all, it's my birthday! 

I've been able to decorate my hotel room with birthday cards
and this very cool paisley printed prayer flag from
Jennifer - each from a hand carved stamps she's made.  Gorgeous, isn't it?!?

Secondly, this marks the official anniversary
of the launching of my blog, two years ago
and over 40,000 unique hits!! wow...

For a little look back at some of my journal artwork,
and to read about my thoughts on art journalling,
head over and visit Connie's blog over at Dirty Footprints
where you can read her interview with me
from her July series
 30 DAYS!

Like many, I began my blog assuming I was going to have a nice place to share photos of my most recent artful activities with friends and family that don't live near by, and that would be it.  I did not having a clue I would be lead to so many special relationships and the creation of the most meaningful support system I could ask for, during a life challenge I never dreamed would happen.   
Yet here we are!
Many of you have been with me long enough to have seen me through back surgery as well as breast surgery, a cancer diagnosis, chemo and now radiation.  I'm not sure you know how much your consistent visits, good wishes, prayers and messages of love and care have meant along the way, but let me assure you - they have meant everything to me.  On those occasional days when I really felt like it is all too much, I know there were folks out there pulling for me, and my strength surges, allowing me to push forward when all I had previously wanted to do was pull the covers over my head!
I had a period like that few weeks ago, when I had blood work run and learned that my tumor markers had climbed over 10% from where they'd been prior to my starting chemo.  This was not the news I had hoped to hear, after going through eight rounds of chemo!  Happily I can now report the latest results are news to celebrate, with the markers down near the normal range, I can have my birthday and this blog anniversary be worry free!!
wooo hooo!!!
happy dance :)
Of course it hasn't all been about hardships or worries!!  You've also helped me celebrate joyfully, through allowing me to share my many artful explorations with you; you've visited my garden and the critters that live there; you've watched me create in videos and have hopefully learned from the tutorials!  There have been a few give-aways and yes, you have helped me mourn the passing of my beloved feline companion Zack - there's a whole lot we've shared!!  Lately I've had to pull back some, to reserve energy for my healing, and plan for renovating, so I haven't pulled out art supplies for a little while, but as I settle in to a rhythm with this radiation schedule and our renovation project gets underway I hope to bring color and creativity back to this space and my life.   
walking up the stairs to the attic...
Here's a little peak into the future site of my studio to be!!  Demo starts later in the week...

click on images for closer view! 
At the top of the stairs, turning left is this little room - it will be transformed and divided into a bathroom on the right side, and a small library/sitting area to the left.
Turning right at the top of the stairs brings you into the main area of the attic - and it's big!!  This will be opened up with a large dormer and the addition of 6 new windows!!  

And finally, at one end of the main space there will be this room.  It will be my "messy" room, where there will be a slop sink, and a door to shut in the dust from sanding, windows (there is a second one to the right of where the photos is being taken) and fans for ventilation when heating up wax or the occasional spraying.   
Pretty amazing, isn't it?!  Seeing it all laid out here has me feeling pretty excited after spending the past couple weeks bogged down in details and worries.  Most of those have been taken care of now, and it's time to hand it over to the professionals - or as our architect likes to call them all, *the whisperers* of their craft.  Gotta love that, no?
gratefully alive,
with love,


  1. I like the Happy Dance pic!! Love and Hugs...

  2. Happy birthday blessings.

    Your happy dance is a gift to me! Love it. Thank u thank u.

    Those high dormered spaces are the best. It's gonna b awesome. Keep dancin and blogging.

  3. i am so totally happy for you, karin.

    that photo of you says everything. it made me laugh!

    and your renovation. it looks like my third floor in the victorian where i lived for 20 years. no doubt you will LOVE this transformation. and a sink of your own. too cool!

    yay to all of it. enjoy your well earned peace of mind, karin. tsup!


  4. oh wow, happy birthday and congrats for everything - looks exciting and wonderful :)

  5. Happy second anniversary of your blog. Blogging does have a tendency to open unexpected opportunities to share in the lives of others.

    I haven't been following very long but I am happy to have found you and your artful creative life.

    Pulling back to take care of you right now and preserve your energy is wise.

    Wishing the very best for you!

