Thursday, November 25, 2010

Our Thanksgiving ~ a poem


All the name tags have been placed,
The candles have been lit.
They all came with food and wine,
They know just where to sit.

Some traveled such a long way,
Some just around the block.
They laughed, they joked, they nibbled…
Dinner’s set for six o’clock.

The game is on the T.V.,
Introductions have been made,
The children have been hugged and kissed,
All compliments were paid.

This day, is very special,
The planning took some time.
Our hearts are light and filled with love,
This family…yours and mine.

Great happiness and cheers to all,
On this day of counting blessings;
We’ll kiss the cook
And have some pie
And fill up on the dressing!

Thanksgiving Day
November 25, 2010
Karen J. Dixon

Thanksgiving was never meant to be shut up in a single day.  
~Robert Caspar Lintner

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Meet Artist Karen Dixon ~ Bear Maker and Poet

My Aunt Nan listens to her inner voice and creates teddy bears that have a history. It wasn’t always so.

Nine years ago, she walked into the back yard and it was like a voice said, “you’re going to need a place to go when you retire.” Although she wasn’t ready to retire for a number of years, the idea of a “place to go” became a project for her husband, Harlan. “There was an old apple tree in the corner of the yard and, on that spot; he built a studio for her. Their daughter named it

“The Apple House”.

 It has all the comforts of home…lovely to work there even when the snow is falling and the wind is howling. She is as “snug as a bug in a rug”!
In the beginning she had no idea what she was going to do in The Apple House, but she knew she was going to do something. So, she moved her forty year old sewing machine to her new studio, added some shelves and rugs and a comfy chair and foot stool and sat down to think about what to do next. She recalls my grandmother asking her what she was going to do…having absolutely no idea, she told her she was going to make critters! She was unaware that her words would come true, but not for some time. For three days my aunt sat in The Apple House feeling bad because her husband had spent the money to build her a wonderful “retirement home” and still she had no idea what to create. Finally she decided to make a child’s corduroy summer hat, just to be certain she remembered how to read a pattern. Then, she began to make designer pillows and consigned them to three shops and they started to sell.

One day she was watching a television program of a woman making a teddy bear. She thought, “I bet I could do that”!

She stopped making pillows and started making bears. The bears are cut from scratch and come in all sorts of personalities. 

My aunt says, “The bears tell me what their names are going to be and what they’re going to wear… whether they need a hat or a ribbon. They come with their own history and, at first; I would just tell people a story about their background. Then the bears began “telling” me poems. 

Now, when a new bear is ordered, it is with the understanding that a poem is included. Each bear arrives at his/her new home with a poem tucked under his arm for safe keeping. 

Like these two cu-tie- pie's below!


My palms were hot and sweaty,
As I put on my golf shoes,
You know I felt like running,
But I’d been in all the news.

They really thought I knew my stuff,
An illusion it would seem,
Instead of being happy,
I was stuck in a bad dream.

I had my cap,
I had my clubs,
I had my caddy too,
I knew they all were waiting,
Just to see what I could do.

I marched out of the locker room,
I made it to the green,
My little knees were knocking,
A coward it would seem.

The gallery went crazy
They hooted and they yelled,
I knew inside that I was doomed,
The victim of a spell.
And then I started thinking,
On just how much I’ve learned,
I closed my eyes,
I smacked that ball,
My little heart was sinking.

I guess I really let ‘er rip,
I was aiming for the sun,
I missed the lake,
I missed the sand,
I got a hole-in-one!
Sometimes life smiles upon us,
Turns out better than one thinks,
So when you get your hole-in-one,
Remember…they all get drinks!

Karen J. Dixon

News of the bears spread by word of mouth. Soon, she had orders for 18 bears and was still working full time. Her bears live all over the country now and on Halloween 2004 she retired, knowing full well what she would be doing in her cozy studio.


Have you ever sat and watched the clouds,
As they went floating by.

Just laid down flat upon the grass,
And looked up to the sky.

Have you ever watched a butterfly,
The color of its wings.

Have you ever really listened
To how a Robin sings.

Have you ever wandered in the rain,
The drops fell on your face.
Just took delight in how it felt,
No hurry…slowed your pace.

Have you ever sat down on the beach,
And let your thoughts run free.

And closed your eyes,
And felt the wind,
Happy…just to be!

Karen J. Dixon
April 4, 2010
Easter Sunday

The lights in The Apple House are on most evenings, a yellow glow shines through the window on to the walk way leading to the front door and if you listen, you just might be the first to hear a new verse or two being whispered to my Aunt Nan. Don’t worry, she won’t keep it to herself…she loves to share!

