Thursday, March 27, 2008

Way Back When-sday (Birthday Thursday): 1961


Becky is Born - 3/27/61
This will be a really short post since sweet hubby had orthopedic surgery today and we are laying low, taking it easy. The surgery went really well and Johnny is home resting comfortably. He may have to spend some time working with a occupational therapist to get that finger in good working order, but it's all good. We're just grateful it wasn't hurt worse than it was.

Like I said, just a quick update and a thank you for your thoughts and prayers. This was not the original plan for my birthday today, but you know what...I wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere else but by my Baby's side today - hand in hand through the not so fun side of life. It was a real, genuine and very loving time for us. He is my gift from God, and I cherish him...I am blessed indeed.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Schultea Family Picnic...then the Accident

Hello friends,

Just wanted to let you know that my sweet hubby fell playing softball on Sunday at the big family picnic and hurt his left hand pretty badly (exposed bone, dislocated knuckle, torn tendons, gaping cut...sorry to be graphic). We spent some quality time at the ER on Easter...thankful for the good doctors and nurses that were there working on a holiday. Johnny's OK (dealing with pain though), but will be having orthopedic surgery on Thursday to repair the torn tendons (or ligaments..I don't know the difference). It's on his little finger, but it's amazing how difficult it is to operate without that, his hand is in a splint, wrapped to his elbow and his arm is in a sling. We're grateful it wasn't broken...and that it was his left hand and not his right.

Anyway, just wanted you to know...we would appreciate your prayers for a full recovery and full use of that finger (he's an Electrician, so he'll be needing it :o)

I have LOTS of cute pictures from the picnic and Easter egg hunt that I will post ASAP - we had TONS of fun...right up until the last inning of the softball game...sigh...poor guy...

Talk to you soon...

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Resurrection Sunday!!

I took the following photos on my 2004 trip to Israel - these are from the Garden Tomb, the site many believe was the burial place of was a beautiful, solemn place...we shared Communion there - it was an unforgettable experience...

He is Risen!! - Hallelujah!!


What a glorious way to end my 7 days- 7 posts challenge! As you celebrate this most wonderful of days with your family and friends, I hope you will be filled anew with awe and wonder and humility at exactly what transpired over 2000 years ago - for YOU!!

"This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn't go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person's failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.
(John 3:16-18 -The Message)


Me - Easter 1969

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Bunches o' Bunnies!

Bunny Love!

Just a sweet little bunny sampler for Easter - I have bunches of bunnies, both "real" ones and artistically rendered ones, scattered all throughout my home and illustration portfolio. I've loved/collected bunnies since...well, way back, as you can see from these photos of me as a toddler...

Bunny #1:

Battered, partially decapitated, slobber-soaked, one-eyed, one-eared, grimy, and smelly - I literally loved the stuffing out of this one.

Bunny #2:

I seemed to be a bit reluctant to accept the new replacement for my 1st shabby, not-so-chic bunny, even though they were exactly alike except for the color...

But eventually I accepted it and went on to love the life out of it as well. (Note the slippers - I think they were bunny slippers...but I can't say for sure...)

Then, for years, since my birthday is always near Easter, relatives, friends and my folks often gave me bunnies as gifts...and when I became old enough to shop on my own with my own money, I bought them for myself as well. LOTs of them over the years...and I still can't resist them today (as evidenced by my current voluminous collection)


Well, I've almost completed my 7 posts in 7 days challenge. Just one more day to go. It's been fun but challenging - I admire you guys that post daily or almost daily - I really don't know how you do it with all the other hats you wear and the many other things you do. But whether you blog a lot or a little, thank you for taking the time to share bits and pieces of your life and loves and talent with us...what a treasure you are. And many thanks for those of you who stop by here and look around, and even comment from time to time...I am so appreciative of really makes my day to connect with each and every one of you on some level...

I'll see you tomorrow to celebrate Resurrection Sunday together!!

Bunny hugs and blessings to you all!!!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

It happened one Thursday...

