Wednesday, July 27, 2016


...and writers and readers and thinkers and doers!   

A lot of my friends are TEACHERS, too. Well, where I work I consider every adult to be in the teaching profession.  Some do their "teaching" while running up and down the sidelines of a court or field of play, others conduct their lessons while sweeping and mopping, quite a few provide training while serving meals and some of us educate through simply setting examples and the best example that can be set is to READ!!

So when my dear friend, the Librarian, approached me with a project that would enable students to feel more comfortable while exploring the different genres that are available in her Library - I was more than happy to help out!  Her idea was to have a set of 10" x 15" bookshelf signs that would clearly indicate the location of the various types of literature so that students could investigate independently. What a great idea!

I had a wonderful time creating the designs for and making these signs and they made me think about all of the different types of books I enjoy reading.  I've always wanted to be a writer but for now I'll settle on being a FOAM artist. I do hope you enjoy these and I hope they give you ideas about something SPECIAL you would like me to create for you!!  

You are UNIQUE and ONE-OF-A-KIND- 
so show it off with a unique and one-of-a-kind FOAMFRIEND!!

So what is your favorite kind of book to read?

Adventure? One of my teacher friends expands her knowledge of the world around us by taking fantastic solo adventures every summer.  She might be in the classroom for 9 months but the rest of the time she is out there - having experiences that enlighten her mind and lighten her soul so that when she returns to the classroom she is an even more powerful woman and educator!!
Fantasy?  One of my teachers friends worked as a substitute teacher five days a week and then went home each night to work on writing.  His genre - Fantasy. He would dress up in costumes to help his students explore the wonderful worlds that can be explored only in books.  Whether he ends up writing or teacher full-time he will give a gift to the young people!
Historic? Fiction or Non-Fiction - they both can be great reads.  One of my teacher friends is a History teacher and has found that by incorporating some historical fiction with his non-fiction lessons his students become even more excited about learning about the past. I know that I loved learning more about the Regency period so that I could enjoy my Jane Austen more! 
Humor? This genre can be found in a lot of fiction. Who doesn't love to laugh.  That's the one thing about working with teachers...they ALWAYS manage to find a way to laugh.  They take their profession seriously but not themselves.  Many of them realize that they are in a wonderful position to continue to see the world through young eyes - eyes that are not fearful or cynical but that still have room for hope and humor!

Monday, January 25, 2016

A Mantra for a Michigan Winter Monday

I am HERE.
That's enough.

For many of us residing in the north, (including this blogger) January is a time to hibernate.  Lower the blinds to close out the grey when the lid moves upon us for days. Put on some music while you meditate or dance.  Light a scented candle. Write in your journal or send a handwritten letter to a relative or friend. Cuddle up with a few pets, drink some mulled-wine, read a good book, enjoy some indoor pastimes!

Always keeping in mind that when the skies clear to blue and shadows appear how giddy you will feel.  Strangers on the street, on elevators, in line at the store will smile and make eye contact! When the high temperature for the day is above 30 and the overnight lows don't dip below 20 ... celebrate!
Winter life in the north forces you to Live in the Moment - as failure to do so could result in great bodily harm. Any day you can go outside without having to take measures to protect yourself against frostbite or slipping - tripping and falling is truly a special occasion!

Taking my own advice I started off the new year by cuddling with the pets ( yes, the Holly Way Pride is up to five feline members now!), drinking wine (sometimes I'm just not patient enough for the mulling process), reading a good mystery novel (okay - when I say I'm going in to read for awhile it usually turns into a nap) and pursuing some of my favorite indoor pastimes!  These include doing anything with FOAM, researching Lansing history on the web while building my Pinterest gallery of Historical Images of Lansing, playing board games with my two boys, eating comfort foods and finding new ways to express myself artistically!!

My latest project is working with high-quality sandstone drink coasters with rubber nonslip backing.  I didn't have to search very far for inspiration.  It was all around me.  In baskets, sleeping on the couch, playing in paper bags, claiming the top of the frig as their princess tower, waking me too early for morning snack...yep...the Holly Way Pride of FIVE!

Bombadil "Zen Master Vanilla Thunder"
Lucky Buckie "The Illusive"
Avalon "Grey Queen Beauty Butt"
Kadashan "Gold Cats are BIG!"
& Goldberry "Little Princess Buffy"

Soon other cat lovers realized how a void was now present in their lives and that they must pay tribute to their feline family members by having their own unique coasters made by Foam Friends! (I am assuming these thoughts were implanted by their cats.  You may think they are just sleeping a lot but in reality they are planning...always planning!)  Supplied with a couple photos of the cats to be depicted along with some details about their unique personalities - the owners of Lilly, Jack, Sadie and Bobalu soon had their very own way to "Have a Drink on their Cats!".

Not a cat fancier - not to worry.  These Coaster Creatures can be custom created to depict whatever or whomever you want... dogs, rats, birds, or even brothers and bosses!!


Creature Coasters 
by Foam Friends - $10.00 each