Monday, July 8, 2013

Read all about it! Or better yet, just read it!

Have you seen our summer issue yet?  I left on a trip to Belgium and France right after it rolled off of the presses, so there was some delay to the fanfare, so without further ado,
Presenting the Summer Issue of 365 Being!"

Summer issue, with free bookmark.

 We've packed this issue with great ideas for old libraries (and Little Free ones), great ideas for summer reading, great recipes for summer eating, and then we interwove it all with the wit, wonder and wisdom of one of our favorite beings, Maureen Carlson.  

As the featured BEing in this issue, Maureen not only shares the story of how she started on the path to becoming an internationally known artist and instructor, she also shares her thoughts on some of her favorite books, a gallery of her gorgeous and varied artwork, and tidbits of her own poetry.  

PLUS, knowing that many of our readers are in the beginning stages of exploring their creativity, Maureen has also written up a fabulous guide to all the different types of clay you will find on the shelves of your local art supply store, and to which uses each is best suited. She caps this off with a sweet little millifiori flower project, sure to spawn a whole new swarm of polymer clay addicts. (I only dabble in polymer clay, but it was a major component in the class I just took in France.  When I needed to make a floral patterned doll's body, I simply recalled Maureen's easy-peasy flowers and leaves tutorial.  Of course, that's a whole different series of posts, which you can find on my other blog, ) 

So, if you don't know this generous, kind and creative being, meet her on our pages this summer!  (You can also explore her website at
Stackable bead totems by Maureen Carlson
We're hard at work on our Autumn issue, with a loose theme of "Field and Stream", with a good dose of Halloween thrown in, for extra fun.  Subscribe now, so you don't miss an issue.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Sampler Issue now FREE!

Hi-ho, Dawn-Marie and Cathy here! 
 If you haven't read 365 Being yet, here's your chance to do so for FREE, and please (Please? Please? Please? Yes, okay, we're begging for this tiny thing which would be a HUGE help to us in getting our magazine known and grown) email a link to this blog to everyone you think might like this free issue of 365 Being, or everyone who knows someone else who might like it (which is just about everyone you know).  
Who wouldn't want to receive a free, fun, no-ads magazine?  Okay, so here's the deal...

About this time last year, we got this crazy idea to create a bookazine (an advertising-free magazine on book quality paper, meant to be kept or shared), and by autumn, we were in print (and PDF).  We're celebrating our year of insanity with a fabulous freebie:
It's a smaller issue than our usual, but it's filled with the same full color ideas (and we do mean FULL color) for living a  hands-on, heart felt, perfectly imperfect life.  Also, like all of our issues, it's free of annoying advertising!  All content, all real, all fun!  And it's all yours!

You can download it for yourself, send it to friends, zap it off to pen-pals...  

Give us a try, and if you enjoy it, we would love to have you as a subscriber!  You can subscribe in PDF, but print subscribers get a gorgeous coffee table book (so dubbed by several of our readers) and fun little freebies tucked in with every issue.  Readers who have seen and loved it first in PDF, and then in print, say it's so surprisingly, deliciously more amazing in print.  Okay, that's not the exact thing they said, but all combined, that's the gist of it.  Oh, and every issue has a different look than the one before!

We choose a loose theme for each issue, and for our Summer issue (coming out in June), the theme is "For the Love of Books". Polymer clay artist, and author of oodles of books on fun with clay, Maureen Carlson, is our featured artist.  (She's shown above, dressed in her story telling garb, holding our Sampler Issue.)  Our Artgirl, Faith, tested a project from one of Maureen's books, and we'll show you how to make it, too.  You can also read about big, old, beautiful libraries, and the new tiny libraries popping up in front yards across the country.  Need to feed the book club (which we might inspire you to start with Barb Gates Schaben's story)?  How about a recipe for potato salad with no mayo?  

Friends taste-tested this last week, and the ooh's and yum's assured us it was a print-worthy dish.  It tastes as fresh as it looks!  We have created several more recipes that feature the fresh herbs of summer, along with a few gardening tips, book reviews and recommendations...oh, there's so much more in the summer issue, but you get the idea: 
It's a whole buncha fresh, fabulous stuff in a beautiful book, for you to enjoy on your porch swing, hammock, patio or poolside.  

Subscribe now, so you don't miss it!
(or just download the free sample issue, to see if we're your cup of tea)
click here:

Be sure you don't miss a single issue!  You can subscribe in PDF, but again, print subscribers not only get a beautiful book to keep or share, they get extra little goodies tucked into each issue...  Greeting cards, book marks, paper dolls, art supplies...whatever we think might catch your fancy!  We're that kind of fun.
The winter issue had a love dove for subscribers to cut out and color, or to use as a pattern to make a whole flock from all kinds of papers.

