Sunday, December 30, 2012


As I reflect on this past year, I realize I have much to be grateful for…this Christmas was the first in 5 years that all four of my children and my Mom were able to be here with us. As the kids pair up and alternate family holidays, and Mom returns south again next year; I know these times are special and rare.

In January of this past year, Britt and her boyfriend, Chad, moved back to Wisconsin after living in Denver, Colorado the past six years. Both Britt and Chad were fortunate to find new jobs fairly quickly; Britt is the Marketing Manager for a large printing company in Sun Prairie, and Chad is doing Graphic Design work for Air Graphics in Fitchburg.

Britt was the last of the girls to migrate back to the Midwest.  All three of them have lived far away (Colorado and California) for a good part of the past 10 years. Britt, Kristin, and Austin all now live within 15 minutes of our house, and Molly and Lukas are only a couple hours away in Chicago.  It has been so much fun for Tom and I to have the kids so close. We didn’t realize how much we missed them.

Kristin returned for her second year of teaching Middle School Art in Beaver Dam. This marks her tenth year of teaching!  Kristin is also my creative partner in our Fiber Art Gypsy Doll venture. It has been wonderful having her so near for our collaborations.

Molly has had a momentous year!  Over Labor Day weekend she and Lukas got married in a beautiful outdoor wedding in Chicago. So many of our dear friends and  family were there to help us celebrate. It was a magical weekend we will not soon forget.
We feel blessed to welcome Lukas into our family.

Molly and Lukas both happily continue to work in the Marketing/Advertising field in downtown Chicago. Molly is an Account Executive at Plan B Advertising and Lukas is the Marketing Manager at HIMSS, a Non-Profit Organization.

Austin joined Tom in business this year, officially becoming the fourth generation Gannon to join in the Real Estate end of The Gannon Company. (Keep him in mind if you have any Real Estate needs. He is always willing to help you buy or sell (:  

Austin also took some Construction Administration classes at MATC this summer, and studied for, and received his Real Estate Brokers License .

2012 brought a promise of things to come for the Construction part of the business…and Tom and Austin built a gorgeous custom home for the first time in a few years! They also built several condos, duplexes., and four units. They have also started dabbling in rental properties.

After many years of  intense art fair gigs and pedaling my wares to galleries, I have cut back this year to mostly selling my (our) Gypsy Dolls in my (our) online Etsy store.  For right now, that seems to be enough while I contemplate what my next project/direction will be.

Tom and I took only one longer vacation this year-Florida in February-we loved eclectic Key West! Of course, there were also my wedding related trips to Chicago and many weekend  jaunts to our little cabin on Presque Isle Lake.  It was great having the kids join us in the north woods for many of those weekends.
It was, all in all, an eventful, lovely year.

I hope that you and your family have had a year full of good changes and grand adventures just as I have. I hope that you have made some truly magical memories.

And, I hope that the New Year brings you
More time with those you love,
Perfect health,
Abundant joy, peace and contentment.

Happy 2013!

Friday, October 12, 2012


Today is my wedding anniversary. I have been married to my best friend for 38 years. And, I am so very grateful for every day, every adventure-good and bad- we've shared in those 38 years.  So, in honor of our long standing relationship, I thought I would share my 'seven secrets' for a happy marriage.

1. Acceptance:
Any time two individuals live together (especially over 30 years) there are bound to be annoying, irritating, and frustrating experiences. But whether it’s the toothpaste cap, toilet seat, snoring, or the last-minute pull-the-car-over-to-check-the-score-of-the-game-at-the-local-bar move, one thing is for sure: the best marriages are served with an extra helping of acceptance for one another’s trifling faults. (You gotta have a little can’t get any heat without friction (:
We don't expect perfection; we practice patience and we give the acceptance we want in return. There’s no doubt that this is work, but it’s well worth the effort.

2. Communication:
When people ask me the secret to our marriage I tell them we aren’t afraid to say what’s on our minds. We have created and nurtured an environment where open, honest communication is welcomed and treated with diligent respect.

4. Never Stop Dating:
It has been said that it’s the quality of time, not the quantity of time that matters. But I believe it’s the quantity of quality time spent together that leads to a wonderful marriage. Whether it’s a vacation in the Bahamas, or simply getting away together for a night alone here and there, keeping the romance burning is easy: all you have to do is keep stoking the fire.

5. Love is a four-letter word spelled G-I-V-E:
Most people think marriage is 50/50.  It’s not. It’s 60/40. You give 60.  You take 40. And that goes for both of you.

6. Don't Miss a Thing:
The death rate for human beings hovers right around 100 percent, and is expected to remain there for … well, forever. Consider this: if the average life span is 80 years, then that means we only have 80 summers ... 80 winters ... 80 Christmas mornings ... 80 New Years, and that’s it. It’s easy to get caught in the day-to-day craziness of life and, in the process, take our spouses for granted. This adventure we call life goes by in the blink of an eye; relish your sweetheart’s presence while he or she is still here.

7. Respect:
You can have respect without love, but you can’t have love without respect. Maybe the number one secret to a thriving, everlasting marriage  is respect. It is the catalyst for all things beautiful in a relationship: trust, connection, authenticity, and love.

Monday, August 6, 2012


Our newest Gypsy Doll is 'The Faery Godmother'.
The Faery Godmother gives us grace to help us along our way. It might be a little touch of faery dust to lift a mood, or it might be a conspicuous miracle....or it might be anything in between. She protects us from ill will and plain stupidity of others. She protects us from our own mistakes.  She un tangles snarls in our psyches and bestows gifts upon us-whatever she feels we need. Sometimes she gives us choices when we thought we had none.

