Just Tangling Around

Hello friends!
I've had a round with bronchitis this last week and wasn't, you know, I was sick. So in bed I stayed. until this fine Monday morning, where I braved the morning traffic and was only delayed by one wreck and 30 minutes. 

But on to more pressing matters: I made a bookmark for my daughter. I used the pretty but simple SpinRose pattern and colored the flowers with 2 shades of pink. For the leaves I used a glitter pencil and metallic gel pen, as well as highlighting some of the scrolls. My hands were a bit shaky this evening and it's not my best penmanship, but hey! It's free. 

The next piece is called "Infinity". It's the more complex drawing I mentioned last week.

I like the cool color mix. It was drawn and colored in ink and markers. Believe it or not, I resisted using gold or silver this time too! I printed it on water color paper and it came out really nice. You have to be careful with thicker papers, some of them just won't go through a printer.  


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Ink and Watercolor Flowers

This is one of my first attempts to blend a water color background with an ink drawing. I like the vibrant mix of colors. But, what do you think??

I'm working on something a little more complex (but not watercolors). I hope to have it up in a few days to share with you.

You may also like more Zentangle drawings: here and here 

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In Memory of My Mom

My mom passed away Wednesday night. Erna Teschler died in Kansas City, Missouri on March 19, 2014 at 5:40pm CDT. 
Erna Teschler 
Sitting on Santa's lap, Christmas 2013
After a serious illness and a close brush with death a year ago, I moved her from Grants Pass, Oregon to live here in Missouri with my husband, daughter and myself. She was placed in the care of Crossroads Hospice, a local agency. After mom regained her strength from proper care, good eating habits and a loving environment, she began to thrive. Even though she spent many days alone while we were at work, she enjoyed the companionship of a grumpy old lady cat named Lucy. Lucy quickly became her BFF. Lucy would take naps and inform my mom when it was time for her bowl to be filled. My mom also became the “doorman” for the other two furry family members, Bella the dog and Reggie the Hobo cat. Most evenings after work, we received full reports on how Bella had escaped into the neighborhood and was gone for hours until some helpful stranger brought her back home. Mom didn’t care much for Bella’s free spirit. Mama would also report whether or not Reggie (Hobo cat) had or had not made an appearance that day. Many days he did not, due to his (similar) wandering nature. Lucy was the only animal that received Unconditional Love from mom (because she never left the house).

Mother's Day 2013, with granddaughter Andrea, daughter Joanne (3 generations)
Mother's Day 2013, with granddaughter Stephanie
Due to her illness, Mom didn’t get out much; she tired easily and was tethered to a tank of oxygen. She did enjoy spending quarters at the casino, but only made 2 trips during the time she lived with us. So, for the most part her days centered on the cats, the dog and whatever TV show she was hooked to at the time. She started out being a full-blown Golden Girls addict, later moving to CSI Miami, Criminal Minds and most recently, every Tyler Perry Madea movie ever made. I always thought the fascination with the Madea movies was the funniest or most ironic, given her twisted and dead ex-husband was a full-blown Nazi (seriously). She loved Madea though. When I asked her why she was watching another movie again (that she’d already seen), she’d tell me “They’re educational” or “they have good messages”. (Kudos to Tyler Perry). Mom was addicted to Coke, ice cream and black licorice (Yuk). She had an insatiable sweet tooth. She was lucky because I told her if she was fat and ever got diabetes, she’d be up Shit Creek, because I would cut off the Sugar Train.

1993 her first and only trip back to Germany
Born in 1934, in Hitler’s Germany, my mother lived a difficult childhood, at best. For a short time her mother was held in a Concentration Camp for speaking out against the Nazis. Mom met and married dad during his Army tour of Germany, after the war. My grandparents had since divorced and even after marrying, my mom remained with her sick mother for nearly a year to take care of her until her death. After my grandmother’s passing, in 1953 my mom crossed the Big Pond by ship to New York; from there she took a train to meet my dad in San Francisco.

Two items made the trip (over a span of 60+ years) from:
·         Germany to NY
·         NY to San Francisco
·         San Francisco to Texas
·         Texas to Hawaii
·         Hawaii back to Texas
·         Texas to Oklahoma
·         Oklahoma to Oregon
·         Oregon to Missouri
·         Back to Oregon
·         And finally back to Missouri

Those two keepsakes are a vase that’s at least 75 years old and an ink and watercolour drawing of her home town: Marburg, Germany. I have them now and hopefully someday my kids will cherish them as I do.
Ink drawing, Marburg, Germany
My mom was relatively small, about 5’-1” and 130 lbs. when she was healthy.  I guess in outward appearance, she may have seemed frail or maybe even defenseless, but as mean and tough as I think I am, it cannot compare to the strength and fortitude she had to leave your home, travel to live in a foreign country where you don’t speak the language and starting a new, successful and happy life. My mom not only learned to speak English, she gained her citizenship before she had me, 5 years later. As easy as it is to travel and communicate in today’s world, I still don’t know if I could take a leap of faith like that.

Oct 2004
Erna Teschler was married to my dad for 21 years. Together, they raised three kids: me, a brother and an unexpected baby sister (that came from Hawaii). During the three years we were in Hawaii she also went to Cosmetology school. She worked as a Hair Dresser (Stylist) for the rest of her working life.