So, we hope you have a great summer, and that if our style meshes with yours, you will include 365 Being on your summer reading list.  And again, being a small, no-ads publication,  we don't have a mega-corporation's advertising budget, so we would really truly and deeply appreciate it if you would share this link through email or facebook (just click the icon under this post!) with anyone and everyone who would not be bothered by receiving it.  You just never know who would be delighted by a free sample of our charming version of a lifestyle magazine.  

Heartfelt hugs and Smiles,

Dawn-Marie and Cathy
365 Being
Perfect Parfait recipe is in the Spring issue.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Rubies and Rust

Wedding season is  upon us, and  Rubies and Rust Wedding Barn is gearing up for another great summer!  This romantic location, in Belle Plaine, Minnesota, is the perfect spot to hold a wedding and reception.  Cindy Faus has transformed a turn-of-the century farm into a charming location where country charm meets artsy chic.  Not only can Cindy offer this fabulous location for weddings; she can also officiate the ceremony!

It's charming on the outside.  It's charming times ten (thousand?) on the inside!  (pssst...there are chandeliers)
The Spring issue of 365 Being features the story of how this barn business was born and then, lucky us, when we asked a bride if we could share her pictures, we found out she happens to be a writer.  Thus, we get to share not only Kirsten Wood's gorgeous wedding photos but the story behind the vintage design of her Rubies & Rust wedding.

The adorable Kirsten Wood in the creamery at Rubies & Rust Wedding Barn. 

With no advertising beyond the contact information for the people and places we feature, like Rubies & Rust, our bookazine is fully loaded with gorgeous content and inspiring ideas.  It's really important to us that it be a great value for the money, but if it suits you better, you can get the spring issue in PDF format for less than the price of a fast-food lunch.  We've been told it's way more luscious in print, but even in PDF, it's a better lunch than a rubber burger and fizzy sugar-water!  Oh, and Kirsten has promised to write more for us in future issues, so if you love her style, you just might want to subscribe!  Click on over:

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Spinning Spinning Spinning

Have you ever wanted to try spinning?  We don't mean spinning class at your local gym, but actually spinning fiber into yarn. Terri Williams tells us in her article, "Historia", which appears in the Spring Issue of 365Being, how she was terrible when she first learned to spin, but eventually, she got better, and how her interest and love of spinning lead to raising sheep on her farm, attending shearing school and then the shearing of her own sheep.   You'll love her "sheep philosophy of life!"

We at 365Being are all about living a hands-on, heart felt, perfectly imperfect life.  Terri didn't do well her first time at spinning.  She made mistakes and had mis-adventures, but she did not give up, and now she's developed her passion and is doing amazing things with it.  She's our kind of woman!

What have you been thinking you really ought to try?  Is there a skill you wish you had, or a hobby that interests you that you think looks pretty complicated to start?  Once you read how Terri met her first teacher, and how she embraced learning, even when it was hard, we think you'll be inspired.

You can subscribe, or just purchase a single issue (online or in print), by following the link near the upper right of this page.  Just want to know more about Terri?  She doesn't have a website at this time, but you'll find her on facebook under MicroCosmic Farms, and if you have questions, you can reach her the old fashioned way (which is our favorite way):

Terri Williams
50 Hendrick Loop Rd.
Omak, WA 98841

Friday, April 19, 2013

Marketing from the (perfectly imperfect) heart

One of the biggest challenges for a small business these days is marketing.  Traditional advertising is rarely the best route, as it's so hard to reach enough of an audience on a modest budget, or even a pretty big one.  Internet marketing is the hottest trend, but there is so much to understand, and about the time you get it figured out, the whole thing shifts.  It works well for many businesses, but it isn't the only option.  Cat and I looked at lots of things, read all kinds of advice, and participated in a few telesummits, all aimed at marketing for entrepeneurs like us.

One of our favorite telesummit speakers was Reverend Deborah Johnson, and one of her phrases really resonated with me:  "The energy that obtains, sustains."  In other words, whatever you choose to do to attract that customer (job, lover, money, etc.) is what you will have to continue doing to keep it.  Oh, yeah.  One quick glance back over my life, and that's obvious (thankfully not always in a bad way).

We decided we better make sure that any marketing plan we implemented was something we would have fun with.  Something completely authentic to our own way of being, something that represented the core values of our business.  You've missed our hourly cute facebook posts?  Not getting our tweets?  Your inbox isn't full of special sale notices from us every morning?   Don't worry, nobody saw those, because we didn't send them.

We like facebook and email to keep our readers and fans up to date, but neither of us has the time nor desire to launch a full scale online campaign.  Cat and I, we're all about snail mail, real hugs, authentic smiles, and great conversations.  Thus, the core of our marketing plan is two-fold.  First, we're going out in person to all kinds of events, mostly local, but national in the not too distant future, to introduce ourselves to new readers, and meet our existing ones in person.  Some of our events are like craft shows and expos, others will be mini-classes and workshops. 

