Sunday, January 15, 2012


Okay, so I promised a special post presenting my perfect gift from Lisa...a whimsical bohemian...She studied the illustration, (from my website) of one of my FAVORITE character from my new book, "Benjamin McTish and the Door Through The Grandfather Tree" ...and brought her to life for me!

It was super exciting to sit with my family surrounding me on my birthday, Xmas day, with my eyes closed, again, after just being ushered into the dining room with my eyes closed to reveal a perfect snowman birthday cake from Ray...I opened my eyes and couldn't even understand what I was seeing at first...then it hit me...OH MY GOD!  It's MATHILDA!

Lisa captured everything about this character from her orange kinky curls to her ballet pink toes.  She used a piece of her own orange tree to make the base for Mathilda to sit upon...which represents the Grandfather Tree, with his "Key" in the lock. Then below she pieced specific items that are representatives of different parts of the story...some of you may recall the top hat and balancing ball belonging to Chantilly Lily, and the hook with the star, to represent Finley Heaton the Star Hanger.

I have Mathilda here, with me, on my desk, as tremendous inspiration for me.  She makes it all seem so "real", the idea of the whole book and the possibilities. It's so very exciting to me. 

I'm working very hard on finding an agent/publisher, to take this book all the way.  It's the first in a series and I couldn't be more excited or proud that I have written a good book.  I'm working on getting an ebook of it made at present. In the meantime if anyone is interested in reading the book, just let me know.  I could use the feedback.  Just know that the offer only stands for a short while, as soon I will begin charging for the here for your whimsical enjoyment.... 

I present Mathilda Wickcliff, as observed by Lisa Oceandreamer....and just in case you are wondering, Yes! Lisa is very open to creating any character from any book, or otherwise, that you find you simply cannot live without...enjoy! xoxo juners

She has Mathilda holding up a copy of the book,
 instead of  the balloon

She put a tea cup, from Mathilda's tea party,
and a CD of her favorite music, very important to Mathilda

Mathilda wears tee shirts with her favorite singers,
 this one being the "Blues Billies"...(a name I made up)

Chantilly Lily's top had and transporting ball

The Key in the lock and the roses from the
"Enchanted Rose Garden",
and a star, for Finley Heaton, the Star Hanger,
and a piece of burlap to represent the pile of burlap covered hay
in the garden shed that Benjamin lies upon to dream.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Well, it all came an went so fast this year!   I'm sad to see it go.  I think it felt shorter because we had our little Xmas gathering the weekend before Xmas and it's usually two weeks before.  And when it's so early in the month the prepping, and the tree decorating, baking and all of that starts way before, so it's Xmas way to keep that in mind for the next one.  And I must admit, the party the week of Xmas was a bit much, because this year was so big with my family coming to visit for the first time as well.
So it was a constant for my mother and I, running around daily.  No two people could have made more trips to as many markets in a day as we did!  But it was the best of fun...I really am missing her tons right now.
Not only was this the first ever Xmas that my family has ever been to my home on Xmas day, but it was the first visit for any of them to my new home here with Ray and Case.  So it was super special.

So here is the week of Xmas in a photo montage...hope you enjoy!   And I hope you all had smiles, and friends, family and cheer during this past Xmas season...xoxo, juner

Our little break on the beach amid the racing of
shopping and cooking

Santa's helpers taking a break as well....only in Santa Cruz!

My little brother and my baby sister...yay!

Xmas Eve seafood tradition
(newspaper lining the table for all the shells)

Lizzie and Mekenzie laughing a lot

My new hand made birthday scarf from Lizzie
that I got to open Xmas eve...

Good baby sister....

Xmas Eve

Xmas morning...pretty packages

What'd he get?

The big blue tree

Simply lovely in person

All the bronze ribbons and purple and blue trim...
I love staring at it.

This was from the smaller red and white tree in the den

You can't get a good photo without the flash...
and it's so pretty in the dark!

Lights trailing along the upper deck and side door in the's really magical.

Vintage snowman and snow woman from my good friend Sue

An amazing antique ornament from Ray's best friend Mark
(who is now my dear friend as well)

Beautiful orange rose(orange roses being my favorite) ornament from my mom,
to commemorate our week together..
And the best is yet to come.  I got a very special gift from special that I want to share this with you in a post all to itself.  So give me another day or two and I'll fill you in on the details.  In the meantime, here's a sneak preview and a bit of a hint.... 
The rest to follow soon....
The day after Xmas on the wharf (that's my dad)

Loads of sea lions swimming about

They rest up on the dock below, and make quite a bit of honking

It was a really cold, sunny day...
great to spend with my folks and my sister.

The next night was family fun at the bowling alley...
I just observed.

This little rascal kept hitting strike after strike..
his best being 7 in a row!

Fun was had by all...

And this guy never wears shoes bowling!  

The girlfriend kept a happy face regardless of her score...
good sport!

Then yesterday a very weird cloud cut across the sky above us and left this very odd red glow around the yard.

It was daylight, but all the xmas lights had a neon kind of effect because of this weird red glow

The entire sky was a vivid blue with this thin solid
red cloud that went for miles...
we thought it might be an alien invasion!

You had to be there to really get the eerie feeling
of the bright glowing neon xmas lights
and this red glow on everything...weird!

Middle of the day, bright lights, red glow...
what more can I say...aliens!
So there you have it...the holidays in one total photo marathon blog post.  Like I said, I'll get another post made in another day or two so I can share my very special gift from my very dear partner in crime...Lisa. Hope your new year finds you healthy and, dry, loved, cherished, and filled with ideas to create something that sings to your soul...happy happy..xoxo juner

Janis late 60's

Janis  late 60's