December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas to All!

My Christmas wish for you all..., happiness, peace, joy, contentment,
and God's blessings.

Christmas Graphics



December 24, 2007

First Place Win! OCFA

My "Stairway Foliage" canvas won FIRST PLACE at the Orange County Fine Arts show! I'm so HAPPY!!!

December 19, 2007

Irvine Park Railroad Christmas Train - OMG that was so FUN!

We went to the Irvine Regional Park last night to ride the Christmas Train - IT WAS SO FUN!!

When we got there it was after dark - and I mean d-a-r-k! Then all of a sudden you see this beautiful glow off in the distance.

When we got to the entry gate we were very happy to see that the gates were open and there was no charge for entrance!

Note to you all: You can avoid the $4.00 - $5.00 entry fee by going after 5:00 p.m.

So we parked and I'm telling you, it was that same feeling you get when you were little and you pulled up to Disneyland. The lights and sounds, and the excitement in the air was magical!

Kids were squealing with excitement, and the parents were almost as excited as the kids! The line was long, but moved very quickly once the train arrived each time, so it wasn't bad at all.

The park was covered in lights and decorations, and was a sight to see for sure.

It did start to sprinkle when we arrived, and that became a light rain, but it really wasn't a big deal because where you line up is covered, and the train has a roof on it. So again - no big deal. And I have to admit that the rain actually made everything glow and reflect, so it was even more beautiful.

And the conductors were keeping the kids entertained by walking around and talking to them, and juggling!

Then it was our turn! We boarded the train and got ready for our trip to see Santa.

Another note to you: Best seats - very back. You're facing the rear of the train, so you can see everything as it goes by with nothing blocking your view.

Traveling through the park and seeing all the lights and decorations along the way was so cool. Then there was another glow off in the distance, and it was Santa's Village.

We departed Santa's Village after letting people off and boarding others, and then the train continued on for a great light show through the tunnel, and past the old cabin, where it was snowing (yes, it was snowing) - and finished up back at the train station.

The staff was super friendly, and everyone had a great time.

If you have any time at all, take your family for a ride on the Christmas Train. It's a fun activity for everyone, without the full-day committment. I'm going back, and I'll be back every year!

December 15, 2007

What I'm Doing Instead of Christmas Shopping

It is now the 15th of December, and I still haven't done any Christmas shopping.

This is what I've been doing instead...

I'm getting lots of stops to look at my pictures, very complimentary comments, and sales are good, so I'm a very happy girl. I'm also meeting lots of nice people from here, there and everywhere.

All in all, I'm having a great time!

Two more shows and I'm done, so then I fully expect to whip right through my Christmas shopping and be completely done in time to go visit a few fun places to enjoy the holidays.

(Isn't unbridled optimism fun to watch?)

December 13, 2007

I Can Now Find My Way Out of a Paper Bag

It has been suggested that I have trouble finding my way out of a paper bag. This is not completely true, but does base itself in semi-fact. I have gotten myself lost many times, BUT I have good backtracking skills, and always got out of my jam. Or I have people I can call and have them guide me. (This is a bit tricky, since I'm only describing where I am and they have to picture it in their minds).

This can be irritating and perplexing, because at my worst I've almost had people miss their flights (I was the shuttle), it's taken me 5 hours to make a 1-hour round trip (errands), and I missed two back-to-back commitments being late for the first, and then because the first one ran late, that made me late for the second (meeting friends). So, as you can see, this is a bit of a problem.

I have some navigational issues.

A. I DO NOT know north, south, east or west.
B. I DO know left and right.
C. I DO know "toward the mountains" and "toward the ocean."
D. I tend to talk too much if I have (a) riding companion(s), and totally miss the turns.
E. If I'm on what appears to be one of my beaten paths, I sometimes go "auto-pilot" and miss my turns to the new destination.
F. If I'm on a cell phone while driving I almost always miss my turns.

These are no longer issues for me :-D

Santa told the elves to bring me my big present early this Christmas.

(Okay, confession: We always open our big gifts as soon as we get them. We're very irresponsible that way)

Anyway, here it is:


I like this one because you don't have to leave it in the car, and if you go on vacation you can just have it in your pocket or bag and use it when necessary (HUGE perk!) Also, because you don't have to leave it in your car, chances of people nabbing it are smaller.

And speaking of vacation, if you go out of the country you can download special maps that give you directions for pretty much anywhere in the world. And it has a currency converter, language translator, plays audiobooks, view pictures, and on and on and on!

Another excuse for me to take a foreign vacation? Hmm... Perhaps...

So, there it is. My newest and greatest treasture.

I'll let you know how I like it after I've used it awhile.

December 12, 2007

Christmas Shopping (or the lack thereof)

I am starting to get a little freak-out going. As my Christmas countdown reminds me, I am running out of time before Christmas arrives, and I have not done ANY Christmas shopping.

Between being sick (this is my second week), and being busy, busy, BUSY, I have put it off until now, and I'm starting to worry. Will I get going on this while I still have time for to ship? Oh, yes - me and Internet shopping go wayyyy back. It's almost like Santa dropping down the chimney and leaving lots of gifts - only with Internet shopping the packages magically arrive on my porch. No shipping, no tax.