This is our booth design for the vendor and craft fair this weekend in Medina.   Would you be tempted to stop and look?  Any suggestions?  Comment below.  Want to come see us?  Scroll down (or click back) one post for more information and directions to the Medina Entertainment Center.
 The second part of our marketing plan involves you, our readers.  We want to make it easy for you to share us.  You are already starting conversations about us with your friends and co-workers, and we so appreciate this.  Tell us how we can make it easier for you to spread the word about this fun fabulous publication full of cool content, and no advertising.  You can contact us through our website,, or just click the comment counter at the bottom of this post.

Over time, we'll add more things to ur marketing plan, and more staff to implement them, no doubt, but this feels like a manageable, authentic path for now.  And if it's not perfect?  Well, you know how we feel about that!

Come see us this Sunday in Medina, if you're out enjoying this first weekend of Minnesota spring!

P.S.  Looking for a great Mother's Day Gift?  Might I recommend a certain rather fabulous bookazine?

Monday, April 8, 2013

What a compliment!

Last week we received three gift subscription requests by three 365Being subscribers!  To DM and I, this is such a fabulous compliment--that the subscribers like 365Being so much, they want to share it with others.

Being a small business just starting , we rely on word of mouth to get information out about our bookazine.  Soon, however, we will be hitting the road and doing events.  On April 21, we will be at the Medina Entertainment Center in Medina, Minnesota, selling our wares.  I hope you will consider coming out for this event.  Make sure you stop by our booth if you do!

We do not have any advertising in our bookazines, so that is why we rely on bookazine sales and subscriptions. So if you are looking for gift ideas, why not consider giving a gift subscription to 365Being.  Contact me at if you have questions.

Have a fabulous day!!!



Friday, March 29, 2013

Spring Issue of 365Being is OUT!!!

I am pleased to announce that the Spring Issue of 365Being is out and all comments we have received from our subscribers have been awesomely positive and supportive!!!  This issue features so many talented people, including Sherrie Hrvoich Plonsk, an amazing water color artist from Pittsburgh.

We have some delicious recipes for you to try, interesting articles to read and some fabulous craft ideas for you to create.

Because we are an advertising free publication, we rely on subscriptions and the sale of individual copies.  We offer both printed and PDF versions, so if you are interested, please visit our website at to purchase.

Thanks and have a great day!!!



Friday, March 22, 2013

Coming soon! Really.

The printer says we will have the spring issue early next week.  Wahoo!!!  Layout was a little more involved this time, and once I finally completed it, our printer had a full schedule, so we've had to wait our turn.  I for one am ready to celebrate this latest baby, and I know Cat and all our authors and helpers are, too!   Shall we raise a toast with rhubarb wine? (Stephen's recipe is in this issue)
 I deserve to celebrate.  I worked my fingers nearly to the bone, after all...
 Okay, not really.  That's just how my hands looked after I finished dying a skirt.  Directions for that project are in this issue, too.  Including a reminder to use the gloves that come with the dye.

Now, you'll know it's the spring issue because we have sheep...
 and rabbits...
Betcha never heard of Irish rabbit!  We made it up for the spring issue, and it is soooooo good! And easy.  Easier than easy, since we had this issue spiral bound to lay flat while you follow our recipes or project directions.  We think you'll really like that.  Oh, and Irish rabbit is meatless, in case you were worried about the possible disappearance of the Easter Bunny.

This issue is full of stories of creative people doing fun things you might want to try, projects and recipes, decorating ideas, gardening tips, a free giftie from artist Ann Viveros, and so much more!  Single issues will be available as always, but you'll save money on a year's subscription
Happy Spring!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Spring has sprung!

No it hasn't!  At least not here  in Minnesota where 20 inches of snow is predicted over the next week.  Really! 20 inches!

Steve and I like to bring spring into our house in the form of daffodils that we purchase each year during the American Cancer Society's Daffodil fundraiser:

It is a great way to help raise money for cancer research and to brighten your life a little while we are waiting for our flowers to awaken from their winter slumber. I also like the miracle of watching a stem that looks like a green onion bloom into a beautiful flower. Amazing.

This week Steve created the cutest dish garden.

Isn't it just so cute?  I love the little garden gnome. 

You know what I got a peak at today?  The Spring Issue of 365Being!  Yes, it is wonderful and has so many fabulous articles. You just have to see for yourself, so if you don't subscribe, maybe you should!  It will definitely brighten your day!!!

Thanks for checking in and reading the blog.  I wish for you a wonderful day!!