  6. I, like you, cant wait till you are home doing that happy dance up in your new room!be lazy now cause when you go home all that good stuff will be there waiting for you! happy bday! lyle

  7. Wooo Hoooo ... the markers are down!!! Now I'm doing the happy dance. Lovely photo of you Karin and looking at your messy room I just know its going to be great.

  8. Karin, I usually visit and don't leave a comment, but today I wish you a very happy birthday!

    (I turned 63 today, myself.)

  9. Hmmm...somehow ALL of my rooms become "messy rooms."

    Anyway, happy birthday and blogoversary (I'm always surprised to find out my blogger friends have been at it for less time than I...though only by a month in your case...maybe your blogs all just seem so much more mature than mine...)!

  10. HAPPY BIRTHDAY to dear you and your blog!!

    You are a soul-whisperer, do you know that?

    xoxoxox I too have been quiet in bloggy-land lately ... We haven't been much in contact for a while ... but you are one of my daily thoughts, every day.

    Always adding my intentions to those of everyone else who loves and helps you heal!


    P.S. Can't wait to witness the reno BEING DONE

  11. 40,000 visits in 2 years!!!!!!!!WAHOOOOOOO! Congratulations! Keep up the good work, all the way around!

  12. Happy birthday you beautiful lady. Your happy dance is so wonderful. May we all look that happy today xxxJ

  13. Hey K
    Happy Solar return darlin'.

    I am so glad that you are on the planet and that we can all do the 'Happy Dance' for your special day and for your new digs!

    I recall walking up those steps and swooning over that space in 2007. You shared with me your dream of having your studio moved up there...and so it goes...dreams coming true.

    Soon you will be creating new don't forget to make your wish today ;-)


  14. I too love the happy dance and join in with you. A Happy belated Birthday.
    Love that space!

  15. Happy Birthday and congratulations on the good news! xxxx

  16. So many things to celebrate with this post! Happy birthday! Happy bloggiversary! Happy happy re: the tumor markers!! Fantastic-awesome re: your attic studio, which looks like it will be brilliant and I'm sure with have LOTS of special Karin touches.

    Sending you lots of love xo

  17. huge happy congratulations to you, karin! <3 hope you've had a beautiful birthday ~ and i wish for you a year filled with adventure, happiness, good news, peace, creativity, and sweet, sweet memories!
    lots of love,


  18. Happy, happy, happy everything today dear many joys to celebrate. I feel so honored to be a witness to your healing journey!

  19. woooo hoooooo! happy birthday woman! the attic studio is going to ROCK!!! i want to come for your first shared art studio day (of course after you have broken it in...) hope you had a lovely day. many bday hugs, j

  20. I saved and print you doing the Happy dance for your birthday....Happy Happy Happy dear sister. Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

  21. I see London, I see France, I see Karin's underpants!
    Happy birthday,best girl! I am hopping around and singing and if that does not put you off...I am also showing off my underpants!!! YAY!

  22. Happy birthday and happy anniversary !!! I wish you many more discoveries, many many more happy moments.
    Take care

  23. Happy Birthday Karin and congratulations to the good bloodresults!

    Lots of Love,


  24. Happy celebrations Karin! The future looks good!

  25. Happy late birthday! Love the happy dance photo :-) and your shoes are great.
    Happy Blog-aversary.
    How exciting the project is starting. I can smell the sheetrock/plaster and all the other construction smells already.

    Messy room, now that's funny. As it turns out my entire studio is The Messy Room, humm that's a good name too. The Messy Room Studio. I suppose you won't name your space until after you move in and work in for a bit. Kinda like naming a puppy, ya know.

    hang in there, my friend good things await your full recovery.

  26. Happy Birthday one day late..did not turn on my computer yesterday.
    I love the happy dance..It made me smile..Good NEWS....YOHOO.....Your new attic wow..I can just see the inspiration already coming from the walls that are yet to be built.
    Take care my friend..My thoughts are with you.