Mom made a lot of moves in her life, but resided in Germany, Oklahoma and Oregon all for over 20 years each. In 2004 after divorcing her second husband, I convinced her to come live with us. While she adapted well in her early years, she did not like the bigger Kansas City as compared to the simpler and smaller Grants Pass, Oregon and moved back a year later. That move was much harder for me (than for her, I think) as she wasn’t as strong and healthy and to know I couldn’t be there to take care of her or help her out when she needed it. I thank God that he kept her well enough to move back with us for the last 13 months of her life. She made our lives richer and, Lucy the cat happier.
1993 (L-R)  Sister Hilde, Mom, Brother Helmut & Wife Annie
Reunited after over 40 years
Mom was a thrifty person who could squeeze 15₵ out of a dime, but was extremely generous to others. After her second divorce she lived on a very meager budget but would share extra garden produce with neighbors and friends. She was not a “joiner” and preferred staying home to driving, visiting and getting about, but was a gracious hostess when company would call on her.

My mom is survived by two daughters, one grandson, three granddaughters, three great-grandchildren, her favorite son-in-law, many friends all across the country, and Lucy the Crabby Cat.
I love you Mom. We miss you already.
Glamour 1950s
While I do not know all of them by name, I want to acknowledge the friendship, love and kindness of a few people I have personally met. You all had a special place in Erna’s heart and for that my family and I are eternally grateful:
In Oregon: Tom G., Pam and Ken C., Ginger and Staff at Laurel Hills, Dr. Burchette and Dr. Powell
In Oklahoma: Heike G.
In Missouri: The Loving Staff at Crossroads Hospice: Michelle, Stephanie, Carissa, Sandy, Bruce, Beth, Kim, Jasmine, Jennie and Kendra. I know there were many more at Crossroads that helped my mother end her life with comfort and dignity, but I did not meet all of them and cannot remember all of them, especially during the last 2 weeks.

Her remains are being cremated and a Memorial Celebration will be held this summer. In lieu of flowers, we are asking that anyone inclined, make donations to:

10810 East 45th Street
Suite #300Tulsa, OK 74146
Tax ID 73-1620755

501(c) (3) Nonprofit Organization. 

Or click here to donate.

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Thank you for allowing me to share a little bit of my history. I love comments, leave yours below.

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More Fun in N'awlins

Spent Friday night throwing beads at the throngs from the Royal Sonesta Hotel.

These were my new BFFs-lovely ladies with SGS (company).

We took a stroll through St Louis 1 Cemetery this morning.

And--of course another (more subdued) stroll through the Quarter.

Beauty comes in all forms.

And I just want to add...

Not missing the weather back home.

Till later!
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Mardi Gras, a Beginners Guide

2014.  My first Mardi Gras and first time in New Orleans. Our flight left KC at 8:30am and  I have to admit, I was somewhat annoyed with the LOUD woman that was already working hard on tomorrow's hangover. A little background on her: she's a cop and was jilted at the alter a year ago on Valentine's Day. As loud as she was/is, I never got her name, so for the purpose of this post, we'll call her Debbie. I've known more than a few drunken Debbies, and she's frightfully familiar. Before we boarded, Debbie was bragging OR complaining, that the beer she bought in the airport cost her $8. The woman is 45 years old. How does she not know, you can bring minis on the plane and they're within the TSA liquid limit??

I learned a few things sitting 3 rows back, not sure yet, how much I can actually use, but maybe it will help some of you:

  • Get you a mask and flash. That way you're not on YouTube-but you'll still have the "experience".
  • Don't pee in public.
  • Don't touch the horses.
  • Don't  show your hoohaw.
  • If you don't plan on flashing - keep your money tucked into your bra.
  • Stay away from the religious protesters. Everybody has a right to party or not.
  • AND - If you're not a professional drinker, only ONE Hurricane!

After 3 days in New Orleans I'l share what I've learned about what to wear and pack:
  • Bring COMFORTABLE shoes. Even if you travel by car, you will be spending a lot of time in the French Quarter, walking. Most of the parades and all the good food you can't park on the streets, most streets are closed except to emergency vehicles, parking is ridiculously High ($50 for 10 min or 10 hours - ouch, right?). The drinking/partying aspect of Mardi Gras involves walking around with drink winding through the French Quarter. (That's how you get all those Beads, baby). There are LOTS, I mean LOTS of parades too. Parades are a big source of beads and "throws" and most people stand to watch the parades. So, comfortable shoes people. (PS: nobody looks at your feet) 
  • Bring a coat, hat and gloves-no matter where you're from. Weather is too unpredictable. I got a sunburn the 2nd day and 
  • Pack light in Suitcase No.1.
  • Pack a costume in Suitcase No. 2. I highly recommend you where a costume, the crazier the better. Think David Bowie crossed with Liberace + Cher (in the 80s) times 10. Oh, and throw in lots of sequins and feathers. There is no such thing as "over the top" where Mardi Gras is concerned. Overindulgence is the norm.
  • Now, if you choose not to bring a costume, that's cool too, as there are more than enough places to buy Mardi Gras adornments, masks, costumes (both extravagant and cheap).

Take away: It's socially acceptable to be drunk before 7:30 am if you are on your way to Vegas or Nawlins.

Check back. There's plenty of pictures of  and assorted debauchey to come.
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HaPpY NeW YeAr!

Happy New Year my friends! Health & Peace to you all :D

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