Hugs and Smiles


Sunday, March 3, 2013

Dawn-Marie, Snowstorms & A Pink Stewardess Outfit

As I blog this, a major snowstorm is on its way to Minnesota and Dawn-Marie is feverishly finishing up the Spring Issue of 365Being. She has done an amazing job on the past two issues and I so look forward to seeing the latest one.  Yes, I too get to enjoy the "surprise" of what the next issue looks like when I first see a proof from Wagner Press and Graphics.  Dawn-Marie IS the creativity of 365Being. There is no doubt about that. She creates all the layouts of the magazine and does such an amazing job. I help come up with story ideas, write a few articles, balance the checkbook, taste test her recipes, investigate events and keep track of the weather. Keep track of the weather????  I know that DM gets busy and doesn't always have time to catch the news or weather, so I keep her abreast of things.  I just hung up from talking to her about this latest snowstorm and she thanked me because she has been so involved in getting this issue done, that she hadn't taken the time to listen to the weather.

I am really excited about this latest issue because there is an article by Barb Gates-Schaben about buying vintage items.  I LOVE vintage stuff.  So does our web designer, Shannon.  She recently made a pink stewardess outfit from a vintage pattern.

Here she is all pretty in pink.

You can read about her project on her blog:

Wishing all of you a wonderful day!!!



Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Steve the Photographer

My husband Steve has graciously taken on the role as photographer for 365Being.  He has always enjoyed photography, so this is a perfect fit for him. He did many of the shots that will be in the spring issue of 365Being, and he is excited to see his work in print.

On a recent trip to the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory, Steve took some beautiful shots of orchids, something else he greatly enjoys.

So thank you, Steve, for your willingness to take on photography assignments and for taking on the role as 365Being photographer.  Your enthusiasm is very welcome and your desire to learn to become better is very much appreciated!!!!

Have a wonderful day!!



Friday, February 22, 2013

More of the white stuff...

The Spring Equinox is in 27 days.  Hard to believe that in Minnesota when you look outside and all you see is white.

More of the white stuff fell last night and is falling as I type this.  I am tired of it and want to see GREEN!  I long to see my backyard in all its lushness.  Right now it is all white.  I want it to look like this:

See the tulip in the foreground?   Just seeing that flower makes me feel good. Soon we will be seeing green and enjoying a fabulous spring.  When the flamingos come out of the shed, that is a true sign that spring is here.

Another sign of spring is the arrival of the Spring Issue of 365Being.  It won't be much longer and it will be here.  If you don't already subscribe, please consider doing so.  We are a small business trying to produce a fabulous advertisement free publication that will inspire and entertain you. Check us out at

Have a lovely day!



Tuesday, February 19, 2013

White stuff everywhere!

Look at this photo.  What captures your attention?  The cute squirrel hanging on the bird feeder?  The pine greens still in my fountain even though it is late February?  The white stuff that I am so very tired of?  Well, if it was the snow that caught your eye, I have to ask, are you tired of it too?  Are you ready to see green buds and colorful spring flowers?  Well it might be a while before we get to that point, BUT the spring issue of 365Being will definitely being some color into your life.  It will be out soon, so keep checking back on the blog or "like" us on facebook so you will receive notification of its release.

You will see beautiful colors in this issue like these gorgeous afghans.  We are featuring some wonderful artists, great guest writers and, of course, our Dawn-Mara will delight you with her writings and DIY projects.

Have a delightful day!!!

Hugs and Smiles,


Friday, February 15, 2013

Knit one, purl two, hug three

On a recent visit, Cheryl, one of my closest friends, gave me the most wonderful gift--a hand knitted scarf!!!

The scarf is so beautiful and her kind gesture warmed not only my neck, but my heart.

Cheryl LOVES to knit and always has an interesting project she is working on.  In the Spring Issue of 365Being, she spins the yarn and shares why she enjoys knitting.  It is a delightful and colorful piece.

Wishing all a wonderful weekend!



Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Someone's in the kitchen with.....Dawn-Marie!!!

I was in the kitchen with Dawn-Marie last Thursday, assisting with the testing and tasting of her delicious recipes that will appear in the Spring Issue of 365Being.  What a fun day it was in the kitchen.  It certainly was a treat to see DM in action and to be able to help chop, cut and spread delicious goodness. It was interesting too to see the staging for the photographs as DM has always done this herself.  My husband Steve is helping out now with photos for 365Being, so he was busy snapping away during the day.

My kitchen did offer a challenge to DM.  She is used to cooking on a gas range and I have an electric stove.  She adjusted well, however, and made some very delicious dishes.Want to know what those dishes are? Sorry!  No hints.  You'll have to check out the Spring Issue.  Printed and PDF copies will be available in March.  Why not make it easy for yourself and just buy a subscription? We would certainly appreciate that!!!