  27. Happy Birthday (yesterday) all over again!
    The prayer flags are so lovely, and you happy dance is so very happy, Iwonder if my co-workers wonder why I am smiling so broadly at my computer?)
    Congrats on the markers being down, and on the upcoming renovation to the attic.
    xoxox, Joanie

  28. Thank you Kady, I am here to entertain!!! I had fun doing it :) love you, K

    Oh, you are so welcome mansuetude! I was cracking myself up doing it - almost fell, which would not have been funny, but happy dances are sometimes about loosing control! Yeah, it is going to be an awesome space :) I am so fortunate!! ❤

    thank you kj! I am glad I got a laugh out of you!! This is an old house - not quite victorian, but it was built in 1922. It's such a great space and has been just waiting to be used. I'm glad we'll be able to bring life to it! xoxo

    thank you linda - it really does, doesn't it!?

    Hi Magnolia, yes, blogging has truly been the gift that keeps on giving!! I am happy you've found me, too - your visits have enriched me and brings me smiles :-D

    thanks Lyle, yeah, it's good to be reminded laziness is okay for now!

    woo hoooo Robyn!! thanks for always being there, and dancin' the dance with me!!! xoxo

    Ohhh - Happy birthday Crow!! I wish you the very best and a healthy happy year ahead!

    Ha! Well, that is a problem I have too, but actually making one officially messy may help with the others :) I remember us starting around the same time - and meeting you over at blogcatalog! I thought you'd been around for a long time and looked to you as experienced - being surprised you were only a month further along than I was!! Thanks for the good wishes Jay!

    Oh mS Jaliya, many thanks and love to you. You are also in my thoughts often. and You and me both - to the reno being DONE!!! if only I were bewitched and could blink it so :) xoxoxoxo to you!!

    heee! I know Cheryl, I was shocked when I checked my stats and saw that! I gotta send out a big thanks to everyone for their visits and support!!

    :) thank you Jasmine, and for all your wonderful messages of caring along the way - they've meant the world to me, xoxo K

    Oh my dearest pal of pals! thank you! I thought of you when I was happy dancing - you are part definitely of my celebration. Thanks for the reminder of that intention setting dream! I'll keep setting them. much love, K

  29. Thank you Penny - I plan to continue to celebrate my birthday through the week, so the wishes are not belated in my book!! the dance goes on!!

    many thanks Megan!

    Hi Svasti, returning that love back your way Svasti! thanks for celebrating with me - xoxox

    Hi Ingrid, thank you - I had a really good day and love all your wishes for me! I will hold them all close, love K

    I feel honored to be able to share my journey Laura - thank you for being a part of this wild trek!! And thank you for sharing your journey so heartfully as well. Blessings my friend. xox

    Thank you Emma!

    Hi Jennifer!! My special room decorating artist maven - you will certainly be a christener to the space when it's done!! i can't wait to share it with you :) much love xoxo

    Ha! that's great Mary Helen, I'm smiling. thank you. xo

    Oh you, Linda Sue!! I don't think you actually do see my undies - i'm wearing those less than fashionable things called skorts, and you are seeing the shorts part of the wearable "don't"!! I have to imagine it isn't a "don't" when doing Happy Dances though :) than the skort is perfectly appropriate and preferred to avoid underwear sharing!!!

    Ack, I want to respond to everyone, but I just looked at the clock and must run to me radiation session. I will continue later. many many thanks and love to you all for all your good birthday and wellness wishes!!

  30. super interview! happy days all around

  31. Happy Birthday Karin !!!!
    and happy blog anniversary.

    Thank you for being in my life

    Love and hugs

    p.s. love your dance

  32. pretty soon I'll be sitting in my attic and you'll be sitting in yours and the whole creative universe will be spinning around us as we work!!

  33. Happy Birthday!! and blogaversary! congrats on both... and woo hoo for you a great new studio!! a dream studio... with water and inspiration!! lovely! mwah!!!!

  34. Hi Nolwenn, thank you - I like that idea! Here's to many new discoveries!!

    Many thanks and love Mattie! I love your picture, by the way :-) xo

    Yes it does, Laura! Thank you :-D

    Oh thank you Paige, I guess we cancel them officially my dqncin' shoes! HA, I like that - the messy room studio!! I hadn't thought about naming the studio, but you're right, after a bit of time one will probably come from the space itself, as does from a new pup! Thanks for all your good wishes. xoxox

    Thank you dear Katelen, my thoughts are with you, too... xox

    Heee,I like the idea of creating a little wonder in the work place Joanie! Thanks for making me smile, too!! And for all the good wishes, xoxoxo

    Thank you Jamie! Yes, good days! I'm so happy right now because it's nice enough that I'm sitting outside enjoying the evening air...ahhh now this is sweet summer :)

    Likewise dear M, sending love your way! xox

    I like it Deb!!