Grace is the good fortune of the Universe even when we don't deserve it. In fact, deserving or not deserving is not the issue. We are-and therefore, we are loved. It is that simple.

The Faery Godmother is the giver of Grace, and occasionally of useful lessons. She tries not to interfere  with our learning process, but she adds that little touch of faery grace that helps us to learn a little faster sometimes. Quite often she acts in our lives through the hands and hearts of others.

The Faery Godmother is the only faery to wear a crown of stars. flowers, and branches, which says a lot about her.

The Faery Godmother glows through us as we perform loving and appropriate kindnesses for others and develop our capacity for unconditional love.

-Taken from Brian Froud's 'The Faeries Oracle"

Saturday, June 30, 2012


"My Dearest Molly Dolly,

When you were just a tiny girl
Barely four or five,
You’d play in my old dresses
And pretend you were a bride.

You’d dance around the Family Room,
So full of joy and glee,
And, I got a very vivid glimpse
Of the wife you’d someday be.

Since those enchanted childhood days
Many years have passed
Now the time is almost here…
Your Wedding Day at last.

The air is filled with Magic,
The Universe with Love.
You have a glow about you-
Like you’ve swallowed up the sun!

And, in your eyes, my dearest girl,
I see a dream that shines
I have not a single doubt
You’ll be the most beautiful Bride.

I love you,

June 2012

Friday, June 22, 2012


As the days grow longer and nighttime withers, we leave the final remnants of a Wisconsin winter clouded with shortened, darker days behind. With the onset of increasingly lighter, brighter days, our natural tendencies lean towards the celebration of the return of summer.

On June 20, the official longest day of the year arrived in the Northern Hemisphere and marked the beginning of summer. Also known asMidsummer's Night, thanks to Shakespeare, or, simply, the Summer Solstice. The word solstice is a marriage of the two Latin words, sol (sun) and stice (to stand still). As the days begin to grow longer, the sun continues to rise in the sky and seems to stand still on the Summer Solstice, with the night being the shortest of the year.
Historically, the Summer Solstice has been celebrated throughout the centuries by various cultures in honor of the sun and the return of light. Dancing, bonfires and even BBQ's all pay tribute to the celebration of the arrival of summer with various festivals and events around the world paying homage to the longest day of the year.
Summer Solstice Facts:
  • The Druids celebration of the summer solstice as the "wedding of heaven and earth" hint at today's notion that a June wedding is "lucky."
  • Herbs picked on Midsummer's Day are believed to have great strength in their healing abilities.
  • The term honeymoon is derived from the Pagan term for the Summer Solstice, 'Honey Moon'. It refers to the mead made from fermented honey that was enjoyed at wedding ceremonies performed at the time of the Summer Solstice.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Written by Regina Brett, 90 years old, of the Plain Dealer, Cleveland , Ohio .

"To celebrate growing older,
I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most requested column I've ever written.

My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short - enjoy it.

4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and
family will. 

5. Don't buy stuff you don't need.

6. You don't have to win every argument. Stay true to yourself.

7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.

8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for things that matter.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their
journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.

15 Everything can change in the blink of an eye But don't worry; God never blinks.

16..Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful. Clutter weighs you down in many ways.

18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

19. It's never too late to be happy. But it's all up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't
save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness
but you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'

27. Always choose life.

28.Forgive but don't forget. 

29. What other people think of you is none of your business. 

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

33. Believe in miracles.

34.God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.

35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.

37.Your children get only one childhood.

38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile
and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.

41. Envy is a waste of time. Accept what you already have not what you

42.The best is yet to come...

43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

44. Yield.

45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift."

Thursday, March 15, 2012


A Morning Offering

I bless the night that nourished my heart
To set the ghosts of longing free
Into the flow and figure of dream
That went to harvest from the dark
Bread for the hunger no one sees.
All that is eternal in me
Welcome the wonder of this day,
The field of brightness it creates
Offering time for each thing
To arise and illuminate.
I place on the altar of dawn:
The quiet loyalty of breath,
The tent of thought where I shelter,
Wave of desire I am shore to
And all beauty drawn to the eye.
May my mind come alive today
To the invisible geography
That invites me to new frontiers,
To break the dead shell of yesterdays,
To risk being disturbed and changed.
May I have the courage today
To live the life that I would love,
To postpone my dream no longer
But do at last what I came here for
And waste my heart on fear no more.
~ John O’Donohue ~

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


I have been spending many of these gloomy winter days reading the Grimm Fairy Tales-stories collected by Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm in the late 1800's that served up life as a generation of central Europeans knew it-capricious and often cruel. The two brothers were determined to preserve German folktales and became accidental entertainers. I am loving the dark side of many of these beloved fairy tales.

I've also begun re-watching many of my old favorite fairy tale movies: Alice in Wonderland, Sleepy Hollow, Lady In the Water, Edward Sissorhands, Never Ending Story, Labyrinth, and Legend to name a few.  I have become so enamored that many of my new Spirit Art Dolls are morphing into Dark Faerie Dolls!

If you are in the mood tonight for a truly enchanting Faery movie I highly recommend 'Legend'- Ridley Scott's delightful fairy tale. This cult classic features a young Tom Cruise as Jack, a forest boy fighting to save the land and the woman he loves from Tim Curry’s evil Lord of Darkness. Hailed for its visual beauty, the movie was a fantastical adventure through a faery world both light and innocent down to the dark and terrifying depths of nightmare. With goblins and elves, a brave hero fighting a dark Lord, a beautiful princess and–of course–unicorns, this truly is the stuff legends.