Happy Cooking!!!



Friday, February 8, 2013

Spring is here....well, almost

Punxsutawney Phil didn't see his shadow, so he predicted an early spring.  That sounds absolutely splendid to me. I am tired of winter and am ready to see the trees bud, perennials emerge from the ground and more birds at my feeders. Steve is getting ready to plant his annual seeds and get them started in the basement. He loves to grow colors and types of plants that are very unique.  It is always exciting to see what he finds in his seed catalogs.

When we need a fix during the winter to get us through to the spring, we usually make a trip to he Como Conservatory in St. Paul, Minnesota.  The warmth of the greenhouse, the vibrant colors of the flowers, GREEN, and the smell of wet dirt all help with those winter blues.

I love these little pansy faces!  They say "SPRING" to me.

Green. Green. Green. Ahhhhhh. It feels so good in the tropical room.  It is warm and humid and the green just makes you feel so alive. Yes, spring is coming, but not fast enough.

Dawn-Marie and I are now getting the spring issue ready. I promise it will be fabulous.  Delightful guest writers and artists, delicious recipes and, of course, the wit and quirkiness of Dawn-Marie.  It is a treat for me to get to read her articles before anybody else gets to and to taste test her recipes.  Oh yes.  That is a fabulous benefit to being her partner.  Yesterday we cooked all day testing recipes.  I'll share more of that adventure next week.

Have a delightful weekend!!! Hugs!!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Stew for breakfast? Why not?

Dawn-Marie is a fabulous cook.  She is amazing to watch in the kitchen as she prepares delicious items that she usually shares with others, especially ME.  I have sat many times at her kitchen table while she prepared a delicious lunch for me after we meet on Mondays.  She dances around the kitchen and makes the most difficult recipes seems so easy. Her actions in the kitchen have encouraged me to be a bit more adventurous in mine and so that brings us to this morning's breakfast that I enjoyed. 

I got up early to make Green Pork Stew.  Dawn-Marie made this for me a while back and it was so awesome that I made it for my husband a couple of days later.  We love this delicious stew and often crave it as I did yesterday.  I knew I had to make it soon and so this morning decided to do so and let it simmer all day on the stove.  Well, I decided to "taste test" some and ladled out a bowl for breakfast.  I can't think of a better way to start the day.

Here is the recipe:

1 pork roast cut up in bite sized chunks
1 large onion, diced
1 T minced garlic
1 T cumin
1 large can (or 2 small) green enchilada sauce
1 can hominy
2 yucca roots, peeled, sliced and cored
Chicken broth...a couple of quarts, plus water, as needed

Brown pork in a little oil along with the onion or skip browning and cover pork with chicken broth.  While that starts to simmer, throw in everything else.  Add liquid to cover all ingredients by a couple of inches.  Once the pork is opaque and yucca starts to soften, you can taste for seasoning.  It will basically cook in about 40 minutes, but if you turn it down at that point and let it simmer very low for a few hours, it will thicken, and the flavors meld.  This one reheats beautifully.

Now that last statement on DM's recipe makes me laugh because we NEVER have any leftover.  We will eat absolutely every drop the day I make the stew.  Never fails.

So give this delicious stew a try.  Don't be intimidated by the yucca root either.  Simply cut the roots into 1 inch slices then cut each slice from the outside toward the core, letting it sort of break.  This will expose the core, which you can then pull out.  It is a thick thread, but impossible to remove full length.

If you enjoy this stew recipe, do check out 365Being as Dawn-Marie creates many fabulous recipes for this awesome publication.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Everybody wants Ann Viveros!

One of the artists you will meet in our Spring Issue of 365 Being is Ann Viveros, who dabbles in many art forms, but most especially draws and paints mandalas.  It's about a month away from your mailbox, but when it arrives, you will get to see some of her work, and read about the artistic process and her creative life.  Print subscribers will even find a color-your-own mandala that Ann drew just for us, tucked into the pages!

I'm playing with cover ideas this week.  What do you think of Ann's paintings layered over Chiaki O'Brien's weaving?  Not exactly pastel Easter bunnies, but I do promise there are some very calm page layouts in this issue; a little burlap and ticking, some almost sepia photos.  There are also some pretty colorful artists, like Ann.

Now, here's really cool news for those of you in the Twin Cities area:  Ann's had one of her works accepted into "Seeing God", a juried exhibit of sacred art, at the Benedictine Center of St. Paul's Monastery!
  The opening reception is tomorrow, Wednesday, January 30th, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. 
If you can't make it to the reception, the show stays up until March 15th. 

You can get the address and more information by clicking here:
St. Paul Monestary, Benedictine Center

Whether at the reception, or on our pages, we know you'll fall in love with this beautiful soul we are lucky enough to call our friend.  Don't miss out!