The Garden

"Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane..."

Walls and ceiling of the church built on the site of the garden of Gethsemane

Flowers from the Garden of Gethsemane

Extremely ancient olive tree - perhaps approaching 2000 years...

The Decision

"...My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will."

The Betrayal & Arrest

"Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas, the high priest, where the teachers of the law and the elders had assembled."

On the grounds of Caiaphas' house

This is the small opening at the top of a cistern - commonly used as a jail cell. Jesus might have been lowered down into a pit like this by ropes as pictured in the mosaic...He likely spent his last night on earth in a place similar to this...

The Denial

"...Immediately a rooster crowed. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: "Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times." And he went outside and wept bitterly."

I will share more photos from my 2004 trip to Israel on Resurrection Sunday...thank you so much for stopping by...

Have a Blessed Good Friday!


PS: all Scriptures taken from the book of Matthew

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Way Back When-sday: 1995

(The 2nd Wackiest Year of My Life)

Well, I can't believe it's Wednesday again already! This week, we go 13 years back to 1995 - the year of wild extremes for me in almost every way...but mostly professionally...

I started off the year not working (first year I didn't work since I was 15) - I had quit the Gift Solution in August of '94 - completely burned out on doing art for other people. I know that may sound awful, but I had been a designer for 13 years by this point and had never done any work for myself. Financially we were at a place where I could leave work and branch out on my own...try my hand at creating and licensing my own designs - become the new Mary Engelbreit!! So full of promise and ideas!! I also wanted to go back to college. I had quit college my junior year to finish putting my (then) husband through school, and I wanted to go back (at 34 years old) and at least attempt to get a few art classes under my belt...and see how far I got. SO, in the Spring semester I enrolled in 3 art classes and an English class at the University of Texas in Austin.

*Ahem* classes at a large university were *interesting* studies in social behavior...I was pretty sheltered, even for an older gal, and I saw lots of odd things that semester...

Funniest one though was my first day of drawing class. This was supposed to be just your basic drawing class, so when I saw a young woman standing around in a robe, I though to my dumb self, "wow, look at what these young kids are wearing to school these days." Then, all at once, like a ton of bricks, it hit me that the robe was about to come off...and sure enough, it did. was a life drawing class with nude models - male and female. I can't believe I was that naive. But you know, that was one of the best classes I've ever taken. I had always avoided drawing the human form (clothed or otherwise) because it is very intimidating. But this class got me out of my comfort zone and made me stretch. Here's a sampling of my charcoal sketches from that class...

Then, somehow, after that semester, we got it in our heads that real artists needed to live in a real art environment to create and sell art - and Santa Fe, New Mexico was just such a place. It's way too long of a story, but suffice to say, it was about the wackiest part of my wacky year. I lived in Santa Fe for 3 whole weeks that summer while my husband made plans to join me as soon as he could line up a job in Albuquerque. I'm not sure we ever really had a plan. but if we did, it most certainly fell apart...and I ended up moving back home to Austin practically before I ever left...I told you it was wacky...

Anyway...I was now back in Austin and clueless about my next step...almost. One good thing did emerge from my brief stay in Santa Fe - I created the series of illustrations below. These bunnies and mice were characters I had rolling around in my head for a couple of years at that point, and my time away provided the perfect opportunity to bring them to life...

Yep, this is the bunny (Sunny is her name) that I use for my avatar for Just Bee 'n Me..I used her on a whim because I really didn't have a decent photo of myself, and she just kinda stuck...

So, upon returning to Austin I prepared a portfolio sampling of these and other pieces I had created and sent them off to an art director at Lang. I got a rejection letter (albeit a very nice one) SO fast it made my head spin. And, sad to say, that knocked all the wind out of me and I just gave up...never sent them anywhere else...

About that time I was feeling quite confused about my future - I knew what I wanted to do, but I had zero confidence to do it...