 I re-vamped this yard sale foot stool for her as a studio warming gift. It rests at the foot of  her comfy red and white checked wing back chair in The Apple House! 

Aunt Nan tells me it's just right for propping up her feet and daydreaming! 

What  inspirations,whispers, or LOUD knockings have you LISTENED to lately? It's never too late to follow the tug of your heart!

Friday, November 12, 2010

This Moment~ A Friday Ritual

A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

3-D Family Tree

Dear Friends,
Happy November! The leaves are falling as fast as I can type. Cooler air has chased away the warmth of Indian summer and Father Winter will be knocking on our door before we know it. Don't fret! It's a wonderful, festive time of year with so much to look forward too! 

 My husbands yearly ritual of raking the leaves in the back yard ( after dark so he can surprise the kids in the morning) into a large happy face is fast behind us and others await.  Our teens still look forward to their annual leafy smiley- face looking up at them from their bedroom windows and I must admit, I do too! 

Whether you're still living in your childhood hometown or city, or you've put down roots far away from your loved ones, family is at the center of every ones thoughts this time of year. These days it's so easy to keep in touch with Face Book, Skype, Blogging, Email, and Texting  the miles between loved ones are shrinking by the second.  Having instant communication at the touch of a fingertip can go along way toward easing homesickness too.
Another way to stay close to your far aways during the holiday season is to create a 3-D FAMILY TREE!

( this branch is special, it has a nest in it)

No expensive 3-D GLASSES needed and after you've created one with your family you can shoot pictures of it and share it with your loved ones too. And, you'll have the enjoyment of seeing it every day bringing you feelings of warmth, comfort and togetherness.

It was after moving away from my girlhood home ( at 40 ) to lovely New England when I first experienced being homesick. It was odd how I could love my new home so much and at the same time ache for my old one. I had to do something to chase away the homesick blues and busy hands  seems to work like magic for me.  I decided to make a family tree so I could be surrounded by the love of my family here, and my far aways too. 

 I searched the back yard for some branches to my liking and chose the photos I would use for my mini collages that would hang on my tree. 

 I used a sturdy vase ( in this case a lantern) as a base for my tree which I already had.  
* a bucket, planter, pitcher or galvanized tin would work well too.  
Now that you have your branches, vase and you have chosen your photos...

Here's what you'll need to complete YOUR FAMILY tree!
  • access to a scanner, copier and printer
  • white printer paper
  • background paper for your photos.
  • * I chose scrap booking paper in an earthy autumnal color pallet. Be as creative and colorful as you like. Hand made papers would be interesting too!
  • decorative edge scissors for cutting out your papers and photos. 
  • glue stick or double stick stickers for photos used in scrap booking.
  • embellishments: text, quotes, etc.  for your mini collages.  
  • *I chose some letters, sayings, and words that spoke to me about family. 
  • a hole punch to punch a hole at the top of your mini collage for your tie to go through.
  • jute, string, suede, ribbon etc for your tie.
  • Photo copy your photos on plane printer paper. I chose to use color but you could do black and white too.  
  • cut your back ground papers and photos to the size you want them to be... Any shape goes! 
  • glue your photo and embellishments to your back ground paper.
  • punch hole in the top of your mini collage
  • string your tie through the hole and hang it on your tree!
*  your elementary aged children can help create with you and they'll love seeing photos of their grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and themselves dangling from YOUR  family tree.

* All supplies for this project can easily be found at your local craft store and in your own BACK YARD! 

Now, your loved ones are near, you can see them every day and your memories of times past together  are further cemented because you have imprinted them into your mind and your heart through your handiwork! 

It's been several years since I made our first 3-D Family Tree and I still bring out my mini collages every year! This year a white dove was added to our tree as a symbol of peace for our home, our far aways, our country and our service men and women too! 

What about you? What traditions do you repeat each year with out fail? How have you creatively battled homesickness?

It's with a grateful heart that I'm sending you all a big THANK YOU for joining us here at DANDELION HOUSE HOME ARTS and wishing you and yours PEACE and a November to remember! 

I'm linking this older post to Heidi's Fall Harvest blog hop!

Dandelion Wishes,
Deborah Jean 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

America the Beautiful


We are blessed to live in America the Beautiful! 

If you voted today you can receive a discount on your Mary Jane's Farm  sisterhood membership and discounts for your friends too! 
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