You can subscribe to our color saturated bookazine, 365 Being, in print or PDF, and single issues are also available for purchase.  Click on over:

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day

Tomorrow is a very special day.  January 28th is Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day.  It is a day set aside for us to ponder all the ways Bubble Wrap has made our lives easier and also consider different uses for it.

I invite you to check out this link to see some videos and ways other people have utilized Bubble Wrap in their creativity.

Have a great day and happy popping!!!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Getting Organized

This may seem like cheating and I don't really care.  Today is my turn to write the 365Being blog, but I so loved Dawn-Marie's blog from Art of the Home yesterday that I am using that for my blog post today.  Forgive me, DM, but this needs to reach a huge audience as you did such a great job on it.

Have a lovely day!!! Hugs to all!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Useful Winter Survival Tips

There are all kinds of articles on the web today about surviving brutally cold temperatures, and since they are full of all the usual sensible and scientific (dull) advice, I'll share my own little tips, and a few from friends, for getting through days where the high temperature is in the double digits below zero.  My friend Suzanne suggests plane tickets to Bora Bora, Jill champions denial, and Darla says get over it and get on out to Prairie Oaks Institute ( for the potluck (which I did, and the soup and conversation were both excellent). 

Now, I lived in Fairbanks Alaska for 13 years, where there are parts of the winter when folks get pretty excited to see the temperature climb back up to -30 degrees, so I have a little experience with extreme cold.  My first tip for dealing with such cold?  Don't live in Fairbanks Alaska.  It's not nearly so extreme here in Minnesota.  Really. 

I wear shoes most of the time, but I've recently discovered the joys of slipper boots, thanks to a client who bought me my own, when I admired hers.  These things make my feet so toasty, it just radiates upward.  I'm not kidding about how much warmer I stay on slipper days. 

(Faux) Ocelot slippers, two pairs of yoga pants, and a big cup of very hot coffee are a great way to start the work day, when the cold is radiating in through the old walls of this 1906 house.  Not leaving the house to go to work is the second part of that suggestion, in case you missed it.  Self-employment sometimes has extra bennies, like when get-something-done-in-the-office days coincide with I'd-rather-face-the-mountain-of-filing-than-the-frigid-weather days. 
hot pants
If you must leave the house, layer on the leggings or long-johns under a nice toasty pair of jeans.  If putting them in the dryer involves running down to a cold basement in a turn of the century house, slipping them over a small radiator gets the job done.  Toasty! 

I think one of the nicest ways to spend an icy day is curled up with a favorite blanket and something really good to read.  If you make an all-day affair of it, a good novel, a trashy novel, and of course the winter issue of a certain bookazine would be my recommendation for a nice variety.  Hang in there, warmer temps are on the way, as is our spring issue.  Watch for both in late February or early March!

Stay cozy!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Greyhounds Greyhounds Greyhounds

I love greyhounds.  I have two wonderful hounds--Deb and Hunter--that bring me such joy and happiness.  I adopted them through a wonderful organization called Greyhound Pets of American Minnesota.  These wonderful people help adopt retired racing greyhounds and find them forever homes.

Sometimes when hounds are brought off of the track, they need some extra medical attention.  Every year GPA MN has a fund raising dinner to raise money to pay for the medical care of these special hounds.  It is a wonderful evening for a very special cause.

Won't you join me this year at the event?  February 16 at Rose Vine Hall in Roseville, Minnesota.   Click here for the details:

Can't join us?  Your donations are always welcome.  Visit the GPA-MN website:

Deb, Hunt and I thank you!!!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Start Your Gardens!

Okay, maybe it's a little early to actually start planting, but never too early to plan. 

DM here, bringing you tonight's post.

Tonight, the Valley Garden Club met at my house and saw a presentation given by Cory Whitmer, of The Mustard Seed, a nearby garden center.  Now, one of the lovely things about blogging on a site read by people who do not know me well is that nobody is snickering and making dandelion jokes, at the mention of me belonging to the garden club.  Lovely as that is, 365 Being is all about the perfectly imperfect life, so in the interest of full (hopefully inspirational) disclosure, no, I am not a gardener. 

I plant things that sometimes grow.  I even envision a wonderful public pocket park in my front yard, since I have almost the only shade in downtown Belle Plaine.  However, I love the rabbit that lives by my back gate, and am not particularly bothered by the mole hills that cross my yard like organic dot-to-dots.  I could win flower show competitions for largest dandelion, if they held such competitions.  So no, I'm not really a gardener.