So, of course, the next logical step was to enroll in a Real Estate course at the local Community college - right? Isn't that what anyone in my circumstances would have done...? Well, that is exactly what I did, and by the end of my 2nd wackiest year, I was a licensed Real Estate agent.... Whoda thunk it...? But you'll have to hear more about that story when we go back to 1996, '97, or '98...

Sorry, no photo of me to be found for '95...but I essentially looked a lot like I did in '92...

I do however have a photo of a little corner of our little rent house from that year...

It kinda looks like a Mary Engelbreit illustration...
imagine that... I must say, I am still fond of this look..


OK, enough already about's a few more cultural notes from that auspicious year...

Top 10 TV Shows of 1995

1. Seinfeld

2. ER

3. Home Improvement

4. Grace Under Fire

5. Monday Night Football

6. 60 Minutes

7. N.Y.P.D. Blue

8. "Murder, She Wrote"

9: Friends

10: Roseanne

I forgot all about "Grace Under Fire"...hmmm...I wonder what happened to her...? (Brett Butler) I was definitely an NBC Thursday Night "Must See TV" junkie in those days...all the was appointment TV for me...

Oh, and BTW, the top movie for '95 was Toy Story (one of my personal favorites)


So, what in the world were you up to in 1995...? Were you (are you) a Mary Engelbreit fan? Did you ever get a rejection letter...if so, how did you handle it? Have you ever been to the beautiful city of Santa Fe? We'd love to hear all about it!!

BTW, thanks for letting me get 1995 off my chest...I needed that! :o)

Next week it's a very special edition of Way Back When-sday, because Thursday of next week is my birthday - SO, we'll be heading all the way back to the beginning of me: 1961 (with a few birthday photos from over the years too) It'll be fun! See you tomorrow as I go for 4 for 4 posts in 4 days!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Completely Random Post #2 - Marvelous Makeovers

OK, so I'm kinda on a roll here - 2 posts in 2 days! So far, so good...This was a week of makeovers of sorts around here, so that seemed like an appropriate random topic for today...

First off, the transformation of a $4 thrifted cross-stitch picture:

It started out as a descent enough piece - just kinda dull and a bit boring...


Transformation in's already looking much better...

Detail of the finished piece

The finished piece including the frame - which also got a bit of foufing- I don't think it's too boring anymore...

I had a lot of fun with this little makeover - I have scads of embroidered pieces that I have been collecting for years - now I have a pretty good idea of how they can be "re-loved". It's important to me to honor and preserve the hard work that someone did by hand when they lovingly and meticulously crafted these little masterpieces. I hope the new creations will go on to be re-loved by a whole new generation...

Maddie, our 4 month old Peke-a-poo puppy, finally got her last series of shots so she was ready for her first big-girl haircut...

From shabby... (Maddie Before) Chic (Maddie after)

Maddie pouted all day after getting her big-girl haircut...

Well, Maddie (and I) survived her first grooming appointment! Actually the sweet groomer said she did quite well!! This was a really neat grooming set-up by the way - We used a mobile groomer and it was 100% stress free. She came right to the door, I handed Maddie to her, we chatted a bit about what to expect, etc, then she headed to her fully self-contained doggy-spa-on-wheels and within an hour she brought Maddie back all fouffy and clean. Very cool - very slick operation!

I only left the bow and bandanna on long enough for her daddy to see when he got home from work. Maddie hated them and I think, overall, she looks better sans-fouf. But it was fun to be dolled up even if it was just for the afternoon. But she is still clean and fluffy and best of all we can see her sweet face SO MUCH better without all that scraggly hair hanging down. Funny thing though - you may not be able to tell, but in that last photo, miss priss was sulking - wouldn't even get out of her kennel - she just sat there for the longest time pouting and ignoring me. I guess she was miffed and a bit overwhelmed by the whole thing. Priceless...


Thanks as always for stopping by - be sure and check back tomorrow for the next installment of "Way Back When-sday" where we head back 13 years to 1995!! And there's much more to come this week as we head toward Easter Sunday, including photos from my trip to Israel a few years back - don't miss it!! Hope to see you soon!