    Mwah, mwah Cat!! Yes, a dream come true - how great is that?! All is well always! :-))))) xoxo

  35. I am a day or two late to the party but you know I am so celebrating all of these wonderful life gifts with you, Beautiful Karin !
    That dancing photo of you is soooo marvelous! It thrills me to know end to see you boogying your love of life that way !
    I am totally drooling over the magnificent space you will have to create in when this cycle is all done. A magical tree house at the top of the stairs. How wonderful !
    Sending you big big LOVE, boogying along with you and full of hope and inspiration for what shall come...
    Big Hugs !

  36. I am happy with this post, happy for you! I've already wished you a happy birthday on FB and i hope you had a wonderful day.
    I love your happy dance. :-D
    I love the wonderful prayer flags.
    Congratulations with all the good and happy things and wish you much much more good and happy things to come.

    Sweet greetz and hugs for you Karin!

  37. karin, i also add joyful blessings and rejoicing for a day of celebrating the day of your birth. for today and tomorrows to come, i borrow from a neighbor, any day above ground is a good day. from me, i've added - i'm not dead yet. a startle to many, but to those of us who have or have had cancer, a chuckle or a snort is noted.


  38. Happy belated Birthday, Karin! Lately, I confess, I have not been vigilante when it comes to following my favourite blogs.

    Your picture made me want to jump for joy. I'm almost ashamed to say it because here you are going through such an ordeal and still you bring up my spirits...but that seems to be what you are all about.

    As for your big project at home, what a beautiful space! When you are up there creating I think you will feel like you're on top of the world!

    Until you are there, take good care of yourself.

    Sonia xox

  39. man, I send you a collage when your cat dies and no card for your birthday... what kind of friend am I??? I'm eternally grateful for both the celebration of your birth and the causes for extra heel-kicks this year. your studio looks a lot like ours before we started the renovation. I know you're gonna love it! I'll send you some photos... have they loosened up as far as cats go at the hotel?:)

  40. I AM LATE! I AM LATE!!!

    Belated Happy Birthday!

    The Happy Dance looks fabulous! I am so happy for you!!!!

    The attic is marvelous, I can only wish!

    Hope you continue celebrating your birthday for at least a month!!!

  41. You look fabulous, BTW! Tsup!!!

  42. Thank you Kim, you're never too late!! I'll just keep the celebration rolling, and boogying, along :) xox K

    Thank you Momo - yes I got your b-day FB greeting, too :-D thank you!!! yes, there are many good and happy things to keep my focus on... xo

    Indeed Peshe, We are still alive and moving in the world, and though those movements may not be the easiest or smoothest, they too can be celebrated for simply being! Gotta cheer for the ups on this journey - they seem to pass in a flash. If you read this, would love to ask you direct questions about your experience with a couple things, if you'd email me, thanks! xo K

    Hi Sonia, no worries, I've been such a lousy blogger friend these days, when it comes to visits!! I'm glad my pic helped to spread the joy! It was fun being goofy with happy intent :) be well, xo

    Hey, no problem Patti! and no, the hotel isn't backing down on the no pets rule! I think it's an allergen free zone - it's also 100% smoke free. It's really a clear aired place - they aren't spraying air freshener anywhere in the air either, it's nice! My cat is much happier hiding out at home anyhow - she isn't a cuddler. I'd probably never be able to find her! I'd love to see your pics - Here's to attic studios :) xox

    The life of the party? Late? I don't think so Ces - it's just picking up, thanks for coming :) xox

    Thanks so much for all the good wishes EVERYONE!!!
    Hugs all around XOX

  43. Happy Birthday, Karin! I'm sorry to have missed it, but I was in Washington, DC, visiting my son. I'm so glad you finally got the good news you and all of us were hoping for! Yay!! Your studio space-to-be looks very exciting; I have to admit I'd like a little more space myself (wouldn't we all? :) ). I hope you keep us updated as it progresses- you know me, I really DO love construction!


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