I grow great zinnias though, and marigolds like me so much that they always come back the next year.  My secret is neglect and under watering.
 *  Put these in your front yard, and folks will overlook any weeds, junk or peeling paint beyond them.  Brilliant!   *
Now, for those of you who want to attempt something more than zinnias and dandelions, here are some of what Cory says will be the big sellers for our zone 4/5 climate, this year.  Some are very new to the market, so may be hard to get until next summer.  Sorry no photos, but google the names, or if you are nearby, check in with the folks at to find out when they might be on view.

  • Sparks Will Fly Begonia - tangerine is the trend color for this year and probably next, even though polls show orange as the least favorite flower color.  This has bronze/lime foliage under orange flowers, and will take some shade. 
  • Whopper Begonias - These are big plants, almost twice the size of standard begonias, about 3' tall.  They are pink or red, and will do best in partial to full shade.
  • Chocolate Covered Cherry Coleus - OH WOW!!!  This is similar to Kong (I think I got that right), but it has just a rim of lime green around a dark plum-brown leaf with magenta centers.  About a foot tall, and likes shadier shade.  I think everyone put a star next to this on their list tonight.
  • Honey Crisp Coleus - Leaves are limier at the top of the plant, yellower toward the bottom, and the cool thing is that the undersides are red.  If you put this on your porch, you'll get a great effect from the street.  It likes full sun.
  • Everlast Dianthus - This can be planted earlier than most dianthus in our zone, has a longer bloom, more and hardier blooms, is very low maintenance, and if it starts to look shabby, you simply mow it with a high mower, and it will freshen right up.
  • Elephant Scarlet Gerbera - You know how Gerb's are such a big bloom?  Well these are even bigger, at about twice the usual size.  If you have a hard time with Gerberas, you are probably overwatering, Cory says.  They like it very dry.
  • 3D Berry White Osteospermum - This is mostly white with a purple center.  Like gerberas, they like it DRY.
  • Patchwork Cosmic Orange Impatiens - This made me think of Creamcicles with bites taken out.  Apparently the big thing breeders are after now is random splotchy patterns, rather than uniform two-tone stripes.  It's cute.
  • Cool Wave Pansies - These are a trademark Wave, so although new, well tested to perform.  They sprawl more, and will handle the heat far better than traditional pansies.
  • Blue A Fuse Petunia - Another of the new splotchy patterns, this petunia is purple and white.
  • Candy Cane Verbena - This is really sweet.  Hummingbirds apparently think so too.  The markings on the petals look like white hearts with dark pink edges.  It grows well under trees limbed up high, and needs very little water.
  • Blackberry Vinca - Blooms early and all through the season, prefers mostly sun, and as the name implies, it is a very dark, nearly black purple.  It's good ground cover, and nice in pots.

  • First Love Dianthus - Multiple colors of pink and white flowers on one plant, takes the heat well, and blooms all season.  Full sun.
  • PowWow White Echinacea - Apparently earlier white echinaceas (cone flower) were pretty floppy, but this new one has sturdy stems and a long blooming period.  I think they look like happy polka-dots.
  • Black Diamond Helleborus - These are the early bloomers that will pop up when snow still hangs on the ground in places.  Growing them in Minnesota has been nearly impossible, but this new variety has tested well.  It's another very dark purple flower, and well suited to woodland gardens.  I think they should test it in my side yard, don't you?
  • Pink Cat Nepeta (catmint) - Hummers and butterflies love this.  Blooms June through August, drought tolerant, but yes, it spreads.
  • Pike's Peak Purple Penstemon - Likes full sun, grows 2-3 feet tall, and is another drought tolerant hummingbird feeder. 
  • Red Rocks Penstemon - This one has red flowers with white throats, and will do well with a little shade.

  • Bobo Hydrangea Paniculata- This has tons of white to green blooms on a 3 foot tall plant.  The stems are super sturdy, so it doesn't droop under the weight of the flowers, which looked like the more conical formation (I think that's the paniculata part), and it's deer tolerant, if that's a worry.  Deer stop about three blocks short of downtown, so I'm safe there.  Wandering drunks during our town festivals are a different issue.
  • Strawberry Sundae Hydrangea Paniculata - Did you fall in love with the Strawberry Vanilla Hydrangea, widely advertised in magazines last summer, but maybe not it's 6' height?  This is the same flower on a much shorter plant.  Blooms start white, then fade from the bottom up, changing to a rich pink.
  • Purple Boomerang Lilac - This was also widely advertised last year.  The price should be a little friendlier this year, and plants a little easier to find.  If you have ever wished lilacs lasted longer, thank your fairy godmother (or the breeder of this one).  It blooms from spring until the weather gets hot, then re-blooms after the doggiest days of August.  Cory says you can cut blooms and see new buds two weeks later!
  • Amber Jubilee Ninebark - This is 5-6 feet tall, and has gold/maroon/amber foliage (think spiky maple leaf shape, if you aren't familiar with ninebark) that holds it's color all season.  It will be paler in sunnier locations, and darker in shadier locations, but still with all it's colors.  I've had ninebark recommended more than once, so if I ever do get serious, I'm going for this one.
  • Little Devil Ninebark - This has been around a few years, but when Cory heard none of us were familiar with it, he gushed.  It's a shorty, just 3-4 feet tall, with purple foliage in full sun.  It's a good replacement for barberry, which is being put on the thug list, as it's invading wild areas.  Cory says this one doesn't put out suckers, which apparently some ninebarks do.