Anyway, back to panicsville - I am going to try and get this going by Tuesday. At the latest.

For sure...

(I hope)

December 11, 2007

Is Christmas a Female Holiday?

I have had an epiphany of sorts - that Christmas might really be a holiday for women, and seems to be "by invitation only" for men.

I mean, it just seems that women are the ones doing the frenzied shopping (I have never seen men freaking out about getting to a store at 5:00 a.m. on Black Friday), preparing massive and beautiful Christmas feasts, making sure the family gets to the various holiday events, sending out Christmas cards, or making sure the house is a decorated shrine. When you think about it, men ARE involved, but it is only because the women want them to be, or...demand it -- uh, err, I mean to say, expect it.


Christmas is a wonderful holiday. Its mere existence arises from the most fantastic event in the history of mankind! This alone should make everyone love this holiday. Yet, I still see the initiative being taken primarily by women.

I simply do not get this.

I like to think it is because men are tired from long stressful days at work, and the last thing they want to do is string lights, or deck out the house, but that they truly do love Christmas as much as we women do. But lots of women work, too, and still get "into" it, so that kind of shoots down that argument.

So, I guess my question is this: Am I totally off base here (please say yes), or is there some sort of secret problem that the guys aren't sharing with us?

Would love some opinions on this.

December 07, 2007

Knott's Merry Farm!

And let's not forget about little brother park in Orange County - Knott's Berry Farm, or as it is known at Christmas, Knott's Merry Farm. (I love puns)

Here's a link to another great themed park (get it?)

Christmas at the Happiest Place on Earth!

I thought I'd spend this month following in October's footsteps and make it holiday-themed. I'll be searching high and low for some cool things to do at Christmastime in and around Orange County.

Here a link to Disneyland's Christmas themed park.

It looks absolutely magical, and I HOPE I get a chance to go there before it's all back to normal - which is not a bad thing. Disneyland is awesome on its worst day - but they really dress up the park so magically when they do their themes. I've been there at Halloween, but not Christmas (can you believe it??). Fingers crossed that I remedy that this year!

December 06, 2007

Me Ski? Hey, it's Snowjoke! (.com)

This link was left by "anonymous" and is hysterical!

Like the ElfYourself site, you upload your face to the skier template (again, very easy) and off you go!

Here I am!

All Aboard the Christmas Train!

Are you looking for something really fun for the family to do this Christmas season? Then you really need to make time to visit the Irvine Park Railroad (at Irvine Regional Park). This is their 12th annual event, and people are coming back year after year. What better recommendation can you get than that?

Irvine Railroad Christmas Train

I happen to know that the crews spent an entire month putting up lights, so I can't wait to get down there and check it out. WITH my trustee camera, that is. This is an absolute no-miss for me, because as you remember from my earlier blogs, their Halloween train was really done well and everyone loved it!

So, for now check out the link for details and coupons (I LOVE coupons!) and plan to take the family for a visit (or two, or three). It looks absolutey magical.

Here's information and a map I got from the O.C. Register site:

Train to North Pole
What:Irvine Park Railroad's 12th annual Christmas Train

When:5-8 p.m. Friday through Dec. 2; Dec. 7-9; Dec. 13-23.

Where:Irvine Region Park, 1 Irvine Park Rd., Orange

Admission:$8, children 24 months and younger ride free.

Parking:$3 on weekdays and $5 on weekends; free after 5 p.m.

Information:Children may mail letters to Santa Claus or tell him their wish list during their visit. There will also be photo opportunities during the event. or 714-997-3968.


Wanna Have Some Christmas Fun? Elf Yourself!

This site is a riot! You upload faces into the elf template (very, very easy) and then voila! You're a dancing elf! You can have up to four people in an elfish chorus line. is the site, and I've had two people cycle this to me so far. People are having a lot of fun with it.

Here's me as an elf: - Barbara the Dancing Elf!

December 04, 2007

First Week of Christmas Art Shows - Success!!

I am insane. I signed up to do eight Christmas art / craft fairs all in the first three weeks of December. I know I should be regretting it, but I am having a BLAST!

I was off to a bit of a weak start, considering that my first show was last Friday, and was scheduled for the Dana Point Harbor. This was the same Friday that drought-stricken California received its first real pounding, all-day-lasting rainstorm since early October.

Day 1: Rained out.

I did take advantage of having to stay home, though, and got some more prints framed, so all was not lost.

The next day was a sure thing, because no matter what the weather, the NBAF art / craft show was being held in Newport Beach - indoors! Yay! So, I got all set up and met my vendor / neighbor, Diane. We had a great day yucking it up, and I was really happy to meet her.

I rocked that show! I sold way more than I had hoped to, and that put me on the moon. It was my first time accepting credit cards, and that made a huge difference.

The next day I was in San Clemente, and did well again. Met lots of nice people, played my Christmas carols, and generally sat around and had my own personal Christmas party :-D

It was so fun, even though it was a bit nippy outside with the nice ocean breeze and all (okay, it was f-r-e-e-z-i-n-g!) The day went by really fast, and I was happy with my sales for the day.

Three down, five to go! Wish me luck!