So, for all you gardeners out there who might look further into these, hopefully I spelled everything right, since you know spell check is about to turn my whole screen yellow.  Even I might study up a bit more on my favorites.  All our snow melted here, so the entire landscape is dull brown, and these slides were so juicy and vibrant, I can't help but be fooled into thinking that this could be the year I finally become a gardener. 

I have a good four months to plan.  Then again, I also have clients' walls to paint, a couple issues of a bookazine to publish, actually three, since the fall issue gets built in mid-summer, and some travelling to do.  Sigh.  Anyone out there want to practice their gardening skills on a beautiful dandelion patch in the heart of downtown Belle Plaine?

Wishing you gorgeous gardens, if only in your dreams,
Dawn-Marie, Dandelion Grower Extraordinaire

Thursday, January 10, 2013

SAORI Weaving

I am blessed to have two wonderful friends, Chaiki and Dan O'Brien, who introduced me to SAORI weaving several years ago.  When I was doing SAORI weaving, I loved that there were no set rules and I could create an item that reflected how I felt. I also loved weaving with others in a group and witness their creations while they evolved. Dan and Chiaki offer a great space in their home studio for people to come and experience SAORI.

Dan and Chiaki will be featured in the Spring Issue of 365Being. You will read not only about SAORI weaving, but also about these two delightful people and their other talents.  Chiaki is an enthusiastic Taiko drummer and Dan, a very talented author.

The Spring Issue is in its infancy as we are now gathering together the articles and photos to produce another fabulous bookazine for you.

We still have some copies of 365Being Winter Issue available for purchase via our website  Check us out and support a wonderful publication that is upbeat, colorful AND HAS NO ADVERTISING!!! 

Have a colorful day!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Barb Kobe Class is coming up!!!

So, how are you liking the Winter Edition of 365 Being?  What?  Not a subscriber yet?  Print version is way cooler, but PDF is super affordable, so no reason not to check it out.  Shoot, you can even buy a single issue, if you're really nervous about commitment.  :) Link is at the top of the column to the right of this post.  Order now, then come back and read the rest of this!  Lots of you readers are commenting on the article about Barb Kobe, so I know you will be excited about this:

February 1st through 3rd
at Maureen Carlson's Center for Creative Arts
(click here: , then click on classes or calendar)

I made my 2013 game board this past weekend...
I got fancy with this year's game board.  Actually, I got lazy.  It was easier to recycle this frame and it's backing board (free because the glass over the picture was broken), than to clear enough space in my wood working area to cut a piece of plywood.  Barb supplies the 2' square for her class, so you don't have to worry about such things.

I haven't yet made the gatekeepers between the seasons, but I did decide to swap out my old playing piece for Dearheart, my Heroine character from my Creative Journey game board.  She can gallop back over to do a Heroine's Journey on occasion...

This is Dearheart, a.k.a. Tenacity Jane, when she isn't being quite so sweet.  Yee-haw! 

The darling duckling, along with his reminder leaf, has lived on my board from the start.  He's there to remind me that unlike "the female mallard, who assumes a dull, colorless hue so as not to attract predators" (read this in your best documentary narrator voice), I was not born to blend in...

Repeat after me, "YOU ARE NOT A DUCK!!!"
Very good.  Now, don't forget it.
This winged timepiece used to hang from the branches to remind me not to waste a precious minute, because time flies.  I let it sit at rest in the branches, now.  Why?  I've made peace with time, and with my own way of moodling long and slow, then accomplishing things in great leaps of activity.  Well, okay, mostly made peace...

Want to experience a more peaceful sense of time?  There's a class for that, too!  Barb is teaching another mixed-media class at Maureen's on Thursday, January 31st, called Playing With Time.  Find that on Maureen's website, too (

Now, don't think for a minute that you can't take these classes because you live too far away.  Maureen's center has boarding facilities!  We so hope you will come and experience the magic of Maureen, and the fabulous teaching of one of our favorite teachers, Barb Kobe.  Cat and I actually met at Maureen's in a Barb Kobe class, you know.  Cat lives just a hop skip and a jump from the center (more like just a hop and a skip), and I'm only a few miles on down the highway.  We will surely pop in and say "hi" to our subscribers.  Shoot, I might even make you soup!

Hope to see you there!